If you don't have root access it's not really your machine. As computers get ever more personal, from desktop to mobile to (physically) embedded systems, it's critical that every user has the ability to keep their data safe from governments and corporations, crooks and perverts.
I can has your clothez, bootz, and motersykle?
Although we went through a period thinking we have an abundance of CPU power, efficiency is back in vogue as it's needed everywhere from the mobile, because of limited cpu/battery, to servers trying to solve the the C10K problem (serving >10K simultaneous connections).
Couple of interesting projects are the Redis server, written in tight ANSI C, and the Go language, kinda like a combination of C++ and python with a nod towards erlang.
Redis is an advanced key-value store. It is similar to memcached but the dataset is not volatile, and values can be strings, exactly like in memcached, but also lists, sets, and ordered sets. All this data types can be manipulated with atomic operations to push/pop elements, add/remove elements, perform server side union, intersection, difference between sets, and so forth. Redis supports different kind of sorting abilities.
Okay, not really related to ancient Mayan plumbing, but that article did make me think about this great talk by neuroscientist and writer David Eagleman:
Couple of things to keep in mind in the iPhone vs Android development wars:
1) Android also allows native (C/C++) development with the Android Native Development Kit (NDK): http://developer.android.com/sdk/ndk/index.html#overview
2) If Android apps do become popular and a competitive advantage, AFAIK there's nothing to stop Apple or someone else from porting Dalvik and underlying libraries and services to the iPhone. After all, both the iPhone and Android are at their cores just little unix boxes. If so, the project should be called Blade Runner. The Warner Bros lawsuit would be good publicity.
Agreed, iPod Touch has a great mobile browser, see Jakob Nielsen's study of mobile browser usability below.
In practice, however, most of the other [non-iPhone] full-screen devices we tested had usability that was so weak users didn't browse the Web much better with them than they did with regular smartphones.
Yeah, the iphone nano is the bigfoot of the gadget world -- anyone who says it exists is an idiot or a con man. And even though everyone knows it doesn't exist, somehow evidence of it becomes a media sensation periodically. Wasn't the last bigfoot hoax also just a rubber suit?
Excellent points. Also see http://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/5-reasons-to-avoid-iphone-3g about the importance of maintaining our freedoms on the new, even more personal, computer: the mobile.
Btw is the iPhone an example of the BSD license failing to protect user's freedom? BSD is used in OSX, and OSX is used in the iphone. Would Apple still be able to decide what apps iphone owners can run if the BSD-licensed code was instead GPL?