36 posts • joined 29 Jun 2010
Best of luck!
Hate to see you move on Rick as I've enjoyed your many articles. I'm a hipster myself and try to keep my hand in playing guitar but have done a couple of small gigs playing bass way back when to help some buddies out. I muddled through with basic bass lines. Luckily, nobody seemed to notice since my buddies were so talented. Gotta admit it was great fun.
Good luck in your future endeavors!
WARNING - Plantronics headphones are low quality garbage!
I've purchased two Plantronics headphones, one a wired set of stereo earbuds and the other their, at the time, flagship Backbeat 903+ stereo Bluetooth model. The sound quality of the former was so bad I just tossed them into a drawer and haven't seen them since. The 903+, though slightly adjustable, was so poorly designed that it never fit very well so the sound quality suffered unless I walked around holding them in place over my ears. Also after only a couple of weeks both of the tiny rubber volume control switch covers/caps fell off somewhere and that was the end of that.
Plantronics... utter and complete sh1te! Please don't waste your money like I did.
Re: Vote with your wallet... I did!
@Al Taylor - Actually you clearly did "attempted to justify the absence of a microSD card slot or a removable battery." And this statement: "There are all too obvious reasons why HTC decided to follow the route it has, none of which I suspect has anything to do with saving money." OH PUH-LEASE!!! That really shows your ignorance when it comes to manufacturing. Let's talk about the microSD card slot first.
There can only be two possible reasons for a manufacturer leaving out the ubiquitous microSD card slot:
1. To SAVE manufacturing costs. It's real easy to understand that manufacturers do everything imaginable to increase their profit margins. Why can't you see that?
2. To try to force the buyer into using their respective Cloud-based media storage services. Both Microsoft and Google have been playing this same anti-consumer game with their mobile phones and have lost market share to Samsung as a result.
I would love to hear what you think is a valid reason why a manufacturer, after years of including these ubiquitous memory card slots, suddenly stops the practice.
OK, on to the 'welded-in' battery issue. It wouldn't matter if manufacturers actually designed their phones around a decent-sized battery as sooner or later that battery is going to require replacing. And unfortunately, with manufacturers vying for the top spot of providing the thinnest phones on the planet the resultant tiny batteries will require daily recharges, or even more frequently. My previous smartphone, a way ahead of its time (2009) ultra-thin Toshiba TG01, featuring a 4 1/8" LCD and 1Ghz CPU was fatally wounded from the gitgo with its miniscule 1000mAh battery that required recharging about every 4 hours. Sadly, an otherwise incredible phone was brought to its knees by an inadequate battery, just for thinnest-mobile-phone-at-the-time bragging rights. At least the battery wasn't 'welded' in.
OK, 'welded-in' batteries have another major flaw. Frequent recharging has the undesirable effect of reducing the service life of the phone by a huge factor. This is because lithium based batteries only have a lifespan of about 500 recharge cycles. It follows that a phone requiring frequent recharging compared with a phone that requires recharging only once per week, or much longer my case, will suffer a much shorter useable lifespan. And when that tiny little battery finally gives up the ghost the phone either goes into the trash bin or the owner has to incur a huge cost and lost time to ship the phone off for another 'welded-in' battery. Shiny aluminum phone cases, or not, the practice sucks. It's also a severely anti-Green practice. How many more mobile phones will end up in landfills prematurely just because the battery died? The bottom line is there is absolutely NO GOOD REASON for manufacturers to not provide easily replaceable batteries.
So like I said in my original post, I like HTC phones as I've had great experiences with there 8525 in the past. That said my HTC had a microSD card slot and a removable battery. Sadly HTC will continue to lose market share until or unless they correct this poor marketing/engineering/manufacturing decision. It's also very sad that you and a few others choose to stick your fingers in your ears and sing, "la la la la la la la" when others, such as myself and many other commenters, point out this major failing of HTC. The reality is that the majority of us won't stand for this no mSD card slot and 'welded-in' battery nonsense. And yes, I voted with my wallet.
Re: Vote with your wallet... I did!
AC, you obviously haven't seen, or handled, a Note 2 with a 6500mAh battery or you wouldn't make such blatantly ridiculous comments. My phone is a whopping 6mm thicker than stock, and only along the lower 2/3 of the phone's length. The upper 1/3, where the camera is located, is stock thickness. The Note 2 is large enough that the extra 6mm hardly looks out of place. In fact, the extra thickness actually makes holding the big Note 2 much easier. My N2 is also not significantly heavier than stock. And, no, it's not a freakin' car battery, for Christ's sake.
To each his own. I just recharged my N2 again last night. As usual, it was the first time in over two weeks. Even though it was down to 4% charge remaining I still had to force the issue to get it fully discharged by turning on BT and Wi-Fi AND playing a looped HD video for over an hour before it finally shut itself off! Now that it's got a full recharge I'll have another 2+ weeks before recharging again. It's all good. Enjoy your HTC.
Vote with your wallet... I did!
I have to admit it's nauseating to read a fawning 'review' like this one that attempts to justify missing desirable functionality on a premium priced device when there was/is no good reason for HTC to take that tack. If I didn't know better I would swear that Steve Jobs was back on top of the dirt again, but this time as the Patron 'Saint' of HTC, mesmerizing his new cult. HOW SAD it is to see all the new lemmings buying into this crappola!
The real issue here is that HTC has deemed it more worthy to save a few pennies of manufacturing costs by leaving off the MicroSD card slot and by welding the battery in place than by putting the customer first. That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever since HTC has, during recent years, lost mass quantities of market share to crApple and Samsung. Anyone with half an ounce of brainiac upstairs would think HTC would do everything possible to gain back some of that market share. Putting off potential/returning customers by removing important features is definitely not the way to achieve that goal.
Let me say I'm a former HTC phone owner (8525 Hermes/Tytn2) and loved it's great quality and robustness. So when it came time to buy a new phone I looked at HTC first. To put it mildly, I was more than pissed to see them leave off those important features. Instead, I bought a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and couldn't be more happy. Of course, my N2 has a new 64GB mSD card stuffed with music, audiobooks, and ebooks AND sports a 6500mAh 'fat' battery kit. Try as I might I can't run that 'fat' battery down in less than a week and typically get two weeks of moderate use, and even longer for light use. And I don't need no stinkin' USB thumb drives or external battery packs! I truly feel sorry for all the lemmings who feel like it's acceptable to have to carry around extra peripherals to make up for missing functionality purposefully left out to save a little money.
Like I said, vote with your wallet if you despise this kind of shit as much as I do.
<-- Oh yeah... mine's the coat with the loaded Note 2 in the pocket.
Nokia... Nothing new, still a massive FAIL on OS selection/support!!!
Back around 2008 I bought a shiny new N800 Internet tablet. It was truly ahead of its time and appeared to be a very full-featured desirable device. It still looks like new and works like new today. Had Nokia included a sim card slot it would have been a very impressive smart phone years ahead of the competition with its 4.13" 480x800 screen with 226 ppi pixel density, stereo speakers, built-in webcam, wi-fi, BT, Flash, dual SD card slots, and on and on.
The N800's Achilles' heal was its Maemo OS. Well, actually it wasn't that Maemo was so bad, it's that Nokia never really supported it. The majority of Maemo applications were done by hobbyist programmers and the results were unpolished unfinished buggy apps. Since then Nokia has just flitted back and forth like a wayward pinball never fully supporting any OS. It's no surprise they've nosedived. Not only Maemo, but Meego and Symbian are victims. Well, the suckers that bought them, like me, are the true victims. Add to that the poor employees who have been laid off as a result of Nokia's continuing lame inept incompetent [fill in the blank] 'leadership'.
GPS to trigger LOHAN's rocket motor... Are you sure?
GPS is notoriously inconsistent for reporting Earth-surface-based altitude measurements. It has to do with the inherent error in measuring an extreme vertical distance below the GPS satellites. From Wikipedia the average altitude of GPS satellites is 384,403 kilometres (238,857 mi). I can't imagine that the GPS error would be reduced much at LOHAN's ignite-rocket altitude. I'm not sure what your allowable error-of-altitude measurement is but hope you guys at least take a look at this potential pitfall.
Let me get this straight...
"A Moscow woman emerged pretty much unscathed from a vicious knife attack... ...after the blade wedged in one of her silicone breast implants."
Hmmm...since she "emerged pretty much unscathed" then she was obviously wearing the breast implant as an accessory outside of her bra, purse, briefcase <you fill in the blank> such that the knife didn't slice into her breast first??!! Gee, what's wrong with this friggin' picture?!
- Ah, that's her coat with the fake jiggly booby in the pocket...and the huge knife cut!
Hmmm...so crApple follows the rest of us into HELL!
Anyone involved in the design, creation, and adoption of the absolutely abysmal micro USB interface should be summarily lined up and sent post haste to meet their maker(s). I just bought a phone with this disgusting inferior interface and my first burning question was WHY??????????? This POS design is a huge step backwards. The mini USB interface is much more robust and with its trapezoid shape a breeze to plug in properly. At first I wasn't sure which way to plug in the damned micro USB plug because the port on my phone looks roughly symmetrical. Add to that the heart of the micro USB port is a dainty little silicon connector tab that is begging to be snapped off if someone tries to insert the plug improperly. Talk about retrogressive.
And what happened to the 'Green' rhetoric championing standardizing charging ports to the ubiquitous mini USB? Obviously that worked well but now there is another new 'standard' with no benefit at all that I can see. I do remember somewhere that manufacturers pushed for the change to allow slimmer devices, but just compare the two interfaces side by side and it's easy to see that dog just don't hunt as there just can't be any measurable benefit since the mini USB port is already tiny. And soon the landfills will be full of superior mini USB chargers and accessories. What a freakin' waste!!!
That crApple is adopting this putrid interface with an adapter is the only redeeming aspect of this cesspool of de-innovation. Welcome to the party crApple!
re: a man called "Dong"?
Actually, Dong and Wang are their last names. Dong's first name is Ding and Wang's first name is Long...or vice versa?
Sad that the concept of privacy...
...is rapidly heading for the tar pits. Funny...I never suspected that GPS, the most accurate and helpful navigation tool out there, would ever be used against us, the users. I'm sure the original GPS system designers are shocked that marketers have perverted its intended use.
Of course this new develop...
...brings up the inevitable question...How long before the jackasses at Rambus file suit for patent infringement?!
Hmmm...so 'reasonable' discrimination is OK??!!
"Third, no unreasonable discrimination: fixed broadband providers may not unreasonably discriminate in transmitting lawful network traffic."
And how is it that this only applies to "fixed broadband providers"? Of course the mobile Internet providers get a free ride to provide tiered access with corresponding higher fees for being higher on the food chain. And who determines whether network traffic is "lawful"? Why did they even waste their time drafting this ridiculous bullsh*t?! Net Neutrality my ARSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And don't forget...
...how irrelevant Google search results are becoming. I've mentioned this before but just type in <any consumer product> Review and instead of listings of reviews, the results are almost always resellers. I've noticed this heinous trend getting much worse during the past year. Not only that but many of the results are completely unrelated to my search criteria as in completely different product links shown, etc. etc....WTF??!!
Do no evil...yeah, right!!! The proof is how can any corporation be trusted that has contracts with the US government's NSA, maybe even the CIA, and only God knows who else? It's only a matter of time before Schmidt's outfit crosses a line they can't bullshit their way out of...only a matter of time.
@null, a great big AAAA-MEEE-YUN!!! (i.e. - I agree whole heartedly)
CAPTCHAS have gotten so incredibly ridiculous these days I really wonder who they're actually targeting. I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds them very offensive. There has to be a better way to keep the bots at bay.
Brace yourself for the real solution...
There's no need for grappling hooks and propellent packs... no sir. All that's required are some pre-cut strips of Duct tape, and a stack of fresh US dollar bills in various denominations loaded into a dispenser aboard the robotic satellite. Upon rendezvous a single one dollar bill is affixed to the small size unwanted space junk with a Duct tape strip (sticks to anything) then it's on to the next chunk of space debris. Larger chunks will require larger denominations. The sinking dollar will do the rest.
The real reason they cancelled it...
...It can't play Crysis!
This WASP can't fly!
While this thing might be able to theoretically sniff out Wi-Fi and cellular traffic there's only one problem...it can't actually fly...at least not well enough or high enough or far enough to meet the mission requirements. Here's why.
The proportions of the model are completely wrong, i.e, tiny wing, big boxy fuselage, lack of aerodynamic shape, and the mandatory massive batteries required to power the electric motor and all the "500 separate components for hacking wireless networks...", etc., etc.
Hmmm...and how much bite is that little fixed pitch propeller going to have at 4 miles up in thinner air? Even if by some miracle this thing could somehow reach 22,000 ft. altitude, how is it possible for it to loiter for the required ~5 hours sniffing passwords since this 'bug' incorporates the worst possible flight configuration for the job, i.e., a high wing loading jet style wing with boxy fuselage shape that require constant thrust from the electric motor just to maintain altitude? Ain't gonna happen!
It gets worse. Unless things have changed dramatically since I was flying RC models, a typical model airplane radio only has an approximate two mile range, but that's not the only problem. It may only take someone 30 minutes to learn to fly it (yeah, right), but unless that 'pilot' has telescopic vision he will lose sight of this 'bug' by the time it reaches 5000 ft altitude. And civilian radio control models suffer dramatically from electronic interference with on-board electronic gear the farther the plane flies from the transmitter. Youtube has some hilarious examples of live on-board video interfering with the pilot's control inputs causing the model to go out of control. To get around that this thing would have to have a much more robust on-board flight control system including video and more than likely GPS navigation to locate and/or report each target's lat/lon position. This would add more complexity and even more unwanted weight.
The bottom line is this is just fiction people, simply fiction. These guys should stick with what they're good at.
- Paris knows this thing could never make it to the mile high club...
Of course it was an emergency...
As the pilot approached that club from above he began to feel a slight stiffness in his control..err...umm...joystick. For safety reasons he had to make an immediate landing to have the 'problem' attended to. Yeah, that's it...for safety reasons. I'm sure his flight home was relaxed with a nice soft landing.
-Paris is crying because she couldn't be there to work out the stiffness herself.
NO! It's not perfectly reasonable. I'm talking about content posted on the World Wide Web, not local UK programming. Fred, you do know what 'World Wide Web' stands for don't you? I would never expect to receive local BBC TV ad based programming here in the Land of Smiles, but that's not always the case. The US networks are even worse, even occasionally censoring news stories outside the country, which I've documented. Some people try to justify it by claiming that corporate censorship is OK because of 'contractual obligations'. All I can tell you is that censorship is censorship, whether government imposted or corporate.
Ironic move by the BBC since...
...I can confirm that the BBC censors some online content, no matter how benign, to foreign IP addresses, such as here in Thailand. Maybe the BBC "deciders" (pardon the Bushism) are just emulating their media-mafia cronies across the big pond in the United States of Corporatism.
BCC TV apps...serendipity my arse...at least to those of us with 'alien' IP addresses!
Paris? She's crying because she can't decide which of the two most heinous blights orchestrated against the great unwashed masses is worse, Corporatism or Zionism.
Sadly, it's certainly not surprising...
...since the US Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, is made up 100% of political appointees masquerating as the cream of the of the black robed crop. Sure they're supposed to be vetted by the Congress, but even most of those idiots are bought and paid for corporate stooges, so no unbiased confirmations are even remotely possible. Don't forget the US Supreme Court is the same cutthroat backstabbing group that set the US on the road to ruin way back in 1896 when it first gave US corporations 'person' rights during the court case Santa Clara County vs. Southern Pacific Railroad. In 2010 they again showed their true allegiance to corporations when they voted to allow unlimited corporate political spending to further sway elections and completely make a mockery of a citizen's vote.
When are people going to realize it's REALLY time for Change We Can Believe In (not to be confused with Obama's outright 2008 campaign lies)?!!
Paris laments, "Why can't we just skip a step and send all political appointees & corporate stooges to Hell right now? After all, they're eventually going there anyway...why wait?"
The US Federal Government is nuts
Of course they can justify any and all attacks against Wikileaks staff. While I certainly don't agree with everything Wikileaks released, or even the manner in which they did some of it, I admit it needed to be done. Why? To show Americans how secretive the US government has become so hopefully positive change can happen through revelation. Here's a quote from: http://www.fas.org/irp/official.html that lists the US intelligence agencies, although it admits the huge list is not complete:
"In addition to the sixteen agencies which formally comprise the U.S. Intelligence Community, it also includes selected tactical military intelligence and security organizations, as well as those responsible for security responses to transnational threats, to include terrorism, cyber warfare and computer security, covert employment of weapons of mass destruction, narcotics trafficking, and international organized crime.It is not complete!"
Does any nation really need 20+ intelligence agencies??!! It seems to me the CIA and NSA must not be doing their jobs. With bureacracy the way it is, I can only imagine how inefficient 20+ separate intelligence agencies must be and the total hidden costs to taxpayers. And they certainly were clueless on Sept 11th, 2001, weren't they? And why were none of the 20+ agencies talking to Israel's Mossad? It's been proven Mossad knew in advance of the impending attack on the World Trade Center towers, but that's another story. One only has to ask himself/herself: What are 20+ US intelligence agencies really up to? With so many agencies available monitoring everything and everybody under the sun, why didn't they know that Wikileaks had the info in time to prevent the releases of said documents?
Obviously all 20+ intelligence agencies were caught with their pants down and the Feds have been trying everything possible, including the 'dragnet' approach, to locate and punish Wikileaks staff using every possible excuse they can dream up to cover their own incompetence. And I'm not an Assange fanboi because the one country he refuses to release documents on is Israel. It's already been reported that he has over a 100 Israel related documents. The fact that he continues to protect the Zionist state from most certainly unflattering or embarrassing revelations speaks volumes.
@AC & @Wallyb132 & @?
Thanks guys for bringing up some excellent technical points. I realize parallel processing requires a different approach and technique. All I'll say about that is speed is speed. If the end result is that multipliers accelerate the process from sub 1 Ghz speeds to between 3~4 Ghz as opposed to 880 Mhz max for AMD and 1534 Mhz max for Nvidia's flagship then so be it. It obviously is effective. My point is that GPU architecture is archaic. We're talking immense die sizes even with die shrinks around or approaching the 32nm range and still requiring 300~400 watts peak power and disposal of the corresponding heat those watts generate. If it takes 3 billion transistors to provide acceptable high end graphics performance from these friggin' beasts then they've not been innovating like the CPU industry has and a completely new approach is called for. When I look at even the latest flagship video cards, they're still enormous monsters. I was really hoping that AMD was going to redefine the architecture blending CPU/GPU functionality with Fusion. I hope they do.
As far as AMD outclassing Nvidia during recent years, that wasn't much of an accomplishment. Jen-Hsun Huang seemed to have completely lost his mind for a time. I actually thought he was ready for the rubber room based on his incredibly nonsensical actions. After all, he was caught red handed renaming 8xxx video cards to 9xxx with the same old chips. He apparently also couldn't make a successful DX 10 card when M$ introduced it and effectively sabotaged that API by crying to M$ to detune it. Then there was the 8xxx/9xxx series bump material fiasco. But suddenly it appears he's changed Nvidia's focus to smart phones, tablets, etc. with Fermi. I still no longer trust the bugger, but he is showing some innovation and recognizes that a new market is exploding, unlike AMD under Dirk Meyer.
I stand by my previous statement that AMD has suffered immensely under poor management. They've been late to the game now in every endeavor for years. And under Dirk Meyer's blinders they missed out completely on the rise of netbook, smart phone, and tablet markets. No wonder the board sh*tcanned him. He may have been an excellent engineer, but he was obviously asleep at the wheel directing the company. If AMD has made some improvements to ATI's original GPU architecture that's great, but I've seen nothing earth shattering in GPU evolution in years. From the 1990's to around 2005 it seemed like there were new advancements galore. Since then what have we seen that is actually new? Oh yeah, more shaders and faster memory yielding incremental speed increases...yawn...yawn. And of course, that's at the expense of high power and high temperature penalties. At least you do get free space heater benefits for those folks in the cold regions.
As far as Intel goes, and just like you, AC, I've been impressed with their products and will continue to use them until AMD has a compelling alternative. That said, I will never forget the underhanded crap Intel did to AMD and I despise them for taking that low road. I used to be an AMD fanboi during the Athlon K7 heydey and it has pained me to see them fall and stay so far behind Intel; maybe that's why I'm so hard on them. Like I said, we need AMD to keep Intel moving (can't use the work 'honest', now can I?). Had it not been for AMD we would probably still be chugging along on Intel 16 Mhz 286/386 CPUs with separate math coprocessors. Yes, I would love to see AMD take the lead again.
There's another factor that we haven't touched on. The handwriting is already on the wall for these dinosaurs. The PC gaming industry is getting closer to flatlining every day since the advent of gaming consoles, tablets, smart phones, and even netbooks to a tiny extent. Fewer people really need these behemoth graphics cards anymore except for hardcore gamers and professionals doing CAD, video production, or any other commercial, etc. graphics intensive tasks. Personally, I hate to see it, but it is what it is.
Whether you guys agree with me about technical points, or not, I think you have to agree that, overall, there has been no new SIGNIFICANT innovations in GPU development for years. I do feel that is going to change soon, but not for the PC. No, the smart phone, tablet, etc. battery operated multimedia devices will drive that innovation. It's already being done with Fermi and hopefully a version of Fusion can play a part. If we're lucky, maybe some of that innovation will find it's way back to the PC. One thing is certain, whoever manages to provide the best battery life while providing outstanding graphics without a heat penalty will reign supreme. And that's something sorely missing in the PC world!
You guys have a nice day!
@ThomH...sorry dude...you're just way off track!
From AMD's website, their flagship single chip graphics card, the 6970, has a max Engine Clock of up to 880 Mhz. Here's the link: http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/graphics/amd-radeon-hd-6000/hd-6970/Pages/amd-radeon-hd-6970-overview.aspx
From Nvidia's website, their flagship single chip card, the GTX 580, does have a Processor Clock of 1544 MHz, but is limited to a Graphics Clock of only 772 MHz. The link: http://www.nvidia.com/object/product-geforce-gtx-580-us.html
When I mention cores, I'm not talking about CUDA cores, which is sort of the equivalent of adding more on-die memory cache to a CPU, I'm talking about complete multi-chip GPU's on one die. There are still no multi-core complete GPU chips sharing the same die to date. This is because current single GPU die sizes are HUGE, expensive to make due to low yields because of the HUGE die size, require HUGE amounts of electrical current and produce HUGE amounts of heat. To get around this, both AMD and Nvidia resort to adding two separate GPU chips to a graphics card resulting in double power consumption and corresponding amounts of unwanted heat. If you really want to cause brownouts in your neighborhood just add two of these dual chip 'solutions' in SLI mode.
Both companies are indeed still flogging ancient GPU chip architectures by simply adding more 'cores' and just faster memory. Had they gotten off of their dead arses years ago, you would see technological advancements similar to CPU chips have made, such as 2-4-6 cores running at 3-4 Ghz speeds and sipping a fraction of the juice required to run a single chip single flagship video card and running very cool as well. And soon we'll have 8-12-16 core CPUs. The fact that AMD hasn't improved on ATI's now ancient architecture at all speaks volumes about AMD's piss poor leadership and direction. Nvidia, unfortuately, has followed AMD's lead.
I hope that clears it up for you Sparky.
- Paris is crying because archaic GPU architecture is contributing to global warming.
@AC & @Cheesy... You both have valid points...
...but I believe the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Here's why.
Way back in 2000 AMD was executing extremely well, beating Intel to the 1 Ghz punch with the Athlon (K7), while Intel was woefully behind. Intel apparently rushed the Pentium III 1.13 Ghz CPU to market to counter the excellent performing Athlon 1Ghz processor with its super low latency high speed on-die memory controller. Unfortunately for Intel, the PIII architecture proved to be unable to run sucessfully at that speed and the 1.13Ghz CPU was immediately recalled.
Intel continued to make mistakes by abandoning the PIII architecture altogether for the deep pipeline Pentium 4. Yes, the P4 never performed as expected and ran as hot as Haides. To be fair, P4 was designed to achieve 5 Ghz plus speeds as competition encroached, which was the reason for the deep pipeline. However, excessive heat prevented P4 from ever reaching anywhere near that threshold. It was what Intel did next when they realized that AMD was going to take the CPU performance crown away from them that you both have expressed some valid points.
Intel did indeed decide to take the low road. Intel pulled out all the stops to try to keep Athlon from coming to market by threatening and bribing virtually every manufacturer in the PC market it did business with worldwide, even the motherboard manufacturers. So here we had an excellent new CPU architecture, but no motherboards to install it in. I know. I was one of those waiting for the motherboards to hit the market. I remember that some of the manufacturers got around that by selling 'white box' unbranded motherboards. It took years for the depth of Intel's disgusting and unprofessional monopolistic anti-competitive practices to surface. Japan and the EU both found Intel guilty and fined them, but not nearly enough, in my opinion. Back in the US, Intel got a slight slap on the wrists and eventually had to pay AMD some mad money.
It's true that AMD lost an immense amount of income from the loss of sales due to Intel. But even still, once motherboard manufacturers stepped up to the plate, AMD did incredibly well, in spite of Intel's best efforts to thwart it. The problem was that AMD enjoyed the performance crown way too long and subesequently sat on their arses while Intel developed the excellent Pentium M (Core) line of CPUs that regained the lead from AMD and Intel hasn't had to look back since.
I personally feel that Intel should have been slapped down substantially for taking such a cowardly way of trying to exterminate AMD to compensate for falling behind in the market. OTOH, AMD hasn't executed well in years, even though they enjoyed supreme success with the Athlon K7 architecture for a long time. This was, again, in spite of Intel's best efforts. AMD's Opterons kept them up even after the architecture began to get stale. AMD not only killed their own lead in CPU performance and marketshare, but have also managed to kill an excellent GPU competitor, i.e., ATI. I wonder how much more advanced the state of GPU development would be had AMD not purchased ATI and competition with Nvidia had allowed to proceed as usual. It just boggles the mind that GPU architecture is still in the sub 1 Ghz, single core days of yore.
The bottom line is Intel, with its seemingly unlimited R&D spending, has indeed been producing excellent products since the P4 fiasco and has no reason to stoop to such disgusting tactics as before. I'm sure had AMD had not been cheated out of so much income that it obviously would have had more money to invest in R&D and possibly bring new technology to market faster. The big question is, would it have made much difference since AMD, having suffered years of incompetent leadership, has been more like a rudderless ship? As an example, both Bulldozer and Fusion have been in development for a long long long time. At least they're both due to be released this year. I wish AMD much luck as competition in the marketplace benefits us all.
Yes, their search algorithm is shiite! Has this happened to you?
Try searching for a review of any consumer product. In the old days...let's say at least a year ago, the search results would actually include several legitimate product review links to choose from. Since then, the Google Empire building engine instead mostly displays a list of sites claiming to have reviews but are in fact just reseller sites that have snuck in the search keyword "review". As we all know, the boys at Mountain View are incredibly talented and I can't believe they're either not directly behind this crap or don't fully embrace these bait and switch tactics for the additional revenue it brings in.
The bottom line is these increasingly irrelevant search results are getting more frustrating while comparable alternative search engines are nowhere to be found...Yahoo? Bing? Yeah...right.
It's now time for a new search competitor, let's call him David, to arrive on the scene to take on the Google Goliath. What say you?
@A.C. - No reason to panic...unlike helicopters, autogyros are inherently stable
Every phase of flight in a gyroplane is an autorotation, not just landing, since the rotor blades are not directly powered during flight, but rather rotate like a pinwheel in a breeze. The main engine, via thrust from its propeller, pushes the rotor blades through the air creating lift. Because there is no torque to deal with as with the driven rotors of helicopters, a gyroplane is extremely easy to fly. A gyroplane flies much like a highly manueverable fixed wing aircraft, although much more stable due to the gyroscopic effect caused by the spinning rotor blades.
The exception in this case is the jump takeoff mode, which is a one shot deal to get right because the rotor blades have a finite amount of rotational inertia stored from being pre-spun to flight speed by the small auxilliary engine. Igor Benson developed a prototype jump-takeoff version of his popular B-8 gyrocopter back in the 1970s and I observed him from a short distance perform a jump takeoff at a small airshow back in the late 1970s. While he performed it expertly, the look on his face revealed that he was concentrating 100%. Once he made it through to the forward airspeed phase, a matter of only a couple of seconds max and maybe 5-6 feet off the ground, he disengaged his two auxilliary rotor blade engines then lowered the nose slightly to gain airspeed quickly and zoomed off as normal. I'm sure this gyroplane will react similarly during jump takeoff mode and cause a similar 'pucker factor' for the pilot. After the transition to forward flight is achieved this gyroplane should be extremely easy to fly because of the inherent stability of autogyros.
How do I know this? While I was taking flying lessons to get my pilot's license for fixed wing aircraft back in the late 1970s I taught myself to fly a little single seat Benson B-8M gyrocopter and I flew it for years, along with a variety of other fixed wing aircraft. It was absolutely the most fun flying machine I've ever had the pleasure of piloting. I would much rather be at the controls of a gyroplane when the main engine quits than a fixed wing aircraft. Both will glide, but the gyroplane has the ability to land at very nearly zero forward airspeed and cannot ever stall. Because of this you can successfully 'dead stick' land it just about anywhere because you just don't need much room. A tiny parking lot or field will suffice; even someone's front or back yard will do in a pinch. You certainly can't say that about any typical fixed wing aircraft. And emergency engine out landings in a helicopter are the most difficult to execute successfully as there just isn't much margin of error.
All that said, I'm really not sure of the purpose of this design except as maybe a proof of concept. It may be able to perform a jump takeoff but will still require a clear area ahead to transition to forward flight and build up enough forward airspeed to clear obstacles in its path. Also, had they incorporated short wings and low drag in flight storage of the rotor blades during high speed flight it would make much more sense. It also boggles the mind why they didn't incorporate a flex cable drive from the main engine to spin up the rotor blades thus eliminating a complete auxiliary drive engine system. The flex cable idea was a common option way back when and I fitted one to my gyro and it performed flawlessly. It has the ability to transmit much more torque to spin up the rotors than some tiny auxiliary engine. And I've used both.
- Paris, because she knows how to achieve maximum lift under any circumstances!
It's not only PS3 DRM lawsuits where Sony fails
I recently bought a bunch of new cheapo DVDs from Big Lots, a discount retailer, while I was back in the US recently. Two of these DVDs wouldn't even play using Windows Media Player. Instead, I got an error message saying there was a problem with DRM and I needed to download new drivers. WTF??!! Looking at the back of the DVD I wasn't surprised to see Sony Pictures logo. Also, one of the DVDs, Vantage Point, listed as a bonus a digital copy of the movie in .wmv format that could be copied to the hard drive and played without the DVD being present. That's the reason I bought that particular DVD. Of course you first had to enter the code provided with the DVD. No worries. Did it play? Absolutely NOT! It said the time limit had expired. Time limit? Again...WTF??!! I found a toll free phone number on the DVD and immediately called Sony Pictures's customer service to complain. After the poor schmuck listened to me raging about Sony and their heinous over the top DRM for a few painful minutes, he admitted, "We get customers complaining about this all the time." To be fair he was actually a nice guy but had no solution to my DRM problem. He also said once the digital copy time limit had expired there was no way to extend it. Of course, I was able to play the DVDs using other media players, but that's not the point. DRM preventing any media player from playing legal media is reprehensible, especially the most common media player out there. Was M$ also involved in this DRM fiasco. YOU BETCHA!
It's so sad. Sony used to be an excellent company with incredible products, but today they should be avoided. Sooner or later they'll get the message that customers just aren't going to put up with their DRM, lawsuits, and proprietary Memory Stick shit! EPIC EFFING FAIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Paris shedding tears remembering long ago when Sony was the best.
Ballmer has proven himself to be an effing buffoon time & time again
That Microsoft is doing well is...in spite of Ballmer, not because of him. As someone already pointed out, where would M$ be today had they been under competent leadership? Ballmer's long history of having eyes wide shut to emerging trends and the many incomprehensible misfires on product developments leaves no doubt as to his incompetence. The real question is when will Microsoft's board finally wise up and boot this effing moron??!!
Third world America...HERE WE COME!
Yes, the US education & immigration systems are indeed broken, but by letting in more immigrants to study within the same broken education sytem will magically solve the problem? Yeah right!!! What the HELL has that effing idiot Chambers been smoking??!!!
Chambers is right about one thing. The US does suffer immensely from a counterproductive immigration policy, just not the way his tiny brain can comprehend. The long standing US immigration policy has on one hand discriminated against qualified applicants from most countries while allowing 20 million mostly uneducated illegal aliens to just cross the border and become a huge burden to America's infrastructure in every possible way. None of these individuals' backgrounds are checked so what we really have is an influx of murderers, rapists, homicidal maniacs and drug dealers among the masses. Many never pay taxes so America's infrastructure has been steadily declining as a result. And the recently adopted oh so politically correct term by the BS American press now refers to these illegals as "undocumented immigrants". That term is a HUGE slap in the face to all legal immigrants who tolerate the long beaucratic process to work, study, or become naturalized American citizens.
Also, crime rates have skyrocketed across the US as a result. There is now evidence of Hispanic gang activity in all US cities where illegal populations are established including my hometown, a moderate size city in the Southeast. And, the Mexican drug cartels have extablished major distribution points throughout the US including, again, my hometown.
Healthcare costs have also spiraled out of control in part because hospitals can't turn away these illegals so the costs of their free healthcare is passed on to everyone else. These same illegals refuse to assimilate into the American culture. Over the years so many have refused to learn to speak English that now America is not only becoming bilingual, but a country where in the future English will be the second language. Go to any of the large builders' supply stores, such as Lowes or Home depot and 99% of the packaging has Spanish and English. Some packages even have Spanish presented first with English listed second! Ironic that English has singularly become the world's universal language, but is losing ground to Spanish within America's own borders.
People who think like this moron Chamber is exactly what's wrong with America today. The really sad part is that no one is doing anything to change America's self-destructive course. Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats have done anything except contribute to the problem. Why? The wealthy Republican segment of American society has long enjoyed the cheap Hispanic labor while the insane liberal philosophy of welcoming with open arms the illegals no matter the cost has been to the detriment of America's future. Are the corporations helping? Not on your life. Not only do they outsource American jobs at every opportunity and with zero tax penalties that their bought and paid for stooges in Washington D.C. provided with favorable legislation, they usurp precious university assets including faculty and graduate students for their own research at a fraction of the cost if performed outside the university arena. This most certainly has a negative effect on the quality of education. In addition, universities are more interested in pressuring the faculty to write and present papers to their peers and publishing books than teaching their students.
The bottom line is that America has indeed lost or given away virtually every advantage it once enjoyed including leading technology, manufacturing expertise, and education. It's only a matter of time before it becomes a third world country. Just a matter of time.
Thomas, you poor iMbecilic iTard! Exactly what do you think Steve "The Son of Satan" Jobs has to do with Firefox add-ons other than trying to block them from you iDiotic iFanbois???!!!
Now be a good lad and go have a nice tall glass of Kool-Aid. You can even put it on my tab.
...now which pocket did I leave my airline ticket & Repo Men guide in? I've got to go repossess a kidney!
The pot calling the kettle black?
"...Google responded to the episode by announcing changes to its search algorithm that, in effect stops rewarding people for being evil."
Does this mean Go_ogle is going to censor itself then?
Re: There is a solution
A more permanent solution would be to put a bullet in the servers' server. I'm sure there would be many volunteers.
- Now which pocket did I leave the silencer in?
LOL!!!!!!!! You guys are killing me!!!
My side is aching something fierce I've been laughing so hard at these comments. This has to be one of the all time best ramblings the Reg has ever hosted. I've never UP voted so many comments before.
And BTW, the only way I'd ever consider buying an Ifone is after his sAtanic hOliness adopts a new wardrobe of fluorescent-rainbow-colored Hawaiian shirts and zig-zag striped khaki slacks. OK, the gold pointy-toe Aladdin slippers are optional!
Now excuse me while I go change my shorts.
Paris because she's crying alligator tears for his hOliness.
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