If you're a casual tech consumer and you buy the Apple Watch this year, I’m going to laugh at you. Sure, it’s undeniably sexy, and the Apple marketing machine has totally succeeded in making the watch the next gotta-have-it gadget to complete your technologically sophisticated setup, but it’s an unwise expenditure for anyone looking for a long term reliable smartwatch.
There are three reasons to steer clear of Apple’s latest miracle gadget (for now). It’s overpriced, the battery is underpowered, and you already know that the company will release a better one in only a year — just as it always has with its devices.
Don’t buy it yet. Just don’t.
SourceForge, the code repository site owned by Slashdot Media, has apparently seized control of the account hosting GIMP for Windows on the service, according to e-mails and discussions amongst members of the GIMP community—locking out GIMP's lead Windows developer. And now anyone downloading the Windows version of the open source image editing tool from SourceForge gets the software wrapped in an installer replete with advertisements.
Update: In a blog post issued shortly after this story posted, an unidentified member of SourceForge's community team wrote that, in fact, "this project was actually abandoned over 18 months ago, and SourceForge has stepped-in to keep this project current." That runs counter to claims by members of the GIMP development community.
The GIMP project is not officially distributed through SourceForge—approved releases are only posted on the GIMP project's own Web page. But Jernej Simončič, the developer who has been responsible for building Windows versions of GIMP for some time, has maintained an account on SourceForge to act as a distribution mirror. That is, he had until today, when he discovered he was locked out of the Gimp-Win account, and the project's ownership "byline" had been changed to "sf-editor1"—a SourceForge staff account. Additionally, the site now provided Gimp in an executable installer that has in-installer advertising enabled. Ars tested the downloader and found that it offered during the installation to bundle Norton anti-virus and myPCBackup.com remote backup services with GIMP—before downloading the installer authored by Simončič (his name still appears on the installer's splash screen).
Google knows that its Chrome browser is a serious consumer of RAM, but the development team is reportedly very aware of this, and are working on lowering Chrome's RAM consumption.
Thanks to a Reddit AMA session, a Chrome for Android engineer said:
"We are actively working on reducing battery usage and we are looking into when Chrome is in the foreground and in the background. Since its inception Chrome has been focusing on security and performance of the web across all supported platforms. Performance sometimes has come at the cost of resource usage, but given the importance of the mobile platform this is one of the top things we are looking into".
Facebook's Internet.org project, which offers people from developing countries free mobile access to selected websites, has been pitched as a philanthropic initiative to connect two thirds of the world who don’t yet have Internet access. We completely agree that the global digital divide should be closed. However, we question whether this is the right way to do it. As we and others have noted, there's a real risk that the few websites that Facebook and its partners select for Internet.org (including, of course, Facebook itself) could end up becoming a ghetto for poor users instead of a stepping stone to the larger Internet.
Mark Zuckerberg's announcement of the expansion of the Internet.org platform earlier this month was aimed to address some of these criticisms. In a nutshell, the changes would allow any website operator to submit their site for inclusion in Internet.org, provided that it meets the program's guidelines. Those guidelines are neutral as to the subject matter of the site, but do impose certain technical limitations intended to ensure that sites do not overly burden the carrier's network, and that they will work on both inexpensive feature phones and modern smartphones.
According to a recent survey (.pdf) conducted by Wakefield Research for Citrix, approximately 51 percent of the respondents believe that a few rain clouds in the sky will directly interfere with Internet-connected electronics when attempting to upload or download data through cloud computing. Of the 1,004 people surveyed, the majority thought the term “the cloud” was related to actual clouds in the sky and 29 percent thought it had to do with weather conditions. Only 16 percent recognized the cloud as the common term when referring to a computer network that stores data for Internet-connected devices like laptops, tablets and smartphones.
Approximately 54 percent of the respondents stated that they didn’t use the cloud when using their Internet-connected devices. However, over 90 percent of that group admitted to several common actions that uses cloud storage for user data.
These actions included online banking and shopping, browsing social networks like Facebook, using file-sharing services, playing online games as well as storing photos, videos and music on various Web services. It’s clear that people are able to take advantage of cloud computing without actually being able to define it.