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Comment A little bit more background (Score 5, Informative) 137

I'm a native Korean, Samsung Electronics employee for the last couple of years, although the following text does not represent my employer.

Actually the reason behind this seems to be twofold - health (you can't expect somebody who drunk heavily to perform adequately next day), cultural (Samsung isn't simply a Korean company anymore), and probably legal (the company is liable if drinking was part of the routine job, and it didn't do anything about it).

Decades ago, the only people working for Samsung (and probably most Korean companies) were mostly male Koreans aged somewhere around 30 to 50. (In the eighties, Korean women had a difficult time getting jobs on large corporates (except as secretaries or factory production workers) and were routinely fired for getting married) The only thing that they could do in common was drinking. Considering that Asian people have a blurry boundary between personal and professional issues, drinking (and for executives, playing glof) was a very essential task for successful working. Actually, companies even had "drinking VP"s who's job was to drink with business contacts every night, and nothing else.

Fast forward to 2012. Samsung now has some 300k employees, and more than half of those people are non-Koreans. Many employees have their spouse also working, which means somebody has to take care of their kids if they have to drink late. There are many non-Korean people everywhere, even on the Korean campuses. Business contacts are no longer limited to Asian countries. Suddenly, it doesn't make much sense to socialize by drinking heavily. You can't expect to be able to socialize with other people if they don't drink much, or don't drink at all.

The problem was that this "heavy drinking" thing was a sort of a "tradition". Many people, especially junior/senior management people who were working for Korean companies for decades, found themselves uncomfortable to socialize with other people without excessive soju or whisky or whatever. So, corporate policy kicks in, and tries to change the culture. Not only by simply banning "drinking", but by trying to suggest alternative methods (e.g., sports activities or doing charity work).

Comment Re:Workaround (Score 2) 243

The problem is that there are many cases the "workaround" will not be acknowledged as a proper removal of the feature. You better have a good reason why you left a backdoor, and how come it was unintentional.

Remember the GTA hot coffee mod? They disabled the part of the game that was considered inappropriate for minors, but it didn't count as a proper removal, so they had their age ratings change until they completely removed it.

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.

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