Saturday, November 4, 2017

How Bill Gate Made Microsoft

Not sure if you would like this or not.  The documentary is about 18 years old.  So it is a little out of date.  Much of the information is available in other places.  Nevertheless, I found it pretty interesting, but these kinds of things always interest me.



Friday, November 3, 2017

Yavin 4

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: utahtrout <utahtrout



Maybe what we thought was a sentry in star wars on Yavin 4 was just a cell tower repairman...

Globally, no country has yet to hit the important milestone of 50Mbps average speeds. Analysts have been predicting that a country (South Korea or Singapore) would hit the magic number this year, but both are still stuck at about 45Mbps.

Mind you, that number doesn't look so bad when you scroll all the way down to the United States, languishing at 14Mbps. The list of nations with faster mobile internet includes powerhouses like Lebanon (23Mbps), Romania (25Mbps) and Serbia (33Mbps).

There is one tiny beacon of hope: the US is doing well in terms of 4G availability, measured as the "proportion of time users have access to a particular network." The US is fifth of all countries, which is a huge achievement considering how widely spread parts of the US's population is.


http://bgr.com/2017/11/01/best-wireless-network-2017-opensignal-report-us-vs-the-world/




Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Apple Special Event. September 12, 2017.

A couple of days ago, Apple introduced their products at the brand new Steve Jobs theater, at their new Apple Park campus. I thought that the first ten minutes of the video were pretty interesting, including at 4:24 a quote from Steve Jobs I hadn't heard before.


--

re: Big announcements from our September event.

iPhone 8 can be preordered in 2 days. iPhone X can be preordered on October 27th.

Since my iPhone 6+ works just fine and I am happy with it, I can't really justify spending hundreds of dollars on a new phone. I could be happy with either the iPhone 8 or the iPhone 10, but I would rather wait until something major goes wrong with my phone​ before I spend the big bucks.

​When I was working, I used to get a new phone with a new contract every 2 years. The upfront cost was relatively low, usually either $200 or $300, because the carrier would subsidize the ​cost of the phone​. ​ Many carriers won't do this anymore,​​but some companies like Sprint might. But right now I am saving $30 per month on Total Wireless, so I would have to pay an extra $720 over two years to get a subsidized phone.

One reason I bought a new phone every two years is that there would be some major changes every two years. However, now the phones have gotten so good that the changes are more incremental. The new phones always have a faster processor and a better camera, but this is hardly a reason to abandon your old phone.


Apple's 6 core processor is kind of exciting. Two high power cores with 4 low power cores, and unlike the previous phone, it can use all the cores at the same time. This rival​s​ some desktop computers in terms of power. ​ (Some competing brands of phones will allow you to hook up a monitor, keyboard and mouse and use it like an internet based computer. Microsoft Windows Phone does this, and I think so does the Google phone.)​

--
Best wishes,
John Coffey
http://www.entertainmentjourney.com













Wednesday, March 29, 2017

We are entering a new era where a phone can be a real computer.

We are entering a new era where a phone can be a real computer.

I think that this was inevitable.



In this department, Apple has refused to merge their mobile and desktop operating systems, which Microsoft has done and Google has started to do.  Apple would prefer that you spend big bucks to buy separate overpriced devices, but with newer phones becoming as powerful as some laptops, if not more powerful, why bother?

Best wishes,

John Coffey​

Friday, August 21, 2015

Fwd: low power

'By using absorption and reflection to indicate data states, NASA reckons it's created a Wi-Fi device for the wearable market that uses just 0.1 per cent of the power of ordinary transceivers.

Working with Frank Chang at Caltech UCLA, the JPL boffin Adrian Tang is keen on ways to let devices with relatively low communications needs do without recharging.

As NASA explains here, their idea is to let a chip either reflect a signal back to a base station or access point (representing a binary 1), or absorb it (representing a binary 0). That way, the Wi-Fi device (be it a smart-watch or a a bio-sensor, for example), only needs enough energy for its own operations, instead of having to carry power for a full transceiver.

Not only that, but the device is fast. The NASA release says that at a short 2.5 metre distance, it can communicate at up to 330 Mbps, "using about a thousand times less power than a regular Wi-Fi link".'

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/07/28/back_at_you_wifi_reflector_cuts_power_demands_for_wearables/


Fwd: Google translate

'Google Translate's real-time translation tool, first introduced in January, instantly transcribes a sign from a foreign language to your own when you point your phone camera at it—and now, the feature has expanded to cover 27 languages. Through the standalone Translate app, users can translate signs in tongues ranging from Catalan and Indonesian, to Slovak and Ukrainian.

The service previously offered translations between English and French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. The app works both ways: Non-English speakers can also translate English signs into their native languages. For Hindi and Thai translations, however, Google Translate can only convert English to the two languages—not the other way around—due to the complexity of their characters.

The app also works in the absence of a data connection for a phone, which makes it optimal for travelers.

The instant translation feature is largely derived from the Word Lens app, which Google acquired last year when it purchased the company behind it, Quest Visual.'

http://www.fastcompany.com/3049192/fast-feed/google-translate-can-now-decipher-signs-in-27-languages


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Fwd: android graphics api

'Mobile app developers looking for more direct graphics control will have it: Google on Monday announced Android support for Vulkan, a direct rendering 3D graphics API.

Vulkan actually comes by way of the Khronos Group, a non-profit consortium of companies creating open standard APIs for computer graphics rendering such as OpenGL and WebGL. Once Google integrates the new Vulkan APIs, developers can choose to use them or stick with the tried and true OpenGL ES.'

http://www.zdnet.com/article/android-to-get-a-graphics-boost-with-vulkan-a-low-overhead-rending-api/

​​

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Fwd: Xpoint

'Much of that possibility hinges on the actual performance of 3D XPoint. Intel and Micron didn't get into specifics beyond the "1,000X" faster switching speed, but they did say 3D XPoint would offer "10X" the performance of an NVMe PCIe device. You don't have to look far to find that NVMe PCIe device either: The only one I know of today is Intel's excellent 750 series SSD, which hits in excess of 2.5GB of read speed on some loads. If that is the drive both companies are using as a reference, it's pretty easy to see that they expect 3D XPoint drives/devices to reach beyond 20GBps of read and write speed.

For reference, a typical PC with a Haswell or Broadwell CPU and dual-channel DDR3 offers around 17GB+ of memory bandwidth, while lower-end machines survive on 9GBps or less. Higher-end systems reach into the 55GBps range, while graphics card memory far outstrips those.'

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2953816/storage/what-3d-xpoint-says-about-the-pc-of-the-future.html


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Fwd: USB-C

'It's only taken thirty years, but we'll soon have one plug that, on paper, does it all: power, video and all kinds of peripherals. Cue headlines about "one cable to rule them all". And it's reversible!

However, "soon" isn't "now". It's going to be a confusing and expensive journey before the promises are fulfilled.

The last piece in the jigsaw fell into place yesterday at Computex, and cemented the USB-C socket as the winner. Intel announced that the third generation of Thunderbolt will support USB-C plugs.

So only one kind of plug is needed to support power, video and audio, and high-throughput data peripherals such as disk drives.

But that doesn't mean one cable will support everything: there will be several different kinds of USB-C supporting different capabilities, ensuring confusion continues for some time to come.

The reason is obvious to the tech-savvy, but less so for the typical user who has wandered into PC World on a Saturday morning. The plugs may be the same, but the capabilities are defined by the gadgets at each end of it.

Since the expense is defined by the capabilities of the host controller, it all depends on how much the market-conscious manufacturer wanted to spend.

Most people who'll see a USB-C socket won't be getting Thunderbolt 3 performance, as the Thunderbolt hardware is a luxury-priced item that will continue to be in high-performance hardware, rather than the value mass-market.

So the industry is moving to "one plug", but retains lots of different standards. At least in the bad old days, you knew you couldn't plug your projector monitor into the modem port and expect it to work. It wouldn't fit.'

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/06/03/one_usb_plug_to_rule_them_all_no_wait/


Monday, April 13, 2015

Fwd: malware

'Microsoft and Interpol have teamed up to derail a malware infection that compromised more than 770,000 Windows PCs worldwide.

Simda is a "pay-per-install" software nasty: fraudsters pay miscreants some sum of money for every 1,000 or so machines they compromise. The hackers effectively earn cash by selling access to the infected computers, renting out the botnet real-estate to other crooks.

The Simda malware, once installed and has set itself up to run after every system startup, kills off antivirus software, logs keystrokes made by the user so it can steal passwords and other sensitive information, downloads and executes banking Trojans and other malicious programs, upload copies of the user's files, and so on.

It opens a backdoor to a command-and-control server, so it can receive orders from the brains behind the malware, and send back any stolen data.

The botnet was seeded by compromising legitimate websites, and hijacking them to redirect visitors to sites hosting exploit kits – which are webpages booby-trapped with code that exploits software vulnerabilities to install the malware.

The most heavily infected countries were the US, UK, Russia, Canada and Turkey, although Simda spreads its tentacles worldwide. The vast majority of victims were located in the US, where there were more than 90,000 new infections since the start of 2015 alone.

In a series of raids last Thursday, 10 command-and-control servers were physically seized in the Netherlands, with additional servers taken down in the US, Russia, Luxembourg and Poland. The operation involved officers from the Dutch National High Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU), the FBI in the US, and the Russian Ministry of the Interior's Cybercrime Department "K" supported by the INTERPOL National Central Bureau in Moscow.

Security firms Trend Micro and Kaspersky Lab provided the cops the technical knowhow to locate the systems. The crackdown effectively decapitated the botnet by taking away the servers that sent infected PCs their instructions and received swiped passwords and other data.

Windows PCs keelhauled into the botnet remain compromised, hence the need for a cleanup operation. In order to help victims disinfect their PCs, Kaspersky Lab has created a website that will check your public IP address against a database of machines known to be infiltrated by Simda. This database was lifted from the command and control servers during the takedown raids.'

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/04/13/simda_botnet_takedown/


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Fwd: enlighten



'Enlighten 3 offers a unique method of implementing advanceddynamic lighting inside of digital content, which not only improves the image visually as compared to the older Enlighten technology, but also offers significant performance gains. "Lighting is the most critical element in producing computer graphics that reflect the realism of the natural world," said Masaki Kawase, lead software engineer, YEBIS, Silicon Studio. "Post processing is an integral part of this. With the inclusion of YEBIS 3 Post Processing Effects Middleware is Forge, artists will more easily be able to realize their creative vision."

By using Enlighten, game developers can create realistic light effects. Although this isn't entirely new, many games today still feature ambient lighting, seemingly coming from no source; or if a source is shown, the light often does not actually emit from it.'

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/geomerics-enlighten-3-dynamic-lighting,28673.html

 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Fwd: Neutrality

'While Mr. Obama's position stunned officials at the FCC, he wanted to push for strong rules ensuring net neutrality right after his 2008 election over Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.). The FCC's chairman at the time, Julius Genachowski, supported Mr. Obama and aimed to write strong rules preventing broadband providers from making some websites work faster than others for fees…
​​
​...
Mr. Obama made them clear in a 1,062-word statement and two-minute video. He told the FCC to regulate mobile and fixed broadband providers more strictly and enact strong rules to prevent those providers from altering download speeds for specific websites or services.
​..​

That essentially killed the compromise proposed by Mr. Wheeler, leaving him no choice but to follow the path outlined by the president.'

http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-white-house-thwarted-fcc-chief-on-internet-rules-1423097522

​I pay my Internet Service Provider for high speed access, but that ISP has been charging Netflix to provide that same access. 

 The only issue is whether Netflix can pay for preferential treatment?  I would think that technology would make this unnecessary, because I am now getting at least 60 megabits per second downloads, but I am not sure of the issues involved.  Perhaps

​all that ​
Netflix
​streaming ​
causes bottlenecks
​ on the Internet​
?

Although I don't know this for certain, it would seem that one service paying ​preferential treatment would negatively impact other services.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Fwd: Dell

 

First off—just to get this out of the way—it's the thinnest tablet the world has ever produced. At just 6mm thick, the badass gunmetal-grey aluminum chassis handily takes the crown from Sony's 6.4mm thick Xperia Z2 slate. See how my 10.4mm Moto X looks ridiculously fat by comparison? The Dell is thin, no joke.

 

Second, this slate also comes with arguably the world's best tablet screen: a gorgeous 8.4-inch, 2560 x 1600 OLED panel with colors to die for. 

http://gizmodo.com/while-you-werent-looking-dell-announced-the-worlds-mos-1632621335