Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Comment: murder mystery analogy with chickens (Score 5, Funny) 154

by goombah99 (#49546833) Attached to: Wormholes Untangle a Black Hole Paradox

Imagine a chicken's butt. picture it. Okay hang onto that thought because we'll come back to that later.
There's a house made of rubber with a lot of rooms. While all the guests including the butler are gathered in the living room, the guests hear the sound of the master of the house being murdered in his bedroom which is at the end of a distant series of hallways. They also notice that at that moment the butler is missing, but a moment later he's back. It's too far from the dining room to the bedroom for the Butler to have walked there and walks back, so he's not a suspect. But we have two mysteries
1) how did the butler vanish and re-appear. Very suscipicious. could he teleport?
2) how did they hear the scream of the master in his distant bedroom.

The second fact seems to clear the butler since no one wants to believe in teleportation.

Then they discover the house is U-shaped and there's a secret passage directly connecting the bedroom to the living room. The spooky actions and effects at a distance are explained by a wormhole. Also it's the secret passage way that holds the rubber house in a U-shape.

Now remember that chicken butt? I thought so. See if you can get it out of your mind.

Comment: Re:Stock price impact. (Score 1) 27

by goombah99 (#49519461) Attached to: For High-End CPUs, Qualcomm Ditches TSMC For Samsung

Sorry, but you are wrong and so is the article. The main advantage of an integrated modem is power. The modem is basically a processor and if it's on the SoC it can share the memory bus, which reduces power consumption. It also, means less components and cheaper BoM.

perhaps it makes the phone cheaper (or alternatively more capable and just as expensive), but either way, with fewer discrete components the individual combined component cost remains high. If other makers respond in kind QCOM wins too: by putting the LTE modem in the same die as the cpu, then the royalty qual com gets for the LTE patent applies to now more expensive combined component. Thus their revenues rise.

Comment: Re:Stock price impact. (Score 1) 27

by goombah99 (#49517905) Attached to: For High-End CPUs, Qualcomm Ditches TSMC For Samsung

So, what you're saying is that the patents are creating a distortion in the market that forces suboptimal engineering decisions, in this case integrating parts that would otherwise be cheaper if discrete?

This is reason enough why patents should not exist.

No that's not what I said. In fact this is a great example of the patent system working well. first the patent royalties are what led Qualcom to develop technology and then agree to share it via FRAND. and FRAND lisencing is what allowed a proprietary technology to be incorporated into a standard. Both are great!! finally, when there was a FRAND dispute over what was "reasonable" (the R in FRAND), the IEEE adjudicated. I think they reached the right conclusion but any conclusion would have been a hearing of the parties involved. So this isn't a case you want to dress in the arguments you made.

Comment: Stock price impact. (Score 4, Interesting) 27

by goombah99 (#49517099) Attached to: For High-End CPUs, Qualcomm Ditches TSMC For Samsung

What is interesting is that some of the recent predictions about QCOM are not accurate. Lately QCOM stock has been heading down under two clouds. The first cloud is that the IEEE council appears to have sided with apple and other handset makers that the value of a FRAND license is not relative to the value of the phone (which has been the case up until now) but relative to value of the component that contains the patent. The rationale is simple: if the same component embodying the same patent could be in a cheap phone then the value should be tied to the common component. The latter is said to be about 1/10th the value of a high end phone. Thus QCOMs business model which includes royalties hit a snag. Thus it becomes vital that the components become expensive (and thus only be suited for expensive phones)---and the way to acheive that is to bundle up features into one uber component. Put the LTE in the processor. This is how they solve their problem.

The second reason the stock was headed down appears like it might be wrong information now. TMSC reported a huge drop in expected orders in the next year. It was known Qualcom was the cause of the reduced orders (well convincingly rumored). And thus it was assumed that qualcom was experience a loss of demand and reducing its TMSC orders. Thus the TMSC loss fed right into a QCOM stock price drop. But now we learn the drop was not QCOM reducing orders because of lack of demand for Qcom products but QCOM switching foundaries.

Since QCOM is switching boundaries so the TMSC part of the stock price drop was mistaken.

Finally, QCOM may be going upscale with a more costly process and going even more upscale by bundling patents into components. SO in one move they fix their business model problem. It makes sense too since broadcom has been targeting the low end SOC and wifi market where they can win on volume. Rather than compete at the low end where Broadcom could put Qcom patents in cheap hardware and pay little on the FRAND costs, QCOM veers luxury where it supports their patent portfolio and maximizes the value of their research. It turns their fabless strategy into an advantage that is harder to steal. smart.

It would not be surprising to learn that Samsung made some concession to win the 14nm business, such as promoting it in a next gen phone. Samsung is very familiar with partnering with their competitors--- see their cozy relationship with mortal enemy apple.

I'm thinking this is a huge deal for QCOM. Or at least a huge deal for their stock.

Comment: Added value (Score 1) 81

try to imagine the internet without any reliable search engines and no paywalls. In this model all the information is free and out there and is either completely unusable or impossible to locate and no chance of a concensus on what information is the highest value.

If there is no added value why do people pay then? They could put their work up on Xarchiv or just post it on their own web site or submit it to many other journals. When it comes to other journals the model is either author pays or reader pays. Elsevier is reader pays. so called open content journals are author pays. There's even hybrid journals where if the author doesn't pay the reader must. For most journals there usually is also a page charge to the author no matter what.

Yet this people willingly submit their work to journals of both stripes.

The cost is what prevents a tragedy of the commons. Journals who have good names are desirable to be published in and also desirable to peer review for. This becomes a virtuous circle and tends in the long run to promote the best work worth my time to read. That's what I want. there's too much to read. I want some filter on the process. Some level of curation.

When publishing houses can enforce that with either model then cost of that is negligible compared to the resulting value.

Comment: paywalls are not selling out. (Score -1, Troll) 81

Why is a paywall bad? I think it is a good thing for companies to provide services of value and get rewarded for it. I'm sad to see traditional publishers who pay for reporters and columnists be undermined by aggregators that leach content and don't do much. The problem is that google news drives what traffic these sites still get and they limp on that and the ad revenues it brings in, but the aggregators profit hansomely without incurring the costs of creating the content.

I'm happy to see that the Wall street journal bucked this trend and managed to find customers for it's pay wall and I'm sad the Ny times isn't succeeding as well.

I don't begrudge people their paywalls.

It's a long distance from things like and the alternative walled gardens of the internet with unreachable content that breaks the internet.

Comment: manure pit (Score 3, Interesting) 590

Death by nitrogen is the ideal way to die. It's so effective it's one of the dangers in nitrogen inerted buildings. You don't know you are dieing you just pass out. SOmeone comes along sees you down in the room and tries to rescue you and bang they keel over too. It's the classic farmer manure pit death.

the key here is that your urgent need to breath oddly enough is not triggered by lack of oxygen but by build up of CO2. when you remove the O2 from your air then you don't notice it because your alarm system isn't triggered. You are still getting rid of the CO2 in your blood.

Why nature rigged it like that I have no idea but it is easy to see that under almost any normal condition the two are linked making having separate sensors of O2 and CO2 not needed so why evolve one.

You should never bet against anything in science at odds of more than about 10^12 to 1. -- Ernest Rutherford