Thursday, November 8, 2018

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 vs iPad Pro 11 Inch - Full Comparison

The benchmark on the iPad Pro blows my desktop out of the water.



Flash drives

Around 14 years ago 1GB flash drives were at least $90, and I felt especially privileged when my company gave me one. At the time that seemed like a lot of storage.

Now you can't even buy them. I just saw 128GB for $30.

  

Sunday, October 14, 2018

The future

Beginning around 5 billion years from now, the Sun will expand, becoming a swollen star called a red giant. By 7.5 billion years in the future, its surface will be past where the Earth's orbit is now, consuming the Earth.

In 500 million years the tectonic plate movement and geological activity on planet Earth will have stopped, causing it to have a similar fate to Mars. The planet will be dry, lifeless and very cold.

Within half a million years it is extremely likely that the Yellowstone supervolcano will erupt, wiping out life in several nearby states and causing an environmental catastrophe worldwide. However, we are already due for an eruption, and the underground volcano has shown increased activity over the last 30 years. This is a disaster of enormous scale waiting to happen; we just don't know when it will happen. Fortunately people are looking for ways to relieve some of the pressure that is building up beneath the National Park.

Within 100 years we will be almost completely out of fossil fuels, so we will have to rely on other energy sources. The last remaining fossil fuel will be coal, which is estimated to be gone by the year 2150.

Within 50 years machine intelligence will surpass that of all humans combined. This event has been dubbed "the singularity", and it will forever change our fate. From that moment on machines will make most of the technological advances, and possibly at an ever accelerating rate. Over time humans will become more integrated with technology, and we will no longer be purely biological.

WiFi Networking is FINALLY Getting Interesting - YouTube

Friday, September 28, 2018

Cheap computers

The golden era of video games and 8 bit home computers was in the 1980's. As a side note, it was also the golden era of chess playing computers. Around 1995 the shift started moving toward PC compatible computers, but rather slowly at first, because they were still very expensive. I got my first PC compatible around that time, but at enormous cost. Prior to that I had used 8 bit computers and one 16 bit Atari ST. Even worse, around 1990 I was still using a "dumb terminal" with the slowest modem in the world (maybe 150 baud) to connect to my workplace.

The kind of computer speeds we were talking about in the 8 bit era were typically around 1 megahertz, with some systems going up to 4 MHZ. In 1995, my first PC compatible computer ran at 16 MHZ, and when I would later upgrade it to 32 MHZ I thought it was a miracle

Compare that to today, where you can buy various versions of the Raspberry PI for $10 to $35. Each of these is a full computer, but you also have to buy some cables and accessories to make them work. These computers cost next to nothing, but depending upon the model run 1 to 4 cores (processors) at 1 to 2 *Gigahertz.*

I am seeing a ton of video game products that run classic video games from the 1980's and early 90's. These are hot consumer items right now. They use processors similar to the Raspberry PI, but usually just one core running at one gigahertz, which makes them very cheap, but that is all it takes. Likewise, these types of processors are turning up in all sorts of devices, like refrigerators with LCD displays.

We live in an interesting era where moderately powerful computing devices can made really cheaply. Of course, for your home computer you are going to want to spend more money to get something more powerful.

I also find it interesting that many high end smartphones rival desktop computers in terms of computing power. The Apple A11 chip, from last year's iPhone, benchmarks better than my 2009 $2,000 core-i7 iMac. Amazing.

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Thursday, September 27, 2018

Apple says that they charge so much because they make the best phone.

Apple wants to make the best so that they can have the most margin. It probably costs around $350 to make this phone, and maybe $400 for the maxed out models, but Apple screws the customer on price anyway. They could charge $750 to $800 for any of these phones and be doing well.

This is deliberate. Apple will continue to do this only as long as people are willing to throw their money away. If nobody bought the XS Max, with the ironic name, Apple would be forced to offer discounts and be more reasonable in their pricing structure.

I am still happy with my iPhone 6+, but these prices are so insane that I will not buy the latest models. I could be just as happy with a cheaper 1 to 2 year or model, or a different brand. There are $500 phones that people can be just as happy with.

A dollar per day will not pay for this phone in two years. Maybe three years, but some models would take four years.


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

iPhone prices

I guess all those rumors that Apple was going to cut prices turned out not to be true.  Anybody want to spend $1300 on a smartphone?

https://youtu.be/vjxvrG_t-Rs

Apple's new ad is cool.


That's what it looks like when you spend 5 billion dollars on a building.
Every time I post an ad to Craigslist, I immediately get text messages from scammers. It is almost instantaneous, which means that they are using bots.

However, their latest pitch is rather clever. They claim that they want to verify that I am not a scammer, so therefore they are going to send me a verification code, which I should send back to them. This makes very little sense if you think about it, but what they are trying to do is connect to my email account and use the the forgot password feature to send a passcode to my phone. Then if I send them the code they get access to my email. How this does them any good I'm not entirely sure about, but I suppose they could use the account to spam or propagate other scams.

Just based on the craigslist ad, I'm not sure how they know what my email account is.  

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Battery advancement

Chemists have successfully resolved two of the most challenging issues surrounding lithium-oxygen batteries, and in the process created a working battery with near 100 per cent coulombic efficiency. The new work demonstrates that four-electron conversion for lithium-oxygen electrochemistry is highly reversible. The team is the first to achieve four-electron conversion, which doubles the electron storage of lithium-oxygen, also known as lithium-air, batteries