* Posts by Alfonso Garcia-Patiño Barbolani

11 posts • joined 25 Apr 2012

Samsung unveils fourth-generation Galaxy Tabs

Alfonso Garcia-Patiño Barbolani

Re: ... notoriously unreliable and Samsung can't bother to fix them

"Assuming you're based in the UK"

... which sadly, I'm not. Thanks anyway for the advice.

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Alfonso Garcia-Patiño Barbolani

Never, ever buy one of those: they are notoriously unreliable and Samsung can't bother to fix them

Purchased two Note 10.1 devices almost a couple of years ago. One of them is working flawlessly without a single issue. The other one started to reboot by itself and lose all configuration information from time to time, the lapse between these incidents becoming shorter and shorter.

When it became unusable because you could not watch a 10 minute clip without the device locking out, I sent the tablet for repair.

The first time I sent it it came back with note saying that they had swapped the motherboard. The problem appeared again after a few weeks of use. I sent it to repair again and came back. Four iterations later and the problem continues. Service notes came back with comments like "no problem found" (of course if you're not willing to wait five or ten minutes you'll not see anything wrong when you just boot the device) or "charge battery" (like I can ensure the kit arrives at the repair shop with full charge!!!) or says "upgrade software" (as sometimes you can only get out of the reboot cycle by wiping to factory defaults and you don't bother to enter the profile info again so that the technician can enjoy looking at your browsing history)

After four, count them, four times I've given up. Samsung does not want to replace the device, and refuses to acknowledge any problem because their technicians can't bother to leave a device on long enough to see it.

I've asked around a found at least two other Note owners with the same problem, sporadically losing profile info or rebooting, and they have not been able to have Samsung fix it. In general, Samsung owners either have not experienced any problems with their kit or have given up on the brand after trying to get any problems fixed.

I'm astonished as to how Samsung is still in the market. Their range of problems start at poor design, poor quality control, poor technical service and finally poor customer commitment. At least if all else fails, after a customer sends you four times a device with exactly the same problem you'd consider there's something wrong with it?

Contrast this with my experiences with other brands, one more expensive brand, the other is even cheaper than Samsung: both have serviced kit sent to them in a matter of days. One fruity company even swapped one phone with a flaky battery after 15 months of purchase without questions.

So in light of these experiences, I'm recommending against the Note. And against Samsung consumer electronics in general. I don't want to have a TV rebooting sporadically and be told that "there's no problem" is the solution.

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OpenSUSE 13.1: Oh look, a Linux with YOU in mind (and 64-bit ARMs)

Alfonso Garcia-Patiño Barbolani

Re: I want to quit my addiction to Microsoft products...

It is very unpredictable what will work with Wine and what not. As an example, Lego Digital Designer works out of the box, no tweaks needed, while League of Legends requires ungodly amounts of hacking to work half decently. One is a game and the other is more like a desktop application, so this is somewhat expected.

Wine will always play catch-up with the latest Windows versions, but you'll be surprised how many Windows apps works well with it.

But the greatest thing about Wine is that you can install each app on its own "Windows" folder, and avoid all the dependency conflicts you'd have to deal with if you ran everything in a single VM. Of course, you could always bring up additional VMs and Windows installs per application, but that will be an increased license, disk and machine resource cost.

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Indestructible, badass rootkit BadBIOS: Is this tech world's Loch Ness Monster? VOTE NOW

Alfonso Garcia-Patiño Barbolani

It is fake

None of the claims are technically impossible. All of them have at least a proof of concept. However, all of these demonstrations target specific hardware, software, BIOS versions and USB host implementations.

It is one thing to create a PoC for a limited subset of computers/brands/USB hosts, and a very different and way, way more complicated, to create something that survives a few different classes of BIOSes, chips, operating systems (many versions), hardware and machines. As an example, think about all the viruses and trojans that target some systems (vulnerabilities in specific versions or architectures) but when tried to execute on others they crashed the machine or did nothing.

If this was true, as someone else has said above, whoever is doing it would have a much bigger opportunity to make billions in the consumer space just by creating systems that... you know, always work and keep working?

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Google shreds Reader in new round of 'spring cleaning'

Alfonso Garcia-Patiño Barbolani
Unhappy

Destroying trust

I know, I know, it's free so you don't complain because you are getting more than what you're paying for. With free services you are the product, not the service itself. And all that. First was iGoogle, my home page for the last few years. Now is Reader, the place I visit most frequently from my iGoogle home page.

While Google is perfectly free to kill whatever service they want, and to be honest, they do it in a very gentle way, what with giving you a means of exporting your list of feeds, they need to be aware that what they are killing with each "spring cleaning" is not only a few products and services.

What they are destroying is the trust that I, and I suppose many others, had on Google as a "user first" entity that looked for ways of helping people organizing information, turning a nice profit as a side effect.

We have plenty of other companies out there trying to MBA-maximizing short term profits, cross-leveraging their product portfolio to push people to use their offerings designed to maximize the amount of data they can sell and playing dirty tactics to outflank the competition instead of competing on quality. We don't need another, thank you.

Now, I suppose lots of people are rethinking where are they placing their blog posts, their videos, their photos. Because if they can kill an immense popular service like Reader, what's next? Blogger? Picasa? YouTube?

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NoSQL's CAP theorem busters: We don't drop ACID

Alfonso Garcia-Patiño Barbolani

Re: Interested? Check us out and apply for alpha

Availability in CAP theorem context does not mean that your DB is available 100%, CAP theorem says that the system cannot converge to 100% in all three dimensions (C, A, and P) at the same time.

Of course, in the real world, and due to physical limitations, there is no way to achieve 100% for all three requirements, but that does not stop people system designers to attempt to get as close as possible to that 100%.

So according to CAP theorem it is perfectly acceptable to return an error if the data is not available (and in practice there is no way to prevent this from happening at some level), but whatever you do to increase availability and thus avoiding return that error will be by doing something that sacrifices the ability to partition, to be consistent or both.

At least that's what I understood.

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Ten... eight-bit classic games

Alfonso Garcia-Patiño Barbolani

Re: Selection is a bit UK biased for BBC and Speccy

Just shows that I was a Speccy person...

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Alfonso Garcia-Patiño Barbolani
Thumb Up

Selection is a bit UK biased for BBC and Speccy

But that's ok since I played most of those. I'd replace two of the lesser know Spectrum entries with two Jeff MinterC64 classics: Mutant Camels and Dropzone.

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