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Comment Nemesis: Debunked theory (Score 4, Interesting) 199

There has previously been a theory that these mass reoccurring extinctions would have been created by the near passing of a hypothetical star that we would have been unable to detect because it would be on the other side of the Oort cloud.
I suppose that this new finding will debunk that theory for good.

The hypothetical star had been named Nemesis. I know of it only because I ready about it in a novel by Asimov recently.

Comment Mammoths throughout the ages (Score 3, Insightful) 150

Mammoth-type animals have actually appeared and gone extinct not once, but at about once every ice-age cycle.
That blew my mind when I heard it the first time.

That the last type the mammoths would have gone extinct because of climate change does not seem very far-fetched then, now does it.

Comment Re:Beos was a media OS, went out with a sputter. (Score 1) 226

The codec directory was an idea that I think they got from AmigaOS' "Datatypes" mechanism.
I remember that Amiga was the first platform where all* web browsers would support PNG, because someone had written a PNG datatype and released it as free software.

*: Yeah, yeah, Lynx did not technically view images, but it could download an image and launch an external image viewer ... which would usually support datatypes.

Comment The smartest watch is dumb (Score 4, Insightful) 196

I think that what a smartwatch needs to be is as a "companion device" to a phone, and nothing more.
It needs a screen, two buttons (or areas to tap) for "Yes" and "No" and low-bandwidth communication with the phone. The phone tells the watch what to display and what the buttons mean. The watch then needs only to reply with "Message understood, displaying screen", "Yes" and "No". That's it.
All the "killer apps" that a smartwatch could be used for require those things and nothing more.

The Samsung watch and many stand-alone smartwatches are too powerful, too feature-rich and already too bloated. The Samsung watch is already too large to wear comfortably on the wrist. Has anyone mentioned battery life yet? My Casio has a battery life measured in years.

Submission + - Official: Microsoft to acquire Nokia Devices and Services (

symbolset writes: REDMOND, Washington and ESPOO, Finland – Sept. 3, 2013 – Microsoft Corporation and Nokia Corporation today announced that the Boards of Directors for both companies have decided to enter into a transaction whereby Microsoft will purchase substantially all of Nokia’s Devices & Services business, license Nokia’s patents, and license and use Nokia’s mapping services.

Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will pay EUR 3.79 billion to purchase substantially all of Nokia’s Devices & Services business, and EUR 1.65 billion to license Nokia’s patents, for a total transaction price of EUR 5.44 billion in cash. Microsoft will draw upon its overseas cash resources to fund the transaction. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014, subject to approval by Nokia’s shareholders, regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.

Comment Re:Huh? What? (Score 2) 506

That shortcut opens a new Incognito window in Chrome, also called "Private browsing" in Firefox.

Also very useful. Incognito windows lets me can log into my gmail account without having to log out of Youtube ... and when the incognito windows are closed, I am automatically logged out of gmail.

Comment Re:They don't need 3 Surfaces, they need an xTab (Score 1) 266

I agree with most of your points, but it is a bit late now...

If I had been Microsoft, I would have leveraged the "Metro" name instead: Windows Phone -> Metro Phone, Windows RT -> Metro Tablet, but let full-featured (x86) tablets remain Windows tablets.
Then, instead of letting the desktop be an "app", expand on the tiling windows of Windows 7 and place Metro apps in tiled windows on the desktop. Also, add multiple workspaces to Windows desktop -- it is about effing time.

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"The fundamental principle of science, the definition almost, is this: the sole test of the validity of any idea is experiment." -- Richard P. Feynman