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Comment Re:I would invest (Score 1) 155

Webvan was great. So was Pets.com. So is Uber.

Unfortunately, none of those companies had/have a chance without investor money to subsidize their services. Once forced to actually pay their costs, they will have no choice but to raise their rates or go out of business. With Webvan and Pets.com, customers left when the rates went up. Same will happen with Uber.

That said, I'm happy to spend investor's money to save a buck. Use it while it's there!

-Chris

Okay, but what exactly is Uber spending $1.2B on? I ask this seriously. I understand a pets.com scenario where you have to build up inventory and all that - it takes capital up front and you won't get it back quickly. But Uber? They have a $100K app and some rented servers? I mean, I'm missing something *really* big somewhere. I don't see how they can blow that much cash with nothing to show for it.

Submission + - Malibu Media stay lifted, motion to quash denied

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: In the federal court for the Eastern District of New York, where all Malibu Media cases have been stayed for the past year, the Court has lifted the stay and denied the motion to quash in the lead case, thus permitting all 84 cases to move forward. In his 28-page decision (PDF), Magistrate Judge Steven I. Locke accepted the representations of Malibu's expert, one Michael Patzer from a company called Excipio, that in detecting BitTorrent infringement he relies on "direct detection" rather than "indirect detection", and that it is "not possible" for there to be misidentification.

Comment Not the first time Office led to published errors (Score 1) 344

Back in the day, old versions of Word only had "co-operation" in its dictionary, and would autocorrect "cooperation" to "Cupertino". This sounded like one of those urban legend things until I searched Google Books for some common constructs. You'll find hundreds of examples like the cupertino of and Cupertino Between (has some real uses but most aren't)

Comment Re:*The* Quickest, Not *Its* Quickest (Score 1) 172

Except this vehicle goes fast in a straight line, handles pretty well (not supercar well, but for 4 door? Definitely.) is ALL electric, seats 7, and is pretty close to being able to drive itself. And your numbers are off by 10x, it was $450M, not $4.9B. Due 2022, paid off in full in 2013.

I think they have earned the right to bleat on a bit.

Comment Re:There's a simpler answer to this (Score 1) 188

I disagree about the "openness being a disadvantage." Seriously, name one thing that the carriers/OEMs do, in terms of software, that adds any significant value. I throw down the gauntlet.

The source cheaper hardware that require different (software) drivers. It adds significant value because they make their products more affordable to people who can't pay $700 for a smart phone. This is why Android is 80% of the smart phone market, and also why it's horribly fragmented. The openness is obviously both an advantage and disadvantage - cheaper phones, more market share, but a nightmare for cutting edge app developers to deal with.

Comment Re:There's a simpler answer to this (Score 1) 188

That's great in theory, but in practice it's horribly restrictive to app developers that want some basic level of consistency among devices. It has nothing to do with "bling" and everything to do with support for all of the apps you use.

More than 10% of our Android app users are still on API 17 or earlier (*4* year old OS). We want to drop support for those devices but 10% is non trivial.

On the other hand, we stopped supporting iOS 6 (also released 4 years ago) so long ago I can't remember, and have required iOS 8 (released 2 years ago) since early this year with no complaints. We are planning on requiring iOS 9 in the next release (otherwise known as THE LATEST until 10 is released this fall) since Apple did not drop support for any devices with the new version.

Comment Re:The actual proposal (Score 1) 188

The article is right that money talks, but to think they'd give any to an OEM. Ha.

Yep, that basically summarizes the whole problem. Money is the solution, Google doesn't want to share, and so OEMs have no incentive to keep their devices up to date.

And why should they? It's the same problem with all "smart" devices - phones, TVs, set top boxes, etc. Any development effort spent on updating last year's devices is expense with no reward. If Google wants to keep Android devices on the latest version the hardware supports they need to create an incentive for OEMs to spend money to do so.

The obvious solution is some sort of revenue sharing on Google Play and Ads. Until they suck it up and share some of the $$$ they are making, Android will always be horribly fragmented.

Comment Re:or, maybe Google screwed up "ownership" (Score 1) 188

That way the OEM is only responsible for a microkernel.

Any embedded developers out there with more info?

Yeah... that's not how microkernels work. In a microkernel the device drivers run outside of the kernel - the kernel just implements the minimal core hardware access/virtualization and OS features. The microkernel for an ARM-based platform would probably be highly portable to many different SoCs, but the drivers outside of the microkernel would be specific to the various peripheral features of the SoC & other hardware on each device.

Comment Open standards? (Score 2) 134

Raspberry Pis and most other hobbyist-SBCs are based around various ARM SoCs, but as a whole the big picture is horribly fragmented, with this board having slightly different bootup-sequence than that board, requiring board-specific steps in software, and this board having totally closed GPU and video-engine software and that board having some parts of them open, and this board supporting VDPAU or such for video-decoding and that board using OMX, cameras being only useable with specific boards, even though they share the exact same CSI-connector and so on -- how high do you value the idea of standardizing some of these things, and do you believe there will be any progress worth mentioning in the next 10 or 20 years?

Personally, I'm feeling quite apathetic about it all. I can't foresee manufacturers being willing to work together for a standard, let alone one that'd be open and freely accessible to hobbyists, and I believe that especially all the GPU and video-engine stuff will be kept under lock and key indefinitely. Part of the problem is that pretty much all of these SBCs are built around tablet-SoCs, with no SoCs specifically designed for hobbyist-use and SBCs.

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