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Comment: This is good, but mostly for mobo mfgr (Score 1) 134

by LOTHAR, of the Hill (#36072212) Attached to: AMD To Support Coreboot On All Upcoming Processors

One of the most expensive, and labor intensive part of mobo development is the BIOS. The licensing is very expensive, and requires a good deal of effort on the part of the SW developer. Often times the developers and mobo mfgr don't even have access to the full source code. The fact that U-boot (universal bootloader) is free makes x86 inherently more expensive than an ARM or PPC board, even if the processor components cost less. This is good for small and mid-size companies that are priced out of x86 development.

Comment: Khan is different... (Score 1) 203

by LOTHAR, of the Hill (#35481858) Attached to: Gates' Future of Education Straight Out of '60s

The main difference I've seen in Khan Academy is in the quality of the lectures. Most (all) videos I've seen are horrible. The tutorials on Khan are clear, straightforward, and informative with no fluff or embarrassingly lame animations. The several people I've talked to that used Khan found the tutorials to be even better than their own instructor's classroom lectures (they were taking calc, Diff Eq's, and linear algebra). I recommend Khan for that reason.

Comment: both are wrong. (Score 4, Insightful) 379

by LOTHAR, of the Hill (#33740214) Attached to: Does A Company Deserve the Same Privacy Rights As You?

The concept of rights isn't about what a person can and can't do, it's about limiting the power of government. Freedom of speech is a right. It's implementation in the first amendment is important. The first five words of the first amendment are "Congress shall pass no law". This is an important distinction from "People have the right to" or "People can say whatever they want". "none shall pass", it doesn't matter if it's a flesh wound or a mortal wound, Congress can't make restrictions. Whether people have rights that companies do not is moot. It's whether the government can or can't restrict certain activities.

Some refer to the equal protection clause under these types of situations, but the notion of equality is only relevant if the two entities being compared are effectively equivalent. The notion that companies are equivalent to people is absurd. If companies are equivalent to people, how do you count votes for a company, and in what districts?

Comment: development costs. (Score 1) 231

by LOTHAR, of the Hill (#32644220) Attached to: Why Mobile Innovation Outpaces PC Innovation

Despite the fact that PC's are 20+ years old, the development cost of a new PC is substantially larger than that of a mobile device. The BIOS development alone is a substantial part of the NRE cost. Mobile devices use open source bootloaders or run natively and so such NRE costs aren't applicable. Then add prototyping costs for the hardware and things get very expensive in a hurry.

The use and availability of operating systems is an additional burden the PC must bear. There's an acceptance in the mobile market of devices that behave differently. All pc's running windows will behave similarly, despite the shape or size. There's an expectation of behavioral consistency between PC mfgr's. If HP could have different UI than Dell, then things might get more interesting. At this point, the only UI difference is Apple vs PC. Linux on the desktop isn't at a place where it can or will drive PC development (a different discussion entirely).

Comment: Re:Natural gas backup generator (Score 4, Funny) 695

by LOTHAR, of the Hill (#26283205) Attached to: Home Generators (or How DTE Energy Ruined My Holidays)

Make sure that your natural gas generator is running a genuine copy of Microsoft Windows Vista. You will find that your generator is much more reliable with Windows Vista as long as you keep your system up to date and have anti-virus, spyware protection, and firewall utilities installed.

Education

+ - 6 Degrees of Computer Science

Submitted by
Tony
Tony writes "A common confusion among high school seniors interested in computers has to do with too many, often similar, options available for pursuit in higher education.

What is the difference between Computer Engineering, Software Engineering, and why is neither the same as obtaining a Computer Science degree?
To answer the question, there's a pretty graph, along with University programs comparison — exploring the 6 Degrees of Computer Science."

"I'm a mean green mother from outer space" -- Audrey II, The Little Shop of Horrors

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