* Posts by James Billingham

15 posts • joined 21 May 2007

Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect

James Billingham

I concur

Read the Ars review, this one makes me wonder if the reviewer was on something.

- Games have poor reviews apart from the dance one so how does the tech get a thumbs up? Potential!

- The reviewer mentions his calves were jammed against his settee to get far enough away, but thats somehow not relevant

- Teething problems with the shit controls are ignored as teething problems, so many years to get over these before launch but its just a matter of a simple update coming soon I'm sure

- No mention of the lack of controls where a button press is needed such as how do you brake? OK so the 'purity' of the controllerless concept would be muddied, but it would work.

'Steve Jobs' switches to Android

James Billingham

Flash is fine, got great, but fine

Why make statements that flash on a mobile is a slow mess? I have a HTC desire and while the framerate of the flash iplayer embeds on the bbc news site are not as fast as on my laptop its very watchable. All flash websites are navigable and perfectly usable -- so its perfectly feasible to use flash on a mobile -and its apparently only a beta so it will get better.=

Google promises what Jobs hates in next Android

James Billingham


Bit confused by this article - my HTC desire plays flash just fine. BBC embedded iplayer stuff, annoying ads, games.... Its even not that bad although the iPlayer stuff does not feel as smooth as the PC. Going to the adobe flash test page says I have version 10,1,123,391 installed...

Flash GUIMark I got average FPS of 6.12fps, not too bad when my dual core laptop only got 19.5fps

Chocolate Factory eats crow on Googlephone

James Billingham

Desire is better

I suppose this is the problem with not being an Apple with a closed system - they cannot use their clout to stop competitors producing a better product. I would have bought the Nexus... If not for the Desire being the better phone, and they are both made by HTC so you wonder how much HTC used their knowledge of the Nexus to blow it away.

HP peddles app stress-testing cloud

James Billingham


Sounds like a bad idea - should you really be capacity planning based on HPs set-up and load test in a virtual environment? If its just to see where bottlenecks are then its not much use either as you will still need to load test in your own environment to find any specific set-up issues with your infrastructure.

Unless you actually plan to run the app in HPs elastic data-centre or whatever then its not a particularly useful service.

IBM: Power7 to rollout throughout 2010

James Billingham

Seems Jesper has caught Kebabbert out

Quoting biased benchmarks will never convince anyone - reading both the Sun reference from Kebabbert and the paper it originated from that Jesper quotes I could write my own blog post at IBM central stating one CELL BE with 1 core beats Niagra with 8 cores in this very important area of pattern matching ... blah blah blah

Not quite true as CELL is only better in small dictionaries, it has SPEs which although not cores like the PPE should obviously be mentioned. Sun ref. states CELL has 8 cores - which is as untrue as my statement, one PPE which is a cut down Power core and 8 SPEs which are by no means general purpose CPU cores and as such should not be compared to the Niagras 8. (Sun thinks the 1 PPE and 8 SPEs adds up to 8 - I assume its because only the SPEs were 'doing' the work in the academic article, in fact the PPE orchestrates everything so maybe should be included to make the CELL look worse)

Having read both I'd have to conclude the Sun article is a peice of marketing FUD, they specifically chose the particular area of this benchmark that the CELL is bad at and ignored the bit where it is a lot better. They exaggerated the number of cores in the CELL which indicates a lack of understanding of the CELL, especially as they compared an SPE to a Niagra core. Worst thing is using the academic article referred to by Jesper and not having a reference so deluded Sun fanbois like Kebab never see the full story....

All fairly irrelevant any way - I work in the real world of performance (For IBM so I must be biased, actually a lot of IBMs customers use CPUs other than Power!) tuning customer systems and the CPU technology is rarely of interest (I don't get sales commission ;-)). Real applications perform badly because of bad code - order of magnitude performance improvements are not uncommon by fixing the poor code in the app. Architectural decisions, library decisions (I choose JSF for my high volume website!) etc have far far more effect on performance. Except for that customer who decided to run everything on a 486... But thats a different story.

The rare optimised workloads that run on specialised processors like CELL, or the highly optimised cluster apps are rare and they probably do care more about the CPU tech specs - I'd guess they don't take BM Seer as a credible source. Interestingly IBM has far more workloads in the top 500 supercomputers than anyone else - so maybe they are good at that, I don't know cos I don't work in that area.

Toyota Prius fourth-generation e-car

James Billingham

Usual bollocks

On both sides that is - review says you can use EV mode cannily to avoid using petrol... Duh its charged up by using petrol and over-use of EV is likely to reduce your mpg not increase it. Until you can charge it up this will be the case.

In regards to the nickel usage etc - the construction industry will use far more nickel as an alloy in steel than the prius uses in its batteries (%'age nickel needed for all cars to have NiMH batteries from that Canadian mine would be a small proportion of the mines output) - what a surprise that Clarkson knows nothing! The study that showed the Prius worse dust-to-dust than a Land Rover supposed it had a lifetime of 100K miles (Yes every car only lasts for the guaranteed mileage!) and took a very low mpg average for it - so complete balls again.

Love it or hate it no one can deny that the Prius put fuel economy and environmentalism at the top of the car agenda - and in the US as well which all the US manufacturers ignored to their peril. Thats the main environmental reason I bought one - I would be an idiot to think it is environmentally friendly to buy any car let alone a new one - however in our capitalist society the only way of creating change is to buy along our principles. So I buy environmentally friendly products so companies are encouraged to manufacture more and better environmentally friendly products in order to compete. In that regard the Prius has been a great success - just look at all the cars touting their environmental credentials now.

Microsoft tells US retailers Linux is rubbish

James Billingham

@Anonymous Coward and WINE

Duh why is saying it runs on wine not saying it runs on Linux? If they were saying it runs on their VM image of windows through Linux then you may have a point. Wine is an implementation of the Windows APIs on Linux not an emulator so its perfectly valid to say Linux supports those Windows APIs exactly as Windows XP supports the Older Win95, Win3.1 APIs natively...

Toyota preps plug-in Prius for mass production

James Billingham

Battery Tech

The current Prius keeps its battery between 60% and 40% charged to avoid deep cycles of the power pack. This has extended the life of this very expensive component to the point it has not been an issue. So I'd have 2 concerns - Does it deep cycle to get that range and have they solved the problem of LiON batteries losing their capacity with time? Both would lead to replacement packs being needed - perhaps thats why they cost so much more cos u need to have a replacement pack each year from Toyota :-)

Until there is some new technology for car batteries I don't see PHEVs taking off.

Microsoft challenges IBM to Websphere duel

James Billingham

I wouldn't trust M$ to tune my J2EE app server!

Bet M$ did not enable Large Pages on AIX - free 10-15% for Java Apps... Also bet they did not a. Use generational concurrent gc and b. Tune it properly, the IBM JVMs default nursery size is far too small for WAS so u need to up it. From this I'd expect 20-30% performance improvement, assuming it is gc constrained which is likely...

Straight away without using any WAS7 specific performance features this would put the stats they got for WAS a lot nearer the .NET ones, and thats on a M$ crippled test :-P

As usual these comparisons are a joke - ppl do not make decisions based on them as if they are a .NET outfit then they will use M$ if Java then they will use WAS or any other J2EE app server. They are fodder for M$ fanbois to witter about and IBM to easily disprove.

Hadoop - Why is Google juicing Yahoo! search?

James Billingham
Dead Vulture

More than a little better performance wise only

Google had benchmarks in the original papers that Hadoop MapReduce and HBase still cannot touch - who knows if they have tuned and improved on old figures - almost certainly. But that is not the point, if they had released their version it may have challenged Hadoop but since its all written in C++ and highly optimised to run their particular jobs I doubt it. Hadoop is in Java - a language even poor programmers like myself can handle - I have written MapReduces in Hadoop in minutes its so easy. Would I be able to do the same on the Google code base - I doubt it since I haven't touched C for over a decade and didn't like it then ;-)

So overall a pretty poor article as its fairly obvious why they are not scared by Hadoop - they have a dominate position partly due to the technology advantage they had (As in past tense). Everyone fighting over whats left is not going to dent their lead one iota while they are free to look for the next new technology.

Sun powers Niagara hypervisor update with IBM speed boast

James Billingham


How much is this a test of the hardware and how much a test of how well Sun can tune Weblogic vs Websphere? Comparing the two servers identically configured would be much more useful.... OS tuning would also have an effect - on AIX for example configuring large page support for Java gives you a 10-15% boost.

Then again it is marketting bull so cannot expect accuracy!

Honda shows off Insight hybrid

James Billingham

Prius styling

Backend looks surprisingly Prius like... Maybe after the failure of their previous model to sell on its 'looks like every other Honda' has meant they have decided to copy the looks of the Prius? Might be considered a strange idea when the Prius styling is usually one of the main bad points according to its detractors.

PS4 and Xbox 720 due by 2012, says Crysis firm

James Billingham

@PaulM and SPEs

Pauls a bit out there I reckon since IBM have been focussing on a modified CELL BE alright and its in the worlds fastest computer right now (Roadrunner 1Petaflop) but the mod was to make it handle double precision maths properly and address more memory which is not much use to games consoles!

As for 100s of SPEs - not any time soon - the most up to date CELL has an insane amount of internal bandwidth (300Gb/s peak) but it needs it to drive all the SPEs. Scaling that to 100s of SPEs on one core would not be easy to say the least!

SO the claim there are games developers creating games for the PS4 with a magic new CELL BE is ridiculous not least because most of the visual grunt in a PS3 is the graphics chipset! Hence an upgraded PS3 with a new CELL BE and more memory might make my Yellow Dog Linux install run better but it won't improve games much.

Cars could run on aluminium, say US boffins

James Billingham

Burn the aluminium instead

Only been suggested for iron filings so far injected into a normal internal combustion engine and sparked as usual - but I'm sure aluminium would give you that extra boost :-)


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019