* Posts by Anton Ivanov

1034 publicly visible posts • joined 22 Jun 2007


Range Rover Evoque Si4

Anton Ivanov


This does not pass my standard 4x4 test.

It will not get through the dirt track to my country house. It is nothing challenging by the way. Old discovery, trucks, VW Caravelle or even the old (1991) Clio can make it in dry weather.

All of them however have higher ground clearance than this joke. What a Fail.

Piles of unshiftable HP fondle-slabs choke Best Buy

Anton Ivanov

Release an Ubuntu for it and I will buy one

Release an Ubuntu or Debian for it and I will buy it (at the reduced price of course).

WebOS? Android? iOS?

No thanks - I still write some code from time to time and like to be able to do it and test it right away.

Has Google wasted $12bn on a dud patent poker-chip?

Anton Ivanov

My point exactly

The reason Microsoft wanted them was not wireless and there _ARE_ UI and media patents there. They are just not where Andrew and other analysts look. They are in the pile of leftovers from the days when Motorola did Windows STBs and was Microsoft chosen partner (and primary IPTV platform vendor). There are patents on streaming, how it interacts with mobile network, media UI, you name it. These are probably cross-licensed for life with Microsoft, but not with Apple. If these are a part of the deal it just got "curiouser and curiouser"

Similarly, there are two types of wireless patents - patents on technology and patents on implementation related optimisations like power consumption reduction techniques, etc. The latter is not pooled and is once again enough to blow a huge whole under the waterline in any of the opponents.

That is off the top of my head and I am familiar with only probably a few 10s of the patents in that 25K loot.

Googorola versus the Android ecosystem

Anton Ivanov


You are missing one "interesting" part of the equation.

Motorola used to be a major IPTV STB manufacturer, holds a lot of the IPR and still holds some account relationships in that area. With Google and Android in the equation this can get very very intreresting and that business is definitely not a rounding error in Google ad business. That BU is still lingering somewhere under Motorola Mobility.

By the way it is frankly appalling that the illustrious El Reg research did worse research that the Chicago Tribune on this:


Dell puts gun to Streak 5 tablet, pulls trigger

Anton Ivanov

No, they created a best of breed device

It is a "Best of Breed Device" of the type which is designed by a product design committee to fit a business case derived from an excel spreadsheet with financial parameters.

Someone looked at a spreadsheet and thought that the idea of breeding a smartphone to a tablet is genuinely good proposition. Rather unsurprisingly the result was what you would get when you breed a Saint Bernard and a Chihuahua and had about the same chance of success.

Trojan script gets stuck on superglue site

Anton Ivanov

Why do you bother?

Just block whatever SpamHaus blocks.

With Squid you can use "acl external" and a small helper written in Net::DNS: take the URL, split out the name or IP, look it up, look up the spamhaus entry and if it is listed make Squid return a 40x. If you run a local DNS resolver on the Squid instance (which is a good performance tuning practice anyway) the performance penalty is negligible.

This deals with 99.9% of scareware peddling sites because the "infected" web sites and "adverts" only redirect. The final delivery site is nearly always on a block of one of the major "black networks" which are all in SpamHaus. These are the ones that get filtered as a result of using this.

RIM to turn in BlackBerry-using looters after London riots

Anton Ivanov

Adamant if you have your own server

It is bombproof for corporate use where a corp runs its own BES.

In the case of services provided on a non-corporate basis it is as secure as the servers providing the services. These are hosted in-country and subject to normal legal intercept requirements.

Linus Torvalds dubs GNOME 3 'unholy mess'

Anton Ivanov

Welcome to the Club Linus

Well, he is not just right, he is doubly right because that is the right choice with KDE4 being a train wreck even worse then Gnome 3.

I switched myself and switched all of my users a while back and never been happier.

World needs needs Tequila power: report

Anton Ivanov

There are plenty of desert plants that produce sugars and oils

There is a problem with desert plants - they do not naturally grow at a high density. Sugarcane is the best sugar crop for a simple reason - it can grow at crazy densities. Can agave grow in a desert in production densities? I doubt it...

Russia: 'We'll dump the ISS into the sea after 2020'

Anton Ivanov

Is it me being thick...

The bloody thing is modular. Even if some modules cannot pass 2020 that does not mean that you should dump the whole thing. You can deorbit bits and pieces and leave the viable ones in orbit as a basis of something to build upon

Apple MacBook Air 13in Core i5 laptop

Anton Ivanov

The new apple display has all the connectivity it needs

The connectivity problem no longer exists. It means however that you will have to shell double the dosh.

Cheap as chips: The future of PC virtualisation

Anton Ivanov

As my old CS professor used to say - "you cannot have it either way"

First and foremost, Mainframe virtualisation and x86 virtualisation have one fundamental difference: Mainframe virtulisation is all about resource and application management. x86 is about that, but also about security. In order to maintain the security features virtualisation has to keep the extra layers in place.

Second, x86 IP networking is traditionally considerably more complex than mainframe. You have IPSEC, tunneling technologies, etc in use. If you take the extra layers out you end up breaking the isolation between the images. There is a rather long list of "does not work" network features on OpenVZ (and Virtuozzo) and that is for a reason.

x86 virtualisation technology is not just a reinvention of the mainframe business. It does a lot of other things. As a result as my old CS professor used to say: "You cannot have it either way". His sayings were actually considerably more rude, but the meaning was pretty much the same.

Fun and games in userland

Anton Ivanov

It depends what you call "OS"

A container/jail/chroot using anything starting from humble chroot, going through jail and openVz can use _DIFFERENT_ base libraries (/lib/libc and friends) and different binaries. So it all depends on your definition of OS. If Debian and RedHat are different OS then even chroot can run different OS.

It is possible to use it to run "same os" and people have used it like that. For example I wrote (jointly with then CTO of my company) in 1998 a set of extensions to Apache which allowed us to run each "user" in his own chroot and offer high end hosting. I believe PlusNet was offering something similar based on StrongHold in the UK.

However this is _NOT_ the way this was usually being used.

I used to run a system with 6+ chroots which was deployed to build & maintain different releases of a product. IIRC it had RedHat and several different epochs of Debian starting from 3.0.

Further to this, if you felt that psychotic you could actually run a passable Linux Userland in a BSD jail.

Database high priest mud-wrestles Facebook

Anton Ivanov

Nobody says he does not

The flamewar masks the actual conflict here.

What Stonebraker advocates for is essentially two-tier architectures. Front-end talking to super-scalable back-end which directly manipulates data. No baby-sitting middleware.

What facebook and everyone who wants to scale do is three tiers - front-end, middleware, database. In most three tiers the middleware does LOTS of work in terms of data availability, integrity and performance (it is an ecumenical matter where memcached sits, but IMO it is a part of the middle tier).

In reality Stonebraker is probably right technically.

However, similarly he is definitely wrong in terms of realities of life. 99%+ of the staff you can hire cannot and will not learn how to talk to the ACID backend and _WANT_ the middleware so they can get their work done. Similarly, 99% of software architects and project managers _WANT_ the middleware to ensure that developers do not do something vehemently stupid with the data.

As a result, like it or not the middle tier is there anyway. If it is there however, you might as well make it do a few things which in Stonebarkers abhors.

Heat sink breakthrough threatens ventblockers

Anton Ivanov

It is not the "thin"

It is not the "thin" or at least not "just the thin".

The heatsink is spinning and there is a constant shear across that micro-gap. So its heat conductivity will _NOT_ be the conductivity of an air gap at rest with the same width.

What is it going to be - god knows, but my educated guess is that it will be more. In fact much more. That is the trick here. The thing works so well because of conductivity across a disturbed boundary layer which is being kept in that condition by the heatsink spin. At a couple of thousand RPMs it is likely to be on par with a lot of heat transfer pastes.

I did not get it on first reading either by the way. I looked at it, thought WTF and only after an hour it hit me: "This is what this guy has done".

Clever, definitely much more clever than it looks. One thing is clear however - this is not Zalman material. At the speed where the layer is disturbed enough for it to work it will produce noise higher than Zalman tends to accept in their gear.

Before 'the cloud' was cool: Virtualising the un-virtualisable

Anton Ivanov
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Linux virtualisation is from before KVM

Linux has not one, but _THREE_ native virtualisation technologies:

1. User Mode Linux which is from circa Y2K, long before KVM. Even if we count from the day when it aquired SKAS0 (or 3) support so it could have reasonable address space isolation it is still pre-KVM

2. OpenVZ - also pre-KVM

3. KVM is the third one chronologically and unless I am mistaken it actually derives from qemu and shares some code with it. So if we count the days of emulation into its history it also goes further back.

By the way, depending on what you want (and how good are you at C/Linux kernel drivers) KVM is quite often not the best fit for purpose either. Neither is Xen, nor is Vmware. There are a lot of cases where OpenVZ (and even UML if your kernel programming is good enough to fix its shortcomings) can do a better job.

Hackers pierce network with jerry-rigged mouse

Anton Ivanov

Most likely easier than on Windows

Linux has a unified HID driver which is same for Keyboard, Mouse, UPS and anything short of washing dishes.

I have not read the code of that particular driver, but I would not expect it to filter keyboard events coming from a mouse or vice versa.

On top of that Linux does not query serial numbers in HID so you are least likely to be able to bolt down your computer to work only with "your" mouse and "your" keyboard.

Anton Ivanov

They cannot do anything about it

The device used in this attack reported itself as a standard Logitech mouse. This is what I get for an HP Mouse on my machine:

root@whitestar:~# lsusb | grep -i mouse

Bus 002 Device 003: ID 046d:c001 Logitech, Inc. N48/M-BB48 [FirstMouse Plus]

Surprise, surprise, it is actually Logitech.

So they actually chose the right device to emulate. It would have probably gotten past a reasonably tight group policy on Windows or a udev filter on Linux.

In fact, anything short of strict matching of keyboard, mouse, etc serial numbers to a machine would have failed to stop this attack. Both Windows and Linux possess the means to implement such matching. I really would not want to be on the helldesk in a shop which uses it though. It is a nightmare to maintain and a nightmare to set up too because not all USB device drivers return serial numbers. In fact HID does not at least on Linux (probably same on Windows).

That is exactly why large corporations cannot implement it. The larger the shop, the more dependent on helldesk throughput. Add to that the fact that most shops have implemented the whole ITIL shebang for anything going through the helldesk even if it is as small as changing a mouse. As a result, bolting the policy down to serial numbers will create a tsunami of change control schmutz which will wash away both the helldesk and whoever had the smart idea in the first place.

The New C++: Lay down your guns, knives, and clubs

Anton Ivanov

There used to be a tool

I know I will get shot down for saying this, but the tools are there. They are called Ada, Erlang and Smalltalk.

The problem is that the first is universally hated by everyone and the latter two have failed to gain enough ground outside Europe.

Get your network ready for World IPv6 Day

Anton Ivanov

Rule number one: EAT YOUR OWN DOGFOOD

dig www.theregister.co.uk AAAA

; <<>> DiG 9.7.3 <<>> www.theregister.co.uk AAAA

;; global options: +cmd

;; Got answer:

;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 52121

;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 0, AUTHORITY: 1, ADDITIONAL: 0


;www.theregister.co.uk. IN AAAA


theregister.co.uk. 576 IN SOA ns1.theregister.co.uk. hostmaster.theregister.co.uk. 2010103000 28800 7200 604800 3600

;; Query time: 15 msec


;; WHEN: Wed Jun 8 08:27:54 2011

;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 90

Nothing to see here, move along.

Anton Ivanov

Depends on the OS

On Debian (and clones) AYIYA works out of the box in an idiot-friendly manner. You just apt-get the package, plug in your handle and password and you are away. No setup whatsoever.

So it depends what are you using.

Android app sales skimpy, sluggish, slack, scanty...

Anton Ivanov
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Double bullcrap

First of all, Android may be "open"source, most of the apps are not. Show me how many of them have the source avalilable? Some of them do this in violation of the license too. Half of the media players use bits and pieces from mplayer without complying with the GPL just to name an example. The mplayer guys should really do what busybox does - get a good lawyer and some thick necks to collect on enforcement. Too many freeloaders out there.

As far as paying. There is more to that than meets the eye. Most of the app syndrome is still driven by the "first wave". These are people who actually will think where they stick their credit card credentials for a recurring purchase.

I may not like Nokia in their current incarnation. I do not like Apple either. I am however happy to trust them with my credit card details.

There is no way in hell however that I am putting them into a "grocery" tablet with software of unknown origin regardless who is selling it. I have seen enough of that backdoored in my time. I will similarly recommend not to put details in to anyone who asks me. No thanks. Hacked build? Rooted ROM? Credit cards into it? Forget it. No way in hell.

Probably 70%+ of Android shipping devices are in the category where paid purchase likelhood is close to nil. Users are reluctant to put any credit card details in. Many devices ship with the market disabled. End of the day you get a much lower paying population than on iPhone where everyone is ready to pay from day one.

So figures are unfortunately about right and will continue to be right until Google institutes a "genuine android" program where it guarantees that any manufacturers customisations do not backdoor it. With stickers on the touchscreen which you remove before using it. Sounds like MSFT? I know it does. It is however the right solution.

WTF is... 4G

Anton Ivanov
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Wrong description all of those

The radio, bandwidth, technology are not _KEY_ parts to the 3G/4G difference. The key differentiators are:

1. Resource allocation

Up to 3G standards still maintain fixed bandwidth logical channels over radio at Layer 2.

4G is packet, not logical channel. No fixed bandwidth anywhere in the access layer/Layer 2. The bandwidth is fixed at IP level elsewhere.

2. Services

Up to 3G services and voice are integrated with radio layer and Layer 2.

4G does not have any such integration. All services are just IP including Voice being VOIP under the billing, qos and admission control of IMS.

3. Security

Up to 3G most network standards the security is in radio access layer only.

In 4G security for a lot of stuff is End to End so snooping at the fixed network backhaul level does not help you.

What is the bandwidth, radio, etc is all of very little importance. It is the other bits which matter.

Microsoft calls Intel's Windows 8 comments 'inaccurate'

Anton Ivanov

Or be hosted on a x86 Cloud

So what exactly prevents Microsoft from making a business from hosting them on Azure and presenting them to Arm presentation devices using Windows RDP (or other protocol of their chosing)?

Anton Ivanov

Welcome to ARM

It is the joy of allowing vendors to tinker with the system

On PC, the tinkering ended within 1-2 years from the start. From there it was all standard and all an IBM clone. That has allowed a single system to exist.

Arm, MIPS, PPC, etc are not there yet or have been artificially prevented from getting there. So it is natural to have a Win-why-should-I-care-now...

VIA double stuffs x64 clone chips

Anton Ivanov

actually via has had video accel for very long

Via has had video accel for very long and it is exactly of the kind which other vendors are coming around to settle upon - Full variable length decoding on-chip combined with mo-comp.

Starting from Apollo 266 all of their onboard videos support it and from 400 onwards (if memory serves me right) there is support for MPEG4. The latest ones support H264 as well. The usual complaint regarding it is deinterlacing. However, it is geared for proper DVD (and HD in the more recent ones) playback so it is not expected to need to do complex deinterlacing.

In my sitting room have a vintage 2003 Via at 600MHz (M6000 motherboard) with 256MB RAM (64 eaten by IGP) playing natively encoded DVD scaled to 1368x768 with flying colours. All of that while eating only 21W. Makes up for a great pacifier if the dinner is not on time and the 2 and a half year old brigand is hungry.

Via has failed to market it correctly, failed to advertise it and failed to package it after being there first 3-4 years before everyone else. It is truly the Daihatsu of the IT world :)

In any case as the ancient maxima says imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. Intel is now imitating it by combining VLD and MO-COMP (so do others) and by putting AES on chip in the Xeons. 8 years after. And it costs several hundred pounds and eats 70W+. So much for "innovation".

Anton Ivanov

The real reason to have via is AES

I have been using their stuff for jobs that need AES for more than 5 years now. It used to run circles around a Dual Xeon on AES benchmarks. In fact it still performs admirably when facing Core2 or Phenom opposition on this. 60+Mbit AES at 256bit key causes around 3% load average on my firewall and virtually no latency. I also run my backups through that getting free crypto at 100MBps (more or less limited by the network interface speed).

My only serious gripe Via them is that there is virtually no third party cooling solutions. So if via has decided that your stuff is downmarket and put a 6000 RPM 40mm fan on it there is no way to fix it. You either have that or a 500g fanless job. Things like a 1000rpm slow and quiet fan with a medium size heatsink are simply not part of the equation.

Popular gamers 'should play for free' – Valve boss

Anton Ivanov
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Not quite

The idea is to replicate the realities of playground dynamics.

In a playground there is always a kid which is always picked for whatever is played and there is a kid which never gets a chance. That is the normal way things have been with apes ever since they started developing more complex social dynamics.

The thing however which comes to my mind here is this


Artist(Band):Peter, Paul & Mary

I'm a little boy with glasses

The one they call a geek

A little girl who never smiles

'Cause I have braces on my teeth

And I know how it feels to cry myself to sleep

I'm that kid on every playground

Who's always chosen last


Sorry, we are _NOT_ juist apes any more. There has to be another way besides setting in stone the "always chosen first/last" paradigm.

Russian rumor: Microsoft to buy Nokia for $30bn

Anton Ivanov
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Actually yes

Just read the article. Agree with him on most points, however you do not need to have sources in Nokia to guess that.

MSFT will either consume Nokia and spit out the bits it does not find to its taste or the alliance will go the same way as the Ericsson/MSFT alliance of old went.

Skype is a necessary figure in the 4G revenue bargaining chess game between vendors and operators. It gives Microsoft a bargaining position on par with Google and Apple when facing the operators which it clearly wants to do. It is a statement that it will not comply with operator ideas and can do OTT voice bypassing operator billing and it is money well spent.

Such a "you are a bitshifter, get lost" stance is not a natural position for Nokia. Nokia has always been on the operator side as far as charging models, revenue, VAS, etc (one of the many reasons for Ovi to be a total flop as it was necessarily half-hearted). In fact, it has written the book together with them in 3GPP and it has HUGE vested interests on its NSN side in the 4G financials being done the 3GPP envisioned way with all charging going through IMS and no apps, no app stores and no OS vendor supplied charging.

Sooner or later the interests of these two will collide. There is no other way as they are on the opposite sides of the table from the very start. At that point it will make more sense for Ballmer to eat Nokia and spit out the bits which have a distinct 3GPP financial model taste to them like NSN. Looking how 4G, Nokia market share, MSFT, etc are going this will happen in less than 1.5 years. So end of year prediction is not way off...

'Upgraded' Apple iMacs lock out hard drive replacement

Anton Ivanov


Get a samsung spinpoint PATA 2.5 in.

I have my G4 powerbook upgraded with that. You will be surprised how fast that machine really is.

Anton Ivanov

So has HP

I have had to teardown/fix my NC4000 more than 3 times so far - hinges replacement and drive replacement. I have lost count how many times I have half disassembled an Evo110 I use for experiments. So Lenovo/IBM are not the only ones with full teardown guides (I have had to use their guides to fix my S10e once).

It is the norm in "proper" laptop manufacturers. Not just Apple. Just google for them.

Anton Ivanov
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Yes, and your point is?

Hard disks also come with a S.M.A.R.T. temperature sensor nowdays which is considerably more precise than any external ones. Using an external sensor for it is actually an example of bad design.

RIM BlackBerry PlayBook 7in tablet

Anton Ivanov

I do

The tochiba A100 which was the first Android netbook got an abissmal score of 10%.

Reason - it was undercooked same as the Playbook and the reporter had to excercise some grey matter to use it - same as the Playbook which needs instructional videos to use it.

Talking of DOUBLE standards... Integrity, we 've heard of it...

HP unveils stylin' new desktop line

Anton Ivanov
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Here went the refurbishment value

HP is currently the "lease favourite" in the various "interesting" schemes which claim to provide value by "outsourcing core (in)competence". The reason for that is that it has strong residuals. You can still resell them for some non-zero money after the 3 year lease runs out. They may look ugly, they may look dated, but they take some beating and still look reasonable.

That idea just went out of the window.- this is some serious "scratch magnet". There is just no way a PC with this design will still look marketable after 3 years in an office on a lease by an outsourcing shop. Same for their latest laptops. MacBook Pro styling may look tough, may be tough, but you can see even the smallest scratch straight away.

I can see the usual suspects dumping them and going Lenovo or Dell in 3 months, tops.

Apple seeks patent for keyboard that sucks

Anton Ivanov
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I am going to disagree with the reg on this one

This is actually likely to work and provide feedback even on keyboards that are even thinner than those which apple ships with nowdays Macs. It is also inventive (for once) and original.

Google and Microsoft in trading places shocker

Anton Ivanov
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Skype's monetisation is elsewhere, it needs no adverts

Having a voice framework that bypasses the operator gives Microsoft the leverage to negotiate with Mobile Cos on what exactly will happen with the VAS and revenue model in 4G/LTE.

If it did not have Skype it would have had to go IMS voice which in the endgame means ending up with IMS for everything. IMS puts the operator in control of the charging model and Microsoft can kiss goodbye to in-app revenue and most app revenue. If your app needs to pay for a permission to talk to the network you are not going to pay for it twice. You will pay for it to the operator and this is one of the weapon which IMS will give to the operators so they can turn the tables on the app crowd.

Having Skype it can now (same as Google with voice and Apple with Facetime) tell the operator "so what, we will not support it and just use our own voice with data instead". It can now negotiate for having a proper part of VAS pie. Even if it goes the IMS route the operators will have to make some significant concessions.

In any case, Skype has given it this option. This by itself probably costs more than 8 billion over the course of the next 5-7 years. Any revenue Skype provides on top is a welcome addition. It is however non-essential.

Renault readies sub-£7000 e-car for Blighty

Anton Ivanov

Fair enough

Should not post before first coffee... Lost a zero somewhere in the math...

4500 is indeed not enough to get you around. You are quite right - you need at least 22500

Anton Ivanov

There was some loophole in that rule for electrics

There is a loophole in the quad rule for electric. IIRC it is either the weight is taken without the battery or something else like that. The version you are quoting is the petrol only one which the g-wiz fails as well.

Try to find the full definition.

Anton Ivanov
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Excellent one purpose vehicle - commuting to railway station

Home to railway station and back home.

The battery is also about right. 20-30 miles a day for most people, 250 days a year makes for 1000-1500 miles a year. So 4500 for 3 years is not crazy considering the vehicle purpose.

If you need a second vehicle just for a commute - why not. It is definitely safer than a scooter and you stand a fair chance of arriving reasonably dry even in British weather. Price is also about right - on par with a high end scooter like the Honda Silver Wing.

In fact, this is the old BMW C1 idea redone for electric and quad. As long as UK gov does not make you wear a helmet in it, it will sell.

Glass aeroplanes and iPads on the way, say boffins

Anton Ivanov
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It has one more property

The biggest bugbear with plastics are the things like the European Waste disposal directive and/or further tightening of the recycling regime. Plastic can never be recycled properly. The recycled material is always inferior mechanically to the original one. Glass does not have this problem. So if you have to take back stuff the way electronics, cars and white goods are regulated in the EU (and most of the world) and if you are obliged to recycle at least 90%+ of it metal glass starts making LOTS of sense.

So if apple has bought the IPR on this it can now start driving 99% recycling or force the issue on recycling all casings, etc. It will be able to do it at much lower cost than its competitors and can demonstrate some green cred and keep the greenies happy.

Nothing to lose but your desktop PCs

Anton Ivanov

Thin clients _ARE_ _NOT_ _CHEAPER_

An average thin client with its supporting licensing train is north of 300£ sans monitor. You can have a low end business PC for that. To add insult to injury all have high latency ethernets, many have stinky graphics cards and a measly CPU. They also eat electricity way more than you expect - north of 20W (measured at wall). I have yet to see one that has suspend-to-RAM or other form of instant-on from a low power mode so that 20W is always-on.

As a comparison a fully depreciated business PC costs nothing. It can be converted to a diskless boot in 20 minutes and eats around 40-60W as a thin client once you have enabled power management (measured at wall). Most of them have better latency on the network, video, etc as well.

If we assume UK electricity prices, converting depreciated business PC to a "thin" head is better economically than having a thin client for 10 years. If you keep the disks, image them with a terminal image and figure out how to suspend them to RAM when not in use the numbers are more like "never" as the average daily consumption goes to under 160Wxh which is the same as from a thin client.

As far as suitability even a P3 at 733GHz with a good video and a decent modern Ethernet or a P3 at 1.2GHz with the original Intel video joke shipped as a part of 815e outperforms any thin client I have seen so far. Typing this on one by the way.

Femtocells, not 4G, will solve spectrum crisis

Anton Ivanov
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So why exactly should an LTE phone bother?

LTE is mobile IP. Any LTE phone can happily access its services via any access network including the user WiFi and Broadband and most of them will have a WiFi MAC and a radio.

I really do not see why would anyone need a femtocell which goes across the _SAME_ broadband with the _SAME_ lack of QoS instead of using the native functionality already present in the phone.

Fiat 500 TwinAir

Anton Ivanov

The windows logo on the steering wheel

Ugh... That is one vehicle that is definitely NEVER going to make my shopping list. Windows logo on the steering wheel? No thanks...

Use of Weapons declared best sci-fi film never made

Anton Ivanov
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Out of all Banks books The Algebraist is the best candidate

The Algebraist is the best candidate out of all Banks books. It is more of a fast paced action than a dialogue and can be cut here and there for sake of fitting into a 2h movie format.

It will also make any special effect guru salivate at the mere idea. A fleet of superships rising out of the depth of a gas giant? Yum...

In any case, it is a pity that Stainless Steel Rat scored so low. Garry Garrison is infinitely more filmable than Banks.

Anton Ivanov

He did

Neither were Solaris and Picnic by the Road.

Let's be real - it would take Tarkovsky reincarnating into a new body to film it. It requires a proper producer and a proper director.

Linutop feeds mini-PC fans tiny Tux box

Anton Ivanov
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This costs more than a proper thin client

A new thin client costs about the same. A second hand one can be obtained from a reputable retailer for 150, even less from fleebay.

It will have better cooling, better expansion, better mounting and fixing options.

Forget it.

Microsoft Skype: How the VCs won and Ballmer overpaid

Anton Ivanov
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You are missing the point

In 1-2 years we will see LTE everywhere. Voice on it is supposed to work _ONLY_ under IMS control. Once IMS gets its foot through the door Balmer can kiss goodbye to most of potential app, store, media revenue from WinPhone because IMS moves the charging model to the operator.

On an IMS network you breath in by asking IMS if you can and pay for it, after that you breath out and pay similarly. Everything charges through IMS - media, value added services, voice, etc.

The only way Balmer, Brin and Jobs can counter that is by having their _OWN_ voice & video frameworks. Google has Google voice, Apple has Facetime. Microsoft till this day had nothing.

It now has it. It now can twist arms and negotiate with mobile companies on the subject of who will do the billing and how an LTE phone is to operate in reality.

Balmer has bought the future of the company here. Without it, it would have become the obedient operator cow supplying phones specified to operator specs and getting no revenues but from OS licensing. The number he paid is actually irrelevant. When you buy your future, money is not relevant provided that you can afford it.

Australia cuts solar subsidies, and not before time

Anton Ivanov
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Welcome to the world of electric engineering

The same happened in the UK (with lesser numbers involved) after the annual re-certification+courses for electrical engineers became mandatory about 5 years ago. Prior to that all you need to do was to have an IEE membership which most geeks already had. The markups went through the roof and the quality of work tanked. And the engineers started behaving like complete and total primadonnas.

I am still fixing the "damage" done by one such muppet 3 years ago on my house extension. I had to redo cable runs, unscrew nearly every socket and sort out the cabling in it, move sockets and extensions where they should go, hide cables run in plain sight for everyone to see across walls and along the floor - you name it.

Unfortunately, I had no choice but to employ the aforementioned muppet to do the work because you cannot get a "competed to the building standard" certificate without a muppet signature.

Microsoft poised to make biggest ever buy – Skype

Anton Ivanov

Read the ekiga code and stop wondering

Just read the code. And weep.

No state machine design to speak of.

Hang up is call dialogue _window_ specific and you do not have a hang-up event in the main loop. As a result there is no way to hang-up a call via any of the interfaces it offers like d-bus. So integrating it to anything is out of the question. Similarly, exit, etc cannot clean/up hang-up for same reason.

It is windows app like code - written around an event loop which is GUI bound. Ugly. Unstable. And impossible to integrate. There is no way you can "get it". You have to rewrite it.

Anton Ivanov

It was not worth 2B for Ebay, it may be worth 8B for MSFT

Ebay had no use to it. Kapalu Charshi haggling is much better done via messages instead of in-person.

Microsoft has _LOTS_ of use to it.

The cellular networks are at a turning point. Up till now voice, video, etc were all tightly integrated into Layer2. With LTE it all goes IP. However in theory the operators are supposed to start controlling everything via IMS and enforce using the relevant Evolved Packet Core functionality.

This gives the phone OS and phone vendors the option of "My Way or the Highway".

If a phone is to do voice over LTE it will have to do IMS. If it does IMS, everything - media, applications, breath in, breath out goes under operator control. Nothing of importance will be controlled by the user or the OS vendor. The phone vendor and the phone OS vendor will see diddly squat in revenues as the billing will become 100% operator centric and they need that money to recoup infrastructure and license investment.

That is why Google keeps investing into Google Voice and Apple invested into Facetime. Microsoft has no such investment. When the day comes and LTE arrives it was largely expected to cave in and go the "My Way". In fact a lot of people in Nokia (especially in the NSN part) all the way to VP level were quietly salivating at the perspective of MSFT contracting the IMS bug through the Nokia aliance. Here is an answer to them. Balmer showed them exactly what does he think of that idea and exactly how much does he value the option of having full control.

Unless Microsoft builds a framework for voice or buys one it can pretty much forget about any revenue from Windows Mobile except basic licensing. IMO that is worth _WAY_ more than 8Bn.

Now will it work and will MSFT be able to deliver on it is another matter. However as far as the business need - it does have it.