37 posts • joined Wednesday 8th July 2009 18:55 GMT
The patent linked appears to have been filed in 2000, predating, I think, desktop search.
The patent appears to be about how to rank hits coming from a variety of sources, based on how good the hit is, and how likely the user is to want it (do they tend to click email results? did they look at this recently?). The prior art talks about things like google search and the find function on windows, and explains that this is an incrimental improvement.
Honestly, it saddens me to see money that could be spent making the world better, spent on arguing about money. The greatest tragedy waste of the lawers precious lives. They won't get another. Couldn't they spend them doing something a bit more worthwhile?
Anyway, if I think apple has a good shot with this one, certainly legally and possibly morally. It's just intuitively rediculous tha heuristically ranked omnibar results are under patent in 2012. Maybe minor software patents should have a 1 year life?
The cause of overspends usually seems to be Changes To Requirements after the inital, competitively tendered contract is signed.
Try that with your builder - half way through building a home extention, you tell him it needs to be half the size because you can't afford it anymore, and have a toilet. He will look at the 3 foot high wall in your garden, and charge you a lot of money.
You talk to people working on major, overspending contracts, and they will tell you every time that the customer insisted on changing something, and now it was going to cost a bomb.
Re: "Samsung is on attempt number 6 and they still failed"
I got trolled really badly on this thread actually.
After not reading the reg for a while, I took the comments seriusly.
"What a turn around for MS, people actually buying thier phones"
"And for Samsung too, I though they were gonna be the new apple'
Re: Piracy = Prosperity?
There is a perspective that the development world uses IP and copyright to keep the developing world down.
Want a nuclear power station? Better pay the French.
Want GM Soya? Better pay the Americans.
Want software? You will be paying the Americans again.
Can't afford to pay because your yearly average wage is 2k, and the software is costing a quater as much as the employee? Well, I guess you can't have computers, can't have the productivity multiplication that modern industrial control, comunications, and logistics brings.
But you can have all these things. You just need to not enforce copyright. You can even use your state agencies to steal western industrial secrets. Some fools will hand you blueprints and code as part of a government procurement contract. Especially if they need thier nuclear power station saftey checked by your agency. The new, native chinese nuclear reactor design looks a lot like the French reactor they bought a few years ago.
You could suggest a lot of Chinese growth is simply 100 years of technological development in fast forward, without having to invest money to develop or purchase the tech. But to the Chinese worker, earning several times what his father made, or the Chinese politician, worrying about how to stay in power, needing to deliver growth at all costs... why does that matter?
Re: So what you are saying
That's a perspective, and I can understand it. Personally, I couldn't do a job well with that attitude because I'd spend my day waiting for 5pm, no later.
There is another perspective, and I think it counts for a good few readers.
I enjoy working in tech. I'm a programmer, and on my weekends I like to program too.
Having a job is wonderful, because I get to program, and people pay me. But the pay isn't the foccus - I'd be coding if I were unemployed.
That isn't to say I don't understand the money part of buisness. It's enjoyable actually - it gives you some measure of your success above nebulous things like how happy your users are (I mean, that one fat stakeholder always complains anyway right?). Making a massive cost saving that increases profit on a job, or landing another project is a great feeling.
But I don't think your adversarial approach to the above is good. I don't think it will be effective, in the long term. That supplier you screwed over won't want to work with you again. A good supplier is a valuable thing, and getting let down by a new, unreliable one is blooming expensive. As for increasing your cost to a client, I guess if your client is the government they might hire you next time, otherwise not so much.
I dunno, I guess I'm saying that you don't want to do a good job, although you think you do. You think you are increasing your employers profit, but actually you are gaming your next performance review. But not the one after, when they spot the patern.
Re: Personality Datastructure
You are right that Facebook is successful because it's awesome. Arguably, windows achieved it's monopoly position by being the best product on the market. However, these products become very hard to compete with due to lockin. Even if G+ has better features, very many of my friends use only facebook. Facebook does arguably have a monopoly, enjoying some 95% of social network usage time in the US.
The value of a social network is in the friends you have on there. That makes them uniquely able to see off competition through pure momentum. This is bad for the consumer because it means no one can win against facebook by inovating. It could be broken by forcing them to open thier APIs in a massive way, so that a post, and a profile, on G+ was also a post on Facebook for instance.
I hope social networks will decentralise, so that we can have a choice of supplier, more like email. I don't think this will happen without intervention. I think this is due to momentum, due to monopoly marketshare. I think facebook is a bundled product (it has many components, you don't get to choose them). I think there is room, and utility, in a slap on the wrist here.
This is a product of G+ circles.
You decide which of your circles see a particular update, so my engineer friends will see my code rants, and my family will see my holiday snaps. When you recieve Only the kind of info from your friends that They think You care about, there is a lot less broing Not You stuff. It's a big difference.
Re: This is new?
A fascinating plunge into traffic sensors!
These days, the primary detection method is inductive loops. A long time ago, rubber bars with a hose in, a more permenant version of the sensus point, were popular.
These days, more advanced sensors are getting common, for instance radar sensors that can monitor multiple lanes without having to replace on resurface. Also infra red sensors for more accurate vehical profiling, height etc.
Another recent inovation are little wireless capsules, containing an electronic compas, that detect car type/speed/count based on the vehicals disruption of the earths magnetic field. The highways agency trialed them a couple years ago, and found them much faster than loops to fit, but battery life in field remains to be proven.
Another exotic technology is multi microphone sensors which use traffic noise to give a car, lane position, speed etc. Less accurate than loops but cheaper.
The UK uses automatic traffic control in cities. The individual lights all report back to a central computer which optimises traffic flow in quite a deterministic way.
It is much cheaper to link the lights to a central station because you can just use BT phone lines.
Of course, you could do self organising by linking the lights via a central hub at the same cost, but if you do that, you lose the redundancy anyway, so there doesn't seem much point.
IMHO, real progress could be made by harnessing data from peoples GPS devices to let you know where they were trying to go. Perhaps you could send instructions back to the GPS, routing people evenly accross varius possible routes. If this happens, it will come from the GPS/mapping industry, not the traffic lights people.
Re: Same old, same old
Why does microsoft care about IE?
A long time ago, and far far away, IE6-only web apps prevented migration to other platforms, but now IE is near compliant, and multi-browser libaries are pretty common, it just doesn't have the same lock in factor.
What keeps devlopers on MS platforms now are the awesome dev tools, and the user base. Cooperate IT love it because the network administration tools are built around use cases they actually need, and useful, rather than the roll your own linux approach, or big fat nothing in the case of tablet platforms.
Users stay because it came on the PC, and because it's the platform developers write for.
Where exactly does IE fit into this as an asset? Surely they just need to write 'a browser' to tick of that feature, and then hope someone writes a better one?
MS do not make the best antivirus software in the world, but there are so many 3rd party offerings it doesn't matter. Same with image edit
Re: Money vs. quality
As I understand it, the problem is that he lied on SEC filings - his report to the market about the company. That's kinda illegal.
SEC filings include other information like profit and loss figures. If you can't trust what is written there, stock markets can't work. It's kind of important for capitalism that we are serius about enforcing accuracy.
The later part of your question is more whether we should want it to.
Activist shareholders have a bit of a record as asset strippers. You buy a stake in a company, and maybe borrow the money to buy it. You need a return quick. Fastest way to do that is to seperate out the profitable parts of the company, detatching them from scary things like pension commitements, and sell them off. The parts becoming worth more than the whole. Profit.
Is this a bad thing?
Yahoo has some great assets. Which would have a brighter future as part of a different company. Yahoo Japan would be an excelent purchase for a Japanese TV network or mobile carrier.
As part of a company that is unable to invest, or just really bad at internal investment, that unit has a sorry future. It will support the worse parts of the company and not make the great products it could with another owner.
Asset stripping is pretty horrible when it happens to your company, but can be a good thing in the long run, if you are in a good unit. Bad ones are parasites, kept alive artificially by being in a big company, better that they should die.
Re: out of interest
The intention of an advert is generally not to sell you a product, even if it appears to be advertising one. The intention is to make the brand visible, and assosiate it with the product. So that when you want a netbook, the word Samsung pops into your head, because you have seen samsung next to netbooks out of the corner of your eye many times.
You do not have to read the ad for it to sink in. I know the ad on the right is for microsoft, even though I haven't looked close enough to see what product it is for. It has a man in a suit. He looks responsible in a rugged sort of way. Look at his confident expression. Your brain recognises symbols (the MS logo), human charecteristics, and colour, without concius thought. Thinking buisness? Think microsoft.
Nintendo spend twice as much on advertising as they do on development (software and hardware). Why?
Because price is set by Supply and Demand. R&D creates supply, and Advertising creates demand, it directly effects the price you can charge for the product. We have no way of knowing a true price for most things we buy, which is really better out of 2 similar spec laptops. But we will pay twice as much for Microsoft hosted office web app compared to some nobrands feature matched web app. Because we care about uptime. Because Microsoft means buisness. Because the guy in a suit looks like he means buisness, even if we never really noticed him.
Re: Irony ?????
Ha haa, nice!
RE SOPA though, as el reg is nominally a UK site, I should point out that we already have laws to that effect here, as seen in action with PB and newsbin blocking. We are an interesting test case, it will be interesting to see if music sales go up following the pirate bay block.
Personally, I think that 15-30 year olds, who buy the majority of pop media, have a set disposable income to spend on entertainement. Reductions in film and music sales are explained by the games industry - the increase in game spending over the past 10 years is a bout equivilent to the reduction music and movie spending.
We do need to address this piracy thing, but I think web 2.0 is just as much of a problem. I don't buy music anymore - I just go on soundcloud. If you know a lot of people who are hobby musicians, there is no need to listen to anything else. In a past decade, some of them might have been able to go pro. Not today.
The same goes for fiction - I don't buy books, my fiction need is met by amatuer fiction groups. Sometimes I contribute stories, most of the time I just read them. In a past decade, some of the writers would have had small success, not today.
There is an amatuer theatre group in my town, they are quite good. When CGI software gets easy enough that they can hook up with an internet artist group and make battlestar galactica 2, mainstream cinema is screwed.
Not sure how to fix this, but convinced that it is a bad thing. Creative work is being devalued to the point where I think we will be paid to do boring things, and consume creative things produced by hobiests. Death of an industry.
So er... what exactly is proposed?
Does anyone know?
Why is Ms May willing to give us a few hints, but unwilling to publish a spec?
I don't think we can really have a debate about this system when we don't know what it does. I strongly suspect that it actually won't be that useful compared to just increasing powers to demand data from web service providers like facebook, skype, and playstation network...
Re: Where's a Mr.G.Fawkes or associate when you need him.
I don't think it would help as such, but you have to admit it would be kinda awesome...
Re: R C-J is probably the right man for the BBC job, but has overstretched himself here
I don't understand exactly what else you folks were expecting.
What, did you sit down to write your first web app and Just Know JQueries API without looking at some examples?
Did you not paste those examples into a browser, then poke them till they did that thing you were looking for?
Did you not take these modified examples, and nit them badly into a web abomination?
So Rory didn't channel the spirit of Stalman. Is he even dead? No? Oh well, hopefuly soon...
Computing in schools is not about producing the next genertion of professional programmers.
I mean, that is a side effect, but it is not the most important thing.
The most important thing is that just as children who learned MS office in ICT lessons in the 1990s now spend all day using Excel, the next generation will need to use scripts as part of thier every day work.
Why? Because right now, writing VB macros, customising Wordpress templates, and doing light sysadmin work are part of every day office life for younger workers.
Tomorrow, especially non-programmers in technical roles like CAD/CAM, medical research, or sales and marketting, will need to write scripts that read in data and manipulate it. I know humanities educated political researchers who write SPSS scripts, and 'PR' workers who work with Joomla.
These people don't need an indepth knowledge of programming, and won't realistically recieve it from the current schools staff. They need to be trained in how to use specific tools that require scripting, e.g. python, so that they can use the next generation of those tools in thier work.
So this kind of thing is pretty useful, but it's not for us.
I'm not sure I buy the drop in media revenues being down to user created content being a real thing. But the point about games is a really good one.
Who does the music/film industry mostly sell to? 10-30 somethings.
Who buys all the games? 10-30 somethings.
I think this group spends a set proportion of it's income (anything it has left over after saving and eating for the 20+, same math for the parents for 20-) on media.
Basicly, companies are competing for this cash, and it will be paid to someone. Games has gone from 15 to 40 billion in the past decade, which more than eats the reduction in music / film spending. I'm supprised you don't hear this point more often.
The other thing media competes for is time, because time is advertising surface area. And these days it has to compete against facebook, and the internet in general. Here, user created content, in the form the author means, is a real thing. I watch a lot more horrific user generated content on youtube than I do illicitly posted comercial stuff. Hell, I lost 4 hours the other day watching someone play flight simulator games with witty comentary.
And that advertising revenue goes mostly to google. If anyone noticed, google is making a lot of money out of ad revenue. So subtract everything google makes from TV advertising and ask why the studios are in trouble.
Interesting article, makes things a lot clearer. Thanks.
RIM seem like the perfect second Windows Mobile company.
So why are they not?
This looks like a dumb move...
The best way, historically, to identify the inherant faults in your security system, has been to ensure it blocks linux users. CSS, Bluray, graphics card manufacturers, not to mention mobile phone manufacturers, have all had thier systems verse engineered and cracked by the open source community.
That's sad because a pre-boot integrity checker like this sounds like quite a good idea. I presume that rather than a cryptographic approach, this will fall to reflashing the bios to disable the software, or overwriting the keys by which ever patching mechanism MS use. Or some kind soul leaking the keys, as seems to happen often.
But an ARM is specialized...
ARM chips are RISK processors, specialized towards flow control operations and simple arithmetic. They use pipe-lining the push a lot more operations through per cycle than the CISC chip you get in your Desktop.
But they are rubbish at the kind of high throughput mathematics that is required for video decode, and even wireless networking these days. CISC chips have massive instruction sets, giving access to a combination of DSP hardware and optimised microcode for vector math. It's not as extreme as a vector engine, but its there.
For me, this proposal that packages should contain a range of semi-specialized hardware to carry out different types of generic computing task is a migration back to CISC, a surrender of the RISK concept that has dominated mobile devices.
Backwards compatibility has crippled desktop CISC, and I hope that the new specialist CISCs will be a bit more pragmatic rather than being shaped by the migration from previous hardware. A nice way to achieve this would be for SOC vendors to offer a huge base of C++ libraries, with the proviso that the instructions set was prone to change between devices, and using it directly was asking for trouble...
Generally people don't buy the best product. They buy the best sold product.
Once one antivirus company is willing to pay for a trial version install, all of the others have to, whether they have the best product or not, because most users will just upgrade the trial version.
If you are procuring for a public sector contract or a big company, the manufacturer assumes you will want to see hard data for why their product is faster, cheaper, has a better detection ration. They go out of their way to make that data available to you, draw your attention to whether their product differentiates, and where it is independently verifiable.
When marketing to a consumer, the companies seem to reduce information content to zero. I see an ad for a credit card at the station - it features a sexy woman, a man in a suite, a catchy slogan, but no graphs. Sad.
The expense of what?
I read a paper a while ago on hijacking botnets by predicting the URL of the next command server and registering it first, so presumably they have to re-predict every day or so.
However... after the prediction code is written, what exactly is the expense of maintaining this server? I'd value what it does at thousands of dollars.
Maybe the government really do pay over the odds for hosting...
Wireless last mile...
Remember that wireless bandwidth is shared by everyone using the same channel.
I calculate that, using all licensed mobile band width, 4G will provide about 4Gb/s capacity, shared by everyone in your cell. The real maximum will be much lower than this, effected by interference and multipath.
4Gb/s sounds like a lot, but there are currently about 5000 people a cell, so you'd get less than 1mb each.
This can be mitigated using much smaller cell sizes with lower transmitter power, but at some point you run into trouble getting the signal into buildings.
Personally, I think that a network of directional transmitters / receivers, like the microwave network already used to ferry data around the country, would be a great way of avoiding all that digging.
Rather than, y'know, using slave labor.
Cutting a kids food money because their mum doesn't want to do hard labor so I can watch porn while telecommuting seems a bit disproportionate. And that is ultimately what this is.
Keeping the riff raff out?
I think it seems a lot because we see porn free. At least I do.
The people that make it don't though - they see a 20 minute video as costing $10k in 'actors', camera crew, equipment, makeup artists... 10 videos like that to launch the site is a hundred thousand.
For pirate... sorry user uploaded streaming sites, it might seem like more, but I'd guess if they are popular they make a bomb.
Does this describe payment?
"In an exemplary system, information is received at a central location from different units of a commodity. The information is generated from two-way local interactions between users of the different units of the commodity and a user interface in the different units of the commodity. The interactions elicit from respective users their perceptions of the commodity. " USP-7,222,078
To me this describes a peer to peer method of retrieving user feedback.
Unless some of the words have unusual legal definitions?
I don't see payment mentioned.
Would this only apply to donation-ware where you get nothing for paying? Because if you have to pay to unlock new functionality then the user is paying for that, rather than to express an opinion.
It's typical terrorist practice to anticipate emergency service response to an attack, and blow that up too.
In the past, several groups have guessed what hospital the casualties would be taken to and bombed the busy emergency department.
As there were several near simultaneous explosions around the city, expecting an attack on rescuers was basically sensible. This might have included blowing up the hospital, the evacuation route, or just setting a secondary bomb to explode half an hour after the first one.
When it comes down to it though, it's about risk. A firefighter needs to enter a burning building to search for casualties (10% chance of finding one who lives say). At what level of totally guessed risk do you not ask him to enter the building? 10% chance of him also dieing? Seems a tough ask...
Why so little flash?
Flash is cheap.
Flash is small.
Flash comes in large volumes in a single chip.
Why does this not have 16gb of flash on it?
Also worth noting, unless things have changed recently Ion support on linux is a bit weird. It feels very much like the manufacturer is trying to keep it closed source. The initial linux drivers were rather short on functionality. Assuming Lintop got advanced drivers to actually watch TV on the thing, maybe they are keeping their distribution off the web for a reason.
Note that you only have to give away GPL'd source to your customers. If you put a slip of paper in the box with the GPL on it and 'if you write to us enclosing a bankers draft for $3.54 then we will mail the source to you on paper at your address of initial registration", you are compliant.
Blaming the user?
An email arrives in your inbox.
It's from your brother.
Title is, "Plans for Mum's 60th"
There is no attachment.
The email asks you to have a look at a hotel you heard him mention before.
You google for the hotel, and look at it's website.
I hope that you read emails from people you know that are about stuff you expect from them. Sometimes even emails that have attachments. Otherwise... why do you have email?
Blaming the user is fine if no one wants to specifically attack your business. When you are a government lab targeted by professional intelligence agencies, I'm not sure it works.
This is a great improvement on possibly compromised RSA fobs being distributed by the other banks. Clearly, nationwide's platform is completely secure. Even if the user discloses their password, there is no way a criminal can transfer money out of their account. More like this!
A lot of companies would love to use thin client PCs, so long as the 'cloud' could be a server room physically on site. The Google vs Microsoft case implies that Microsoft is quite happy to offer this - probably users on thin client terminals, a big server room running the 'cloud' software in the customers basement, and data replication to other customer sites and a big backup center.
Easy to support, doesn't rely on your data line, centralized control of information...
University science departments are notorious for terrible IT policy.
The computers science people usually have a group that handle their computers.
The humanities people just use what they are given, which is backed up and kept reasonably clean by policy.
The science departments are full of people who insist on reimaging their PCs with unsupported OS's, 'fixing' problems with issued systems by fresh installing windows on them, and generally putting themselves in a position where no one who is paid to care about backups is looking after them. They get quite angry when you try to - it seems a matter of pride for them to be using a Mac, linux box, etc, usually bought out of a research project budget, and some of them are quite senior.
I've actually seen research groups with one or two 'technical people' in them go and buy a rack of blades and put it in a basement to hold data worth many thousands of pounds. No one knows that the server is there, and honestly it's no ones job to look after it because it belongs to them, but there is no offsite backup in place. The data is being collected constantly, and costs about 30 thousand a day to generate. It's been going for 4 years now. Those are life sciences people actually...
If your purpose for remote access is to use the power and storage of a server somewhere, and you need to do things that make vnc shudder, e.g. video, 3D cad, there is something to be said for using a remote X server.
When you start the gui in linux, e.g. startx, the X server program starts, and grabs control of your screen. Other programs, such as your desktop, connect to the X server as clients, and tell it what to draw.
You can get an X server for MS windows, such as Xming. Just run this program on your computer, and connect to the remote server through SSH (nice and secure...).
Now, client programs running on your remote server can dial into the Xserver on your local laptop and show thier displays just like they were running localy.
But, they use the resources of the remote server - they are truly thin client. Rendering, file storage, processor usage when you compile, all stay on the remote box.
This can be really cool if you want to run a nice GUI like eclipse on a spare blade, with all the toolchains set up, storage on the SAN, and a nice big proccessor, while still getting advanced features like decent dual monitor support, that you don't get using VNC for the job.
It also can play videos and display 3D renderings as long as they are using X for output...
Poor things indeed. they are already in big trouble.
Chip fabrication industries need to continually invest HUGE amounts of money in new factory facilities.
If your making cars, the same tooling line can keep you going for years, but in semi-conductors, a foundry needs "this years" new multi billion pound proccess to cram as many transisters on a chip as thier rivals.
The old machinary can be used for a couple more years making lower grade chips at lower margins, but the need to pour money into the buisness year after year is a huge strain during bad years.
Further, these upgrades are normaly done on loan finance, which is way more expensive this year.
Appart from the one or two top foundry companies that have the economy of scale to do this, most companies are operating at or near a loss. There is some "word on the street" that as a few of the minor houses die off, the big houses will take advantage by artificially restricting supply, forcing chip prices up to more proffitable levels.
This (probably) wouldn't be a cartelle, rather the smaller houses would follow the lead of the biggest, "because they can".
google arnt as bad as you think
Googles company culture is weird in that its developers are obliged to spend part of thier week on "weird side projects". This has brought innovative stuff like streetview, or in fact nice online mapping full stop to the desktop.
It is also worth noting that thier cloud stuff is still way better than anyone elses because it has been their core business for years to make it that way.
Although when I first read this I thought "chrome running fullscreen on linux? give me ten minutes and a cross compiler".
But in the context of the company I genuinly hope for something cool.
Usually google make accademic research into something usable, so look in that direction...
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