Clearing Out My Browser Tabs: A Collection Of Articles To Blog About!August 22, 2011
I generally know when I need to write a new blog post because my computer slows down. When I find an article on the internet that I think might be worth blogging about, I just leave the tab with that page open and start browsing in new tabs (I rarely restart my computer, only when updates require my system be restarted). Browser tabs are rather odd in that, the longer you keep them open, the more memory they start to consume, so after a couple of weeks of opening and closing different tabs and not actually closing the browser completely, it uses more and more memory. So I know it’s time to blog when my browser slows down telling me that I’ve probably kept a few too many tabs open for too long. So here’s some things I’ve found and my thoughts on them.
Learning OS X from a Windows User’s Experience
I found this article by Stephen Chapman on ZDNet which tells the experience of the author switching from Windows to Mac OS X. Apple in many of their ads say you should switch from a PC to a Mac and that it’s easy to do so, but the author of this article questions that. I have Mac OS X running on my Dell Inspiron 15R (n5110) as an experiment (mainly to keep myself up to date with what’s happening on the OS X side of the technology world and also to prove that your Mac isn’t anything more than a PC built with parts that OS X has exact drivers for) and I can tell you I’ve found some really weird behaviours that would confuse any user who had been using Windows for quite a while. The Green button with the plus (which is the approximate equivalent of the Maximise button in Windows) doesn’t actually make a screen take up as much space as it can in OS X like it does in Windows. In most apps it just stretches the window to a point where all the content is visible (such as the width of a webpage in Safari), but in other apps such as iTunes, it actually transforms the window into a mini player which is completely unexpected behaviour. In Windows the Maximise button always just makes the program fill up the entire screen from the top of your monitor to the top of the taskbar at the bottom of the screen. The only program I’ve found which breaks this rule is the Command Prompt, but you’re not going to find most regular users going in there. There are countless other things that I could list, but I’m not going to. My real point is, if you’re a Windows user who is used to the way Windows works, switching to a Mac isn’t something that is just “going to happen painlessly”, it’s going to be a bit difficult (just as the transition from OS X to Windows will be too) and this article reminds us of that truth.
Two PC Industry Surprises In One Week!
This week we had 2 very surprising announcements during the week, both of which could possibly work in Microsoft’s favour. The first one occurred on Tuesday and this was Google announcing they were acquiring Motorola Mobility. There’s so much that can be said about this story, but the main point to get from this is why they decided to purchase Motorola Mobility: Patents! Google wants the 24,500 patents that Motorola Mobility has, so it can defend Android against Apple & Microsoft’s patent lawsuits. One of the most curious things that was noticed by a few bloggers was the page of quotes that Google put together listing all of it’s major partners and their apparent support of this acquisition. The quotes all sounded very similar as if they had all been written by the one person. So someone put together an Android Press Release Generator where you can make your own Press Release for this event. I think this is just brilliant.
The other big story was that only about 1 year after they acquired Palm for their WebOS software, HP announced that they were not only dumping all their WebOS products (which included Tablets & Smartphones) but that they’re looking to sell of their consumer PC business and switch to being an enterprise software services company and this includes acquiring a British company called Autonomy for $10 billion. HP essentially announced they want to follow the exact footsteps that IBM had taken many years ago (and there’s nothing particular wrong with that, IBM is a very successful company, it’s just nobody knows exactly what they do because they don’t produce consumer products). Although most people expected HP to give WebOS a little more time before making any decision about dumping it (the new HP Touchpad wasn’t doing very well in the market, but it had only been out less than a month or so), nobody expected HP to announce they wanted to exit the consumer PC business, especially since they’re the number 1 supplier of PCs in the world. There’s talk that Microsoft might buy HP’s consumer PC business so that they can produce Mac like systems that have completely integrated hardware and software (especially useful for tablets), but that’s unlikely I would think, although after the shock announcements of this week, anything could happen really!
No, not the video game, I’m simply saying the word “wow…”. The ABC this week published an article on their news website titled: Most Australians duped by science fiction. This article went through to publish some quite amazing statistics of a number of different surveys that had been giving to many Australians about what conecpts in science fiction that they believed were true or not. One survey found that around 1/2 of the survey respondants thought that humans can be frozen and thawed back to life. Another survey found that 30% of the survey respondants thought that humans and dinosaurs coexisted on earth (a story that many religious organisations have spread because the discovery of the dinosaurs put a dent in their creation stories) and 1/4 thought the earth travelled all the way around the sun in just 1 day (despite it actually being 365 and 1/4 which is where the concept of ‘the year’ comes from). Apparently a similar survey last year found that 30% of respondants in the UK city of Birmingham thought that time travel was possible. Sometimes I just just shake my head and wonder 😛
Interesting World War II Tactics
This week the ABC also published a story about some of the possible tactics the Allies came up with during World War II to try and beat the Nazis. One apparently was to have spies put the female hormone oestrogen into Hitler’s food to cause him to be less aggressive. Apparently others included dropping poisonous snakes onto Nazi soldiers and bombing them with glue to cause them to stick to the ground. I hope they mention some of these proposed (but never executed) tactics in history classes in the future, because they’re actually quite amusing.
Love You Brisbane
Growing up just east of Brisbane City here in Australia, I have a connection to this city and I know quite a lot about it (especially transport related as we’ll come to in a sec), but I didn’t know that it had it’s own song. The other morning when I was getting ready to go to University, my Mum was listening to Spencer Houson on 612 ABC Brisbane and I heard this song play with the lyrics “Love You Brisbane”. I found out that Brisbane actually has a song written about it, well nearly anyway. The song is actually a Jingle that Channel 7 wrote in the 1980s for Brisbane, and it was also used in Darwin & Perth too (with the word Brisbane replaced appropriately), although not to the same success as here in Brisbane. Regardless of its origins and purposes, I still think it’s pretty cool. You can watch it below.
Adelaide’s Southern Expressway
I went to Adelaide a couple of weeks ago and one of my favourite parts of the trip was driving down Adelaide’s Southern Expressway (M2). This road holds the record for being the world’s longest one-way reversible freeway, 24km of Expressway that can only be open in 1 direction at a time. It operates 2am-12:30pm inbound and 2pm-12:30am outbound Monday-Fri and the opposite on Weekends & Public Holidays. The 1.5 hour gap is used to close the expressway to make sure all cars get off it before opening it to traffic in the opposite direction. I recorded a video of my trip down the entire 24km of Expressway travelling southbound and 2km of the return northbound trip to show how the reversible freeway works. Only Adelaide could do something like this ;). Apparently they will begin the duplication project late 2011, so by next time I visit, this will probably be no different to any other freeway. You can watch the video below.
Microsoft & Windows 8
With the BUILD conference less than 1 month away now, the Windows 8 news is starting to heat up. I thought Ars Technica wrote an excellent piece on Windows 8 in their article entitled: “A sort of PC”: how Windows 8 will invade tablets (and why it might work). I won’t go into any detail about the article, because I think it explains everything really well itself, so if you have time, checking out the 4 page artuic
Busways & Tollways
Finally, since I’m so interested in roads and mapping, I will soon write a few blog posts about 2 related issues (when I’m not busy with something else). One of them will be about Today Tonight’s Toll Road report that they aired last week and the second will be about public transport in Brisbane and more particularly, in the Redlands City Council.