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The Military

United States Begins Flying Stealth Bombers Over South Korea 567

skade88 writes "The New York Times is reporting that the United States has started flying B-2 stealth bomber runs over South Korea as a show of force to North Korea. The bombers flew 6,500 miles to bomb a South Korean island with mock explosives. Earlier this month the U.S. Military ran mock B-52 bombing runs over the same South Korean island. The U.S. military says it shows that it can execute precision bombing runs at will with little notice needed. The U.S. also reaffirmed their commitment to protecting its allies in the region. The North Koreans have been making threats to turn South Korea into a sea of fire. North Korea has also made threats claiming they will nuke the United States' mainland."
Networking

Submission + - World of WarCraft PTR patch brings IPv6 sup (fix6.net)

Japje writes: "The latest PTR (Public Test Realm) patch contains configuration settings to enable IPv6.

This would be the first big game to support IPv6 as a connection protocol. With around 3.5 million players from Asia, the part of the world most likely to run out of IPv4 the fastest, this is well thought out move."

Submission + - The iPad 2 and the tablet PC bubble  Mobile (mobile-computing-news.co.uk)

satuon writes: Runaway sales of the initial iPad led to a multitude of competitors joining the fray. Now runaway sales of the iPad 2 has led to tech analysts world over believing that we’re less than 12 months away from a tablet PC bubble that is going to severely hurt several technology companies.

All Things D reports that J.P. Morgan estimates 81 million tablets will be manufactured in 2011. The problem is only 48 million of those will actually be shipped to retailers

This is due to the difference between the adoption rate of Apple’s tablet and those of its competitors being so vast. Many will be caught with their pants down and tablet supplies they cannot sell stuck in warehouses. This will be a class A tablet PC bubble.

Science

Submission + - Fact free science is on the move. Beware! (nytimes.com) 6

G3ckoG33k writes: Fact free science is not a joke, it is very much on the move and it is quite possibly the most dangerous movement in centuries, for the entire mankind. One can say it began as counter-movement to Karl Popper's ground-breaking proposals in the early 20th century, which insisted that statements purporting to describe the reality should be made falsifiable. A few decades later some critics of Popper said that statements need peer acceptance, which then makes also natural science a social phenomenon. Even later, in 1996, professor Alan Sokal submitted a famous article ridiculing the entire anti-science movement. Now New York Times has an article describing the latest chilling acts of the social relativistic postmodern loons. It is a chilling read, and they may be swinging both the political left and right. Have they been successful in transforming the world yet? How would we know?
Google

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Freedom From Google?

An anonymous reader writes: A recent story on Slashdot, Bing Becomes No.2 Search Engine at 4.37%, brought home how powerful and ubiquitous Google has become in our lives. If like me, you use Android and GMail, and search using Google, much of your private life's details are in the hand of one company, admittedly one that has played much nicer with our data than some competitors. In the hope of finding some alternatives, I have been looking (ironically, googling) for recent evaluations of GMail and Google Docs competitors, and found most articles to be two, three, even four years old, with very little from the recent past.

So are there any reliable alternatives to GMail, which do offer something equivalent to GMail labels? What are your preferred alternatives to Google Docs? Any such outlets offer Android integration? iMacPodOrPad integration? How about going the ubergeek route and roll our own?

Very high reliability is a must. Syncronisation across different machines, along with at least limited offline functionality, is a must, too. Possibility for offline backup highly desired. What are your thoughts?

Comment Re:What if... (Score 1) 531

"At the time, Jobs was still smarter than Gates. Still is. Just different games. Gates went for world domination, and got all the headaches an emperor hates. Jobs went for market domination, and is still leading in pretty much every area they care to develop in.

Except the PC market. According to Gartner's January 13 press release, the top five companies in PC sales worldwide in Q4 2009 were HP, Acer, Dell, Lenovo, and Toshiba.
The top five companies in PC sales the US in Q4 2009 were HP, Dell, Acer, Toshiba, and Apple."

This is really one of my points. Truth is, in computing, Apple doesn't really compete with HP, Dell, Lonovo, Acer, or Toshiba. They do their own thing, and it's the Apple experience. If they keep on, they are virtually immune to competition for their desktop business, and I think the Macbook business is also soundly locked up.

And while every other manufacturer is trying to out-netbook their competition, Apple may have nailed it with the iPad. I don't see a viable competitor yet - processors need to become super power-efficient, the OS needs to exploit that, and the interface will need be superb. Until then, Apple has re-defined the tablet into something fairly useful, and created a whole new market niche. I have a Lenovo X41 Tablet, and the shortcomings are glaring. I'm not buying an iPad, though, cause I am one of the few who won't be jumping on the bandwagon and paying even more money on content and connectivity. Just not worth it to me, and I AM a minority.

Or to put it another way, Apple has probably 7-10% of the U.S. personal computing market for the forseeable future, though they will have to exert themselves for that last 3%. As a friend once told me, he would be happy with .03% of the U.S. toothpaste market, and he got it. Apple has a great position - 'just 7%' that they pretty much have out to the horizon, or until Jobs retires for real. That's their weakness - their real product is Job's vision. Without him, they will struggle. But who know who runs Toshiba's PC business? Who cares?

Comment Re:depends, becoming more important I think (Score 1) 609

This was of course just an example but it's true for a lot of stuff, back then you had to spend a lot more time optimizing your code as well, these days premature optimization is generally considered a bad thing (since in most cases it ends up being a waste of $500 worth of programmer time to squeeze out a performance gain that $50 in hardware would've have gotten you.

If you're planning to sell a million units containing both hardware and software, then "wasting" $500 of programmer time to save even $0.01 in hardware per unit is a really sweet deal.

You can tell GP is also of the "math isn't important" camp.

Comment Re:Pencil. (Score 4, Interesting) 569

But with a real tablet computer and a stylus (e.g. Lenovo x-series tablets), in addition to erasing you also get a pencil that can cut & paste, resize, move, add space in the middle of the page, highlight, color, change the color of already written text, and annotate pdfs (in case the lecturer hands out slides in pdf format), and undo.

It's called Xournal. I frakking love it. Completely changed the way I work. Now I don't have to carry a backpack full of printed articles.

I also use Zotero. It's a bibliographic database add-on for firefox, and it will store full-text pdf's. If you set up xournal as your default pdf viewer, you can annotate and store the annotations for papers. So I no longer carry any printed paper or notes anymore.

If you're in science or engineering and deal in diagrams, equations, and journal articles, this beats the crap out of paper & pencil.

I hope to see more real tablet computers this year. Everyone has decided to stop manufacturing tablets with high-resolution screens, and use wide screens too, which means in portrait mode your tablet is blocky (can't read subscripts of equations) and too tall (because it's 16:10 rather than 4:3). So while the iPad sucks on all the above points, I hope it spurs some new & interesting tablets this year. Pen input (wacom) also needs improvement, especially near the edges of the screens where precision is lost.

Comment Re:Remember folks, it's a NETbook. (Score 1) 298

The thing is, I don't see really any benefit for this. Google docs doesn't exactly offer more features, most netbooks come with at least 20 gigs of storage (even the SSD based ones) and performance is only increasing.

Can you still get SSD netbooks? I see none for sale here. My old Acer Aspire One came with a 8GB one, and OpenOffice. (Of course, that Lin-pus stuff was useless so I blew it all away, and installed Debian. Without OpenOffice; if you like word processors, you're probably better off with Windows.)

Comment Re:Quixotic business plan (Score 1) 401

Not the point.

I'd need to hire a car for that specific journey, seeing as there isn't a flight. (This is the UK, most internal flights cover distances more like 300-400 miles).

Ironically, while the electric car would be most useful within cities in the UK (where pollution is likely to be at its worst), this is also where the electric car is least practical. Lots of people don't have off-street parking, let alone a garage, so you could never charge the damn thing.

Google

Submission + - Google’s Book Scanning Technology Revealed (scitedaily.com)

blee37 writes: Google's patent for a rapid book scanning system was reported last March. This article describes and provides pictures of how the system works in practice. Google is secretive, but the system's inner workings were apparently divulged by University of Tokyo researchers who wrote a research article on essentially identical technology. There is also information about how Google wants to use music to help humans flip pages and videos of robotic page flippers.

Comment Re:I don't want physical copies anymore (Score 1) 361

I'll come out and say that I agree with you... in theory. In theory, I wish I could pay a price and then be able to see my purchased movie anywhere. Real-world problems interfere with that ideal, however.

Movie studios won't just put the movie up somewhere where I could get it for free. They'll want to make sure that I'm actually authorized to watch the movie. This means they'll rely on DRM. This, in turn, means they're likely to rely on one location for authorizations to take place. If those authorization servers go offline, you lose access to the content you've paid for and need to pay again for access to it. In addition, movie studios aren't going to want to run servers letting you download a file over and over for one small payment. They'll want recurring payments.

This is why I think that streaming is the better option. Something along the lines of Netflix. Pay a fee and get access to the library of content. As long as you pay your monthly fee, you can watch as many movies/TV shows/whatever as your plan allows. (I'd prefer unlimited, but we are talking about movie studios here.) There should be many different companies doing this providing access to the same content. This way competition will keep prices low and quality high. (Besides, I'm sure the movie studios don't want Netflix to be to them what Apple/iTunes was to the music industry.)

Of course, I already have a Netflix account and love streaming via Roku, so I'm mostly there. Now if the movie studios would just get with the times and let their content be streamed. Heck, I'd even accept a 6 month lag on DVD release versus streaming release if they're that concerned with streaming cutting into DVD profits!

Comment Re:This has been an issue for quite awhile. (Score 1) 420

Many Americans seem to think their country is the best and most advanced in the world. They are brainwashed by the mass media's propaganda.

That's true for many more countries. I understand that even under the taliban, there were quite a few people who thought Afghanistan was pretty nice to live in.

Comment Re:Ugh... (Score 1) 155

Sonic Team created some of the worst censoring filters ever. For the censor on Phantasy Star Online, they somehow managed to miss "fucker" but the word "queue" was absolutely forbidden. Apparently, the ban on talking about your "hoes" extended also to your "sHOES", and God forbid that you might want to mention what you're going to be doing with your HOES on SaTURDay. In Phantasy Star Universe, it actually interferes with legitimate gameplay discussion, because the game's Partner Machines, when spoken of in plural, becomes abbreviated, "PMs", and Sonic Team cannot permit us to discuss a woman's monthly cycle.

Ultimately, the extreme censors caused me to learn more curse words (and periphery offensive terms) than I was aware of prior to engaging in their excessively-censored games. There's a bit of a Streisand Effect involved in censorship, I think.

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