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Comment: Re:In California switch to sonic.net (Score 1) 355

by mattis_f (#47771307) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do About Repeated Internet Overbilling?

Seconded - I've used Sonic for about 12 years - couldn't be happier. They've also gotten the big thumbs up from EFF for their privacy practices.

When I switched my service to DSL2 (should give up to 20Mb / second down) some years ago, they sent a technician to my place. He found that even though the building was close enough to their CO, the old copper wiring in the building meant I wouldn't be able to use the full 20Mb. So instead they suggested a cheaper and slower plan. I gotta say, an ISP who sends out a guy who explains they will take less money from me is pretty rare.

So, my connection is on paper fairly slow - 6Mbit down and 1 up. But on the other hand, I actually get that speed. It's enough to watch Netflix in HD. If I'm downloading something large (say, a linux image) I see my DL speed top out at about 650Kb/second, which means I am getting the whole 6 MBit. Day or night. (And again, that 6Mbit is because of my building, not because of Sonic!).

Always always check if you can get Sonic where you live.

Comment: what is so hard about this? (Score 3, Interesting) 132

by mattis_f (#46412761) Attached to: Oregon Withholding $25.6M From Oracle Over Health Website Woes

It's an honest question. I am a programmer of embedded systems and microcontrollers, my expertise is at the other end of the computing spectrum.

As much as I like to blame Oracle, the state may have added serious requirements at the last minute that complicated everything. These articles doesn't say anything about it. Same seems to go for all the troubled exchanges - so what's the problem?

Is there anyone on here with some insight?

Comment: Re:Samsung may be devious.... (Score 4, Informative) 102

by mattis_f (#42175311) Attached to: Ericsson Seeks US Import Ban On Samsung Products

From TFA:

The suits were filed because Ericsson said it could not reach a license agreement for its patents with Samsung on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms after two years of negotiations. Samsung was asked to pay the same rate as its competitors, but Samsung refused, according to Ericsson.

Samsung had licensed Ericsson patents before. However, according to a statement released by Samsung last week, Ericsson demanded "significantly higher royalty rates for the same patent portfolio," adding that it planned to "take all necessary legal measures to protect against Ericsson's excessive claims."

Samsung used to license these patents, then stopped paying. They knew a lawsuit was coming, and decided it was a fight worth taking. I have no clue whether the fees requested by Ericsson are unreasonable or not - but there's no need for conspiracy theories or ulterior motives on this one.

Comment: Key part from TFA (what it's really about). (Score 4, Informative) 102

by mattis_f (#42175201) Attached to: Ericsson Seeks US Import Ban On Samsung Products

Ericsson no longer makes phones. They're a highly profitable company building cell phone networks with lots of patents in the wireless tech-sphere. Samsung and Ericsson are not, in other words, direct competitors and this is not a case of competing through the courts. Key part from TFA:

"The suits were filed because Ericsson said it could not reach a license agreement for its patents with Samsung on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms after two years of negotiations. Samsung was asked to pay the same rate as its competitors, but Samsung refused, according to Ericsson.

"Samsung had licensed Ericsson patents before. However, according to a statement released by Samsung last week, Ericsson demanded 'significantly higher royalty rates for the same patent portfolio,' adding that it planned to 'take all necessary legal measures to protect against Ericsson's excessive claims.'"

This is purely about the money. The two companies stopped negotiating, Samsung is betting that going to court (they must have known a lawsuit was coming) will end up better for them than paying Ericsson's fee.

Comment: Panasonic "business" Toughbooks (Score 1) 479

by mattis_f (#22337778) Attached to: Best Laptop for Going Around the World?
The business models, as the grand-parent suggest, are not heavy at all. Kinda expensive, yes, but tougher than most and freakishly light.

The CF-T series has a 12" screen, core 2 duo processor, no optical drive, and clocks in around 1.2kg. The W series is very similar but adds an optical drive, at less than 1.5kg. (that's about 3 lbs).

All of those laptops have water proof keyboards, should be able to survive a drop from 1 meter and take 100kg of pressure. There are videos on Youtube of people testing these claims (seems to be true).

http://www.panasonic.com/business/toughbook/products.asp
Music

How Do You Find New Non-RIAA Music? 319

Posted by Zonk
from the i-heard-it-on-npr dept.
burgundysizzle writes "Given the general reaction to the RIAA in comments, I assume that there are a number of users that try not to buy from RIAA sources. What alternatives do you use - or more importantly - what methods do you use to discover alternative sources of music? I use Sellaband.com (some free legal music available) and Amiestreet.com (new music is free and most music really cheap) to find new music, but I'm always on the lookout for interesting sites to discover new music. Tell me about your experiences and any other interesting places you get new music from. I'm looking for inexpensive, and legal."
Hardware Hacking

+ - DIY Laptop *literally* from scratch!

Submitted by Brietech
Brietech (668850) writes "Ever felt like building your own laptop from (almost literally) scratch? This is a microcontroller-based "laptop" built from the ground up from a handful of chips and other hardware found lying around. It runs a self-hosted development environment, allowing the user to write and edit programs in "Chris++" on the machine, and then compile and run them. The carpentry looks like it could use some work, but it's a neat project!"

The more cordial the buyer's secretary, the greater the odds that the competition already has the order.

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