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* Posts by Voland's right hand

880 posts • joined 18 Aug 2011

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Super Micro fattens up Xeon E5 nodes with FatTwins

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Devil

Re: Ooooooh

I do not work in a datacenter either (nowdays).

A variable RPM fan which is spinning only as fast as needed in a well designed case is likely to have half the failures (or even less) of something that is spun up to hypersonic speeds over its design period. Even if you have all of your nodes cranked 100% you still get uneven cooling within a rack, hot/cold parts of the datacenter, "capricious" racks and isles - you name it. So variable speed can take car of that and drop your failure rate (and increase MTBF) even in the fully loaded case. Doubly so if you have hot standby nodes and some form of routine duty cycle/replacement.

Similarly, I would rather have something where the designer has gone around the _WHOLE_ motherboard looking for hotspots doing the thermals instead of slapping the biggest fan possible and ignoring 70C+ in some nooks and crannies.

So yeah, viva la high-RPM victory (going hypersonic towards crash and burn is always fun).

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Devil

Re: Ooooooh

Only if you are deaf.

This is Supermicro, remember? Every rig of theirs I have used over the years had fixed revs fans at 6k+ using brute force instead of proper airflow design. If something gets hot - put another spot fan there. Credit where credit due - the approach is cheap, cheerful and works. It does however produce the sound of a Concorde on take off. I would be seriously surprised if this rig is any different.

You should crack the bubbly if it is at around ~70db. It will probably be more. I would not want to work in a datacenter full of these.

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Hotelier faces FTC data breach lawsuit

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Devil

Re: Why were they storing credit card data?

Booking guarantee for pre-booking, card on check-in for expedited check-out, etc.

Standard practice in the hotel industry is to store the card at least for the duration of the stay. Now, did they go beyond that is something we do not know and the lawsuit will tell.

One more reason not to use them anyway (that is one hotel chain which I always filter out).

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Russian K-force operatives cuff suspected Carberp trojan bank raider

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Devil

Re: Russia's MVD "K" Administration

Probably not - the suspect was charged under articles of the criminal code different from section 58.

He is also in one piece...

Oh, by the way, I know that Народный Комиссариат Внутренних Дел is spelled with N, not M :)

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T-Platforms to roll out itsy-bitsy HPC cluster

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Devil

This looks messy

Did I read it wrong or there is no backplane?

You still have to wire the the nodes to the switch using external wiring on the back of the cluster. This is fugly and definitely under the usual high standard of T-platforms engineering.

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UK regulators eye up Facebook's $1bn Instagram bid

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Devil

Let's put the art aside, shall we?

I am going to put the art argument aside as my 10 year old can do photography better than most adults (I have taken my time to teach him and try to refresh it from time to time too).

It is the predominant content and application which I have a problem with here.

Social. Picture. Mobile. Camera - for me this spells the words "Happy Slapping Riot Lolz, beat the N00B" in 32 point bold all caps.

I can see how this can be worth 1Bn in advertising revenue to someone who has no principles and does not care what it is used for as long as it brings impressions. Fits the ideas of F***book spot on.

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Are you a hot BABE in heels and a short skirt? SCIENCE is for YOU

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Re: In real life ...

As another former Chemist - you _OBVIOUSLY_ did not graduate with Chemistry in Eastern Europe. I am not even going to mention Biology or Biotech.

Which leads to a thought - was it that difficult just to go to a Eastern European Biology dept cafeteria and take some interviews of how does Ms Plague, PhD look like. No need of stupid videos with idiotic sexist lipstick sterieotypes and even more idiotic "science" stereotypes.

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LinkedIn faces class action suit over password leak

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Devil

Re: Definitions - are you sure?

"But if your salt is random..." - store your salt. This is what unix passwords do.

Open /etc/shadow and see for yourself

The password is stored as $SaltType$Salt$Hash (for GNU extensions). If there is no dollar signs you are dealing with the original 30+ year old format where the salt is the first two characters and the rest is DES crypted salt+password.

If I had to code a web app this day I would use these glibc functions (as readily available) but store the salt separately and rate limit the amount of queries to the salt. Ditto for passwords. You can do that on a database level or use an interim service which provides some form of auth token interface.

Anyone trying to dump the passwd+salt database would be flagged immediately as they will exceed the query rate limit.

For someone the size of LinkedIn not doing this shows a lack of incompetence which is not justified by their valuation :)

It is not that difficult.

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The Hague says Apple infringed Samsung patent

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Devil

Re: Yeah but...

Why stop with the foot?

In any case, they have shot themselves there already. Litigation should be the last resort in an IPR dispute especially between opponents capable of mutual assured destruction.

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EU boffins ponder robot copters that carry people but no pilots

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Devil

Self driving car is much harder.

1. Other people.

Google may succeed in California (not that a lot of the US is any different) - driving there is like driving in a place inhabited by sedate OAPs. Try driving in Italy or the Balkans. I would not dare thinking about a driverless car in India (let's assume we have to deal only with psychotic drivers, not with cows).

The autopilot is not the only automated system in a plane. Collision avoidance on larger aircraft has been standardized and automatic for a very long time now and it generally works. We hear about collisions only in small aircraft or cases where someone has decided to override or turn off the collision avoidance (as in the infamous crash over Germany under Swiss air control). So there is a considerable history of people trusting automatic systems even in "sh*t just hit the fan" moments.

2. Legacy.

There is a century worth of legacy - roads were made to be navigated by people. Here USA is particularly bad - difficult to read (machine and human) signs, non-pictographic road signage, plethora of wildly varying speed restrictions, etc.

GPS, omniscient maps, etc are all nice, but they get you to a point. Unless the signage system changes to something more machine readable (or is augmented by machine readable interfaces) there will be corner cases where the AI and sign recognition system will fail (especially in the USA).

So coming back to the PAV - it will be easier to make it driverless than the current cars. By far. Less work and less legacy to contain with.

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Schneier spanks AV industry over Flame failures

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Devil

Re: Reactive broken model?

They can do very little as the model is determined by the OS.

They exists solely because of the vulnerabilities and problems in the typical install of the Microsoft OS family. If these are fixed once and for all most of the AV industry will be out of a job or so the theory goes.

In this day and age this means that the malware writers will move to F***book and other platforms that have "opportunities" for malware propagation and the AV will promptly follow.

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Google to ICO: We had no idea Street View data slurp was happening

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Devil

Not just hotspots

Android (and iOS for that matter) use SSIDs to improve location fix from GPS in addition to old good cell site data.

In order to have a usable database for this you have to do some slurping first and not just open APs - you slurp all SSIDs and MACs as well to distinguish between hotspots and remote offices.

I suspect that they do not need to do that any more as the phones provide enough data to keep it up to date.

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Asteroid zips past Earth

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Devil

Re: 4 days warning, and it's 500m across....

I had the same thought.

So much for all the effort into monitoring near earth object and so much for all the noise and panic around various 10-30m objects.

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Apple adds gay and lesbian icons to iOS 6 messaging

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Joke

@TheOtherHobbes

Given the limited resolution, how could they look less shit?

And here is your real answer for the Retina Display.

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WD beams in 802.11n Wi-Fi stations

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Devil

Re: So when the hard drive craps at 1yr 1day after purchase,,,

You will probably need to do that earlier because it will reboot if you connect an "unsupported" device to the wifi network.

If you try to file that as a bug WD staff will helpfully tell you in something that is supposed to be English zat zey support only Windoze and zat it is not zeir problem zat zeir device reboots the moment you connect any of the non-Windoze uPnP implementations to the network.

I have a full email trail for the above - that is not a joke. It was for their STB (WD Live) so there may be some element of YMMV.

In any case - caution is definitely advisable.

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openSUSE 12.2 release delayed, team calls for a rethink

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Entertaining, Suse is where Debian was a couple of years back

Debian had a similar situation a couple of years back with the release of Lenny (if memory serves m right) being continuously postponed.

It took some "reigning in" of democracy to get past that one - sometimes you just need an authorita(rian | tive) release manager to get the job done :)

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Asus Transformer Pad TF300

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Devil

I still do development so Android and Shiny Shiny does not do the job for me.

If it runs ubuntu or debian it will make my monthly gadget shopping list. I would love to drop my "airplane backpack weight" by 1kg and leave the (rather svelte) Lenovo I use today at home.

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Volkswagen Up!

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Re: "Unique to a car in this class is the City Emergency Braking system"

So it is not a bad copy of a long list of better designed, better executed and more fun to drive cars by Daihatsu and Suzuki?

We have seen only some of them in Europe and even the ones we have seen have been crippled by Toyota (Daihatsu) and GM (Suzuki) marketing. In Japan they have had ~10+ models across all manufacturers in this class at any give time for the last 30+ years. Hyundai and Kia also do cars in that category (Amica, Atoz, i10, Picanto, etc). If you want to "drawn" in a sea of cars in that category you need to go to the far east.

In any case, VW is neither original, nor the best in class. Its only redeeming feature is that it is VW which for some strange reason makes some people have a hard on and give it unjustified 0.95 reviews.

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Shrunk my a***

You call that shrunk? My fleet of Sirion Mk3s (I got two - 2003 and 2004) is 3.68 m in length (only 18 cm longer) and they have nearly double the luggage space, 5 doors, can seat 4 adults properly or 3 adults and two kids. VW still has a lot to learn in terms of interal space optimization and design :)

You call that fun to drive? The Sirions can hit 0-60 in 8s and the 4x4 can go onto country roads with several inches of soft mud on them from a weekly bout of torrential rain (like the one we are having now in the UK or the one they had in Europe in mid may). Now that is what I call fun to drive :)

They also do 52mpg if driven sensibly (very difficult with a car that goes like the proverbial clappers and growls like an angry bullterrier about to break off its leash). So VW economy is also just barely on par with a 2003 car.

One word: Meah.... Not impressed, not impressed... At all..

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Sole British 'naut Major Tim embarks on NASA deep space mission

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Devil

Re: One of a kind som other time

Sorry metric-imperial mis-hap, Conshelf 3 was at 100m (300 feet) which is still impressive even by today's standards.

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Devil

One of a kind som other time

Cousteau operated a whole list of habitats like that including a whole small "underwater city" in the Red Sea 40 or so years ago. So did US Navy, germans and a few others.

This NASA habitat is a small remnant of the glorious past compared to Sealab 2-3 (in size) or Conshelf 3 (in depth - 300m). It is a pity - we still know about the deep sea less than we know about the surface of the moon and we still do so little about it.

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Apple pulls in TomTom, kicks Google off iPhones

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Devil

Re: TomTom iPhone/iPad app

Tom Tom has some experience of living in a world where its licensees compete with it.

Sygic (which is probably the best navigation app for Android) uses licensed TomTom maps. It also ships it for ShinyShiny and for Nokia/Symbian. I bet it is not the only one to use TomTom maps - there are others.

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Study fingers humans for ocean heat rise

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Devil

Re: memory

Exactly. I have the same recollections. 25+ years ago everyone was thinking we will be going into a next (small) iceage.

Can we actually see something which goes back _BEFORE_ WW2 please (WW2 had a very clear fingerprint on temperature records too).

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Global warming helps Arctic algae suck CO2

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Devil

Re: LOL!

Krill under ice sheets is in larval form, it is not the krill which is eaten. That's how it overwinters.

Most of the food chain in Arctic and antarctic water is adapted to the krill larvae going _INTO_ open water, eating phytoplankton there, growing and swarming into adult krill swarms and being eaten there.

If krill can grow, breed and procreate under the ice without ever hitting the open ocean both polar ecosystems will be in deep sh*t...

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Intel to target TV viewers with facial recognition ad tech

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Devil

Re: I can imagine this being *really* popular

Welcome to the world of web 3.0.

Dunno about you guys, but I will check on the schedules for the completion of my firewalled bunker with automated machine gun emplacements and hunter killer programs in the "software moat". Once the 3.0 goes into full swing I will retreat there until we go back to stone age 2.0.

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Average selling price of tablets drops 21% in three months

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Re: About time too - @Mikel

So what compiler does it support? What debugger does it support? What revision control system does it support? CVS? Clearcase? MKS on a tablet?

Can I actually write a kernel driver or some low level network code on it while on a plane from LHR to EWR (the slow-boat 757 which drags its feet for nearly 9 hours but has sockets even in cattle class)?

Well, not it does not.

Managing servers != development

Office work != development

Ssh != development

FTP != development

Ad naseum.

It is a nice consumer toy, it is a nice office work toy, it can even be a nice sysadmin toy, but a developer's toy it _DOES_ _NOT_ make. So while it can do about 66% of my work - office + syadmin (which I still do aplenty of each) it cannot do the remaining 33% where I have to write actual real code and do it in the gaps between meetings, on trains, planes and other places where I want a portable gadget. So for work I will still stick to a laptop (I may get a tablet for a car stereo/entertainment fronted at some point).

Yeah, I know, I am a caveman. People in developed countries who do powerpoint are not supposed to be writing code too. So I will stick to my caveman luddite attitude and use my laptop instead :)

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Oracle case crippled after judge rules APIs can’t be copyrighted

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Devil

Re: A very welcome outbreak of common sense

No, the BIG started long ago - the so called LEGO precedent where LEGO tried to sue other brickmongers. This is just an application of the same rules to the computer domain. Expecting anything different was frankly beyond optimistic.

It has some interesting side effects.

The long standing practice by the Open Source community to "protect" against interfacing to GPL2 components through the gratuitous application of GPL headers to include files which define API has just been ruled to have no protection. GPL, MPL, etc work will still be protected against theft, however the so called element of "virality" has been removed for a lot of the possible use cases.

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'Biocoal' fuels steam train comeback

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Devil

Re: My first thought

Same way as charcoal - dry distillation of organic matter.

1. The dry distillation produces most of the nasty stuff (sulphur, nitrogen, etc from proteins go at that stage as sulphur dioxide, etc). What is left after that is nearly pure carbon. It can burn very clean. The problem with it is that it is very porous, takes lots of space and its energy density is a bit crap. That can be solved by pressing it into small pellets ("high density coal").

2. While making biomass into coal requires some energy to start off with it can be made self-sustaining as a side project of partially burning the biomass. Just ask any of the cough, cough, national minorities stripping to bare ground the woods of Eastern Europe and making them into charcoal for sale.

3. As far as a modern steam train having efficiency on par with diesel - that is a given. Steam is not that inefficient. The problem with steam is not the efficiency - it is the maintenance bill. All that regular boiler descaling, cylinder overhauls, gasket changes, etc cost a pretty penny. Add to that having to have regular (and probably in this day and age deionised) water supply along the rail lines. Compared to that with a diesel you just change the oil and the oil filter every few thousand miles and keep filling it up with some rotten dinosaurs.

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Ten... Star Wars videogame classics

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Devil

Re: Never understood...

There were missions which would not complete in both Tie Fighter and X-wing.

If you were good enough to knock out some of the key mainline ships (IIRC the STD Invincible in X-Wing) on one of the recon or early missions there was no way to complete the campaign because the ship was not there for the key mission against it. Ditto for one of the frigates.

If memory serves me right there was a calamari cruiser annoyance somewhere in Tie Fighter that had the same problem.

Now what level of skill, patience and crazyness it takes to take out an escorted imperial star destroyer all alone in a X-Wing (or god forbid Y-Wing) to trigger the bug.... That is another story...

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Voland's right hand
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Devil

Screw the knights

No Love for:

1. Tie Fighter - with all due respect the Imperial incarnation of the original X-wing classic was way better than the rebel one. You should not underestimate the power of the dark side (especially if you manage 60k point scores from some of the more complex missions). In fact, after the original Tie Fighter the Tie Fighter vs X-wing installment came as "downer" (though in a hindsight I simply did not have a proper machine to play it).

2. Rebellion. One of the most complex RTS-es ever (if played properly at max complexity or human against human). I still play it from time to time in a virtualbox on an XP which I keep only for that purpose (Tactical mode unfortunately breaks under Wine). Compared to that Galactic Battlegrounds was an outright joke.

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Motorola Mobility loses to Microsoft in German patent battle

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Devil

Re: Breaking up something large is PATENTED?

Look earlier.

The specific reason for uuencode/uudecode was to do exactly that - deal with the perl line IO buffer being to small on many systems.

We are looking at ~ 60es to early 70es for that one, long before TCP.

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WTF is... Li-Fi?

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Devil

Re: And so the wheel turns.

The reason for the IR profile in the 802.1b spec was that someone actually had equipment.

I forgot who it was because wireless wiped it out straight away day one. So Apricot/Sirius were not alone.

It is yet another bit of history repeating :)

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Devil

Re: And so the wheel turns.

Why Apricot/Sirius?

Anyone doing ReatTheFineSpec of the 802.11b standard will find an optical profile (unfortunately limited to 1MBit).

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Top Facebook exec begs students: 'Click on an ad or two'

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Devil

Re: And my ad is

Timeo Danaes credit references ferentes...

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Devil

Excuse me for being thick

Can you point a single moment in F***book history (or web 2.0 history for that matter) when users were not perceived as a cash cow and their private life was not perceived as a "monetizable item".

One of the many reasons why I often say that I do not want to even learn what Web 3.0 will be about. My plan to deal with it is to communicate with any Web 3.0 entitiy from a firewalled, fortified and isolated bunker. With machine guns on the physical perimeter and hunter-killer progams on the "logical" one.

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LOHAN sucks 27 inches

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Devil

Re: Check your tubing

Seconded - especially 4.

One of my first projects in the academia 20 years ago was putting a lab setup in order to actually do some work and the difference between bad old wet oil and brand new was going down from 15mm Hg to 1 straight away.

As far as 1 even if you have proper vacuum grease use as little of it as possible - it still throws volatiles.

By the way do not be surprised if the pump start burning oil once past 5mm. The oil I chucked out from the one I fixed 20 years back looked like the oil you drain from a tractor at the end of the ploughing season.

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Audi proposes PC-packing stunt bikes

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Devil

Re: Car Companies?

You obviously do not know what you are doing. Looking at the house "commuter vehicle fleet", I have:

Two cycles with SRAM grips working with Shimano dérailleurs, cranks and freewheels; one cycle with a MTB frame, shimano MTB derailleurs working with a 52t road crankset (also supposedly impossible) and one cycle with FSA crankset and Shimano derailleurs and shifts. All of that using SRAM chains (with none of the cranksets and freewheels being SRAM).

The supposed "incompatibility of parts across bicycle manufacturers" is vastly overrated. If we exclude the extortionate range of 100£+ per spare part and look at the sanely price bits you can make nearly anything work with anything. Worst case scenario - do not force it, use a larger hammer (cutter and a file help too).

The only thing I can think of which is really incompatible across bikes is bearings. Most other stuff can be swapped and moved around if you know what you are doing (which is exactly why a bike like this Audi will never get in my house - it is non-standard by design).

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'Dated and cheesy' Aero ripped from Windows 8

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Devil

Re: Can we get Gnome and KDE to do three-point-turns, too, now?

Kde3 TO kde4 - cough sputter, cough sputter... Gnome2 to Gnome3, cough, sputter, bleah... where did the vomit bucket go.

Windows is actually late to the "let's through decades of productivity research out of the window and make everything Tablet/Phone-like" party.

KDE and Gnome tried to get there first. KDE is also the worst of the two by far because it tries to retain some backwards compatible look while replacing old UI concepts with "Activities" and other similar iPhonesque/Androidesque abominations in their APIs.

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Ten... Qwerty mobiles

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Devil

Re: Xperia Mini Pro

Replying to myself on this one:

While the Xperia (both Mini and the Arc) is a fantastic phone, its factory charger is phenomenal piece of crap. It is quite temperamental on charging from USB too (it will not charge if it is "on" from 2 of my laptops)

In any case I have seen the original charger failing to charge an Xperia mini or an Arc from low battery levels (ditto for USB to PC). In fact I have seen it discharge when connecting to its "default" charger.

I suspect that the original poster who had an Xperia never start again ran into that one. So it is not surprising that it refused to boot - it never actually charged up to do so (or maybe went to critical on battery in the process as well).

The solution for me has been to use kindle chargers. Plug in the phone, in 1h the battery is to 100% straight away.

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Devil

Re: Xperia Mini Pro

Strange, wife runs her flat regularly and it never gives problems afterwards.

In any case, it is better build and has better keyboard than half of the monstrousities in the list. It is also still on sale priced at the very reasonable ~160£ SIM free unlocked. My only gripe with it is the relatively short battery life (for an Android). You have to charge it every day (and sometimes throughout the day when used heavily).

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Windows Phone beats iOS sales in China

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Re: @Voland's right hand

And China Unicom is like what? 20% market share compared to 80% of TD-CDMA.

It can operate a 3G FD HSPA network as much as it likes - it is a minnow in the China mobile market.

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Devil

Re: No tricks

That is actually correct for a country where the Great Shiny does not have a suitable 3G network.

Now count to 3 to see Tim Cook reverse his stance on supporting the TD-CDMA variety of 3G.

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Smoke-belching flash drive self-destructs on command

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Devil

Re: Shades of Mission Impossible?

No, shades of Apple Design (TM).

Look where the red and green buttons are wired to - these go to the unused pins on the SATA interface, the same ones Apple uses for their cursed "special thermal management" system in iMacs. I bet this drive has an entertaining compatibility problem - plug it into a reasonably new Mac and it will selfdestruct spontaneously straight away.

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Does Britain really need a space port?

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Devil

Re: Err...

Apples and Oranges.

True, Britain is producing more "assembled units" than ever. It is _NOT_ something to be proud of.

However, once upon a time, the money from manufacturing was being spread wide around a large set of other industries from big smelters to small shops running in a single warehouse making door handles and most of that was in Britain. This "food chain" had a considerable impact on the overall GDP.

That is no longer the case. Current British car manufacturing is little besides assembly. Most of the components are built elsewhere - Germany, Spain, Portugal, Eastern Europe and Far East. The British part in it is to avoid the import duties and excise which most Eu countries still have on out-of-EU car imports. There is no food chain. It is only a "top" - the rest is elsewhere.

So the correct name should be "automotive assembly" industry, not "automotive industry". In any case, while the "size" of the car industry may look impressive on paper its impact on GDP is actually disproportionally small.

In any case, for the overall "good of the economy" it would have been better if Britain had none of the current assembly plants and let's say at least 10% of the parts manufacturing Germany (through the likes of Bosch) has nowdays. That is where all the development (and most of the margins) go and that creates a much wider and more "even" positive impact on the economy.

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Ten... Ultrabooks

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Devil

Re: So I guess these are all 1366x768?

Computing fonts, shapes, etc everything for more dots eats GPU and in the absense of GPU support for font scaling (which if memory serves me right is the case for Intel) CPU. In fact, that probably eats more than the display itself.

So in fact 1366x768 is pretty much optimal for 11-13 inch as long as it can support more dots on the VGA/HDMI/Whatever port it can output to. It is not that pixelated to irritate you, gives enough pixels for the desktop to lay things out and at the same time provides a good balance in terms of CPU/GPU power consumption.

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Facebook co-founder renounces US citizenship pre-IPO

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Re: Really?

It is a person associated with facebook's "inception". Now, can you please once again explain what exactly do you find astonishing.

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Sony blames record $5.7bn loss on everything but Sony

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Re: "poor consumer appetite for shiny gear"

"Now there's no Ericsson, there's no way I'm buying." - there are still some handsets which are SE, not Sony available at fire sale prices and I will probably buy a couple while they last. Agree - after that - no thanks.

I have had enough experience with horrid after-market support, termination of spare parts and consumables less than 2 years after model releases (Vaio Picturebooks anyone), systems especially designed to selfdestruct after the warranty expires (Vaio P3 laptops with a heatsink designed to fry the keyboard) and so on. I suspect that SE's not stellar, but generally acceptable software update policy will be going too :(

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Software functionality not subject to copyright: EU court

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Devil

Re: The Oracle cannot be all knowing then.

There is still one more step here.

The API is an expression of the _EXPECTED_ functionality from software.

This decision discussed the functionality, not the "expectations" and not the "way of expressing them".

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Nokia cries patent 'Havoc!', unleashes dogs of law on two continents

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Devil

Re: I'm guessing Nokia saw the HTC One

You are mistaking E72 (and 71) which are the crown jewels of Nokia and Symbian for the average Symbian phone.

A good counterexample would be N95 - the supposedly super-phone/mobile computer to provide functionality on par with the original iPhone. Its software had so many memory leaks and bugs that it could not stay up for more than 10 minutes with heavy data or VOIP use. Non-working camera software, filesystems chronically corrupt - you name. The joy of Nokia "as shipped".

In any case, in terms of build quality the only thing on the market to really rival the iDevices is Sony Ericsson. Neither the HTC, nor Samsung come anywhere near. While it may not have the latest software, in terms of "well made" it is way better.

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Black Ops II to take gamers to open worlds... and destroy them

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Re: What kind of...

No, Swedish actually: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stridsvagn_103

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