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* Posts by Charlie Clark

2631 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Wake up, Uncle Fester! Huawei’s nattering about BUYING Nokia

Charlie Clark
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Re: @ Mikel - Nokia's value is impaired

Nokia's patent portfolio has come up in some recent spats and doesn't look as compelling as it once was, especially as we move towards LTE. Obviously, there is still a lot there but much of the useful stuff is already FRAND so trying to hold the competition to ransom is not really an option as many recent court cases have illustrated.

The maps business is still worth something and they obviously still have some great product designers and engineers.

Markets are all a bit frothy at the moment due to the money printing (credit is cheap) and financial repression (bonds have negative real returns). All told Nokia should be worth more than Skype but could find itself bought for around the same price especially if cash is in involved. Definitely make or break year for Nokia.

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Huawei muses on Nokia's future

Charlie Clark
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Re: Apple will buy Nokia first...

Apple doesn't have much of a record for this kind of acquisition: buying a large company, stripping out the IP and selling or closing the rest. You don't need engineers for that but lots and lots of beancounters.

Other manufacturers would never let Apple go it alone. Much more likely for a joint bid, presumably led by Microsoft who we can assume to have already assured itself with preferential rights, with the IP going to a patent pool as happened with Nortel.

If we're lucky Microsoft will get in a bidding war with itself again like it did with Skype.

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Charlie Clark
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Seeing as the vast majority of handsets are made in China by contract manufacturers your fears are misplaced. Anyway the spooks want, and get, backdoors in the networks so they can listen in on everyone. The reason why the US is worried is that Huawei is probably not prepared to give them access to the backdoors in its equipment.

For a large Chinese company Huawei is reasonably well run with established centres of development outside of China. ZTE on the other hand is still largely controlled by the army.

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Nvidia stretches CUDA coding to ARM chips

Charlie Clark
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For the HCC crowd it doesn't really matter as they buy, build or have built whatever hardware best suits their requirements at the time. Both CUDA and OpenCL have increased their options in this.

Academics with the necessary skills will no doubt continue to push for architecture neutral systems. I think nVidia understands this which is why they will be pushing chip + compiler, using the added value to promote their products in a commodified market which will at some point no doubt include clusters of AMD and nVidia based chips tuned for different tasks.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Why don't they...

Why? because it's inefficient. Many use cases don't need FLOPs which is one of the reasons why ARM chips are so small and popular.

nVidia isn't building systems so it doesn't do any BIOS. Not sure what you mean by a "nice operating system". Choice is all that matters.

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Soylent days and soylent nights

Charlie Clark
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Re: Feet, stones, pounds...

Indeed: how do elephants fare with this muck?

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Charlie Clark
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No one cares

Of all the pseudo-science projects you could get involved with this is both the least interesting and the least amusing.

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Foreign keys, JavaScript support on deck for MySQL Cluster update

Charlie Clark
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Foreign key support is also available whether the application accesses the database via SQL or …

There really shouldn't be any qualifications there and this shouldn't really be news: enforcing relational integrity is a sine qua non for relational databases.

Apart from that, even as someone who likes neither MySQL nor Oracle, it is good to see these improvements. Of course, you can also see the way the path is being paved for users of a reasonable RDBMS to get to high margin products such as Oracle or support contracts.

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Microsoft lures buy-curious vixens, corduroys with a cheap fondle

Charlie Clark
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Re: Does this heavy discounting

Shall we start taking bets on whether RT will get Windows 8.1? and whether this is what will be used to enforce obsolescence?

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Charlie Clark
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Happy

Re: same old routine

Looks like he's been well and truly trout-slapped. Oh well, maybe he should get on his pike.

We'd better close this thread before Andy Zaltzmann gets any ideas! ;-)

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Samsung plans LTE Advanced version of Galaxy S4

Charlie Clark
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Those well-known marketmakers

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan wouldn't be involved in proprietary trading again, would they?

We should soon have some firmer figures about sales from iSuppli, Canalys, etc. It wouldn't surprise me if the very high end of the market is starting to cool: smartphones are becoming standard so the novelty is starting to wear off and you can get pretty good devices contract-free for well under € 250 (ie. around € 10 per month on a two year contract) even if Mr Orlowski considers them landfill. For me, I reckon the XCover 2 looks good for bike tours with SD card and separate camera button. I've already got a Galaxy 8.9 so I don't need a high end phone.

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AMD lifts the veil on Opteron, ARM chip plans for 2014

Charlie Clark
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Re: Good to hear

Some interesting points - I agree with Bronek that it's Microsoft who has to come to the ARM party and not the other way round - Warsaw sounds like a good option for Exchange servers for the immediate future. Windows Server 2012 can't be expected to be done for a new architecture anyway, so nothing before end of next year. By then MS will probably have a new CEO and may seriously be thinking about rejigging its infrastructure to suit the market. Who knows.

AMD's coming to the party brings 64-bit, hypervisor and Open-CL experience which will make a big difference if ARM gains traction. The key point is that things like OpenCompute are all about commodification and price and interoperability over absolute performance. AMD becomes and added value reseller of ARM cores, chips largely comparable to mid-range Intel but at a tenth or less of the price.

Apple isn't really interested in high performance - it wants just enough performance and endurance on consumer devices to keep the creatives loyal and dumb servers in its data centres for storing and mining their data.

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Charlie Clark
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What Intel doesn't want to hear

It takes the process of making a CPU down from three and a half years and $350m and $400m down to 18 months and $30m

He's not wrong on that. Kudos to AMD to understanding just how commodified the market is becoming. On the face of it the Warsaw, Berlin, Seattle models seem to have something for everyone.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Proof the pen is mightier?

Charlie Clark
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Yeah someone like you - not like most people…

Are you Eadon's cousin by any chance?

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Bjarne Again: Hallelujah for C++

Charlie Clark
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Re: Yapping, baying, and mixing in without barbed wire interfaces

Don't know who voted you down without an explanation. It seems that inheritance is much misunderstood. I could add "like so much in programming".

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Charlie Clark
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Multiple inheritance

Are there readers out there who own great farms of mixin classes, yapping and baying from within their barbed wire enclosures?

Multiple inheritance is reasonably common and painless in Python and gets used where it's appropriate. I'm personally not a great fan of "mixins", which I would define as classes that have no standalone instances, per se but they have their uses. At the end of the day you have to be able to understand your object hierarchy and delegation patterns in order to be able to debug it. And if you can remember that you might be debugging somebody else's code then you might be tempted to write more verbose but clearer code, including class genealogy.

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Red Hat to ditch MySQL for MariaDB in RHEL 7

Charlie Clark
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Re: Long overdue.

The entire point of RH Linux is stability.

Don't confuse stasis for stability. The entire point of RH Linux is reassurance: "don't worry if software X is no longer supported by the developers, we will continue to look after it for you…" . RedHat is like the Microsoft of Linux by promising extremely long support cycles for its software. While this doesn't work for me (I prefer the BSD approach of a stable OS and software ports) it obviously does work for a lot of CIOs. Long term the approach is similar to other vendors: dependency by deskilling.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: One unique feature

Thanks for the info, I didn't know about it. I'm sure you'll agree it's not a terribly common requirement and not the sort of thing that beginners should be confronted with, unless they pick it up as a practice and start designing for it!

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Charlie Clark
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Re: PostgreSQL

It depends what you want it for. Perhaps RI isn't important because its used as a content cache.

Sure, but then it isn't a relational database but a datastore that supports SQL.

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Charlie Clark
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Three-way split

There really isn't much to see here: RHEL is a commercial offering with companies apparently happy to pay RedHat to support software versions ad infinitum; Oracle is pushing ahead with improvements to MySQL (5.6 really does look to be getting quite usable) and happy to favour paying customers over "freeloaders". Both are pursuing vertical integration strategies.

Postgres is filling the niche of a full-fledged RDBMS with no strings attached, with commercial support for those who want it: Enterprise DB has a nice model for companies wanting to get off Oracle and 2nd Quadrant has just announced "platinum" support.

I must admit I've never really understood the value proposition of MyASM beyond its apparent ubiquity and some niche use cases, where speed is valued over integrity at all costs. The ubiquity lowers the barriers to entry for newbies but at the cost of encouraging poor design practices.

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Surprise! Intel smartphone trounces ARM in power trials

Charlie Clark
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Re: W = V x I

Don't forget to add time to that. Even knowing the power draw is of limited value if you don't know how long the processor is doing anything. Spinning up and spinning down are important, too.

I'm sceptical about these results. AFAIK x86 beats the pants off ARM for rendering web pages but itself is soundly whipped when the GPU gets involved, as on the I-Phone. This is why the SoC with the right silicon for the right task is so important and why big.Little will only start to make sense when the compiler and scheduler have had a few generations to get it right. Intel does not do the heterogeneous computing environment of modern mobile devices anything like as well as ARM or even AMD.

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Report: Cloud could slash biz software energy use by 87%

Charlie Clark
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FAIL

Re: Energy savings directly proportional to an efficient OS kernel - e.g. Linux

Linux code is so tight it is 4x more efficient than Windows corporate bloatware. Windows is intrinsically slow due to bloated Win 32 and crap like COM and .NET and "undocumented" API's

Eadon, stop spouting shit you know so obviously know nothing about.

I'm not sure what you think you mean by "tight" code but, with relation to performance, code density refers to the machine code that runs on the processor and is dependent upon the instruction set of the processor and the compiler. Windows MFC was a bag of shit but If COM didn't exist, programmers would invent it and indeed they have, several times, for un*x. Same goes for .NET - used properly it makes everyone's life easier or do you think that application programmers should go back to the days of writing their own video and printer drivers? And undocumented APIs don't bloat anything, they just make life as a developer harder.

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Nokia, Microsoft put on brave face as Lumia 925s parachute into Blighty

Charlie Clark
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Re: Obligatory

They still do make good handsets - this looks great and ticks all the boxes except for the OS.

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Charlie Clark
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Looks good, sounds great but…

does it have Öffi, The Economist, Podcatcher, Fritz!Fon, etc. for it? (feel free to add to the list). No? Then I'm not interested, Mr Microsoft.

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AMD announces 'world's first commercially available 5GHz CPU'

Charlie Clark
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Just wait until they start to "synergise" after "touching base".

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Def

Post for Mr Bates - from Syrup & Figs, London

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Magpie Apple plunders the competition for cosmetics, as egos run wild

Charlie Clark
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Oh my eyes!

I can see the teenies going for this bubblegum shit but as for the rest of humanity… well, I for one would rather wield a Motorola Indecipherable from the late 90s than one of these.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Copying

Yes, but who goes around sueing everyone else for their flattery?

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Apple at WWDC: Sleek new iOS, death of the big cats, pint-sized Mac Pro

Charlie Clark
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Re: @Charlie, Innovation?

@Kristian - thanks very much for the additional background information. I haven't looked at the new stuff in any detail but from my first impressions and what you're saying, it sounds like there is a deliberate element of fashion being introduced into the UI - you can imagine cases and themes automatically adjusting. A usability nightmare but I can see the fashionistas lapping it up.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Innovation?

No, you're not alone in that. Though I wouldn't say it's all Windows Phone. The new home screen looks to me like a combination of the late Symbian style and Android. The photos and especially the subscription screen on the other hand do owe more than a little to Metro. This is fine as Metro's pared back design has a lot going for it in the right environment and with the right controls. The overall effect is much more Nokia than Apple, I predict new I-Phones in different coloured cases.

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Cold, dead hands of Steve Jobs slip from iPhones: The Cult of Ive is upon us

Charlie Clark
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Re: Not quite as pointless as I thought.

Good points. Of course, Apple is now playing catch up. By autumn the next version of Android will be out, multiuser support, especially on tablets will be the next multi-tasking. Innovation is something Apple used to do quite well.

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Apache devs: 'We'll ship no OpenOffice before its time'

Charlie Clark
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Re: I just want ONE feature introduced..

On MacOS I use both LibreOffice and I even recently bought Office 2011 for Mac, mainly for testing openpyxl but it's actually much nicer to use on Mac than on Windows. NeoOffice isn't going anywhere fast I reckon.

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Charlie Clark
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Initially I stuck with OpenOffice as LibreOffice did a lot of political flag-waving but they seem to have got their act together now and are concentrating on the code. But I recently switched to LibreOffice after reading one of the OO's devs? comments about not supporting .xlsx. LibreOffice isn't everything but it is out there and being worked on.

Time-based releasing has a lot going for it as long as there is sufficient test coverage.

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Airbus imagines suitcases that find themselves

Charlie Clark
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Re: They would still lose it.

Carry on luggage is definitely something that "budget" airlines are looking to get rid of. The aim is to get everybody used to paying for checking every bag.

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Comcast expands public Wi-Fi net using customers' modems

Charlie Clark
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Yes, but this is a problem with WiFi which had security backfitted. The biggest problem is on things like trains where M-i-M is standard.

But you can see where this is going: Comcast is going to get into the mobile business where it can use something like a SIM to provide reasonable security and this would be a good thing.

I've just been reconfiguring my WiFi - there are 26 other WiFi networks around on 2.4 GHz including two probable honeypots. :-/

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Google boasts of app tuning prowess on 'warehouse scale clusters'

Charlie Clark
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Interesting

But can we please avoid meaningless superlatives such as hyperscale web application. I'm happy for something from the Register Standards bureau explaining how many (flip-)FLOPS this means. Ideas?

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Review: Acer Aspire P3 Windows 8 slate

Charlie Clark
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Advert for a MacBook Air?

a lower resolution can be an advantage when it comes to tapping: small full HD screens can be imprecise, making small checkboxes almost impossible to prod

Seriously? Have Microsoft still not got this sorted out: higher pixel density does not have to mean smaller objects. Even though Apple still haven't got this sorted, as the I-Pad Mini demonstrates, they have at least understood how to handle normal / retina displays for apps by only offering one or the other.

Non-adjustable angle of the screen when using they keyboard? Colour me unimpressed.

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Albert Einstein brings cheese and clean pyjamas to space station

Charlie Clark
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Re: Payload...

Thanks. Together with the other numbers it sounds like it's reasonably cost-effective.

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Charlie Clark
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Payload

ATV-4 is carrying a record payload of 2480 kg dry cargo

Anyone know how this compares with the Dragon , both in terms of capacity and cost per mission?

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Never mind WinRT: Tiny Win8 slabs will ship with free Office, too

Charlie Clark
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Just what the market doesn't need

More confusion about what Microsoft is selling. I'm not even sure if the distinction between "business" and "home" use would hold up much before a court. Maybe Microsoft isn't either as it can't seriously be planning to check up, but it is bound to piss people off seeing something for free on the cheaper version that has to be paid for on the premium.

Clearly, one thing Microsoft is doing is simply to clear inventory of Surface. Bundling Office and a keyboard cover should certainly help there, though they might still have to do a BlackBerry and half the price to get people interested. And then there is the high chance that they'll do a Windows Phone with RT and not provide updates to the next version whether it's 8.1 or whatever.

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Intel unzips new Atom phone chip: Low power, fast - is that right, ARM?

Charlie Clark
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Re: Intel is more open then ARM

The source code tree of the Linux kernel.

Open source != Linux and openness is most certainly something completely different. See Charles Manning's post for a thorough explanation.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: No signs of competition yet

I have had 7 flagship androids in the past three years, certainly not out of need, and I badly want Intel Inside and will absolutely without question be buying a merrifield handset.

Okay, I think we get it - you love buying the latest and greatest whatever. Not sure this is the best qualification when talking about industrial policy, though it seems to be fine for a lot of pundits.

How have you got on with the Motorola Razr X, intel-powered and a good phone by all reports?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: What a bunch of drivvel

+lots

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Charlie Clark
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Re: what better CPU power peformance gives, LTE takes away

Yes, but it has to be sold in bite-size bits to inexpert journalists.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: No signs of competition yet

Intel means little or nothing to consumers. The business of consumer electronics is significantly different to that of the (rapidly declining PC market. Lenovo is big in CHINA but this has an awful lot to do restrictive practices (it's has a monopoly in some areas) and it hasn't really done much in the CE business in getting market share from rivals like ZTE and Huawei.

The head-to-head comparison of the Atom with ARM shows that Intel has indeed caught up in performance per Watt but, and this is more important for consumers: the multicore ARM devices are more responsive and they still have more software. Intel is obviously prepared to invest lots of money to stay at the table and, as long as this increases customer choice, this is exactly as it should be: Intel is setting hardware and process manufacturing benchmarks and ARM is dropping the price.

It would also be wrong to think that either South Korea or China are going to give up the idea of owning the full technology stack including chip design and production.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Intel is more open then ARM

Sorry, although you provide technical details it remains difficult to discern what actual your point it. What tree or code are you referring to? What does that have to do with "openness"?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Intel is more open then ARM

The thing ARM aren't compeating on is openness. They're certainly not competing on spelling! ;-)

Inasmuch as ARM provides detailed design specifications to all and sundry they certainly are open. For manufacturers openness is less of a problem than those who write the OS. I remember a commenter a while back pointing how difficult it is not having a standard bootloader across all ARM platforms. Maybe you're referring to that? Or the "closed" source components from ARM-makers such as Broadcom.?

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Charlie Clark
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How much?

Is what manufacturers will ask themselves when looking at this. As long as Intel chips are still significantly more expensive than those from nVidia, Qualcomm, TI, Samsung, MediaTek, et al. it's going to be a very hard sell.

Then there are all the additional costs of adding stuff that isn't on the chip. Customisation is bread and butter for the ARM-makers but not something Intel does a lot of.

Intel is still ahead in the manufacturing process but the last time I checked the lead wasn't so great anymore. Intel now has 22nm, ARM is moving to 28nm and moving to 22nm next year with costs spread across huge volumes.

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Intel's plan for Haswell, Silvermont, Bay Trail: WORLD DOMINATION

Charlie Clark
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Yes, yes it's all very nice but…

… the prices and margins of these devices continue to fall and Intel's prices will as well.

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Steelie Neelie wants roaming charges gone by Easter 2014

Charlie Clark
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Re: I'd rather see

That is certainly not the case in Germany. Anyway, termination fees are determined by national regulators.

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