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Comment: Re:If it doesn't run XBMC... (Score 2) 233

by kroyd (#42404119) Attached to: Raspberry Pi vs. Cheap Android Dongle: Embarrassment of (Cheap) Riches
XBMC runs very badly on Allwinner A10 and A13 CPUs found in the MK802, since the stock Android they come with don't support the regular hardware accelration in Android. (I imagine this has something to do with licensing and patents.)

There has been some work in making XBMC work better, but that requires flashing your own ROM file, and that can be a really big pain with the extremely cheap but really unsupported systems.. (See http://www.cnx-software.com/2012/11/12/xbmc-for-linux-on-allwinner-a10-devices-it-works-sort-of/ for an example of how to make it work.)

The devices usually come with a custom video player which works really well (the MALI GPU is quite powerfull), and I believe the youtube app has also been optimized. Hopefully the producers of the cheap Android sticks and tablets can work together with the XBMC team - the market must be enormous.

Comment: Will they re-use the Kin brand? (Score 4, Informative) 100

by kroyd (#41889215) Attached to: Microsoft-Built Smartphone Could Irritate Hardware Partners, Harm Nokia
I'm sure lots of people here remembers the previous Microsoft produced phone, the Microsoft Kin series of phones. After all, they lasted all, oh, 4 weeks? 40 days? Something like that.

There is probably a lot of "slack" in the Windows 8 phone pricing as well - if the Windows RT "OEM license fee" is 80-95$, the Phone OS OEM price can't be far off. I'm sure Nokia, HTC and Samsung won't mind if they've got to add an extra 80$ in cost for each phone they produce which Microsoft doesn't have to worry about..

Comment: Foxconn is Taiwanese - the "other China" (Score 3, Interesting) 251

by kroyd (#41554181) Attached to: Will Your Next iPhone Be Built By Robots?
.. and the robots will be be located in Taiwan, at least for now: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-57318260-1/foxconn-to-build-taiwan-robot-kingdom/

Sure, it is possible that they will start building mainly robot based factories in mainland Chinal, but why bother? In its purest form a robot factory would just take raw materials and energy as input, with product as output. You want to place a factory like that in a location with a really stable energy supply, good infrastructure, and a stable political situation. Staff costs wouldn't be such a big issue, since you wouldn't have too many staff anyway. So, why choose China, where you would have to deal wiith rampant corruption, bad infrastructure and millions of starving former factory workers?

Personally I would put the factories in Japan, northern Europe and Canada, that way they would be closer to the consumers as well. It would certainly save a fortune in security!

Comment: MMC-SLS-Slackware-RedHat-OpenSUSE-Ubuntu (Score 1) 867

by kroyd (#41468361) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Distros Have You Used, In What Order?
MMC was one of the first distributions - I distinctly remember writing the floppies using DOS, it took something like 15 minutes per floppy, as they were written byte-by-byte, not fancy block-by-block as the young folks are using these days :P

After MMC I switched to SLS, then Slackware, RedHat (bought on those really cheap CDs you could order online), OpenSUSE, finaly Ubuntu.

The biggest change is probably that for the last couple of years all my networking equipment runs some version of Linux, my phone (Android), hell, even my DSLR runs Linux (http://www.sony.net/Products/Linux/DI/SLT-A55.html). This has not been a conscious choice by me btw, but it seems Linux really is everywhere these days.

Comment: The OEM price of Windows RT is probably 85$ (Score 1) 365

by kroyd (#41377507) Attached to: Leak Hints Windows 8 Tablets May Be Dearer Than Makes Sense
Since it hasn't been mentioned: http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Windows-RT-OEM-ARM-85-Nvidia,15992.html

It is not too strange that you end up with an end-user price of 600$ - the 85$ should be added to the component cost, which is what, 150$ for a tablet of this class? Basically Microsoft adds at least 50% to the base cost of the device, all other costs comes on top of that.

Google gives away Android for free, so you end up with 49.99$ tablets on Alibaba. (I should get one of those in the mail this week - looking forward to taking it apart). Apple probably does something similar, but then they're not really aiming for the cost-conscious part of the market.

Comment: Re:Best plan? (Score 1) 468

by kroyd (#41099991) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: IT Contractors, How's Your Health Insurance?
If you're self-employed, and plan to stay so, it is nearly impossible, as far as I know there are no "bring so-so-and so much money / create this many jobs" exemptions in any Scandinavian country.

What you can do is to get hired by a company, in which case it is just a couple of forms to fill out for the company in question [*], or get married.

*: This assumes that you've got some "valuable skills", and that you'll be able to make a livelihood here.

Comment: The first Intel based smartphone launched in 1996 (Score 5, Informative) 134

by kroyd (#40334613) Attached to: Why Intel Needs Smartphones More Than They Need Intel
And, it used an Intel 386 cpu: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nokia_9000_Communicator. It was probably one of the most brick-like GSM phones ever.

Later Nokia switched to AMD for their 9100, then to ARM for the 9210 series. I bought a 9201i in 2002, I believe I paid t something like 1500usd..

There were also a few Japanese intel based phones, but those ran Windows XP.. Not really what I would call a smart phone. So, it might be correct to say that this is the "first Intel based smart-phone which might launch in the US".

Comment: Re:Resolution (Score 1) 60

by kroyd (#39103811) Attached to: Samsung Spins Off Its Display Business
Samsung has shown both pentile AMOLED and TFT displays at 10.1" / 2560x1600 resolution. The rumored "Samsung Galaxy Tab 11.6" is also supposed to have this resolution, hopefully as a non-pentile AMOLED display.

They've also shown flexible and transparent displays, so hopefully that 27" 8K display will come rolled up in a tube ready to hang on the wall.

Comment: Re:Dupe (Score 3, Informative) 175

by kroyd (#38709714) Attached to: White House Opposes Key SOPA Provisions
Or, if you pay a bit of attention: The indefinite detention paragraphs are most likely illegal under the US constitution. By noting his reservations the comming court cases (appeals all the way up to the supreme court) will be quite a bit simpler. After all, it is the executive branch (where the president is), which has to prosecute in favour of the law, and the president stating reservations is a boon to any defense attorney. This is obvious, and has been covered in the news, but hey, most people complaning doesn't seem to know what the NDAA act really is.
The court cases, in case you don't know, will be judged by the judiciary part of the US system. Of course, if you and the republicans get their way the next president will be a republican, and the one or two new supreme court justices which will be appointed in the next presidential period will be really, really conservative. Then, the indefinite detention will most likely become law.
I'm not an American, but this should be obvious even with the most cursory glance.

Comment: Re:two words.... (Score 2) 605

by kroyd (#36083144) Attached to: Microsoft Buying Skype for $8.5B
That is unlikely, as the P2P technology that Skype is built on is licensed from Joltid (a company owned by the Skype founders - google Joltid and lawsuit).

The only thing that Microsoft is buying (as far as I can see) are a lot of users, a license for some P2P software, and some video chat software which pretty much duplicates what Microsoft already has.

Comment: The real problem with iPhone tracking (Score 1) 373

by kroyd (#35937126) Attached to: Steve Jobs: 'We Don't Track Anyone'
It used to be that for someone else to get a log of where you've been in a given time period the police would have to ask the telecoms for their logs. (One can argue about how easy it is to get those logs, but the fact remains: It is not something everyone can get hold of.)

The iPhone log changes all of this. If you get your phone from your employer the employer has access to (and probably the right to) this information. It is not just access to your phone, but imagine you've synced your personal iPhone with a company computer at any time? Or what if it not your employer, but your (ex) husband's computer? Also, it is much easier for a lawyer in a civil case to request the information, as they don't have to involve the telecom as a part. Or what if you're a foreigner simply crossing the border to the USA? (Clearly, there are US government agencies who would love to get position tracking of every single iPhone owner who crosses the US border.)

It doesn't really matter how exact the information is, the point is that this is a change in how easily accessible the information is, and who can can access it.

Image

Florida Man Sues WikiLeaks For Scaring Him 340

Posted by samzenpus
from the don't-watch-the-news dept.
Stoobalou writes "WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been accused of 'treason' by a Florida man seeking damages for distress caused by the site's revelations about the US government. From the article: 'David Pitchford, a Florida trailer park resident, names Assange and WikiLeaks as defendants in a personal injury suit filed with the Florida Southern District Court in Miami. In the complaint filed on 6th January, Pitchford alleges that Assange's negligence has caused "hypertension," "depression" and "living in fear of being stricken by another heart attack and/or stroke" as a result of living "in fear of being on the brink of another nuclear [sic] WAR."' Just for good measure, it also alleges that Assange and WikiLeaks are guilty of 'terorism [sic], espionage and treason.'"
Patents

8-Year-Old Receives Patent 142

Posted by samzenpus
from the young-inventor-society dept.
Knile writes "While not the youngest patent recipient ever (that would be a four year old in Texas), Bryce Gunderman has received a patent at age 8 for a space-saver that combines an outlet cover plate with a shelf. From the article: '"I thought how I was going to make a lot of money," Bryce said about what raced through his brain when he received the patent.'"
The Almighty Buck

Boy Finds £2.5M Gold Locket With Metal Detector 169

Posted by samzenpus
from the all-that-glitters dept.
Instead of bottle caps and ridicule from his peers, 3-year-old James Hyatt found a locket worth millions with his metal detector. James and his dad found the gold locket last May in Essex. Since then the 500-year-old treasure has been appraised at around £2.5million. From the article: "James’s father Jason, 34, said: ‘My son is one of the luckiest people ever. If we go to the doctors he’ll put his hand down the side of the sofa and pull out a tenner.’"
First Person Shooters (Games)

Berlin Wall 'Death Strip' Game Sparks Outrage In Germany 193

Posted by Soulskill
from the sweet-zombie-reagan dept.
gzipped_tar writes "According to Spiegel Online, 'A new computer game where players assume the roles of border guards and shoot people trying to escape from communist East Germany has unleashed a storm of controversy in Germany. The game's creator says he wanted to teach young people about history, but he has been accused of glorifying violence. ... The name of the multi-player FPS game, 1,378 (kilometers), was inspired by the length of the border between East and West Germany. ... [Players] choose between the roles of the border guards or would-be escapees: the escapee only has one goal — to get over the wall, but the border guard has more options, and can shoot or capture the escapee. He can also swap sides and try to clamber over the border defenses himself.' By choosing to play the border guard and kill the escapee, the player would win an in-game medal from the government of East Germany. But then the guard would time-travel forward to the year 2000, where he would have to stand trial. Jens Stober, 23, designed the game as a media art student at the University of Design, Media and Arts in Karlsruhe. He said that his intention was to teach young people about German history."

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