Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

Comment Reading the patent (Score 2) 306

What the patent seemed to describe was the thin vertical bar which appears when you touch the screen(which represents the vertical location of the current screen) and vanishes the moment you put your fingers off.

An easy way to circumvent this patent is to display the scroll location whether you touch the screen or not. The thin bar may have been a significant display estate on the good old years, but as the display resolution increase, it may be a better idea to display the bar continuously anyway.

Not sure if the patent is actually innovative, though. It seemed to have an awful lot of clauses to avoid an awful lot of prior arts.

Comment Re:Why aren't capital gains taxed the easy way? (Score 2) 538

No, the problem is that the HFT traders are still trading de facto stocks, which looks like stocks, acts like stocks, but aren't stocks. Derivatives are tightly linked to the original stuff they are based on. The only difference is that they aren't taxed, but the broker takes a hefty transaction fee.

Comment Re:Why aren't capital gains taxed the easy way? (Score 2) 538

The problem is that, they don't need to rely on the stock market to do the high-frequency trading. Options (the right to buy/sell something for a predetermined term) is a good candidate, and there are all sorts of markets that can mimic any stock or commodity, while regulation is nonexistant.

Good luck writing the tax code for every single financial instrument.

Actually, We in Korea have a small tax for every trade on the stock market. The HFT guys are running on the derivative market, where they merely trade the "insurance" policy which covers price fluctuations on the stock market.

Comment Re:SPIN (Score 1) 105

Okay, I'll do some counteract to counteract the ARM FUD.

Do you mean that OMAP doesn't have PCIe, real memory interfaces (what do you mean by "real memory interface"? Is there something like a "fake" memory interface?") SATA controllers, etc. etc. etc. Sorry, but they DO HAVE THEM. Plus, the OMAP 4 series has a GPU, video encoder/decoder, its own 2D accelerator and whatever interface it requires to create a smartphone. Guess what will happen if the OMAP lacked all that stuff?

So, maybe it can be a Intel vs. TI issue, but it it certainly isn't an Intel vs. ARM issue. If you want to be fair, you should compare Intel Ivy Bridge with an SoC without the smartphone-or-tablet-or-whatever specific devices, which is manufactured in a recent-enough manufacturing process. Unfortunately, as of now, I fail to find any SoC intended to be used on datacenters.

Yes, you are an idiot to create a datacenter with an array of OMAP 4s. Maybe the Qualcomm S4 may be better (28nm process) but I don't think it is likely to beat Ivy Bridge for now (due to inefficient SoC-to-SoC interconnects - Ethernet wasn't designed to be used for close proximity high-speed/low-power communication). But claiming x86 is more power-efficient than ARM is a completely different issue that can't be resolved by comparing OMAPs and Ivy Bridges.

Comment Re:How about a telex machine (Score 1) 200

If you compare the telex with claim 1, the telex machine doesn't have an application, not used for storing data on a remote storage, and certainly doesn't have a synchronization mechanism. Finally, telex machines doesn't seem to qualify as a mobile device.

If something doesn't EXACTLY match the description of AT LEAST one claim, it isn't an infringement. Actually, that's why many patents are quite easy to bypass.

Comment Re:The patent (Score 2) 200

You are missing the point. It seems that many people on slashdot simply don't understand how patents work.

The abstract and the description of the patent doesn't mean that the patent owner "owns" whatever described on it. The description is there for the readers so that they can understand how the whole stuff works. It can contain whatever description you want.

The idea Microsoft "owns" is described as "claims", which essentially describes a mobile device which has a UI, can synchronize to a remote system, and can book meetings and blah blah blah. Since mobile devices which could book meetings were rare at 1998, it seems Motorola attorneys had a difficult time looking for prior art.

Comment Re:Who shives a git!!! (Score 1) 225

Yes, maybe your client may say Google is okay if you asked, but that's gonna make the procedure god damn complicated because the client is also going to ask their lawyers, management, and whomever that needs to be alerted that the data will be shared with somebody else even if it is Google or whomever. The problem isn't that you can't trust Google - it is because adding another party into the contract will increase the complexity of any contract. (e.g., if Google somehow gets screwed and leaks the data, who will be responsible? it's possible that these things must be written into the contract)

I work for a semiconductor company, and since we need to handle a lot of customers' designs, our whole IT infrastructure is in-house, even though it is the crappiest service that I ever experienced.

Comment Re:Not sympathetic. (Score 5, Insightful) 825

I'm not sure if you understand basic economics, but a world without inflation would be much worse. The main purpose of inflation is to encourage people to spend money, or at least, save it in a bank, rather than keep the money in your closet. Once there is no inflation, or even a small amount of deflation, it acts as a positive feedback - as the value of money increases, people tries to get hold of more cache, and that reduces the total supply of cash within the society, and it further increases the value of cash. Eventually, all spending dries up, jobs will disappear (since there is nobody who's trying to by ANYTHING), and the poor guys will suffer more seriously, since the rich guys (=people with lots of cash) will have their assets' value increase automatically without doing anything, while the poor guys have no job, no cash, and nothing to buy anyway. That is precisely what happened on the great depression.

What we need is a MODERATE amount of inflation - not sure how much is the right amount, but high enough to avoid the deflation spiral, and low enough to avoid hyperinflation.

Plus, what's wrong with government spending? The government is supposed to represent the people, and hence, the spending should be something for the people. If you find government spending to be evil, then you should have a better, more sensible government, and stop blaming the spending itself.

Comment Why does it have to be geeky? (Score 1) 399

Before trying anything, two questions:
First, is your soon-to-be-significant-other going to agree and feel comfortable with your idea? Remember that the wedding isn't about yourself, it's about you and your partner. If your wife is also geeky, fine. Go nuts. If not, I don't think your partner will feel comfortable with your idea, and I don't think the wedding will go well without both of you being comfortable.

Second, is your wedding guests be comfortable with your geeky invitation? When I got married, we had a fairly wide range of demographic ranging from 3 year olds to 80 year olds. There were people like my grandma who doesn't even own a cellphone, let alone a PC. My mom still doesn't know how to load new MP3s on her MP3 player, so I have to do that for her every couple of months. Anything with a URL or a QR code would be completely useless to people like them.

Well, what I did was printed out a bunch of invitation cards with the usual stuff, and added a URL with a hand-crafted webpage with a separate domain name specifically for the wedding. Maybe not so geeky, but I used my geek skills to impress my wife and the other non-tech-savvy people.

Comment Re:Single point of failure (Score 1) 207

Great explanation.

The reason is simple : most of the large PC manufacturers write contracts with the parts manufacturers so that they can buy up to a given number of stuff at a predetermined price. Not only disks, but also DRAM (price known to fluctuate wildly), flash memory, capacitors, etc etc etc. These are the guys who are dating those 9 out of the 10 girls.

I'm actually quite surprised that ASUS didn't secure a stable supply chain - now they have to shut their business down simply because they can't get enough disks.


Microsoft Pays $44 Million To Samsung and Nokia For Mango Marketing 147

CSHARP123 writes "Ballmer opened up the company's coffers to Nokia and Samsung for a holiday blitz of Mango marketing. Hold onto your hats though, it's no carte blanche access to Redmond's Gringotts. According to a report on Mobile Magazine, inside sources claim MS has set aside £28 million (about $44 million) for the endeavor, with about £20 million of that reserved for Nokia's first Windows Phone 7.5 handset. This joint marketing effort is reportedly a broader extension of the cooperative agreements all parties agreed to, ensuring future WP devices get the media saturation they deserve. Samsung is also due to unveil a major Christmas ad push for the Omnia W with an estimated £8m spend. Maybe this is what Samsung gets for making a deal on patents to cover Android OS? Not a bad deal for Samsung."

Comment Re:President of OnLive responds to this bill, agai (Score 1) 368

So, essentially, what he is saying is that 'under first-to-file, the inventor has to patent every invention instead of just the useful ones, because it takes time to figure out which ones are useful'.

Well, here in South Korea, the patent law is first-to-file, but the inventor may publish it, and STILL can file the patent within six month since being published. Have a nice idea? publish it, and for the next six month, you have the exclusive right to file the patent of the idea on the publication (of course, as long as the publication itself doesn't have any prior art). If you found out that it is a bad idea, just don't bother filing a patent and still, nobody else will be able to file one since the publication itself will count as prior art.

Plus, here in Korea, we have 50% discounts for small businesses, independent inventors, universities, students, etc. (read: anybody without a deep pocket). The last patent I got here (which was filed three months after being published on an international conference paper) cost something like $2.5K including the cost of hiring a patent attorney.

Comment Re:Not "less powerful", but "less investment" (Score 1) 353

My idea was:

Yeah, they used a off-the-shelf design for the GPU, but I'm not sure if Cell can be called an "off-the-shelf" processor - the problem was the SPEs were a completely new design, which not only requires a whole set of new compilers & software infrastructure, but which actually needed a completely new research field on compiler design. Because the SPE could only address the limited amount of scratchpad memory (external memory could only be accessed via the DMA) that added so much headache on software design, which could only be done by a crazy amount of hand-tuning. Add other typical VLIW scheduling problems, and you have a ton of headache optimizing software.
As a result, they couldn't rely on off-the-shelf software & tools, and had to design their own software stack & tools, which had zero guarantee to have better quality than proven-to-work tools.

The problem of DRAMs is that it's a ultra-cheap commodity product, where one design gets manufactured in billions. Once you turn to something nobody else uses, it turns extremely expensive - not only the manufacturing cost, but it becomes difficult to deal when there are supply issues (e.g., nobody else can supply the DRAM if your primary manufacturer gets hit by an earthquake/tsunami/strike/thermonuclear war/whatever) which adds a lot of risk.
Using these low-volume products on limited places will make the problem even worse because it will further reduce the volume. I'd rather have less performance than use a low-volume part which can potentially add a lot of risk on mass-manufacturing. Additionally, if you want bandwidth, you always have the possibility to add more parallel DRAM channels - although it may be inefficient & costly, I'd rather choose that.

What I meant was that the PS4 shouldn't use something beyond Blu-ray. One of the biggest problem of PS3 was that they tried to use a next-generation optical medium (instead of the proven solution) and thus, had a lot of manufacturing problems. Now that Blu-ray is quite stable and affordable, I guess PS4 should use Blu-ray (yeah, probably a 4-layer design) instead of developing something else.

Comment Re:Not "less powerful", but "less investment" (Score 2) 353

Whoa, just blew my mind. The PC won.

Or, put it the other way : for the last ten years, every PC manufacturer moved to just a normal gaming console, albeit capable of running any generic operating system, and being capable of running generic software quite well. Actually, most modern PCs got all those "custom circuits" (GPUs, sound processing DSPs, vector instructions, etc.) which previously only existed inside those custom chips inside the consoles.

What I thought was not just something of 'generic'ness, but that Sony (and IBM) took a far too ambitious goal, which failed miserably. Their initial though on Cell was that it should become a generic processor which can be used for various home appliances, supercomputing, and possibly other embedded applications. Their intention was to have PS3 to be the initial Cell customer, and find many other customers later to cover the development cost.

However, the problem of the Cell Broadband Processor was that it was too generic to be used for games (since it must also be capable of running HPC or home entertainment applications), while being too difficult to use properly. Thus, they failed to find a customer other than the PS3, and as a result, the sales of PS3 had to cover the development cost of the whole Cell project. The final nail in the coffin was that IBM killed all future Cell projects, probably because they couldn't find any future customers.

In short, Sony and IBM's goal was to create a new "general-purpose" CPU, which failed miserably. The issue wasn't about "generic PC" vs. "custom circuits for gaming" : it was about "generic PC" vs. "a different generic PC".

Comment Not "less powerful", but "less investment" (Score 4, Insightful) 353

Sony didn't say that they are going to produce a less powerful design, but a design which costs less, in terms of investment.
Although the outcome may be a not-so-powerful console, the other possibility is something with less "custom" solutions.

Such as:
  - Off-the-shelf CPUs/GPUs, or custom ASICs using 3rd-party licensed CPU/GPU designs (instead of designing one from scratch)
  - Off-the-shelf DDR(1/2/3/4/5/whatever) SDRAM (instead of using something from Rambus)
  - Blu-ray, instead of a new kind of optical disk design (or, even eliminate the physical medium altogether in favor of online purchases)

Slashdot Top Deals

Almost anything derogatory you could say about today's software design would be accurate. -- K.E. Iverson