Are you in the Android clan?0 posts
The animated GIF is a double problem. It’s LZW compressed, and it’s multiple pages of images with timing information added to it. Compressed data is essentially randomized (it’s not actually random, of course, but the whole point of compression is to remove as much redundancy in the data – which maximizes its entropy – which means it looks random). If they had, at least, a set of still uncompressed images to work with, they might be able to reverse engineer the format – but with nothing – it’s essentially going to be undecipherable.
1 day ago on Animated GIF to be beamed into space as part of alien communication effort 1 reply 2 recommends
You are aware that radio travels EXACTLY as fast as LASER light, right? The only difference between a radio beam and a LASER beam is the frequency of the photons and LASER is coherent light while radio isn’t (unless they user a MASER, of course, which is essentially a radio LASER – but it’s still the same speed…)
Start small. Get rid of the registration fee for developers.
With Apple, you can get from nothing to an app in an emulator for free. You only pay when you want to run in it on real hardware or submit to the app store.
With Android, you can get from nothing to the app store for free and everywhere between.
With Windows Phone or Store, you’re stopped the moment you try to create an app and have to cough up $50. Even if you have a Premium copy of Visual Studio.
$50 is peanuts, of course. Well unless you’re getting your feet wet and you’re using VS 2012 Express.
But even someone who can afford it will pause and think ‘do I want to lock my credit card into this?’ Most will say ‘sure, what the heck’ but I wonder how many developers – especially the smaller ones who started on iOS or Android – will just stop at that point and say ‘eh, screw it.’
The old VS team got it – it’s better to shower your developers with perks and make the path as easy as possible. With VS2012 and Metro/RT, Microsoft has gone backwards. VS2012 is way more expensive, it’s difficult to use in many ways, it’s flakey as hell (No? How often do you get the XDocPrep lock up bug? I get it every 5-10 mins and now most of the rest of my coworkers are getting it too… but Microsoft still insists it doesn’t exist…), and it’s a mess of bits and pieces that you have to glue together.
Then there’s the relentless push to WPF and worse, HTML as a development system. That wouldn’t be bad in itself, but everytime MSFT does this – it’s like we go backwards 3-4 years. Forms had excellent, complete documentation. WPF’s documentation is surreal in its confusing style, bad examples (when there are examples) and often wrong or just missing parts. Which is kind of echoed in WPF itself which regularly tries to replace a simple Forms control with something that even a rocket scientist would find bewildering – and is often missing basic, essential features.
The fact that this if the fourth iteration of WPF and given how riddled with holes and gaps and how difficult is STILL is to use… and how much in denial the gang at MSFT are about it…
Well, ok – maybe paying people to use it is the right solution.
Where do I go to get my cheque?
3 days ago on Microsoft reportedly paying developers $100,000 or more to build apps 1 reply 3 recommends
No.. that’s not what he’s saying at all. And you’re kind of doing that ‘Everything has to be placed in a context about the US first’ thing. He’s not saying NASA is overrated – he’s saying the Russia’s space program is constantly underrated.
Yes, but there’s a very fine line between justice and vengeance.
“innocent until proven guilty” so at the moment, yes, he’s innocent. He’s been accused of something, not found guilty of something.
Let me quote someone else in this thread to show the problem: “This man is an alleged war criminal, responsible for the deaths of large numbers of innocent people.” See what changed from the first part to the second? He went from being ‘an alleged war criminal’ to being ‘responsible for the deaths of large numbers of innocent people’.
Once you’ve firmly accepted that, it’s so easy to move on to ‘we KNOW he did it, let’s string him up’.
It’s been said above, but I think it bears repetition: why is it ok to kill one kind of animal – and wrong to kill another? I think people really have to stop and take a deep breath and work through their rationales for why one is ok and the other wrong.
The spectrum gets interesting – dogs and cats are pets, we have emotional attachments to them and think of them as ‘family’. so killing them seems wrong. But other people don’t see pets as ‘family’ but as ‘property’, and they don’t have as much an issue killing them. Then there’s cattle. They’re killed in relatively awful ways and we don’t give it a thought when we munch into a burger. If you own a deer, it’s Bambi and you’d be horrified to see it skinned – yet we hunt the exact same deer in the wild and it’s ‘sport’.
Maybe it’s intelligence… it’s ok to kill and/or eat dumb animals but not smart ones? What about pigs? They’re surprisingly intelligent animals.
The argument that we farm animals and thaqt makes it ok is also kind of specious – it’s the same animal. Why is intent an issue?
In the end, we rationlise what we want, rather than be rational about what is.
5 days ago on Purr trade: Switzerland struggles with a black market in house-cat skins 4 replies 12 recommends
Mmm.. you had to buy a special TV.. a special cable box.. subscribe to specific channels.. wear glasses.. to get mediocre and often migraine inducing 3D that never really looked right. Can’t think of a single reason why 3D TV is failing.
7 days ago on Is 3D TV dead? ESPN 3D to shut down by end of 2013 1 reply 1 recommend
Oh.. one other thing – why are we assuming there’s just ONE FTL capable species out there. If it’s possible, it’ll be found. If there are lots of inhabited planets (which is in itself a pretty huge assumption), then there should be lots of FTL capable civilizations – which means some of them have to have gone this way just by random chance or curiosity. Thus my ‘someone would have noticed us by now’ comment. Just clarifying.
7 days ago on Contact: are alien-hunting scientists going to trigger a planetary invasion? 1 reply 1 recommend
This is like arguing whether or not eating too much cake will give you diabetes – only you live in the middle of the Sahara and you’re eating sand.
Look, step back a bit.
The known laws of physics represent the barrier to what humans can do. Before you cheerleaders kick in with the inevitable ‘Indomitable human spirit’ rubbish – bear me out.
Every experiment, every measurement, every observation about the universe – from the very big to the very small says the same thing: information cannot move faster than light in our space-time continuum. “Things” like matter are information – they can’t travel faster than light. Stars are a LONG way off and our signals are only moving at the speed of light (because they too are information).
So, let’s get the caveats out of the way first: it’s possible that there are ways to cheat this. We know quantum mechanical systems have a way to send information at at least 130,000x the speed of light (probably instantaneously). However, that channel is blocked from our use. You can’t put any information from our domain into it. So it’s currently useless. It’s possible, however, that there may be a way to use it that we’ve not figured out yet.
There’s a possibility that we can tweak spacetime so we can move it rather than us (yes, Futurama was right), faster than light. Thing is, this would require insane amounts of power and would probably light up the sky brighter than most novae (it would generate tons of virtual particles and photons).
Wormholes only work if you pack them with negative mass or negative energy – neither of which have been shown to even exist. And making a wormhole in the first place is crazy hard.
It is, of course, always possible that we’ll discover something that makes FTL trivially simple – but at the moment, all the evidence is that the universe really does try very hard to prevent FTL.
Back to aliens. It comes down to this: either they have FTL or they don’t. If they do – then they should be here by now (why? well, if they have FTL, then it becomes not only simple, but logical to place monitors around their region of space to detect other life, monitor stellar activities, explore, etc – it means that there’s a very good chance they already know we’re here…) or they consider us entirely irrelevant.
If they don’t have FTL, then all of this is a pointless discussion. You can’t just ‘decide’ along the way to go to another planet without FTL. It becomes a huge, expensive, difficult task and kind of one way – because it’s going to take a LONG time. I mean – even the closest star to our Sun is 4.2 years away at light speed and I know this will sound weird – but if you can’t go FTL, then even getting to light speed will be hard.
(Why? Well, relativity.. if you’re travelling at close to the speed of light – everything in front of you is as well… TOWARDS you. Every dust grain becomes an atomic bomb at those speeds…)
So in the end, there’s really only two serious possibilities: FTL is impossible and there’s simply no way aliens can be a threat to us (or, any way for us to get very far in space ourselves), or.. FTL is possible and aliens just don’t care that we’re here (at least, until WE get FTL and go out there and mess things up, as humans are wont to do…)
7 days ago on Contact: are alien-hunting scientists going to trigger a planetary invasion? 3 replies 2 recommends
True, but it’s a 12 core Xeon garbage can that will probably cost $5000. :)
I seriously don’t want you designing any spaceships…
Neither does one wrong.
8 days ago
So.. I would ask that you look at the icons in the first photo, the ones at the top of the slide panel and the ones at the bottom. The ones at the top are EXACTLY like the system wide design language for icons used in Windows Phone. The lower ones are essentially the same, but with rounded rectangles instead of circles… Here’s a sample of what Windows Phone and Windows Metro command icons look like:
Uh.. wow. Points for enthusiasm.. Lose points for complete lack of scale.
In Canada, where politics is our other national sport, being a politician isn’t quite as bad a thing it is in the US. It is kind of a full contact sport though.. I don’t blame him for not wanting to go there…
The problem is that the internet is still basically a wide open system. Most data is sent ‘clear text’ (ie: almost all email, most IM messages, etc). When the internet was first designed (Ironically – for DARPA – which is a military group – making the lack of encryption all the more unexpected), the processing power of most computers was so low that end to end encryption was too expensive and difficult.
But today, there’s absolutely no technical reason a new consistent encryption layer can’t be put down over the entire internet making things like this impossible (or at least very difficult). Techniques for anonymising IP and MAC addresses should be possible as well making it possible to obscure Ethernet packet headers.
Cellcos went through this when they switch from analogue (which was essentially open) to digital.
A lot of the internet’s problems stem directly from the original intent of it – to be a robust communications system for a small community, mainly the military and educational institutions. A lot of assumptions that kind of made sense at the time, made by people who simply weren’t interested in end-to-end security, just don’t make sense in an internet intended for public, business and international use.
You guys DO know you live in a democracy, right?
That the people in the Congress, the Senate and even (kind of) the White House get put into positions by your choice. And that if you stopped listening to ads and started listening to facts and hold your politicians accountable, they would eventually have to do what you want.
I find the saddest thing about these discussions is the sense of hopelessness, futility and powerlessness American citizens have towards their own government.
Here’s the thing – you want to Occupy Washington? At the next election, pick anyone but the incumbent. It doesn’t even matter who – just anyone else. You’ll end up with a completely new government with new people who have no crony alliances. Actually, even better, the more money and the slicker the advertising – the less you should vote for them.
Of course, in a perfect world, you should actually take the time to find out what each candidate stands for, elect the one which best matches your world view – and then hold them accountable. If they don’t represent, toss them and start over.
But sitting around acting like you have no influence just hands them all the power they need.
So… if they made a game that reveled in black people eating watermelon and fried chicken and being servants and slaves – but you know – in a FUN way – kind of like most movies and radio shows did back in the 1920s, it’s ok?
I mean, it’s just for fun right?
13 days ago on Why 'My Ex-Boyfriend the Space Tyrant' is 'the gayest game ever made' 12 replies 5 recommends
I thought the difference between Apple and Google is that with Apple, the RDF only affects OTHER people.
Apparently, I was wrong..
Odd. The argument that it’s not guns that kill people, it’s people that kill people gets brought up the moment gun control gets discussed. Yet if we accept the premise behind that idea – then it’s equally true that it’s not the knife – is the guy holding it.
And this is, in essence, the problem with the whole approach to airport security. It tries to do it by establishing broad classes of threats and block en mass without any apparent discrimination (or worse, without any consistent discrimination – as some have noted, a knife that gets through at one airport may get stopped at another).
The reality is that even before 9/11, your odds of being killed by a terrorist in an American airplane (or any western airplane, for that matter) was tiny. After 9/11, it’s pretty much exactly the same. Note, I’m not saying it’s zero, but it is pretty small – less than 50 per year (it’s been a while since I ran the numbers, so I’m going off memory here, I think the real number is less than 5). 9/11 was a exceptional occurrence and hasn’t reoccurred since.
So, unless you believe there was essentially no terrorism until 2001, and since then we’ve been fighting a massive struggle to prevent an explosion of terrorist acts since, the reality is that most of this isn’t really doing anything useful. It has done something exceptionally damaging though – once started, we can’t stop this approach.
Consider, suppose tomorrow the TSA came out and said ‘yeah, this is a waste of time, money and convenience – we’re returning to our pre-9/11 methodology but with added security on flight staff and cockpits (the least difficult and most productive form of security, BTW)’, well, then you can be sure the next day the number of terrorist or terrorist-like acts would go through the roof, just because everyone would know that it would suddenly be easier to do it.
In truth, we should never have started down this path in the first place.
Alas, we are where we are.
So… Apple doesn’t need to advertise iPhones or iPads?
Samsung doesn’t need to advertise Galaxy S4s?
Microsoft doesn’t need to advertise Windows?
Get real, it’s ALL about marketing. You never stop doing it. Ever.
15 days ago on ‘The Internship’ review: welcome to Google’s island 2 replies 8 recommends
The weird part is that from everything I’ve seen – this movie makes me absolutely never, ever want to work for Google. There’s something just eerily hyper-conformity about the place depicted – almost the exact opposite of the ‘centre of innovation and creativity’ Goog portrays it self as being.
I’ve worked with Apple enough to know I don’t want to work there. And Microsoft seems… mmm.. insane (not in a good way). And my interviews with Amazon (I wish they’d stop calling me) let me see why they’re on a constant hiring program (seriously – I had one interviewer admit he was looking for work because he couldn’t stand the place.. )…
And I don’t speak Korean, so that leaves out Samsung.
So much for fame and fortune. :)
15 days ago on ‘The Internship’ review: welcome to Google’s island 2 replies 3 recommends
An ad for Google? Sure…
15 days ago on ‘The Internship’ review: welcome to Google’s island 3 replies 10 recommends
Recommended David Pierce's comment in ‘The Internship’ review: welcome to Google’s island
15 days ago
Dear Lord, I hope they did the right thing and leave the black and white part in 2D, then as it shifts to colour, transition to 3D…
15 days ago on 'The Wizard of Oz' coming to theaters in 3D and IMAX in September 2 replies 2 recommends
How is building a clone of the MPB and making it black and green being ‘innovative’?
16 days ago on Razer's outspoken CEO slams HP and Dell, says he 'loves Apple' 1 reply 1 recommend
While I agree with your sentiment – this is a bigger issue. Copyrights for example, do EXACTLY the same thing. They limit access to works to those who afford to pay for the access.
Banksy and all other taggers are creating art, but doing so in a way that leaves their creations in the hands of people they basically don’t know. Worse, since his works have become valuable, he actually endangers people’s property by putting his works on buildings. In essence, don’t blame Wood Green – they’re doing what investment firms do. Blame Banksy for not doing this somewhere where the owners would be more amenable and can provide the security and infrastructure for such a work.
Consider, Wood Green leaves it there. Now they become responsible for maintenance and protecting the work. Since it’s out in the open, someone eventually will come by and steal it (and damage Wood Green’s property in the act). How is that fair?
Perhaps they could remove it and donate it to a museum – but that leaves them with the price of repairing their property again. And not everyone really thinks Banksy’s work is even art.
In a real sense – the real dick move is the people who bought it and the auction house who sold it.
Apparently not to the person who spent $1.1M on it…
Value is subjective.