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Comment Brutal honesty vs. Sensitivity (Score 1) 500

Patrick Lo could use some lessons in this area. While some of what he says may be judged to be relevant or possibly insightful, the way he says it is incredibly insensitive. When someone is suffering ill health, to say "Once Steve Jobs goes away, which is probably not far away, then Apple will have to make a strategic decision on whether to open up the platform" is cruel.

Thousands of Blackbirds Fall From Sky Dead 577

Dan East writes "In a fashion worthy of a King or Hitchcock novel, blackbirds began to fall from the sky dead in Arkansas yesterday. Somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 birds rained down on the small town of Beeb, Arkansas, with no visible trauma. Officials are making wild guesses as to what happened — lightning strike, high-altitude hail, or perhaps trauma from the sound of New Year's fireworks killed them."

Submission + - Skyfire app proves need for Flash on iOS devices (informationweek.com)

dhollist writes: Just as users of Apple's iOS devices started to discover "App Nirvana" in the form of Skyfire, a browser app that renders Flash video as HTML5 video, servers operated by the developer, Skyfire Labs, were unable to meet demand for Flash-based content and flagged the app as "sold out" on Apple's online store. Apparently, iPorn is temporarily on hold until the developer can increase server capacity to provide relief.

InformationWeek has a good summary of the situation:

" ... the unexpected surge in demand proved too much for Skyfire Labs' servers. "The user experience was performing well for the first few hours, but as the surge continued, the peak load on our servers and bandwidth caused the video experience to degrade," Oberhofer said. "

Apparently too much of a good thing IS bad.

Comment Nowhere close to 70 MPG in the US drive cycle (Score 1) 576

Here's a snippet from a New York Times article, explaining that the 70 MPG number was achieved using the Japanese driving cycle, and that US customers can expect significantly less. 4:51 p.m. | Updated An earlier version of this post said the next Mazda 2 would get 70 miles per gallon. A Mazda spokesman clarified late on Thursday that the result was achieved from the Japanese test cycle. Fuel economy numbers will be lower in the United States. ... The Mazda release said the car would achieve 70 miles per gallon, but that number was based on the Japanese test cycle, meaning American mileage would be lower. A 15 percent increase from the existing Mazda 2 would result in a combined 37 m.p.g. (For comparison, the Toyota Prius, which gets a combined 50 m.p.g. from the Environmental Protection Agency, achieves 89 m.p.g. in the Japanese test.)

Comment Re:Why do we need nuclear physicists? (Score 1) 389

I wasn't suggesting injecting liquid nitrogen into the well, but rather cooling the wellhead with it in to facilitate the formation of the same hydrate crystals that plugged the containment dome. I know there's a large flow rate of crude oil through the "pipe" but media reports indicate that it's already highly viscous due to the low temperatures at that depth. It doesn't seem beyond the capabilities of the nation that put men on the moon to deliver a sufficient quantity of liquid nitrogen to slow, then stop the flow of oil through the wellhead.

Comment Why do we need nuclear physicists? (Score 1) 389

If the cold temperatures and static pressure caused the containment dome's outlet to plug, why not use liquid nitrogen to cool the leaking wellhead to cause it to plug with hydrates? From the CBC website: ... a "large volume of hydrates," material similar to ice crystals, has formed inside the box, Suttles said Saturday. The hydrates — which are formed when gas combines with water under certain pressure and temperatures — have plugged an area at the top of the dome's interior.

Submission + - Major Skype outage "not caused by a crash"

dhollist writes: According to Skype's website their system "has not crashed or been victim of a cyber attack. We love our customers too much to let that happen. This problem occurred because of a deficiency in an algorithm within Skype networking software. This controls the interaction between the user's own Skype client and the rest of the Skype network."

What is the difference between an outage where nobody can access the system and a crash? If my desktop computer locks up, but I don't get a BSOD, did it really crash, or is it an "outage" since I am merely unable to do anything? Is there truly a difference, or is it just semantics? An article in The Sydney Morning Herald provides additional information.

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