* Posts by Martin Usher

473 posts • joined 8 Dec 2006

Page:

Amazon throws tax hissy-fit, dumps California affiliates

Martin Usher
Meh

Taxes should be paid on on-line purchases

Its popularly assumed that anything bought on-line is exempt from State sales tax. This is not true, its just that nobody pays it and the State can't figure out how to collect it economically for small transactions (<$5K). Sooner or later the states were going to figure out how to collect sales taxes; the roundabout route that California's using is due to the way that US laws work but in principle its no different from paying VAT on purchases in Europe -- just because you buy something from France doesn't mean you don't pay VAT on it.

Amazon's reaction is predicable but I think it won't work. States are hurting for revenue so they're going to be watching very carefully what CA does and as soon as any Constitutional kinks are worked out of it are going to do the same thing.

The explicit tax holiday for Internet commerce is at the Federal level, BTW.

2
0

MIPS chip slips through Android compliance

Martin Usher
Happy

Why MIPS?

You get more of them for a given clock speed than a typical ARM, that's why.

There is no such thing as a processing free lunch. The ARM is designed primarily to be a nanopower, small footprint, processor. It does this very well but its always struggled to get a decent throughput (I can't say much about modern ARMs but even the ARM7 used to struggle -- the things were great as controllers, not so hot as data movers unless given appropriate coprocessor support).

The MIPS has been used successfully in many network devices (and graphics cards) as the heavy lifter.

0
0

Mink coat thief conceals booty down knickers

Martin Usher
Coat

An expensive coat....

One of the properties of this type of coat is that they appear big, they're fluffy and warm but they can be compacted to almost nothing (and they're lightweight). The little people don't usually get to experience this, their mock fur (nylon) stays bulky (and the static build up would have been 'interesting').

0
0

Brit CompSci student faces extradition to US over link site

Martin Usher
WTF?

Please don't encourage them

The US taxpayer, like their British counterpart, is being squeezed so the last thing we want is for some bunch of civil service hacks swanning off to the UK to track down a major computer criminal to bring him to US justice. This is a non-offense, civil at best, and can be dealt with by asking the person nicely to cease and desist.

Law in the US is enforced by overlapping jurisdictions (fiefdoms) so like McKinnon's case its really about some ambitious minor civil servant or lawyer looking for a bit of a carreer boost and maybe a junket or two. There's no real oversight at their level, they have to get slapped down (expensively) by the court system, so they tend to run amuk if you let them. Just say "NO", please.

7
0

AMD promises 10 teraflop notebooks by 2020

Martin Usher
Holmes

should just about boot Windows 10, then

There's always meaningless icons to animate.....

0
0

Apple pilfers rips off student's rejected iPhone app

Martin Usher
Stop

Imaginary Copyright?

These days is fashionable to claim copyright -- and even patents -- on "look and feel" issues. So, for example, if I built a gesture based interface on some random piece of hardware then I'd better make sure it differs significantly from Apple's interface. Obviously my code won't be the same as theirs -- not even remotely the same (coincidences apart) -- but that's not going to be much of a defense.

Try it.....

0
0

Oracle drops OpenOffice on Apache, shuns forkers

Martin Usher
Meh

Its what works for you

The value-add in Open Source comes from using the product as a platform. Open Office is a bit short here and I think it would benefit from a license model similar to that used by Trolltech for Qt (and other larger scale, widely used Open Source packages). There has to be a low cost or free entry point giving access to a usable product (MS's take on this isn't usable). This feeds the value add market and leads in to a revenue generating product which makes ongoing development sustainable.

We all benefit from Open Source packages and the open standards that they champion. Like most ostensibly alturistic enterprises there's enlightened self-interest at the bottom of it..

I'd like to dispute that the much despised capitalist system works but this isn't the place to debate this. Capitalism's viability depends on the definition of the term 'works'. Historically it leads to wasted resources, boom and bust cycles and wars -- great prosperity for some and poverty and misery for many. In its raw form its not sustainable which is why Keynes and his ilk tried tinkering with it.

0
0

Police ROBOT attacks and BURNS DOWN HOUSE

Martin Usher
FAIL

We have to destroy in order to save

The Los Angles police department recently tried a novel approach to a barricade situation in a residential area. Having spent a small fortune on a remote control loader (one of those combination fork lift / bucket truck things) for their bomb squad they brought this in and proceeded to tear the back off the house 'in order to get a better look'. They took out substantial chunks of the neighbors houses while they were about it -- obviously this was a bit more tricky to drive than a R/C toy. Having located and killed the suspect ("looking at me in a funny way" is usually grounds for being shot in the LA area)(the sheriff's department is notorious for this) they then went into damage control mode (CYA damage control; I guess the homeowners were left to pick up the pieces as best they can).

Why do we give people these toys? Whenever I see heavily armed security people I feel uncomfortable because I know that the most likely thing they'll do in an emergency is panic, shoot anything that moves and then cook up some fantastic tale about how they felt in fear of their lives.

9
0

Brit expats aghast as Denmark bans Marmite

Martin Usher
Pirate

Sweden?

I suppose you can get the stuff in Sweden, its only a short train ride from Copenhagen.

0
0

McKinnon's mum applauds Obama extradition stance

Martin Usher
FAIL

Time to maybe drop a hint to Holder to cool it?

Pandering to the more aggressive members of your team is sometimes bad for the image of the company as a whole. I don't see any benefit to dragging McKinnon over here; it might make some dynamic junior prosecutor's career (they think) but its a waste of time and resources. We've got more important things to worry about.

12
0

Desktop Linux: the final frontier

Martin Usher
Linux

Office is a Red Herring

If you buy a new PC it will come with Office pre-installed but you will have to pay to unlock it. So the notion that people want home PCs "because they have Office on them" is bogus -- Office isn't cheap and for the small amount of writing and calculating that most people do Open Office works fine. (The 'freebie' that comes with Office to replace WordPad aren't very good at all.)

I'd guess for day to day stuff most people are working in a browser. Once you're doing that it doesn't matter what platform you're working on (except that L. gets you more horsepower and security for a given platform).

3
0

£1.1bn Royal Navy warship finally armed, sort of

Martin Usher
FAIL

The logic doesn't add up

The missile system defends the boat against air attack. No boat, no need to defend it against air attack. Since the boat doesn't seem to do anything else then its a bit of a waste of space.

Its most effective offensive weapon may be its cost.....sell it to an enemy and watch them go bankrupt....

3
0

Don’t leak WikiLeaks: The NDA from hell

Martin Usher
Stop

Stop and think for a moment

Whatever the rights and wrongs of Wikileaks you have to admit that its a bit of a thorn in the side of governments and other organizations. Because of this you'd expect all sorts of attacks on the organization and its visible front people. Assange's been smeared by the Swedish -- not very effectively, but you've got to hand it to them for trying. This may be more of the same. We need to get it into people's minds that Wikileaks is an organization designed primarily to make a few obnoxious people rich and it will do this by throwing anyone it doesn't like under a handy bus....that sort of thing. This may even be true, of course, but you've got to look at the bigger picture. Who's to gain from discrediting Wikileaks? How much effort and money is it worth?

The article on the rather crude attempt by Facebook to use a PR firm to smear Google should be your guide. Imagine what would happen if it was done competently?

1
0

US Navy produces smart, cheap 6kg fire+forget missile

Martin Usher
Grenade

Image seeker?

I think the new generation of weapons don't lock onto a heat source or anything like that. You effectively give them a picture of what you're after and they just follow the target about until its time to hit it. This sounds a bit sci-fi but its consistent with the trend to add intelligence to weapons -- the weapons themselves are pretty effective, adding intelligence allows you to be more effective with smaller devices.

The "Switchblade" is one of these new generation weapons. Its a tiny drone intended as a personal attack aircraft ("sniper replacement"). It lurks until it sees the target and......

0
0

French publisher starts second round against Google

Martin Usher
FAIL

If Google doesn't index it then it probably will cease to exist

At the risk of inviting a flame war I do think these French publishers are overestimating their importance. The Francophone universe is relatively small and while it may be culturally important to itself it really isn't something that matters to most of humanity. Eventually the French speaking world will wise up and realize that it doesn't matter if you make the most beautiful books if nobody knows about them then they might as well not exist.

So just pull the plug..........

0
0

Mozilla refuses US request to ban Firefox add-on

Martin Usher
Pirate

I wonder how long it would take....

This whole confiscating of domain names thing struck me as being conceived by people with a profound ignorance about how the Interweb actually works.

I especially like the irony in the notion that the original brief for DARPA -- aka "The US Government" -- was to come up with a network system that was decentralized, a system that had no single point of failure (or control). The developers gave them what they asked for. If there ever was a case of "Be careful what you ask for because you might just get it"...

0
0

Fairlight: The Rolls Royce of synthesizers

Martin Usher
Thumb Up

Another notable Fairlight trick...

It actually used two 6800 processors running in anti-phase with each other so they could use the same memory. This was possibly the first example of a multicore processor setup (!) and was made possible by the rather relaxed bus timing of early processors. (That is, they were rather slooooooowwwww.)

The wave editing was far ahead of anything else at the time, it was an amazing beast. It suffered from the problem all custom kit suffered from -- the 20K price tag sounds steep but was actually great value for money for a system of that complexity, easily comparable to the cost of a piece of generic industrial computing kit. What pulled the rug out from it is what got everyone else -- mass production where you could spread the development cost over millions of units.

There was a wave table card available for the Apple 2 in the early 80s that gave comparable sound quality. It was a fantastic thing for the price but it suffered from the problem of being a 'plug in card for an Apple' -- the Apple ][ wasn't exactly roadworthy even reboxed to try and stop it falling apart between gigs. (I think it faded before the manufacturer thought to make it a plug-in card for a PC -- that would have been neat.)

0
0

Japanese gov makes Fukushima evac zone compulsory

Martin Usher
Stop

BP isn't TEPCO

The Japanese did everything right -- they built their buildings to the appropriate earthquake standards, built their sea walls to deflect tsunamis and so on. They got screwed over by being hit by a disaster that was much larger than their best estimate of a worst case scenario. If you put 7 meter sea walls around things and then get hit by a 10 meter tsunami you're going to suffer damage.

BP was 100% man made. We had a similar accident in the Gulf some 30 years ago and it took a similar amount of fiddling around to stop it so we knew the risks and the likely outcomes. The problem was that doing things right cost money, and money spent like this eats into profits. They gambled, we lost. The "extortion" that Obama got from them was a promise to make things whole (World Trade Center style -- a way of short circuiting the tort process). So far the Gulf has rebounded quite well but many people have not.

We should be thankful that we don't get 9.0 earthquakes and 10 meter tsunamis in the gulf. (Just hurricanes....)

2
1

Samsung countersues Apple on new ground

Martin Usher
Stop

I've got a Motion M1400

Its a lot older than an iPad but it does roughly the same job. Does this make Apple a copycat? Or is it that with the arrival of thin displays, lower power processors, dense flash storage and so on*** the tablet has finally become less of a lump.

(Not to mention the absence of 'Windows XP for Tablets' -- "We put the Anchor in Boat Anchor")

3
1

No, iPhone location tracking isn't harmless and here's why

Martin Usher
FAIL

Inaccurate? That's funny...

My daughter posted a link for me way back when she was traveling between Arizona and California so we could estimate her time of arrival. There was some inaccuracy between her and her husband's phone due to clock differences but this just told us how fast they were driving.

What this link was subsequently able to do was track the phones to the in-law's house in Alberqueque -- not just to the general location but I could see exactly what part of the house the phones were in.

These were Blackberries on Verizon's network rather than Jesusphones but I think the basic idea is the same. A phone knows exactly where you are.

Cellphone location data is used by the radio stations in Los Angeles to estimate urban traffic flows in real time. They were using this yesterday to track rolling street closures due to a visit by the President.

So don't worry about misuse of phone information -- panic.

1
0

Modern-day ninja in epic battle with riot police, robot

Martin Usher
Unhappy

He should thank his lucky stars...

... that he doesn't live in Los Angeles. He's likely to have been killed immediately, and if that failed and he retired to his house the PD would have brought in their remote control loader and smashed his house to pieces around him to get to him ("and kill him").

2
0

Suit settled, PS3 hacker donates $10,000 to EFF

Martin Usher
Flame

Just don't buy Sony kit

I don't. I haven't found a compelling reason to spend money on this company's products, especially as I have no idea what they're doing or why.

You can tell where these people are at with their disc players. BluRay is all about source protection, as a technology it doesn't work at all well compared to existing DVD (or even HD-DVD) technologies. That's not important, though -- you just sell enough people on it and they'll believe anything.

0
0

Feds indict poker sites, seize domains

Martin Usher
Flame

Our tax dollars at work....

You'd think they'd find a more productive use for gambling sites. Taxing them, maybe?

But we all know that gambling is evidence of moral turpitude.

Seriously, though, I think the Federal government is stuck in a 1920's time warp. I wish it would just go away.

0
0

Whitehats pierce giant hole in Microsoft security shield

Martin Usher
FAIL

Heap --> 'new'

Heap use comes from new objects which is a consequence of iffy C++ design. I really don't like modern object oriented design; I've got nothing against objects per se, they're a really useful structuring tool, but the way that a generation of programmers have been taught to write code is frightening. They have no idea what their code's doing and why (and as for bloat....).

While this is clagging up Windows PCs I'll just look aside. But from time to time the embedded world gets invaded with this insanity.

What was that they used to say? "When all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail"?

1
0

'I own half of Facebook', says New York fuel salesman

Martin Usher
Alien

History?

Before Microsoft and MS-DOS there was CP/M. Functionally identical (literally in the 1.4 version). Its all about marketing. There was no particular reason to hand PC software over to Microsoft and it should have just been a short-term stopgap solution. Except that Microsoft knew how to market it -- and also how to lock customers in (by creative use of bugs and idiosyncracies to generate user FUD -- they really knew the corporate mindset).

Facebook is also a bit of a technological joke but that won't stop it turning into a money machine.

1
1

Dig deep! Radio asks taxpayers for blank cheque

Martin Usher
WTF?

Flat Broke?

The UK isn't the only government to run up debt, its been quite the thing over the last few decades. The current vogue for "we're flat broke so we can't do X, Y & Z" is really ideological, its part of a long term trend to privatize anything that's profitable and socialize anything that makes a loss. (See "The Shock Doctrine" to see how this works.) This is just another example of this process -- you'll notice that the DAB technology is proprietary so there's a pecuniary interest in pushing it. Its also expensive to implement the broadcasting part so, obviously, the taxpayer has to fund it. Overall, what you get is the consumer being shafted both ways -- you're forced to use products by mandate and you get to pay for it every which way. Modern business - don't ya love it?

2
2

The Cisco Borg in your TV

Martin Usher
Stop

Its not about added value....

"the water company doesn't feel the need to add value".

True, but misguided. They're not interested in adding value but they are interested in maximizing revenue. This speciality, known as Yield Management, is a relatively recent discipline and explains why your phone and utility bills are so incomprehensible (and why buying a train or airline ticket is like playing the lottery). It also explains why you seem to be both up to your ears in rainwater and in a perpetual drought at the same time -- Yield Management is a polite name for "supply chain manipulation"; the only way to make something valuable is to make it scarce.

So the Aussies have gobs of bandwidth. First task will be to break it into tiers and users into groups so you can start organizing pricing models. Part of this will be news stories -- 'excessive downloading' / 'bandwidth hogs' -- planted by the PR people. Part will be political, lobbying efforts.

Most people still believe there's such a thing as a "free market". Its about as real as the Tooth Fairy.

0
0

Microsoft, Nokia, and RIM's wasted R&D billions

Martin Usher
Boffin

They're not the only ones....

Some years ago I was an accidental Intel employee. This was during the time that Intel was developing their low power chipsets and an important part of that development was the wireless interface. They threw billions at this, both in direct development costs and technology aquisitions, sums that were beyond the comprehension of someone reared in shoestring R&D outfits like myself. They were eventually successful but the amount they spent was over an order of magnitude larger than a startup like Atheros spent getting their own (vastly superior, IMHO) product up from scratch.

Large companies have huge cashflow and lots of financial people pulling the strings so they tend to have a weird attitude to R&D -- they'll inventory the paperclips while they're hosing money at what looks like the "cheap, safe" route to their desired goals. You can't change this behavior so you just need to figure out how to get on the other end of the fiscal firehose (after all, that's what Bill Gates did with IBM -- he had what they needed and they weren't too careful about how much it cost or under what conditions it was purchased).

6
0

Ofcom forced to publish tests on dodgy radio kit

Martin Usher
Pirate

So I take it that its OK to open my own radio station?

Yes, I know that running a small FM transmitter will cause planes to fall out of the sky, ambulances to crash and the world as we know it to end but given the indifference to a genuine interference source you'd think they'd not be interested in going after a harmless low bandwidth user.

There must be a missing link somewhere......let me see......ah, money! Of course! Damning powerline kit will alienate Ofcom's sponsors.

3
0

Digital player maker 'incited consumers to break the law', says ASA

Martin Usher
Black Helicopters

Its not like they're ripping in a real sense

These units are designed for hifi use so the music files are going to be a bit on the big side. Not really file sharing material unless you burn them to CD.

Meanwhile just about every DVD player and an increasing number of TVs -- and even my new surround sound receiver -- know exactly what file storage is and aren't bashful about trawling your home network looking for caches of audio and video files.

The ASA definitely seems to have missed the technological boat.

Incidentally, Mr. Brennan seems to have reinvented the juke-box (which haven't used physical play media for years......decades, even).

0
0

Chilean clock-cooking could cause computer chaos

Martin Usher
Alert

I just don't bother

I end up keeping the clocks on one time and leaving it at that. I'll maybe move them as and when I feel like it but I don't bother changing all the clocks. They'll fix themselves in a few months.

3
0

Why US antitrust regulators should probe Google search

Martin Usher
Stop

Sour grapes?

This is what happens when a market gets breaks loose from under a monopoly. The would-be monopolists cry "foul" and start all sorts of diversions and tricks to bring the upstart back under control. Google isn't just a search engine, it directly threatens companies like Microsoft, not by competing with them but by making them irrelevant.

There's nothing stopping a Microsoft being as successful as a Google except that everything they do is tied to their other business units. It degrades the product and so the user experience so -- surprise -- users don't bother with it.

Google needs some serious competition. But I'd rather it was from people rising to meet them than trying to drag them down.

0
0

UK is a closed source 'stronghold'

Martin Usher
Flame

Office 2003?

That really sums up the problem with closed products. Our commenter is fine with his Office 2003, and so he should be, but unfortunately someone sooner rather than later is going to send him a document written with Office 2010 (or whatever its called these days). He'll find that this is where Open Office scores -- he'll be able to read it.

Microsoft's products aren't compatible with each other unless you're paying ongoing licensing to continually upgrade the stuff. Like another person commented -- people swallow the Win7 advertising and think they'll get a lot more done, faster. They won't; they'll (finally) get a system that's as stable and well behaved as a generic Linux implementation but it definitely won't go faster (unless they bought new hardware to go with it....).

I lost contact with Microsoft's development envrionment for decades because the MSDN subscription was way beyond what I could afford. Now I work with their tools I see how atrophied and idosyncratic they are -- all eye candy and obsurfurcation; its the same old stuff behind the curtain but a surprising number of today's developers don't even know the curtain exists. (NMAKE? In 2010? Who are they kidding?)

3
0

South West Trains puts squeeze on commuters

Martin Usher

Have a look at some old carriages

Before you get carried away by the layout of those train 'cars' (that's an American term, BTW) go off to one of those heritage railways and have a look at vintage rolling stock. What you'll find is that the compartments in carriages with corridors could comfortably hold six people and the old surbuban stock (no corridor) manages eight.

Modern train cars do look a bit smaller than old ones, I think its the "straight side" look, makes them narrower.

BR tried double decker surburban trains once. I don't think they were successful.

0
0

Sensitive data easily swiped from eBayed mobiles

Martin Usher
Stop

Its not just phones

One of my wife's bridge playing friends got her house broken into recently and in addition to a lot of valuable jewelry she lost her oldish desktop computer.

This isn't England where anything that isn't screwed down gets stolen on principle (and it its screwed down it just gets unscrewed), this is an upscale part of California where computers are ten a penny, you can't even give them away.

Then it dawned on us -- the computer's worthless but what's on it is not.

0
0

Dutch courts: Wi-Fi 'hacking' is not a crime

Martin Usher
FAIL

Addresses are part of packet administration

Wireless packet headers usually*** have three MAC address fields in them. One's the identification of the network which is usually, but not necessarily the same as, the access point's MAC address. This ESSID serves the same purpose as network cable -- it allows you to distinguish traffic on your network from that of your neighbors'. Google collected ESSIDs as useful location information -- they weren't "Slurping" addresses for some nefarious purposes but the fuss made about what they did and why suggests that a lot of technical people haven't a clue what's going on below the socket layer, let alone understand how the MAC works.

(***They 'usually' have three addresses but sometimes they can have four....so there.....)

1
0

Programmer gets 8 years for theft of stock trading software

Martin Usher

Its just a form of insider trading...

We don't want a level playing field, do we?

0
0

Moving to Windows 7: Is it worth it?

Martin Usher
Flame

Dynamo?

A SatNav system will work fine with a dynamo. You may need a bit of tweaking to work it on a 6 volt system but then the in-car system is largely redundant since a decent phone does the same job (plus a whole lot more).

Complex systems are made from a collection of relatively simple components. Once of the complaints people have about Microsoft is that they don't use this approach in the design of their systems; from the earliest days of MS-DOS they've used excessive complexity as a marketing tool, a way to corral and retain customers. They don't fool everyone; if you've got enough experience you can see the underlying mechanisms that they've appropriated, customized and so made their own. They're usually -- not always, but usually -- half-assed copies of standard mechanisms.

6
0

Bloke with hammer fixes London's Olympic clock

Martin Usher
Happy

Shouldn't it be flashing "12:00"?

It would be so fitting....

1
0

Make streaming a felony: Obama

Martin Usher
FAIL

I'm rapidly becoming an ex-Obama supporter

Its not that I've suddenly discovered the camaraderie of the local Tea Party but I'm getting about as fed up with Bush-lite as you lot must have been with Thatcher-lite (a.k.a. B'liar). I think what's pushed me over the edge is the treatment of Bradley Manning but things like this 'Bend over and spread 'em' attitude to corporate media (or corporate anything else come to think of it) is just too much to stomach.

Remember that the difference between Libya and Iraq is that Libya has our boys in there working the wells but Iraq didn't (...and we don't want to up set our majors, do we?). Freedom only applies to the flow of oil - and profits.

2
0

Police expert caught with abuse images

Martin Usher
Big Brother

What's a Level 5 image?

Apparently you can be caught with the most serious type of image, a "Level 5", without anyone having a clue what a Level anything one is.

I suspect you're guilty if the pervs say you are. They throw the occasional outsider under a bus to give the impression that the system's working and we're all safe.

4
0

IPv6 intro creates spam-filtering nightmare

Martin Usher
Unhappy

Address blacklists are just a kludge

They're something that's cheap and simple to implement but ultimately they're pointless because addresses are easy to forge.

Which is probably the one area v6 scores in. IPv6 in theory prevents people from hiding behind addresses. Which is both a good and a bad thing. Its good because you should be able to tie the source of the packet to the packet itself so you can quickly identify forged or unwanted packets. Its bad because now the powers that be can identify exactly who sourced what traffic....your address can become your signature...

0
0

Microsoft 'paid Nokia $1bn' for WinPho 7 deal

Martin Usher
Thumb Down

I'm not sure I can spell "assilimated"...

...but that's what's going on. Its effectively a takeover of Nokia by MSFT. The deal was logical; it allows Nokia to dump all that expensive in-house development and MSFT finally gets a major outlet for their otherwise redundant windows phone stuff.

1
0

Spaniards bemoan 'joke' speed limit cut

Martin Usher
FAIL

Its the tires

When the 70mph limit was introduced the bulk of the tires on cars were dangerous at and above 80mph. Tire safety is the best argument for keeping speed limits although it doesn't take into account vehicles with better grade tires that can easily travel 100+ without a problem.

If you want a really naff fuel saving speed limit then go for the notorious 55mph limit introduced in the US in the 70s (and now, thankfully, history). Driving 60 or slower does save fuel but having a speed limit set to this figure meant that you had to power up grades and effectively ride the brakes down -- you couldn't drive the flow. Fuel savings were minimal but it was a good source of traffic ticket revenue.

1
2

Godson: China shuns US silicon with faux x86 superchip

Martin Usher
WTF?

OK, Paranoid People, here's the answer.....

>Last time I checked Chinese people weren't 100 times smarter than rest of the world combined.....how indeed do they explain their fast pace of growth?

They're not 100 times smarter but they are smart and it seems like there's 100 times as many of them (which isn't that far off the numerical truth).

Anyone who thinks the Chinese are just good for screwing together bargain basement DVD players doesn't work in R&D. Especially in California.

1
0

Huawei invites US gov to investigate links to Chinese military claims

Martin Usher
Thumb Down

...and I suppose that US suppliers dont have 'links' to the US military

The Chinese army, like any army, buys a lot of stuff. Its going to buy this stuff mostly from local suppliers. Huawei is a large local supplier.

US legislators are a funny bunch. You only have to look at what's going on in our state and federal legislatures to realize that this sort of thing is not just irrelevant but its making us as a nation increasingly irrelevant.

2
0

London man gets 5 years for YouTube terror videos

Martin Usher
Big Brother

Five years for posting a video?

That's a bit extreme.

It seems that kids don't read Conrad at school any more. Conrad's tale of the Secret Agent describes a time when the UK authorities knew how to handle extremists. Now its all heavy handed policing.....ultimately self-defeating.

0
0

Oracle: 'Eight Android files are decompiled Oracle code'

Martin Usher
Happy

Its not about 'stealing', its about compatibility

One reason for open source is that it enables transparent specifications and testing. When you're working in a not-so-open environment you need test vectors for your product, if you don't you'll end up with the traditional Windows "spray and pray" type of programming where you ship buggy code and wait for users to complain.

Programmers typically churn out reams of code. Although its all technically "valuable IP" its really only so to an accountant. A lot of it has 'no commercial value' -- unless its used to fuel inter-company lawsuits.

2
0

German Foreign Office kills desktop Linux, hugs Windows XP

Martin Usher
FAIL

XP?

Windows 7 I could understand. XP's definitely a bit dated; SP3 is a memory and resource hog, the thing's prone to viruses -- unless you really, really have to use some specialized software that only runs on XP then you are better off using Linux.

>Only a lunatic would prefer OpenOffice to Microsoft Office

I don't really notice the difference except that MSOffice had problems with larger spreadsheets -- I don't know about the latest versions ($$$$) but it used to only have 16 bit cell addressing which made it useless for analyzing large data sets.

(As for interoperability, the only thing Microsoft interoperates with is itself. Even then its not particularly consistent.)

4
0

Unprecedented domain seizure shutters 84,000 sites

Martin Usher
Stop

Actually, they're not

Its just an expensive and long winded process. But 84,000 affected people constitute a good sized class so there's enough room to go after them.

Out of control Federal officials are a big problem in the US. The Feds do feel they're above the law with the result that confidence in the Federal government as anything except "the enemy" is currently at a low level (which is exploited by anti-government populist groups like the Tea Parties which, ironically, are stooges for even bigger and more oppressive government!).

Right now it looks like we need to P2P the routing domain and routing information, get it out of the area where our "little Hitlers" can screw with it.

10
0

Page:

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017