* Posts by frankg778

14 posts • joined 5 Dec 2009

Microsoft issues wipe clean Word tool for OEMs

frankg778
Gates Halo

Why patch it limited to US

I think because the i4i patent troll company is U.S. and the judgment was handed down in a Texas U.S. court. As I understand it IP law has no standing internationally. Meaning i4i would have to sue M$ in other countries and they have no standing in these countries because only US patent office was silly enough to issue a patent on XML doing what XML does.

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FTC whacks Intel with anticompetition complaint

frankg778
Flame

Re: Seriously, you missed the point

Don't worry no one expects a network admin to be able to figure this stuff out, that's why all windows software comes with an install program. During your work as a network admin have you ever encountered Linux? During Linux installs they typically test the target system and optimize for the installed hardware. Although you may think it impossible, unpaid OSS developers make it happen all the time.

I am a developer from an embedded background, and the only thing that strikes me as "retarded" about this conversation is that you believe one company should supply a full featured compiler for another company's silicon that they make no money on. The fact that Intel could do this for free by virtue of AMD's decision to implement identical capabilities and implementations is irrelevant to the economic argument. AMD was attempting to get a free ride from Intel and they got burned. Somehow AMD survived through the pro-business Bush administration and now the Obama administration may save their bacon, it still does not make AMD look smart.

BTW here's a list of C++ compilers, notice the other companies besides Intel.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_compilers#C.2FC.2B.2B_compilers

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frankg778

Re: Seriously, you missed the point

Look I do not want to upset you but you are sort of living in a dream world. Intel is not a compiler company they are a CPU company. If you want to trust in Intel and then feign astonishment when they pursue their naked self interests then good for you!

But the assertion that Intel has a monopoly on x86 compiler development is just wrong. I understand that developers are lazy and dp not want to have to deal with multiple binaries. So go ahead use the dominant companies tools and believe their lies. Do you think AMD would have done anything different if the situation was reversed?

What companies like MS could do if they cared to optimize for all vendors CPUs is compile the installer with vanilla x86 instructions detect AMD or CPU in the installer. Then copy the correct binaries onto the users hard-drive. This calls for a lot of discipline in library design but it can be done. The problem is most software projects are habitually late on their deadline so this extra effort is seen as impossible in reality.

Just remember as you complain about the Wintel monopoly that when you use Intel's compiler exclusively you are helping to ensure that the monopoly lives on. What if your users actually care about performance and you have a competitor that knows how to ship multiple binaries?

Here's a list of C++ compiler's for anyone who cares:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_compilers#C.2FC.2B.2B_compilers

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frankg778

Re: the intel fanbois

I don't think I am an Intel fanboy, but my point was AMD designs great chips and no one is disputing that. Why shouldn't a great tech company like AMD design a great compiler that shows their chips to their best advantage?

It seems kind of looney for AMD to think wow Intel is pretty good at writing compilers I am sure they will watch our backs. It is the technology BUSINESS, companies have to be smart about technology and business. Companies run by tech wizards that have no business savvy will get crushed eventually.

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frankg778

No, You miss the point..

This is not an ethics class. We are talking about a major US regulatory agency suing Intel for "damages" and using the compiler shenanigans as proof of systematic disregard of legal fair trade practices.

The question is to what extent if any Intel is required to support other x86 compatible CPUs with their compiler. I maintain that their was nothing illegal about Intel's action. They were under no contractual obligation to support AMD CPUs with the compiler. They are a private enterprise and their first duty is to maximize shareholder value and this sometimes precludes playing nice.

I agree what they did might be considered "underhanded" but they are competing in business. Why should AMD get a free ride and not have to pay the cost of developing their own compiler? Surely it was a bad decision on AMD's part to rely on Intel's technological largess and not develop their own compiler that fully optimizes for their CPU features in a way that only their design engineers could possibly accomplish.

Just because Intel was at one point supporting AMD chips better and then changed their compiler to support them to a lesser extent does not constitute material harm to AMD. This logic is like if I bought you a free lunch on Monday and Tuesday and then did not pay for your lunch on Wednesday would you say I had harmed you financially?

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frankg778

Thanks anonymous coward

Thanks for the detailed explanation.

But even if they somehow find a "smoking gun" memo that says "cripple MMX extensions on AMD chips" is that really against the law? This seems more like a PR stunt then a salient business/legal issue.

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frankg778

Re: Finally

How is rigging their compiler illegal? It's their compiler surely they can make whatever decision they want about supporting the CPU features they decide are important. If they fail to support AMD's hardware AMD should write a compiler optimized for AMD hardware. All CPU companies write compilers that target their hardware. The only difference between Intel and others is that most CPU companies do not have to worry about supporting competitors offering binary compatible processors.

If you were managing a team of compiler writers at Intel how much time would you spend on developing features that Intel CPUs do not support?

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frankg778

Curious about the FTC case

How did Intel alter their compiler to put AMD and other CPU firms at a disadvantage? This is a complex issue because AMD and Cyrix were trying to make x586 chips that could execute classic i486 instruction sets faster than a 486. Clearly Intel will optimize for their chip set. Why in Intel under any obligation to support other people chips with it's compilers? Was this part of a previous agreement?

I think Intel may have stifled competition but they also delivered a lot of value to end users. The true cost of inhibited competition is probably incalculable because we have to imagine how PC architecture would have evolved with a less dominant Intel. The discount strategy of requiring OEMs to use nearly 100% Intel seems like a stronger point in FTC's case. This may be illegal typically you get bulk discount for purchasing a certain lot size not a certain percentage of total inventory.

However I keep going back to who were the victims of these monopoly practices? It will be interesting to see which if any OEMs are cooperating with the government.

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Thai firm flies in early-80s style keyboard PC

frankg778

Another use crash recovery

Have you ever crashed your computer and needed to out on the internet to download driver updates except said computer is crashed and you are hosed. I know most of the reg literrati have multiple computers and are running their own SAN. But many times normal folk find themselves in this position.

I have wanted a text only web browser built into the BIOS for years just for this reason. As for flash and other eye-candy I am not talking about a passable web experience. I am talking bare bones help me get to my hw vendors website and download a driver functionality. As long as this thing has a USB port it should be able to accomplish this meager goal.

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Intel Larrabee letdown leaves HPC to Nvidia's Fermi

frankg778

Re: Only CPUs?

It's not that Intel does not know how to design well. It's that their competitive advantage over other design houses like NvDIA comes from being the titular leader of x86 architecture. How many years have we heard about the WinTel monopoly. What does this term mean? It's collective market inertia. Everyone's afraid to try some new architecture because they could make a big investment and choose wrong. But this marketing commitment on Intel's part comes at a cost they really need to abandon x86 complexity to make massive multi-core feasible in a world where power consumption matters!

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Nvidia boss: Intel suit to 'transform computer industry'

frankg778

Silicon merger

No I think Intel would rather control the market without acquiring one of the major GPU vendors. The paranoia is more about their culture, what was it Andy Grove said about paranoia?

The problem for Intel is to maintain x86 hegemony once people start to consider alternate CPU/GPU architectures they have no inherit advantage over other firms. The GPUs can do massively parallel better than Intel can ever dream with their RISC architectures.

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frankg778

Transform computer industry

GPUs are very interesting technology. NvDIA GPUs with CUDA are being used in many compute intensive scientific and financial applications that are amenable to parallel execution.

I could imagine an inversion of the CPU/GPU relationship where the CPU becomes a GPU loader and coordinator. Essentially loading code and coordinating parallel processes. A lot of this assumes that software people figure out how to develop for massively parallel systems. I think functional languages like Erlang can help us get their. You basically want a language that discourages implicit data sharing and will implicitly exploit however many core are there without the developer having to do much.

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Should you lose your religion on your CV?

frankg778

Two observations

Dominic,

I enjoy your posts on linkedin and this one is interesting too.

I would say two things. First as you mentioned Mohamed is the most common first name in your database the majority of bankers in the city. So whatever bias exists against hiring Muslims clearly it is not impairing them from finding employment. So maybe he should just take his religion off his resume and instead focus on differentiating his skills and experiences.

Secondly though the CV/resume is a personal document so if your candidate feels it is important to correctly convey his cultural identity I can certainly understand his attitude. Unfortunately he is getting himself enmeshed in the politically correct legal morass that is bound to offend someone because his strategy is too blatant.

If he wants to diffuse the religious issue it calls for more subtlety. A better strategy for your client would be to add or delete details to avoid creating the false impression that he is a Muslim. It is tricky because the candidate risks the perception of deception if details are omitted clumsily.

Without knowing the details it is hard to say how I will just throw out some ideas. He could for example replace his first name with his initials and perhaps use his middle name if it is less culturally associated with Islam. Another approach truncate the first name to Moe the cultural baggage becomes ambiguous is it Moishe, Moses, or Mohamed? Obviously when he does his application and the background check he will provide his full legal name, but by this point he will have hopefully met people and made a good impression.

Chinese candidates in the U.S. have a similar issue, because Caucasian (and most other ) Americans do not know how to pronounce their names properly. Also there is the issue of translating Chinese characters into the Latin alphabet. Some of my Chinese coworkers have addressed this by choosing "American" names that are easy to pronounce for their colleagues.

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Motorola's banana-mutilation ad disses iPhone

frankg778

Did you really take a marketing class?

First of all of the phone makers have had proprietary OS at one point or another. It is a very good thing that most of the phone vendors deciding not to "roll their own" operating systems anymore. The Iphone's success vividly illustrates how users were desperate for a smart phone with well designed user interfaces and a functioning third party software developer market.

Secondly did you ever take a marketing class? It's called market segmentation. The Droid and IPhone are both well designed phones, but the feature mixes appeal to different market segments. Apple had first mover advantage and chose to replicate their desktop strategy that relies on creating the impression of extreme ease of use. Google has crafted a reactive strategy that is analogous to Microsoft Windows (the HW vendors battle it out and we control the SW) and attempts to grab the market share that Apple left on the table.

The tech savvy individuals who consider themselves power users and are not put off by complexity and see technical difficulties as technical challenges to be overcome. This population resents being kept in a "walled garden" and will serve as the pioneers who blaze the trail. In broad terms this Ubergeek population skews male and the ease of use population skews female. Clearly there will be individuals in both groups who do not fit this model, but successful marketing is about understanding the large scale market dynamics.

In short the droid is positioned to cleave off a hunk of the Iphone's male demographic. The Iphone will continue to be more attractive to people who put a premium on ease of use. Once the droid is established as a successful smart phone there is no reason that Motorola can not put out a new ad campaign that stresses ease of use, or reduced cost, or more carrier choices.

This is just a short term strategy that accomplishes a short term goal. They need to unseat Apple's Iphone's hegemony so that average smart phone customers will consider a droid.

The one valid point you touched on was that Mot is one of a pack producing Android phones. Under the Android banner strategy there are two winning strategies. Either be the lowest cost lowest common denominator android (Nokia or Samsung if they go droid) or be the technological leader. If you notice Mot's Droid in Android 2.0 whereas the others are at Android 1.5 or 1.6. This signals that Mot is following the second strategy which is better for Mot since they cannot do the economies of scale thing as well as others.

Given the options that were available to Mot this strategy is better than most. I hope they stick with it and be the preferred Android manufacturer.

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