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Submission + - Liquid Drops Reveal Link to Quantum Physics (

cgscience writes: After a droplet falls onto a vat of vibrating liquid, what it does next could help solve fundamental mysteries in quantum physics. Now, scientists have mapped out the behavior of such drops to more detail than ever before, discovering new ways in which they can move.

If a vat of fluid throbs with too little force, the droplet falling onto it will merely disappear into the liquid. With just the right amount of force, however, the drop will bounce in place or even walk across the surface of the fluid. It can also behave even more unusually

Comment Re:Meh (Score 1) 146

Apple is dishonest for offering people pre-launch access to a new device for review purposes? Last I checked this is a common practice in consumer electronics. It's also something I've never heard of Apple actually doing. IIRC, for the first few iterations of the iPhone it was a cause for grumbles among the "media elite".

Submission + - RegEx driven baby name search?

Ryyuajnin writes: My wife is expecting soon, and we are still negotiating over names. we have agreed on a specific pattern on the name, (^.+[ygjp].*n$), but it's difficult to find name databases laying around the Internet? Has anyone ever found a RegEx driven baby name database out there, or at least a raw text or oss name database?

Submission + - Forget Apple: Samsung Could Be Google's Next Big Rival (

Nerval's Lobster writes: The idea of Samsung as a Google rival isn’t unprecedented. For the past several quarters, Samsung has progressively molded Android to its own vision: layered with TouchWiz and sprinkled with all sorts of Samsung-centric apps, the software interface on Samsung devices is deviating rapidly away from the “stock” Android that runs on other manufacturers’ devices. During this year’s unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy S4 at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall, Samsung executives onstage barely mentioned the word “Android,” and played up features designed specifically for the device. Establishing its own brand identity by moving away from “stock” Android has done Samsung a lot of good: its smartphones and tablets not only stand out from the flood of Android devices on the market, but it’s given the company an opportunity to position itself as the one true rival to iOS. While other Android manufacturers struggle, Samsung has profited. If Samsung continues to gain strength, it could become a huge issue for Google, which has its own eye on the hardware segment. Although Google purchased Motorola in 2011 for $12.5 billion, it hasn’t yet remolded the brand in its own image, claiming that the subsidiary’s existing pipeline of products first needs to be flushed into the ecosystem. But that reluctance could be coming to an end: reports suggest that Google will pump $500 million into marketing the Moto X, an upcoming “hero” smartphone meant to reestablish Motorola’s dominance of the Android space. If the Moto X succeeds, and Google decides to push aggressively into the branded hardware space, it could drive Samsung even further away from core Android. Never mind issuing TouchWiz updates until the original Android interface is virtually unrecognizable—with its industry heft, Samsung could potentially boot Google Play from the home-screen and substitute it with an apps-and-content hub of its own design. That would take a lot of work, of course: first, Samsung would need to build a substantial developer ecosystem, and then it would need to score great deals with movie studios and other content providers. But as Amazon and Apple have shown, such things aren’t impossible. The only questions are whether (a) Samsung has the will to devote the necessary time and resources to such a project, and (b) if it’s willing to transform its symbiotic relationship with Google into an antagonistic one.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Best replacement for Userid/Passwords - Access Cards or USB Tokens

IT Pagan writes: I work for a small company that has about 40 users. I am looking to move beyond Userid/Passwords and require two factor authentication — Something you have (an access card or token) and something you know (a Pin # or Passphrase). Is one inherently more secure? Is one easier to manage and maintain? Are there major cost considerations?

Comment Re: Competition (Score 1) 224

I mean old fashioned reinvent the MAC...

You mean like that shiny new Mac Pro they announced at WWDC last month? The machine for a niche market that Apple recognizes is an important niche for them to hold on to? There were some complaints about the lack of upgradability (have to my their specialized parts if you want to do it yourself), but Apple is also trying out modular, external upgrades via Thunderbolt. This is actually an old idea getting a refresh with some new technology that might make it more marketable/effective. Apple has been selling a ton of non-self-upgradable laptops & desktops for years... Why would they stop now? Obviously this is something that most average consumers don't care about (hint: they want the things they pay for to "just work").

You can only re-invent the wheel so many different ways.... They're trying to come out with new and more innovative ideas. Their product suite grows more interconnected/interoperable with every new release. Honestly, they're doing a better job of this than Google or Microsoft at the moment.

Comment Re:History Lesson (Score 2) 224

"Rational Profits" != Exponential Sales Growth over a Sustained Period of Time

They *have* Market Share right now. They're making *rational profits* right now. Sounds like the strategy is working as planned. Once market share stabilizes the number of sales/quarter should start to drop and eventually stabilize at a reasonable level.

Comment Re:Overpriced Apple (Score 5, Insightful) 224

Apple's Strategy has never been Sales Growth (as that's not a sustainable long-term strategy). It has always been to make quality products that customers will pay a premium for. This strategy dug the company out from near bankruptcy and molded it into the industry power-house it is today. They don't need to have more than a 50% Market Share in order to make a ton of money and they don't need their profits to grow every quarter. The fact that they still had a VERY profitable quarter compared to most of their competitors should be evidence enough of that.

Comment Re:Nobody is buying these (Score 1) 224

If nobody was buying, then the sales drop-off would be MUCH steeper. I think the issue is that they didn't have any significant updates/upgrades released this quarter (the new Mac Pro was announced, but not actually released yet).

The rest of the drop is probably due to most of the market that was going to switch, already has... Apple Computers require replacement by the average consumer far less often than PC's from places like Dell. For example, my parents have had the same iMac since 2007. It has never needed to go into the Apple Store for service and still receives regular software updates (originally ran 10.5, currently running 10.6, but a direct upgrade to 10.8 is available should they ever need/want it.. not sure if 10.9 will be available for it or not). Given that it's now 2013, this is a 6-year-old machine. In the 6 years prior to this iMac they went through 2 different Dell Desktops and an HP Laptop (which each cost nearly as much as the iMac did in 2007). This kind of product longevity will lead to an eventual drop in sales as their market share begins to stabilize (ie: isn't seeing "start-up-like" growth). This at least explains the drop-off in their Mac sales; people expect a mid-year update sometime in the next quarter or two and are willing to either wait for the new model or for the sell-off price-drop that always precedes them. That or maybe they waited for the "Back-To-School" sales that typically start after the 2nd quarter ends.

When it comes to the decline in Mobile Sales... Not all their customers upgrade annually. Personally, I go for every-other release (effectively every 2 years) to maximize my carrier subsidy and get the most "bang" for my $. A lot of consumers will also hold off upgrading iOS devices if they expect a new model will be released soon, considering that September seems to be iOS Device Release/Announcement Month... that would explain a drop in sales both in the last quarter and in the current.

Comment Re:meh (Score 1) 514

Which is why my all-time favorite Sci-Fi Movie is Forbidden Planet. Just great story telling. Even Star Trek took influences from it (those Stasis Beam things inspired the design of the Transporter), and occasionally made references to the Altair system.

Comment Re:meh (Score 1) 514

That happened later, after Season 3. When Voyager started it was still Syndicated. Then with UPN, Paramount *WAS* the network, so not much really changed from that perspective.

The problem with Enterprise was the whole Temporal Cold War non-sense they were doing. I would have preferred something focusing on the clashing cultures of the races that would later found the Federation. Maybe do some time-jumps to get a couple seasons in the Romulan War, then end the series with the Founding of the Federation. Would have been interesting. The semi-loose affiliations in the early series could have been a means of commenting on modern international relations.

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