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Comment: Try and try again. (Score 3, Informative) 346

It is actually kind of sad if you know their history.

Back in the day they were competing with Palm, and had Windows CE and Pocket PC 2000. When PocketPC 2002 came out my employer switched over from Palm and I got to rewrite a bunch of tools. They did pretty good for a while with Mobile 2003, and Windows Mobile 5. It knocked Palm down several notches in the mobile market, with Palm losing value and getting bought out in 2005.

The fun thing about that era is that there were phones with PDAs in them, you can go back to "Pocket PC Phone Edition" for that. Each version of Windows Mobile supported running in phones, but they never took off.

The iPod was getting some power and some apps, but I loved that with a single CF card I could have my entire music library on my device; the Axim x51v used the same audio chipset as the iPod of the era coupled with better playback software where you could mix and such. It also offered all kinds of apps making the device useful for the other common tasks of the time like calendar, email, and web over both wifi and bluetooth.

Again you could get phones running WM5 and WM6 with all their apps, and in late 2006 they had 51% of the market. Blackberry had 37%, Palm was 9%, and Symbian at 9%.

Then came the iPhone. At the time I didn't really see the reason for the hype, when it came to processor power, memory, and even 3D graphics the iPhone was less powerful than my Windows 6 phone.

As the numbers came back, iOS rose and WM feel by the same percent; the other companies were flat in market share. By early 2007 Windows Mobile drooped to 42% and iOS was at 11%. By 2008, WM had 29% and iOS 19% and Android had entered at 2%. By 2010 Windows Mobile devices had dropped to 7% market share, Blackberry had dropped to 25%, Palm to 3%, and Symbian at 2%.

Phones running Windows Mobile continued to exist, but that's about it. Three more versions of Windows Mobile, the three editions as Windows Phone, they have never been able to get their market share back anywhere near 2006 levels.

Graphics

Khronos Group Announces Vulkan To Compete Against DirectX 12 85

Posted by timothy
from the cross-platform-good dept.
Phopojijo writes The Khronos Group has announced the Vulkan API for compute and graphics. Its goal is to compete against DirectX 12. It has some interesting features, such as queuing to multiple GPUs and an LLVM-based bytecode for its shading language to remove the need for a compiler from the graphics drivers. Also, the API allows graphics card vendors to support Vulkan with drivers back to Windows XP "and beyond."
Censorship

Inside the North Korean Data Smuggling Movement 62

Posted by timothy
from the western-imperialists-violating-the-kim-family's-rights dept.
Sparrowvsrevolution writes A new Wired magazine story goes inside the North Korean rebel movement seeking to overthrow Kim Jong-un by smuggling USB drives into the country packed with foreign television and movies. As the story describes, one group has stashed USB drives in Chinese cargo trucks. Another has passed them over from tourist boats that meet with fishermen mid-river. Others arrange USB handoffs at the Chinese border in the middle of the night with walkie talkies, laser pointers, and bountiful bribes. Even Kim assassination comedy The Interview, which the North Korean government allegedly hacked Sony to prevent from being released, has made it into the country: Chinese traders' trucks carried 20 copies of the film across the border the day after Christmas, just two days after its online release.

Comment: Re:Viewing Launches (Score 1) 22

by Bruce Perens (#49166815) Attached to: SpaceX Falcon 9 Launches Dual Satellite Mission

With luck, they'll start incorporating our radio transceivers. I hear that SpaceX flies with several USRPs now, so that's not completely unrealistic. That might be as close as I can get. Anyone who can get me a base invitation, though, would be greatly appreciated and I'd be happy to do some entertaining speeches while there. I need a base invite for Vandenberg, too. I got in to the official viewing site for the first try of the last launch (and that scrubbed too), but this next one is on Pad 6.

Comment: Viewing Launches (Score 3, Interesting) 22

by Bruce Perens (#49164783) Attached to: SpaceX Falcon 9 Launches Dual Satellite Mission

I was in Florida to speak at Orlando Hamcation and went to see the DISCOVR launch at Kennedy Space Center. I paid $50 to be at LC-39 for the launch, an observation tower made from a disused gantry on the Nasa Causeway between the pads and the Vehicle Assembly Building. A crawler was parked next door! A hot sandwich buffet, chips, and sodas were served. It was cold and windy! I watched for a few hours and unfortunately the launch scrubbed due to high stratospheric winds.

The next day, Delaware North Corporation, which operates tourism at KSC, decided not to open LC-39 or the Saturn 5 center for the launch. This was the third launch attempt and I guess they decided most people had left. I was annoyed.

The closest beach was going to be closed in the evening, it's a sensitive ecological area. I ended up seeing the launch from Jetty Park. This turned out not to be such a great location, the tower wasn't visible at all and the first 10 seconds of the rocket in flight were obscured before we saw it over a hill.

What's a better viewing location?

Comment: Mr. Moynihan should have read on the (Score 1) 373

by aussersterne (#49162227) Attached to: Google Wants To Rank Websites Based On Facts Not Links

problems of epistemology, including in science.

Note that there are no shortage of facts whose veracity depends on nuanced facets of context and condition, some of which are disputed.

For example, fact or not: "Linux is a difficult operating system to use, and is a better choice for geeks and hackers than for regular users."

Or how about:

"Android is an operating system written by Google."

Or how about:

"The Bermuda Triangle region has seen an unusually high number of ship and plane disappearances over the years, and may be a particularly dangerous place to travel."

Because unless Google's algorithms are very, very nuanced in their approach, each of these is going to be seen as carrying high levels of factuality based on the preponderance of content out there, particularity in high-authority sources.

Of course, statements like the first and third are too complex for Google's rankings to evaluate and rank, and it can only work with very simple assertions on the order of "Milk is white," or "Obama is a Democrat," the it's going to do practically nothing (good or bad) at all for the rankings, since facts with this level of consensus are generally undisputed, even by those that promote falsehoods.

Comment: This shifts the weakness in Google's rankings (Score 3, Interesting) 373

by aussersterne (#49160739) Attached to: Google Wants To Rank Websites Based On Facts Not Links

from gameability (in short, SPAM) to politics. Rather than punish above-board or non-predatory websites, it will punish both subversive and innovative thought that runs well ahead of social consensus. Sure, it will also eliminate willful misinformation, but it turns Google into an inherently conservative, rather than socially innovative, force.

Can't say I think it's better. Probably not any worse, but certainly not panacea.

Comment: Re:Going my own way (Score 2) 190

by Frobnicator (#49159159) Attached to: One Astronomer's Quest To Reinstate Pluto As a Planet

As far as I'm concerned, ... no one cares anyway. :) The important thing is *I* know what to think when I learn about something "out there." And Pluto? Pluto is definitely a planet. If someone convinces me that these ideas are inconsistent, I'll do my best to fix 'em so they aren't.

We see articles about how few people are scientifically literate, and so many on Slashdot decry "We are geeks, we understand science!"

Appearently, nope!

Scientists, the astronomers who spend their days and nights studying the stars and planets, people who are intimately familiar with the definitions, and people whose life work and career funding depend on them, came up with a set of definitions.

The definitions draw a line somewhere, and you can argue they are as arbitrary as a meter and a kilogram, or a foot and a pound. You can spend your days arguing that the measuring stick is the wrong size, or spend your days convincing the rest of the world that they need a different measuring stick, or otherwise be a nay-sayer and contradict the consensus of the scientists.

But to decry that because you learned something one way, therefore that convinces you forever, that's just plain stupid.

Comment: Sociological problem: CYA (Score 5, Insightful) 153

by aussersterne (#49148335) Attached to: Invented-Here Syndrome

Part of the problem is the CYA issue.

If you're writing the code, you sound like a laborer ("I have to..."). If it breaks, it's your fault and you're on the hook publicly.

If you present a third-party component in a meeting, you sound like a manager ("I propose that we..."). Once three or four other people in the meeting have concurred, if something breaks it's the third party's fault. A ticket or two are initiated, it's someone else's problem and everybody gets to cast blame somewhere beyond the walls of the company.

Rational behavior, regrettably.

Comment: Re:GNUradio? (Score 1) 131

Test equipment is allowed to transmit and receive on those frequencies. If it looks like a radio, it can't. I have a number of cellular testers hanging around here that can act like base stations, mostly because I buy them used as spectrum analyzers and never use the (obsolete) cellular facilities. Government has different rules regarding what it can and can't do in the name of law enforcement, although FCC has been very reluctant to allow them to use cellular jammers.

If you can afford it, something from Ettus would better suit your application.

Comment: Re:"Proprietary So I Get Paid", from Bruce Perens? (Score 1) 131

Hi AC,

Matt Ettus has a story about a Chinese cloner of the USRP. The guy tells Chinese customers that it is illegal for them to buy from Ettus, they must buy from the cloner instead. Then, when they have problems and require serivce, he tells them to get it from Ettus. Who of course made nothing from their device sales and can not afford to service them.

This is not following the rules of Open anything. It's counterfeiting.

So, sometimes it is necessary to change the license a little so that you will not be a chump. I discussed the fact that the hardware is fully disclosed but not Open Hardware licensed with RMS, the software is 100% Free Software, and there is a regulatory chip you can't write. We can go for Respects Your Freedom certification that way..

I've paid my dues as far as "Open" is concerned, and Chris has too. This is all we can give you this time.

Comment: Re:Why custom punched end panels ? (Score 1) 131

The case selection was so that we'd have at least one case that would work. We did not take much time on it. We'd be happy to have other people designing and selling cases.

The version after this one requires cases that look like real radios. That is going to be a bigger problem. We don't yet have a mold-design partner, etc.

Disclaimer: "These opinions are my own, though for a small fee they be yours too." -- Dave Haynie

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