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Ubuntu

Ubuntu Phone OS Unveiled 248

Today Canonical announced Ubuntu for phones. The new operating system is designed to provide easier access to apps and content than is provided by current mobile OSes. They do this by relying on swipe gestures from the edges of the phone's screen. "Every edge of the phone is used, letting you move faster between apps, settings and content. A short swipe from the left edge of the screen is all it takes to reveal your favourite apps. Page either left or right from the home screen to see the content you use most. A full left-to-right swipe reveals a screen showing all your open apps, while a swipe from the right brings you instantly to the last app you were using. ... A swipe from the right edge takes you back to the last app you were using; another swipe takes you back to the app you used before that. It’s natural to keep many apps open at once, which is why Ubuntu was designed for multi-tasking. ... Swiping up from the bottom edge of the phone reveals app controls." The Ubuntu phone OS is built to work well on low-powered devices. Canonical will be at CES next week working on raising interest from manufacturers. As far as software goes, they have this to say: "Web apps are first class citizens on Ubuntu, with APIs that provide deep integration into the interface. HTML5 apps written for other platforms can be adapted to Ubuntu with ease, and we’re targeting standard cross-platform web app development frameworks like PhoneGap to make Ubuntu ‘just work’ for apps that use them." (In the attached video, the phone OS discussion starts at about 6:37.)

Comment Nothing new.. (Score 1) 530

I've known IQ tests are BS ever since I did a report on IQ testing in 5th grade. I wrote that being compared to the results gotten from some french kids nearly 80 something years ago was not a good way to show intelligence. Needless to say the teacher did not agree.

FWIW I've always consistently scored around 167 on any IQ test, from the standardized ones to newer more abstract ones. Which means only that I'm good at taking these tests, relative to whatever baseline was used to score by. Its a nice ego boost. But I know people who score lower and who are clearly (IMHO) smarter than me.

IQ tests are about as accurate as trying to make a test for how much you love somebody, and despite my wife's best efforts to that effect, it doesn't work either. :)

Government

NCTC Gets Vast Powers To Spy On U.S. Citizens 332

interval1066 writes "In a breathtaking new move by (another) little-known national security agency, the personal information of all U.S. citizens will be available for casual perusal. The 'National Counterterrorism Center' (I've never heard of this org) may now 'examine the government files of U.S. citizens for possible criminal behavior, even if there is no reason to suspect them.' This is different from past bureaucratic practice (never mind due process) in that a government agency not in the list of agencies approved to to certain things without due process may completely bypass due process and store (for up to 5 years) these records, the organization doesn't need a warrant, or have any kind of oversight of any kind. They will be sifting through these records looking for 'counter-insurgency activity,' supposedly with an eye to prevention. If this doesn't wake you up and chill you to your very bone, not too sure there is anything that will anyway."
Technology

Belgian Researchers Build LCD Contact Lenses 98

First time accepted submitter nickvad writes "The Belgian Centre for Microsystems Technology has built a spherical LCD display in a contact lens. The technology is groundbreaking and holds a wide range of applications from medical to cosmetic applications and more. The LCD technology has the potential to be used as a productivity or a social tool, paving the way for futuristic technological innovations like Google Glass."

Comment Re:Hmmmm? (Score 2, Funny) 69

You're an idiot.

The reason all the dinosaurs are embedded in layers of sediment is because of the great flood (you know, the one that noah saved all the animals from by putting them on the ark) which killed all the dinos and then layered them in dirt and mud kicked up by the flood. This didnt happen slowly over millions of years but in 40 days during the rains and flooding.

And don't give me carbon dating or any other dating method because they vary so much from each other that they prove the world is only 5000 years old.

And don't tell me about single specimins of trees that reproduce by self cloning that are over 5000 years old. I'm not listening LALALALALALA....

Comment Sell downloads (Score 1) 547

Fill the store with servers and sell downloads instead.

With bandwidth restrictions on people's net access, there could be a business for walking in and downloading directly to your device. Still faster than over the net, its an incentive over piracy (speed, reliability). You could even have previous stations where you could quickly flip through movies and preview whatever you wanted (ie, fast-forward through it you like). To save more time you could rent the movie on a memory stick in your preferred format.

Never mind you could get things that arent on DVD or arent popular enough to stock normally. And no running out of DVD's.

It would be a risky business and it would have to be done just right. You'd probably want to rent video games (still probably some life yet in that business) too and also sell iPods and memory sticks and such.

Comment Good for business (Score 2) 622

This will pave the way for employers to pay as little as half as much for employing blacks, latinos and even white people, since they are clearly not capable of being expected to do any better. This will be great for business and a sorely needed stimulus for the economy! Imagine how much money businesses will save now, and you know that will be directly passed on to the consumer with lower prices for everybody!

Comment Here's my hypothesis. (Score 1) 421

Purely anecdotal and totally untested, but my hypothesis is this: with less need to actually remember things, we have more brain left over for purely abstract reasoning and logic.

My personal experience is that my memory sucks. I don't know if this is genetic, or just a result of being undisciplined about memorization when I was young and so now, in my middle age, its just the routine that I can't remember stuff. I always had trouble remembering and memorization was, and still mostly is, the primary tool used in public schools. However my logic and abstract reasoning has always been high, through the roof even. I would score high on such tests, as well as IQ tests. But I would fall flat on tests requiring lots of memorization (history, grammar, etc). I would even do bad on math, because I couldn't remember the formulas (or times tables). But I could logically figure it out. Sometimes over and over I would have to logically deduce how to solve a problem instead of just remembering the formula or method.

Today, with Google and the internet, I have to remember even less. Because I know I can find it. Or I can find somebody who knows. I am great with high concepts and abstracts knowing that I can just find the answer to the details when I need it (mostly).

So, I "blame" our information based modern society. I don't know how bad of a thing this is. It does worry me that people dont know how to do basic things anymore.

Comment meme time (Score 2) 487

I, for one, welcome our Non-Prescription ADHD Medication User overlords.

But seriously. If I can ingest something that's going to improve my mind in some way without side effects, or with known side that I can manage, I'm sure as hell going to do it.

Almost all of us already do it and have been doing it for a very long time. Coffee. Aspirin (its much easier to think without a headache..). Ginseng. And probably a hundred other naturally occurring things. Even vitamins count. I personally feel I've even gotten benefits from LSD and Marijuana. If some current or future compound can improve my memory, my thinking speed, or reduce the amount of sleep I need, I'm all over it.

Now pardon me while I suck down a still legal monster energy drink and work all night long..

Comment Diversify... (Score 1) 360

I'm 42 today, and feeling old.

I have a history not unlike yours. Programming assembly on a Sinclair in the 80's. Trying to build an 8 bit SMP system from Z80's (before I knew what SMP was). Programming in C on my Amiga... but never got a job doing these. Then I worked for a bit as an engineering "intern" at Mcdonnel Douglas / Boeing while going to college. Decided I didn't want to do that for a living. I got lucky and along came the WWW and suddenly I could get jobs doing web sites and then programming. Coldfusion, PHP, Javascript, HTML, CSS, etc. I just learned Java to do Android apps. I had no problem getting jobs, and now with just a little Android experience I am literally getting flooded with job offers.

I think any kind of mobile dev is a win, whether its Javascript and jQuery mobile, Java or Objective-C (iPhone).

Don't be afraid to try some side projects either. You cant get success without trying. But not everyone gets to be a rockstar, either. I've got my side projects that I hope might hit the jackpot one day, in addition to my "day job".

I've also got backup plans. I have been leaning towards the idea of being a teacher of some sort. Maybe going back to college to get a better degree. Possibly volunteering to help at my daughter's high school where they are starting a new engineering program (EPIC) that looks super awesome (arduinos and micro arial vehicles and robots and oh my..). I realize there's not a ton of money in teaching, though.

Another option is cooking (I made a lovely beef marsalla stroganoff last night).

I find there are two kinds of "nerds" out there. The single minded machines who focus on one thing, and the well balanced people who know such a broad range of things that they can pick up almost any talent quickly and run with it. If you are one of the later, then you have nothing to worry about, as long as you embrace change and risk. If you are the former, well, I don't think programming is going away any time soon. Just go where the action is.

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