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Comment: Re:TFA (Score 1) 227

by tyen (#48859623) Attached to: Librem: a Laptop Custom-Made For Free/Libre Software

What I haven't seen commented upon is the combined form factor and upgradeable, maximum RAM capacity.

There isn't another laptop I'm aware of on the current market with similar physical dimensions and is upgradeable to 32 GB RAM. For those who run VMs on the road and want to cram as much as possible into a small footprint, the Librem is a unique solution in more ways than the free software/hardware aspects. It could be more free with respect to the BIOS, but incremental baby steps will get us there; we first need to convince manufacturers a viable market for freedom-oriented products exists.

Android

De-escalating the Android Patent War 63

Posted by Soulskill
from the can't-we-all-just-bilk-the-USPTO-together dept.
In 2011, a consortium formed from Microsoft, Apple, Sony, BlackBerry, and others spent $4.5 billion acquiring Nortel's patent portfolio, which contained a great deal of ammunition that could be used against Android. That threat has now been reduced. Today, 4,000 of the patents were purchased by a corporation called RPX, which has licensing agreements from Google, Cisco, and dozens more companies. [RPX is] a company that collects a bunch of patents with the goal of using those patents for member companies for defensive purposes. Even though RPX has generally been "good," the business model basically lives because of patent trolling. Its very existence is because of all the patent trolling and abuse out there. In this case, though, it's making sure that basically anyone can license these patents under FRAND (fair and reasonable, non-discriminatory) rates. The price being paid is approximately $900 million. While that article points out that this is considerably less than the $4.5 billion Microsoft and Apple paid originally, again, this is only 4,000 of the 6,000 patents, and you have to assume the 2,000 the other companies kept were the really valuable patents. In short, this is basically Google and Cisco (with some help from a few others) licensing these patents to stop the majority of the lawsuits -- while also making sure that others can pay in as well should they feel threatened. Of course, Microsoft, Apple and the others still have control over the really good patents they kept for themselves, rather than give to Rockstar. And the whole thing does nothing for innovation other than shift around some money.

Comment: Smarthost out via SMTP.Comcast.net on 465 or 587 (Score 2) 405

by Hobart (#48382497) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Unblock Email From My Comcast-Hosted Server?

You're being blocked because any mail leaving Comcast's IP spaces is expected to come from Comcast's mailservers only.

Configure your mailserver with a "smarthost" option, have it deliver using Authenticated SMTP (with your Comcast account's username and password hardcoded, yes) over SSL on 465, or if you can't do SSL, use 587.

Source: Am currently running Postfix on Comcast successfully delivering to Yahoo Mail with no spamfolder problem via this method. (Am using SPF, no DomainKeys yet.)

More from Comcast on this: http://corporate.comcast.com/c...

Comment: Google & ISC have MeasurementLab.NET (Score 2) 294

by Hobart (#48105041) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: An Accurate Broadband Speed Test?

The Network Diagnostic Test was able to see performance problems on my cablemodem connection that Ookla's speedtests did not.

http://www.measurementlab.net/...

Unfortunately, the number of ridiculous hoops you need to go through to let an unsigned Java applet run an arbitrary network I/O makes it much less useful.

Comment: Re:Graphics appear to be closed/proprietary. (Score 2) 106

From the Matchstick SDK download agreement: (abridged)

4. Restrictions. You agree not to exploit ... content provided to you as a Registered Matchstick Developer, in any unauthorized way ... other than for authorized purposes. Copyright and other intellectual property laws protect ... content provided to you, and you agree to abide by and maintain all notices, license information, and restrictions contained therein. You may not decompile, reverse engineer, disassemble, attempt to derive the source code of any software or software components of the Matchstick software including the Matchstick SDK software.

"Open Source Hardware" ?

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. — Inigo Montoya

Comment: Graphics appear to be closed/proprietary. (Score 5, Informative) 106

The Rockchip 3066 appears to use ARM's proprietary Mali T-series graphics. No, thanks.

Quote from the dev lead on the Mali graphics:

"I really do understand your frustration and I'm sorry that this makes life harder for you and similar developers. We are genuinely not against Open Source, as I hope I've tried to explain. I myself spent a long time working on the Linux kernel in the past and I wish I could give you a simple answer. Unfortunately, it is a genuinely complex problem, with a lot of trade-offs and judgements to be made as well as economic and legal issues. Ultimately I cannot easily reduce this to an answer here, and probably not to one that will satisfy you. Rest assured that you are not being ignored. However, as a relatively small company with a business model that is Partner driven, the resources that we have, need to be applied to projects in ways that meet Partner requirements."
(2014-09) ARM Still Not Doing Open Drivers

Comment: Proprietary firmware blob? (Score 5, Informative) 106

From the Kickstarter page, the computer they are trying to fund is going to be based around a Rockchip 3066 SoC.

Will this have the same proprietary blob required to function / use video like the various Broadcom (Videocore in Raspberry Pi) / Marvell chips are stuck with?

If so, it's not actually Free/Open hardware, because that mystery embedded RTOS can do anything to my system at any time. If Mozilla and/or Matchstick are working with Rockchip (or whomever Rockchip licenses their cores from) to fully document the toolchain, I'd be delighted. (I'm not holding my breath.)

I don't just want a Free and open-source graphics device driver, I want the full documented toolchain for everything on the chip.

Comment: Re:What if there isn't any truth out there? (Score 1) 93

by tyen (#47123685) Attached to: Hunt Intensifies For Aliens On Kepler's Planets

The numbers work out for habitat-stealing if interstellar travel involved some quirk of technology that made dropping back into a gravity well somehow attractive at the end of the trip.

From what we can extrapolate given our current rudimentary state of technology, we think that if you can work out interstellar travel, then Iain Banks' popularized Culture series take on the matter is probably correct: that is, interstellar travel necessarily solves space habitat issues as a precondition. And once you have an interstellar-travel-grade space habitat, it is only the eccentrics who want to drop back down a gravity well.

Comment: School Missed An Opportunity Here (Score 1) 1010

by tyen (#45600257) Attached to: EV Owner Arrested Over 5 Cents Worth of Electricity From School's Outlet
The school could have stepped in and said they have informally allowed it (thus graciously letting this guy off the hook), but now that it has become a big deal, they'll print up $30 per year tags to hang on the rear view mirror that gives parents the right to charge during school operating hours. Win for the school: they get to tap a small revenue source (but every little bit helps), and get to look progressive with parents that have the disposable income to choose EV's. Win for the parents: they get to top off during school events that they attend.

Comment: Re:But that wouldn't have had the leverage (Score 0) 293

by Alex Belits (#45547701) Attached to: Microsoft May Finally Put Windows RT Out To Pasture

Oh but they tried that in the past -- those products had a consistent result of killing the whole market segment then themselves.

1. Windows CE PDAs -- almost completely replaced healthy PDA-oriented OS due to Windows name, then wiped out the first generation of non-phone PDAs due to being absolutely inadequate in all ways possible. Survivors were iPAQ (Windows CE/Mobile), Palm (PalmOS), Visor (PalmOS), Blackberry (Blackberry OS, a phone but from PDA generation).

2. Windows Mobile phones -- sold to carriers, disappointed users, lost all market to dumbphones and Symbian-based Nokia, then completely wiped out by iPhone.

3. Windows Phone phones -- Survive by being produced by zombified Nokia, can't get any presence on the market due to iPhone and Android competition.

4. Windows RT tablets -- No one bought them in the first place.

Comment: Re:Fine with me (Score -1) 274

by Alex Belits (#44530469) Attached to: Microsoft Will Squeeze Datacenters On Price of Windows Server

If anything, competition from Microsoft causes people to hastily add features and polished look while infesting their products with boatloads of bugs and painting themselves into a corner as far as technology development is concerned. The best projects are those that ignore Microsoft completely, Linux among them.

If it has syntax, it isn't user friendly.

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