[S]o what do we do with all the extra power?
Run Flash. In a browser. On top of a virtualized OS. To watch a cat jump into a box and fall over.
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The problem is that Google has made themselves into a phone company, [emph. added] but don't want to play by phone company rules.
This is fundamentally wrong. There is no way to place or receive phone calls without an existing phone service.
(SMS messages are slightly different because with Google Voice you can send and receive SMS without another phone service. However, no landline phone services (that I know of) support SMS, so I don't believe that's relevent.)
As long as the data is being transmitted, it doesn't really weight anything.
However, since E=mc^2, the photons traveling in this transmission have a non-zero equivalent mass:
Assuming a distance of 1.861 AU from Earth to Mars (according to Wolfram|Alpha), light takes 15.48 minutes to travel from Earth to Mars. Assuming a bandwidth of 5 times dial up speed, 35 kB/s, this gives us only 32 MB of transient storage. This 5x dial-up speed is achieved with a radio transmitting at, say, 500 kilowatts (this number is completely, utterly pulled out of my ass).
Using E= mc^2, (500kW * 15.48 minutes)/(c^2) = 5.17 micrograms. So, thats 5.17 micrograms / 32 MB * 1 PB giving 173.35 grams for a petabyte!
Yeah, I thought the same, a convenient way to browse. And being able to close FF and open it later on with all my tabs intact, that's even better.
Have they fixed the annoying "bug" where having the Downloads window open causes Firefox not to ask you to save the tabs for later? The Downloads window shouldn't count as an open FF window.
Amazingly, that now pretty much describes the bottom end Mac Pro...
...Except for the price tag.
Except for the price tag and the use of overpriced server-class components, yes. The really screwy thing, of course, is that the 24" iMacs all have 4GB of RAM, whereas the hideously expensive quad-core Mac Pro has only 3GB (and you can bet Apple will charge through the nose for more).
And you can bet that it has 3GB because it's using triple-channel DDR3, which is required with the latest Core i7 processors and boards.
Do I need to download my library again, (and thereby lose the totally pointless play count next to my songs? What will I do? That's how I keep score damnit!)
iTunes separates the metadata from the data somewhat: a song entry in the iTunes database has a pointer to a file.
I updated my library to iTunes Plus when it first was released, and I didn't lose anything (play counts, ratings, and playlists!)
"A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked." -- John Gall, _Systemantics_