Re: So water on Mars = Muslim outreach ?
Surely it's not too late to abort Trump?
60 posts • joined 16 Feb 2011
Surely it's not too late to abort Trump?
I have a comment regarding how people seem to judge the motivations of climate scientists, particularly how some people assume that their results are suspect because they the climatologists have a financial motivation for justifying global warming.
This seems rather stupid to me, since the climate is something that is going to be interesting to study regardless of whether it is warming, cooling, or staying roughly the same for all sorts of reasons. Climate science is not just about average temperatures. Being able to understand the historical climate supports other sciences (paleantology, anthropology, etc) and helps make other predictions, both near and far future, for other things than just temperature. Global temperatures predictions are just one output out of a useful set. Being accurate is more important than supporting warming as an ideology, if you want to continue to paid to do actual research.
In fact if you look at who funds the studies, then you will find it is much easier to make money working for fossil fuel interests (expense accounts and paid to appear on TV), vs grants from the government (minimal funding!)
This does then lead you to wonder why their are so few climate scientists following the filthy lucre...
The same way USians can pretend they are buying local with their iPhones?
Actually I find this view of "smart users don't want Unity / Gnome3 / whatever" to be held by people who think they are smart because they don't want Unity / Gnome3 / whatever.
Neither Unity nor (as I understand it) Gnome3 are that great if you want to spend all your time tweaking the micro behaviour of your window manager; getting your window translucency just so; making sure that your animations of windows opening and closing exactly fit whatever obsessive criteria you have set; and that you have programmed in and memorised 30 different key combinations that do such pointless things as minimising all windows whose name matches the regular expression "/.*o.*c.*d/".
On the other hand they are great if you actually have difficult and demanding work to do that actually requires you to spend minimal time actually farting around with your window manager, but getting on with doing some insanely difficult signal processing algorithm, stats, simulation problem or something.
That is they are excellent as immediately useful and productive systems for smart people, who don't want to spend all day fiddling with the settings.
Having said that, I don't like the design choices in Unity that require click to follow focus (I prefer focus follows mouse), but for the rest of it I prefer having a sensible UI that makes tweaking for usability obsolete.
If you don't like these UIs or agree with their choices, then fine, but don't call a whole load of smart people stupid for preferring to use a system that does not require them to spend hours of potentially useful time fiddling with settings and customisations that hold no interest to them just in order to be able to start working...
You clearly don't "compute" for a living.
There's around 500 computers in our company, not counting thin clients.
Lots of people have laptops and desktops (generally running Windows 7), but by far the largest share of computers are in the compute cluster, which exclusively runs ("Ta-da"): Linux (except for the thin client servers running Solaris).
The rest of you use computers as glorified typewriters to send electronic memos to each other, and to search for inane clips of One Direction, the Beiber (whatever that is), celebrity upskirts (not a pretty sight if you accidentally get Brian Blessed I am told), obscure train model kits, and to argue about trivia on Wikipedia. So basically any old operating system with a web browser will do for you, even crappy ones like Windows and MacOS.
The fact is the vast majority of people don't use computers to "compute", and therefore their use of so called computers is misnamed and largely irrelevant to those who actually "compute".
It's exactly the opposite of Windows 8: which is actually a family of completely different operating systems, but that all have exactly the same user interface which is therefore not optimised particularly well for any use case.
Ubuntu is a single operating system that presents a different optimised user interface for each use case.
So I take it you run only apps that you have authored yourself, or for which you have run a full audit of the source code, on your phone?
To paraphrase: "What could possibly go wrong? Giving APPs complete control of the handset? Oh right.. complete pwnage, that's what."
This is what the security models for privileged access are for. It makes no difference if we are talking about a Web APP or just an APP...
(... and in fact, if have you have an Apple or Android handset, you can consider the phone to be "pre-pwned")
Losses in transmission and storage?
It seems your idea of a data centre is something that runs exchange and serves up files to Windows clients. Other people's experience may differ... When the Windows client machines go away (replaced by tablets and phones and alternative desktops that suddenly make sense now that you have to cater for tablets and phones anyway), then there is not going to be much call for such places.
If it's actually computing (as in carrying out calculations, like super computers do) we are referring to, then it's not being done (very much) on Windows.
And by "not very much" I mean less than 1%...
Render, compute and simulation farms run nearly exclusively on Linux or Unix.
Standalone desktops running Matlab or some finite element analysis sometimes do run Windows-- but the big jobs go to a compute farm or a super computer.
I think they'd be daft if they weren't already considering it.
What's holding most people back from purchasing a machine with Linux pre-installed? It's certainly no harder to use than Windows, so the answer is presumably a mixture of familiarity, the availability of Office and, well the fact no oems do Linux pre installed.
MS already broke familiarity with Windows 8, a replacement for Office seems an ideal niche for a new start-up, and maybe the oems will fix the availability issue...
No what upsets most people is that Elop solved the wrong problems.
However good you think Symbian/Meego/Meltemi were/could have been, the main problem Nokia had was structural: their management structure left them built to fail on execution - too many managers who could strangle a project, and no one who would take it through to successful conclusion. They had plenty of talented engineers, but more managers than healthy.
Elop's solution was to get rid of the engineers, and keep the managers.
Symbian might have been a sinking ship, but at a least at was still afloat. A platform from which they could launch a new strategy to replace Symbian from, if you like. The shift to Windows Phone set fire to the boat, broke its back, and sent the pieces rapidly to the bottom - Nokia sales volume in Smart Phones is around 10% of what it was 2 years ago before Elop announced his "Windows or bust" strategy (and no you don't get to fiddle the numbers by pretending the series 40 feature phone is suddenly a smartphone because you've called it Asha). Market share has declined even faster because market growth accelerated.
In addition he abandoned his largest key market to focus on Windows Phone. It's not even as if this is with the blessing of hindsight; Meego was a design in for China Mobile, and Windows Phone was never going to be accepted there, so it was obvious that he was abandoning huge sales volumes in pursuit of his "bust' strategy.
Microsoft must be 30 times Nokia's size now.
Are they actually making any profit on the Lumia phones at all though? I thought they were sold at a large loss.
My understanding was that profits were from the Asha line of phones...
Samsung have Bada. That easily takes 3rd or 4th place, without Nokia/MS having hoist themselves out of the ditch.
You don't need an HDMI dock to drop your phone into; just a networked projector-- then push the display from the phone to the projector. All the pieces are already in place (X, etc.) to be able to do this...
Then you can keep the your phone in your hand to use as a remote and for viewing the notes for the presenter.
I suspect I know the answer, but who do you think they are stealing from... ?
It's unlikely (unless he's happy to work for beans for a while), but I would laugh myself silly if he was going off to work for Jolla :)
So you're not entirely clear on what a Patent is then? A Patent is exactly control over an idea. It used to be that you had to present a physical model to demonstrate your Patent that was kept at the Patent office, such that potential licencees could come and see and understand what it was that they were going to Patent. But no longer, all you need to submit now is a document of sufficiently obscure legalise that it obsfucates the fact that there really is nothing new or innovative in what you have submitted (and if you are really clever, no information at all)..
Copyrights and Patents are both potentially useful tools for encouraging the sorts of people who make the sorts of things that get controlled by Copyrights and Patents to make these sorts of things, but it is by no means clear that they are the only way of encouraging such people, and there are definite indications that extending the term of these rights does cause harm.
The proliferation of Patents is a particularly vicious problem-- a companies R&D expenditure can routinely be spent in greater share on patent searches, patent lawyers and avoiding infringement of useless but restricting patents than actually doing real research and development, and particularly in the software world the patents that are available to license are often in no way helpful in getting you to your solution, they are just methods of making sure that you have to pay someone else for your own hard work.
Actually copyright is one of the few things related to the oxymoron "Intellectual Property" that can sanely be considered a property. That, and Trademarks and Patents can be considered properties.
The things they are protecting cannot reasonably considered a property (you can't steal an idea, lose them, or permanently give them away: you can have a physical embodiment of a book stolen for instance, but someone taking a copy of your book cannot by any sane definition be stealing it from you, if you keep the original copy).
However, copyrights, trademarks and patents are things that can be taken away (even stolen, if you can get especially creative).
Bear in mind that such so called "IP" rights are implemented as constraints on what other people can do with their own time, energy and materials (as opposed to real property rights, which protect you from losing your stuff).
Sorry mate, you've failed a basic comprehension test. You're not just wrong, but also off topic.
Linux is the *most* widely used operating system on the planet. Just not on the desktop-- in fact there's a good chance you own more devices running Linux than any other operating system (your router, your set top box, your distributed music system, your TV, your home security system, your car's infotainment system, your smart washing machine, the smart meter for your home, your GPS system, ... etc. I'm assuming you don't own an Android phone BTW).
For the topic being discussed (ARM based embedded/small device systems such as I listed above) there are a myriad of custom dedicated lightweight OSes, and Linux. The reason why Linux is used is because you can get in and muck around with the Kernel in order to customise and optimise it for the hardware that you are trying to build. Good luck to any hardware manufacturer trying to do that with whatever OS you are a proponent of.
Unfortunately it was the Nokia board who decided the WP strategy and appointed Elop to implement it.
I hear rumours that the shareholders are all American hedge funds, so presumably from their view (where the success of Nokia was invisible to them, since by 2011 it was all in China and India, and not at all considered by US based web pundits) something drastic needed doing to save the company, such as partnering with the obvious safe hands of MS.
Nobody got fired for partnering with MS. Well at least until now, although quite a few people have been made redundant or bankrupt. There's always a chance for someone to be first though, if the Nokia board manage to get their skates on and fire him before they are redundant or bankrupt.
I have a friend (a former Nokia and Symbian employee) who claims that WP on Lumia is the best mobile phone experience he has ever had.
On the other hand I won't have one because I don't like the idea that MS get to dictate what I can use my device for and what I can attach it to (I have a bunch of other kit and services that adhere to open standards that MS will not support).
"Their returns for the next few months are liable to be close to zero"
I think they'll be ecstatic if their returns are good enough to be close to zero!
A point lots of people seem to conveniently forget is that the top three ecosystems only 18 months ago were:
Now the Symbian position was almost certainly not sustainable because it was horrible to develop for, but there was also a nice migration route: Symbian -> Qt (with something else underneath. Like Meego, Maemo, Meltemi or even Symbian, but which nobody but the core OS and toolkit developers needed to worry about).
Nokia themselves destroyed the possibility of there being a 3rd ecosystem that they could participate in.
Windows Phone might one day be the third ecosystem, providing it can get past Bada, and doesn't get clobbered by Tizen, Firefox mobile, or more likely some Android derivative from China, but Nokia will have flushed themselves down the toilet long before then.
There is also the very high risk that Nokia will take Windows Phone down the toilet with them: the other phone manufacturers will look at the experience of the worlds largest phone manufacturer deciding to switch to Windows phone and then imploding within 18 months, and conclude they don't want to touch WP with a barge pole.
You obviously missed the news about Samsung now being the largest phone (not just smart-) manufacturer in the world then. Samsung are selling something like double the numbers of Smartphones that Nokia are (or, if you like to discount all the Symbian devices as smartphones, then 10 times the number of smartphones that Nokia are selling).
In other news Nokia have also cut all inovative development for the follow-up to S40, so you can expect their dumb/feature phone sales to also head down the toilet rapidly. Mind you that division is losing money by the bucket as well, so they might as well off that too.
It's instructive to think that 18 months ago Nokia were selling as many Symbian devices as all iPhones and all Androids added together. This year, in a growing market, they will likely sell 10-20% of the total number of Smartphones that they sold in 2010.
Looks like a winning strategy to me, Mr Elop!
"At least with Windows there is something to clasp on to that will sell the world over."
Really? Which world would that be then?
The reality is that there probably is room for a "third ecosystem", but for Windows Phone to get there it has to get past another three incumbents:
* and hilariously, Nokia's own walking dead: Symbian
Now Symbian is going down the toilet fast. RIM is not doing well, but possibly not out for the count. But the problem for Nokia/MS: BADA/Tizen is currently bigger than Windows Phone, and growing twice as fast.
So: third ecosystem, yes.
third ecosystem for Nokia/MS: No.
"This could be a massive disaster for the PC industry. It's already starting to sink under the threat from tablets + mobile. Now microsoft are throwing them a huge pile of bricks instead of a lifeline, because people won't buy a new PC if they don't like the OS on it."
Having held the PC industry back for 20 years, I would have thought that MS finally getting a Design Idea (even if it is one that has some poorly thought out implementation) would be considered a good thing, especially since it might open the door to other challengers being able to compete -- and particularly if they adhere to documented open standards, with some consideration for those people that might have to get something back from archive in 20 years time.
[Watching from the side lines. I actually compute for a living: all the heavy duty computing SW in my Industry is aimed at proper operating systems anyway so, other than documentation, zero impact to me]
I dunno about other industries, but the chips that power the computer (or phone or slate) you used to write this article and the ones we are all reading it on were almost certainly designed and verified on RHEL (along with the chips in your TV, PVR, router, washing machine, car, microwave, ... And basically any other gizmo you may have with a micro processor in it).
I think having a virtual monopoly in a particularly lucrative part of an industry might be considered being successful.
(Of course, 10 years ago that would have been Solaris rather than RHEL)
Dear Mr. Orlowski,
I'm not having a go or anything, but I am curious to know if you actually purchased Lumia devices with your own money, or whether they were received as part of your job.
Would you recommend them for someone else to actually buy (I mean what would a WP device give me, other than a headache on how to run Zune desktop in my windows free household) (or even, if I had a windows pc, the fact that I had to run desktop software at all to use my phone properly)
best regards and all that
well actually they picked the 8th horse in 3 horse race. They are still being beaten by their own competition of Symbian, as it shambles, zombie like, off the great cliff of obsolescence.
Lumia is still being beaten (massively) by RIM, Bada, and possibly even Meego/Harmattan (for extra irony) (it would be immensely funny if the Lumia sales do actually turn out to be behind both the two platforms Nokia have abandoned)
(mines the elopcalypse)
at least they had it ready to go *before* Lumia series, and one presumes if they could have focused on it earlier instead of diverting "all their best efforts to Windows Phone" they could have got it out much earlier... And much more polished (and bear in mind this was a device that was extremely well received without that extra polish).
The Verge reviewed the Lumia 800 and said it was good, but that if they'd put the N9 SW, instead of WP on it it would have been a hero phone...
Bearing in mind the volume for the last major product launch they had in a Q4 was 4 million phones for the very badly received n8, 1 million seems like a very small number. Especially when you consider that half of that one million were actually sold in Q1 2012, so that's actually comparing 4 million to 0.5 million. Not to mention the market is now ~65% bigger in Q4 2011...
... Is utter bollocks as you would well know if you had ever worked in office where people were exposed to anything other than Windows.
Realistically though: making your ARM based server product Win8 certified is going to cost you more sales than you would earn (and even taking the same product and making a special version for Win8 certification only will cost more in inventory than you will gain in sales), so I don't see this as an issue.
Those of us who actually compute for a living (as opposed to using computers as glorified typewriters to send the occasional letter, or other so called office productivity) do it on Linux (used to be Unix, but times have moved on).
Or did you really think that people designed the chips inside your computer/the aeroplanes you fly in/etc. using software that ran on Windows... ?
Personally speaking I am a lot more interested in some "purported philosophy" for their intended usage, since I plan to *use* the chuffing thing (or not as the case may be).
iPhone "purported philosophy": you are only allowed to do what we let you. And you must use iTunes.
Android "purported philosophy": you are only allowed to do what we let you. And we are going to aggressively mine your personal data.
Windows Phone "Purported philosophy": you are only allowed to do what we let you. And you must use Zune, Office and Skydrive. Buy more Windows. Buy now. Because nothing that you've already got will work with this (the 'you' in this case is particularly me, some fan of Windows is likely to have all of those things, but I'm not getting them), oh and based on our previous behaviour you can expect us to aggresively mine your personal data and sell it to the highest bidder.
You know, I would really like to be able to get hold of phone that was entirely agnostic about whatever other kit and services I use. One that just worked because it adhered to standards, and did not need to know what kind of other stuff I've got, or stalk me for personally identifying information.
I particularly do not want Zune desktop or iTunes in order to be able to get media on and off my phone.
So yes Windows Phone has a fancy shmancy UI, and the People Hub looks very useful. But. Unless I ditch my existing investments, or compromise their utility, it's not a whole lot of use to me.
And get guess what. My current phone implements some standards nicely. SyncML, Bluetooth, DLNA, USB-media, USB-on-the-go, HDMI, WebDAV, etc. Unfortunately the UI is a bit of a sow's ear, and somewhere it has developed a nasty memory leak which means I need to restart it a couple of times a week, so I should be looking for a next gen replacement...
Strangely Android actually appears to be the least evil option in terms the compromises I have to make in order use it (and given that Google is already aggressively mining my personal data anyway, there is no actual net increase in evil done to me).
... alternatively they could embrace (but not extend) a few standards, and then I would not have to tell them what bits of kit I have, since they already comply with quite a few standards...
(and, oh yes, I am also talking about online services that comply to various standards...)
Yes? The so-called competition is a Sinister Stalking Control Freak. And a convicted monopolist to boot.
Which is not to detract from the splendid effort that is Windows Phone, but on the other hand I would actually like to be able to purchase a phone that actually gave me an alternative to Android and iOS in aspects other than just the UI (like, for instance, a reasonable level of interoperability with my other bits of kit).
So, no. I won't be getting one.
I'm pretty sure that is not the case. In my recollection their has to be a physical process associated with the patent claim, with some caveats (paraphrased from memory badly): the combination of algorythm and physical process can only be patented if the claims do not solely rely in the algorythm. Naked algorythms themselves are simply considered to be mathmatical expressions, and these are explicitly non-patentable.
You will often see SW Patents in Europe expressed as being required to execute on particular computing machinery (as a way of involving a physical process), but this can be challenged by stating that the algorythm can actually be executed by any generic general purpose computing machinery.
The motivation behind patents is to share knowledge so that it does not need to be kept secret and expensively reproduced many times (in the case of Patents, the motivation for sharing the knowledge, is provided by a state awarded monopoly to 'license' the rights to reproduce the patented thingumy that requires the said knowledge. It is expected that the patent holder will provide said knowledge to the licensee based on some mutuall beneficial arrangement).
Implicit in this is the understanding that the cost of reproducing this knowledge is far greater than the cost of the patent*, i.e. licensing the patent should actually be a useful activity for the licensee so that it helps them achieve their end product for a reduced cost.
What you actually find is, with the Patents that you refer to that are being applied to Android, that they mostly refer to trivial and obvious operations, and although there may be some interesting and novel ideas, they are generally very shallow ones -- and in either case the difficult bit is not having the idea that gets patented it in the first place, it's carrying out the user studies, the trials and testing, the design, and the actual implementation into code. Which the patent does not give you access to. So you end up paying for that bit anyway. The only difference with the patent is you get to pay someone for the privilege of being able to use that development work you have to pay for anyway. The alternative to taking out such a useless license is to be faced with the threat of court action resulting in some kind of penalty. This sort of activity fits into a general class more commonly referred to as extortion.
So instead of patents being a net benefit to the populace (which is why they are implemented into law in the first place), they are merely a tollgate on the highway of innovation (to coin a particularly corny metaphore) -- often used to prop up a monopoly at the expense of the populace, who would otherwise be able to buy cheap and clever Android Phones.
So to conclude: the patents are worthless to the licensees and used only to prevent competition and innovation from competitors.
If you still think that such patents are a good idea, I have a pile of old rope that I feel would be very useful for your next technological venture, that I willing to sell to you for a very reasonable and large amount of money. If you are not willing to buy my old rope then I will see you in court with my expensive and clever lawyers(TM) about it because you need to buy my old rope in order to be allowed to make your shiny electric gizmotron (even though it features no pulleys, cords or other rope related phenomena, and you had not even considered that old rope would be a key component of said gizmotron, until the moment I realised I could make a load of money off your work without having to do any of my own other than having a set of expensive and clever lawyers (TM) available to do my bidding. BWAHAHAH).
* unforunately there is a). no legal requirement that this should be so, and b). no meaningful way to implement one anyway...
(it's not like it is actually necessary to get the best out of the phone itself).
Mind you, I find nothing wrong with it apart from the fact it only runs on Windows (and therefore only on my work laptop)
Right now the choices seem to be between being borged by: Apple, Google or Microsoft -- and I don't like any of those options.
Is WebOS a viable alternative?
Or will there be a sudden rush of Chinese/Taiwanese manufacturers producing Meego devices?
(actually I am hoping for a startup created by all the Nokia veterans who want to replicate and build on the pedigree of the N9. But I won't hold my breath, in order to avoid dying whilst waiting for the impossible).
If you are a computer manufacturer, it is pretty easy to make a smartphone that drains it's battery in 3 hours.
Apple have done an amazing job in the last 4 years to achieve what they have: and old friends from Nokia who have done tear downs on the iPhone 4 still think the HW and OS is rubbish.
And that partly was Nokia's problem, and now it's now to late to do anything about the apalling user experience.
The other part of Nokia's problem was that there were about 8 various different flavours of manager for every engineer who was actually doing work, and they could all put their boot in to stop something from happening, but none of them could actually take responsibility to see something through to completion as an entire finished article. Nokia's organisation and structure was interesting to say the least... and particularly not amenable to being able to achieve anything.
Any old jabber/xmpp server will do (and you still get to talk to people who use gtalk).
My favourite is prosody.
b). Windows mobile.
(I know Windows Phone alledgedly represents a change in direction for MS -- but you still need a Windows PC in order to get things on and off your Windows Phone, and, well, Sendo).
You have confused the object and subject of your sentance. Swap them around, and you'll be fine.
... it appears there are quite a few people looking forward to Nokia making a WP device, even after seeing the N9, but then there is no accounting for taste.
... the N950 is the last one.