2191 posts • joined Tuesday 26th June 2007 21:02 GMT
No browser, no cloud
If MS want to do the whole software as a service thing, they really need to lift their browser game.
Having to use Chrome to access MS cloud services just isn't a good way to convince the market you know what you are doing.
How soon they forget....
Anyone remember Zune???
Zune took out the top spots in all the Amazon rankings. Yes, even the brown one,
MS were dancing the jig then. Perhaps they think it will be different this time.
Computers are not that different
When it comes to running a company, the basics of business analysis are really not much different whether you're making computers, cars or fizzy drinks. You're still dealing with customers, marketing, product development etc.
But if you still insist that computers are different, then comsider that these days most cars are just networks on wheels with tens of CPUs in them. Software development makes up a considerable part of any new car development and software issues are a big part of the car maker's market & legal issues (eg. recent Toyota issues).
Viewed that way, Ford *is* a software company, the only difference being that people take it more personally when the software crahses.
Re: Resistance is futile
"If the energy stored in the capacitors could be recycled somehow."
Well that's a problem... The only way to get charge out of a capacitor is to run it down to 0 volts. Now some of that could be discharged into some other capacitor at a lower voltage, but the rest is going to end up turning into heat.
It is appealing to think that the energy can be "pumped out" and stored in a supercap or such for future use, but then you're really making a perpetual motion machine and there are some laws of physics ready to spoil your fun.
Re: ..."a whopping 80 per cent of crashes ... involved male drivers"
"I thought the figures showed that women have more crashes overall, its just that men have more bigger crashes."
I think you've probably nailed it.
If you add up all the little fender benders, parking lot dings and other "crap parking" style crashes then the women probably take the prize.
Crashes that end up in police statistics (ie. involving serious damage, injury or death) probably belongs to the males.
Re: Went out with a girl called Stanene
Sounds more like a Dolly Parton country song.
Resistance is futile
The heat in chippery is not due really caused by resistive losses but is more a result of capacitive losses.
Each "bit"/transistor holds charge and is, in effect a small capacitor. Every time a bit state toggles from 1 to 0 or 0 to 1, the capacitor must charge or discharge using up energy according to E=0.5 x C xV^2. Toggling billions of those / sec results in the power consumed by the chip.
Changing the resistance of the conductive paths within the chip has little direct impact on that.
MS rate == 0
"at this rate it"
MS has been doing smart phones for twice as long as Apple and Google. Over that time they have not really shown any serious market share.
In the beginning, MS were third place to Nokia and Blackberry. Now they're third place to Google and Apple.
Not much change in 12 years...
Thanks for your clarification, but what birds are these? Food poisoning off commercially raised birds might be commonplace but real hunted birds should be OK.
Never been sick from eating all sorts of stuffed birds myself.
"“Parents need to think".
No more. No thinking allowed!
"I worked on that copy of ETI"
Ok, I'll ask what every other person who remembers wants to know...
Did you have problems with the Triac overheating? And, oh, by the way, what's that dancing girl's name?
I was a teenager growing up in South Africa back then. My holiday job earned be about 1 GBP per day.
I could afford to buy ETI magazine and could sometimes afford to buy some parts for a project.
I remember drooling over the micro boares - including the SC/MP... and also that girl on the ETI cover with the disco lights project in it.
I eventually got an HP29C in 1979. Learned to program on that.
MS don't need a software guy
They need a business guy. Someone who understands concepts like customers, competition etc.
A perspective from outside the software industry is refreshing. It helps for asking those fundamental questions about the business. MS has lost its way and it needs someone that can ask the big questions and not just roll out a bunch of buzzwords.
"competition is good for everybody"
True. Microsoft has been in the tablet market since the 1990s and the phone market since 2001.
Thank goodness for competition or we'd still be stuck with their shite.
I think what RealFred was trying to do was play the "Give Microsoft a chance" card. Well they've had all the chance they need (almost 20 years in tablet space and about 5 or 6 generations during that time). They had the market stitched up but blew it.
Snake Oil Salesman gotta sell oil
If it runs on x86 and needs PHP, it won't threaten home routers or IoT. None of these use x86 or PHP.
It would be interesting to dig deeper to understand if the threat could even theoretically manifest of other architectures or embedded systems, many of which lack the resources (both software and hardware) for some exploits to happen.
Sorry AC, Windows CE ain't Windows
"The Windows kernel already scales down to for example mobile phones (and is more efficient and less memory hungry than say Android)..."
Having spent years working deep in the Windows CE OS and in Linux (writing drivers etc for both), I can assure you that Windows CE might be able to run with less memory, but is incredibly inefficient in CPU usage.
Windows CE is also very stunted. It is not scaled down Windows but an entirely different kernel that lacks most of the Windows services and has a completely pathetic security model.
This has always been the MS way...
Well at least during the Ballmer era anyway.
Instead of putting the immense resources available into trying to make better products that the competitors, MS, well Ballmer anyway, spends more time trying to body-slam the competition than outplay them.
He laughed at iphone. Instead he should have pulled his arrogant head out of his donkey and tried to build something better.
He has had a complete obsession with taking the fight to Google. Instead he should be ignoring Google and trying to make better services & products.
The bully-boy mentality has always suited the kid with muscle but no talent.
Why would stuffing cause food poisoning?
Assuming you stuffed the bird just before roasting, the stuffing itself should not breed and bad stuff. Any bad stuff is going to come from contaminated meat inside the cavity which is still there whether or not you stuff the bird.
And yes, I've hunted, killed, cleaned plucked, stuffed and eaten a few birds too.
Can't equate CrtlC/V with Ctrl-F4
Short cuts work for things you do often, not for things you do once in a blue moon.
Copy/paste is often used and thus CtrlC/V is quickly learned.
Ctrl-F4 is very seldom doing to be used and is rather obscure. Chances are very few people would know it.
Re: It won't change
No doubt that is correct.
Quite likely patent examiners work to a quota where they have to complete n patents per week. Come Friday afternoon a whole lot of patents will get a free pass.
There is no pressure to change this. USPTO/.gov get paid regardless of the quality of the patent. It is less work to OK a patent than to reject it. Therefore the pressures are on the system to allow through really poor patents,
If, however, the USPTO was to be held accountable for the quality of their patents, things might change. If a business could sue the USPTO for lost revenue, that would make things interesting....
But, as I said before, any change would be decided by those who have a vested interest in the status quo. Therefore no change.
It won't change
Tenured professors with incomes for life don't mind speaking their minds because they are unaffected by what they have to say.
But the current cock-up that is US patentt law is a healthy money spinner for for the actual lawyers practicing patent law. Forget expecting them to change any more than asking turkeys to ask for thanksgiving twice a year.
The lawyers make a lot of money filing patents. If it was harder to get patents, less people would file and the lawyers' business would be cut by many %.
But the real jackpot does not come from filing patents but from patent litigation. Crap patents are more likely to end up in disputes. Therefore it is highly desirable for the patents to not only be many, but more importantly, they must be crap.
So if USPTO was to ever undergo significant review, the experts being called upon to give legal wisdom to the proceedings will be the actual patent lawyers themselves. Foxes and hen-houses; they will just say it is all functioning fine as it is right now.
Furthermore, the USPTO is one of very few govt departments that is self-funding and actually makes a little profit for Uncle Sam. Nobody really wants to mess with that.
Thus.... status quo.
"U.S. government was unaware"
They might be able to get away with denying knowledge, but it would be ridiculous to think that the various security people from the prez down didn't know this was happening.
Perhaps Marissa has an evil Elop-like mission
All the best talent must have left long ago, before Marissa even started there.....
But that was not enough. Marissa cut telecommuting and offers less maternity leave than Google et al. That must have taken the best of what was left.
Now forcing people to use Y!Mail. Who is going to be left? Those that can't get a job elsewhere.
Perhaps Marissa is on a mission to push Y! over a cliff and keep it dead.
Re: In other words...
Yup, just like people knew a long time ago. Observations like this were made at least ten years ago, if not 20 years ago.
Same goes for analysing the bumps on whale fins to study fluid flow.
It seems someone has run out of original ideas to secure research funding and has been dredging up old papers looking for "motivation".
Terrorist threats are totally overblown in USA.
Apparently you're 9 times more likely to choke to death on your own vomit.
Re: It's really sad
Radio is electronic. Are we allowed to change stations?
Functional programming and shift registers
That's one of the real problems of computer science.
Very, very, few of the people who enter the world with a computer science degree end up doing computer science. They end up programming and doing software engineering.
Computer science is actually a really poor education for someone who is going to develop software. CS is an academic subject and the industry wants practical people.
Sure, FP is interesting as is how shift registers work and NP-completeness or whatever to anyone who cares. However these are completely irrelevant to people who develop software on a daily basis.
The findings are bollocks
What the industry wants is programmers, not Computer Scientists. I've been in the industry 30 years and don't think I've really done much Computer Science per se.
Good programmers will be drawn to programming no matter whether the cool kids at school think they are nerdy or not.
Good programmers will also be drawn to programming whether or not it is taught at school. Good programmers need to be resourceful and if they have to be spoon fed by teachers they will likely be crap programmers. Give me the kid who taught himself to write Visual Basic over the kid who only knows what was downloaded into him by formal education.
Joining this industry is a commitment to life-long learning. If you can't teach yourself, then give up now.
As for "1) Chicken & Egg: Employers want experienced staff.", that's not entirely true. Employers do indeed want experienced staff, but it is not a chicken and egg problem. Now, more than ever before, students have opportunities to flex their programming muscles before they graduate.
Internships abound. There are also thousands of open source projects where a student can get stuck in and learn something new and actually contribute. And prove themselves.
Give me a "B" graduate with an interesting bunch of projects on github over an "A+" graduate who only focused on their coursework.
Re: DoA failures
Leadfree solder is just another constraint to take into account when designing a board. Any compentent bord designer should be able to handle this.
Cracking solder joints need either thermal cycling or flexing. Both of these can be mitigated by good design.
Blaming "new" tech that has been around for about 10 years now is disingenuous.
Intel always dumpt their non-x86 business
Intel has had a long list of dabblings with other business units, processors etc. So far they have ended up dumping everything that isn't x86.
8080, 8051, 80251, 960: All "killer" architectures in their time. But what does Intel do? They cut these off at the knees meaning that the companies that built product on these were left high and dry (except for the 8051 where other suppliers were licensed).
They had a great StrongARM/PXA line in ARM. They were king of the ARM pile.... and sold it to Marvell who stopped further development.
Same pretty much for their flash, ARM and other tech.
Unsuprisingly, designers are hestitant to design in Intel. Many would consider it gross negligence to leave a company exposed to Intel changing its mind and abandoning a CPU.
They only design in Intel to be able to run PC-like software. If Intel came up with a new wonder chip for embedded, it would have to have some very compelling features or nobody would touch it.
But as we all know, the science isn't settled, there's no consensus, etc etc. So Eric Schmidt's disastrous 2 meters of sea level rise by 2100 is entirely plausible and a worse case scenario that needs to be planned for."
By that logic we should also allow for the case where the earth is only 6000 years old.
Eric Schmidt: I'll make you a deal
You give up your private jet and I'll cut my car usage by 50%.
If you don't want to make the deal, then STFU demanding others do things you are not prepared to do yourself.
Maybe MS-Surface needs a wrist-strap
A surface on your wrist only makes marginally less sense.
Re: Ah, but why did they sell the dumb phones?
What's more of a question is "Why do they still make dumb phones?"
Ten years ago dumb phones were still profitable. But now? Margins are razor thin and everyone and their dog is in the game. Huawei et al might still make a profit out of them but Nokia probably can't feed many expensive European engineers just on dumbphones.
Why not use an FPGA?
"the AP is a scalable, two-dimensional fabric comprised of thousands to millions of interconnected processing elements, each programmed to perform a targeted task or operation."
Sounds almost like an FPGA,
Re Apple Newton
Both Apple and Microsoft fell on their arses, but there the similarity ends.
Apple stood up, learned from their mistakes and went forward to make some outstanding products.
MS, OTOH, still produces WinCE -based "phone operating systems" based on 15-year old tech. They crapped their nappies and are getting a nice warm feeling from sitting in their own excrement.
Re: @Andrew Oakley
"Their options are to win mobile or die."
Considering that MS have been pouring money into mobile for at least 15 years, they are not doing well at all. They have been both ineffective AND damaging to the industry.
Those that say to give MS a chance forget that MS have been in the smartphone busiess twice as long as Apple or Google.
I really think that aince about 2001, Bllmer has had a complete Google obsession. Rather than put energy into winning customers he has, instead, been trying to beat up Google by buying "verbs", Bing, Kin phone, etc.
Ballmer is only the SYMPTOM
What Ballmer is doing here is some sort of falling-on-the-sword act which really costs him little He has so much stock that any up-tick he can generate will make him a boat load of money.
But Ballmer is not "the problem", he is only the SYMPTOM of "the problem". Shooting the chief clown doesn't stop the circus from being a circus.
The problem is the set of forces in Microsoft that allowed them to install people like Ballmer. Mostly, it comes down to two things:
1) Supreme arrogance. We're Microsoft so we know what's best for you.
2) Such shockingly largeincome from some business units at they can execute really badly in other areas without market forces coming into play. They've been able to run huge losses trying to prop up their dabblings with mobile for 12+ year. In that time they have damaged/destroyed many companies with some pretty good ideas by drowning them.
Pity really. From all that amazing potential, you'd hope the world would have gained more.
Re: Uhm.... The Real Reason
I love the smell of sensationalism in the morning.
On my desk there is a copy of Dr Dobb's Journal from April 1990 with the big banner: "Neural Nets Now"..
In the 1980s I studied neural nets at university and Wonkapedia tells me these date back to the 1940s. Since then we have various other similar self-learning systems such as genetic algorithms (dating back to the 1950s) and Bayesian filtering.
None of these systems has a formal logical algorithm and thus no programmer can actually explain why a specific decision is being made. All we know is that they somehow often do perform rather well.
Sorry folks, but it is not yet a case of the machine being smarter than the programmer.... but like me, you clicked. That was the whole point of this sensationalist article: click generation.
Re: Things that need to happen
5. New DAB format invented. New mandate that car radios are upped to new DAB format.
6. Wait another 10 years.
Do that all and people would still rather have FM....
Where's the Playmobil?
Yawn... nothing new
US domestic flights have had on-board credit card gobbling phones for years now. Many years ago I flew from SFO to LAX sitting next to a lawyer you talked on his phone the whole way, no doubt billing his clients for every second in the air. It was no more disruptive than sitting next to someone playing a game or watching an in-flight movie.
Nothing new, what's the fuss?
Re: Only got themselves to blame..
"Only got themselves to blame" takes a very simplistic view of how things work. Even in the most paranoid of institutions, people need to be able to have some trust or they would not get things done.
When I was in the army, I worked some time in IT. The generals kept forgetting their passwords, so we ended up assigning the generals passwords which were printed out and kept on a list for everyone to reference. For a while, we made it easy for ourselves by assigning them all the same password.
Now as it turns out, pretty much nobody doing IT was vetted at all (I certainly wasn't and would have failed miserably - being associated with various "known" people - including a guy who was in jail for espoinage). And I had all the generals' passwords.
You can guarantee the same happens in ALL government organisations, spooks or not. It probably happens in most banks too.
Disruptive is a fair description
Whether you love Android or hate it, you must surely agree.
Windows etc: Controlled by MS, released on only a limited set of architectures and SOC options.
iOS: Apple make all the decisions.
Android: Anyone can port it to any CPU architecture that will support Linux. Heck, it even runs on Xilinx MicroBlaze.
That has completely shifted the powerbase of who gets to make decisions and who gets to play the game. That is surely the definition of "disruptive".
Why do so many put the US constitution on such a pedestal?
It was an attempt to capture some ideals of some people, subject to their biases and interpretations and their woldview (including their technology).
At the time of writing, "Freedom for all" didn't mean for women, native americans, blacks and slaves (otherwise there would have been no need for the 13th, 14th, 15th and 18th).
"Freedom of religion" meant free from inter-Christian persecution. It didn't mean other faiths.
Since then it has had 27 bug-fixes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_amendments_to_the_United_States_Constitution), of which some are contradictory (18th and 21st). It should thus hardly be considered a foundation for a legal system.
The constitution guarantees nothing. At a stroke of the pen, the 28th amendment could be introduced which undoes the 1st or 2nd (just as the 21st undid the 18th). Given that the second half of the 1900s was the most active period of changes, it would seem that another flurry of changes is well overdue.
The publicity must be hurting the spooks
Of course these spook talks are just posturing. The Bad Guys have known for a long time that the spooks are watching them, and the spooks have been admitting it for years. No doubt spooks with something really worth talking about have been using reasonable cryptography for ages.
But where all the publicity really hurts is that now Joe & Jane Sixpack are getting concerned about uncalled-for observation by the the spooks and are starting to use encryption for mundane conversations.
Although the spooks *can* break encryption, that is likely to only come at high computational cost. Munching on an encrypted email is expensive whether it contains terrorist target information or cute kitty pictures.
That surely increases the size of the haystacks that the needles are buried in, which reduces the spooks' ability to be effective.
A very articulate summary, but I think you over estimate Tesla's battery technology.
From Wonkapedia "The [Model S] lithium-ion battery consists of more than 7,000 battery cells for the 85 kW·h pack." so that's not immensely different from a shed load of llaptop batteries soldered together.
According to posts on the tesela morom forum: , the battery is covered by a warranty with this clause: "The Battery, like all lithium-ion batteries, will experience gradual energy or power loss with time and
use. Loss of Battery energy or power over time or due to or resulting from Battery usage, is NOT
covered under this Battery Limited Warranty"
Not startlingly different from a laptop then.
I suspect that part of the EU vs USA supply decisions are that they can get away with more favourable warranty deals in EU than they can in California.
"USA will only allow"
Why? To sell you more iTat.
IoT might actually make the iWatch useful. Though of course the function itself might not be.
But Intel is never going to be a player in this market. 50c microcontrollers are already overkill and overpriced for stuffing into lightbulbs and toasters.
The microcontroller does not live in isolation either. They need power supply circuitry etc. Many, if not most, 8-bit microcontrollers can live very happily on really shitty (and cheap) power supply circuits with a wide voltage range. I have an AVR here that will continue to work fine when powered with anywhere from 1.5V to 6V. That's headroom for a lot of ripple. 3 cents of components and you're done.
Most 32-bit micros (including cheap ARMs) need 3V3 and, maybe, 1V8 supplies with less than 100mV or so of ripple. Atom are even more onerous, never mind the space needed.
So why are Intel playing the whole IoT game? Well they have to be seen to be doing the up-to-date buzz-wordy stuff or Wall St will punish them.