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Bad MEN Of Wireless

Hemos posted about 12 years ago | from the oh-you-bad-bad-man dept.

Hardware 121

justbeatit wrote to us with an article from Red Herring about the bad MEN of Wireless. MEN, of course, means Motorola, Ericsson and Nokia.

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121 comments

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Very Sexist (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3950950)

.. i thought that the world was liberated from that

F pee-pee (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3950951)

It's raining MEN!

Re:F pee-pee (-1, Offtopic)

The Turd Report (527733) | about 12 years ago | (#3950984)

Isn't that the Slashdot theme song?

MEN (0, Offtopic)

stoffel (106124) | about 12 years ago | (#3950952)

AIM: Apple IBM Motorola..

Is that a cool thing???

Re:MEN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3950974)

No.

Re:MEN (1)

stoffel (106124) | about 12 years ago | (#3950994)

Motorola thinks it is..

AIM + MEN = AMEN :-) religious company :-D

Re:MEN (1)

EvilBudMan (588716) | about 12 years ago | (#3951186)

No the MEN just can't AIM right. Whoop's!; they missed.

Time to clean up. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3951212)

If you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweety, wipe the seaty.

Re:MEN (1)

mistermoonlight (80842) | about 12 years ago | (#3951450)

Take the "M" out of AIM.

Life with Macintosh Computers will improve.

And AI just sounds cool. That and IBM can taken PowerPC chips WAAAAAYYYY beyond.

Taco is s-s-stuttering (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3950953)

Rred HHerring? Iis tthat hhow yyou sspell iit?

Re:Taco is s-s-stuttering (-1, Offtopic)

bsDaemon (87307) | about 12 years ago | (#3950963)

HHemos HHerring HHalitosis

Jesus. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3950958)

This sounds like the lead-in to a low-budget gay porn film involving homoerotic antics in cellphone towers.

Over 10 years of brain cancer. (-1, Offtopic)

SpanishInquisition (127269) | about 12 years ago | (#3950960)

They sure are bad.

No news here... (-1, Offtopic)

neilb78 (557698) | about 12 years ago | (#3950969)

I thought everyone already knew all of this? Is there something new here?

Why are we suprised by this? (2, Insightful)

fatwreckfan (322865) | about 12 years ago | (#3950971)

I'm sorry, but I'm getting tired of hearing how this company or that company is stifling innovation. We should expect this by now.

Every company in a position of power in their particular market will do whatever they can to stay in that position.

Are we really suprised that Microsoft isn't the only company in the world that likes to choke out its competition?

Re:Why are we suprised by this? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3951015)

fat wreck chords == r teh ghey FAGOT

Re:Why are we suprised by this? (1)

rushiferu (595361) | about 12 years ago | (#3951165)

It may just be me, but I doubt that there are people working for every single SuperMegaCorp who go in on Monday morning and spend all week trying to think of ways to stifle innovation across the board. I'm sure there are some decisions made for the sole intent of putting direct competitors under pressure, but just because a large corp doesn't help out every single startup that walk in the door doesn't mean they are out to destroy them.
THE PRIMARY GOAL OF A BUSINESS IS TO MAKE MONEY! Investing in new technology is a risk. Sometimes it pays off, sometimes you lose big. If a large corporation carefully chooses the right technology to cultivate they will survive. If not, then they will eventually be knocked off their high horse by another company with the Next Big Thing (TM).

Re:Why are we suprised by this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3951887)

You are so right. "The Art of War" or "The Prince" tell us that this behavior is 1000 years old.

Un huh (-1, Offtopic)

RestonVA (593792) | about 12 years ago | (#3950978)

well, nothing new right?

What else is new? (1)

Noofus (114264) | about 12 years ago | (#3950979)

Its not like we havent seen companies playing dirty tricks before, have we?

OT: Please do not cast return of malloc() (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3951039)

In your sig you cast the return value of malloc(). Please do not do this. Since the language was standardized and malloc() returns a void pointer, the cast is not necessary. At worst, it can hide a very serious error in your code if you forget to include stdlib.h. (If you do this, the compiler assumes malloc() returns an int and the returned value may be improperly aligned .. but since you explicitly cast the return value, you're all but preventing the compiler from ever warning you about this.)

That is all.

Re:OT: Please do not cast return of malloc() (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3951130)

Except you'd notice you hadn't included stdlib.h pretty fucking quickly when you tried to link your executable and get an Undefined Symbol error.

Re:OT: Please do not cast return of malloc() (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3951149)

Do you know anything about C? Have you ever written any C code?

If you don't include stdlib.h, when the compiler sees the call to malloc(), it generates what is called an implicit declaration; namely, it implicitly declares malloc() as a function that returns int and takes an unknown but fixed number of arguments. Things will compile and link. If you are doubtful on this point, try it for yourself (or go back to school.)

However, since malloc() does not in reality return an int, things may misbehave at runtime. Of course, the one easy way to avoid this is to not cast the return value (and save yourself some extra typing as well.)

Re:OT: Please do not cast return of malloc() (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3951215)

No. You even say it yourself; it is an implicit declaration, not an implicit definition. The compiler doesn't assume you're creating the un-declared function, it assumes you have not declared the function. Your compiler will not magically create stub functions for you if it comes across an implicit declaration, malloc() or otherwise.

Besides which, the compiler will throw a god-damn Implicit Declaration warning at you anyway!

Jesus fucking christ on a stick, kids like you write a few fucking lines of code in a highschool, read K&R once and then run around trying to make everyone think you know all about compilers and linkers.

Re:OT: Please do not cast return of malloc() (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3952206)

My friend, I was an observing member of ANSI X3J11 (which is the ANSI C committee, as I doubt you're aware.) I can assure you I know what I'm talking about. You, on the other hand, do not... and you are making a fool out of yourself. All you would need to do is try to compile a simple C program that calls malloc() without including stdlib.h. Come on, just try it. Your nonsense about compilers "creating stub functions" seems to indicate that you have very little idea about how a linker works.

But anyway, just try it. Write a short C program that calls malloc() without including stdlib.h. Compile it with a C compiler (not a C++ compiler; this would be a constraint violation in C++.) Observe the output. Please let us know if you get a linker error. I'm sure we're all dying of suspense. I suspect that you will go red in the face and we will hear no more from you on this subject.

By the way, your compiler may very well warn about an implicit declaration (if should, if it's any good) but it is by no means required to. An implicit declaration is not a constraint violation and therefore there is no requirement that a diagnostic be issued.

Re:OT: Please do not cast return of malloc() (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3952685)

if you're an uber hacker ANSI X3J11 member, whats with the posting as AC?

Re:OT: Please do not cast return of malloc() (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3952744)

An observing member eh? Does that mean you sat around and made coffee for the grown ups?

Both are right, anyway, but it depends on a) The linker you're using & b) The linker options. Some will error with an undefined-symbol error, some will just leave the symbol undefined and be done with it.

you're good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3951236)

you can all tell us whats wrong with this code then:

void main(void) { char* s; char* t; gets(s); puts(t); return 0; }

Yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3952230)

That code is Satanic.

Re:OT: Please do not cast return of malloc() (1)

Noofus (114264) | about 12 years ago | (#3951272)

Things will compile and link.

Trus and False.

It will compile just fine - but then bitch when it tries to link non-existant, implicitly defined code.

Re:OT: Please do not cast return of malloc() (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3951443)

#include <stdio.h>
main()
{
char *s = (char*) malloc(10);
printf("%p\n", s);
exit(0);
}
$ cc m.c
$ ./a.out
0x8049670

Re:OT: Please do not cast return of malloc() (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3951495)

Uh, your point? I see stdlib.h, and I see a cast for the return value of malloc()...say again, what are you trying to show here?

Re:OT: Please do not cast return of malloc() (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3952248)

He's trying to show that the code links fine. (He included stdio.h, not stdlib.h.)

I don't see why this has to be so difficult. All that anybody has to do is just bloody try it.

Re:OT: Please do not cast return of malloc() (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3952635)

Weee! Is tommorows lesson "How libc works"? Make sure to take notes.

Re:OT: Please do not cast return of malloc() (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3952146)

No, it will link just fine. Have you tried it?

malloc() is not "non-existant." It quite plainly exists in the C runtime library. The problem is with the bogus type signature, not the function itself.

Re:OT: Please do not cast return of malloc() (1)

Noofus (114264) | about 12 years ago | (#3951250)

I dont know about how other people code, but when I write in C - I always think about what library needs to be there. Its instinct for me to add appropriate .h files.
Its like driving a car...you don't put the car into first gear without first depressing the clutch...Likewise I never use a library call without first making sure its .h file is there.

But, yes, you are correct...the cast is unnecessary. I leave it there cause 1) it looks cool (it IS just a .sig afterall), and 2) the compiler I always used gave me a warning about not casting.

Re:OT: Please do not cast return of malloc() (1)

SpaceJunkie (579366) | about 12 years ago | (#3951398)

Unless you are using malloc in C++ which is more strongly typed and the compiler will bitch if you do not cast it in this way.

MEN dont like MEN (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3950983)

Dont like MEN?
Try www.flashings.com
content/content

Tell em Ken Peebles sent ya!

So whats new.... (2, Insightful)

h4mmer5tein (589994) | about 12 years ago | (#3950997)

It's business, and big business at that. What MEN are doing is nothing more than standard commercial tactics. Dubious ones admittedly, but nothing that hasnt been done before or will be done again in the future.

The continuous pressures from the stock markets, share holders and investors to keep stock prices high means that companies are venturing further and further into the grey areas of business practice in order to achive and maintain high stock valuations.

Controlling technology is just another way of doing what Enron, Westcomm and KPNQWest did though dodgy financing. In this case its not quite as effective in terms of boosting share prices in the short term, but it's a whole lot more legal.

Re:So whats new.... (2)

Hard_Code (49548) | about 12 years ago | (#3951052)

Yeah, I mean, great economies of scale can be achieved in colluding and consolidating to reduce competition and innovation. I mean, look at all the successfull monopolists of the past. It's just normal for capitalism to destroy itself. Nothing illegal about that. Oh wait, IT IS.

Re:So whats new.... (1)

h4mmer5tein (589994) | about 12 years ago | (#3951092)

Your missing the point. What Enron et al did was clearly and obviously illegal, at least to those in the Finacial world.
Three companies working together to develop new standards and opening them up to others.... Thats a whole new ball game and one the lawyers can keep playing for years before anyone decides whats wrong or right.
As I said before, it's one of those grey areas of business practice where legalities can be argued while the profits are being made.
Cooking the accounts is clearly illegal, what MAN have done isnt. It _may_ be illegal but not obviously so, and they have taken the business decision that the money they stand to make from doing this outweighs what it _might_ cost them _if_ the SEC ( or whoever ) decide that they are going to investigate.

Another day (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3951001)

Another anti-corporate story on /.

This is getting really old. I know that in the /. world, everything is free, and we just run around snorting caffeine and drinking beer and having a good old communal time, but this is the real world and people are interested in making a profit, k?

Re:Another day (1)

SpaceJunkie (579366) | about 12 years ago | (#3951346)

How did this get modded as interesting when surely insightful was more interesting.

But really - yes there is a lot of corporate bashing on Slashdot. And thats not to say that smaller companies are innocent as little girls, but when you are big, and bad and high profile, then someone will point it out when you misbehave. Too many corporations are misbehaving, and the worlds justice systems are showing that they just cannot respond. In fact the American DOJ has shown to be impotent after actually finding Microsoft guilty.

Yes there are ideals of free software, and not free as in beer but free as in speech(please make sure you understand the distinction). Which means you can still make a profit. The question is at what price - I mean how many heads is it moral to stomp on to get there? In the ideal world none. In the current "real" world - a lot of big corporations just dont care because they have no-one else to answer to. Microsofts shareholders have far more power than any number of countries judicial systems.

If you dont care - then go away and continue to be part of the problem - your time will be up when the day comes to adapt or die(in the bankrupcy kind of sense)...

Re:Another day (2)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | about 12 years ago | (#3951833)

You know, if corporations behaved less badly, there'd be fewer anti-corporate stories. This is news, it's news for nerds, and frankly it's fair and objective reporting. Just because the facts conflict with your ideological hobbyhorse doesn't mean that it isn't news.

Forget the MEN... (5, Funny)

Cutriss (262920) | about 12 years ago | (#3951005)

MEN, of course, means Motorola, Ericsson and Nokia.

Who cares? I wanna see the WOMEN of Wireless [playboy.com] !

Re:Forget the MEN... (2, Funny)

Mr. Sketch (111112) | about 12 years ago | (#3951123)

Then perhaps we should add Worldcom and Orinoco to that list to yield the W.O.M.E.N. of wireless.

Re:Forget the MEN... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3952881)

As long as they don't make us see WOMYN of Wireless. shudder.

22nd post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3951011)

22post!

Excuse me, but... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3951014)


How exactly is "MEN" a derisive acronym?

WAP anyone ? (5, Interesting)

MosesJones (55544) | about 12 years ago | (#3951042)

Not invented by the big three, hyped and failed.

Part of the issue here is that there are a few basic tennets for the wireless industry

1) Open Standards, strange to say but the folks at these three are actively pushing such standards

2) Security and reliability, the operators have to support the hardware so they won't buy that which isn't reliable as it costs them more.

3) Investment, these three have invested huge amounts of cash already, and don't want to see Mr Johnny come lately investing 3c and getting a totally different level of ROI.

4) Fear. Of Microsoft, Of diminising returns, Of competition. This is a tough marketplace and they would prefer to be the last man standing, and so anyone new isn't being blocked out by a cartel, but blocked out by 3 companies who see newcommers as potential allies of their competitors.

For someone to complain that they are blocked out of the "wireless messaging" meetings when they don't manufacture handsets is a bit rich. This is like me complaining that I get cut out of UN Security Council meetings just because I'm not a country and don't have an army.

Big business is often bad, but these aer three companies that act against each other to drive down prices and drive up inovation. Small fry on the side who bitch that $1,000 doesn't buy them the same seat at the table as $1,000,000,000 are just as clueless as the .com "millionaires" who bitched that suppliers wouldn't give them as good a deal as they gave Sears.

Welcome to capitalism, if you don't like it... become an accountant.

Re:WAP anyone ? (2, Informative)

Zayin (91850) | about 12 years ago | (#3951178)

Not invented by the big three, hyped and failed.

According to this [wapsight.com] document, WAP was created by the WAP forum, which originally consisted of Phone.com, Nokia, Ericsson and Motorola. So it _was_ invented by the big three. (plus Phone.com)

Duh... (2, Interesting)

Jacer (574383) | about 12 years ago | (#3951044)

If you're having a hard time coming up with a great new idea, what's the easiest way to stay in buisness? keep others from coming up with great new ideas, or prevent them from using them. We all know money is the root of evil, and we all yearn for it, are we not all evil? Being evil, you'd have to agree with their practices, in their position, but if what they do affects you in any negative way, you bitch.

Thats (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3951101)

"love of money is the root of all evil". Not money as such. The responsibility, and blame, lie in ourselves, not in money itself.

Re:Thats (2, Insightful)

Jacer (574383) | about 12 years ago | (#3951162)

It's a chicken-and-the-egg argument. Is money evil for luring us, or are we evil for our love of it.

Re:Duh... (3, Informative)

JimPooley (150814) | about 12 years ago | (#3951644)

We all know money is the root of evil
This is a common misquote. The actual phrase is "The love of money is the root of all evil"

Re:Duh... (1)

Jacer (574383) | about 12 years ago | (#3951966)

I wasn't quoting anything, I was saying money is the root of all evil. If it's so commonly misquoted then maybe more people think it's the other way around.

Re:Duh... (1)

ed1park (100777) | about 12 years ago | (#3952118)

No, no, no.

The actual phrase is "*I* am the root of all evil!"

telnet RootOfAllEvil

Re:Duh... (1)

NeonSpirit (530024) | about 12 years ago | (#3951849)

Consider this pedantic but, money is not the root of all evil, it's the LOVE of money. Check out this [true-wealth.com] for more information.

Are MEN even relevant? (3, Interesting)

interiot (50685) | about 12 years ago | (#3951091)

On the other hand, slashdot was recently complaining that Japan gets all the cool stuff [slashdot.org] , which includes cooler cell phones with higher data throughput, full-color screens, and video telephony. Seeing as how the MEN have failed in the japanese market, are the MEN even very relevant?

Re:Are MEN even relevant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3951129)

I suppose you didn't saw Nokia Japanese phones, which are as nice as the other ones they have ...
Shame those are not available to us here.

Treuf

Re:Are MEN even relevant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3952163)

Uh, dude, get a clue. The "M" in MEN built the KDDI network. Hardly a "failure."

They know not what they do (5, Informative)

gosand (234100) | about 12 years ago | (#3951112)

I worked at the M in MEN for about 5 years, in the cellular division. Believe me, they don't really know what they are doing. It may sound logical to say they know that they are stifling competition, but nobody there could wipe their butt unless there was an SOP document showing them how. It was a huge, iceberg of a company, where it took months to get anything done. We had an intern who was there for 4 months, and he never got his UNIX account created. We had to submit the proper paperwork to someone, and they had to interoffice mail it to someone else, who then gave it to the manager of the sysadmin, etc etc etc. It was excruciating. We submitted the papwork the day after he started. We called, emailed, you name it for 4 months. No account was ever created, it was always "in process".

So as a company they may be part of a group (MEN) that collectively keeps their own interests to heart, but there is no grand conspiracy as far as I could tell. Unless it is between the VPs or CEOs, or other people who make those important decisions. I was just a grunt that got sick of working for a lumbering giant with a cult-like company culture.

Re:They know not what they do (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3951158)

Believe me, they don't really know what they are doing.

Yeah, I can coroborate that. Example: One of our customers wants our software to interface with their switch. When we went to the manufacturer (Who isn't one of MEN but whos name begins with S) to get a spec for the interface that their equipment has. They swore blind that what we trying to do was impossible.

So, one of our developers spent a week with access to said model of switch. Lo and behold, he achieves the (apparently) impossible! I'm not even sure we've bothered to tell the manuacturer.

Mobile Telecoms a funny 'ol business though.

Re:They know not what they do (1)

gnalre (323830) | about 12 years ago | (#3951172)

Strange used I worked for E. They could'nt tell there arse from there elbow either. I think it was more a case of the blind leading the blind. They said we will lead you into the future and then went over a cliff, taking there customers with them

Re:They know not what they do (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3952311)

They could'nt tell there arse from there elbow either.

Maybe it was because their employees didn't know where the ' goes in COULDN'T, and didn't know the difference between THERE and THEIR...

Re:They know not what they do (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3951214)

I work at the M now, in cellular. Things are a lot leaner now, and they move a lot faster.

Generally, no-one knows where the wireless industry is headed. The one thing that everyone does know is that 3G has the potential to become the most expensive suicide note in history!

There are still a lot of folks emplyed in the wireless industry. If 3G doesn't work there are going to be a lot of unemployed engineers.

Re:They know not what they do (1)

superflex (318432) | about 12 years ago | (#3952158)

Hey, can you tell me who I can kill^H^H^H^Hthank for writing the iDEN documentation? Sweet mother of shit, sentences like "CCITT SS7 signaling is used between the MSC and the HLR and the MSC and the SMS-SC." are rife throughout it. I don't think I've ever read something with so many acronyms.

Re:They know not what they do (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3951312)

What did said intern need a UNIX account for? It sounds suspiciously like he did SOMETHING productive at the company for four months....

Re:They know not what they do (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3951570)

It sounds suspiciously like he did SOMETHING productive at the company for four months....

It depends. When I worked at Motorola briefly a while ago, some interns got cool projects to work on, and other jot to make photocopies for a summer. The internship program at Motorola is generally good, but the individual experiences vary quite widely.

The cool-project interns got UNIX accounts right away...so, it seems the intern in the earlier post was just unlucky.

Re:They know not what they do (2)

gosand (234100) | about 12 years ago | (#3951697)

What did said intern need a UNIX account for? It sounds suspiciously like he did SOMETHING productive at the company for four months....

Back then, everyone had Unix terminals at their desk instead of PCs. 10 people per server.

He was still able to do his work, simply because we had some lab accounts that he could use to login. He didn't have email access though, cause he didn't have an account. That was a real PITA.

Ahh, the days of using Mosaic, Zmail, Framemaker, shell scripting, telnet, ftp, talk, etc. on a daily basis.

BOFH for M (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3952911)

What did said intern need a UNIX account for? It sounds suspicious...

I was once a BOFH with M. It was my job to determine whether or not interns (or full-blown employees for that matter) actually really needed UNIX accounts or not... and to deny them without telling their supervisors why... deliberately making it look like either a big bloated bureaucracy dragging its feet or a conspiracy against them, whichever scenario best suited our egos. Most requests for new accounts came because somebody wanted to poke their noses around systems where they didn't belong, or perhaps to spy on company secrets, etc. All in the name of paranoid security, and justification of access to expensive systems that were really meant for elite users only, we did our jobs well and took great pride in doing them.

Re:They know not what they do (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3951652)

Believe me, they don't really know what they are doing.

I think this isn't universally true at Motorola. I worked there several years ago in one department that was SW-CMM Level 5, and most people there seemed pretty sharp. However, their general UNIX network and their network admins left a great deal to be desired. Their UNIX servers were vintage early-90's (really old Sun servers, I believe), couldn't handle the load they subjected them to (lots of users using new software on old computers tends to suck), and the reliability was poor (due to poor network architecture, I believe). Since then, they may very well have improved things; at least, I really hope they did.

Re:They know not what they do (2)

gosand (234100) | about 12 years ago | (#3952415)

I think this isn't universally true at Motorola. I worked there several years ago in one department that was SW-CMM Level 5, and most people there seemed pretty sharp. However, their general UNIX network and their network admins left a great deal to be desired. Their UNIX servers were vintage early-90's (really old Sun servers, I believe),

Heh, probably the same equipment that they used when I was there. ('93-'98) When I started, we had the old black and white Sun boxes. The kind where you could get screen dumps of anyone else on your server, or you could change their background. Man, those were unsecure pieces of crap. Then we upgraded to newer servers. Those are probably the same ones that you used.

I agree, there were bright people there, but they were caught in the same mess as everyone else, and it still took forever to get anything accomplished.

Wanna know how to bring a server to it's knees?

write a shell script called "hose", with this as the contents:
./hose &

When you run it with (hose &), it will eat all the cpu on the server, but it probably won't crash it, it will eventually taper off and stay at a really high level. Nobody else will be able to log in, and even if they do, they can't kill the process (it is constantly changing). I did this on accident once, and went immediately to our Unix admin. They were going to reboot the server. I said "wait a minute" and went back to my terminal. Can you guess what I typed to get it to stop?

rm hose

I wonder if that will still work today, I haven't tried it lately.

Childish whining (2, Insightful)

mlofroos (549209) | about 12 years ago | (#3951121)

The Red Herring article quotes "complaints", "claims" and other loosely justified attacks on the companies, which, quite frankly, border on slander. At the same time, many are missing a crucial point; it's not MEN that are making technological mischoices so much as the carriers.

If I had a grocery store and customers wanted to buy yesterday's bananas, then, by Jove, that's what I'd be selling them!

On the lighter side, how about this for an acronym: Siemens, LUcent Technologies, Nortel Networks?

Re:Childish whining (2)

SirSlud (67381) | about 12 years ago | (#3951245)

Maybe you missed the part about the carriers maybe voiding their warranties if they went with non-vendor approved solutions.

Similar leverage to the MAP (Minimum Advertised Pricing) that got the labels dragged through court (they lost) 2 years ago.

The carriers may have made the mistake in borrowing so heavily in the first place, but I think you're missing the big picture - that we shouldn't have to make laws and rules to prevent companies from behaving in fasions that run counter to the purpose of capitalism (to raise everybody's wealth) .. in acting out of pure self interest and not in the interest of technology or the market, they are spoiling the change for everybody who enjoy the fruits of capitalism.

Or are we just so disillusioned these days, we don't expect anyone to do anything good unless we have a team of riot police standing by to enforce the order? If we are, fuck that. People are forgetting that altruism is the most 'profitable' course of action in the end for everybody. Any other action designed to profit at the *expense* of progress and co-operation (and it can be done quite easily as we have seen) should be publicly condemned.

Re:Childish whining (1)

mlofroos (549209) | about 12 years ago | (#3952004)

Granted, I didn't pay much attention to the part on warranties - but similar practices are in place in most industries, right? You overclock your processor -> warranty voided.

Of course it would be cordial if companies cooperated with 3rd party solution providers to approve these solutions, but seeing as how that competes with MEN's own products, I understand their reluctance. At the end of the day, capitalism isn't altruistic. The purpose of any company is to produce return on the investment of it's owners, not to serve some greater purpose of technological development.

I agree with you that this is not how things necessarily should be. So far, there just haven't been viable alternatives.

analogy wars (1)

phriedom (561200) | about 12 years ago | (#3952499)

If you can't see the difference between telling a carrier that they cannot upgrade part of their system with a competitor's product without voiding the warranty of the entire system, and voiding a warranty of someone who deliberately operates equipment beyond it's designed voltages, clock rates, and temperatures, then I don't think we can have a rational discussion.

Re:Childish whining (2)

SirSlud (67381) | about 12 years ago | (#3952506)

> So far, there just haven't been viable alternatives.

There is something called public opinion that is more powerful than anybody can comprehend.

If everybody just started disliking folks that operatate in the world of "is" instead of "should", we'd be fine. As it stands, going "Hey, thats how it is" is part of the reason that we can't seem to find a viable alternative.

> capitalism isn't altruistic

Sure it is. Competition can be altruistic if everybody participating understands that a little competition will fuel people's desire to make stuff better, faster, cheaper, etc. It's only once its participants start beliving that using every single possible advantage and loopwhole to exploit their leverage is fair game does it cease to be. That's not capitalism, because capitalism was never meant to be that. Gains are meant to come on the back of development and innovation; any other means of competition is abusing the rules of the game and ultimately doing the league a disservice.

I know thats not how it is right now, but that sure as hell isn't going to make me excuse anybody from straying from the noble goals of capitalism. I won't be sympathetic because some company sinks to whatever low the next company does even if it's the only means to that company's economic survival. Manipulating grey areas of rules and laws is as inexcusable as abusing the black and white rules and laws, doubly so when most people seem to agree that the aforementionned questionable behaviour is not the kind of behaviour capitalism was designed and enforced to encourage.

Re:Childish whining (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3952180)

How is the vendor financing any different then GM or Ford offering you lower financing then banks will to buy a car. Let's face it, the competition was there for the company's to offer vendor financing at cheaper rates then bonds and banks. The wireless company's needed to update their networks. It's hard to continually afford to upgrade your network and that's why the industry is slowing down. When are people going to understand that it takes Billions to upgrade the networks and it's hard to do this every 2 years and doesn't make any business sense. Most people don't even want to pay for the 3G services either.

Interesting... but I don't know... (2, Interesting)

BenSnyder (253224) | about 12 years ago | (#3951122)

Just yesterday, Virgin (as in airlines/music stores/etc.) brought their line of mobile phones to the US market. Being questioned on Fox News last night, Richard Branson said that the US looks like a good market because only 45% of people have cell phones (where in England it's 85% and in some other European countries, as high as 90%). He claims that in doing research with the 18-25 market, he found that the average non-mobile phone user doesn't feel there's a good brand name they can latch onto (in spite of MEN apparently). They've co-branded their phone with MTV and have gotten it into over 12,000 retail locations - as of yesterday. In addition, they're adding some kind of musical function to their phones - but he didn't elaborate in the interview.

So, I dunno - it all sounds like capitalism to me. Maybe it's a screwy Major Corporation vs. Major Corporation capitalism with no place for the small business person, but it's capitalism just the same.

Re:Interesting... but I don't know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3951316)

Its higher than 85% in the UK. Pretty much the only markets left are children under 12, and the elderly. Heard it from the horses mouth (As it were) of one of the big-cheeses of a UK telco.

MEN (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3951142)

They're baaad M...

You shut your mouth!

I get it... (4, Funny)

Gorimek (61128) | about 12 years ago | (#3951153)

MEN are the NME.

WHO CARES ? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3951193)

Not me.

Reality? (2, Interesting)

Dexter77 (442723) | about 12 years ago | (#3951203)

Atleast there is competition between those three, at PC OS market there is/was no competition at all againts M$.

All of those three are now starting to support Symbian OS and Java. Would the situation be the same if there were 20 companies with each having 5% share of the market?

To me as a customer it's alot easier when there are only few models to choose from and even those have the same OS.

As a programmer it's very nice to see my Java code working in all of those phones.

How do you define optimal market? Thousand companies, hundred companies, ten companies or just a one company?

Re:Reality? (2)

mellifluous (249700) | about 12 years ago | (#3952565)

Not only are they supporting Symbian - most are agressively promoting it. All three of these companies are very worried of the MS threat on the horizon. MS would love to leverage its current market control to make an MS OS the defacto standard on portable devices.

Ericsson (4, Interesting)

little1973 (467075) | about 12 years ago | (#3951275)

I am working for Ericsson and IMHO, Ericsson is not a bad company. And I think it does not have a market dominance which it had a few years ago. Its shares are standing quite low at the moment and from the inside its future is not so bright.

IMO, Ericsson troubles can be traced back to one problem which name is AXE. AXE is a telephone exchange and the most successful product of Ericsson. All over the world you can find AXEs in exchanges. The problem is that everyone already bought an AXE, so there is almost no market to sell more. Another reason is that AXE is quite old. It was developed in the '70s and it starts showing its age. There were projects to create a new type of AXE, but they failed.

This is the reason why Ericsson partnered with Juniper. The future is IP telephony and Ericsson needs a partner to develop its next flagship product.

As for the article, it claims that MEN are holding back wireless technology. I think this is not true. From the inside it seems the carriers do not have the money to buy the state-of-the-art 3G and UMTS equipment because they threw away their money at the UMTS tenders. Ericsson hopes in 2003 the carriers will overcome their predicament and start buying. Otherwise, lay offs will continue...

Everything I wrote in this comment is my personal opinion only and NOT an official statement from Ericsson.

Re:Ericsson (2, Interesting)

gnalre (323830) | about 12 years ago | (#3951799)

True, one problem Ericsson has is that it's telephone exchange market is mature so there is no growth(Of course that what ENGINE was suppossed to solve). However it has a few others.

Mobile phones. Ericsson has shown again and again they cannot produce consumer products. Phones,PDA'a, bluetooth,etc. The company is to slow moving to meet consumer demands. They were just a black hole to poor money down. They should of sold the mobile phone division off years ago. However the management believed you needed a finger in all mobile pies.

Secondly lack of direction, the number of cancelled projects in ericsson is legendary, and most departments spend there time in fighting. As for juniper, it was the kind of company that ericsson needed. However I think they sold there stake months ago.

Ericsson spent heavily betting on 3G. Unfortunately I do not think it is going to happen.

Re:Ericsson (1)

vpreHoose (587524) | about 12 years ago | (#3951827)

The future is NOT IP telephony.
Cellular carriers have already got exactly enough bandwidth in the ground to carry their cellular traffic, both 2, 2.5 and 3G. Bandwidth is expensive.
VoIP only makes sense if you have infinite amounts of bandwidth, or if you believe the Cisco BS, which is about the same thing. The latency and packet delay will kill VoIP if used on a carrier scale as the bandwidth requirements are uneconomic, or if are interfacing with a cellular network for the same reason.
They need to look for something else to save them. It won't be 3G either.

Bad men of wireless (4, Funny)

kirkb (158552) | about 12 years ago | (#3951460)

Is it just me, or does "bad men of wireless" sound like one of those "beefcake" calendars, possibly featuring shirtless RF engineers in provocative poses [shudder...]

Re:Bad men of wireless (2)

sharkey (16670) | about 12 years ago | (#3952107)

beefcake" calendars, possibly featuring shirtless RF engineers in provocative poses

Kind of like the 7-UP truck driver calendar?

ahem. (1)

altgrr (593057) | about 12 years ago | (#3951542)

With so much need, the dominant positions of MEN are anything but guaranteed...MEN are vulnerable...go beat the crap out of MEN...MEN's dominance could soon be over...

Is 'Dan' Briody actually
(a) a pseudonym;
(b) a feminist?

just be a tit? (0, Offtopic)

AdrianX (570785) | about 12 years ago | (#3951591)

justbeatit wrote to us with an article from Red Herring about the bad MEN of Wireless. MEN, of course, means Motorola, Ericsson and Nokia.

just be a tit? odd choice for a username

Bah.. this is OLD. (1)

Gainax (127325) | about 12 years ago | (#3951681)

It just might be worth a subscription to Red Herring. I saw this in print 2 (two) months ago.

Openwave not welcome? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3951804)

Jesus - is this a surprise? After the way unwiredplanet/phone.com/openwave so totally f*cked up the development of HDML/WML/WAP (HDML - has anyone ever seen a worse spec?), I wouldn't let them into my party either. I seriously believe that openwave's total bungling of HDML/WML/WAP and their collection of shitty browsers put this technology behind at least five years. (As the CTO of a wireless company, I have unfortunately seen this first hand. openwave IS the enemy.)

If you don't believe this - you've clearly never tried to develop an application for even two different "WAP compliant" browsers. What a clusterf*ck.

And people are surprised that wireless hasn't taken off? The best thing that MEN could do at this point is realize that "market defined" standards are a disaster, and that they should just determine a standard and force it down people's throats. Anything short of this is just going to continue to hamper adoption (and don't fool yourself - the adoption of wireless "standards" is non-existent).

Carries have no money/people don't want it (1)

Falrick (528) | about 12 years ago | (#3952349)

And at a time when so many economies are struggling around the world, the need has never been greater for wireless carriers to have access to next-generation technologies that increase efficiency and that might get businesses and consumers spending on telecommunications again.

Has he seen how the carriers are doing lately? MEN couldn't sell the new technology to the carriers no matter how badly they wanted to. The carriers have no money to buy the infrastructure or even pay someone to go out and set it up! It is really expensive to buy the equipment considering that its only your early adopters that will actually use it to begin with. That's a pretty small niche market.

Couple that with the fact that there is no killer app for 3G networks. People don't know what to do with all of that bandwidth that you'll be getting with 3G. Hell, MEN don't know what to do with it. Even if you are just talking about coverage increases, you'll have to buy a multi-mode phone to work in your new 3G systems (we'll say IS-2000 CDMA) then be able to switch down to IS-95 CDMA, our current CDMA systems, and also be able to work in AMPS, lovely analog mode that for some reason, I believe (though I could be dead wrong here), is required of phones by some government regulatory body; most likely the FCC.

Early adopter phones are expensive, getting all of those modes into one phone can be a challenge which leads to higher phone prices. I'd love to see it, but I don't think that its going to happen all that soon.

Re:Carries have no money/people don't want it (2)

mellifluous (249700) | about 12 years ago | (#3952533)

To clarify the situation with AMPS-
Individual phones are not required to support AMPS, but carriers who operate in the 800 MHz band are still required to maintain AMPS compatibility on their networks. The theory being (at least in part) that anyone with an AMPS handset should be able to at least place an emergency call wherever there is an 800 MHz network. Hopefully the US will take the European approach and finally permit carriers to start turning this off soon and reclaiming some bandwidth.

Red Herring Indeed (4, Insightful)

mellifluous (249700) | about 12 years ago | (#3952511)

I think the facts here are much simpler - the economy is down, and all of these companies are suffering. Even Nokia's stock is a small fraction of its peak despite consistent profitability. They aren't deploying new technologies as fast as some would like because these things all cost money (surprise!). Believe me, Nokia, Motorola, and Ericsson, would all love to deploy new technologies because it would drive equipment renewal. In fact, all of these companies have been moving towards licensing more of their technology, so that others can develop upon it.

The article has it backwards: These three all rely on product renewal for growth.

MEN = M$oft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3952631)

Wanna know another thing Ericsson and Nokia like to do? Tell carriers 'Hey we'll give you all these free handsets... you just have to use our WAP gateway' or they will give discounts on the WAP gateway if the carrier buys X amount of phones.

On the other hand, Openwave is truly open-standards based, just look at the WAP forum which Openwave started and MEN attends regularly.. fuck tards.

its not MEN thats holding it back. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3952726)

there just isnt money from the carriers to buy and sell the services. japan uses cdma (au, not docomo) and they have 1xrtt commercial since apr1 2002. so why didnt verizon or sprint do it on apr1? the technology's there, the carriers just arent selling yet, thats all.

why thats the case is another story. imho, americans just arent ready to shell out money for "the good stuff".
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