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Comment: Re:Technically right (Score 2) 238

by Christian Smith (#49483797) Attached to: Google Responds To EU Antitrust Claims In Android Blog Post

Well, I bought this phone for my grandma. It is a Samsung. So how should she get rid of the Google Android and work Googless?

Please explain in 3 easy to understand steps.

Just because it is technically possible does not mean anything. The reality is that if you buy an android, you are linked to Google.

1. Open settings.
2. Go to accounts.
3. Remove google account.

There, easy. If you don't want Android at all, buy a different phone. Perhaps a cheap second hand iPhone, or look at one of the cheap FirefoxOS or Lumia Windows phones.

And in Android world, neither Nokia X phones nor Amazon Fire phones are linked to Google.

Comment: Re:Nokia (Score 1) 238

by Christian Smith (#49483779) Attached to: Google Responds To EU Antitrust Claims In Android Blog Post

Every time I read about this EU nonsense with Android, I think about Nokia and Symbian. Maybe the EU is chapped because all the good smart phone OSs are developed in the US?

... but I got a smartphone recently - a Samsung Ace 3 with Android. My impression is that the concept has huge promise, but that it is set up to disappoint massively, because although it is so-called open-source, you are not likely to be set free from the tie-in. This particular phone comes without Google Play (and as Google say: 'if it isn't installed from the start, you are not supposed to have it'), and all I can find on Samsung's equivalent is ad- and spyware. I have a suspicion the same holds for Google Play, but I don't know. Even if you download Google Play from elsehwere, it will not be allowed to run - it gets killed instantly.

To my mind, this is very close to being abuse of monopoly - 'collusion to abuse a monopoly' if there is such a concept.

But this is nothing to do with Google. Samsung have taken android and bastardized it to their own ends. Google Play isn't anything like this.

I tried using my phone without Google Apps, and it is largely usable, but I just missed such things as Maps, Google Camera, even location history.

BTW, you can use Cyanogenmod 11 or 12 with the Galaxy Ace 3, I believe, onto which you can load Google Apps or not, and save you from the Sumsung crapware you appear to have now.

Comment: Re:Too late; already sold my EVO's on eBay (Score 1) 72

This whole EVO performance problem is a crock of shit. People only noticed the problem running synthetic benchmarks. For normal usage, there'll be no perceptible performance issue with these drives. And yes, I have a couple of EVO drives, and yes, they are also hit with the performance issue. I just don't notice because it's such a non-issue outside of synthetic benchmarks.

Bullshit I have 2 EVO's and I did notice. Some regions were very very slow (50-60 MB/s).

When your VM copy suddenly takes 5-10 times as long as expected, you do notice.

OK, 99.9% of the use cases won't notice. Entire VM copies are probably quite rare, and are generally not an interactive type of operation (you don't sit there watching it copy, waiting for it to finish.)

I've got a 840 EVO machine that's been powered off for a couple of months. I can't wait to power it up again and see if I do indeed perceive performance issues.

Comment: Re:EVO 850 (Score 1) 72

I'd expect the TLC FLASH in the 850 EVO to be much more robust against this sort of issue, being of a much bigger process size (50nm?) and suffering less electron leakage as a result.

The bug is absolutely not caused by electron leakage! Flash drives would be dying all the time if that was the case.

Electrons absolutely do leak. It's slow, but TLC is more vulnerable to voltage changes from electron leakage. JEDEC specs even dictate the minimum amount of time of data should be correctly retained without power.

The firmware fix appears to be to just rewrite old data, so that cells are regularly freshly programmed to avoid the costly read error recovery cycles that reduce performance.

Comment: Re:EVO 850 (Score 1) 72

I think you can fully expect Samsung to apply the firmware fix to all subsequent EVO series if applicable.

I'd expect the TLC FLASH in the 850 EVO to be much more robust against this sort of issue, being of a much bigger process size (50nm?) and suffering less electron leakage as a result.

Personally, I'd be happy to continue buying Samsung drives as and when required, especially the 3D VNAND based ones, with all the benefits that 3D NAND brings. Of course, that might change as other vendors introduce 3D NAND, but it's likely to change on a value basis, rather than any technical basis.

I have no affiliation to Samsung other than being a satisfied customer of their drives. I also have SSD drives from Sandisk, Crucial, Intel and KingFast, so I'm no Samsung fanboy either.

Comment: Re:Too late; already sold my EVO's on eBay (Score 1) 72

I offloaded the EVO's on eBay (being honest about the reason) and got myself a couple of Plextor Pro drives. Running in RAID0 they are a bit slower at random reads than the EVOs, but faster at sustained transfer rates.

Wow, so you replaced your existing drives with a performance "problem", with some new drives that you yourself admit are slower at random reads (BTW, guess what sort of reads are more important to the perception of speed). Do you really think you're a savvy consumer?

This whole EVO performance problem is a crock of shit. People only noticed the problem running synthetic benchmarks. For normal usage, there'll be no perceptible performance issue with these drives. And yes, I have a couple of EVO drives, and yes, they are also hit with the performance issue. I just don't notice because it's such a non-issue outside of synthetic benchmarks.

Data safety is key, and there have been no reports as far as I'm aware of this issue affecting data integrity.

Comment: Re:not the problem (Score 2) 93

Centralized remote syslog server that also feeds to Elasticsearch which indexes the syslog entries for reporting and searching. After daily aggregate reports are done, a week later the entries are moved to spinning rust and only the canned reports stay on SSD. With the way Lucene works and our indexing is setup, a 100 byte syslog entry can easily turn into 2k of index. The canned reports now only take a tenth of the time they took before we added the five Samsung drives and the historical reports load even faster than that, but the drives are just wearing out too quickly for comfort.

So you're simply using the wrong drives. The 840 EVO is a consumer level drive. You want a more enterprise like drive like Intel 3700, which is warranted for 10 drive writes per day for 5 years. It costs more, sure, but you can surely justify the cost based on the performance and reliability benefits.

Comment: Re:Star Wars! (Score 1) 253

by Christian Smith (#49162815) Attached to: 20-Year-Old Military Weather Satellite Explodes In Orbit

It took nearly that long for the current battery tech to leave the lab and be a commodity, so bleeding edge satellite batteries from 20 years ago may compare directly to ten year old or maybe even five year old laptop batteries.

I doubt it. The last thing you want in an unserviceable satellite is bleeding edge battery technology. You want to use what you know works, stable mature technology, and work within the known limitations of such technology.

Comment: Re:The solution is obvious (Score 1) 579

It's not a problem with the kernel or any part of the software-hardware interface - it's a bug in the browser component, which is purely software. They could patch it for everyone if they wanted.

They have. It's called Android KitKat.

And when you say "they", who is "they". My contention is "they" is the hardware vendor/carrier, not Google, for the reasons outlined above.

Comment: Re:The solution is obvious (Score 1) 579

No, it's your hardware provider that is your problem, not Google.

Do you update your Windows/Linux/OSX PC/laptop from the OS vendor or the company that sold you the hardware? It's almost always the OS vendor. A PC/laptop is very similar to a smartphone except the latter is smaller. Google's model of pushing updates through the hardware vendor utterly stupid and adds an extra unnecessary middleman to the process.

Not the same issue. PCs are standard, using largely off the shelf parts, a discoverable PCI based bus architecture to attach peripherals to the CPU, and the OS component is bought in.

In the case of a phone, the hardware is proprietry, using device trees to describe where peripherals are mapped (may vary between vendors) and the OS image itself usually customized by the network operator to push their crapware and "value add" tools.

Contact your hardware provider and bitch to them, not Google.

Why can't google's patch fix the issue? Is there a different kernel for each android phone so that different patches are needed for each phone?

Exactly. Each hardware vendor provides it's own kernel, and probably own version of drivers such as GPU and radio devices. The way Android is put onto phones is via a single monolithic read-only image, so it's all or nothing when updating the base Android image.

Now, if the hardware vendors make after market ROMs easier to install (or just possible to install without hacking the phone) then it might not even be an issue. My HTC One S (stock Android == 4.1) is happily running CM12 (Lollipop based), and it rocks. But again, this is outside Google's control, and I had to get unlock codes from HTC to do so (but at least they do so without requiring jail-breaking hacks.)

+ - Lost Mars probe, Beagle2, found apparently intact.->

Submitted by Christian Smith
Christian Smith (3497) writes "Although comfort to the late Colin Pillinger, the plucky european lander appears to have been found on the Mars surface by Nasa's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, just 5km off center of it's targeted touchdown zone.

The lander, assumed destroyed on entry to the Martion atmosphere, appears to have landed as planned, but failed to completely deploy its solar panel "petals", blocking the communications antenna.

Close, but no cigar."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Hope he doesn't lose power (Score 1) 56

by Christian Smith (#48595889) Attached to: Raspberry Pi In Space

Pis are great.
But when the power drops.the filesystem on the SDcard is corrupt.

That's probably more a function of your crappy SDCard. These things are cheap, and probably not engineered to handle partial writes that would corrupt the card.

I do wonder why though, is it so difficult to order writes so that what's committed to FLASH is always recoverable?

Comment: Re:.50 WHAT? (Score 1) 127

by Christian Smith (#48553759) Attached to: Samsung SSD 850 EVO 32-Layer 3D V-NAND-Based SSD Tested

But flash was already that cheap, so that would hardly be a breakthrough.

They only have to match the current market, which is a bonus if you can do so with an effectively new technology.

Once mature, Samsung will probably be able to bang these out much cheaper. Also, any bad non-SSD grade chips will just be redirected to their SD Card devision, which will map out the bad blocks at the controller level and work with what would otherwise be waste.

The FLASH industry is very efficient, and the price will remain high (price parity with planer FLASH) until Samsung recoup their upfront R&D costs, before raking in the money.

Comment: Re:lowering price? (Score 1) 127

by Christian Smith (#48553739) Attached to: Samsung SSD 850 EVO 32-Layer 3D V-NAND-Based SSD Tested

They're not stacking silicon wafers on top of each other. Rather, they're putting more layers of oxide, semiconductor, etc onto each wafer in order to produce the 3d stacking. Yes, it's more complex. But it's a pretty mature technology.

They're actually doing both. The 120GB drive only has a single NAND package (the PCB is tiny!) which contains 8 stacked 3D NAND dies. The NAND package has eight chip select pins, one for each die, and the controller interleaves requests to each die to achieve parallelism.

Comment: Re:It's an Intel cpu (Score 2) 109

by Christian Smith (#48416387) Attached to: Nokia's N1 Android Tablet Is Actually a Foxconn Tablet

Still, the only advantage is if someone manages to run Linux on it. Might make up for the extra heat and lower battery life, to be able to run full featured Linux on it.

Um, you know Android is Linux, right? There's not much special about the Linux kernel in Android, just a few tweaks to the stock kernel to make it suitable to the environement on which it runs.

Almost all the Android special sauce is the user space, so the main difference between an Android system and a regular Linux distribution is what happens when PID 1 is executed. Change init, and you change the system entirely.

Run a debian chroot under Android if you want a regular looking Linux. Install a terminal app on android, and use a BT keyboard for input, and you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference from a regular Linux distro command line.

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