- In a short line
- About the essence of political correctness
- About advertising the first computers
In a short line
New robot vacuum cleaner from Ecovacs
We’ve already had reviews on vacuum cleaners from Ecovacs.
A press release about the new DEEBOT OZMO T8 AIVI model came to the mail. This robot has a front-facing camera to recognize its surroundings. I would like to quote the most interesting excerpts from the release.
- Compared to its predecessor DEEBOT OZMO 960, objects are recognized twice as fast and the risk of getting stuck is reduced by 60%. Objects such as shoes, socks, charging stations, cables, clothing and rugs no longer need to be removed from the floor before cleaning. The robot recognizes them and automatically avoids them. My favorite phrase is that the risk of getting stuck is 60% less. By the way, they promise, T8 AIVI also gives recommendations on the areas where it can get stuck.
- The robot’s camera can be used to broadcast what is happening at home. What are the animals doing there, are the windows closed, or maybe you are being robbed! You can also use the built-in speaker of the robot to transmit your speech.
- A vibratory tank has appeared that treats even stubborn stains using high-frequency vibrations.
- An auto garbage dump station will be available for sale as an additional accessory.
- On a single charge, the robot works up to three hours and cleans up to 300 m².
- Price – 64 rubles.
Do you feel it? Progress is underway! There are cameras with object recognition and detour of wires, vibro tanks, and even auto unloading of garbage. I have a thrill of technology and its development. I look forward to the next stage, when there will be an ecosystem of a vacuum cleaner, refrigerator and other kitchen utensils. They cook in the kitchen, and the robot brings you.
And this is what a garbage dumping station looks like!
How Apple keeps a secret
As you remember, last week Apple announced the transition of macOS to the ARM architecture. The exact date was not announced, but the company promised to promptly start sending developers a Mac Mini running on the iPad Pro A12Z processor. And she didn’t lie. There are already pictures of the box on the net.
But there is a sad clause in the contract for the provision of the device that information cannot be shared. However, I like the way Apple was clear about the instructions so that no one would find a loophole. So, Mac Mini on ARM cannot be shown (in the context of showing off, flaunting), demonstrating (such as arranging excursions), filming, taking photos, freehand sketching or rendering. All benchmarks and performance measurements are also prohibited. The funniest thing about this agreement is the obviousness that all the points were clearly gained through suffering. There are always smart ones who were asked not to shoot, but they made a sketch with a pencil. It was forbidden to tell live, but they wrote on social networks, banned on social networks – they staged a stream broadcast. This is exactly how the phrases appear in the instructions that if you put a living creature in the microwave, it will die.
However, screenshots from Geekbench still appeared on the network. Through Rosetta, that is, virtualization, they launched a test that showed performance at the level of the MacBook Air of previous years.
Along the way, note how large the processor has a second-level cache (8 MB). If we take the mobile version of Intel Core i5-10210U, then the L1 cache is 256 KB, L2 – 1 MB, L3 – 6 MB. You can read more about why this is important and what the secret is at the link below.
Apple News and The New York Times
The $ 10 Apple News app impressed me a lot at the time. I even started dreaming that an analogue would appear on Android. Just think about it! Lots of newspapers and magazines – and for only $ 10. What was most encouraging was the collaboration of newspapers like The New York Times and the WSJ, known for keeping their subscription base tight. For example, to unsubscribe from WSJ, you need to personally call. This cannot be done by e-mail or real.
By the way, if you think that there is an option to simply block a bank card, then you are wrong. More details can be found in the paragraph on the link.
And then the Times announces that it has decided to leave Apple News, since Apple does not provide an opportunity to directly communicate with readers and expand its subscriber base. And this is one of the central tasks of the newspaper, and it reports on the number of readers on a quarterly basis. Apple, in turn, said the Times did not do its job very well and only provided a few stories a day, so readers had nothing to lose.
The situation is interesting because the rest of the publishers seem to be quite optimistic, despite the fact that they give half of the profits to Apple. And the profit itself is calculated based on the time that readers have devoted to their stories.
About the essence of political correctness
The topic of political correctness still does not let go. It’s kind of a TV show. Every day a new episode. Either the Inuit riot, the Master / Slave term is jarring, or they discuss the idea of compensating the African American population. It’s especially cool to do this in Russia, because all this is theory and fun, because, as they said in one humoresque, “we don’t have blacks, that’s why we don’t have racism either.” And no one decree. If we like it, we will call the Inuit Eskimos, representatives of the near abroad as chocks, natives of the Caucasus and Armenians, Khachi, and Jews as Jews. And so on. And if these particular nationalities do not like such terms, then this is their own business.
I decided to return to the topic, because I liked the phrase that demonstrates independence and courage of thought in the latest issue of Spillikins: “In the technique of designations for Master / Slave connectors, they have taken root from the very first days and have no connotation, you need to be sick the whole head to consider it racial prejudice. ” However, I will immediately note that I am opposed to generalizing judgments, when all the “sick” are one size fits all. In my mind, the world is multifaceted, and its delicate balance rests on respect. And strength. When showing disrespect, you should always soberly assess whether you have the strength to defend this position.
By the way, it should be noted that abandoning the Master / Slave terminology is not a trivial task, since the names have become generally accepted and are used in the code of various manufacturers. Accordingly, common efforts are needed here. At the moment, many politically correct companies have abandoned the use of the term in the documentation, replacing it with “primary” / “secondary”, etc. But words have not gone anywhere from the code itself, because programs need to communicate with each other. So, for example, Kubernetes (open source software for deploying applications in the clouds) uses the words “replica” and “minions” in documents, but only slave in the code.
However, I thought it would be interesting to dig deeper and learn a little more about the term Master / Slave.
I want to share with you a few research findings. First, there are many works on ethics, culture and technology devoted to the topic. You can track the use of the term by looking at patents describing technologies. It turns out that the term appeared relatively recently, having taken root in use in the early 60s of the last century. Quite often, a similar analogy is found when describing the cylinders of the brake system in cars. Preferred to use main / secondary or main cylinder / receiver cylinder. Servomechanism was also used in the past, or simply abbreviated to servant.
However, the term Master / Slave has existed for a long time. It was first used to describe the watch system in 1904. Master clock and slave clock. The system assumed that there was an accurate master clock that synchronized all other clocks (slave clock). Clock systems of this kind were used, for example, in factories to ensure that all watches show the same time. A similar system exists now on every computer, which is synchronized with the atomic clock on the server.
By the way, information reached us that in 1921, when the British engineer V. Shortt presented his watch system to an interested company, he was offered not to use the term “master / slave”. However, this was not done for ethical reasons, but since, in the opinion of the listeners, it did not accurately reflect the essence. But Mr. Shortt objected that such a metaphor would be perfectly understandable to an ordinary person who does not understand technology. Also note that the term implies that the master clock does all the work and the slave clock only processes the data.
And while there are references to racial discrimination in Whitelist / Blacklist terminology, there is no such thing in the case of Master / Slave. And initially this metaphor was invented to clearly emphasize that the source of all actions is the master mechanism.
However, the world was changing, segregation was canceled, African Americans began to receive more and more rights and freedoms, one of which was the opportunity to receive education, including engineering. Ron Eglash, in a related article published in Technology and Culture magazine in April 2007, writes that in December 2005 he sent out letters to 13 African Americans, considered the most prominent scientists and engineers at the time, asking them to speak on this topic. 9 of them answered him. There were both opponents and supporters of the term. Some said that this was really bad, others that it was impossible to control the language by artificially limiting it, since such (despite good intentions) could do more harm.
Mr. Iglash makes a couple of interesting findings. First, both supporters and opponents note that when they first encountered the term, it evoked negative associations in them. Someone had it initially, someone realized it over time. An excerpt from the letter is quoted: “In 1992, when I was studying digital logic, I did not understand the weirdness of this term until I, one of several African Americans in the classroom, had to go to the blackboard and begin explaining the concept in front of 60 students.”
In my opinion, this is exactly what explains the stumbling block. Many words in different languages of the world have their own cultural connotations and emotional connotations. There are also topics that are considered taboo a priori. A striking example of such a taboo in Russia is the Great Patriotic War. You can recall the story of a schoolboy from Novy Urengoy, who tried to say that among the soldiers of Hitler’s Germany there were those who were held hostage to the situation and were forced to obey orders. They wrote complaints about the guy to the prosecutor’s office, the presidential administration, and in general wherever they could, in order to bring him under the article “Rehabilitation of Nazism.” Under this article, they are punished with a fine of up to 300 thousand rubles, correctional labor for up to a year, and are also prohibited from holding certain positions. There was a scandal when Olga Buzova on social networks compared herself to a blockade. Many found this comparison offensive.
Why is this happening? Society experienced suffering, a wound remained, after which Nazism became synonymous with evil, the word “blockade” is clearly associated with the difficult situation in which the people of Leningrad found themselves. It is hammered in from the school bench in every possible way. However, an abstract foreigner may not understand what is so important about this “blockade”. And if he shows disrespect, then, of course, he will pay.
The conclusions in this story are simple and straightforward. Each nation has its own cultural code that must be respected. The United States, as the most influential country in the world in terms of cultural exports, also hurts Russia with its social turbulence. We, by and large, are absolutely indifferent to lexical battles overseas. We understand that slavery is no matter how cool, niggas is an insult, but in general we do not care (and in general we have serfdom, and executions, and much more, which really cares!). However, if we want to preserve fellowship, then we should respectfully treat the charter in a foreign monastery. Along the way, it should be remembered that even if the whole of Russia rears up, it will not be able to influence the preservation or deletion of the Master / Slave term. If you are in favor of such total freedom of speech, then it is better to start with yourself and Russia. For example, to approach a group of Caucasians and call them khachi or declare that Nazism is not as bad as it is customary to judge it, since these connotational bonds must be destroyed. I warn in advance that the above is sarcasm, and such behavior can and will be regarded as disrespect, for which you will have to answer to the fullest extent of the law.
About advertising the first computers
Since we got a philosophical and historical issue, I want to share how Apple and IBM advertised the first personal computers! It should be understood in the historical context that manufacturers have had a daunting task to convince people that the PC is the thing they want.
In 1977, the Apple II was introduced, which became one of the first mass-produced computers. Price – $ 1 for 298KB RAM and $ 4 for 2KB. If translated into current money, this is 638 and 48 thousand dollars. The ad below is the perfect picture. A woman is where she is supposed to be, a man is engaged in intellectual work. Appreciate how beautiful everything is. No wires or huge computing cabinets. I wanted to and came to the kitchen so as not to be bored there alone. She’s glad.
Advertising went with a full-fledged text tab, as it was necessary to explain that you can play, work, and upgrade.
It is now Apple that is not responding to the prompting of competitors, taking the place of the leader. And in 1981, she released an entire leaflet in which she congratulated IBM on their first PC, calling for fair competition and reminding them that they are now together doing such an important thing as improving lives, changing the way people work, play and play.
And here is an ad for Honeywell offering a kitchen computer for $ 10. It was a futuristic fantasy of what a computer could be. If you don’t understand, then the whole table is a computer. On the bend there are buttons for programming. You also need a printer to your computer. In theory, it contains all sorts of recipes, and the computer can display full-fledged menus. This thing never went on sale.
And here’s a 1981 ad from IBM. The video offers scenarios for using the computer. For example, a woman goes and argues how to calculate whether to buy a house or not. I like the way in the ad they point out that the weight is only 22 kilos, you can stick it anywhere.
Here is such a handsome man from IBM. I picked it up and went to a cafe to drink latte and do things.
In 1985, there was a confrontation between Apple and Microsoft. Microsoft has threatened to take Office away unless Apple shares the license for the graphical interface elements from macOS. Apple shared, thus giving Windows life indirectly. However, when Windows 1995 came out in 95, Apple bought out the entire spread of the Wall Street Journal. On one page, she reminded, hinting at the license, from where Windows grows legs. And on the second, she openly mocked the new OS: “Introducing Windows 95. It has a Recycle Bin, which you can open and return deleted files. Just imagine!”.
And here is one of the rare opportunities to see how it was before office applications, spreadsheet processors and Excel. Everything is still on a piece of paper, but you can count it on a computer! Apple has had a series of advertisements about how useful the computer is. You can make edits to the text of the document, you can send letters, you can count, draw up a budget and draw beautiful presentations.
Feel what a wonderful time we are living in. The powerful laptop weighs 2.2 kg, not 22 kilos. You can create tables and presentations on a computer, not on a piece of paper. At least at the level of a moral guideline, we have come to the conclusion that all people are equal and we must strive to respect each other. And even women were let out of the kitchens, saying that it’s okay to want something more. Perhaps all this is a big mistake and time will punish us. After all, before, everything was almost according to Huxley’s “Brave New World”. Each had its own purpose, clear vocabulary, and everyone was happy. And now everyone can be whoever he wants and suffers from the torment of choice.
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