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Comment: Time for a Pedantic Rant (Score 1) 73

by flatulus (#46628127) Attached to: FCC Boosts Spectrum Available To Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi is not a wireless communications standard. IEEE 802.11 is the wireless communications standard. Wi-Fi is a registered trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance - and industry trade organization. They do publish interoperability agreements and offer "certification" (required to use their trademarks on products), but these should not be confused with the IEEE wireless communications standard.

(rant done - going back to reading now...)

Comment: 23 years later and we get it! (Score 3, Interesting) 73

by flatulus (#46628083) Attached to: FCC Boosts Spectrum Available To Wi-Fi

I'd like to take a moment to memorialize a pioneer in this pursuit that probably none of you ever heard of. The name is Jim Lovette. Jim worked with me at Apple in the early 90's. He was a heart-and-soul devotee to the democratization of RF bandwidth for high speed data communications. With Jim's leadership, Apple drafted a petition to the FCC, known as Data-PCS. This was a proposal to allocate spectrum in the U.S. exclusively for use in data communications (as opposed to "voice only" which was the vogue at the time). The Data-PCS petition caused a lot of excitement, but did not result in anything earthshaking as an outcome. Still it started a movement of which this latest step is a grand one in the pursuit of "computing devices talking to each other" being equally important to "people talking to each other." Jim (and our team) were also early promoters of wireless LAN, which we all know today as WiFi. The IEEE 802.11 committee had just formed. Apple's early foray into wireless LAN preceded the availability of IEEE 802.11 (aka WiFi) products, and never made it to market. Apple chose instead to introduce their first wireless LAN products as 802.11b (11 Mbit/sec) WiFi. And over 20 years later, look what it has become?

Jim passed away in 2002, leaving us with a legacy of which few outside the cloistered Wireless LAN industry would even know he contributed so much. Thank you, Jim.

Comment: It's TLER -- Re:Warranty isn't the only factor (Score 1) 270

"... but also, the firmware is different. They claim that drives intended for the consumer / SOHO market spend a lot of time retrying marginal reads before declaring an unreadable sector and sparing it. They say that SAN-class drives limit the retry time, because the array controller handles it more efficiently, since it has the big-picture view."

What you are describing is known as TLER or "Time Limited Error Recovery" (the Western Digital name for it, at least). See TLER

Comment: Re:I'm confused (Score 4, Informative) 498

by flatulus (#40463561) Attached to: U.S. Judge Grants Apple Injunction Against Samsung Galaxy Tab

R'd the F.A. I don't see anywhere it says that a design patent is not a patent.

OTOH, there is USPTO which disagrees with you when they say:

"A patent is an intellectual property right granted by the Government of the United States of America to an inventor “to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout the United States or importing the invention into the United States” for a limited time in exchange for public disclosure of the invention when the patent is granted.

There are three types of patents. Utility patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof. ... Design patents may be granted to anyone who invents a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture. Plant patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant."

Note the three types: design, utility, and plant. Design is most assuredly a type of patent.

Comment: Re:So.... (Score 1) 828

by flatulus (#40191579) Attached to: Venezuela Bans the Commercial Sale of Firearms and Ammunition

For me a baseball bat works well.

Really? How many intruders have you scared away with your bat? Disabled any with it?

Or is it more likely that it works well in making you feel safe, even though you have never actually had to wield it in self-defense?

Could be either way, so I'm not saying you're full of crap. But from what you actually said, I don't have any evidence one way or the other...

Comment: Re:So.... (Score 2) 828

by flatulus (#40191485) Attached to: Venezuela Bans the Commercial Sale of Firearms and Ammunition

I once read the ACLU's position on gun ownership. The ACLU took STRONG pro-positions on things like freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, etc.

On 2nd Amendment, their website stated what was in essence "no position pro or con" (my wording - it's been a while).

In other words: "On some parts of the Constitution, we are Bold as Eagles! On the 2nd, we are Slippery as Weasels...."

Comment: Re:So.... (Score 1) 828

by flatulus (#40191443) Attached to: Venezuela Bans the Commercial Sale of Firearms and Ammunition

Kellerman and Reay: "Protection or peril? An analysis of firearm deaths in the home." N.E. Journal of Medicine, 1986

Has often been quoted as asserting that one is 43 times more likely to kill themselves or someone close to them than to kill a criminal in self-defense (somewhat paraphrased, but then that's the way it's been stated zillions of times by anti-gun types).

Of the 43 times factor, 37 was suicide.

In all cases, someone had to die to be part of the statistic (scaring or warning away, or even *wounding* an assailant got zero points in this study).

If you take out the suicides and just go with being 6 times more likely, one should then compare this to other ways one might die at home. I did this once (using CDC statistics), and gun deaths were trumped (don't recall by how much, but it was more than a few percent) by FALLING DOWN! (e.g. the stairs).

Try the math - at the least it would be amusing. And it might be enlightening.

This "guns are so dangerous" meme is a fabrication when viewed statistically. Every death is a tragedy. But tragedy happens a lot, and guns are not the majority of source of tragedy (notwithstanding tyrannical dictatorships, genocide, etc.)

Comment: Don't you get it? (Score 3, Insightful) 179

by flatulus (#40190999) Attached to: Apple, Google: Battle of the Cloud Maps

The reason they don't make it easy to download an entire map has nothing to do with storage or bandwidth. It has to do with *tracking*.

Location Based Services -- Since we know where you are, we can suggest you turn right and have a pizza at the restaurant that pays us to steer customers their way. etc... etc... etc...

Google has a talent for fooling people into thinking that they are offering all these great FREE services out of the goodness of their corporate heart. On the contrary, those services are very profitable, and the way they accomplish all that money making is by knowing a WHOLE HELL OF A LOT about YOU.

Anyway, it's up to you folks. But don't bitch about not getting the whole free map thing - now that you understand why it is not in Google's or Apple's or Microsoft's (or fill-in-the-blank-megacorp-giving-away-services) to provide them.

That's my $37.00 worth (I'm old and that's about what 2 cents used to be worth when I was a wee one)


+ - CPU competition heating up in 2012?->

Submitted by
jd writes "2012 promises to be a fun year for hardware geeks, with three new "Aptiv-class" MIPS64 cores being circulated in soft form, a quad-core ARM A15, a Samsung ARM A9 variant, a seriously beefed-up 8-core Intel Itanium and AMD's mobile processors. There's a mix here of chips actually out, ready to be put on silicon, and in last stages of development. Obviously these are for different users (mobile CPUs don't generally fight for marketshare with Itanium dragsters) but it is still fascinating to see the differences in approach and the different visions of what is important in a modern CPU.

Combine this with the news reported earlier on the DDR4, and this promises to be a fun year with many new machines likely to appear that are radically different from the last generation.

Which leaves just one question — which Linux architecture will be fully updated first?"

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Remember, UNIX spelled backwards is XINU. -- Mt.