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Comment So what if the desktop Linux is dead? (Score 1) 1348

Rule ONE in the information technology (IT) field: IT will ALWAYS go with the lowest cost solution that does the job.

Years ago I remember feeling upset because of IBM's seeming domination at the IT field, how IBM seemed to have a total lock on mainframe computers to the exclusion of almost everyone else. IBM seemed to be overcharging for what they were offering, while seemingly using ... questionable ... tactics to continue in that role. Guess what, IBM still has a near total lock on mainframe computers, but I (and most of the rest of IT) doesn't really care. Why? Well, there are still a few roles / jobs where BIG mainframes still do make sense, just not many roles, and those niches are getting smaller each year.

Why the near death of the mainframe computer? Well, a number of upstart visionaries/entrepreneurs, like Paul Allen, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Ken Olson, Jack Tramiel, and Steve Wozniak among MANY others, showed that in many roles the mainframe could be replaced with far less expensive hardware / software combinations. These various people offered a lower cost solution that could do the job.

So, where are we now? Well, Microsoft has a seeming near total lock on the desktop while using seemingly ... questionable ... tactics to continue that role. Going forward, where does Microsoft stand? Well, Microsoft are dead or dying in the server markets, and the embedded device markets. I don't know what will happen to desktop market, Microsoft may, like IBM with their mainframes, continue to dominate the desktop market ... and almost nobody will care.

Microsoft can NOT compete on cost with Linux, so they will not be the mainstream of IT. It MIGHT be that mainstream IT will be Linux based smart phones backed up with Linux based servers, with Microsoft holding a lock on a steadily becoming irrelevant desktop market. Regardless as to how things play out, I do know that the least expensive solution will eventually win out as the mainstream IT technology and that may mean a small Microsoft catering to a small niche market...

Colin McGregor

Comment Re:Lawsuit (Score 5, Funny) 216

4) are the damages enough to realistically sue them and spend thousands of dollars in legal fees ? No.

Aw, come on. This is a perfect example of why we have class-action lawsuits. It's not worth it for any single member of the class to pursue it in the courtroom, but banded together with sufficient legal representation, they could put the hurt on EA.

This would be perfect, I can see it now:

Court findings: For the plaintiffs, the sum of $1,000,000 to be split among the class and awarded in vouchers for three months of free play on Warhammer Online, plus lawyers' fees of $10,000,000 to be awarded in cash to the legal representation team.

Comment What's the point? (Score 1) 110

I mean, isn't the whole point of having an iPod or whatever so you can listen to music wherever you are? I mean, at that point you could just use pandora or any media server (Mediatomb, playon, tversity, etc, etc), or any of the myriad online streaming radio stations.

Sure, this is cool. But not it's not like the guy hacked a 80GB SSD drive into an old iPod.

Comment You'd need MORE solar panel area, right? (Score 2, Insightful) 140

If I get this article's point, the cost of the system's solar paneling would rise, since more area would be needed.

Now, the making of solar panels already use up more energy than they're able to produce in their lifetimes...
wny make the energy (& $) cost any greater.

Can the same effect be had, eg, from arranging mirrors to beam sunlight in from different angles, as the sun moves?

Mirrors are far cheaper to make (in energy & $'s)

Comment 4D puzzles (Score 1) 303

I don't know how this game works, but the concept of 4D puzzles is nothing new. Years ago I wrote a simple 4 dimensional maze. I started with a simple 2D maze (my son at that time liked to play a simple maze game, but did not like several things about the way the game worked, so I wrote him another one one, learning Python along the way). Then I extended it to 3D by adding several floors. After that, it was a simple exercise to extend it to 4D. Let's say you start with a simple 3x3 maze, that is 9 rooms arranged in a square grid on a plane, with doors connecting some of the adjacent rooms. You use 'h' and 'l' to go left and right, and 'k' and 'j' to go forward and backward. You take 3 such "floor-plans", put them above each other, and connect some of the adjacent rooms through the floors and ceilings. You add keys, say 'u' and 'n', to move upstairs and downstairs. You can also add "rotate the world" feature, which will turn the cube on a side, so that the up/down direction will bacome, say, left and right, etc.

Now you take 3 such cubes, and add "doors" from some rooms in one cube to corresponding rooms in an "adjacent" cube, you add two more keys, say 'o' and ',', to move from cube to cube, and generalize the "rotations" to work in 4D, and you have a simple 4D maze. Then you can put a wumpus in the maze, couple of bottomless pits, and have fun. You can do other puzzles, for example, you can create a 4D minesweeper this way.

I guess you could interpret the fourth dimension as time, you would have a 3x3x3 maze where each night, some doors would disappear, and new doors would sprout between rooms, and you can move into the future or past, in the range of three given days.


Submission + - SPAM: A micro nuclear reactor in your garden?

Roland Piquepaille writes: "Imagine a nuclear reactor small enough to be carried by truck and buried in a garden... According to The Guardian, a U.S. company based in New Mexico, Hyperion Power Generation, has designed mini nuclear plants to power 20,000 homes. The company has already received firm orders and expects to deliver about 4,000 'individual' plants between 2013 and 2023. It also said that it has a six-year waiting list. So if you want such a micro nuclear reactor, don't expect to receive it by 2014. But read more for additional detailss and pictures showing these micro nuclear reactors."

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