Going Home

View from Holy Cross, Friday, January 09, 2015


Much to say but may not get to it today. I go home this afternoon, after 3, no idea how long it will take to get settled. Just had the last therapy session.


There is a lot from CES. Of course I was not there but I have read a lot of press releases and accounts, will have a full report.. It appears to be incremental progress, making salable products of last year’s ideas, but the increments grow larger. Last year 3d  printers were a novelty; this year they are for sale, and better, and that trend will continue, to change manufacturing forever.  Specialty gadgets are real now. 

This is a good analysis  of why you may love Windows 10


Windows 10’s new browser will have the most advanced features ever

Microsoft is planning to radically overhaul its web browser in Windows 10. Sources familiar with the company’s Windows plans tell The Verge that the new browser, codenamed Spartan <http://www.theverge.com/2014/12/29/7460961/microsoft-working-on-brand-new-web-browser-windows-10> , will include a host of new features not found in rival browsers. Chief among the plans for Spartan is new inking support that allows Windows 10 users to annotate a web page with a stylus and send the notes and annotations to a friend or colleague. The web note service will be powered by Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage, meaning notes will be stored on a copy of a web page that can be accessed by any browser across multiple platforms. As annotations are shared, multiple users can doodle on a web page and share edits and annotations between groups.

Cortana is coming to your browser

A second major feature for Spartan will be the integration of Microsoft’s Cortana digital assistant. Microsoft is planning to use Cortana to surface information on flights, hotel bookings, package tracking, and other data within the traditional address bar. If you use Cortana to track a particular flight and start to search for "American Airlines" in the browser address bar, it will automatically display tracked flights and allow Spartan users to view the status of the flight directly. It’s a subtle addition, but you’ll also be able to access Cortana search directly from the new tab interface in Spartan. Cortana integration in the Spartan browser is planned to replace every instance of the existing Bing methods in Internet Explorer.

Other features include a new way to group tabs together to declutter the occasionally messy interface of multiple browser tabs. Spartan will allow users to group tabs however they want, making it easier, for example, to split up personal tabs from work ones. Microsoft also originally planned to allow Spartan to support custom themes, but we understand the company has dropped this for the final new browser in Windows 10. Such support may arrive in future updates.

Spartan will be a Windows Store app for regular updates

Spartan is designed to be a single browser across PCs, tablets, and phones. We’re told that Microsoft will make Spartan a Windows Store app, enabling the company to quickly and easily update the browser in future. ZDNet previously reported <http://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-is-building-a-new-browser-as-part-of-its-windows-10-push/> that Microsoft will continue to include Internet Explorer in Windows 10, and we understand this will be primarily for legacy compatibility reasons. Spartan is the main browser in Windows 10, and most users will be accessing the web using it. While Spartan will be a Windows Store app, we understand Microsoft isn’t planning to make it a universal app initially. One version of Spartan will be available in the Store as a desktop app, and another as a modern app for tablets and phones. Both will be updated regularly with identical features.

Microsoft is planning to keep the look and feel of Spartan very similar across phones, tablets, and PCs. The desktop version looks like a simplified version of Chrome, with a tabbed interface above the address bar, alongside options to go back, forward, and refresh a page. It’s all designed to look lightweight, without the bloat typically associated with older versions of Internet Explorer. While the Spartan name is a codename, it’s not clear if Microsoft plans to continue the Internet Explorer branding with its new browser. That naming and other features of Spartan could play a part in Microsoft’s Windows 10 event on January 21st. Microsoft is planning to detail the consumer features of Windows 10 at its press event later this month, including its phone and tablet features.

We reached out to Microsoft for comment on its Windows 10 browser plans, but a spokesperson says the company has "nothing to share."

Verge Video from CES 2015: First Look at Dell’s XPS 13 Laptop

* Related Itemsmicrosoft <safari-reader://www.theverge.com/tag/microsoft> spartan <safari-reader://www.theverge.com/tag/spartan> features <safari-reader://www.theverge.com/tag/features> browser <safari-reader://www.theverge.com/tag/browser> internet explorer <safari-reader://www.theverge.com/tag/internet-explorer> windows 10 <safari-reader://www.theverge.com/tag/windows-10>


This Little Robot Wants to Carry Your Bags wsj

* By

* Geoffrey A. Fowler <http://topics.wsj.com/person/A/biography/1345>



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What kinds of things will robots help us with, both at home and when we’re out and about?

At the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas, 5 Elements Robotics demonstrated a robot assistant called Budgee Bot designed to help with one specific task: carrying stuff.

Maybe I’ll get one…


The situation in France could be said to be Colonial chickens coming home to roost, or a failure of will. As you choose. But France faces an existential threat. So do we. Can we overcome it? It is a real question. Not with present strategy.

#France <https://twitter.com/hashtag/France?src=hash> ‘s most famous cartoonist, 87 year old Uderzo – father of Asterix – comes out of retirement for #CharlieHebdo <https://twitter.com/hashtag/CharlieHebdo?src=hash> .


Space X

And later last night, I saw that SpaceX has rescheduled the launch attempt to the next available window, 4:47 am EST Saturday.

Oh well, what’s one more day given the decades we’ve been at this? No guarantee they’ll launch Saturday either, of course – the flight’s primary goal is to get essential cargo to Station, the launch window is brief, and they won’t go if the instrumentation doesn’t show the rocket entirely ready.

Just to be clear for all, there’s also no guarantee this particular test will 100% succeed. Let me quote from the most recent Space Access Update at http://www.space-access.org/updates/sau138.html:

"They will build on previous successes in slowing down F9’s first stage from a significant fraction of orbital velocity to a low-altitude hover, this time attempting to land their F9R first stage intact on a position-stabilized barge floating downrange of the launch site.

"We have been talking for decades about the possibility of recovering orbital-launcher rocket stages intact enough to quickly and cheaply reuse them, thus radically changing the launch cost equation. Now SpaceX will be making their first attempt at this in just a few weeks.

It is an attempt, mind – an engineering test, intended to quickly discover what the simulations and analysis may have missed.

"There’s no guarantee it’ll work the first time, but if it doesn’t, the lessons learned will be quickly applied to the next test, and the next.

Once SpaceX does recover a stage intact, there’s then no guarantee it will be in good enough shape to fly again right away. But if not, it will provide data needed to redesign the next try to return in better shape. We would not bet against SpaceX attempting the first actual reflight of their Falcon 9 first stage within the next year or two."

Looking forward to it, trying to be patient…


At least they try!..An X program that makes money…




Welcome home.

Je suis Charlie. As a right-thinking Englishman it pains me to have to say nice things about the French, but I have no option. Enmerde yourselves Abdul.

In the matter of ransomware Why does law enforcement not attack those collecting the ransoms? This would work wonders A short jail sentence for the bosses of a credit card company and no more ransomware.

John Edwards

Mostly because we cannot find them –  bitcoins are hard to follow – or if we do it is in some country that will not extradite them.  It has been suggested that we nuke these places from orbit, but we don’t do that to jihadist homes…






Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.




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