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Comment Fantastic way to lose all sympathy (Score 5, Insightful) 742

No way the school district is going to pay 15 mill to this family that has already emigrated to Qatar. It will probably cost a few thousands in lawyer fees. On the other hand, that clock boy is going to lose all sympathy from most people. It lends credence to the accusation that the boy's father, a presidential candidate in south sudan or chad or some such place is quite media savvy and has manipulated the media and gamed the system.

Comment Re:Lose the obsession with thinness (Score 1) 482

Yeah, with Marshmallow they've figured out that if the screen is off and the readings from the accelerometers (the 3 axes) are almost the same now as they were a couple of minutes ago, then it's probably fine to not burn a ton of battery doing networking and processing right now, even if an app says that it would like to do that.

Apps can still force their way through, but only once a minute at most.

I'm sure they'll switch to a more sophisticated quota system in some future OS upgrade.

Comment Re: The problem is the user (Score 1) 482

Maybe if you keep the power brick plugged in. Apple might have slacked off and decided to not optimise for low idle power when the brick is plugged in, since the user won't notice... That's where legislation might come in eventually.

It should be way less than 1W assuming everything is working normally and the laptop is not plugged in.

Comment But sabotage roof top solar first (Score 2) 141

Distributed power generation could provide a vital back up for such grid failures. So to protect the profit potential of utilities sucking the blood of captive customers we need to sabotage roof top solar first. If grid gets sabotaged, then we can get the feds to cough up money for doing all the maintenance work that were cut back for decades.

The big lesson learned from the 2008 financial collapse is: fail big. Fail small, you need to pay for the cost of failure. Fail big, feds will pay for the cost of failure. So make sure that all failures are catastrophic, so that there is huge public pressure to "do something". The utilities will have contingency plans ready to hold the hat out for federal handout.

Comment Repeal SLoTD! Now!! (Score 1) 93

We freed the banking from the law of supply and demand and the profits of the financial sector have boomed to 25% of all profits earned by all enterprises. But still we are still hampered by rest of the economy saddled with physical process of delivering goods and services in the real world of Euclidean geometry and physics. Ages ago, before we understood the real cost of energy a small band of elite "scientists" passed all sorts of laws, "conservation of energy" "conservation of angular momentum" and the most egregious of all, the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Our economy has been straining at the yoke of these tyrannical laws.

It is high time we repeal these draconian laws and free the economy to create more jobs and prosperity for all. We will form a committee of high powered lawyers and finance wizards to study the constitutionality of these laws, and we are planning to sue them to be declared unconstitutional and hence null and void. Our private assessment is that the John Roberts court will be sympathetic to our plea but timing is of the essence, we need to get the case in the docket while Scalia is still in office.

We will not rest till the Finance sector takes home 98% of all profits earned in all endeavors.

Confidential. Circulation strictly limited. For the eyes of finance executives only

Comment Security vs Productivity (Score 1) 107

They spend 33% of their time in security. The spend the remaining 66% of the time making sure their developers can not do any legitimate work. They run stuff like Bit9 or real-time process whitelist etc and when it catches any build process that uses the same .Net API or MFC class header that was used in any malware their signatures match and the build process gets killed. Developers play this demolition derby testing whether their code changes and pull requests can get past all the hurdles thrown in by IT.

The motto of IT seems to be "Ironclad security is what we strive to deliver. If that reduces productivity to zero, it is not our problem."

Comment Filtering out is so very difficult! (Score 2) 385

When Anonymous or someone else floods a hash tag with thousands of identical links to the same video, the cpu resources to collect all the postings, filter the spam out, track the original posts and follow ups would require humongous CPU resources and server farms. So it is going to hamper our spooks' ability to ... wait .. oh oh!

Comment Re:I could be missing something (Score 3, Interesting) 93

Another interesting aside is that many have tried to explain gravity by postulating that the universe is full of tiny particles that fly about randomly in all directions and that gravity works because bodies block the particles from hitting one another.This is sometimes called the screening theory of gravity.

If you make some reasonable assumptions you will find that two nearby bodies would block particles from hitting one another, creating forces that follow the inverse square law...

These theories also predict that planets will de-orbit and crash into their stars, and that moons will similarly crash into their plants. But hey, no theory is perfect.

Submission + - Uber clone Ola India aided disaster recovery efforts in a flood hit metropolis. (

140Mandak262Jamuna writes: Ola is a uber clone quite popular in India. Last week there were very heavy rains in Southern India and one of its major cities got severely affected by the heavy rains. The Ola taxi drivers banded together with local fishermen and rescued people stranded by the floods. It seems to be a spontaneous local innovation. Ola management was neither aware of it nor got the idea nor approved it.

This is probably a great idea, worthy of being developed further. If the emergency, police, fire and ambulance services integrate their crews and vehicles to plug in to the taxi calling app infrastructure, it would help them find the people in need of services quicker. Or Android and iOS could include an emergency assistance request app and provide the emergency crews with the client software to inter-operate with the callers. Probably some sort of neutral open standard protocol could be developed by our universities, using slave labor of graduate students of comp sci/engg departments.

Imagine how well it would have worked in a situation like Katrina in New Orleans if the people stranded in the attic would be able hail emergency helicopters...

(I was in Chennai last week, and the rains were not really all that much above average. It was just 20 cm in one day. But almost all the lakes and ponds in around the city have encroached upon by unscrupulous real estate agents, in cahoots with local politicians. Almost all the affected localities were former lakes and ponds. So much of the land was paved over, there was some runoff issue and some flooded underpasses. But water was just waist deep in all those areas. Surprisingly the power grid held, and the cell towers were functional most of the time. It should not have been a disaster at all, just blessed rain bringing valuable fresh water. But ...)

Comment Re:I've watched as the iTunes UI deteriorated.. (Score 1) 460

Yeah, I'm a big proponent of combining text and graphics whenever there is room.

If you look at design by the big software companies, Microsoft has probably been the most consistent in combining text and iconography in the last couple of decades. I don't know, but I believe they probably have a lot of data that indicates that users perform better if you combine text and icons. Maybe Apple and Google will eventually come to the same conclusions based on their own data.

Comment Re:Not Sure (Score 2) 460

Apple was actually one of the last of the big companies to adopt the flat UI style. Microsoft was first.

I don't think it's fair to credit/blame Jonathan Ive or any other Apple employee with inventing it. The flat UI was probably invented by someone at Microsoft. MS itself claims that it was a community effort. See here for example:

Comment Re:I've watched as the iTunes UI deteriorated.. (Score 0) 460

Okay, but iOS i still easier to use compared to Android, which is why I steer my parents and any other people who are likely to want computer support toward iOS devices whenever it makes sense.

My mom was more productive on her iPad after a week of using it than she was with her Galaxy S2 after 3 years. Of course, the big screen of the tablet really helps compared to the tiny screen of the phone, but it's not just that. I think that a big part of why iOS is often easier to use than Android is that the cleanness of the UI prevents accidental clicks and input, which often cause users to cry help, or give up.

A mandatory back button on the bottom half of iOS devices might be a good idea, but it could also be that Apple tried it and found that users kept touching it by mistake. Maybe that's why they recommend that apps have a back button in the most inconvenient place imaginable, in the top left corner of the screen.

I've got a bad feeling about this.