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Comment Not really (Score 0) 105

A few days ago, Android hackers managed to put Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) onto the Color, though in a mostly crippled state.

And it will remain in a crippled state. The minimum spec for Android Honeycomb is a dualcore Tegra 2 (A9) chip. The Nook has a single core A8 chip.

Which makes the title:

Nook Color Is Now a $250 Honeycomb Tablet

And since it makes no sense for the Nook to jump to a more expensive dual-core processor, it means we now have four mobile OS variations from Google:

1) Chrome OS
2) Android 2.x for Phones
3) Android 2.x for Tablets
4) Android 3.x Honeycomb

Then add HTC, Motorola, Samsung and DELL slapping incompatible UI and extensions on top of each of those offers.

The way it's going, Google fragmenting their OS solutions will soon be a drinking game.

Comment Re:What I care about (Score 1) 493

MPEG-LA has pledged to "never" charge for serving "free of charge" content over the web right now. That doesn't mean they're not going to charge for it in the future, they revisit the question over and over.

Ok, that's wrong, and despite multiple accounts of being corrected, people here keep perpetuating this myth. They're not going to revisit it. The decision is final.

But the question comes down to what constitutes as "free view" over the web? If you look at major hits such as RayWilliamJohnson, people like that "profit" off of making videos on the internet. He's got t-shirt deals that now have his stuff being sold in Hot Topic stores across the country. He's a pretty big Youtube phenomenon as a result of videos being posted on the internet "for free".

MPEG LA's defines non-free view as "AVC video sold to end users for a fee on a title or subscription basis". So it's very simple: can you view the entire video without being required to purchase it? It's free. If you need to buy it/rent it/subscribe for it, it's not free. Having ads or merchandise or other indirect profit models around or over or in the video is irrelevant.

You're right that everything "costs money" and some things have direct and indirect costs. The difference is that to ensure the internet remains open and competitive for everyone, we need to make sure that as much driving force behind the technology standards used by the vast majority of it are for the public good.

Right, and who gets to decide what is good here?

1) A wide consortium of companies working together on creating H.264, academia, guided by respected standards organisations: ISO, IEC, Apple, DAEWOO, Dolby Labs, France Telecom, Fraunhofer, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Philips, LG, Microsoft, Panasonic, Bosch, Samsung, Sharp, Siemens, Sony, Ericsson, Columbia University, Toshiba and more...

2) Google. Which bought some small company making codecs.

And yet, the automatic assumption is Google has singlehandedly pulled a rabbit out of their hat, because all some people need to know is that it's "free", and may any other annoying details and facts be ignored.

On one side, we have H.264 designed with the feedback of a wide consortium of experts, companies and respected standardization organisations, and very clear and apt licensing rules.

On the other side, Google and their technically inferior, buggy H.264 clone with an untold number of IP violations. But don't take just my word for it.

In layman's terms, we call what the MPEG-LA doing as a "bait and switch".

The above clarifications renders this remark baseless. The problem in this debate is some people prefer to arm themselves with an ideology fueled narrative and a set of outdated or outright wrong talking points about supposed "bait and switch" threats and preserving "freedom", and don't bother to even check what they're talking about.

Comment Re:What I care about (Score 1) 493

By using h.264, you pretty much guarantee that *someone* *somewhere* is paying for it. Could you imagine if say, the "David After Dentist" kid had to pay tons and tons of royalties to the MPAA for a video they created simply because they used the h.264 container format? To even conceive such a thing is such bullshit that this should absolutely be a non-issue.

"David After Dentist" is served as H.264 right now and tens of millions of people have seen that H.264 by now, in their browsers, smartphones and so on. Today.

How much did little David pay? Nothing. First, MPEG LA has never, and has pledged to never in the future charge for serving free of charge H.264 content over the web. That includes sites with ads like YouTube. Second, little David would never even dream to serve the traffic of millions of video views online for free, even with WebM. Serving a video to millions of people costs money. In fact it costs more than the money YouTube spent to encode that video to H.264 using their officially licensed encoder. But YouTube covers both costs, so to David, it's his free speech, free as in beer, in H.264.

Try to reconcile that with your scary picture of the future with H.264.

Comment Re:Even more IE plugins from Google? (Score 1) 413

You are clearly biased against Google and WebM. You refuse to look at the reality of the situation. Apple fanboy, perhaps?

I'm not biased against Google, I'm biased against their poor choices of late, primarily because they seem like poor choices. And maybe slightly desperate.

May I remind you the "reality of the situation" is yet about to happen. I know that from the point of view on Slashdot, every next year is the Year of the Linux on the Desktop, and so on, but although the future of WebM seems so simple and clear to you, I wouldn't call any bets yet if I were you.

I'm trying to point out that Google is climbing steeper and stepper hills lately, so I believe the odds are against them. They might just as well pull a rabbit out of their collective hats, but we're yet to see that.

Comment The Platform Battle (Score 1) 413

You guys cheer, but for Google, this is only a part of a bigger game: the platform battle. If Google loses the platform users access them through, which is currently mostly desktop browsing, their core business: ads (with search) may fizzle out very quickly.

Hence why their hurried entering into markets that are quite foreign to them, such as mobile (Android), browsers (Chrome) and, somehow, also video codecs (WebM). With their politically clumsy attempts at hedging bets that keep the platform available to them, they have managed to piss off all of their former corporate pals at Apple, Microsoft, Mozilla, MPEG LA etc. etc.

I know the apparent "openness" of their choices makes some of you guys feel warm and fuzzy, but make no mistake: no one else is amused. Google has been singled out by the big platform keepers for extermination: Google has to throw everything in this battle and win the platform, because if they lose to their former buddies, it's over.

Comment Re:Eating them is the NORM (Score 1) 760

Hold up buddy, the second they start breeding BIG insects, you know some are going to get loose and we're going to have another issue on our hands. I don't need to have nuclear fallout size giant roaches running around.

The exoskeletal architecture of insects would make large specimens fragile, so they probably wouldn't be able to easily run away and thrive independently in nature.

Even if they did, they'd be easy to control and exterminate.

This is one reason why large arthropods are primarily found in water, but not on land.

Comment Re:Enemies of the State (Score 1) 446

Apparently these rules did nothing to help Senator Ted Kennedy from being placed on the no-fly list.

Check this blurb:

"Federal air security officials said the initial error that led to scrutiny of the Massachusetts Democrat should not have happened even though they recognize that the no-fly list is imperfect. But privately they acknowledged being embarrassed that it took the senator and his staff more than three weeks to get his name removed."

How do you avoid being embarrassed again? You white-list the people who have enough power, visibility or popularity to be sufficiently noticeable.

When the small people are encumbered, no one in the TSA is embarrassed. They're fine with it.

Comment Re:Pseudoscience? (Score 1) 250

And the fact that our conscious short-term memory holds 7 "items", not bits -- the items can be digits, words, names, faces, or objects -- continues to show just how un-like a computer the brain really is.

You know actually, in computers, we call these "pointers" or "references" ;)

I agree with your general point, however.

Comment Re:Pulling it between layers of abstraction. (Score 1) 250

Couldn't it just be that we do not really have direct access to the raw computational capacity of the brain? There are savants and people who have trained themselves tremendously who can do arithmetric like this, using memory tricks and such. Wouldn't that be more like a hack to "reach down" to utilize the low-level capacity of the brain?

Quite right, and described here by the Abstraction Inversion antipattern.

Which is to say, it's nothing specific to a brain, but a common occurrence in systems of any kind, including computers (quick, multiply 357 * 289 on your Wii... no, going to the browser and asking Google doesn't count).

People can learn methods to do fast math, and this guy (who specifically points out he's not mentally 'different') has books that teach you his methods.

The fact the article's author appears surpised at the notion we can't outright address a set of neurons in order to perform algebra is probably a clear sign that the article is targeted at the less-than-informed-and-easily-impressed general public. The generic references to "some scientists", "psychologists think" and "we have brain traffic jams" with no particular reference or support doesn't help either.

Comment Ratonale? (Score 2, Insightful) 510

At my job, I've had a less than favorable history with Oracle that I'm not going to get into — rather let's just say I never want anything to do with them again.

I'd like to think people who deal with technology are rational, so if in your dealings with Oracle you have learned of some objective reason why people should avoid now, I believe you should share it, if your contract allows.

If there's no objective reason, then quite simply keep using and keep an eye on the situation between Oracle and

In our daily lives we use the services of companies that have wronged us by means of poor policy, or unprofessional employees, but if we took a hard stance every single time and dropped everything, even at no clear alternative, society would not last for long.

If you live in US, did you stop using oil fuel and oil based products (i.e. basically almost everything around you) when the BP oil spill happened? I guess not.

Comment Re:Illustrates importance? (Score 1) 135

Don't confuse "uses" with "has".

When Nokia ships a phone with customized Android, their money/time investment into it is magnitudes lower than that of creating another platform from scratch (relatively speaking).

Although, you reveal another problem of the industry, which is treating the OS just some nuisance they need in order to peddle their low-margin hardware, with no regards for consistency, quality, or long-term effects.

It's why smartphones, tablets and PDA were dying as concepts, before Apple came and injected enough hype back into them so Nokia, HTC etc. start trying again.

Comment Illustrates importance? (Score 2, Insightful) 135

Of course, this also illustrates Symbian's importance to Nokia's smartphone plans, even though the company is also developing phones that run the Linux-based Meego OS.

To me this illustrates that Nokia is not aware of the 80/20 rule and has no focused coherent strategy for their OS platform.

At the same time as Nokia's competitors are hard at work proving the world needs only one smartphone platform, and it's their one platform, Nokia is one company making two platforms...

Comment Re:Wow.... (Score 1) 641

I don't get it. JRockit was always proprietary. Why should they make it free just because they have the good sense to consolidate their JVM projects into one?

Tech-inclined people like to complain how their non-technical bosses are easily swayed into bad tech choices.

It seems tech people as just as easily swayed into silly conclusions by fact-free ideology and hearsay.

To me, this article defines a very good future for Java, to both those using the open JDK, and those needing more in the enterprise. I'm sure once the echo chamber gets tired of their "Oracle is evil" chant, they'll figure out they've spent all this time screaming wolf over nothing.

Comment If you need an answer... (Score 1) 121

the questions are 'Will this automatic rewriting cause other problems, i.e. browser quirks?'

A snippet out mod_pagespeed's "rewrite CSS" filter:

"CSS minification is considered moderate risk. Specifically, there is an outstanding bug that the CSS parser can silently lose data on malformed CSS. This only applies to malformed CSS or CSS that uses proprietary extensions. All known examples have been fixed, but there may be more examples not discovered yet. Without this the risk would be low. Some JavaScript code depends upon the exact URLs of resources. When we minify CSS we will change the leaf name of the file (although leave it in the same directory). This could break such JavaScript."

Yet their own examples show other risks, as they rewrite CSS selectors from longer selectors to completely different short selectors (i.e. from "div.class span" to "#id"), which even in their examples are only superficially equivalent, and not taking into account any dynamic content the page may render via JS. So any application utilizing JS would suffer a range of awkward issues, even if your code is perfectly valid.

Talking about valid code, one of their other filters:

"The quote removal filter eliminates unnecessary quotation marks (either "" or '') from HTML attributes. While required by the various HTML specifications, browsers permit their omission when the value of an attribute is composed of a certain subset of characters (alphanumerics and some punctuation characters)."

The rest is predictable and of little use: cache headers, image compression, JS minification, CSS/JS outlining/inlining, whitespace collapsing, and removing attributes that specify defaults. Those are all basic and low yield optimizations that any web developer would, for the most part, have done in his original source to begin with.

Unfortunately Google's expertise in searching doesn't automatically transfer into other areas, and this clumsy tool, which at best does little, and at worst produces broken code, is definitely one of their weaker efforts.

If Cotendo intends to force this option on their users without an opt-in (the press release doesn't clearly say), then that's one distribution network I'm definitely not using.

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