2078 posts • joined Monday 16th April 2007 14:57 GMT
Webp is visibly superior to JPEG while creating much smaller files. As it uses the same algorithms as in webm you can also hope for better optimisation including the hardware acceleration which is just around the corner. Webp is also a container format so it does also do lossless compression, very efficiently, if desired, so you can use the same format for your graphics as for your photographs, effectively streamline your workflow.
Adoption of PNG was slow partly because it was initially hamstrung - no animation and no transparency - and so offered little incentive to content producers who didn't need to worry about a Unisys tax. Also, PNG was introduced shortly before the Microsoft won the browser wars and killed innovation. It survived as a good replacement for BMP and TIFF and later became the web 2.0 designer's darling because of the alpha channel. Now we're seeing at least two new browser versions per maker per year with fairly rapid take up for all apart from IE on the back of security issues.
webp is a good candidate for adoption which is why it's already in Opera's Turbo stack and my *guess* is that it will make it into a Google's pagespeed http-server module, allowing transparent, feature-driven (WURFL) rollout. And while bandwidth may be cheap and plentiful for many of us page load speed still matters, especially on those pesky mobile devices so the operators will want to plug it in as well. And which webmaster in their right mind won't take a 40% reduction in page load time for free?
All http-servers need to set the MIME type on their response without webp in the magic list Apache will set appication/x-unknown or similar leaving it to the browser to try and work out what to do with the content presumably be reading the first bytes. With webp in the magic list Apache can set image/webp and the browser knows straight away what to do. Not essential but certainly helpful.
The judges are having to fill in the gaps left by an all too hastily drafted law - how far should the courts go to protect an individual's *right* to privacy. That it is a right means that cases against it can go to the European court(s). Politicians are hiding behind the scorn being poured on the judges but it was there failure in the first place.
We are going to have to learn to live the fact *everyone* has the right to a private life and adultery is a private matter. Other countries can manage it so it can't be that hard.
"It seems it's posters like you who give the internet a bad name".
Have you asked the authors of the "image editor too complicated to use" why they haven't added webp yet?
webp uses existing open source libraries very heavily to provide a truly compelling format: bitmap images are both significantly smaller and of better quality than comparable JPEGs or even JPEG2000 especially if they contain text.
Will the shareholders really like it?
Anorexic-margin Atom SoCs to replace adipose-margin Xeons in the data centres? Sounds like the prelude to a round of cost-cutting and a trimming of chip transistors so that a Supermicro blade chock full of Atoms with attached power station can at least compete with a <insert name here> blade even chocker full of A15 SoC with hardware vector units powered by gnats' chuffs.
Set you shares to sell or is it time to embrace and extinguish ARM in an offer the owners simply cannot refuse?
The case against MIPS et al. 20 years ago was different - there weren't the toolchains around to support software that ran well on multiple platforms. Things are very different now - gcc produces acceptable results and then there is CLANG and LLVM - and the application vendors happily support several flavours of unix and windows and customers are, by and large, happy with their choices. And 20 years ago Intel was the cheap upstart breaking into the mainframe world - Intel servers were significantly cheaper than equivalent Sun, HP, SG or IBM boxes. This is exactly where ARM is now with the advantage of having multiple manufacturers accelerating and cross-licensing the production processes. As for the hardware - ARM has championed the ability for manufacturers to choose whether they want particular sections such as encryption done in silicon or software.
Asbestos underpants must be on Otellini's Christmas list!
It's a terrible idea
Firstly, digging holes and laying cable requires a little bit more than a pick and shovel. By failing to match skills to requirements you may just end up paying people to stand around rather than do anything as happened with Bitch's YTS programme. It's populist cock rot that the unemployed can be plugged into holes in the employment market. If you have a mismatch either you have to train/conditions your potential workers to do the jobs required or find markets where you can sell their skill-sets. As neither of those is easy, appealing to false prejudice about people not getting "something for nothing" can be very attractive.
Secondly, it is a direct intervention in the labour market. If you want to get people into work by this kind of action it is better to create the demand for labour indirectly by putting the work out to tender. Otherwise you invite abuse and corruption: companies can sack existing workers knowing that they can get the government to pay for them and as long as someone else is paying why stick with just one?
There are arguments for a secondary labour market - state sponsored - but this is usually for services that cannot be provided otherwise. Patently not the case here.
Thirdly, it is also an intervention in the liberalised and privatised telecommunications market: who is going to own the cable? If the demand for broadband is really there then the market should invest to meet it and set prices accordingly. If things aren't happening fast enough then encourage investment through regulation: e.g. whichever company does the investment is able to set a rent above the current price, as is currently the case with Deutsch Telekom's fibre to the home project. Or build the infrastructure yourself and rent it to the companies as is the case in Stockholm, I believe and with some railway networks. Lots of arguments in favour of this as the return on investment of infrastructure often takes too long to make it worthwhile arranging the funding.
Fourthly, is the need really so great? I have yet to see many convincing reports about the speed of internet access having a significant effect on GDP. Internet access itself, yes and mobile internet as well but neither require lots of bandwidth to function as enablers. Pound for pound you generally get a better return from education or reducing traffic problems (accidents, time lost to travel, etc.)
Look at that price - who is making money on it?
ARM is doing very well but overall profits and profits per worker are *much* lower that Intel. nVidia, Qualcomm, TI, Samsung are the rest are all busy making ARM chips that they can't sell for very much: the hardware is becoming commodified. Which premium manufacturer wants to be in on that?
Intel will now be spending heavily convincing people that their software really needs those Intel cores. They might even succeed with notebooks et al. where aggressive power management and the lack of real computing show them in a reasonable light - Intel's process engineering is second to none. If any data centre is able to get a reasonable TPC workload from an ARM based server they will probably never look back.
A sequential scan will never beat an index. Intelligently indexing the data in the first place means you can write less "efficient" application code. They are also key to scalability as a sequential scan is probably a good definition of a bottleneck. After that you want to reduce the number of connections between application and database as setting up sockets has a huge cost.
The NoSQL stuff seems to be okay for non-relational work where the indexing is delegated to a full-text anyway - hashtags are the poor man's foreign key - and none of the "stuff" (difficult to call the contents of some online services data) is indispensable.
A ... worker blames his tools
"The second issue is that relational databases are a poor fit for most software development."
Chris Date and others would beg to differ on this. Relations are objects, they are just not necessarily *objects* in the application layer (programming language runtime) so you need descriptors or utilities to manage the conversion. Unfortunately SQL is not particularly suited for programmatic manipulation. Such a pity as the underlying maths has some nice constructs. MULDIS-D is at least one attempt to communicate from the application layer to the data layer without using SQL.
As to their suitability: there are loads of problem domains for which the relational model is eminently suitable. The fact that you can get them to guarantee data consistency and integrity cannot be undervalued. Most of them come with optimised indexing and data types such as GEODIS for dealing with geographical data very efficiently.
Could have been worse, I suppose
As long as she can avoid college in America where the word "like" seems to crop up 5 times a minute she should be okay.
@Lester "in honour of the Facebook button which allows users to express approval". That isn't what the button is about at all, it is about only about tracking users and generating statistics as the developer page makes pretty clear. Wonder if Facebook will ever get round to relabelling it "Track me"? And I wonder whether that would make any difference to user behaviour. Sigh. Where's the cynic's button?
Obviously missed by Mrs Nowtraged.
Is The Sun guilty of double standards, again? No, 'cos titillation and outrage about one and the same thing is perfectly fine as long as it's out of the sight of the children.
Bulgarian airbags icon required.
The term is "cooperative customer"
It's the IKEA principle - get your customer to do the same work "for free" that you used to have pay someone to do. 0% productivity improvement but a nice good for the bottom line. They'll have us checking out our own groceries next, oh wait.
As for the "paperless" stuff. How much do you save versus how much does the company save? And what investment must you make in order to make the saving?
They only add stuff that they use and can support and App Engine is as much about testing scale and virtualisation as it is about turning a buck. PHP isn't in use in Mountain View so they have no idea how to scale it across their servers.
Still, no need to cry, you can still run your Neanderthal code on Amazon and Azure. ;-)
G&T's all round at Silver Lake
And probably a few white lines as well: what an astounding piece of business: virtually get paid by ebay to take Skype off their hands and then get given loadsamoney by Microsoft for a product without a really credible business model - most telephone networks I know are cheaper than Skype Out and easier to use. Who said private equity companies don't know how to make money?
What I like about Skype - peer to peer messaging that doesn't run through a server. I use it for voice about twice a year. Wonder how long it will stay like that? I haven't upgraded since it was sold to ebay - I assume all subsequent versions have nice backdoors for the CIA, Mossad, etc.
Didn't realise ARM had got that fast
"[benchmark] runs twice as fast per MHz on a Core 2 vs. an iPhone 4 (integer) and five times faster (floating point)."
To be honest that's better than I expected. Now compare size, transistor count, onboard cache and power draw in your benchmark. How long would the battery last for an iphone 4 that used a Core 2?
That the ARM architecture is suitable for HPC is confirmed by the interest in nVidia's Fermi line.
Price matters as well
As someone who switched to a Mac when the x86 ones came out I agree with you up to a point - the ability to run Windows in a virtual machine was important to me. However, more important was that the price premium of a MacBook against a comparable Windows notebook was around € 1000 less than in the Power PC world, still more expensive but "acceptably" so.
Today I saw the first advert for an Android based notebook for less than € 100. Tiny and unergonomic though it may be this and other devices will start setting price expectations for notebooks with people happier to settle for Android based systems which remind them of their phones than they were with the Linux based netbooks. Apple and Microsoft will, at some point. have to respond to this market.
I'm currently very happy with my 13" MacBook Pro, due for replacement in summer 2012. Will be interesting to see what happens between now and then.
Actually I've rarely heard people complain about the speed of a Mac Book Air. They do rave about battery life, weight and portability. And, because it's so light, they can also take an iPad along for browsing and e-mail for which the ipad is powerful enough. These customers generally don't need to worry about the price of devices.
But when it comes to power: nVidia have publicly announced that they expect to match x86 chips for performance with their summer releases. They have fabs and can offer GPU integration for SoC that will definitely outperform Intel's own SoC. Even adding a hardware x86 emulator to the chip isn't a problem so that existing apps will continue to run will be possible because the ARM designs excel at hardware specialisation and this is where most of the power performance gains against Intel's silicon can be made.
64 bit apart from memory for > 4 GB RAM is a red herring for consumer devices. Again it is the hardware extensions that will make things zip along and Apple already supports off-loading calculation intensive tasks to nVidia's CUDA architecture. ARM also makes multi-core more interesting: multi-task programs on different cores running at different speeds. An Apple with its own chip designers can probably contribute some expertise to an area which would mean easier to assemble systems - Apple TVs with a screen and big batteries and profit margins.
Apple now has several years' experience of cross-compiling the OS X core and applications (mail, browser, etc.) across x86 and ARM but as there have been no indications of ARM builds of Lion I guess we are unlikely to see a "Mac" branded product using ARM chips this year. However, we may well see an ipad pro or an ARM-based ibook for people who like the ipad but want to be able to do a little bit more than word-processing on it.
Apple will still want to segment the market so that any device it releases does not cannibalise the still very successful notebook line until it feels it has the chippery for a full migration. Though downward pressure on tablet pricing should help here.
You've got a point
Maybe the beginning of some unholy MS, Nokia, Crackberry alliance based on windows mobile? They've got the cash to wipe out "but we've just spent shedloads developing for this platform" arguments. Playbook 2012 to run on windows? I guess the IT folks at corporates with Exchange servers would be happy. With Nokia phones at the same time that would give them some market share but the price would be eye-watering, and, of course, the market will have moved on quite a bit by then.
Anyway I stick by my point that NE is not getting ported to any other platforms.
This is a bit like the Microsoft will port NE to QNX argument - Intel doesn't fab for anyone. You sell your soul and buy their chips.
Apple and Intel may be discussing something to fit between the ipad and the macbook - some an "ipad pro" or "ibook" that would run Mac OS and, thus, be suited to an x86 chip, now that Intel has something approaching the power/performance ratio of ARM. Or maybe Apple is just sounding out options: look Intel, if you don't give us a better deal we're going ARM...
The StrongARM business, including licence, was sold to Marvel IIRC. Though Intel may have a new licence through the Infineon purchase. Not that the cost of the licence is to matter to them given their revenue. ARMs entire revenue is a mere splash compared to Intel's profits.
Flying bacon anyone?
Gavin, you and Mary-Jo seem to be reasonably well-informed about what's going on at Microsoft but what on earth makes you think "but you can expect that RIM's Bing agreement includes a clause that IE10 either becomes the default browser on its phones and tablets or gets some sort of higher billing"? Or did you write the tag line just to troll?
Given the fact that Microsoft seem determined to tie Neanderthal Explorer ever more strongly with Windows 7 runtime so they can't even support Win XP or Win 2000, how are they going to port it to QNX (which wasn't Linux based the last time I looked)? NE 9 uses all kinds of Win 7 specific hooks for hardware acceleration that just won't be around on other systems. If they wanted to do that it would be easier for them to take QT off Nokia's hands and port their future systems to QT. Somehow I can't see that happening though.
What they might do is port Silverlight to QNX and do some kind of NaCl with Silverlight on the QNX platform. OTOH, as you rightly point out they might be happy enough with search and map use data and advertising.
We'll have to see whether there are any technical advantages. Video calls on the network might, in theory, benefit from network management functions and priority. OTOH they are also likely to be limited by such technology. Video over IP might look better but have higher latency and higher frame drops as the network will prioritise voice and video packets over data on the local cell. Have to wait and see how they, er, face up to each other.
The main advantage will be price and ease of use. Video calls cost around € 0.80 a minute and are not guaranteed to work across networks. With prices like that I've never been tempted to try even try it. Assuming the networks don't block it Google Talk's video service will incur only data charges which are likely to be bundled. In fact, supporting a service like this could be a useful pimp for 4G services (Verizon) which don't differentiate between packet types and let networks manage their mixed data traffic more efficiently. Tight integration with the phone would allow them to bill for service as the phone could say - I'd like to make a video call - and assuming this did provide reasonable QoS I can imagine people who would want to use the service prepared to pay a small premium for it.
Reliability and cost-effective are different things
Running your own data centre? You'd be crazy if you didn't have a fallback one. Yes, this is expensive but failure can be even more expensive. If you do own the iron you have plans and insurance for them.
Cost-effective: well, who really gives a shit about reddit or foursquare or quora? It really depends on your definition of effective. Pity the other guys who have real business models built on this stuff.
You are George Bush Jr. and I claim my £5!!!
Case aside it was a jury and not a judge wot found 'em guilty. Texas is popular for software patent trials because of the high density of software engineers living there.
Great post, wrong icon
We beardies need something to reflect out inner cool.
"These guys aren't from round here" swung I believe.
In which part of the world?
The Kindle is limited to the US and the UK. And, as Amazon reserves the right to delete content from a device without the user's consent, the claim of it being more open and free than Apple is rubbish. Making their software available on other platforms is exactly the same kind of gatekeeping that Apple does with itunes.
Price is certainly a factor with Amazon already able to able to sell the Kindle at a loss in the knowledge that it will make money on future book sales. Also, as has been noted by others e-ink is a better reading experience in bright light. Not sure whether it matters for others but a sense both of robustness and replaceability for a device designed to be used outside is important to me. I also do think nerds with shiny shinies are more likely to get into conversations with envious knuckle-draggers as the things are so easy to nick.
I'm currently happy with my Sony reader although I would prefer a larger screen. The PDF reflow is fantastic and it has just enough "touch" control to be useful.
Certainly is if you look at it like that. That's Apple's big problem and worry - how to keep selling expensive shiny shiny when the cheap stuff looks as good and works as well. The rise of the Androids in the hands of plebs is difficult to ignore and the walled garden approach will just piss more and more people off.
you might ask yourself why you paid twice as much for the classy logo on the back.
Cut the phones open and line the components up next to each other and compare. Then try and reassemble the shiny shiny without the CPU and memory chips.
Kies 2 is a lot better
Kies 1 was a total pig: slow, buggy and lacking features. Kies 2 is a very different beast and, as far as phone management software goes, pretty good. There is even a version with a subset of features for Mac OS. Kudos to Samsung for dumping an exercise in XPS based frustration for something better.
Anyway, glad you're happy with your HTC Desire: choice is good.
When we all discovered there was a usable search engine, BeDope ran a lovely story with an IMac poster graffitied with "Geek is Chic". Can't find in a hurry in the archive but it should still be there.
I, for one, welcome our expense-account laden, segway-driving overlord twats*.
*It's the OED plural for a person who tweets, as opposed to a song bird. Yes, I just made that up but don't you wish it were true?
Silverlight vs JavaFX vs NaCl vs Flash vs Widgets
The "trusted" stuff is very nice for deploying to desktops where you don't want people installing stuff. This is very similar to old Java apps of yore and you can imagine certain use cases for this especially with small form factor devices: apps for Windows Tablet. And we all know what happened to those "build once, run anywhere" sandboxed Java apps: they died apart from for browser based videoconferencing and even then they generally suck - I repeatedly have trouble with WebEx and Sametime on corporate networks and they both have a huge list of browsers they don't support. Hello? I thought this was a browser-based application?
But the space is getting very crowded. Adobe already has AIR, Oracle will probably force feed Java FX to selected whale clients and Google owns the infrastructure for NaCl. Widgets look well-placed to pick up where extensions have left off in terms of cross-platform support: it is pretty easy to port an extension between Chroma, Safari and Opera and then knock it into a widget - low barrier to entry and multi-platform heaven.
It is generally acknowledged that the US military capability is far superior to everywhere on the planet. That bombing Gaddafi into submission is not a "simple task" is why Britain, France and the rest of NATO are looking to the US for help in attacking some of the more difficult targets either with bombers or missiles.
But America's superior military might comes at a price - there was a chart recently in The Economist which put American military spending at above that of the next 10 most well-equipped countries in the world combined. The military industrial complex is bankrupting America and is nicely expressed by Alexander's law which implies that by 2050 at the latest the US will be able to afford one single plane of the latest and greatest. The Europeans realised after WW II that they could not compete with either America or Russia directly so co-operation in all its forms was born, unfortunately also in the terrible way of procuring equipment. Britain required a few spectacular post-war failures (Black Knight, Blue Steel, et al.) to realise that the British defence industry was shit™, And, while we have had our fair share of disasters, some of the stuff actually does do what it supposed to do with budget overruns as much to do with political meddling as industry carve up. The A400M is by all accounts a very desirable transport plane (and quite possibly the end of the "cost plus" model) and the US government would have purchased the tried and tested European refuel vehicle if politics hadn't got in the way. Instead you're getting something that doesn't exist yet but will be less capable if it ever does makes it way off the drawing board.
As for pie in the sky projects that cost a fortune and deliver nothing, need I mention "star wars". US defence procurement is run by Messrs Boeing, Lockheed, Martin, Northrop and Grumman.
Standards not tools
Another poor piece, Matt.
Safari's market share is down there and falling. Yes, it has a stranglehold on the shiny, shiny but if you're going to mention mobile than you have to mention Opera which is important on mobile if largely irrelevant on the desktop.
That's what the web is about and that's where companies can get the most bang for their buck. That's where Adobe is headed and your lot: infrastructure for the toys.
The rollout is starting
In Germany from the summer with Deutsche Telekom promising to put all subscribers on IPv6 by Christmas. Of course, because the rollout will be of unprecedented scale we can expect a few surprises along the way but you've got to start somewhere.
Don't play nice, report them
In the UK all "subscription" services must support a STOP command. If this is not possible then report the perpetrator to Off-Whatsit. Cold-calling is illegal but will continue if people let it. The threat of legal action can work wonders for those who are hard of hearing.
That said I've recently flown a few times with Air France and my inbox is mercifully bare. Wish I could say the same about flea-bay!
Certainly sounds like as Tcl is not one of the Google sanctioned language - I thought they'd been limited to the Gang of 4: Java, C++, Python and Perl?
Aeoliosynthesis: don't bother with hydrogen, just make a hydrocarbon from ambient air and water. Simple alkanes are pretty easy but real boffins might aim for synthetic oil which could be used for vehicles as well. Yes, it's poor efficiency but it's great for storage and flexible in use.
I have no problem with TLS & IMAP, well I do because I have a personal certificate and Opera gets confused but IMAP read is fine. Going up on SMTP + TLS on port 465 it looks like the handshake is not happening so I don't authenticate and the server won't relay for me. Only it might, the next time I start Opera. Did pass on the relevant server logs to Opera so a tad miffed on this as I am heavy Opera + IMAP user (6 accounts and counting).
NotScript has been flagged as not working so hopefully that will be fixed soon.
Webp is likely to make it's way into mod_pagespeed which will probably use it if the browser can handle it much like gzip. So, faster browsing for cleverer browser and kudos to Google for having the balls with webm and webp.
When 100% isn't 100%
Webp 100% should be lossless and 4:1 for lossless compression on photos is about par for the course. Note to achieve this you have created a *new* bitmap from the JPEG and then asked webp to save this new bitmap lossly - it isn't working directly with the JPEG.
The need for successful differentiation
applies just as much to Apple as it does to Android Army. Unlike the PC days when companies really did make nearly all of their own machines, all the devices now are being made the various sweatshops in China. But being able to negotiate the most preferable contracts with Foxconn, et al is only part of the equation. Apple built its reputation around the "user experience" and back in the 80s it was pretty easy to convince people how much nicer it was to use an Apple than a PC - usability in Windows was a joke partly because of the kludge introduced by MS (symbols in program manager were not the programs themselves) worried about Apple's "look and feel" legislation. Things are different nowadays with Google and even the manufacturers no slouches at user experience either, which is why Android has caught up iOS so quickly on the phones. At a casual glance it is difficult to tell them apart - yes, I know they are both distinctive in their own ways but they are also extremely similar in the way they do most things. And Google has services like mail and maps that people want to use.
But as long as the market is expanding there is no need for Apple to worry. It still has first mover advantage which adds caché to brand and the volumes give a good hand when it comes to contract negotiations. The excitement around the Xoom and the Samsung 8.9 are indicative of more challenges to come. Yes, Google is still sorting out the code base and whether it really wants a truly open platform (vertical of hardware, software and services must be so appealing) or something you pay to play with but it has some very neat things in Honeycomb, indeed you might call some of them compelling. If the makers can make hardware advances and maintain price competivity with Apple then things will hot up as the market matures. RIM, WebOS and evern MS will also find their niches, initially at least.
And very nice it is too
Webp is compelling in its size/quality over JPEG.
11.10 includes some nice HTML5 goodies and CSS3 stuff.
Unfortunately, a few regressions also slipped in - I have problems with some e-mail services and the NotScripts add-on does not work with this release- but if you don't use TLS with your e-mail you're not likely to notice.
Market not mature
The price is not driven solely by the components but by the ability to package them together: high resolution screen, enough memory and battery power but light enough. Apple currently has a big advantage in this area and the volume to get preferential terms on key components.
As for the figures: if I had a quid for every time Gartner got it totally fucking wrong...
I guess it allows them to share some code between M2 and this service because much of the Opera interface is marked up in HTML. Will M2 be spun out as an extension or widget as a result?
+ lots to Opera for making the service IMAP only and requiring secure connections.
"Why can Facebook do this?"
Because it's been given the money to do it.
Being able to scale hardware efficiently is a very important business which is why everyone is getting into it. Facebook is presumably eyeing the model as well - how to actually earn money from all that "excellent" hardware. Webscale means doing anything to increase margins in a very low margin world.
Become a partner in Goldman Sachs and bet against your customers with their money. If an IPO is ever forthcoming buy options on falling prices or just nakedly short sell - much the same thing.
Other than that: remove your money from any investment that is possibly involved in any other myriad pyramid schemes out there. Yes, your mattress is probably safer than anything other than treasury gilts at the moment, although the yields are being held artificially down by QE. Actually given the inflationary pressures in the UK at the moment, indexed linked papers are possibly the best bet. But what would I know? I don't have a loud stripey shirt!
Financial circles almost never avoid bubbles but are attracted to them like flies to shit. The reason: OPM - that's other people's money they're playing with so nothing can happen to them if things go wrong and they stand to make huge bonuses as long as things are going right. The media play along with all the bowel-wrenching financial commentary of "investors feeling confident", etc. because it's all good when it's good right? Rising asset prices are good and not inflation, right?
And your bank is involved in this game right now. They are taking cheap money from the government and giving it to fuckwits in the hope of discovering the next Geek Pie*.
- Xmas Round-up Ten top tech toys to interface with a techie’s Christmas stocking
- Xmas Round-up Ghosts of Christmas Past: Ten tech treats from yesteryear
- Review Hey Linux newbie: If you've never had a taste, try perfect Petra ... mmm, smells like Mint 16
- Analysis Microsoft's licence riddles give Linux and pals a free ride to virtual domination
- NSFW Oz couple get jiggy in pharmacy in 'banned' condom ad