* Posts by Professor_Iron

20 publicly visible posts • joined 30 Jun 2022

Fujitsu pulls the plug on European client PC sales


Fujitsu fanboy in the house

I guess I'm one of those few who'll miss them - since they've inherited the Augsburg factory as a merger with the Siemens computer business most Fujitsu PCs can be found in Germany and at German companies. The Bayerisch factory was acquired by the motherboard manufacturer Kontron - they make rock solid stuff, hope the suppliers survive and the know-how won't be just thrown away.

Ah - and their keyboards and monitors were also top-notch in terms of value! Avoid the entry-level office monitors, but Fujitsu P-series displays were up there with mid-range Eizos. Grab one while you can.

China admits local semiconductor industry can't match world class reliability


Re: Step it up!

The "they have stolen it!" excuse is becoming a bit boring. No doubt China snitched a lot of Western IPs - and will continue to do so - but they were not the pioneers of industrial espionage. The French and Israeli regularly steal technologies as well, yet nobody goes "Oh, this French airplane gives me déja vu" or "I think I saw this Israeli software somewhere else". Not to mention the Taiwanese whom's knockoff capacitors were so bad that they've caused a worldwide electronics apocalypse just in the beginning of this century (reason why so many advertisement stil includes the 100% Japanese capacitors slogan).

ASML caught in Dutch oven with China export restrictions


Re: An Error?

Smuggling is a thing too. While most manufacturing equipment has some kind of remote authentication process or you just simply cannot operate it without the support provided by Western companies, you do not really need any of those when you can smuggle ready-made chips for crucial applications. The Taiwan - mainland China shipping route sees all kind of exotic smuggling activities, rarely anyone cares to check whether a box of random electronic parts is blacklisted for export or not.

In fact it's TSMC itself that likes importing stuff to it's Chinese fabs as the boss there is not really supportive of the US idea of a trade war and would rather keep good relations with the CCP. So it might just be TSMC - currently most advanced chip manufacturer - that could send some defective chips straight from the production line to a Chinese recycling center where it could turn out that those failed batches are not so defective at all. That of course is merely a conspiracy theory, but it illustrates how delusional the idea of a successful long-term embargo is.

Huawei could be banned from 5G networks across the EU


EU Comissioner Thierry Breton is the former CEO of the once-famed French IT consulting company Atos, which he left in 2019. Needless to say, that their strategy on 5G (or anything else technology in general) did not really play out well. My guess is that he just wants his revenge for personal business failures on the topic.

Telco giant Vodafone to cut 11,000 staff as part of its turnaround plan


They're exiting markets

Vodafone is pulling out of markets at the speed of light. They've recently exited New Zealand, Qatar, Hungary and there are talks that they may pull out of Spain, Czechia and other countries as well. Plus they spun off their European network infrastructure to a company called Vantage Towers. So while they may be full of cash, a fair share of that reduction in workforce probably comes from further or ongoing contraction in global presence.

Europe wants more cities to use datacenter waste heating. How's that going?


Great until data center bubble goes bust

Not sure I'd want my district heating to be based on a datacenter's waste heat. While they do have a back-up, the servers are naturally dependant on grid electricity. The underlying technology also ages very rapidly - various generations and computing use can generate vastly different heat - and while the thermal side of the problem can surely be balanced out, it feels like a perverse incentive against computing efficiency. Not to mention the provider's whole business model is extremely closely tied to economic cycles - come a recession corporations will start discontinuing their cloud subscriptions and a data center surplus might lead to your heat provider going bankrupt. So maybe with a government or university datacenter that is very likely to still be around in 40-60 years yay, otherwise nay.

Russian developers blocked from contributing to FOSS tools


Sanctions misunderstood

Ehh, no - making the civilians feel uneasy is not the original intent of sanctions at all - let's not try to defend unprofessional behaviour by making up ridicolous side-goals. It's just simply a method of blocking key economic activities that could contribute to the war effort either directly or indirectly. If Russia would be a software manufacturing powerhouse earning big cash on these FOSS (like it earns on oil & gas) it would be logical to block their contributions. But by the very definition of FOSS that's not the case, there's no underlying trade or licencing IP.

The ban in this case simply seems to be an example of people being overzealous and mixing their project management duties with personal ambitions. If you want to encourage them to stand up against Putin's regime then talk to them, but don't ignore their work just because 100% Russian-free software is the new chic.

China debuts bonkers hybrid electric trolley-truck


...yeah, but we've got electric trucks!

The mining application mentioned in the last paragraph is actually more interesting than the highway variant which somewhat negates the flexible idea of being able to go anywhere. At first it might seem pointless to build an overhead line in a middle-of-nowhere mine, but it replaces heavy duty diesel engines (a grid connection is necessary, but fuel trucks don't drop down from the sky either) - and most dump truck already has an electric drive for better maneuverability these days, so it's just a logical next step, they already do it in a few Canadian, Australian and African mines. And besides being economic in the long run it's really just a nice way of dismissing environmental concerns to say that "yeah, we might destroy the planet, but we'ge got electric trucks!".

Though the next big step in efficiency would be installing coveyor belts between logistic hubs and factories (as everyone seems to skip good old railways). An industrial district could potentially eliminate all local road use by having a conveyor system running to a port and a highway-connected depot.

Huge lithium discovery could end world shortages ... Oh, wait, it's in Iran


Could be worse

Iran? Thank God, I always feared the next big lithium deposit is going to be in one of those muslim fundamentalist regimes, like Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan.


Re: Operation Iran Freedom

Wasn't Angola alrady indebted to oil majors that executed the exact same scheme as China?

Yukon UFO could have cost unfortunate balloon fan $12


Fill the sky with balloons

I can already see the trolls of the world releasing thousands of these unidentified balloons (likely phallus-shaped variants) over US airspace just to witness a multi-million dollar fireworks. And to possibly speculate on the missile manufacturers stock price.

Infineon given the green light for €5B Dresden chip fab


Re: History doesn’t even rhyme, it just repeats….

With all due respect to history, the analogy seems a tiny bit flawed.

Unlike Honecker's socialist nightmare, contemporary Germany has been running a surplus budget for decades now - they can finance as many bailouts as they'd like and investors of the German state doesn't seem to be concerned about that at all.

Also, Infineon might not be a mighty FAANG, but it has a solid place amongst the market leaders in the power electronics segment. TGVs and Teslas run on Infineon IGBTs and the green tech part of their business seems to fit into the Energiewende strategy, so I guess they have somewhat of a better excuse of begging for subsidies than the likes of Intel.

US and EU looking to create 'critical minerals club' to ensure their own supplies


Re: Cobalt?

Let's give credit though: "critical minerals club" is possibly the most PC name for colonization ever since the East India Company.

200MP smartphone and first premium PC spearhead Samsung's pro push


Re: You're kidding, right?

Samsung is the classic example of a company too big to fail. I mean they could allow one divison - like home appliances, shipbuilding or batteries - to fail, but cutting edge tech gadgets are too much of a symbolic representation of greatness in our zeitgeist. If they'd make a line of really junk products some big investment bank or the South Korean government itself would just step in and buy a year of production to save its credits and keep the music playing. But it looks like the customers are still happy to shell out 1000-2000 $ for a Samsung phone, so we are not there just yet.

US in talks with critical chip tech countries Netherlands, Japan. Topic? China sanctions


Trade war idiocracy continues

Well, the US used to invade countries to please it's oil giants, now it's waging a trade war against China to please Intel, Texas Instruments and other semiconductor zombie companies? Wouldn't it be simpler to make good American chips again that we'd be more than happy to buy and drive out the Chinese competition that way?

Intel casts doubt on Italy for chip factory location


Can anyone enlighten me why Italy is so desperate about an Intel packaging plant? Italy has it's own chip manufacturer, the government has a substantial share in STMicro along with the French. Sure, STMicro's tech is lightyears behind Intel's, but it's not about jump-starting a wholly new industry in the country, packaging is pretty much the lower end of the value chain.

NSA super-leaker Edward Snowden granted Russian citizenship


Re: I wonder

Honestly, an American guy who can't even speak fluent Russian would be the most obvious double-agent in the Kreml. Besides, we pretty much know what he does on a daily basis - that is posting alarmist content on Twitter.

I'm not so sure about your comments on Putin - in the Western media he may be depicted as an evil dictator, but in Russia he's politically positioned on the center-right, most of the Russian political spectrum is far more extremist. It's like when Europe wished for the death of Tsar Nicholas without knowing that Lenin will follow.


Most of the white-collar workers - including people in finance, academics, IT professionals - are exempt from the mobilization. But I thought it was pretty obvious that Snowden is a diplomatic trophy for Russia to be kept on the shelf, much like Assanage was for Ecuador for years.

Uncle Sam sanctions Iran's intel agency over Albanian cyberattack


The political background

The story is that Albania houses the anti-Iran spearhead of the US. The Balkan state is otherwise not to popular within it's neighbours, but they are the location of the biggest Mojahedin headquarter and training center known as Ashraf-3 with US funding (Iranian opposition party/rebels for the young ones). It's pretty easy to destabilize as there recently was an election and change of leading political power and they're also trying to get into the EU - needless to say the EU wouldn't really like a country with an Iranian opposition camp located in it, so the current government will have to decide what to do with the Mojahedin compound. The cyberattack is probably meant to be a strong nudge towards the "ditch them" direction.

Moscow court fines Pinterest, Airbnb, Twitch, UPS for not storing data locally


Re: "legalized the import of products without the authorization of the trademark holder"

Back in the days of the Cold War the Western countries imposed similar tech embargo on the Soviet Union known as CoCom, meaning you couldn't export stuff such as a Commodore 64 beyond the Iron Curtain. But with many technologies the embargo was two-sided on an ideaological basis. The communist party deemed it evil to use gadgets made by the capitalist pigs, thus even if you somehow managed to smuggle a computer across the border without the Western customs noticing, the local police could still confiscate it from you.

Trade control details are a bit complicated, but the message they want to send with this rule is something like this: You don't have to be afraid of suffering any repercussions from the Russian state if you keep using Western tech, it's only the West that forbids you from doing so simply because you are a Russian, so you should be mad at them, not us.

That alone doesn't mean that Russia would encourage theft, it's up to you how you acquire the products as long as the theft itself doesn't take place on Russian soil. Though basically all of the post-Soviet states on the Russian borders are known to be cooperating in creative ways. For example after the first wave of credit card bans by Mastercard and VISA, people flocked to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan by the thousands to open a local bank account and get a new card with it.