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Sun Microsystems

Sony and Sun Form Net Appliance Pact 75

grayhame writes "It seems that Sony and Sun have decided to team up to co-develop digital consumer electronic appliances with access to the internet. " Sun seems to be moving towards consumer space. Sun and Specialized are doing a co-branding thing where Specialized uses Sun workstations to design their bikes, and in return, there will be Sun-purple co-branded bikes.
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Sony and Sun Form Net Appliance Pact

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  • Is there already hardware for it? If so, where? I remember looking into it, but it was still just a design spec.
  • Looks different than all the other bikes. Has so many fun toys attached that you never really get to ride it...
  • Sun Bike: Slick looking, weighs 200 kg. Not a fast bike but you can jump off cliffs with it. Up to 64 wheels.
    Linux Bike: Comes in pieces, or pre-assembled. Fastest bike around, weighs 10 kg., but nobody takes it seriously yet.
    FreeBSD Bike: Think Harley-Davidson.
    OpenBSD Bike: Think Harley-Davidson, with the Terminator on it.
    Be Bike: Best looking bike around. Easy to juggle on.
    Windows 98(TM) Bike Comes pre-assembled in the box. Falls apart when you try and ride it.
    Windows NT(TM) Bike Slick looking, goes one block and then explodes.


    Don't hate me because I'm beautiful, hate me cause of my lousy posts.
    -Nick
  • What makes you think that fully grown geeks don't eat Lucky Charms?

    --
  • Some of it is closer than you think...

    PC + Linux + xmms + multiple soundcards = DJ's dream. Toss in the scratching software from TerminatorX.

    One box (celeron, 256 Ram), with direct output to the amp (SB PCI128), and a second output so you can cue/mix/listen to other tracks (old reliable ISA soundblaster 16).

    One of these days I'll release the software I wrote for all this. I'm waiting until I get a rock solid optimized version with all the fixens first.

    To bad the movers "lost" the cd collection I recorded all my mp3's from...


    "You want to kiss the sky? Better learn how to kneel." - U2
    "It was like trying to herd cats..." - Robert A. Heinlein
  • Another thing that he's developed is a nice little VB application that lets people at the part search through his tracks for an artist and then add it to the playlist in a similar way to a jukebox in a bar.

    Net radio is already there. Just try here [home.com] (You have to start the stream first, of course). I've seen a couple of these "program as you go" bitcasters, and I like 'em. Hats off to ya Nazz.

  • NOBODY will buy a device thats going to throw spam at you. Not a single soul in the world would be that stupid.

    The intentions of Sun for Jini is not marketing, its functionality. So far, marketing is not an issue with Jini devices. They're not intended to be used as globally networked devices as much as they are locally networked. In other words, you'll have control over the routing, not the manufacturers.

    Besides, Congress throws a hissy when they see what Cookies are intended for (hence this banner ad sh1t), and they're about to motion to regulate it. You're never, EVER going to be spammed in your own home unless you're being entertained. I just can't see it happening!!
  • When will these companies say hey do we really need to make stereos that hook up to the interent?

    To me, this whole notion of "everything-internet" is like Microsoft's stupid idea about having a web-browser in every application. If I want to peruse the Internet, I'll use a web browser and when I want to type up a document, I'll [maybe] use a word processor [more likely I'll use Emacs]...

    And while I do see some benefit to being able to program my VCR from a computer at work, I don't think the average consumer would ever do that since the only people I know that can consistantly program any VCR without a "For Dummies" book (note to IDG: please don't sue [slashdot.org] Slashdot for having this reference) are geeks, programmers, computer literates, etc...

    Don't get me wrong, some non-Net appliances can be connected in a cool way [cmu.edu] (though even pop machines on the net are nothing so great anymore) but I think most net-based appliance features would lose their appeal after a few weeks (after that all your friends will grow tired of hering you talk about "how cool" this is)...

  • So DJ'ing with Mp3's is something that I do, and write code to support. I have also spun in the "old school" fashion using a 4+ channel mixer with 2 cd players and 2 technics turntables...

    Here are my thoughts on the problem with "professional" dj'ing using mp3's:
    1) vinyl does sound better. Really. The crowd doesn't usually notice though.

    2) Beat matching:
    2a) According to an old TA of mine (who could teach signals and systems to a brick... which I was.) true software beat tracking is rough. It's one of those things which is simplistic in analog, but comparably a pain in the ass to do digitially.
    2b) pitch control. professional dj equipment allows you to adjust the speed of the track by +/- 10%. This way you can seamlessly fade directly from one song into another, or overlay a track over a background track. Once the first track is faded out, you are free to readjust the playback speed. To the best of my knowledge, the software to do this requires fast interpolation/decimation code and some really funky polyphase low pass filters. I've done it with Matlab/Mathematica but not in real time. According to my calcualtions it is really memory intensive... (I'm still learning about the math side of all this, so if i'm wrong please enlighten me)

    3) User interface. Ever use a mixer? a real one with sliders and a crossfader? It is *so* much easier to use the old reliable sliding controlers instaed of a mouse and keyboard. Your multitasking (pardon the lingo...) is only limited by the dexterity of the 10 digits on your hands. With one hand you can control the volume on 2 or 3 channels, run the crossfader with your thumb, and adjust the equalizer with the other hand. Current "free" mp3 UI's are based around a single input source.

    "You want to kiss the sky? Better learn how to kneel." - U2
    "It was like trying to herd cats..." - Robert A. Heinlein
  • Why would I want Sun-purple bikes? I mean, geek kids are that big of a market? C'mon...
  • Wow, I'd be the coolest geek on the block! How much are they and where can I find one!
  • ...insert joke about it being slower than a regular bike... :)
  • I like the radio with direct access to the internet, although it'll be kinda wierd "tuning in" to www.radiostation.net

    What I want to know is when can I get this in my car?

    -Al-
  • this agreement could have far-reaching implications for ALL appliances! bread makers, rice cookers, toaters, Coffeemakers!

    No longer locked in their proprietary little non-network-centric worlds, appliances the world over would be happy, upgradable, and JAVA based!

    IP's for everyone!
  • Yes, but assumedly it'll run on ice, sand, water, Venus, etc... and all without changing the tyres... ;-)
  • ...For example, it could have been purple cobranded Barbie cellphones, or everyones favorite Purple Dinosaur.

    How about a purple breakfast cereal (Jini Puffs)?
    --
  • by mochaone ( 59034 ) on Wednesday November 10, 1999 @04:54AM (#1546015)
    Sun's incentive in this collaboration is to get the ball rollin on it's JINI technology. What better place to go than the King of appliances? Sony is probably ticked at MS' overtures into the gaming market that Sony all but owns and sees this as a way to smack MS down a bit. Once again, MS steps on the toes of potential corporate partners in its all-consuming quest to be everything to everyone.
  • by Ice_Hole ( 87701 ) on Wednesday November 10, 1999 @05:04AM (#1546016) Homepage
    OK, lets start small. How about we have this wireless access from all Laptops, then move to having access from EVERYTHING. Personally I can't wait for the day when I can set up a HUGE file server at my house, full of Mp3s, and be playing them from my car, or better yet from a RIO sized Mp3 player. I could go running with a .5oz device (Most of the weight being buttons) and still have access to my entire 73 day music collection! I hope this is how it ends up working out. I could be be truely wired and connected 24/7, this is a doog thing :) Imagine a DJ showing up to your house to have a party/dance (I know you guys are slashdot geeks, but you can imagine can't you? J/K) he shows up with nothing but speakers and his little Rio sized mp3 decoder, or maybe he brings a laptop so he can play games or read Slashdot while at the party :) Now a days, DJ's bring 500 lbs of CD's. This would be made much easier if music was all kept on a central server to be accessed remotely (Presonally, if I was a DJ I would have a nice computer with 40+ gigs of HD space, I would then bring my computer and stero equipment to the party. Thus no need for all the other work of bringing CD's. I have yet to see this. But this would change what the DJ had to do imensely. Imagine, what song you want? Typing it in and playing it, vs trying to find it in a stack of 500 CD's.) ((Boy, I sure got side tracked))

    Of couse their aer other uses for being able to be connected to the internet with other "appliences". Bikes for instance. You could have a GPS built into your childs bike. Then, if he was to go out riding and it was getting dark, or he got lost, you could just bring up your computer and get the GPS cordinates, bring up a map, and know exactly where they are at. This would also work in case the bike was stolen, it would be kind of like a security system.

    Overall, I love this idea. I can't wait till the day this happens. What are your predictions on when it is wide spread? I would say not for quite a while, in fact, it may be a long way off. But then, a while ago I would have told you that 200 mhz computers were a long way off to!!
  • by rde ( 17364 )
    It's only a matter of time before we can get an Aibo that'll shit on your carpet then email you to tell you about it.
  • When will these companies say hey do we really need to make stereos that hook up to the interent? I mean what the heck people are going to need like 15 different phone lines if they don't have broadband access. Let's see do I have one for the TV one for the Stereo oh need one for the computer and hey I better have one in case somebody calls me.

    I guess I like the idea that I can only watch programs at a certain time(I know I have a vcr I could tape them if I really wanted too) it gives me a chance to actually go out in the world and do things other than staring mindlessly at the TV choosing whichever show I want to watch at whatever time.

    I guess I really can't say much I just purchased Asheron's Call last night so I probably will be staring mindlessly at my computer screen for awhile.

    I suppose that the proliferation of this technology also allows people who would never access the net unless they had something like this the ability to actually go on the net and do whatever they need to do.

    just my long and not necessarily on-topic 2 cents

    "This is my Boomstick .... S-mart's top of the line" --Ash, Army of Darkness
  • by Jonathunder ( 105885 ) on Wednesday November 10, 1999 @05:09AM (#1546019) Homepage
    How about these marketing strategies: Co-branding with Starbucks for Sun Java drinks. with the Weather Channel-- partly Sunny(TM), Sunny(TM), etc. with Lucky Charms-- adding purple Suns to the mix, for the really young geeks.
  • This is more than stupid, but if Sun and Sony ever spin off a joint company or division, someone should name it "Sunny".
  • Proving once again that "The Network is the Bicycle", Sun is releasing it's newest machine, aptly dubbed The eBike

    The eBike runs on multiple platforms using Sun's own Java technology. Currently, virtual machines exists for both concrete and pavement, with a port for dirt in the works.


    -----------

    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • and if you use Linux or FreeBSD, you'll only be able to get last year's model. :)

  • Jini is probably the best thing since sliced bread. The fact that Sony is going to implement it means that this world will be far cooler and much sooner.

    I've been waiting forever for this technology to be released. This is truely what Java was intended for: multiple architectures, even those that are extremely simple.

    I'd say 3-4 years from now we'll all be buying coffee makers that are configurable from your PC, or a Java program.
  • Okay. Net enabled appliances are no new thing. Fridges, mircowaves and toasters have all been showcased with internet connectivity but as we were discussing the other day...is this really a good thing?

    Sure, the internet is great but it does have it's place as far as I'm concerned and it's not in a bike!

    Bringing internet capabilities to items such as games consoles (the Dreamcast) and television makes sense...putting access onto bikes does not.

    Wireless communications have come a long way recently and with the arrival of IPv6 just around the corner I think we are going to see more and more of these products hitting the stores in the comming months. Just one request - please don't give my kettle connectivity, I would hate to wake up one morning and find that some kid has hacked it!
  • ...I can't find anything on Specialized's [specialized.com] or Sun's [sun.com] websites that mention a word about Sun-purple bikes. Very disapointing. They had a picture [sun.com] of McNealy being presented with a custom-made bike that was sun purple. But, according to the press release [sun.com], the co-branding ACTUALLY involves putting a logo saying 'Desgined on Sun' on all the bikes and helmets. Oh well. Too good to be true, I guess.
  • Firstly the network will have a network service which will be Jini and all devices will use that.

    Second. /. readers are less than 1% of SONY's market. They are selling this stuff to people who want to just use the technology and be much happier without the PC.

  • In response to sliders etc, I do a little digital video work, and there are mixing boards for that, for crossfades etc (technically an A/B roll) and a special controller for doing the edit. A similar thing wouldn't be too difficult, especially with legacy hardware. YOu might need some EE experience, either your own or a friends. Essencially, the mixer slider is a really nice potentiometer. Use an A/D converter after contraining the amperage from the slider. Then all you need is a counter to get the freqeuncy output right. A PC parrellel port needs to supply a single signal ground and a clock pulse from your driver. The rest can be pulse based signals from your sliders. Kind of like servo control but not really. Hm. Then the driver is probably the hard part. Oh, you almost certainly will want a seperate AC power supply, but be sure a> to smooth the hell out of it with a serious peak detector and b> to isolate that from your signal source, or you'l fry that nice delicate circuitry, and/or your machine.
  • When will these companies say hey do we really need to make stereos that hook up to the interent?

    i can't even count the number of times that i've been in my car listening to my radio and said, "this song is cool, i wonder who sings it.." and then waited for the end of the song so the dj could say the name of the song and group who sings it. instead of that happening, the dj cuts to commercial and i spent the rest of the month listenting to the radio, watching mtv, stupidly humming the song and sporadic lyrics trying to figure out what the goddamn song was. all of this could be avoidable by being able to press a button and getting the title of the song. it's simple things like that that makes the internet a compelling consumer platform...

    imagine watching a show and being able to point to an item on the screen that tells you where you can get it. or imagine tuning into a movie and being able to get the name of the movie, actors, what other movies made by the same producer or with the same actors, etc.. this is where the internet fits. we're not talking web browsers on everything!

    "The lie, Mr. Mulder, is most convincingly hidden between two truths."

  • how about the damn toaster burning logos into to your toast every day?

    but it could be a good thing, you could share your toast making applet with your friends: Damn John, that's a great butter applicator applet. Also sending your shower temperature preferences to where you are going to stay. Or if your alarm clock doesn't wake you up, it could enlist the help of the rest of the electric appliances in your bedroom. Or cooking dinner from work, or doing laundry. Of course I will only buy programmable devices where an individual could implement their own secuirity and apps.

    Sounds like a lot of fun to me!

  • Some software issues for my coffee machine:

    1. Licensing. Will I have to upgrade it every year to get good quality coffee at home while I'm at the office?

    2. Y2K. Will the Y2k bug fry the embedded processor?

    3. Viruses. Will some evil hacker be able to turn it into a tea machine by an email bomb? Suppose someone mails it a chain letter, will it make my washing machine puke?

    4. Adverts/tie-ins. Would it refuse to process non Sun/Sony coffee?

    5. Programing. Would the auto-run be able to override my favorite methods?

    6. Jabber. What if my Emotion Engine just can't get along with all the other appliances? Will Sun produce a virtual Opra talk show while I'm at work?

    7. Cross-talk. Could Mario Brothers convince my coffee machine to jump off the counter? Could the washing machine convince the coffee maker to eat soap?

    8. UPS. What happens if the battery dies, or lightening strikes?

    9. Security/Privacy. Could this thing record my bank info and then spend all my money on a lifetime supply of coffee out of Y2k fears? Would it report my coffee drinking habits to Sun?

    10. Slashdot. Would I have to fire the coffee machine because it got addicted to Slashdot and refused to make coffee?

  • Sony has the most popular set top box on the market today. Wait 'till every teenager with a playstation is also hooked up with AOL on the playstation.
    Honestly, why would anyone want a toaster with we access?
  • This whole MP3 DJ is something that a group of us has been doing over here of a while. When ever any of us has had a party in the past year or so my buddy turns up with his PC and just lets it run all night playing from a pre-agreed play list.

    Another thing that he's developed is a nice little VB application that lets people at the part search through his tracks for an artist and then add it to the playlist in a similar way to a jukebox in a bar. Add a touch screen display and a coin slot (and a decent OS) and he's onto a winner in the coin-op market!

    Woah...off topic or what!
  • My coffeemaker is already java-based.
  • I'd say 3-4 years from now we'll all be buying coffee makers that are configurable from your PC

    Why on Earth would you want to do this!? The household coffee machine has a perfectly good interface they way it is now, as far as I am concerned.

    Now, if you were talking industrial coffee machines that would be another matter. I can see why it would be useful to monitor the vending machine in this office, so we don't run out of Coke again. Even with the possibility of the price increasing in hot weather (as was recently reported), I would probably think it is a good idea.

    But Sony makes hosehold appliances. I may be weird, but I don't really want to boot Windows 98 (or even Linux) on my radio tuner - or even on my PC just so that I can change the station. I don't want to be unable to turn the cooker off because I f*cked up my network router configuration.

    Some people seems to go overboard with technology (I suspect many of them are /. readers :-)) and forget that many devices have very useful interfaces as they are, and that it is difficult to design a realy good interface.

    (Others could benefit: Sony has probably spent hundreds of man-years on the VCR interface and most people still cannot set the clock.)

  • Ummm, where did it say in the article anything about connecting bikes to the net? It referred to connecting stereos and such...which makes perfect sense to me.
  • At first glance, this does seem like a Good Thing... but consider:

    1. Yet another way for marketoids to abuse Internet-Advertising besides the obvious vectors such as TV and radio. Can you imagine your toaster recommending you try a delishious Eggo(tm) waffle every morning?
    2. IPv6 outdated before implementation. Okey, maybe not. Still, do we need yet more systems sucking bandwidth right now?
    3. Product Support Hell. For all you Bobs and X-Bobs, I'm sure you know what I mean. "Help, I can't seem to get rid of all this spam from my microwave!"
    Okey, I'm just being silly. Gimmie a break.
  • by jilles ( 20976 ) on Wednesday November 10, 1999 @09:30AM (#1546044) Homepage
    Lets get rid of a few misconceptions here:

    Java is not slow because it executes slower than natively compiled code. In fact natively compiling Java code doesn't help you much since the execution speed is not the main cause for its slowness. Benchmarks actually show hotspot and IBMs VM faster then native compilers for Java.

    The real reason that Java is slower has to do with how Java manages objects and memory. Unlike languages like C/C++, Java uses a more dynamic form of memory management. This makes allocations slower and also the deallocation process (by the garbage collector) is slower. Then there are several other issues that also slow down java.

    But none of them has to do with the fact that Java is interpreted (or rather JIT compiled). Theoreticially, if it weren't for these issues, Java would be faster than C/C++ since dynamic compilers like hotspot can do something that static compilers like the ones used for C and C++ cannot do: using runtime information to steer the optimizations.

    I do agree with the poster that eventually most of the current problems with Java will either be solved or won't be so much of a problem because of cheaper, faster hardware. Eventually Moore's law will solve this issue.

    Also I saw somebody whine about the performance of 3d graphics in Java. Apparently this person is not aware of the fact that Java only provides an API for the 3d rendering. The actual rendering happens natively. The advantage of this is that you can write renderer and OS independent 3d graphics applications.

    If you still have doubts about the use of interpreted languages in 3D applications, both quake 3 and unreal use an intrepreted scripting language. I think John Carmack even played with the idea to include a Java vm in quake.

    Ps. Why is it that everytime the word Java is dropped on this site, the anti MS FUD people start spreading fud and other ill informed arguments about it Java. I mean, this is a site about technical subjects, most people posting here are obviously techies too and yet they manage to poor out all this bullshit about a subject that gets plenty of media attention. Most of the arguments broad forward in this post have been used before in postings on other stories. And despite this if Java is in the news again tomorrow or so, the whining will start all over again. It is a bit depressing that some people are stuck on their current, rather mediocre, knowledge level. I have learned a great deal since I started reading slashdot nearly a year ago.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Also from the thinner is better department, COMPAQ is announcing [newsalert.com] the release of the "iPaq" Internet PC [newsalert.com] for businesses. "iPaq is the industry's first "Legacy-Free" Windows 2000 device, using USB ports in place of ISA/PCI expansion slots or legacy ports. Available in January 2000 via the Web and phone, it will be aggressively priced, starting at $499 (U.S. price with Internet keyboard, without monitor)."

    "The silver and black device, which weighs just over 10 pounds and is only 40 percent as large as the conventional beige box PC, is designed as a desk-side computer and runs Intel Corp.'s latest Pentium III chips."

    A P-III for $499 sounds like a good deal, even if you can't put linux on it. I also can't figure out how you can get a P-III AND a copy of Windows2000 and keep the price under $500?

    Regarding the name, even if they don't get sued by Apple, I expect this French Company [ipaq.com] will have some issues with it.
  • This is exactly what I am talking about.. You are set. But I don't think the music industry as a whole uses this kind of technology. In other words, it is NOT wide spread as of yet. I don't know why. It may be considered too "High tech" (although I don't consider mp3s high tech). But it is somthing that is begging to be exploited and used, both for it's ease of use, and it's ability to do the job on par, or better than current technologies.

  • Internet Keyboard? What the heck is an Internet Keyboard?

    Does it have a "back" button because I'm to lazy to push alt-left. Does it have "search button" because I'm to lazy to use the search button or a bookmare to my favorite search engine. Does it have a "Launch Browser" button because I'm too lazy to click on an Icon a set an F-Key to a shortcut?

    What is the world coming to? In ten years are we going to have like 3,602-Key keyboards? Will they fit on our desks anymore? Why have new buttons replace buttons that already do these things?

  • by Kaa ( 21510 )
    Why is it that everytime the word Java is dropped on this site, the anti MS FUD people start spreading fud and other ill informed arguments about it Java.

    I'll hazard a guess. Maybe it is because Java has been pushed down our throats as the be-all and end-all, an ultimate computer language that makes all others unnecessary, as a solution to all the problems in the world, hunger and pollution included, and as what you have to learn if you want to be employable in the near future?

    Kaa
  • by jilles ( 20976 )
    I agree that the hype has taken disproportional sizes at some time. But that aplies to almost any technology of the past few years: www, linux, windows, XML, visual basic, corba, activeX,.....

    All these things have been hyped and got lots of ill informed media attention. Also all of them have survived the hype stage (well perhaps activeX didn't). In my opinion Java is getting past the hype stage too and I expect such a thing to be recognized by people posting on a site dominated by technology news. It's a bit disappointing to see the same shittyy arguments used over and over again. I don't mind a little well funded criticism but just whining "Java is slow, use xxx instead, you #@!@##" fals into the troll category as far as I'm concerned.
  • They should get a product endorsement from King Sunny Ade.

    -jpg
  • If they can do it all the better, and even if you can't put linux on it right now, give it a few months, or take the P3 out of this "cute little box" and put it in your big Linux machine, and drop a PII into it (esp good if you big machine started with a PII). Plus how could you pass up a machine with that much power for $499!

  • But a web-enabled psx2 will be smooth. However, i don't think i'm really waiting for the day when i can set how brown i want my toast via my personal website....
  • by kevlar ( 13509 )
    Memory management is an issue with Java. The reasons for why they made Java this way makes perfect sense however. They needed a language that was Object Oriented, portable, and was completely blind as to the underlying memory management. The result is no direct access to pointers/memory. If you do this, then you need garbage handling if you expect to run applications for long periods of time. If you allow for pointers in the language, then you're getting into the underlying platform specific memory management which goes against all the benefits of the VM.

    As for why Java is slower, I really do not see how you find the memory management issues to be the problem. In fact, I insist that they are not the problem. The way garbage handling works is, each Object has a counter. The counter keeps track of how many variable references it has. When the counter hits zero AND if the system is running low on memory, then the objects get deleted. This is one cycle every time you reference and de-reference an object. Thats peanuts. Native compilers like JIT, etc. may seem slow because they're compiling everything, and then they are executing code that is 100% Object Oriented. There's a whole ton of steps that they are including in the native execution that is completely unnecessary. Thats what the issue is. They're not optimizing properly.
  • Some software issues for my coffee machine:

    1. Licensing. Will I have to upgrade it every year to get good quality coffee at home while I'm at the office?

    2. Y2K. Will the Y2k bug fry the embedded Processor? What about the embeded Perculator?

    3. Viruses. Will some evil hacker be able to turn it into a tea machine by an email bomb? Suppose someone mails it a chain letter, will it make my washing machine puke?

    4. Adverts/tie-ins. Would it refuse to process non Sun/Sony coffee?

    5. Programing not Free. Would the auto-run be able to override my favorite methods?

    6. Jabber. What if my Emotion Engine just can't get along with all the other appliances? Will Sun produce a virtual Opra talk show while I'm at work?

    7. Cross-talk. Could Mario Brothers convince my coffee machine to jump off the counter? Could the washing machine convince the coffee maker to eat soap?

    8. UPS. What happens if the battery dies, or lightening strikes?

    9. Security/Privacy. Could this thing record my bank info and then spend all my money on a lifetime supply of coffee out of Y2k fears? Would it report my coffee drinking habits to Sun?

    10. Slashdot. Would I have to fire the coffee machine because it got addicted to Slashdot and refused to make coffee?

    Oh, my God! It's a pile of sticks, were all going to die! -Blair Witch Project


  • You want to set the time on your VCR, and you want to set it to record at 9:30 pm on Channel 7. What do you do? You load a java app or applet that Sony has created to interface with the simple device. The App has a gui, and you can select different things on VCR. The best thing about it is that you can do it from your PC.

    For the coffee maker, lets say you need to wake up at variable times in the morning. Do need to reset the time on your coffee maker pusihg buttons and shit? Absolutely not, you just run a program on your PC which sets the time for you. Hell if you know any java you could write your own program to do all this stuff.

    The thing I'd love to see is a Jini compatible dog feeder. Just set the time(s) you want your pup fed, and voila, all you need to do is dump the entire bag of dogfood in there.

    As for Jini itself, routing will not be as much an issue as you think. For one, its intended to be primarily wireless, although they have discussed using electrical wiring to transfer information (which would be difficult due to interference). Hell... screw X10, I'd rather install Jini light sockets to operate everything.

    The only thing that is remotely scarey about it is the security issue of a wireless setup. I'm pretty sure there are ways of solving that though.
  • What do you mean kids? some of them bikes cost a LOT more than the average PC.
  • by kevlar ( 13509 )
    What alot of you anti-java gimps tend to not realize is that something like Java, which is about 10x slower than native architecture, will evntually become unnoticeable to the us as processors become faster. They will still be working 10 times longer, but it'll also be done a hell of alot faster.

    Not only do applications like this push the industry to work harder, but they are AHEAD of the technology of today, not behind.

    A few years from now I can realisticly see Java having wide-spread use in the every industry. Right now there are numerous companies using Java to do serious number crunching. I know someone who is using it to do voice over IP. Not only are its threading capabilities very useful, but RMI is a great leap forward for parallel and distributed processing. Its true that the industry generally operates on the belief that if a system is slow, they can just plug another processor in. This doesn't matter so much because 5 years from now the common desktop will be more powerful as those parallel machines.

    You need to keep these factors in mind when you go out to criticize Java's speed. Just because its relatively slow now doesn't mean it can't be blazingly fast in the future.

    Don't get me wrong however, for serious number crunching should be done in native architecture (which you can do with JNI). Office apps, Browsers, Utilities, etc. will all benefit from Java in the future if the industry will more openly accept it.

Luck, that's when preparation and opportunity meet. -- P.E. Trudeau

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