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Comment A Great Business Model (Score 1) 556

For years, Slashdoters have been trying to apply a three-step business model where the third step is "Profit". Rossi has shown the world an alternative template for a business model that is likely to be much more successful:

  1. Customers buy your device.
  2. Profit!
  3. ....something....

That's worth a (US) patent in its own right!

Comment Re:Best Distro to try this new KDE with? (Score 1) 212

I went with 64-bit on the laptop because it was a fresh install and my laptop has 8GB of RAM. There's probably no need to "fix" your install if you have invested much extra time in setting it up for yourself. 64-bit can be a bit faster, but probably not so much that you'd notice it for everyday tasks. Though some tasks, like audio encoding and general compression, are a bit faster:

In other news, Fedora 15 just pushed out Linux kernel 2.6.40 (aka 3.0)! Thanks Fedora people! I hope it fixes my stability issues. If it does, I'll be happy to stay with Fedora and will probably move my desktop machine to it instead of Kubuntu.

Comment Re:Best Distro to try this new KDE with? (Score 1) 212

I got a Sandy Bridge laptop recently with only the Intel HD 3000 graphics. I was aware that Kubuntu 11.04 wasn't going to play nice with the GPU, as the kernel was too old, so I installed 64-bit "Fedora 15 KDE Plasma Desktop Spin" (catchy name) on it instead and it worked surprisingly well. Fedora have back-ported lots of the Linux and X/Mesa stuff for the Intel HD 3000 GPU to kernel 2.6.38 and that sold it to me. It locks up a few times a week, though, so it's not perfect. It still needs a few more back-ports.

I tried a clean install of Kubuntu 11.04 64-bit on a separate partition of my desktop machine (AMD), but I lost count of the number of things that were severely broken with it in only five minutes of toying about. No thanks. I'm staying with Kubuntu 10.10 32-bit on that machine for now, but I've finally lost all faith in it; as KDE 4 gets steadily better, Kubuntu gets steadily worse.

Having found that "yum" on Fedora has solved the "RPM hell" that made me abandon RedHat for Debian a decade ago, and having migrated to Kubuntu half a decade ago because Debian+KDE was too much of a headache to configure and maintain, I'm on the lookout for any distro that can do a decent KDE desktop with good Intel HD 3000 support (i.e., Linux 3.x) and the minimum of packaging/configuration fuss. Fedora 15 should keep me going until then.

Comment Re:Article dated 21st Dec 2005? (Score 1) 160

Why is a nearly 5 year old article making news just now?

There are lots of discovery stories reported on Slashdot and they always end with, "It will probably be a number of years before it appears on retailer shelves." Well, this story ends the very same way, but this time the amount of rampant speculation in the comments can be kept to a minimum, as here we are "a number of years" later.

I say, more of this sort of thing, Slashdot! It keeps the trolls at bay.

Comment Doesn't Work For Me (Score 1) 830

I tried feeding a bit of a DNA sequence into my Java compiler. I was hoping to run the program and simulate some protein, but all I got was this: 'class' or 'interface' expected
1 error

What am I doing wrong? Does someone want to check if it works any better with a C compiler? Maybe I need to RTFA again.

Comment Re:Something will topple Facebook... (Score 1) 293

It is not necessarily because something "better" comes along. It may be entirely sufficient for something "else" to come along. (Allegedly) teenagers using MySpace discovered that their parents had signed up, so they had to go somewhere else to protect their "privacy" and Facebook became the new darling. Now that their parents have signed up to Facebook, the teenagers are probably on the look-out for something else.

Another thing that mitigates the network effect is that these services are not mutually exclusive. A user and a few friends can sign up to a new service and watch it grow while still maintaining a presence in the old service. Perhaps the user will only post the more incriminating pics of their "private" lives on the new service, so that their parents won't see them. Thus, a new exclusive club is started, but a day will come when it is not exclusive enough and users seeking more "privacy" will move on so they can feel special again.

It is hard to argue with TFA that wrapping a few open standards around photo sharing sites, contact lists, e-mail, etc. might be enough to start a revolution--might. With e-mail, for example, we can have traditional mail applications (MUAs), web-mail, IMAP, SMTP, POP3, etc., but they all work together and users can choose whatever combination they want to do their e-mailing. All it takes is some cleverness and we can have a similar profusion of broadly compatible aggregation applications that perform a similar role to Facebook. We can already see this happening with the way Facebook support is being integrated into, for example, MS Outlook and smartphones.

Comment Re:Why optical? (Score 1) 122

Let me see if I can explain this in 'lay' terms:

To implement a parallel bus, you have to have each and every wire be within a certain variance.

Sorry, you lost me at the end of the very first sentence. I realise now why you put the word "lay" in quotes. What is a "variance"?

Comment It Doesn't Add Up (Score 2, Insightful) 315

The author finds "some good data on Wikipedia" (respect!) showing that the "lithography size" will be reduced from 32nm in 2010 to 11nm in 2022. He calculates this to be a "volumetric improvement" of 50%. There I was thinking that it was an 846% improvement, but I hadn't taken the third dimension into account.

Nevertheless, I think the author has a point, but he is missing part of the picture: NAND flash SSDs may not replace HDDs any time soon, but other types of non-volatile memory may well do so.

HDD densities will probably increase, but the slow access and transfer times and the static unrecoverable error rate will probably relegate them to use for back-ups or as cheap mass-storage devices for non-critical data. SSDs, however, are not restricted by the limits of NAND flash. Non-volatile memory technologies such spin transfer torque RAM and phase-change RAM have a good chance of replacing NAND flash memory in SSDs. These technologies are available today. Memristors are probably the most exciting development, as they promise a breakthrough in memory density. HP have a memristor-based design that could make petabyte SSDs possible, but we'll probably have to wait a few more years to see if that pans out. There are also major advances being made in fabrication technology, with cheap "printable" electronics already in consumer devices.

Real random-access memory that is cheap, reliable and fast is probably only a few years away from the mass market. There is so much money to be made by such an advance that R&D spending will not be lacking. So, the author is wrong; SSDs will dominate in the near future, just not NAND flash SSDs.

P.S. I don't have any SSDs because they are too small and expensive compared to my 1TB HDDs!

Comment Re:A Little Primer on Ireland (Score 3, Informative) 155

for the sake of appearances or to placate foreign interests

The blasphemy law was passed because the constitution prohibits blasphemy and requires that laws be passed to enforce that prohibition. Nothing had been done about this for decades and nobody cared. The government suddenly decided that someone might take a case against them for failure to legislate for blasphemy, so we got this law that was described as being a trivial law to tie up a few constitutional loose ends and sure the fine is only E100,000! Of course, the proper solution would have been to change the constitution, but...well...down with that sort of thing!

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