Archive for February 8th, 2012

Let us spray

[link] Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

The graffiti artist who painted the walls of Facebook’s first proper ‘corporate’ office in 2005 was offered $60,000 to do the job but opted for stock instead. That stock is supposedly worth $500m now. Smart lad. Smarter than Stanford, which was offered Cisco stock many years ago, but opted for cash instead.

Apple: ARMing OS X

[link] Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Fascinating piece by Charles Arthur in the Guardian pondering the implications of revelations that Apple has been porting OS X to the ARM chip.

Written by Tristan Schaap, the paper describes working in the PTG [Apple's Platform Technologies Group] for 12 weeks, porting Darwin to the MV88F6281 – an ARMv5-compatible processor that’s a couple of generations old now. They were then porting Snow Leopard, aka 10.6; Mac OS X is now onto 10.7 (“Lion”), released last year.

“The goal of this project was to get Darwin building and booting into a full multi-user prompt,” Schaap wrote in the introduction that’s generally visible on the DUT page.

But in the paper he goes significantly further: “The goal of this project is to get Darwin into a workable state on the MV88F6281 processor so that other teams can continue their work on this platform.” Emphasis added. That tells you: Apple is working on porting Mac OS X to ARM, and thus giving itself fresh options if the ARM architecture – known for its low power demands, but equally not until now seen as a competitor in processing heft to Intel – starts offering the horsepower users need.

And there have been indications that ARM is moving up the horsepower ratings, even while Intel tries to lower the floor on its chips’ power consumption.

Sky News clamps down on Twitter use

[link] Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

It’s Back to the Future time, folks. This intriguing story from the Guardian

Sky News has told its journalists not to repost information from any Twitter users who are not an employee of the broadcaster.

An email to staff on Tuesday laid out new social media guidelines for Sky News employees, including a contentious ban on retweeting rival “journalists or people on Twitter”.

The new guidelines also warn Sky News journalists to “stick to your own beat” and not to tweet about non-work subjects from their professional accounts.

So much for the link economy, then. But the Digger’s (surprisingly entertaining) Twitterstream will, presumably, be exempt from the ban.

Things to come

[link] Wednesday, February 8th, 2012


Things to come, originally uploaded by jjn1.

Spotted this afternoon in the college gardens.