* Posts by Steve Todd

1978 posts • joined 19 Sep 2007

Nokia boss smashes net neutrality activists

Steve Todd
Silver badge
Stop

He seems to have failed to understand

What net neutrality is. It does allow for the prioritisation of packets. What it doesn't allow is PAID prioritisation (and that includes prioritising companies in which the ISP has a financial interest above similar services). If VOIP packets get priority then ALL VOIP packets are treated equal, no matter where they came from.

2
0

NO ONE is making money from YouTube, even Google – report

Steve Todd
Silver badge

Apple did this when? They offered to sell tunes on the iTunes store for a fixed 30% fee. Labels are free to withdraw from this deal, set the price band of their music etc. What they did, that the Labels didn't like, was to unbundle tracks. It turns out that the buying public did like this and the Labels made lots of money this way.

Next they offered the Labels money for the right to provide cloud storage for tracks that users had already bought or obtained from elsewhere. Free money for doing nothing.

Finally they have been working on deals for streaming on demand. I've not heard of them making other sales conditional on being involved in this program (which would probably get them in trouble for abusing their position in the market).

The only ones ripping off the artists are the Labels.

23
7

Qualcomm bungs ARM's beefy 64-bit A72s into new mobe brains

Steve Todd
Silver badge
FAIL

Re: @JamesTQuirk

You seem to be trying to change the subject. Non of the A80 boards that I have seen are much less than £100 each, but they would need to cost less than £10 each to be competitive with a desktop GPU in terms of FLOPS/£.

Your original point was that the Qualcomm chips (also ARM based) wouldn't sell. My point was that they were much faster than the A80 you were holding up as an example of Chinese technology that was going to kill it, and that they were aimed at a different market segment (the A80 isn't really targeted at cell phones). Because of this I expect them to sell in huge quantities inside of Chinese cellphones (the Chinese don't really care where they get their parts from, just how they effect the saleability of their devices).

You also seem to be trying to make out that my attitude makes me a Wintel stooge. What? Saying that desktop is more powerful than mobile (demonstrably true) and that the Chinese don't make the best ARM chips makes me a Wintel fan? Time to take your head out of your arse.

1
0
Steve Todd
Silver badge

Re: @JamesTQuirk

Anyone mining bitcoins with a GPU these days is going to be disappointed. They were surpassed by FPGAs some time back, and they were surpassed by ASICs. The GPU in the A80 tops out at about 68Mflops. The ATI 7970 desktop GPU has 2048 cores and tops out at about 3800Mflops. You'll need a LOT of A80s to match just one, and they aren't THAT much cheaper.

I'll say this once again as you're apparently not understanding. These chips are many times faster than the A80 for general tasks, contain most of what you need to make a phone (including 3G and LTE radio) and will be used by the Chinese in large quantities (think millions) for higher end phones.

0
0
Steve Todd
Silver badge

Re: @JamesTQuirk

Not according to Allwinner's web site, and given that ARM's design for big-LITTLE allows for up to 4 of each type, I'd suspect your information is wrong.

You're also lacking in understanding on how GPUs work. Not all GPU cores are equal. Just "having 64 GPU cores" doesn't make it a fast GPU, and GPU cores are normally useless for general compute tasks. The standard Adreno GPU has 128 ALU cores these days, but the PowerVR is a better chip. On the other hand it can't hold a candle to the latest desktop GPU cores.

The other point is that the Qualcomm models are designed for mobile comms devices (phones or pads), not All-in-one boards. Chances are that a lot of Chinese phones will contain them.

0
0
Steve Todd
Silver badge
Stop

@JamesTQuirk

Do you know ANYTHING about ARM processors? The A80 is 8 core, yes, but using the older ARM V7 architecture that is 32 bit only. The A72 in the Qualcomm chips is rated by ARM as 3.5 times faster than the A15 (the "big" side of the A80), uses the newer ARM V8a instruction set and is full 64 bit. It doesn't even compete in the same market space as the A80 as the A80 has no in-built cellular modem like Qualcomm's chips.

0
0

Qualcomm, ARM: We thought we had such HOT MODELS...

Steve Todd
Silver badge

I'm not sure that ARM are in trouble here.

They either licence the IP for their processors, IO interfaces etc, and charge a small fee based on what each individual client is using (certainly too small a fee to be worth most clients developing their own processors) or let the client build their own compatible designs for a lessor fee. They don't force you to use their components (want to use PowerVR rather than Adreo graphics cores, no problems) and the costs are only based on the components used on chip, not the final device.

Qualcomm are a different matter however. They're going to have to resign themselves to charging per chip, not on the end-user price as the IEE is pushing for.

6
0

Meerkats helped Ofcom unlock White Space spectrum-hopping

Steve Todd
Silver badge

Actually it does both. It has a list of frequencies for a given area, then it looks out for unlicensed kit working on the same channel and hops about to reduce interference with that. As it's highly improbable that all 48 channels (or even close to that number) will be licensed in a given area then it's a non-issue.

0
0
Steve Todd
Silver badge
Stop

@boltar

1) DTTV can fit 4 HD streams into a single 8MHz channel.

2) There are 48 channels allocated to TV at the moment.

3) There are 10 digital multiplexes in the UK, not all of them working in a given area.

4) 802.11b/n (the 2.4GHz version most people use) has only 3 distinct channels available, 5GHz has 16 non-overlapping channels available here in Europe.

0
1
Steve Todd
Silver badge
FAIL

An apt handle. Radio gear already knows how to monitor for traffic and switch to a different channel if the current one is busy (it's part of the spec for 5GHz 802.11ac). You think there's only one or a couple of spare frequency slots in white space?

0
2

BT coughs £12.5 billion for EE as fourplay frolics pay off

Steve Todd
Silver badge

Well, that's what passes for EE customer support ...

completely trashed then. I suspect my contract won't be renewed with them.

5
1

Zimmermann slams Cameron’s ‘absurd’ plans for crypto ban

Steve Todd
Silver badge
Stop

Re: The Point

The government sees a need for official secrets, which it won't disclose to the public until 50 or more years after the fact (or not at all in some cases). If it's ok for them to have secrets why can't we have them?

19
0

Crackdown on eBay sellers 'failing to display' VAT numbers

Steve Todd
Silver badge
FAIL

Re: Imports from outside the EU

They do if the seller hasn't lied on the customs declaration. Having a VAT number will stop them lying on their paperwork will it?

0
0
Steve Todd
Silver badge

Imports from outside the EU

Already get import duty plus VAT applied to them on entry. How is this going to reduce the foreign sellers from cheating on their form filling?

4
0

Living with a Renault Twizy: Pah! Bring out the HOVERCRAFT

Steve Todd
Silver badge
Stop

Re: Consumption Is Consumption No Matter What You Are Consuming

Oddly enough there is a market for 5 seater executive saloon cars in that price bracket. Not everyone wants or buys the cheapest available model of everything. Compared to the cars it is designed to compete with (Mercedies S class and BMW 7 series for example) it compares favourably.

Tesla's plan is and always has been to start at the top of the market (where the margins are high) and work downwards. Their next model is targeted to cost $35k which is much more in the mainstream price bracket.

1
0

Tesla bumps up Model S P85D acceleration – with software update

Steve Todd
Silver badge

Back in the dim and distant past

When I was at 6th form the local Poly had a Univac 1110, which they paid a not insubstantial sum to upgrade the performance of. The engineer turned up to discover that someone had already moved the jumper and it wouldn't go any faster.

4
0
Steve Todd
Silver badge

Re: @Wyrdness

Given 80KG adults, that's only about an extra 0.3 seconds to 60 (it's a heavy car at over 2,200KG empty weight). It's screamingly quick for a car its size.

2
0

FORCE Apple to support BlackBerry hardware, demands John Chen

Steve Todd
Silver badge
Stop

Erm, wrong

Net neutrality is nothing to do with terminals or client systems, it is about the flow of data over the web (and how no ISP should throttle or impede trafic based on failure of the provider to pay a premium).

You can't use it as a stick to force Netfix et al to write software for your crappy platform, but you can use it against your ISP if there IS a Netfix app and they throttle it while pushing their own streaming video service.

19
3

Virgin, Qualcomm, back 600-satellite space internet plan

Steve Todd
Silver badge

Re: Latency?

That's because existing satellites are in geostationary orbit, much higher up at about 22,000 miles. A ping therefore requires a round trip of at least 88,000 miles (up to the bird, down to the ground station, to the server, back to the ground station, up to the bird and back to the sender), or about 1/2 second latency at the speed of light. This is reduced to a minimum of 3000 miles (of about 16ms) with this system

2
0
Steve Todd
Silver badge

$2bn in launch costs

Assumes $10,800 per pound to launch, which isn't unreasonable. SpaceX are aiming to get costs below $1000 per pound, so my guess is that they will get most of the work launching clusters of satellites at a time.

0
0

Apple v Ericsson: Yet ANOTHER patent war bubbles over

Steve Todd
Silver badge
Stop

Re: Strange how fruity patents are so valuable

Still not grasped the difference between FRAND and normal patents then? If a company wants to get one or more of their patents included in a standard then they must commit to licensing them under FRAND terms (Fair, Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory). If they do this then the fee per use they can charge tends to go down, but the number of items using it goes up so they can make good money from the licensing.

Ordinary patents carry no requirement to license and no fee structure. A company doesn't have to license them, and can charge whatever they can get away with if they do. Apple didn't want to license out its patents in the cases you've heard about, hence they were asking for more in infringement costs. They do however take part in a number of other patent pools (like h264) where they have contributed and get paid on FRAND terms.

Typically the Apple patent arguments have been over whether the patent owner can charge their fee on the radio element of the design, or on the whole RRP of the phone. Most companies get their licenses for GSM/LTE from the baseband chip manufacture included in the price of the chip, i.e. a few bucks per phone in total.

5
3

Tesla S P85+: Smiling all the way to the next charging point

Steve Todd
Silver badge

Re: electricty is so clean right

1) Most countries use a mix of nuclear, conventional and renewables. The cleaner the mix the cleaner the electric car is.

2) Improving the mix makes any existing electric car better. Petrol/Diesel engines never improve other than by replacing the vehicle.

3) EVs are a great way of soaking up surplus power from renewables when they are on stream, you store the energy in the battery, and many EVs make for large scale.

4) The pollution happens at the power station, which can be out in the countryside, rather than in the middle of a city, where it is bad for the health of those living/working there. Its also easier to clean up emissions in a large scale fixed plant than in the exhausts of thousands of mobile IC units.

1
0
Steve Todd
Silver badge
Stop

Re: It didn't change my mind

Take a look at the following review from Norway. A US spec Model S (no cold weather mods) driving 270KM in the snow, fully loaded, while climbing 800M on the way and not driven gently, managed it without a recharge. I'm not saying that there is no effect on range, but it has been rather over stated.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZ5PqPeOPT0

1
0
Steve Todd
Silver badge
FAIL

Re: It didn't change my mind

Given that the Tesla S is the best selling car in Norway I think you'll find that your estimates on the effects of cold weather on the batery pack/range are a little out.

2
1

Got a 4King big TV? Ready to stream lots of awesome video? Yeah, about that…

Steve Todd
Silver badge
Stop

Re: 15 Mbps is not enough

HEVC is more efficient than H264, which is how they can fit 4K into a 16K stream. If they were still using H264 then yes, it would have been crap at that bit rate.

0
0

Samsung’s SUPER-speedy SSD is a real power-sipper

Steve Todd
Silver badge

Re: And again !!!

I hate to break this to you, but these will never go in phones. They're too big, too high power (they need > 4w at full chat) and use the wrong kind of interface (PCIe rather than ONFi for example). These parts are designed for laptops, and possibly at the outside desktops.

4
0

Toyota to Tesla: we can play the free patent game as well

Steve Todd
Silver badge

Re: Could be useful

You give up if there's a less dangerous, cheaper alternative available, yes. Hydrogen is a bad fuel, not because there isn't a lot of it, but because it's expensive to provide in a form suitable for transport, is hard to contain and is prone to combustion or explosion over a wide range of concentrations. All it is in this form is a modified version of a battery car (you still need a battery for fast demands and to store breaking energy), but one that has limited refuelling options and a long history of industrial/transport accidents.

2
0
Steve Todd
Silver badge

Re: Could be useful

A large tank isn't the trivial job you seem to think (low energy density, high pressure). You've also got the problem of de-gassing if you want to do any work on it (hydrogen permeates into metals and an empty tank can ignite if it hasn't been de-gassed).

The battery powered car can however have more efficient batteries fitted as the technology improves (the original Tesla Roadster is being upgraded from a 50 to a 70kWh pack in the same space, add a couple of aerodynamic enhancements and they are claiming a 400 mile range on a charge).

3
0
Steve Todd
Silver badge

Re: Could be useful

You CAN refuel an electric car in a matter of minutes (faster than a petrol car even) by dint of swapping the battery pack. What's more the hydrogen fuel cell is bad at soaking up instantaneous changes in demand, so you need a battery pack in there also to cope with this. The result is a complicated, expensive, dangerous system that has no advantage over batteries except as far as the fuel companies are concerned.

6
5

Cambridge boffins and Boeing fly first hybrid airplane over British skies

Steve Todd
Silver badge
Stop

Re: Oh what sillyness

With current AVGAS prices being about £1.80/litre then even small aircraft burn about £35 of fuel per hour of flight. Fuel is a significant cost, and if they can figure out how to reduce that then I'm in favour.

2
0
Steve Todd
Silver badge

Re: Take off energy...

You need the power for climbing. At some point you leave the runway and start heading upwards. The sloaped runway doesn't help with that part, and depends on the wind being in the right direction. It also makes takeoff and landing more tricky (and yes, I've flown in and out of airfields like this).

2
0

India's heavy launch rocket passes flight test

Steve Todd
Silver badge

Re: Nobody here but us nitpickers...

Like the shuttle these boosters are strapped to a liquid fuelled core. They should be able to detach the boosters in case of problems, or detach the crew module from the rocket. Solid boosters are comparatively cheap and reliable, but they do tend to have high vibration levels which is the main issue when using them in man-rated flight.

0
0
Steve Todd
Silver badge

Re: Nobody here but us nitpickers...

Erm, the shuttle used 2 solid boosters, as does the proposed SLS replacement. Solid boosters are not a new thing in man rated launches.

4,000Kg to geostationary orbit or 10,000Kg to LEO is however only a medium launcher, not a heavy. The SLS will launch up to 130,000Kg to LEO, and the Falcon heavy can manage 53,000Kg.

1
0

The STEALTH Plug-in Hybrid: Audi A3 e-tron Sportback

Steve Todd
Silver badge

EV charging is a good way to soak up unused off-peak capacity and power from renewables. The power packs are also good for stabilising domestic power and providing backup when they reach the end of their useful life in a car. We could switch about 1/3 of the vehicles on the road to electric with no changes to the current infrastructure.

10
3

Microsoft: Hey, don’t forget Visual Basic! Open source and new features coming

Steve Todd
Silver badge

Re: No need to move away from VB

Have you missed out on the facts that

1) They both compile to MSiL.

2) Microsoft have opensourced both?

I agree with the OP here. Back in the days of VB6 it was the red hair'd stepchild of MS's language family. With VB.NET it's fully as capable as C# and has some advantages (I prefer the HANDLES keyword to adding delegate methods to events in the form initialisation code for example)

6
1

DEAD STEVE JOBS accuses Real Networks of 'hacking' iPods

Steve Todd
Silver badge

Re: Huh?

@ForthIsNotDead - you're welcome. Often these things aren't as cut and dried as people try to make out. Apple aren't saints, but an understanding of why they've done something often reveals the reason not to be as bad as as being portraid.

0
0
Steve Todd
Silver badge
Stop

Re: Huh?

You've got that the wrong way around. Imagine you are a company selling music players. A competitor finds a security hole in your software's DRM scheme that alows them to sell DRMed music to your customers. They pay you not a bean for this. You have promised the music labels that you will keep the DRM secure. Should you be forced to break your word to the labels and lose profit to your competition, or can you fix the hole?

12
2

Dead Steve Jobs to give iPod MP3 evidence from beyond the grave

Steve Todd
Silver badge
Stop

Re: "Thousands of iPod owners re-bought their existing collections..."

No, they could load unprotected MP3s, AACs, ripped CDs etc onto an iPod without problems. The class action was brought because other companies (RealNetworks in particular) wanted to be able to use FairPlay also, but Apple wouldn't license it.

At the time ALL legal digital download sites used DRM of one type or another, and you couldn't move DRMed downloads between manufacturers (or groups of manufacturers) players. In April 2007 Apple went DRM free with EMI's catalog, and across all publishers in January 2009. People who had bought the DRMed version could get the DRM free version for an upgrade price. At that point they could transfer their purchases to any player that supported AAC (part of the MP4 spec).

2
0
Steve Todd
Silver badge

More to do with

Preventing competitors from hacking in to Apple's FairPlay DRM system. They could sell un-DRMed music and the iPod could play MP3 and MP4/AAC, as well as WAV format, added to a user's iTunes library without problems.

If they wanted to sell DRM'd music that would play on the iPod they had to resort to tricks and hacks to get that to work, and being blocked from doing that is what they are claiming was uncompetitive.

4
5

Sinclair is back with the Spectrum Vega ... just as rubbish as the ZX

Steve Todd
Silver badge

Re: Indiegogo Warning

I thought that initially, then I looked at the people running the company and I recognised them from back in the day, so I have a reasonable degree of confidence that they will do what they say they will. It does seem to be a software emulation on a 3 chip ARM board, but it looks practical in both cost and technogy.

1
0

Trousers down for six of the best affordable Androids

Steve Todd
Silver badge
Stop

Re: Small, sturdy phone to fit in my back pocket

As opposed to communism, where you'd have a choice of one phone the size of a brick that didn't work properly?

There are plenty of different phones out there in assorted sizes and shapes. Do some research an pick the one closest to your needs.

6
4

iPhone sales set to PLUMMET: Bleak times ahead for Apple

Steve Todd
Silver badge
Stop

Since they only sold

51 million phones in the Christmas quarter last year, and 43 million in the first quarter of this year, then my guess is that they will be laughing all the way to the bank, and that times will be far from bleak. Does Hammil ever stop trying to predict Apple's doom from any report he can lay his sticky little hands on?

19
4

Jony Ive: Apple isn't here to make money. And students shouldn't use computers so much

Steve Todd
Silver badge

Re: Theft

The first GUI and mouse was created by Doug Engelbart at SRI International (go look it up if you like),

The whole "Apple stole the GUI from Xerox" myth is debunked here http://obamapacman.com/2010/03/myth-copyright-theft-apple-stole-gui-from-xerox-parc-alto/

7
3
Steve Todd
Silver badge
FAIL

Re: Theft

It's amazing that so much wrongness can fit in one post.

Woz built blue boxes for phone freaking, Apple didn't try to sell them.

Xerox didn't invent the GUI, and Apple licenced what they had done (and then added a shedload of stuff to make it into the modern GUI that you'd be familiar with).

Apple didn't claim to invent the touch screen phone (I remember using HTC units branded as XDAs here in the UK years before the iPhone), what they did was to invent a GUI that worked on a multitouch capacative screen, on a small, compact, easy to use phone. There's a big difference between pre and post iphone smart phones, and even the Android development team admitted that.

10
23

Adobe appoints former Reg man as open-source chief mobile lead

Steve Todd
Silver badge

Target the platform the paying users are on

That's why Photoshop et al were provided for OS X/MacOS for so long and not just Windows. There were lots of Mac users who were prepared to pay Adobe money for the product.

Winging about Android outnumbering iOS devices ignores the absolute number of users on each platform who may be prepared to spend money on Adobe products. There are demonstrably more PAYING users on the iOS platform (many of the Android devices are cheap throwaway things that either won't run their software or the owners wouldn't consider using it), and it takes less work to develop for so it gets preferential treatment.

0
3

BEHOLD Apple's BENEVOLENCE! iMessage txt BLACK HOLE finally fixed

Steve Todd
Silver badge

Not quite true. Press and hold on a blue message that hasn't been received and it gives you the option to send as SMS.

0
0
Steve Todd
Silver badge
Stop

Um, no

The text app on an iPhone checks to see if the contact you are sending to is on iMessage and sends via TCP/IP if they are. If not then it goes the SMS route. Nothing is intercepted and you can still chose to override iMessage and send as SMS.

Messages sent via iMessage are shown in blue, SMS in green, so you know how the message was sent BTW.

5
0

Apple on the art of the deal: 'Put on your big boy pants and accept the agreement'

Steve Todd
Silver badge
Stop

Re: Two sides to this

Neither side is dead and they are both holding guns (admittedly GTAs is smaller caliber)

0
5
Steve Todd
Silver badge

Two sides to this

The Apple documents that were revealed at the same time show GTA repeatedly failing to hit targets that should have caused Apple to withdraw financing earlier. GTA over promised and under delivered, then acted all hurt and surprised when Apple refused to keep funding them.

5
12

Forums