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Comment Re:The price might seem a bit high (Score 4, Insightful) 429

Let's see, for that price I can get a 17" laptop with a triple core CPU, 4GB RAM, 640GB hard drive, lightscribe DL DVDRW. Oh, and I can watch a movie without having to hold it, read an ebook without having to hold it, and use full fledged applications on it.

Why folks would buy a tablet they have to hold with way less functionality, for more money, I just don't get.

I think if your operating philosophy requires that you conclude tens of millions of people making a specific purchase decision must be idiots you should re-evaluate that philosophy because it obviously provides little to no predictive power.

Comment Re:The price might seem a bit high (Score 4, Insightful) 429

Right. 799 is a low end of the estimates people had for the iPad last year. Now that flash memory and display technologies have had about 12 months to mature from the introduction of the ipad, prices for competitors should at least be lower than Apple's price point for the low end 3G ipad. I don't think it is completely fair to judge the XOOM against the wifi ipad since I think all of the XOOMs will have 3g, but 150 dollars more than Apple is nuts.


Submission + - Stephen Fry and DVD Jon back USB Sniffer Project (

An anonymous reader writes: bushing and pytey of the iPhone DevTeam and Team Twiizers have created a Kickstarter project to fund the build of an open-source/open-hardware high-speed USB protocol analyzer. The board features a high-speed USB 2.0 sniffer that will help with the reverse engineering of proprietary USB hardware, the project has gained the backing from two high-profile individuals Jon Lech Johansen (DVD Jon) and Actor and Comedian Stephen Fry

Mozilla Unleashes the Kraken 363

An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla has released the first version a new browser benchmark called Kraken. Mozilla's Robert Sayre writes on his blog, 'More than Sunspider, V8, and Dromaeo, Kraken focuses on realistic workloads and forward-looking applications. We believe that the benchmarks used in Kraken are better in terms of reflecting realistic workloads for pushing the edge of browser performance forward. These are the things that people are saying are too slow to do with open web technologies today, and we want to have benchmarks that reflect progress against making these near-future apps universally available.' On my somewhat elderly x86_64 Linux system Google Chrome 6.0.472.55 beta completes the Kraken benchmark in 28638.1 milliseconds, Opera 10.62 completes it in 23612.4 milliseconds, and the current Firefox 4 nightly build completes it in 19897.5 milliseconds."

Comment Re:There is such a thing as too much technology (Score 1) 162

Meh. That really depends on the person, the field and the program. I know there are plenty of fields which expect first year PhDs to have a research plan plotted out for the next 5 ish years, but there are more which want them to get through methods courses and comprehensive exams first. The structure of graduate work (in the states at least) is designed to force students to be researchers, not to exclude students who are not already researchers.

Comment Re:"Is this a common problem across all fields?" (Score 3, Informative) 162

I'll second this. In economics, where there is a (nominally) unified classification code for both jobs and research, most filled positions don't match the stated classification code. A professor may be hired to do time-series work but end up teaching only one time series course and supervising quantile regression work. Plenty of long-term faculty are hired under classification codes which described their early-career research interests but no more describe their current work than would your 4th grade movie tastes describe your current library. And the faculty don't bother changing that crap on the website because nobody really cares. No one who matters is going to search for faculty by the classification on the website. Press will go through a press office, colleagues will know the research and students will twist in the wind. :)

Comment Scour the literature, or just don't bother (Score 4, Insightful) 162

One way to determine what professors might share interests of yours would be to review books and articles you have read on the subject and pay close attention to the cited works. Who writes recent and interesting articles on a topic which excites you? Who has unpublished works in progress which are cited in current literature? If you have a clear conception of your research interests this should not be hard at all. Google scholar can help you here, as you can search by citation and by author (though the author search fails gracelessly when faced w/ abbreviations and authors with the same name). Alternately you can search Web of Science if you have an institutional account or look around for a recent lit review article. When you find a potential match, look for a few things. First make sure they are actually teaching at that school and not on some long term sabbatical or recently moved to some fancier university. Second check their current PhD students to see if they are already supervising a bunch. They don't need to be on your committee in order to mentor you, but it helps. Third (and this relates to the "don't bother"), make sure they are at a good school. Pedigree matters a LOT in academia, don't believe anyone who tells you different. A good dissertation is critical, but an average dissertation from a Harvard PhD gets you a lot further than an above average dissertation from State U. (assuming State U. isn't a public ivy)--that doesn't even begin to touch the non-signaling benefits of going to a good school. Of course "good school" is field dependent. But in most cases the top 10 and even the top 20 are usually the same.

This is all assuming you want to get that PhD in order to teach someplace or do fieldwork. If you just want to learn, disregard all that stuff above about good schools. A lot of those top schools are pretty miserable for grad students if your goal is to learn.

However, if you want to get placed somewhere good, then you can avoid this tedious search and simply apply to the best schools out there and hope you get in a top 10-20 institution. It's really mercenary, but that's how it works.

Comment Ok... (Score 1) 217

Like the comment above says, "under 1000" is corporate speak for ~999. If the iPad sold for 999 dollars, you wouldn't see 3 million sent out the door in three months. As for the other features. Great. I hope they succeed. I hope they manage to make a tablet which can compete against the April 2010 release of the iPad by early-2011. Of course, by then they will be competing with the next refresh of the iPad.

Even then, the touch tablet ecosystem needs some competition so that consumers on the margins can actually switch platforms without switching device classes. I don't plan to drop my 16GB iPad for a netbook, but I might buy an android touch tablet if they made one worth a damn.

Comment Re:Um, and this is surprising, how ? (Score 1) 395

No, that's horseshit. Journalism isn't fee for service. You don't WANT your game reviewer to get a review copy. You don't want your car reviewer to get a review copy. Companies give those things to reviewers in return for favorable coverage. You, the consumer lose out when this deal happens, because the company will only give when it is in their interest to do so and eventually the press org. will learn that and adapt. Coverage then suffers. If obviously makes sense for apple to give tickets away to favorable press, but it isn't in the consumer's best interest. So we can only get so high and mighty when complaining about Giz's free ride.

Comment Re:Gizmodo Alternative? (Score 1) 395

engadget? Or just drop Giz from the rotation. You can also just add some slow burner single issue sites to your RSS feed. way I see it is that Giz (and sites like Giz) provide 3 kinds of coverage: detailed coverage on subjects everyone and their mother are after (new product launches), rehashes of general comments or rumors floating around, and rare scoops like the iphone business. the first two can come from anywhere and when the third pops up, you won't need to read giz regularly to know about it.

Comment Re:Um, and this is surprising, how ? (Score 1) 395

Apple could simply refuse to sell Giz the tickets. Even if Giz bought the tickets from someone else Apple could still deny them entrance to the event. By purchasing a ticket the buyer is implicitly agreeing to a whole phone-book worth of disclaimers, which usually includes the line "We reserve the right to remove you from the premise at any time without providing a reason.".

That's all hypothetical. Giz didn't buy a ticket, so we aren't talking about them being refused at the door, 7 thousand dollar ticket in hand. And generally, shouldn't we WANT press orgs. to pay for shit themselves instead of being given it?

Comment They are welcome (Score 5, Insightful) 395

They are welcome, they just don't get their tickets gratis. If they bought a ticket they would be at the keynote. You can construct whatever narrative you like. Either this is apple imposing their iron fist on dissent or this is Gizmodo getting their comeuppance for buying stolen property and attempting to extort apple for it. In both cases apple (presumably) has the right to refuse to extend a welcome to a press organization. That may be unseemly, but it is true.

I don't think either party comes out looking good, but Gizmodo is really milking it. You bought a leaked phone, attempted to get confirmation that the phone was real to get a scoop, and you got burnt. Oh well. that shit happens. If you don't want to get burnt, don't play with fire. This isn't the pentagon or the white house, where some public service is gained through continued access by all parties--Apple is not a government agency. They are a private company. We may feel (As I do) that Apple SHOULD allow press to attend regardless of their orientation, but apple is under no mandate to do so. If we feel strongly enough, we should refuse to buy the products and/or own the stock on the basis of our reservations. Beyond that, we don't have much sway.

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