Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Ancient Computers Control Nuclear Missiles

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012 has a fascinating article about old computers still in use today. The most amazing part is that the Minuteman ICBM system still uses DEC VAX computers that are probably around 25 years old. Many other weapons systems also use the VAX, which was the first system capable of operating in rugged conditions.

Of course, these weapons systems are very complex. You can just yank out the VAX and pop in a Mac. Also, since we don’t do nuclear testing anymore, how could you test a new ICBM system anyway? You could test the whole system right up to the nuclear explosion part, and simulate the blast. But you wouldn’t know for sure that the bomb would explode.

Is it possible that our doomsday machines will just crumble into duds?

China Blackmails Apple Over iPad Trademark

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

According to this Los Angeles Times story, a Chinese company called Proview Technology had trademarked “iPad” in 2000, and Apple licensed it from them in 2006. But now Proview is trying to say that the global rights they licensed to Apple were really “global minus China”. And a Chinese court has agreed.

Apple will probably get the rights to the the trademark in China, but only after coughing up more cash to the corrupt Chinese.

iPad Wrecking DRAM Industry

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Bloomberg has a fascinating story about how the rapid growth of the iPad is disrupting the DRAM industry. Apple has made the iPad very efficient in its memory usage in order to extend battery life. And by reducing the amount of DRAM used, less power is needed to keep it alive.

And since the iPad has taken market share from traditional notebook computers, DRAM manufacturers are stuck with billion-dollar facilities, and barely enough sales to pay their business loans.

Steve Jobs Coming to a Theater Near You

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

A lost interview with Steve Jobs has been found, and will debut in theaters on November 16th. Technology journalist Bob Cringely interviewed Jobs at NeXT Computer headquarters in 1995.