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Comment: Re:"to take control" (Score 4, Interesting) 252

Consolidating a fragmented industry can be a good idea and has worked to a greater or lesser extent in the past. The problem is that the government is usually too far behind the curve to make the best decisions and a good example would be some of the nationalisations that happened in the UK.

However, in Russia, it is about redistributing the assets privatised in the early nineties. The privatisations were a "fire-sale" in which only a favoured few could take part, however subsequently, the shares traded on a secondary market and became assets belonging to pension funds and the like. Unfortunately, in the early nineties, when Putin and his backers (the so-called Siloviki) came to power, they discovered there was nothing new to privatise so they took some companies back such as Yukos. On the smaller scale, many companies found themselves forced with new directors who had relationships with the Siloviki.

Either way, by undermining corporate governance and the protection of property, the government has made it far more difficult for a normal financial infrastructure to exist.

Comment: Why not teach more with open source? (Score 1) 582

by hughk (#46764663) Attached to: How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?
The key issue with this is that many eyes did not check this code. One way to get many eyes is via university. Open source is great for learning about how existing code is written, including safe practices vs. "performance". Usually people are asked to review smaller pieces of code like kernel components as part of coursework. This demonstrates it is useful perhaps to consider other, less sexy bits. Note that changes are being committed over time so there is always new material.

Comment: Re:Let me guess (Score 1) 294

by hughk (#45471481) Attached to: How Munich Abandoned Microsoft for Open Source

When the hell are those damn FOSS slowpokes going to get off their asses and write their own fucking ludicrous substitute for Exchange?

What people want is groupware of some kind backed by the equivalent of Outlook. Most people don't give a monkeys about Exchange, but complain when the normal functions aren't there. The issue is that Exchange interfaces are mostly an undocumented mess. When MS fix something, they then best connectivity (even with older versions of their own clients).

Comment: Re:Goes along with the VMS announcement (Score 1) 243

by hughk (#45413313) Attached to: HP's NonStop Servers Go x86, Countdown To Itanium Extinction Begins

Does not the supposed realibility of VMS have more to do with the hardware (VAX) than the quality of the software (VMS), afaik the VAX could hot-swap cpu:s and ram live if the hw detected a failure.

The machines were quite solid for the time but I'm not aware of models that supported hot swapping. However individual CPUs could fail as well as memory modules and the system would gracefully degrade. When the service engineer came along, you could shuffle your users onto another cluster node and continue until the node was fixed. The file system was usually structured so that the failure of a node would not impact availability.

Comment: Re:Anti-Trust (Score 1) 476

by hughk (#45301741) Attached to: Microsoft, Apple and Others Launch Huge Patent Strike at Android
Except that to join such a consortium would have directly conflicted Google's stated policy of using patents only in self-defence. At least according to their stated policy, if they had won, the patents would have gone into their war-chest and would not have seen the light of day unless someone tried to sue them for violation.

Comment: Re:Ahh, another no-name two-bit "analytics" firm! (Score 1) 390

by hughk (#45301367) Attached to: Smartphone Sales: Apple Squeezed, Blackberry Squashed, Android 81.3%
In Germany, I see the reverse. There are many iPhones still around that I see either at work or when I use public transport, but I'm seeing more and more Androids, particularly Samsung. I think it comes down comes down to better marketing and a cheaper entry point and, of course, choice.

Comment: Re:As a canadian.. (Score 1) 390

by hughk (#45301213) Attached to: Smartphone Sales: Apple Squeezed, Blackberry Squashed, Android 81.3%
Blackberry Message Server. It is well liked by businesses and understood by their IT people. Yep, I know that both Apple and Android let alone Windows Phone will talk to company MSExchange servers, even offering central device management for remote wipes, but there tends to be a lot of inertia. Some of the Blackberry devices also offer a halfway decent battery life which the modern Smartphones are not.

Comment: Re:This is discriminating (Score 1) 123

by hughk (#45141021) Attached to: Finland's Algorithm-Driven Public Bus

*everybody* has a cell phone there - preferably from Nokia in the Oulu area

You know, that was what told me that Nokia was doomed. Three years ago, I was staying at the Radisson in Espoo, and I (a non Finn) was the only one there with a Nokia (E71, IIRC), about a couple of km from their world HQ. In the Espoo based company that I was visiting, the standard phone was an iPhone. My Nokia lasted until the end of that year when I went Android!

Comment: Re:Missing Point (Score 2) 364

by hughk (#44949229) Attached to: Car Dealers Complain To DMV About Tesla's Website

it's not the moving parts in the engine that cause most of the maintenance costs, it's all the rest of them, like suspension, steering, brakes, air compressors,

All EVs will require most of the above (but remember, the only air compressor is on the a/c). There is no clutch and no conventional auto-transmission. Braking though is partly friction but is also electric (regenerative), this should lengthen the life considerably.

I know what you are getting at but internal combustion engines certainly do need additional maintenance. The issue is at the moment is that we know very little about the total lifespan. I know someone who bought a Tesla Roadster and is very happy with it. It has received no unplanned maintenance but then it is just a couple of years old. No modern car should have a problem that early. Five or ten years on may be another story.

One of the interesting tendancies is that to balance the weight of the batteries, many manufacturers have chosen much more modern materials, so we see aluminium in the Tesla and carbon fibre in say the BMW i3/8. This costs more, but has long term benefits.

I would agree that the battery is and remains the most critical element and this has to be accounted for in any TCO calculation. Again, we do lack information, particularly on the realistic trade in possibilities for a battery. For example, whether it can be reconditioned rather than completely remanufactured? These questions will be answered over the next few years and lets be honest, not everyone is going to rush out and get an all electric vehicle and for many, it isn't even that practical. For all the indentations being made particularly by Tesla, there are many more ICE vehicles. Over time, though there will be further cost reductions and more people may decide to switch.

As more EVs are on the road, there will be an increasing need for a dealer network to provide the necessary downstream support. At the moment, we are talking niche, so to require dealers when there is such a low volume seems impractical.

Wasn't there something about a PASCAL programmer knowing the value of everything and the Wirth of nothing?