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Comment: Re:Android 4.3 (Score 1) 105

by tlambert (#49201473) Attached to: The Abandoned Google Project Memorial Page

Nope it's google's fault. In order to go the whole hog and have all the google apps etc, the vendors have to do certain things.

You mean change these things?

Carrier business model:

(1) Contractually obligate you for 2 years
(2) Entice you with "upgraded phone" every 18 months
(3) Prevent them upgrading their own phone and escaping carrier lock-in after 2 years
(4) Benefit from customer lock in
(5) Goto 2

Cell phone vendor business model:

(1) Bring a new phone to market
(2) Contract with a carrier/seller who considers it enough of an upgrade to entice an early re-up on a customer contract
(3) Start work on the next phone to sell more hardware
(4) Goto 1

Phone OS vendor business model:

(1) Continuously work on the OS
(2) Convince cell phone vendor to use OS
(3) Cell phone vendor takes snapshot of tree
(3)(a) Cell phone vendor productizes snapshot, because OS vendor could not produce a finished product to save their mother
(4) Goto 1

Admittedly, Google would *like* to change things, but at this point, it's really kind of too late; they should have started with lock-in to their own App store.

Apple doesn't have this problem because the next iPhone only has to compete with the previous iPhone, and Apple *actually* tends to improve the iPhone hardware in a less-than 18 month cycle (which keeps the carriers happy), and it doesn't have to fight with all the other cell phone vendors for mind share because, hey, where else are you going to run all those apps/listen to all that music/watch all those movies, that you've already paid for.

Apple has App-based lock-in, and 18 month upgrade cycle carrier satisfaction, and they sell both the hardware and the software, so there's no hardware company to push-back on software updates, and there's no PITA continuous development cycle that prevents software updates from being polished products to push back the other direction.

Google could *probably*, *eventually* fix things, if they were willing to swallow some incredibly bitter pills, and if they were to do profit-sharing of App revenue with the hardware vendors so that the hardware vendors for Android device were willing to be commoditized, but ... it would be an incredibly bitter pill, to have to change their development model away from waterfall, and it would be an incredibly bitter pill to lock down Apps and side-loading.

Comment: Re:Reader (Score 3, Interesting) 105

by tlambert (#49200337) Attached to: The Abandoned Google Project Memorial Page

Too bad you didn't step up to the plate and become the maintainer, when Google offered to give the source code away to anyone who wanted to run their own "Google Reader" service.

It is not a problem of code, it is a problem of providing the service

When Google originally offered the code, they offered to host it on Google's hosted infrastructure service for a year, at no charge, until the project got up on its feet. There were no takers.

This will probably be moderated down as well... however, yes, "providing the service" is *exactly* the problem, and it's *exactly* why Google cancelled the thing when the back end hosting infrastructure APIs changed out from under the (unmaintained) Reader codebase. The maintainers had moved onto other projects.

And while Google could have either brought them back (the ones who wanted to revisit their old code), or they could have put new hires on the porting problem, and gotten Reader back on its feet on the new hosting infrastructure, it wouldn't have solved the basic problem.

The basic problem is that there was no sustainable revenue model for the service. Google's Reader service allowed the use of any client that someone cared to write, and a heck of a lot of people wanted to write clients that excluded advertising as a means of supporting the costs of running the service. Which would be fine, if there were any way to charge for it, *other* than advertising, which didn't break the client/back-end-service model, which is what people *liked most* about Reader in the first place.

So Google didn't throw good money after bad, and no one else stepped up to throw good money after bad, and (possibly) figure out some other way to monetize the service, such as changing the over the wire representation such that advertising was indistinguishable from content. Which wouldn't have worked, since that would just trigger an arms race for clever advertising exclusionary filtering in the display services, instead of at the protocol level.

So you're right: "it is a problem of providing the service", and the specific problem is "no one wanted to pay to do that".

Comment: Re:Android 4.3 (Score 1) 105

by tlambert (#49200117) Attached to: The Abandoned Google Project Memorial Page

Abandoned while new devices with those versions are still being sold.

Those aren't "new devices", those are "old devices, still being manufactured by vendors who are unable to come up with new devices in a timely fashion", or they are "old devices that used to live in a warehouse, and which are now being sold at a discount, because no one would buy them otherwise".

Comment: Re: Many are leaving ham radio too (Score 1) 135

You have the Part 15 and ISM services for that. You really can buy a microwave link that's metropolitan-distance and legal to use.

We lost much of our 440 capability to PAVE PAWS in California. Remember, Amateur Radio is not the primary service on many bands. The military is on 440.

Comment: Re:Many are leaving ham radio too (Score 1) 135

If you want that nearly infinite microwave spectrum, you have the Part 15 and ISM services. Absolutely nothing is stopping you. Power is not the issue with those frequencies, it's line of sight and Fresnel zones.

No, I absolutely do not have to prefix my words with anything. You do that by posting as an anonymous coward. I use my real name to indicate that I stand behind my words.

Comment: How to totally screw up my ability to code: (Score 1) 174

by tlambert (#49194083) Attached to: Musician Releases Album of Music To Code By

How to totally screw up my ability to code:

(1) Play music
(2) There is no step 2

I find that code is processed through the same part of my brain that processes music. If you play music, my code will go to crap, since I'm trying to do two things with the same set of neurons.

I totally can not understand how people can produce code while listening to music.

OK, I lied; what I can't understand is how people can produce GOOD code while listening to music.

Comment: Apple has been talking about this for a long time. (Score 5, Interesting) 95

by tlambert (#49193889) Attached to: Apple, Google, Bringing Low-Pay Support Employees In-House

Apple has been talking about this for a long time.

You really don't want your security people to be contract workers; they have access, at least at the supervisory level, to all sorts of sensitive areas of your building, including Jony Ive's office in the design wing, where they could happily use their phones to photograph prototypes.

Google began talking about doing this about three years ago, when they switched to the same contract security firm Apple used, and the Apple/Google relationship started to become more and more adversarial on top of that (I knew the supervisory staff, and many of the individual contractors at Apple, and recognized them when they came to work for Google.

I think this is being done more to prevent industrial espionage, than anything else.

At both Apple and Google, we moved our trash outside explicitly sensitive secure areas at night, so that the janitorial staff avoided entry. For a lot of it, it was honor system (if you count being on camera but not having a lurking linebacker ready to take you out if you make a wrong move, as "honor system"), where the secure offices without physical electronic security locks has a red sticky dot placed above the room doorknob to prevent people trying to go in.

This also has dick-all to do with any kind of "gentrification" issues that the article claims, since most of the people I know who worked security lived East Bay, and many of them owned their own houses.

Comment: Re:Yes. What do you lose? But talk to lawyer first (Score 1) 687

by puto (#49193749) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?
You have no idea of what you talk about. I am citizen of Colombia, Spain, Panama, and the United States. When I am in any other country of the US, I lose all support of US consular services, because I am beholden to the laws of those countries. I cannot commit a crime in Colombia and scream for US help... Please stop giving bad advice on the internet.

Comment: Oh Come On, it's a Press Release (Score 4, Insightful) 86

OK, no real technical data and some absurd claims here.

First all-digital transceiver? No. There have been others. Especially if you allow them to have a DAC and an ADC and no other components in the analog domain, but even without that, there are lots of IoT-class radios with direct-to-digital detectors and digital outputs directly to the antenna. You might have one in your car remote (mine is two-way).

And they have to use patented algorithms? Everybody else can get along with well-known technology old enough that any applicable patents are long expired.

It would be nicer if there was some information about what they are actually doing. If they really have patented it, there's no reason to hold back.

Science is to computer science as hydrodynamics is to plumbing.

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