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Comment: The desktop is dead! Long live the desktop! (Score 1) 692

by j.boulton (#37214562) Attached to: Acer CEO Declares a Tablets Bubble
I think the day is close where you could buy TV/Monitors that have docking facilities for smart phones. With dual/quad processor phones coming on stream that are capable of most day to day computer activities, the days of the old desk top are numbered. The new desktop is the phone docking station (aka TV/Monitor) + wireless mouse/keyboard. Tablets are too big to be pocket portable, not big enough to do get stuff done.
Google

+ - Does a Foreign Microsoft Entity Own Your House? 3

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "The Financial Times reports that Microsoft's foreign tax planning has come under the scrutiny of US securities regulators, who have prodded the software giant into disclosing details of how it uses foreign tax planning to reduce its US taxes. FT reports that the SEC also forced the company to reveal that the bulk of its $50.2 billion cash mountain — $42 billion — is held outside the US. Microsoft and a growing number to companies — including Google, Cisco, IBM, and Dell — are taking advantage of a bond sellers' market and opting to leave cash overseas and borrow to meet domestic needs. Don't cast stones, Apple fans — folks are also iRate about Apple, which has joined forces with Microsoft and a who's who of high tech to support the Win America campaign, which calls for 'an immediate reduction of taxation' to allow Corporate America to bring back $1 trillion 'trapped overseas' to be 'brought home and invested in the United States.' So what to do in the meantime with all that offshore loot which, as Microsoft put it, is 'subject to material repatriation tax effects'? Invest in the United States, apparently. According to Microsoft's recent correspondence with the SEC: 'Approximately 63% of foreign subsidiary short-term investments were invested in U.S. Government and Agency securities, approximately 14% were invested in corporate notes and bonds of U.S. companies, and 10% were invested in U.S. mortgage backed securities.'"
Science

+ - Studying the Impact of Lost Shipping Containers-> 3

Submitted by swellconvivialguy
swellconvivialguy (1719580) writes "Looking at a picture of the world’s largest container ship it’s easy to visualize how 10,000 containers fall overboard from these vessels every year. Now scientists from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute are undertaking the Lost Container Cruise, an attempt to gauge the effects of shipping containers lost at sea by studying a tire-filled container, which marine biologists discovered in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. ( The research is being funded by a multi-million dollar settlement with the operators of the Med Taipei, the ship that lost the cargo.) The work is not unlike studying a deep water shipwreck: Use robotic submarine to take pictures and collect sediment samples; repeat."
Link to Original Source
Government

+ - U.S. Underwrites Internet Detour Around Censors-> 1

Submitted by snydeq
snydeq (1272828) writes "The Obama administration is leading a global effort to deploy “shadow” Internet and mobile phone systems that dissidents can use to undermine repressive governments that seek to silence them by censoring or shutting down telecommunications networks, according to a report from The New York Times. 'Some projects involve technology that the United States is developing; others pull together tools that have already been created by hackers in a so-called liberation-technology movement sweeping the globe. The State Department, for example, is financing the creation of stealth wireless networks that would enable activists to communicate outside the reach of governments in countries like Iran, Syria and Libya, according to participants in the projects.'"
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Bashing for the sake of Bashing... (Score 1) 125

by j.boulton (#29713273) Attached to: An Electron Microscope For Your Home?

"...The only bad news? It runs XP."

OK, don't get me wrong, I'm all for a good old fashioned bashing against the almighty iSteve with my Ballmer signature series chair thrower, but c'mon, seriously? Do we have to consider every damn application that runs XP a bad thing?

Seems the "damned" OS has managed to survive in the corporate world years past Vista (we're STILL ordering brand-new systems with XP), and Netbooks have seen their own resurgence of support for the aging yet stable and predictable OS.

I run a Macbook for school. What do I have loaded on Fusion? Yup, you guessed it. XP, for when I MUST run a Windows app. Every student comes marching in every year with a new Vista or OSX-loaded laptop, yet my entire computer lab is still running...yup, right again. Good ol' XP. Old, yet functional.

And rounding out this volley back to the subject at hand, some simple applications (like a microscope) I would rather NOT have to worry about the bullshit bloat of some other OS, especially when you consider your target audience is USED to seeing XP.

Ok. I'll bite. I am a Scientific Instrument Engineer. I have worked in government and Universersity labs. When you have an expensive instrument like a NMR or mass spec with a price in excess of $100K then you would expect a long service life. And in fact the more you use and instrument the more valuable it becomes as you gain 'trust' in the instrument capabilities through multiple calibrations. When the instrument is controlled through a OS like XP then you limit the life time of the instrument. Also you have manufactures unwilling to provide support on untested variations of the OS (installing service packs etc). A solution I have seen is to put instruments with ancient ( i have seen win98 and SunOS 4.0 in current use ) on a subnet that is nated and firewalled off from the rest of the network.

Comment: Re:There is reason to be concerned. (Score 4, Informative) 147

by j.boulton (#28906875) Attached to: Piston-Powered Nuclear Fusion
As someone who works for a startup, I cannot empathize how WRONG you are. Almost every aspect of what we do to bring our particular product to market is new and needs to be thoughtfully researched and developed. It isn't easy but the potential rewards make it worthwhile. We spend a lot of time 'proving' our ideas with prototypes to provide proof that we know what we are doing and that the risk for investors is reduced.

Power corrupts. And atomic power corrupts atomically.

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