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Comment Re:Ah the post-iPhonenote planted stories (Score 0) 166

So we had the 64 bit "story" yesterday, and now an even less believable claim which relies upon the notion that the iPhone is the most common phone platform, used by nearly all music listeners.

Hey, show a little respect. Apple just announced a new iPhone, so the Internet is bound by convention to celebrate all things Apple for the next few weeks.

Personally, I can't run iTunes on my phone, so it's probably not going to be my standard. It's on my Mac at home, but I use that to get work done, not to consume media. Unfortunately, I can't play Arma III on it, and my game machine runs Spotify, where for a few bucks a month I can get a high-quality stream of any music I want, including an amazing back catalog of stuff going back to the earliest days of recorded music. If I want to hear a specific song, I just ask for it. No "radio" involved. No "thumbs up, thumbs down", hoping it will play something I like.

iTunes radio is late to the game and it's on a platform that stopped being cool in 2011.

Comment future (Score 1) 126

Taxi drivers will go the way of the Dodo bird within our lifetime. Over here in Europe, car sharing is massively on the rise. In my city, for example, there are a couple hundred smarts, and I can find the nearest one available using an app on my smartphone, walk up to it, rent it right there without going into any office, drive it to my destination, and just leave it there for the next guy to pick it up.

Just add self-driving to this and you have a perfect city-wide coverage. Not only because I could use it more like a taxi (i.e. let it drive me, instead of driving myself), but also because the cars could automatically move themselves to hotspots where they are needed, so you would always have one nearby - or could call one to your destination.

Then there is already an app that crosses transportation methods. I enter where I want to go, it knows where I am from the GPS in my phone, and it will calculate my options to getting where I want to go, taking public transport, car sharing and taxis into account.

Add Siri to the mix and in just a few years, things will go like this:

"Siri, I want to go visit my parents."
"You can take the bus in 12 minutes, or I can get you a car. Going by car will be 18 minutes faster."
"Get me a car, please."
"Car rented, will be at the door in 6 minutes."

Comment idiot (Score 3, Informative) 512

Author is an idiot.

'The ultimate prize, of course, would be to bring the million-plus iOS apps to Macs.

Which is what will definitely not happen, because Apple is about the only company on this planet that really understands that mobile and desktop are two different animals, with different needs and patterns of interaction.

Microsoft's "surface" isn't a fail because the hardware sucks, you know?

The ultimate prize is that developers will have an easier time writing stuff for both iOS and OS X, because they can share the backend code between the two and only have to write a new frontend.

That way, instead of getting a million crap apps that work badly on OS X, you will get a few thousand quality apps with a true OS X interface.

Comment genre fiction & "influential" (Score 1) 116

Timothy Zahn, one of the most influential Star Wars Expanded Universe authors (creator of Grand Admiral Thrawn and Mara Jade)

If he's "one of the most influential Star Wars Expanded Universe authors", how many others are there? On whom did he have influence?

Personally, I'm known as one of the most influential three-toed green bunny with superpowers short-novel authors (creator of Pukey the Mighty Bunny and Horrible Emperor Zfnjor) . Not THE most influential of course, but one of the top 500 for sure. However among the four-toed green bunny with superpowers short-novel authors, I'm considered little more than a hack.

You can get my books on Amazon for $2.99. I tried to put them up for $1.99, but I guess people expect be paid more than $1.99 to read a short novel about a three-toed green bunny with superpowers. For some reason, the four-toed green bunny with superpowers short novels sell like hotcakes.

Comment Re:Same old song and dance (Score 1) 332

Verizon Wireless is jointly owned by Verizon Communications and Vodaphone. Vodaphone owns 45% of this joint venture. Verizon Communications is buying the part of Verizon Wireless that is currently owned by Vodaphone.

Clear now?

Clear as mud.

No matter how you spin it, there is one less entity with interest in the wireless space. Like it or not, Vodaphone and Verizon Communications are not the same company. If you own stock in Vodaphone (at $212/share) it is not the same thing as owning stock in Verizon ($47/share). They each have their own board of directors, they each have their own CEO, which means, they are not the same company.

When Verizon purchases Vodaphone's 45% share in Verizon Wireless, pay attention, there is a further concentration of the wireless market. Verizon no longer has to make Vodaphone happy because Vodaphone will no longer have an interest in Verizon.

The good thing about public corporate governance is that there are greater checks and balances. Corporations have to make shareholders happy. By taking their biggest shareholder off the board, it's one less very large, powerful interest that they have to make happy. Since they've already made the decision that making their customers happy, this probably is not a good thing for the wireless market generally. Whether you are competing for customers or shareholders, competition is a good thing. Less competition is a bad thing.

Comment Re:64-bit BS (Score 1) 512

Apple did not write the speculation in TFA.

So, you believe that this is something other than an Apple marketing press release. I don't.

Anything you read in the tech press immediately after an Apple product announcement is suspect, to me, since there is absolutely no original reporting in any of it. The only information that a journalist has at this point is what Apple is putting out, complete with Apple spin. That's the whole purpose of the secrecy surrounding these things.

Nothing about making the Mac more like the iPhone.

See above. Except for the fact that the story is about iPhones becoming more like Macs, except spun to make it sound like this was somehow going to make iOS apps run on Macs, which have had 64-bit address space for years now.

Remember, the only information that anyone, including the press, has at the moment is what Apple has spoon-fed them.

Comment Re:64-bit BS (Score 2) 512

Right, because there are no algorithms, none whatsoever, not mmapped in-memory databases, not modern runtimes, which benefit from having a large address space that will not be exhausted by fragmentation. Yep, none at all.

So you would think that this new large address space will allow more complex and productive apps brought to the iPhone.

But, if you read the article, you'll see this:

'The ultimate prize, of course, would be to bring the million-plus iOS apps to Macs.

But it's the iPhone that's being brought up to the same address space as the Mac, not the other way around. Interesting that Apple puts this in terms of making the Mac more like the iPhone instead.

Macs are already technically capable of running iOS apps.

Plus, and this is not a small concern, I think there are plenty of Mac users (like me) who see the notion of OSX becoming more like iOS as something of a big step in the wrong direction. Maybe Apple's purpose is not the same as the purpose of people who use Macs.

Comment Atlantic and the Kaplan Test Prep (Score 2) 169

Atlantic's article has some big flaws. The issue with what you want out of a classroom depends on the criteria. If your goal is to charge as much as possible for students who will fail to obtain degrees, while increasing the size and salaries of administrations, then yes, having minimum wage adjuncts teaching everything and reducing tenured teachers is great.

If your goal is to have the maximum percentage of your students actually finish their degrees, then it's a very bad plan. And The Atlantic is hardly an objective party in this discussion. They have a vested interest in online, for-profit education replacing the model of universities as centers of academic excellence and research. It's basically the "school reform" argument transferred to higher education.

Think about the professors that had the greatest impact on you as a person and professionally. How many of them were tenured and how many were harried adjuncts teaching 8 courses per semester just to be able to afford to live?

The enormous growth in the cost of higher education has not been because professors are making too much money or because they've got too much job security.

Comment Re:Same old song and dance (Score 1) 332

Verizon is buying the part of Verizon Wireless that Vodaphone currently owns.

So, you're saying that Verizon is paying $130billion for something it already owns? And if it's "part of Verizon" then why does Verizon have to pay $130billion for it? If I was a Verizon shareholder, I'd be pretty pissed that my company is spending so much money on something that's already theirs.

As you say, "hah, hah, that's a good one."

Comment Re:How can anyone trust (Score 1) 138

Before you try cheap jokes on UIDs, come out of hiding and show your own.

You apparently don't understand anything about the official mission of the NSA nor its history. And if you think I'm a shill, you should know that I live in the european country that's #1 on their target list. The only reason I'm not raging is that it really wasn't much of a surprise, the only thing that's changed compared to last year is that we now know what we only suspected.

But all that doesn't change the facts. In all the rage and being upset and all that, you should try to keep your head and see the truth. And the truth is that the NSA does have a good track record when it comes to this stuff. An example from history: They made changes to DES back when it was in the standardization process. Nobody outside NSA understood why they made these changes at that time. About a decade later, cryptographers discovered an attack on DES that was interesting, but not devastating. They also discovered that it would have been devastating if those changes hadn't been made.

As I said in a different answer: Do trust the NSA with your crypto, they know a whole lot about it. Do not trust them with implementation. Anyone with half a brain will put a backdoor into the implementation, not the algorithm. Because when the russian or the chinese find it, you can fix the implementation easily. Fixing an algorithm is a lot more difficult. But even more importantly: You can use a non-backdoored implementation internally, and exchange encrypted data with external parties without them knowing that you're not using the same implementation.

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