* Posts by Mike

56 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Apr 2007


Larry Ellison relives reveals network computer netbook dream


@Ian Ferguson

"If Sun want to make a Java-based OS-come-Citrix-like client, fine. But I don't see any compelling reason behind it, unlike say, Android combined with other Google goodies such as Gears, running Chrome which would give handy access to Citrix and other web-based client services."

Personally, I feel an OS with lots of support for Java and a Java-like Gears would be really useful. You need some kind of synchronization to support offline and online use (e.g. Gears). But otherwise, I would much rather write java applications than ajax ones. So you can have your android, and I'll have my ElliPod. (Ellison + iPod, get it?)

Analyst forecasts Apple Kindle-killer for 2010


Have both screens

The way to go is to have an e-Ink display that overlaid upon a conventional LCD touch screen. Its expensive, but that's what Apple does well. They give you the best of both worlds and charge a premium. That's their whole business model. They already have plenty of retail outlets and people who love their iPod and iPhone and trust them to do the iReader well.

Pirate Bay fans: Lay off our neo-Nazi Sugar Daddy


Are you sure the Neo-Nazi link is irrelevant?

A lot of people are saying "Oh, leave the Pirate Bay alone, who cares if one of the people running and profiting from it is a nazi! Its free speech!"

But the Neo-Nazi link is relevant and is worth bringing up because its a political matter (though not necessarily directly relevant to the trial itself.) The Pirate Bay is tied in with the Pirate Party, a Swedish political party with aspirations to expand beyond Sweden.

So whether or not you visit and implicitly support TPB is your business. Know that they are linked to Neo-Nazi's. Know too that there is an organized political component to TPB.

Thanks to Andrew and the Reg.

Register readers on software development


Survey Flaws

This survey is disappointing due to some errors. First of all, the survey doesn't really compare apples to apples. Borland vs. Visual Studio? Borland hasn't sold a compiler in a few years. (Their developer tools became Code Gear, then Embarcadero).

Also, their are tons and tons of people who use Dreamweaver to develop static web content. They shouldn't be included.

Laptop Hunters snare Microsoft on Linux


Linux Quality

The bottom line is that price is not the deciding factor for consumers - there isn't really that big a difference in price. If somebody wants a Mac, they'll pay for it. Its not going to be that much more expensive.

And the funny thing is, Linux should be competing on quality rather than price. If you install the latest Fedora on a relatively new machine, you'll spend way less time hunting down drivers than you would if you install Windows XP SP3. Add to that the enormous ecosystem of software ready to run on Linux just a 'yum install' or 'apt-get' away, and you'd be surprised at the quality and breadth of software.

But Linux won't win on cost, because right now, hiring people who know Linux is not cheaper. Hiring people to program for Linux is not cheaper. Most of the time and money that goes into setting up and running an operating system (be it Apple, Linux, Solaris, AIX, HPUX, or MS) isn't licensing. Its part of the ongoing cost.

That said, an admin or developer with a working brain can setup Puppet or cfengine and really improve the quality of the system even further, if you've got a Unix OS. Say what you will about Linux, but Active Directory is a joke, and the configuration management tools for Windows either blow or cost too much.

No FreeRunner follow-up, says OpenMoko



The ideal of 'open-source' hardware is that you can fork it or copy it, not that it shall be all things to all people. Nor is it that the majority get what they ask for.

But, if OpenMoko goes out of business, somebody can pick up the pieces, or make copies as they see fit, if they can find a better business model. Or if they decide that it really did just need a camera.

So in the short run, not so good for OpenMoko, but in the long run, the platform will be around longer because its open source. And for some people, that is a real selling point.

IBM 'in talks' to buy Sun Microsystems


How about Apple

Rather than giving IBM two of everything, what if Apple bought their way into the enterprise? Little overlap there, but matching technologies -- high end hardware, excellent OS, well liked by engineers.

Gives Apple a way to start selling to Enterprises - "Want a top of the line desktop and server, and all from the same company?"

Microsoft's R&D chief: the people problem with innovation


re: Avie Tevanian?

If there's anyone who can take credit for building Mach its the PI. Obviously, building an OS takes a lot of work. There's plenty of credit to go around.

But the PI had to come up with the ideas, find the money, justify the research, prioritize things, etc. Did the architect build the house, or was it the guy who hammered the nails? (And think about the people in between.) They can all rightly say they built the house.

Official Amazon Kindle 2 images leak out


at the Why people

The reason Why ebook readers are a cool idea is that books are inefficient -- you have to go to a bookstore to buy them or have them shipped. You have to carry them around and they're relatively heavy and take up a lot of space.

Here are a couple of the use cases where the Kindle would be very cool:

* You live in a country where they speak language X, but your native tongue is Y, so you can't buy books in Y easilly.

* You want to read the newspaper everyday, but delivery of the paper is not available.

* You travel but don't want to bring everything you MIGHT want to read.

Storage vendor Overland on the ropes


Yes, it is too bad

Just bought my second Overland tape library in November. For a library with a capacity of 30-50 tapes, in my professional opinion they were the best value.

Glad I got a warranty from the reseller.

Rock-solid Fedora 10 brings salvation to Ubuntu weary

Thumb Up

@Adam Williamson

I manage about 10 Fedora machines. I NEVER use the rpm command, except when querying the contents of packages. Yum can do everything related to installing rpm's. Are there sometimes some strange dependency chains? Sure. Does yum do an excellent job of resolving them? Absolutely.

There are really no use cases where you need to use the rpm command to install software. If you find yourself doing that, you're probably doing something wrong. Use 'yum localinstall' instead.

Fedora is excellent. Haven't used F10 (waiting until it gets out to the mirror I rsync from), but I did notice that there are Nvidia kmod's in rpm-fusion. If they are kmod's of the proprietary drivers, then all you need to do is install the rpm-fusion repository, and 'yum install kmod-nvidia' to get the nvidia proprietary drivers.

Sun Java piggybacks Microsoft searchbar, divorces Google


Go for it Sun

Java's a fine product that they're giving away. If that is how they want to monitize it, then I say good luck.

If you don't want the software, uncheck the box. If your time is too valuable to spend reading a line of text on an installer, then by all means, let the browser tool be an indication for others of what kind of person you are. Or hire someone who knows what they're doing to do things for you.

If I am using a computer that has lots of toolbars on the browser, then I know the person doesn't know what the hell they're doing. In that sense, the toolbars provide great information if you know how to use it.

Google demanding Intel's hottest chips?


4% per degree * 5 degrees

If you decided to run your servers 5 degrees warmer than recommended, then presumably you get a higher rate of failure. Ignoring the possibility that Google gets 'better' chips, maybe they just said to Intel -- "At X degrees, p0 percent of chips will fail per year. At X + 5 degrees, p1 percent of chips will fail. Just honor our RMA's on p0 chips, and we'll eat the difference." That means they lose on p1-p0 chips. But if they save 4% per degree on cooling, and 20% of cooling is greater than the cost of losing p1-p0 chips, then why not?

US teen cuffed for sending nude phone pics


Licking prosecutors suck

I don't see how someone can be too young to consent to sexual behavior (e.g. being photographed nude) but old enough that their actions can have such long term criminal consequences.

If you can try them as adults, then they should implicitly have the right or ability to consent.

If they don't have the ability to consent, convict them as juveniles, and seal the court records and let them the criminals go free when they're 18.

Or even better yet, the prosecutors should go about trying to reduce violent crime.

Amazon turns Windows against Ballmer's cloud


Finally Catching Up

Will this be the year that Microsoft makes its way into the cloud?

Red Hat: Go support yourselves, Fedora users

Thumb Up

FC9 - not actually something that exists

@bullocks-boy: If you're going to make a post flaming something, at least show that you know what you're talking about.

There's no more Core. Fedora Core 6 was the last "Core" version. Its just Fedora 9, and soon 10. And its great.

Redhat Enterprise Linux is a great product, but you're not going to get the up-to-date versions of your favorite applications with it. For an engineering desktop, its nice to have the wider selection and more up to date libraries of Fedora even if they are a little unstable -- but only unstable in the sense that the versions may change in the next release.

Mono man accuses Mac Gtk+ fans of jeopardizing Linux desktop


Linux is on some desktops

I'm with Adam. I know lots of people that use Linux as their one and only desktop. They might not be grandmothers, but they're not all hard core techies. There just aren't as many press releases and Gartner articles about it.

iPhone apps hit the racks at the iTunes store



"Who wants a to-do list that is only available when you are online?"

The whole point of the iPhone is that you are always online and you always have a good web browser available. That's the killer feature.

Shrinking Sun under the gun


Sun never figured out the SME

If you're a government, or a government contractor, and money isn't an object, then of course you buy Sun's. For Sun, its good work if you can get it.

If you work for a smaller organization that has a real budget and actually looks at lower cost alternatives, there's absolutely no way you would buy Sun. They make Apple look like a value retailer. They charge thousands of dollars for add-ons like hard disks that you can buy off the shelf for hundreds of dollars.

It amazes me that they're in business at all. I understand that the really big guys like them, but even when our medium sized org looks for high-end workstations and servers, Sun is ridiculously overpriced. I've been tempted by Sun, but never able to justify paying for anything they sell.

So yes, they innovate, and they have software that is pervasive, and... they just can't figure out how to sell anything to the rest of us.

Cobbler pieces together mass Red Hat Linux installations



I've setup a fair number of Linux systems and a fair number of Windows systems.

Linux is by far, hands down easier to setup. None of this GUI business that prevents you from scripting everything. No wizards, no group policies that sometimes work and sometimes don't.

Yahoo! bitchslapped Ballmer's $40 a share offer


@anon coward

I'm not sure that the market is so fluid that if a pension fund decided to divest themselves of all of their holdings in a company, it wouldn't adversely affect the price of their sale.

That is, if YHOO is trading at $30, I can safely assume that I could buy or sell a share at $30. But a pension fund could hold hundreds of thousands of shares. You can't safely assume that if its trading at $30 then I can buy or sell hundreds of thousands of shares at that price. You have to find a buyer (or a seller).

Reg readers split on Vista readiness


Change for Change's Sake

Its clear that Vista can be a usable desktop operating system...


1) you put it on new hardware

2) you plan extensively for the upgrade

3) you devote lots of time and money to it

And so, either you replace a bunch of stuff that works acceptably under XP, or you end up with a heterogeneous environment (Vista and XP).

Either way, it seems like you're wasting something by actively moving toward Vista.

The question remains: Why?

Added green burden could ground flying cars for good


In the future, no commutes

What if in the future people rarely needed to drive cars to work, telecommuting instead or taking mass transit. That likelihood seems positively correlated to the price of oil. So you don't need a flying car to get groceries (bike instead) or to purchase large items (use UPS or FedEx).

But to go long distances, its faster and safer to use some kind of computer controlled vehicle. One of the toughest things about aviation is the air traffic control, preventing collisions and managing when you're landing. If everything is effectively computer controlled and managed, general aviation is a lot more feasible.

So forget about commuter planes, but I'll take a plane anyway.

Microsoft walks away from Yahoo!


What Would Jack Welch Do?

[Jack Welch is the former Chairman and CEO of General Electric. He's a business strategy icon.]

There's a Jack Welch axiom fitting here: One, Two, Out. That is, if you can't be number one or number two in a business, get out. Microsoft is a number three on search (despite it being the default in IE). They gave it a good try. Now its time for them to give it up and get on with the rest of their business.

MS reminds me a bit of GE, actually. Lots of business units doing lots of different things. Most of them are global ones or twos. But XBox and MSN have been lagging for a long time. Its time for them to cut their losses.

Linux-guru's conviction fuels ReiserFS debate


@Kevin Aquilina

This is certainly not just a problem with Open Source. There are plenty of proprietary software packages out there that have heavy dependencies on an individual.

I think the best possible situation is one where you have a company like Red Hat supporting a driver for some hardware. You have the source code to it, and if for some reason they stop supporting it, you're not completely SOL. But you also know that there isn't one person who everything depends on.

The expectation with proprietary software is that the company doesn't rest on one person's shoulders, but it is the case surprisingly frequently. This is especially true in very technical, very specific solutions.

Sun chum Oracle pushes database buyers to IBM


Blotting the ... wait a second?

I think amanfromMars' comments are like those pictures that look like a plate of puke, but you stare at them for a while, and then a 3d sailboat pops out! And its like "now when I look at it I can't see the 3d picture. You just have to focus your eyes just right."

Well, I've always thought his comments were garbage, but then it hit me -- per processor licensing is the 3d sailboat... What he's saying is... You just have to look past the comment, not at it...

Oh the hell with it, I'm out of here.

Google opens private cloud to coders


500MB, 200M mega cycles, 10GB * 100,000

Naturally most people who sign up aren't going to use everything. Most people who sign up probably won't ever get their app up and running.

But what does it say about their infrastructure that they have this many spare resources that they can afford to just give all this away as a preview?

Nokia N810 internet tablet


Nokia vs. Apple

I think I'd take this over an iPod touch. Mainly because you should be able to plug in an external keyboard to the N810.

As for comparisons to the iPhone, they may have very similar initial costs, but at least in the US, the iPhone is going to cost you an extra $1440 over two years. Not for nothing, but still, its expensive.

Adaptec lobs Series 5 RAID controllers at SATA and SAS


How do they scale up?

That's what I didn't get. They offer a card with up to 28 ports, but say it scales up to 256 ports.

So can you daisy chain these cards, or are they going to be offering the mother of all RAID cards, with 256 ports?

Mozilla opens the doors on Messaging subsidiary


Instant Messaging

Why do we need Yet Another Instant Messaging Program? Pidgin seems great. How about if the Thunderbird people work on making Thunderbird better?

For instance, so I don't need to rebuild the index on my inbox every day. Or so that saved searches work better, or so that it integrates with gmail better, or so there can be automatic configuration, or making searches more accurate?

Murdoch could save Yahoo! from Microsoft!


Why Not an ISP

I'm surprised it hasn't come up for Verizon or Comcast to buy Yahoo.

Surely an ISP would be able to slant the table a bit toward their own portal. They already try to make their home pages look like portals, and try to get their customers to use specific search engines by installing sofware during service installation. And if that portal is a credible GOOG competitor, its got a chance of sticking.

Its a good vertical play, I'd think. One buys lots of bandwidth, one provides lots of bandwidth. One gets paid for eyeballs, the other gets the eyeballs to pay.

US Navy to test fire electric hypercannon


Good defense against anti-ship missiles

Imagine you're trying to shoot something heading toward your capital ship at extremely high speeds. That missile has a nuclear warhead and is flying as close to the sea as it can.

Acquiring it is not so hard -- provided you've got eyes high enough in the sky. But you have a very short time to hit it once its on the horizon.

So, the missile is acquired from the eyes in the sky. The ship pauses for a second to charge the capacitors for the rail gun. A firing solution is plotted, the gun is aimed. The missile comes over the horizon, and immediately the railgun is fired.

Seems like that might actually work.

Microsoft tries to CTRL-W WordPerfect lawsuit again


Word Perfect is still in use

People always laugh when I tell them that I use WordPerfect (version 13), and then they go... "Gee, I always liked WordPerfect better. I don't know why I use Word."

The OLPC XO laptop


Maybe a Later Version...

Based on what I've seen in this review, and based on using the emulator...

This thing hits the mark on form factor, portability and price. It sounds decent. The software is unusual but innovative. Personally, I'd like to rip out a lot of the stuff, but it does seem novel and I like the out of the box thinking. And no, I could care less that it doesn't run Word.

The red flag is that the warranty is 30 days. I like the ruggedized feel and everything, but geez. To me a 30 day warranty is a tacit admission that the thing is junk.

Also, if there was one for $100 more with a better processor that could play videos and compressed audio, that would be the one.

Also, in the review I didn't see anything about the ebook mode. Does it have a touchscreen? How does that work? Granted it doesn't have an e-Ink, display, but I still think this would make a very handy ebook reader.

Dutch mull radical cash for kidneys plan


How to scam the Dutch

First, you donate a kidney and take the 'health care for life.'

Then, you donate a kidney and take the cash.

Then, you get a kidney transplant -- surely total loss of kidneys is covered by the plan. Maybe you'll get lucky and get one of your own kidneys back.

Dell prices up all-on-one XPS desktop



Stewey: Did you know that Brad Pitt is John Lithgow's nephew?

Brian: No, is that true?

Stewey: No, but doesn't that sound like something that could be true?

Red Hat haunts Ellison's Linux dream


Operation Smite Red Hat

Its pretty clear that Oracle Linux isn't supposed to do anything except stick in Red Hat's side and punish them for acquiring JBoss, which Oracle wanted.

Oracle can afford to do it, but and Red Hat probably wishes they didn't. Where it will hurt is in big cream puff contracts. Rather than Red Hat getting to charge the list price for a large contract, they face price pressure. Hurts but they'll live.

Open source Java - one year later


What does the ORCL say?

"Because he open sourced everything, and I had talked to some people at Oracle who were looking at trying to buy us, and they decided that our software was worth nothing anymore, so what the hell do you value the company at?"

That's funny, why was Oracle so interested in buying companies like Sleepycat, JBoss, and Red Hat?

US man blasts stubborn wheelnut with shotgun



Really laid the smackdown to all those soccer playing, tea-and-krumpet eating, red-coat-wearing limies*. Tell it like it is, my friend.

And to the rest of you, shut up and buy more Joint Strike Fighters and Paris Hilton related media!

Buffy mastermind returns with new TV series


@Not so fast!

What kind of drugs were you smoking to say that firefly was even close to Buffy?

Buffy was funny, had good characters and interesting plots. It is a highly addictive classic.

Firefly was a show where a bunch of overplayed stereotypical characters traveled around the universe, landing on planets that always looked like the old west. Seriously, every where they went, and it always looked like a So-Cal set. "Don't pan over too far to the left, they're filming a porno."

ICANN investigates domain name sharp practice


Easy solution

Make domain names more expensive.

None of this 'bulk registration'. The ones who are behind this fraud are usually the registrars. Make every and any registration cost at least $20 / year. Suddenly, lots of names become available.

The first rule of Reg Club is...


Leave that Garbage at the Door

Am I the only one in the world who finds absolutely nothing humourous about the "I'll get [my|me|our|] [coat|taxi|jimmy-hat] thing?

Here's a joke that barely is worth the electricity wasted on the keyboard used to type it... But I'll redeem my post by adding "I'll get my coat."

There's nothing funny about it! You're useless!

Hospital's brand new '£1m' server room goes up in smoke


Do things in order

First you build the server room, and make sure its structurally sound.

Then, you install the racks and servers. Turn them all on, make sure its all working. Let it run for a little while to see that everything is OK.

Then, as the coup de grace, you install the air conditioning. This makes the servers more comfortable.

Especially in health care, you have to take pains to do everything in the above order, or else madness might ensue.

Dell's 'Veso' appliance runs on four-core Opterons and thin VMware


USB Slappers

"We aren't talking about just slapping a USB stick in the side and booting Linux with Xen here"

No, they're talking about slapping a USB stick INSIDE and booting VMware.

MusicStation arrives, but will we pay for digital music?


What you want and what you want

There are two types of people. Some want to own their music, some just want to listen to it.

The owner type: One type wants to be able to play it on any player, and want to be sure that they will continue to be able to play it. They don't want to find out that their favorite song is unavailable. They don't want to be locked into a subscription model. They believe that DRM is evil and tend to listen to Midnight Snake, Joy Division, and Modest Mouse.

The listener type: The second type wants to be able to listen to any song, but probably isn't as picky about what they're listening to it on. They can accept a subscription model if they have a very wide pool of songs to choose from, and the price is reasonable. They believe that vinyl records take up too much space and tend to listen to Midnight Snake, Joy Division, and Modest Mouse.

Will VMware's sales double forever?


What a Technology

I think virtualization is great, and I'm amazed when I see it work.

Interestingly, there is one thing I found that MS can do that VMware can't -- take screenshots of DOS programs. If you have a DOS program that runs in graphics mode (ie, non-windows, not-text mode), you may from time to time need to take a screenshot. Vmware totally botches it, while MS gets it exactly right.

Of course, other than that very obscure difference, VMware seems to blow MS out of the water.

In three years time, most CPU's will have either amd-v or intel-vt built in, and will be much better at virtualization. I think this will work out better for Linux, as it will be easier and easier to run Windows instances on Linux. It will also level the playing field between VMWare, MS, Xen, qemu, etc. That works against Vmware.

AMD passes the collection plate again


Time for Debt

"It does seem that AMD has taken up higher debt at a time when interest rates are on the rise and the dollar is falling (I'm not sure what the effect of the latter is, but I suspect that it's not good overall)"

I'm not an MBA, but it seems like the time to take higher debt is when interest rates are on the rise. The alternative is after they've risen.

As far as the dollar, I'd think that probably helps them. (As long as the debt is in dollars.)

LG Touch Me FM37 MP3 player



I thought the reference was to the Divinyls, who had the lyrics "I touch myself, I want you to touch me." They might have been early 90's, but... who cares?

Also, the "Sun Always Shines On TV" doesn't take away from Ah Ha's status as a one hit wonder. Even Vanilla Ice had more singles than Ice Ice Baby, but he's still a one hit wonder. Nobody remembers the names of those singles. Kind of like Ah Ha.

Core 2 Duo: Intel's insecurity blanket


Back History

I think there's some relevant back history which hasn't been discussed -- mainly that OpenBSD has long been pissed off at American chip companies that won't release documentation or specs for their products. Just look at undeadly.org for a period of time, and you'll see it come up.

OpenBSD wants the specifications for the stuff they're righting code for. non-American companies are much more forthcoming with it.

Intel happens to be the biggest such company.

And of course, as always with Theo, you can look at ulterior motives and read into it what you like, but in the end, he's probably right anyway.

America wastes gazillions with always-on PCs


Turning them on and off shortens the life?

I've always heard that a) the amount of electricity used to boot the computer from cold is significant, and b) the amount of wear and tear from the process hurts the computers.

I have am responsible for about 100 computers, and I tell the users to leave them on so they can be backed up.