How does Elon Musk’s Hyperloop work? | ExtremeTech →

July 30, 2013 |

Some of the world’s brightest minds have speculated that a vacuum tube is the only way to do it — but before that idea could even get off the ground, Musk said that the Hyperloop is not based on an evacuated tunnel. With that possibility ruled out, there aren’t actually that many ways of safely and economically propelling carriages at 700 mph (1126 kph). Furthermore, when you factor in Musk’s comments that the Hyperloop “can never crash,” has no need for rails, and is “immune to weather,” the architecture of the system becomes a real head-scratcher. Oh, did I mention that Musk envisions the entire system being self-powered by solar panels, and that it somehow stores energy inside the system itself, without the need for batteries?

Elon Musk is, without a doubt, the closest thing we have to a real-life Tony Stark. He even had a cameo in Iron Man 2. I can’t wait to see how this works.

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A unique snowflake

July 28, 2013

Sometimes I can’t escape the feeling that I’m a walking cliché. You know, saying what everybody says, wearing what everybody wears, doing what everybody does. It’s exhausting. Today seems to be one of those days.

Let’s see: it’s a hot Summer afternoon and I’m sitting in a nice cafe, typing on my MacBook Pro with a steaming latte and my RayBan sunglasses sitting aside my laptop. Yep, I’ve seen this before. I’m also surrounded by plenty of young, good looking hipsters, many of which seem to be doing the exact same thing as I am. I mean, give me a break. The whole scene is so fucking unoriginal that the only thing that could make it worse would be an Instagram shot immortalizing this not-so-unique moment.

Since I’m not above self-deprecation and I have a very particular sense of humor, here’s the shot for your viewing pleasure:

The most original scene in the world

There’s even latte-art in the coffee, for Christ’s sake. It’s moments like these that make me wonder whether we’ve all been brainwashed by an unknown, hipster-loving alien species. Or maybe this is all some sort of weird, mass-delusion experiment and nobody bothered to tell me. Just for the record, a little heads-up would be nice next time.

And what do I, a smart young man, decide to do to escape this nagging feeling of unoriginality? Well, of course, I write this article and I post it to my personal Website. Because nobody does that anymore, right? Right??

Sometimes you just can’t win. In my experience, the only way to avoid frustration in those cases is to just go with it. Accept your mediocrity. Embrace it. Because you truly are unique, just like every other goddamned person on this planet.

So if you’ll excuse me, I have a latte to finish and it’s getting cold.

Tweet you later.

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Peak Mac? | SplatF →

July 24, 2013 |

Dan Frommer, back in January, arguing the case that Mac sales may have peaked for good. This is relevant in light of Apple’s Q3 results, which show a significant decline in Mac sales compared to the year-ago quarter. An interesting thought:

Are things like iPhones and iPads — and just better Macs than before, such as the amazing MacBook Air I’m using now — driving slower Mac replacement cycles? (In my case, yes, but perhaps I’m an anomaly.)

I too must be an anomaly. I use 3 different Macs every day, for work and play, and all of them are at least 3 years old (2008 24” iMac, 2009 20” iMac and 2010 13” MacBook Pro). They’re all still working great and I have no plans to replace any of them anytime soon.

If you look at the numbers, that means I bought a new Mac every year for 3 straight years (2008, 2009 and 2010), and then nothing else (not counting iPads/iPhones of course). I could easily see myself making it into 2015 without needing to upgrade any of my Macs, which would make it an upgrade cycle of at least 5 years for my MacBook Pro and 7 (!) for my first iMac. That fits right into Dan’s case that significantly better Macs have made the typical user’s upgrade cycle significantly longer.

It makes sense that this could be contributing to the overall slowing down of Mac sales because the Mac market is probably more saturated than say, the iPad market: the number of people that are buying their first Mac ever is considerably lower than the number of people that are buying their first iPad, and sales to new customers is where the growth is.

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Apple comments on developer site hack →

July 22, 2013 |

Jim Dalrymple:

First of all, this does not affect iTunes customer accounts—this is a different system and all iTunes customer information is completely safe, Apple told me.

If you’re not a developer, rest assured, your information is safe. For the rest of us however, there could be some leaked info, but nothing critical: mostly names and email addresses. Credit card info is secure, and app-related info is also safe.

The most damaging issue for most of the affected developers is having to wait for the portal to be back up. This is a particularly busy period for developers, with the next major versions of both OS X and iOS in an advanced beta stage. Let’s hope Apple can fix this soon.

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The Vitamin Myth: Why We Think We Need Supplements →

July 22, 2013 |

The Atlantic:

The logic is obvious: if fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants – and people who eat lots of fruits and vegetables are healthier – then people who take supplemental antioxidants should also be healthier. In fact, they’re less healthy.

Fascinating read. I always thought vitamins were good for us although I never really knew why they were good for us. Personally I’ve never taken any kind of dietary supplements or multivitamin pills. Instead, I always relied upon grandma’s lessons: eat healthy, natural foods, avoid sugary drinks, eat your vegetables and so on. Taking vitamin pills just for the sake of it always seemed kind of wrong to me.

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Apple, Google and the Failure of Open →

July 09, 2013 |

Apple Insider:

Open Source enthusiasts love to tell you Android is winning, and that it is winning because it is open. But they’re wrong on both counts. The history of computing makes that abundantly clear, as do the current leaders in profitability.

This is a great article. For example:

So rather than “open” being a binary condition that makes companies who claim adherence to it successful at the expense of those who are “closed” and proprietary, the reality is that successful companies can adopt open software in areas that make sense, but they will derive most of their profits from proprietary activity. And when you look at the world realistically, Google is making its money through proprietary activity in placing ads in front of audiences, just as Apple and Samsung make their money by layering proprietary hardware and software technologies over an increasingly less significant open source core.

Absolutely spot-on.

Via The Loop.

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July 06, 2013

I’m a lucky, lucky man.

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Uncovering Android Master Key That Makes 99% of Devices Vulnerable | Bluebox Security →

July 04, 2013 |

The Bluebox Security research team – Bluebox Labs – recently discovered a vulnerability in Android’s security model that allows a hacker to modify APK code without breaking an application’s cryptographic signature, to turn any legitimate application into a malicious Trojan, completely unnoticed by the app store, the phone, or the end user.

But hey, it’s open!

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First Look at OS X Mavericks | The Loop →

June 26, 2013 |

Jim Dalrymple takes a look at a pre-release version of OS X Mavericks. I like his takeaway:

We use Apple products because they make it easy to access our information no matter where we are—on our MacBook, iMac or on the go with an iPhone or iPad. Everything syncs, everything is the same no matter where you are, and that’s important.

It’s simple, really. It just works.

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The Revolution Won’t Have To Be Televised →

June 26, 2013 |

Patrick Rhone:

The old guard has not learned that yet. They still believe in a world where, if they don’t cover it, no one will find out. That the truth only exists the way they wish to tell it, when they wish to tell it, if they wish to tell the truth at all. We on the ground know that time is long since past. That we don’t need them to televise revolutions and that there is no such thing as a local story. We know that history is best told by those who are living it and we have the tools to hear directly from the source.

Just go read the whole thing. Trust me.

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