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Comment The cynic/conspiracy theorist in me wonders... (Score 1) 78

whether companies don't hold back on fixes to these reported bugs as a concession to governments... could companies offering private services like iMessage patch some holes, while serving up others to the spooks with the understanding they have a limited time-frame to work, in exchange for generally being left alone?

Comment Re:Easy as 1-2-3 (Score 3, Informative) 269

Do your homework before building a hackintosh. I've built several over the past five years, and Apple is quietly making them less compatible, at the moment by restricting iMessage and Facetime to machines with legitimate serial numbers. For my next machine, still a few years down the road, I'll save up the extra dollars and buy the one I want from Apple, properly outfitted from the start.

Comment Best-kept secret in home heating... (Score 1) 250

... is far infrared (FIR) panels. Not the hot-element, near-infrared kind, these ones come in various sizes and colours and emit no visible light. They're also very safe – they get warm, but it would take several seconds' contact to scald yourself. Surface temperature wouldn't boil water.

Counterintuitively, they are best mounted on ceilings in commonly-occupied places, radiating heat downward. They heat the objects and people in the room, and the air mostly indirectly. The infrared light/heat bouncing around the room means you can be comfortable at an ambient air temperature about 5C lower than with traditional heating. They're common in infrared saunas and hot yoga studios, but new to the home heating market. I haven't had a full winter with mine yet, but claims of savings on the order of 40% are common.

These are more efficient and far less costly to install than radiant floor heating systems... several hundred euros per panel, plus installation.

Before you consider any heating system, however, know the differences among radiant, convective and conductive heat transfer!

For bonus points, combine with renewably-sourced electricity and other home energy loss minimizations.

Comment Secrecy (Score 0) 355

As great as these advances are, perhaps the biggest news is what wasn't announced. Tim has made lots of hints this year about products in the pipeline not hinted at in the rumour mills, then teased us again today about "tripling down" on secrecy. Making Stephen Colbert their chief of secrecy is a pretty strong hint it's TV-related.

Comment From someone who actually has the drive (Score 1) 130

I installed one of the 500GB drives several days ago, and the performance improvement is incredible. Boot times are under a quarter what they used to be with the 5400RPM drive that came with the laptop (a 2011 Macbook Pro). Application launches are virtually instantaneous. It's like a new computer.

I can't speak to the abstract "overall performance" measurements from the article (random 4K response times? give me a break)--where this drive soars is in real-world, day-to-day performance, and the improvements are phenomenal.

Repeated writes are a weak spot for SSD, and this is where a hybrid drive should offer more reliability: cache the frequently-accessed, less-frequently changed data. Should the SSD fail, the drive will fall back to the platter.

The value proposition of these drives is unbeatable--vastly improved speed, great storage capacity, dirt-cheap prices. Let's hope the long-term reliability is what it should be.

God doesn't play dice. -- Albert Einstein

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