A quick burst of 8 links for you to chew over, as picked by the Technology team
Sophie [Schmidt] In North Korea
Sophie has a famous father:
Bill Richardson, former Governor, US Ambassador to the UN and backchannel freelance diplomat extraordinaire, was planning his 8th trip to Democratic People’s Republic of (North) Korea. He invited my father Eric, who invited me.
It’s a marvellous travelogue.
Why I’m not trading my Surface RT for a Surface Pro >> ZDNet
Mary Jo Foley:
The Surface Pro – from reports from those who were granted limited hands-on time with the device at the Consumer Electronics Show – has a higher-resolution display, better magnetic connector for powering up, and, of course, the ability to run existing Win32 apps. It also only has half the battery life of a Surface RT, so in the five-hour or so range. (From all accounts, it is not going to include the lower-power but higher-battery-life-enabling version of Intel’s core i5 processor, contrary to some reports.)
It’s not the price difference that’s going to keep me away from the $$899/$999 Surface Pro. It’s the fact that it is really a PC in tablet’s clothing. I am interested in buying a new Windows PC this year. But I want one with excellent battery life. (I am totally indifferent if my next PC has a touch screen. I don’t need one, as long as I have a touch-enabled mouse, like the Logitech one I’ve been testing out lately.)
Again, for me – and your mileage likely will vary – use of the Surface RT has shown me that the lack of Win32 (and even Metro-style) apps is not a big deal. I am spending about 99% of my time on the Surface RT in the Metro environment. I have found very few Metro-style apps I consider worth downloading. Instead, many of the things pinned to my Start Screen are web sites.
This, by the way, is a big problem for Microsoft.
I’m one of the lead devs on the Chrome Windows sandbox… >> Hacker News
Justin Schuh says XP is a dog – a dead one – when it comes to security:
Seriously, I’ve spent many weeks trying to wring every last bit of security I can out of XP, and I really do think that Chrome does the best anyone possibly could on that front. But in the end XP is just an OS that’s far past its security expiration date, and running it at all means taking a big risk.
Are you still using it? (Via Ed Bott)
Huawei creating 50 jobs in Ireland >> The Sunday Business Post
Leading Chinese information and communications technology company Huawei is to create 50 high skilled research positions with the opening of a new research and development centre spread across two sites in Cork City and Dublin.
Initially the centre will focus on supporting Irish and international telecom operators who use the company’s customer experience management product, SmartCare. But future expansion at the sites will extend R&D functions to cover a wider range of IT software projects, said a statement from IDA Ireland, which is supporting the project.
July 2012: Android, Nokia smartphone security toppled by NFC hack >> Ars Technica
By exploiting multiple security weakness in the industry standard known as Near Field Communication, smartphone hacker Charlie Miller can take control of handsets made by Samsung and Nokia. The attack works by putting the phone a few centimeters away from a quarter-sized chip, or touching it to another NFC-enabled phone. Code on the attacker-controlled chip or handset is beamed to the target phone over the air, then opens malicious files or webpages that exploit known vulnerabilities in a document reader or browser, or in some cases in the operating system itself.
The attack can work against Jelly Bean too, to drive the phone via NFC to a specific web page with an exploit. It’s a dilemma: have NFC enabled so it’s convenient, or have it disabled so you have to turn it on to make use of it only when you want (which implies having to unlock your phone and drill down through the settings to activate it).
The end of ragequitting >> Coding Horror
Jeff Atwood on Aaron Swartz, activism, and the struggle the latter implies.
NEC says two phone screens are better than one with Medias W >> The Verge
Originally teased close to a year ago, the Medias W is NEC’s attempt at a dual-screen folding Android smartphone. It’s not an entirely new idea — the Kyocera Echo and Sony Tablet P have done similar things to middling results — but can NEC be the first to get it right?
Questions to which the answer is ‘no’, because there’s no getting this design idea right.
High-definition TV: ne plus ultra >> The Economist
So far, only a handful of feature films have been shot with cameras capable of 4K, including "The Amazing Spider-Man", "Prometheus" and "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo". That is hardly surprising given the amount of work involved. Insiders reckon making a full-length digital feature in 4K is equivalent to producing six ordinary 2K films.
Even so, some 17,000 cinemas around the world now have digital projectors capable of showing 4K films. So, if and when Hollywood upgrades wholesale to the new video standard, cinema-goers will be able to decide whether 4K is worth the premium they are bound to be charged.
The recent flood of 3D films largely failed that test. The lacklustre sales of 3D television sets suggest they are now doing the same. Will 4K suffer the same fate? It is far too early to say. But, for sure, 4K television–far more than 4K cinema–faces some formidable challenges.
Apart from anything, we all tend to sit too far from the screen to discern the difference. An excellent primer on why not to hold your breath for 4K – even if it is going to happen.
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