Apple got a lot of bad press a few years ago for massively overestimating their battery life and is now quite a bit more conservative. They've gone from claiming 6 hours to claiming 8, but at the same time they've shipped lower power CPUs and doubled the size of the battery. There was a Kickstarter for an open source compatible laptop with very similar specs to the MBP floating around last week: they were also claiming 8 hours on battery, but they were shipping a battery half the size of the MBP. I guess they think Linux users keep the screen turned off.
Adjusting the brightness has a big impact on battery life for the MBP. Cutting it to 50% can give you another hour or two. I have gfxCardStatus installed and so disable the nVidia card if I'm going to be using it on battery for a while.
Hopefully the A350 can make up for the anemic A380 sales
The A380 is really huge. A lot of the long-haul flights that I've been on in the last couple of years haven't been full, even when they're the one flight of the day between two points and are on a plane with half of the capacity of the A380. It's a very economical plane to fly if you can fill it up, but if it's likely to be under half full then it's very expensive. The big-planes, infrequently model doesn't really work with the hub-and-spokes model popular in the USA, because it either needs more coordination with short-haul spoke routes, or layovers (and the cost of near-airport hotels means that these can often make it cheaper to book a different airline's flight).
I flew on the 787 (LHR - IAH, both directions) for the first time this year and it was such a massive improvement over earlier models that I actually enjoyed flying for the first time in ages. Even in the cheap seats, there was lots of legroom, lots of overhead space (so you didn't feel cramped), the air pressure stayed good for the entire flight, the seats reclined comfortably without invading someone else's space. I managed to get more uninterrupted work done on the outbound flight than any other time over the surrounding few months. I'm really looking forward to airlines using similar craft on all long-haul routes.
The premise of this fairy tale is that great programmers have a quality unrelated to training
Not at all. He's saying that training doesn't create great programmers if they don't already have some innate ability. You need the mixture of ability and opportunity. Now that more and more of the world is growing up with computers, a lot more of the people with the ability are going to develop it. Graham wants those people to be in the USA.
Luckily for my country, most of people can be swayed by money. Big salary, and low taxes and houses with a big yard as still affordable for a professional.
How about some other things that are harder for people who consider moving to the USA:
- Car culture: Few places where you can live without needing to spend a lot of time commuting and long trips just to go shopping. If your time is valuable, then moving to such a place seems like a step back in terms of quality of life. If you're getting a house with a big yard, that puts you in the suburbs, where pretty much anything is 15+ minutes each way in the car.
- Healthcare: You might get good heath insurance at your job, but does it cover your partner if they move with you? Will it cover your children?
- Crime rates: San Francisco and New York don't look that safe compared to much of Europe...
- High cost of living generally: that big salary is nice while you're there, but how much of it can you put into savings?
There are lots of reasons not to want to move to the USA.
there's a heavy emphasis on languages that do garbage collection (Objective C counts as one of these; in theory you can turn it off - but not really
Huh? Objective-C doesn't have garbage collection. Apple tried to add it some years ago, but it was a disaster and they deprecated it (and never supported it on iOS). Objective-C has a number of design patterns that rely on deterministic deallocation, so is a really poor fit for garbage collection.
It does (optionally, although you'd be an idiot to turn it off) have automatic reference counting, but you still need to think about ownership and explicit cycle breaking.