* Posts by skwdenyer

60 posts • joined 12 Nov 2009

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Why the end of Optane is bad news for all IT

skwdenyer

Re: Insane

Optane would have revolutionised the workstation space in the 1990s. At a time when we were experimenting with writing code into FPGAs to get orders-of-magnitude speed gains, running with persistent primary storage could have been a phenomenal additional tool.

Ironically the place that Optane might score in the modern world could be in things like phones - modern devices just don't boot fast enough - they're still booting devices, not instant-on appliances. In fact, a whole class of embedded devices could operate this way and, by doing so, be powered-up just when needed and then put immediately back into a zero-power state.

Intel plans immersion lab to chill its power-hungry chips

skwdenyer

This was of course “a thing” in 2015, if you believe Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation was based on any sort of reality ;)

We can bend the laws of physics for your super-yacht, but we can't break them

skwdenyer

A *very* long time ago now, we set up a test implementation of Citrix running over ADSL in North London. We were pitching the idea to VIdeo Networks, who later became HomeChoice, the grand-daddy of all the modern streaming services. So we had the servers running at Staples Corner and the user terminal in a house a few miles away.

The plan was to offer customers remote desktop sessions on a fully managed high-spec PC instance for a small monthly fee, along with streaming gaming. It worked really well. The thin client hardware was cheap and required effectively no maintenance, the terminal and monitor could be upgraded every few years within the subscription, we could provide limitless data backup, disaster recovery, anti-virus, burstable performance, and so on.

We were just far, far, too early to the party - by at least 15 years. So were VNL / HomeChoice. But we weren't alone - Apple and Oracle went on to spend many orders of magnitude more than we did trying out "network computers" before reaching the same conclusions.

As the old saying goes: never be a pioneer, as the earliest Christian encounters the hungriest lion...

But in the context of the OP's problem, latency via satellite would have been a killer. Customers really don't get on well with their mouse inputs lagging, delays whilst scrolling, etc.

Alarm raised after Microsoft wins data-encoding patent

skwdenyer

In the U.K., we have a “Registered Design” which serves a similar purpose.

A “Design Patent” applies only to the specific article described. A general patent protects an idea and multiple embodiments of it.

HPE has 'substantially succeeded' in its £3.3bn fraud trial against Autonomy's Mike Lynch – judge

skwdenyer

Re: Absolutely ourageous

The problem I have is the asymmetry here. Were Lynch to be American, and HP a UK company, it is beyond belief that Lynch would be extradited to the UK to face trial for acts committed on US soil.

The US, IIRC, is relying upon its catch all "wire fraud" statutes, coupled with this idea that any offence alleged to be committed using US dollars is inherently of US jurisdiction, both of which are tenuous at best.

cf the Natwest Three, extradited to the US and found guilty of committing offences whilst in the UK, offences which were not in fact offences at the time in the UK.

skwdenyer

Re: "The finding is a massive victory for HPE"

That is true. But this is a civil trial, not a criminal one.

If you leave your door open, your insurance will not pay your claim; even if you sue them in civil court, you will not prevail.

skwdenyer

Re: "The finding is a massive victory for HPE"

Was there an internal audit function? And, if so, where are the links to the disciplinary hearings against those internal auditors?

skwdenyer

Re: "The finding is a massive victory for HPE"

What, testing transactions isn't normal? Certainly our auditors do precisely that, and have done so for years.

skwdenyer

Re: "The finding is a massive victory for HPE"

So where are all the convictions for those involved in sub-prime mortgage-backed securities?

The problem is the selective application of the law. Or perhaps really are (were) subject to far laxer rules than the rest of us?

skwdenyer

Re: Lynch should be in prison

That's not quite how audit works. A competent audit firm will test whole classes of transactions. From what has been disclosed, I do not understand how a competent audit firm did not pick them up.

Google: We disagree with Sonos patent ruling so much, we've changed our code to avoid infringement

skwdenyer

Re: Patent madness

With respect, you misunderstand patents. The fact that Sonos have in fact created a mechanism for altering volumes on multiple devices in multiple rooms from a single app/controller is wholly immaterial. The patent expresses only to the *idea* of this being done.

For something as obvious as this, the only surprise is (a) nobody had patented it before, (b) there was no prior art, and (c) it wasn't declared "obvious" and therefore unpatentable.

I absolutely support inventors being paid for inventive steps, but am pretty sure there were commercial (rather than consumer) systems around long before Sonos that would do what is being described here.

American diplomats' iPhones reportedly compromised by NSO Group intrusion software

skwdenyer

Top terrorist tip: get a US mobile phone :)

Weeks after Red Bee Media's broadcast centre fell over, Channel 4 is still struggling with subtitles

skwdenyer

Re: Missing a few key points here

That post from C4 seems to suggest that there were no functioning backups, never mind functioning backup hardware. If so, that's pretty extraordinary.

Apple arms high-end MacBook Pro notebooks with M1 Pro, M1 Max processors

skwdenyer

So I'm going to be out on a limb here and say I like the touchbar on my MBP. Yes, I'd also like Fn keys. So why can't I have both?

Apple beat Epic Games 9-1 in court. Now it's appealed the one point it lost

skwdenyer

Re: Judge found Apple is not a monopolist?

So you're defining "phone" as "smartphone" - why? If you want to encompass all battery-powered portable general purpose computing devices then why not include laptops? If you want to encompass only phones, why limit it to Android and iOS?

Even if you accept your own definition, why not include all the non-Google Android phones?

This is the problem IMHO. People try to define the market to suit their own point of view.

My first "smart" phone was an Ericsson R380s - Symbian-based, no 3rd party app support. I've ridden the wave for a long time. Platforms have come and gone, not through market abuse but because of market forces.

Those same market forces have determined that a walled-garden / single app store approach is attractive to consumers. How many Android users side-load apps? Or, to return to the definition, how many people are truly happy to use a non-Google Android phone with a third-party app store?

An abundance of choice of app store is not the sign of a healthy platform IMHO; time and again, in fact, consumers have eschewed fragmented or poor app store experiences in favour of the very things you rail against.

Is it really so hard to believe that informed users might make informed choices to buy into a walled garden because that's what they want?

skwdenyer

Actually, car manufacturers *are* now offering to sell you apps, added functionality, etc. through their systems. A Tesla is a walled garden. So is the new Mercedes tech stack.

Tesla even sell you a car with electric seats that are physically present but disabled in software. You have to pay to enable the content. If you try to mess about with the system, Tesla lock you out of updates, supercharging, etc.

Yes, you can *repair* it with third party parts if you want. But you can't just sideload any old software onto their tech stacks.

Payment for market access is not new. If you want your product featured in a major supermarket chain, you have to pay for shelf space, pay for promotional discounts, pay for supporting marketing, and so on. You don't get prime location (or even any location) in a store for nothing.

Apple is no different. Other phones are available. But if you want your app in the Apple store then (just like pushing a new shampoo brand to a major supermarket chain, say) you have to pay.

The same is now true of other stores. Visit the John Lewis website? You're buying product that manufacturers are paying - you guessed it - 30% to John Lewis for the privilege of showing.

Want to sell on Amazon? Going to cost you something similar.

This is the new normal. Marketplaces are everything. Customers don't discover products on Google any more; they discover them elsewhere. The market doesn't work the way you seem to want it to any more.

skwdenyer

If you buy your Volvo, can you choose to load any old software on the infotainment system? I suspect not. But I'm sure Volvo will happily sell you new software if they can.

Monopoly! :)

skwdenyer

Re: Freemium game model

It isn't. It pays to develop the platform.

Have you *seen* Android? Disposable phones with no software updates. A terrible developer experience, with no homogeneity and a huge disparity of development targets.

Accepting that Apple takes a share of fees is cheap at twice the price for the market they provide as a result of their unprecedented (in the phone space) platform support.

skwdenyer

Re: Judge found Apple is not a monopolist?

Why should the market be defined as iPhones only? That isn't the market; users have a wide choice of phones across a multiplicity of platforms.

skwdenyer

Re: Is it going to matter ?

All of this is true. Which means there's no monopoly. Android is the bigger platform, consumers have choice. If they choose to buy a walled garden minority platform, why is this a legislative issue?

skwdenyer

Re: Is it going to matter ?

You can only install it because the platform developer allows you to.

There's no law that says a computer must be open in this way.

EU readies 'antitrust charges' against Apple Pay for locking rivals out of iPhone NFC chip

skwdenyer

Re: I agree

It has nothing to do with him not declaring tax? :)

skwdenyer

Re: I can guarantee the second sentence

What you're not understanding is that the potential for fraud with Apple Pay is *way* less than other contactless options.

The banks might have to pay Apple a bit; but they're probably winning overall.

skwdenyer

I’m probably unpopular, but I don’t see any foul here. Apple sell me a hardware + software product, tightly integrated. I suffer no loss from this lack of openness. I deliberately avoid Android because I don’t want this diversity & fragmentation.

Perhaps the EU could ask some consumers before claiming to act in their name?

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou admits lying about Iran deal, gets to go home

skwdenyer

Re: They won't get any traction

The key issue is that the trade used US Dollars. The USA routinely claims jurisdiction over any transaction involving its currency.

Tip for the future: don’t use USD :)

Googler demolishes one of Apple's monopoly defenses – that web apps are just as good as native iOS software

skwdenyer

Re: Missing the point

At launch in 2017, the Samsung Galaxy S8 was £699. A comparable iPhone 8 at launch in 2017 was £699.

The S8 has just gone out of support after 3.5 years - there will be no more updates. Meanwhile, the iPhone 5S (launched 2013) is still supported with updates.

By your logic, the S8 should still be supported for another 5 years, "amply paid for by the hugely inflated prices consumers pay for these phones."

You know and I know that isn't the case. The difference between Apple and others is that Apple *does* continue to support devices for many years, In turn this ensures there's a huge market for app developers to tap into.

Consumers benefit from this relationship. As do developers.

I have not yet seen anyone explain how *consumers* would benefit from a fragmented app store market (and it is consumers Epic is claiming to champion here).

Likewise, how will small developers benefit? Epic are in danger of applying the same "pull up the drawbridge" logic that got us, for example, the European Super League...

I can 'proceed without you', judge tells Julian Assange after courtroom outburst

skwdenyer

Re: Blackmailed

Surely Boris' latest shenanigans with Northern Ireland will put paid to any trade deal?

skwdenyer

Re: Blackmailed

Does not the US Espionage Act require an offence to have been carried out within their jurisdiction? Or is it equipped with a "wires" clause?

Open access journals are vanishing from the web, Internet Archive stands ready to fill in the gaps

skwdenyer

Re: stopping the [...] public from being able to read [...] the research that they have funded

The key thing about OA is that it allows papers to be read by people working in the field in startups, SMEs, etc. Those are often the people who need access the most, but have the least money to pay for things.

Not everyone "qualified" to read a journal article is in academia.

Apple to Epic: Sue me? No, sue you, pal!

skwdenyer

Re: Mudslinging

eBay is closer to 15% in the real world just for the basics. Also don't forget the problems of fraud (eBay almost always side with buyers, so losses to "didn't receive it - refund me" claims are real, for instance), "optional" fees that are essentially mandatory in order to get any sort of ranking, and so on. eBay sellers I know reckon the real-world cost is anything up to 30% when calculated over a year.

Similarly for Amazon - the true cost (with referral fees, closing fees, etc.) can easily exceed 20%, and in some cases hit 30% (their fees are variable depending upon the category).

Frankly 30% isn't out of step with what sellers pay in the real world to list on platforms.

skwdenyer

Re: The “Apple take 30%” thing is a lie

All Apple have to do is quantify the value in keeping old hardware refreshed with new software. It is that as much as anything else that creates the value in the App Store (an unfragmented market of potential app buyers); it is hard to imagine Apple would continue to support 5 year old devices if there weren't that virtuous circle available.

skwdenyer

Re: Mudslinging

I think there must be many young people here :)

In the old days, you *paid* for OS updates. If you didn't, your computing device got progressively harder and harder to keep going. You often *had* to pay for the OS update *in order to* use the latest software. Even now in the Android world, unless you're using vanilla Android then you're playing roulette as far as receiving support is concerned.

Today, I can install iOS 13.7 on an iPhone 6S, a device released 5 years ago. Not only can I install it; unlike in the bad old days, it will run (like-for-like software) at least as fast, and in some cases faster, than the original iOS 9 it shipped with.

I do not want to go back to the old days. I'm very happy that the markup I pay for App Store purchases goes to fund the continuing development of the OS and its support on older platforms. It keeps my hardware fresher for longer; it keeps my hardware more valuable for longer; it allows me to keep on buying apps from developers via the App Store for longer.

By doing this, Apple *more than* justifies its mark-up; by doing this, Apple ensures there's a tremendous (and unfragmented) market for app developers, which in turn allows app developers to prosper.

Let's not forget that the App Store itself was an innovation.

It is not a coincidence that app developers (as a whole) make *far* more money on Apple. Sadly, however, that last may be their undoing; if developers make more money on iOS than on Android, perhaps that shifts the balance in terms of market position and anti-competitiveness? If it does, however, it will be IMHO a very sad day, since the model will have proved itself so good as to be destroyed!

Google, Amazon pass on UK Digital Services Tax by hiking ad prices, fees at same rate the government takes

skwdenyer

If Business Rates were a fixed amount per square foot across the UK, for all types of property, that would level the playing field somewhat. If you consider how much trade Amazon, say, can generate per square foot you'd rightly question why they pay so much less than the small shop down the road...

Facebook apologizes to users, businesses for Apple’s monstrous efforts to protect its customers' privacy

skwdenyer

Re: I'm confused

I sincerely hope the Epic case goes nowhere. Apple’s current model incentivises them to maintain software support for older devices, one of the reasons I choose them. That also benefits the likes of Epic, as more users have supported devices able to run their games.

The alternatives don’t bear thinking about for those of us who’ve experienced them in the past.

CenturyLink L3 outage knocks out web giants and 3.5% of all internet traffic

skwdenyer

This same outage appears to have taken out all BBC services from multiple geographic locations, too.

The story so far: How's that Autonomy High Court battle with HPE looking at half-time?

skwdenyer

Presumably prolix will be added to exegesis in m’lud’s pronouncements at some point?

Cyberlaw wonks squint at NotPetya insurance smackdown: Should 'war exclusion' clauses apply to network hacks?

skwdenyer

Not sure why Mondelez doesn’t also sue the NSA under the Federal Torts Claims Act?

A decade on, Apple and Google's 30% app store cut looks pretty cheesy

skwdenyer

Bigger oixture

I’ll admit I’m pretty staggered at the blinkers in this thread.

As much as anything, that 30% pays for OS development.

I’m an Apple user. I’m very happy with the deal I have - buy a phone every couple of years, get free OS updates and security fixes, access to an App Store that “just works” in delivering me free and paid content, etc.

And I really like the fact that every software developer gets the same chance of me downloading their app from the same store.

As others have said, 30% is not huge in mark-up terms. There’s this obsession with the idea that the internet is cheap - it is not, but it is flexible.

Fortnite’s developers don’t like that their successful app should be so encumbered. Of course not - successful companies always like to “pull up the drawbridge” when they’ve made it.

The *next* successful app can just as easily come from a small startup under the current model. Which is yet another reason why I like it.

ZX Spectrum Vega+ blows a FUSE: It runs open-source emulator

skwdenyer

Small claims court = no precedent. Each claimant will/would have to persuade each judge of the merits in each case.

And RCL appear to have no money...

You can Ring my bell: Amazon pays ONE BEEEEELLION+ dollars for smart home upstart

skwdenyer

Overseas expansion

I think the bit people are missing is that Ring is a fantastic name if you want to expand into non-English-speaking countries. Onomatopoeia at its best. Nest doesn't translate at all well, by comparison.

Amazon are not just buying tech; they're buying what should be the go-to brand name in this space.

Britain mulls 'complete shutdown' of 4G net for emergency services

skwdenyer

On the subject of local cells on emergency vehicles, would there be anything wrong with using satellite backhaul from vehicles? This doesn't seem a stretch.

In fact, that seems an ideal solution to the data services problem. COTS-related WIFI/4G devices, hybrid satellite/4g vehicle-based bases, etc. Pretty much guaranteed coverage anywhere on the face of the nation.

As regards TETRA, is there any reason it cannot simply be nationalised?

4G standalone seems madness...

Air gapping PCs won't stop data sharing thanks to sneaky speakers

skwdenyer

Re: Relevance

Just because in your mind the case does not exist, does not mean the case does not exist.

In many industries, PCs are tools, with an expected life in decades. Medical equipment, CNC machines, whatever. Air gapping there is all about simply not connecting them to the internet / a network (BSG75 style) - we're not talking national security.

The threat is therefore not theoretical. Infection vector is an issue, of course, but even those old machines need updating sometimes, with a (potentially infected) USB stick say.

Fast forward a few steps and find deep learning embedded into malware - searching for the best form of comms... This research is actually useful, because it forces those who need to think about these things for their situations to think further about every part of the machine (not just the ethernet jack).

Equifax's disastrous Struts patching blunder: THOUSANDS of other orgs did it too

skwdenyer

Re: CNC machines

There's a great guy (Ian Mapleson) whose sort-of-business is supplying SGI IRIX hardware to people who need it. Lots of CT scanners and their like still run by Octanes and their ilk, apparently. It is said there are still knitting machines run on SGI Indys.

Obviously his business gets smaller every year, but equally the amount people are prepared to pay for working hardware may nonetheless be enough to make it just about tick over.

skwdenyer

Re: What are the rest doing?

Surely the solution is easy - provide a network-accessible KVM. Either 1 per CNC machine, or 1 that can be plugged into the relevant CNC machine with ease. Turn it on when needed; turn it off when not. With proper access control, this is as secure as it needs to be for remote support purposes.

Drive for Lyft or Uber in SF? Your wallet is about to get lighter

skwdenyer

Re: What does the licence do?

My personal beef with the park ruling is this: according to the Parish Council it is "unfair to expect non-running residents to pay for path maintenance."

Let's think about that for a moment in the context of a different example. Only 2% (at most) of the population use wheelchairs: it is "unfair" for the remaining 98% to pay for drop kerbs and the like - we must levy wheelchair users.

Governments (large or small) operate on the basis that they provide services which, whilst not used by everybody, are available to many/most and benefit society.

The Parish Council provides a park. A small (and, yes, it really is only a small) number of people are now regularly running in the park. The promotion of exercise is in the public interest - in fact, it is likely the only reason why there is suddenly a concern over "wear and tear" is because the residents of Little Stuck are too f****ing lazy to run the rest of the time.

The Parish Council have decided that it is not their public duty to provide a park for people to exercise in. What next - individual joggers getting levied? Mothers with babys? After all, it is "unfair" to expect those not using the park to pay for those who are...

...oh, wait, that would be exactly the point of centralised provision of recreational facilities...

Report: Secret British spy base in Middle East taps region's internet

skwdenyer

Re: Cyprus?

Actually co-incidence is a form of correlation...

The hammer falls: Feds propose drastic controls on Apple's iTunes Store

skwdenyer

Re: Dream list by dreamers

Do anti-dumping laws (in reality) ever get applied to domestic companies? Surely this is one of those irregular verbs: I have a promotion, you have a loss leader, s/he is dumping...

skwdenyer

Re: Dream list by dreamers

Yes but where is the incentive for authors if there's just a race to the bottom on price?

skwdenyer

We lose

I'm sorry but this ruling is nonsense. A race to the bottom in ebooks helps nobody. The current prices seem reasonable reward for all concerned.

I'm not an Apple fanboi but, pre iDevices, the mobile space was nowhere. Fragmented crappy interfaces and fragmented crappy markets. Apple delivered easy to use devices, and stores where you could easily and cheaply buy content. It was a revolution.

eBooks for 99c? How will that help deliver great content? I'm one of those who was fine with the 'net book agreement' in the UK.

Apple's actions harmed nobody. A class action suit is pointless. Free markets don't necessarily make great content available for less money - they mostly make crap content available for less money. The value is seldom in the cheapest products.

Apple are a great business. They have produced devices that people want to buy and which, by and large, work very well. Nobody is compelled to buy them. Would people like them to be different? Perhaps, but then they wouldn't have produced the same devices...

Dixons: Brits to get iPad Mini, Kindle Fire for Xmas

skwdenyer

Re: You got it wrong

I'd buy an iPad mini, at a similar price to a regular iPad. The form factor is valuable to me. If Apple's research says that the form factor is important to others, and that they will gain more in additional sales than they lose in those who would have bought a full-size iPad, they will be ahead.

I can't put my iPad 1 in my pocket. I won't buy an iPad 3 because it is too big, I won't buy an iPod touch / iPhone because it is too small, and the apps I need aren't available on Android.

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