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Patents

Apple Patent Hints At Wirelessly Charging Your iPhone Via Wi-Fi Routers (appleinsider.com) 59

According to AppleInsider, "Apple is experimenting with medium- to long-distance wireless charging technologies that could one day allow users to charge up their iPhones with nothing more than a Wi-Fi router." From the report: Detailed in Apple's patent application for "Wireless Charging and Communications Systems With Dual-Frequency Patch Antennas" is a method for transferring power to electronic devices over frequencies normally dedicated to data communications. In its various embodiments, the invention notes power transfer capabilities over any suitable wireless communications link, including cellular between 700 MHz and 2700 MHz, and Wi-Fi operating at 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. More specifically, the document's claims apply to millimeter wave 802.11ad spectrum channels currently in use by the WiGig standard, which operates over the 60 GHz frequency band. Theoretically, the proposal opens the door to wire-free charging from in-home Wi-Fi routers to cellular nodes and even satellite signals. Of course, amplitude in a wireless system is normally a function of distance. Like conventional wireless charging techniques, Apple's design requires two devices -- a transmitter and receiver -- to function. Each device contains one or more antennas coupled to wireless circuitry capable of making phase and magnitude adjustments to transmitted and received signals. Such hardware can be employed in dynamic beam steering operations.

Comment Language (Score 1) 293

Why does the language matter?

I have to learn all kinds of new, esoteric and niche languages all the time as part of my job.

Surely what you want is to hire a business or banking programmer and make sure they are then made competent in COBOL (gosh, maybe you could utilise your ageing COBOL workforce to teach him?), no different to bringing in a guy trained on a competitor's system and training him on YOUR system.

It worries me that a bank would be hiring a programmer who *can't* do several languages, especially languages that have been around for decades rather than languages utilising entirely different paradigms, or that can't pick up new ones as they appear.

If you hire some - I don't know, whatever the language of the moment is, say Java or something - programmer to replace all this system, you'll have a system tied into Java. Which will, as Java is starting to show, start to get replaced itself by the time that guy has gone and you've only got rookies running the place on the old-guy's code.

Massive expense, to be back to square one, after decades of dodgy code that was trying to stabilise.

Advertise for programmers, teach them COBOL as the "in-house" language. Then, so long as your business systems have the tools for them to create and execute those programs, you're sorted for a long time yet. You don't even need to care that every other bank in the world has moved to Java or whatever if you do it right and have standardised interfaces or conversion tools.

I think this is not related to "we can't find people who could program in COBOL" as much as "we already have a bunch of cheap outsourced programmers who only know Java and they can't learn anything else".

The time taken to familiarise yourself with such a critical codebase to the point of confidence in pushing your production code should VASTLY outweigh the time required to actually learn something like COBOL from scratch, in this kind of industry.

Comment Re:Wish they had this in Seattle... (Score 1) 63

Here's a thought: Elect some actual civic leaders in Seattle instead of the loony crop of social activists and grandstanders currently in leadership positions.

At this moment, Mayor Murray's next big thing is implementing a new soda tax. Oh, but he's now considering taxing diet sodas too, because someone told him that black and poor people drink more regular soda than white and affluent people, and we wouldn't want a racist, regressive tax. And Councilwoman Sawant is actively encouraging protesters to illegally shut down freeways and airports this May Day. Should make for a fun commute. But hey, love those rainbow crosswalks!

Submission + - SPAM: Higher sodium intake associated with lower blood pressure. You read that right.

schwit1 writes: In another blow against decades of accepted medical wisdom, one of the most prestigious, long-running studies reports that lowering sodium intake doesn’t reduce blood pressure.

The study also implies that most Americans are consuming a perfectly healthy amount of salt, the main source of sodium. But those who are salt-sensitive, about 20 to 25 percent of the population, still need to restrict salt intake.

Consuming fewer than 2,500 milligrams of sodium daily is actually associated with higher blood pressure, according to the Framingham Offspring Study report, given today. The American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium daily, equal to a teaspoon of ordinary iodized table salt.

High blood pressure is a known risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Hence, lowering salt intake is supposed to lower blood pressure and thus reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. But the study found that supposition to be unfounded.

Moreover, the lowest blood pressure was recorded by those who consumed 4,000 milligrams or more a day — amounts considered dangerously high by medical authorities such as the American Heart Association.

Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Pay your fucking taxes instead (Score 1) 164

The proportional amount of work requires increases as you increase your income relative to your starting assets

Now that's comedy gold, do you have more jokes like this? Since when is the amount of money you make in any relation to your workload? How much more work do you think Allen did compared to, say, a single mother working 3 jobs to make ends meet?

Comment the moral of the story is: don't hire Americans (Score -1) 163

The moral of the story is clear: don't hire Americans, don't hire anybody in the West. They actually believe they are owed a job by a business, that's very interesting but also not something a business wants to deal with.

By the way, discrimination is a human right. You don't lose your right to discriminate just because you run a business, but the way the Western laws are structured: you DO lose your right to discriminate and then you can be a target for various lawsuits based on this oppression of the individual rights by the collectivist system.

So make sure not to hire in the countries that have these types of oppressive regimes and laws in place.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 76

That depends on what you mean by "reasonably".
I have worked for an entity where some e-mail communication used one-time-pads, exchanged in person. The e-mails were padded with a large but random amount of null data so the length wouldn't give anything away either, and read/written on airgapped machines, with only encrypted data leaving or entering the secure room.
That's not too much work, given that e-mail is relatively low volume, and even huge pads can easily be held on tiny pieces of media these days. Getting a microSD card from A to B is within reason, and the encryption/decryption is simplicity itself (XOR).

Comment Re:COBOL isn't hard to learn (Score 4, Interesting) 293

Indeed. If there is a market for COBOL programmers (and it's clear there is), then the obvious solution is for unis and colleges to spit out more COBOL-literate CS graduates. Honestly, if I was ten years younger, I'd probably delve into it myself. It is, after all, just a programming language, and hardly on the same level of trying to learn Sanskrit.

As long as you have a real fall-back so your career doesn't dead end. What can easily happen is that you do X then more of X because it's the only place you get a salary/career development until you've done X so long nobody will really hire you for anything else. I see this with for example some SAP consultants, essentially SAP customers want to hire you for your SAP experience and the rest of the world doesn't care that you have a general IT degree 5 or 10 years ago because your experience is all SAP-specific and they don't run SAP.

Now they're probably safe since that ERP is burrowed so deep into many companies they'll never get out, but for something like COBOL you could end up doing it for some years and then the legacy system is shut down and nobody wants to give you anything but a junior non-COBOL position. That is if they'll even hire you or if they'd rather have a recent college graduate. Or you might have to relocate to find one of those increasingly rare positions that actually value your COBOL experience, which of course only makes it harder at the next crossroads.

If you write cell phone apps as a hobby and can show them a portfolio or something, maybe you'll get away with it. No, you're not a dinosaur who only knows an outdated language and best practices from 50 years ago. Or some other way to be able to transition away from that COBOL career more smoothly. Some of my older colleagues noted that the parking inspector at work used to be COBOL programmer some 20 years ago, they updated their skillset and apparently he didn't.

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