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Transmeta Closing Up Shop

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the fair-thee-well dept.

Businesses 413

Ashutosh Lotlikar wrote to mention an article on the Business 2.0 site stating that chip producer Transmeta is going out of business. From the article: "The company's Crusoe family of microprocessors promised lower power consumption and heat generation, enabling the creation of laptops with longer battery life. Critics bashed the chips for being underpowered compared with Intel's latest and greatest. Transmeta struggled to find a market, and recently it sold off most of its chipmaking business for $15 million to Culturecom Holdings, a Hong Kong company better known for publishing comic books."

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RTFA (5, Informative)

IO ERROR (128968) | more than 8 years ago | (#12732062)

Transmeta isn't going out of business just yet.

They're still working on putting out a chip based on LongRun2 [transmeta.com], which reduces transistor leakage [semiconduc...ossary.com]. This is very important for cutting power consumption [eetimes.com] and increasing CPU speed. They've also licensed the technology to Fujitsu [transmeta.com], NEC [eweek.com] and Sony [eweek.com], none of which have released a product based on it yet.

It's quite possible, though apparently unlikely, that Transmeta will turn things around and manage to survive. However, Intel is already all over the leakage problem [intel.com], so this may well be the end of Transmeta.

Re:RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732100)

I suppose I need to sell all my TMTA shares...

Re:RTFA (0)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 8 years ago | (#12732144)

Transmeta isn't going out of business just yet.

Hope you're wrong. With this evil DRM conspiracy going on between Apple, Microsoft, Intel, AMD, RIAA and Hollywood... what company is more likely to fight for truth and justice than a bunch of comic book geeks?

These sound like just the right guys to be owning a chip making company!

Re:RTFA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732248)

The organisation doing the outsourcing must be able to show that they applied due dilligence when qualifying the suppler/service provider. You cannot be permitted to outsource responsibility.

If Ford sell you a car with tires imported from another country and they keep blowing up, it is still Ford's responsibility./p

Re:RTFA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732267)

I actually went to RTFA because I wanted to see just who it was claiming that the Mac installed base was 16% and what do I find?

Software Publishers Association (SPA) estimates that 16 percent of computer users are on Macs.

OK, I won't worry too much about bias now, though if someone has a reason to think the SPA is off-base, please let us all know. This is truly something to celebrate. Now, let's get the Linux installed base to 16%.../p

Re:RTFA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732148)

Are you talking to me?

Re:RTFA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732186)

got cell??

tmta in cell NOT INTEL !!!!
cell is the next greatest thing!! intel amd old technology !!!
and do not call me a coward anonomous poster you intel pumping ass webbastard

Re:RTFA (5, Funny)

William Robinson (875390) | more than 8 years ago | (#12732199)

Transmeta isn't going out of business just yet....so this may well be the end of Transmeta.

By any chance, Are you lawyer? :)

define "destroyed" (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732238)

It's pretty clear that even cross-cut shredders won't do the job. There are commerical ventures [churchstre...nology.com] that charge by the volume of shredded paper for document reconstruction. Scan all the pieces (strip, cross-cut or confetti) and let imaging software piece them together. The slow step is taping the shreds to white paper for scanning. Seems that incineration, some beefy acid, or some kind of serious ink solvent would be needed to comply.

-Ted/p

Let me see if I can follow this. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732277)

Given the data points:

- The vast majority of studies estimate the installed base of the macintosh at somewhere around three to five percent.
- One study estimates it at sixteen percent.

The conclusion is:

- The studies estimating at three to five percent must have been doing something wrong

D...id I miss something here?

Transmeta (5, Funny)

Monkeman (827301) | more than 8 years ago | (#12732067)

Who?

Re:Transmeta (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732172)

weren't they that shelter that took in a homeless linus torvalds in the late 90's and put him to work on a silicon valley ranch?

Told You So! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732068)

Bahahha, suckers!

Re:Told You So! (4, Funny)

internetjunkiegeorge (887792) | more than 8 years ago | (#12732083)

And the Intel deathstar approached...

Re:Told You So! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732099)

The Banias core pretty much killed off Transmeta. It's had both performance and low power. And when put in sub-notebooks, it could achieve similar battery life.

Crusoe was never able to achieve the performance leaps promised so many times.

Re:Told You So! (2, Funny)

JenovaSynthesis (528503) | more than 8 years ago | (#12732115)

Aren't you forgetting AMD's Jem'Hadar soldiers too?

Re:Told You So! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732146)

Aren't you forgetting AMD's Jem'Hadar soldiers too?

bad analogy. Weren't the Jem'Hadar foot soldiers of the mighty (code)morphin' rulers of the dominion? :-P I need to get a life.

Re:Told You So! (2, Funny)

JenovaSynthesis (528503) | more than 8 years ago | (#12732196)

Yeah. But they'd be a better analagy than say a Borg Cube since that would fit Intel more.

And you gotta love the Might Morphin' Power Changelings

Re:Told You So! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732239)

Step 2: Buy a stove that can burn paper

Some cities (at least it's the case here in Vancouver) have zoning bylaws that don't allow regular wood (or, by implication, paper) burning fireplaces and stoves to be installed anymore. This may not be feasible./p

Re:Told You So! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732302)

The browser's "user agent" header sent to a general interest site like Google would seem a far better way.

I run a website that gets a lot of hits due to information links carried on bittorrent sites. I see a startling high percentage of firefox, linux, and various unixes. I therefore conclude that Bittorrent is at this time not for the average idiot, although it is getting more that way every day.

Now google, on the other hand, is not completely without bias. The people in my family who are very clueless about the internet do not use google, they use the default MSN search that comes with Internet Exploder. This is a big deal I think. Lots of people who are clueless use these default searches, not to mention people whose browser has been hyjacked and must use the hyjacked search site. Those people are not (and won't be) running linux, firefox, or unixes.

So I think to really get some meaningful stats about installed bases for Firefox, Opera, Linux, and the like, we must survey lots of sites (1000's) from all manner of target demographics. Any other method of statistical analysis would have some bias./p

Re:Told You So! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732187)

That's no moon...

Re:Told You So! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732271)

People may buy a Mac, then install Linux or *BSD onto it.

That's something I've never understood.

Mac hardware's nothing special - it's primarily the software that makes Macs so great in comparison to a typical Windows/Linux/BSD PC. Why the heck would anyone buy a Mac and then install a Linux on it? Just doesn't make sense./p

instruction set (5, Interesting)

morcheeba (260908) | more than 8 years ago | (#12732090)

I wonder what would have happened if Transmeta had released the instruction set for the native VLIW instruction-set processor [wikipedia.org] that runs the x86 emulation layer. Sure, it's probably very hard to code for, but may have offered a tremendous advantage for some applications.

Also, hopefully OQO [oqo.com] and others have a backup plan so this doesn't put a kink in the handheld pc market.

would have been pointless (2, Insightful)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 8 years ago | (#12732122)

The whole architecture was build upon the premise that the core is only accessable via the code morphing software, so the different crusoe chips hadnt even binary compatible cores.

Re:would have been pointless (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732247)

I've never seen shredders as beefy as those for sale in the civilian world.

They're available [officezone.com], but I haven't actually seen one in use outside of the military or defense contractors.


Great news, but in a way I don't care (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732268)

This is good news to hear. In a way, it confirms what I always suspected (especially since I keep my Macs longer than most of my equivalent PC friends -- and I'm a real gearhead). When you get down to it, though, I don't really care how much marketshare/install base Apple has, so long as they can keep cranking out the excellent products that they do.*

*Please keep in mind that I do realize the connection between profitability and new product development. All I'm saying is that the numbers could mean less as long as I'm a happy customer. And boy am I happy.

Re:would have been pointless (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732303)

820? That's a very small sample size, so you can't really expect the results to be reliable. Besides, what's your site about? If it's a site full of Windows apps, then there won't be many Mac users. Conversely, if you go to a site like macgamefiles.com, you'll find that Macs have the majority of the stats.

Re:instruction set (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 8 years ago | (#12732124)

Nothing would have happened because coding to the native instruction set would be prohibitively expensive. Combined with the fact that there is no software for the chip, and with the fact that the chips are single-source (any manufacturing person knows what this is), the whole thing is no-go. There are better CPUs for any specific use.

Re:instruction set (1)

morcheeba (260908) | more than 8 years ago | (#12732190)

Coding wouldn't have been expensive unless you were selling the software. I'm not thinking commercial software, but instead optimized GCC, math, or multimedia libraries... or maybe even compiling just frequently-used aps, such as linux and/or apache. But, the post above yours says that different processors had different microcode, so it would have been very hard to keep up with,

Re:instruction set (1)

morcheeba (260908) | more than 8 years ago | (#12732206)

whoops - something I forgot to add that post...

How much would these people love an optimized math library? [pcstats.com] They've got specialized software they run and have specialized users, so they can put that extra effort to get 10% faster results (or however faster it would be)

Re:instruction set (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732244)

As inferred above, I put forward the notion that this law is powerless. Not only are things such as computers not thoroughly covered (leaving numerous loopholes for defence in a court of law), but the government has exempted themselves. Clearly, they therefore do not take this seriously, and this law is all about people coming home, thinking "Look at the good the government is doing for my privacy!" and nothing about actually making a difference. (Footnote: No party based comment, I live in Australia.) (FN2: IANAL.)

Re:instruction set (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732316)

Windows still has the remaining 384%.

Re:instruction set (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732242)

I would rather suggest not to memorize other people's personal information, for obvious reason...

Re:instruction set (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732261)

OK: Found it.

The entirety of H.R.2622 Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 [loc.gov] and the specific section SEC. 216. DISPOSAL OF CONSUMER REPORT INFORMATION AND RECORDS.

The actual imortant part of this is the regulations (which may be yet to be created) for what needs to be done to appropriately destroy associated data. Hopeflly most people should be able to get away with just doing a single write of zeroes or pseudo-random data, while places like equifax should be required to do a bit more work. (because their collections would be especially valuable).
Of course, knowing the way that the political system works, it's probably going to end up being the other way 'round./p

Re:instruction set (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732245)

" $2500 doesn't seem to be a very harsh punishment for my personal data being compromised when the FCC can fine companies $11000 per do not call violation."

The government isn't concerned with fortune 500's disposal of information, but the mom and pop shops more than anything else. I was able to see the meeting on TV and thats what they said.

They actually brought the donotcall bill up, and they said thats because fortune 500's make calls to homes more than mom and pops. -Shrugs-

That wasn't the conclusion... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732266)

...if you actually read the RTFA, you'd notice that the 16% statistic comes from the Software Publishing Alliance, not the editorial itself.

In fact, the conclusion of the editorial is the following two points:

1)More people use Macs than most people realize.

2) People who use Macs don't get many viruses.

Shock! Horror! What next - "The Sky is Blue"? I'm a mac user, and am all for increading market share, but this editorial seems rather vapid...where's the news?

Re:instruction set (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732284)

The article makes a number of points, and those interested could RTFA - yeah right. The points it makes are taken from other articles.

One of them is AT&T Natural Voices coming soon for Apple Mac OS X [macdailynews.com] According to US News and World Report, Macintosh owners buy 30% more software than their Windows counterparts. Further, Macintosh software comprises over 18% of all software sold, according to the Software and Information Industry Association. In addition, the Software Publishers Association (SPA) estimates that 16 percent of computer users are on Macs.

So cheer up, they only count people buying software, thus most Linux users don't show up here ;-)

Certain metrics tilts the board in favor of Macs (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732304)

I can't personally find a link to the SPA web site, but if it includes shareware developers, and I think it does, this could very easily be explained.

There's a creeping suspicion that the average Mac users spend more on software than the average PC (and by PC in this context I mean Windows on x86, because it's shorter to write) user. Why is this?

Most PCs sit around in offices and do stuff you'd normally do with Office - word processing, spread sheets, emails. Far from all PCs, of course, but definitely *most*.

A sizable part of the Mac installed base are those who do publishing, or video editing, or DVD production, or something with media in general. These people go out and buy font managers, editing software and plug-ins, each probably running up an average of 80 bucks per product, with the actual editing software running from 200 bucks and up, not uncommonly into 500+ territory. People do this on PCs too, but I would bet on the percentage of the installed base being a lot smaller.

Another sizable part of the Mac installed base are those who sit at home and buy lots of shareware. This has a direct counterpart in the PC world, and they're probably about the same size percentage-wise. Note that games fall in the same price spectrum, that the hard-core gamer is likely to spend more on extra hardware (mice, gpu, keyboard, display) than on software, and that piracy probably helps inflate this segment.

And then there's also the fact that, *for whatever reason*, people seem to use Macs longer. Getting three years out of a Mac isn't extraordinary, it's average. Macs also have a higher value on the used market, so there's no rush to sell it.

I think all of this adds up to a skewing of these statistics.

Yes but... (-1, Troll)

paulius_g (808556) | more than 8 years ago | (#12732109)

Where is Linus Torvalds going to work now?

(Sources said that he worked at Transmeta... Get it?)

Re:Yes but... (4, Informative)

IO ERROR (128968) | more than 8 years ago | (#12732126)

Linus Torvalds works for these guys [osdl.org] now.

Re:Yes but... (1)

paulius_g (808556) | more than 8 years ago | (#12732135)

Gotta love outdated websites! Yes, I'm talking about: http://www.cs.helsinki.fi/u/torvalds/ [helsinki.fi]

Re:Yes but... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732235)

So you are required to destroy documents unless you knowingly do so when there's about to be a federal investigation that will require those documents, in which case you can be sent to prison for destroying them? Sounds like a good reason not to use paper at all...

Re:Yes but... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732232)

So... are people doing less business with businesses that are careless with personal information now?

Have they ever shown signs of doing this? At all?

No?

So what, exactly, is the difference between "letting consumers police poor corporate identity safety policies" and "as a nation, doing nothing whatsoever about the corporate identity safety policy problem whatsoever"?

I mean maybe there's this great libertarian fantasyland somewhere where people suddenly call up their rental car places and say "I want verifiable evidence that you shredded your copy of my credit report rather than putting it in a dumpster, and I'm canceling my business with you immediately if you don't!". However in the real world people just want to rent a car, and if you do call up your rental car company and say "by the way, what did you do with my credit report?" and they say "we shredded it", you do not have a way of telling whether or not they are telling the truth. A grand jury, however, does.

no virus != apple. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732265)

Just because it doesn't have a virus or malware on it, doesn't mean it is an Apple computer. My Laptop is not an Apple, it doesn't have any malware on it (running Linux). My desktop doesn't have any on that I know of, it is running Windows.

I have several other machines of both windows and linux that are completely clean. They aren't apple. I have a Powerbook, that is clean too, but it is an Apple.

Re:Yes but... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732282)

That was my initial reaction, until I realized it said "changed 2x" so he had one and then bought another and yet another, making three total. It just goes to show that Macs are really a lot cheaper than Wintels when you figure in the "This computer is too slow, I need a new one" syndrome that Wintel users run into after their 50th malware infection. ;-)

And I'm not making that up as much as I want to, almost every week a customer wants to buy a new box and when I ask them why it turns out their existing one is so infected as to be unusable. Most of the time, I clean them up, give them Firefox / AdAware / AVG and pocket a lot more profit than if I had simply sold him a new whitebox./p

Re:Yes but... (2, Informative)

I_bet_this_is_not_al (882242) | more than 8 years ago | (#12732134)

Torvalds' employer is OSDL. He left Transmeta years ago.

Re:Yes but... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732233)

The easy way is you scan each rectangle and then run length encode each edge and you sort that in combination with length and you end up with a nice list of which bits go next to which other bits. If the shreds are small than 2mm x 2mm, its trivial to decode if you can get all the bits scanned.

Re:Yes but... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732263)

Hmm, the summary of the article seems to include more facts than the article itself. The summary makes a big point of how TFA's 16% number if found from the virus infection percentage. TFA doesn't say that's where the 16% comes from at all. All the article body says is "In addition, the Software Publishers Association (SPA) estimates that 16 percent of computer users are on Macs." The headline says that 16% of users aren't infected because they use Macs, but it doesn't explain that or justify it. Besides, even if the summary was correct, then this would seem a very poor way to guess at install base. The browser's "user agent" header sent to a general interest site like Google would seem a far better way. Admittedly that would be skewed by Mac users using being "forced" to access Google from Windows in a work environment, but still. That seems like it would have to be more accurate than the approach hinted at in the summary. In searching for google stats on this I found on the Mac Daily News site a discussion which included this very topic [macdailynews.com] when the issue of install base was previously discussed there./p

Sigh ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732301)

I work for an ISP. I get maybe 2 or 3 calls from Mac people in a 5 day week. I handle more than 40 calls in a day.

Now, can you think of any other reason why that may be? Like making an internet connection is the easiest on the Mac compared to all platforms I know of?

you have to be completely retarded to think that PC/Mac usage is anywhere even in the same ballpark to 50/50

Submitter didn't imply that. That figure was an example.

I constantly hear Mac zealots all excited about their new shiny G5 in some overly pretentious colour like magenta or something

Hmm, now this is a lie. Because for years Apple only made machines in white, grey or aluminium.

Most PC people I know are more interested in buying a $600 video card for their 5 year old PC.

I have the strong feeling you are trying to make a point there, I only can't see what that may be ...


Re:Yes but... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732287)

I work for an ISP. I get maybe 2 or 3 calls from Mac people in a 5 day week. I handle more than 40 calls in a day. And in my professional opinion, you have to be completely retarded to think that PC/Mac usage is anywhere even in the same ballpark to 50/50.

While I agree it's nowhere near 50/50, your anecdotal evidence makes a few assumptions. The biggest assumptions it makes would be that macs break down at the same rate PCs do and that mac users require the same amount of technical support PC users do.

Speaking as a mac user I've got to say 16% sounds high, but your 1.5% sounds quite low.

Math? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732315)

(If for example 2 people are using computers and one replaces his 2x in a 3 year period and the other only does once, market-share dynamics dictate that one demographic has 75% market share while the other has only 25% -- even though install base is still 50/50.)

Let's go over this: Person A buys a peecee but feels compelled to upgrade later (by buying a new computer) resulting in an 2 peecees purchased while Person B buys a Mac only once. The install base is 50/50 but the market share shows that 2/3 of computers bought are peecees and only 1/3 are Macs. Where did the 75%/25% come from?

Now that we've established that your summary sucked (no offense), should I bother reading the article? It is /.

On another note, in the Astrophysics Department here at Caltech, I'd say something like a fifth of the install base is Windows, the rest being Macs and Linux (with more Mac laptops and linux desktops) and several other non-engineering science departments have many more Macs than Windows boxen but if you want me to believe that a macs make up 16% you've better have some really good data out there that no one else does.


Code Morphing (5, Interesting)

SlashdotOgre (739181) | more than 8 years ago | (#12732117)

If Transmeta does close shop, I hope they consider opening up their "Code Morphing Software". It's an interesting approach to X86 processing on non-X86 processors, for more info check here: http://www.transmeta.com/crusoe/codemorphing.html [transmeta.com]

Re:Code Morphing (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732151)

yes surely they will consider giving up the company jewels to a bunch of communist computer geeks! in russia computers compute you!

kill me. please.

Re:Code Morphing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732257)

Yes, while it's understandable that the FOSS movement would want this valuable asset, why would the company want to give away the core technology that led to its incredible success in the marketplace. Oh, wait ..

Re:Code Morphing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732269)

My web site's stats are 1-3% MacOS ( all version ). Even that figure is blown up a bit since a couple of webmaster's use Macs.

Anyway full stats :

Windows XP 495 60.37%
Windows 98 117 14.27%
Windows 2000 85 10.37%
Windows ME 41 5.00%
Other 22 2.68%
Linux 21 2.56%
MacOS X 13 1.59%
Windows 95 11 1.34%
MacOS PPC 6 0.73%
Windows NT 4 0.49%
Windows 2003 4 0.49%
Windows 1 0.12%
Total 820

Re:Code Morphing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732290)

Here, here!

I take it this is a US article?

Re:Code Morphing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732308)

The problem is that comparison - you also need to compare how often they cycle out of service to get an accurate installed base.

Suppose Apple sells half the number of PCs (yeah, I know it's not anywhere near that, it's an easy number)

Now assume Apples get replaced every 4 years and PCs get replaced every two. Now, who has the larger install base?

Tablet PCs? (4, Interesting)

Alaren (682568) | more than 8 years ago | (#12732130)

While I know Transmeta did a lot of work on portable processors for a variety of devices, it seems to me that I first started hearing "Transmeta" a lot when Microsoft made their (most recent) push for Tablet PCs.

I wonder how much the lackluster appeal of these devices contributed to Transmeta's downfall... or if they just never stood a chance against Intel. Anyone have more numbers on this? Tablets aren't mentioned in the article...

Re:Tablet PCs? (1)

Barlo_Mung_42 (411228) | more than 8 years ago | (#12732223)

Actually only one Tablet PC shipped with a Transmeta chip. The first HP Tablet PC (TC1000). They ended up switching to Intel at the first opportunity because performance was lack luster at best.

Re:Tablet PCs? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732313)

if i had to guess, it would be that the parent is from the US, and the grandparent is from Australia or the UK. in those countries, the "6 monthly" formulation is the norm for every six months. having been a visiting physician in papua new guinea (ex-australian protectorate) i had to get used to a medication dosage schedule of "6 hourly" meaning once every six hours and not six every hour.

just FYI

Re:Tablet PCs? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732236)

Same problem as always with market forces instead of regulation; it relies on an informed and interested public allowing the problem to affect their purchasing decision.

In this case, if your credit details get stolen from a dumpster, leading to identity 'theft'; how do you know which company in the last 6 months allowed your information to leak? Assuming you do find out, how do other people find out that information, since it's not exactly going to be large news?

(our lead national story today; joe bloggs lost $200 when company X put his credit details in the garbage, leading to identity theft and an extra charge on his credit card. Can company X survive this devastating blow to it's consumer confidence?)

So instead of putting a small burden on all businesses to buy and use a shredder for financial documents, we add a significant information gathering burden to all buyers to add to the rest of the information they have to find out about their business (do they harm dolphins? do they pollute more? do they hire third world children for virtually nothing? etc etc)

We're also assuming the business with bad business practises has effective and equal competition in it's area, which people can go to.

Market forces are useful for many things, but protecting customers from unethical business practises isn't one of them. Regulation is a far more effective method, as opposed to businesses dumping the costs that regulation would cause into an external cost on the rest of the economy. (time for customers, insurance costs for banks and credit institutions to cover fraud losses)

Re:Tablet PCs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732310)

Seti@home was well known for denying PPC/AltiVec optimizations to their software. So the project was abandoned by most Mac user who then went to distributed.net. Read [macnn.com]

"The best part of RC5 is that it is Alti-Vec and multi-processor aware, and Macs crunch data 5 times faster than a PC of the same MHz. It is a great way to show off the speed of your CPU."


Shame (2, Interesting)

maelstrom (638) | more than 8 years ago | (#12732136)

I was just wondering what will become of their code morphing technology especially in light of the rumors of Apple potentially going to X86. Could be interesting if Apple had a chip that could do X86 and PPC at near full native.

Re:Shame (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732234)

We have similar laws here in Canada, but they are an utter joke. Under the BC Personal Information Protection Act, there are stiff penalties on paper, but the enforcement procedure requires a minimum of six months of attempting to affect things internally to the organization, before an investigator from the privacy commissioner's office will even speak to you. Even then, the investigator doesn't really investigate anything, they just phone the organization who's in violation and ask them nicely to not do that. If the organization doesn't comply, back to square one with the six months of internal pressure. I left a job recently over this very issue...after I was asked to lower the security on the network, exposing insane amounts of client data to the bare internet. If the Act ever gets any teeth, my ass would be on the line. But I guess I needen't have worried, as there's no possibility of enforcement.

Re:Shame (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732298)

16 percent of computer users are on Macs is not the same as computers are on 16% of all computers. For instance, someone can have more than one PC, correct?

And I still find the 16% really hard to believe, no matter which way it is intended to be represented.

A Darn Shame ... but ... (1)

joe_n_bloe (244407) | more than 8 years ago | (#12732163)

I loved my Casio FIVA, which would run 6-8 hr on a Li battery (till the battery pushed up the daisies), and weighed 3 lbs with battery ... It was "fast enough" because my concern was with size and weight.

I have an X40 now and I still get good run time from it, more like 4-6 hr. It's around 4 lb w/o the dock, but right now I almost always carry the dock with the multiburner in it.

Still, I wish there were much more emphasis on low-power laptop designs.

The other day I was fiddling with a laptop that had dual 2GHz processors or something like that. Ehh? I mean, it's great that they can cram all that into a "moderately" small package, but still, you need Nomex pants to use it in your lap.

Re:A Darn Shame ... but ... (2, Insightful)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 8 years ago | (#12732178)

The other day I was fiddling with a laptop that had dual 2GHz processors or something like that. Ehh? I mean, it's great that they can cram all that into a "moderately" small package, but still, you need Nomex pants to use it in your lap.

That's not a laptop; that's a portable workstation.

Re:A Darn Shame ... but ... (1)

joe_n_bloe (244407) | more than 8 years ago | (#12732201)

I certainly could have used it to help heat my cabin (in Fairbanks) this winter, except for the power bill.

That laptop went on a coworker's 700 mile dogsled/snowmobile trip, by the way. Me, my X40 gets gentler treatment. Oh, and the laptop's drive was mostly dead afterward.

Re:A Darn Shame ... but ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732231)

And what happens if someone hacks into your computer?

It seems to talk about disposal, not storage, so if someone breaks into your computer, then I'd guess it's not covered. On the other hand, I'd strongly suggest that people get a knoppix CD and learn to type 'shred /dev/hda' before they throw their computers into the dumpster./p

Re:A Darn Shame ... but ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732312)

Yes. Your first statement should be:

- The vast majority of studies estimate the marketshare of the macintosh at somewhere around three to five percent.
- One study estimates it (installed base) at sixteen percent.

There is a difference between installed base and marketshare.

If a PC user buy a new PC every other year and a Mac user buy a Mac every four years, you would see that the PC has 60% marketshare, but the installed base is still really only 50%.

Given that Mac users have claimed, for a while, about how long they last (a combination of higher price and higher satisfaction, I'm sure, in that they can't afford to buy a new Mac every other year, and that when they bought it in the first place it met their needs to the point that they didn't need to buy or upgrade a couple years later because it was slow or unsatisfying or virus infected), it wouldn't surprise me if Mac users replaced their Macs every 8 years while PC users have traditionally replaced their PCs every 3.

Re:A Darn Shame ... but ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732243)

It should be recycled, and afaik, the document destroyers in my town do that, and ship some of the paper to a nearby egg crate manufacturer.

I somewhat doubt that it will lead to so much more in landfills. if they recycled documents before, then they'll still probably recycle them, just probably exert more work to do so (or give to document destruction service). If they didn't recycle before (ie, just threw it all in the trash)... well, actually, it might not be a bad idea to let someone else deal with it totally (document destruction service)

regarding it decomposing in landfills... not really [mswmanagement.com] A few (10?) years ago, Discover magazine had an article on this too. 40 year old newspapers (at the time), readable.


Re:A Darn Shame ... but ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732294)

So I guess you'd also agree with the statement: 'GOOD government is "the way to go", and democracy is a nice bonus'?

Actually since you said 'openness' and not 'freedom', perhaps you are talking within the context of proprietary software - in which case you're right: openness per se is pretty much irrelevant. See RMS for further details.


So irresponsible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732168)

It's so irresponsible of /. to post something like this. It's no excuse that they're just re-posting links from submitters. RTFA. Nowhere does it say that Transmeta is going out of business.

Re:So irresponsible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732226)

from TFA: "Transmeta will be out of money in less than a year."

If you think businesses can run without money, I'd like to know how.

Re:So irresponsible (4, Insightful)

ebuck (585470) | more than 8 years ago | (#12732296)

Transmeta has enough cash to sustain itself for at least a year. I doubt that they will just sit around and watch it disappear.

The headline was irresponsible. It implied that Transmeta was shutting down today. A lot of good and bad things can happen in a year, but that's future stuff, and as such is undecided.

Transmeta can restructure, find VC funding, be bought up by another company, license it's technology to a deep pocketed partner, release a new product and watch it take off (or fail), perform massive layoffs, cutbacks, etc. Headlining that they are closing fails to take into account the money they have and the time they have.

The Transmeta CPUs do have outstanding virtues (5, Informative)

haggar (72771) | more than 8 years ago | (#12732173)

The Transmeta CPUs have the highest MIPS/Watt ratio of all, still. Laptops built around them have the longest battery life, and superclusters with Transmeta CPUs have some of the highest processing densities and lowest power consumption - characteristics that may not be an obvious advantage for customers in need of raw power, but that certainly lower the bill when you factor in the power needed to dissipate the extra heat, and the price of real-estate.

I will be the first to admit: I was sceptical when Transmeta started publicizing their ideas. I thought employing Linus was just clever PR. Yet, as time went on, I thought a Transmeta-based laptop would be a very desirable item. I hate it when laptops burn your lap, don't you?

Re:The Transmeta CPUs do have outstanding virtues (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732258)

The United States Government takes it seriously. While they may be exempt from this law, there are regulations and policies in place to safeguard personal information. These policies are stricter than anything you're likely to find in the private sector.

Re:The Transmeta CPUs do have outstanding virtues (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732264)

The United States Government takes it seriously. While they may be exempt from this law, there are regulations and policies in place to safeguard personal information. These policies are stricter than anything you're likely to find in the private sector.

Specifically, the Privacy Act of 1972. In a sentence, it mandates that all federal government employees will treat personal information with respect./p

Those Critics again.... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732185)

Critics bashed the chips for being underpowered compared with Intel's latest and greatest.

These sound like the same guys who insist Apple is going broke every quarter since '91, can only survive by going x86, etc.

Does the tech industry have more trouble than most w/ utterly clueless people who set themselves up as experts? John Dvorak is still getting published and invited to conferences; so-called analysts make silly statements, Wall Street listens, and everybody (but the analyst) suffers. Crusoe probably got "reviewed" by some moron who gave it a bad rating because it runs at less MHz than the IT guys told him his laptop does.

Transmeta had some good ideas, too.

Re:Those Critics again.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732204)

Have you ever seen the benches on their processors?

They were quite less than stellar.

AMD's Geode line is a much better design, IMO.

Re:Those Critics again.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732293)

It's impossible to get the one true metric for this. But the statistics of the BOINC project [berkeley.edu]

They have

  • Windows -- 89.5%
  • Linux -- 7.8%
  • Darwin -- 2.3%
  • Other -- 0.4%

Now, this data is obviously skewed with respect to the total distribution, since the people who run something like SETI@home are probably more technologically inclined than the average computer user. This would mean that the percentage of non-Windows OSes is higher in this sample. On the other hand, the software for BOINC (SETI@home) is still somewhat Windows-centric, which would in turn increase the Windows share in the sample.

An interesting data point, nonetheless.


bout fricking time... (0)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#12732192)

Something about expensive inefficient processors that irks me...

It's not enough to "take little power". I mean a modern implementation of an 8051 could probably be made to take VERY little power.

The processor has to also be efficient enough todo something meaningful with the little amount of power it requires...

Add to the fact that processor is not the only significant power drain in laptop...

Tom

Re:bout fricking time... (1)

pohl (872) | more than 8 years ago | (#12732215)

Something about expensive inefficient processors that irks me...

That's an odd thing to say. I would have guessed that an 'efficient' processor is one that had a very good MIPS/Watt ratio.

What about online electronic records? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732240)

I've read several articles about this legislation, but there is very little information about electronic records. I see a a brief mention about "discarding a computer's hard drive" ... but what about online record keeping? I gotta believe there is a cottage industry that provides web access for folks to track their hired help - who is liable if that becomes public? And what happens if someone hacks into your computer?

A cute McDonald French Fry [komar.org]


Re:bout fricking time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732270)

I find it feasible. at a recent science conference with several hundred people, those with non-Mac laptops were a very small minority. (out of the non-Macs it was about 50/50 Windows/linux.)

this is only tiny sample and I'm not exrapolating from it, just using it as an example how Mac usage is very high in some places so 16% isn't so far fetched imo.

Re:bout fricking time... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732289)

it doesn't matter how skilled your users are if you have an unsecure OS.

If the OS itself is completely secure then it's the skills of the admin that affect the infection rate.

For example:

User A is highly skilled, (s)he takes all the proper precautions, but a bug in the network stack compromises the computer.

User B is not skilled, but has a secure OS and competent admin. The user tries to run an executable attachment, but because the admin hasn't signed it it cannot run and the computer stays secure.

While a Mac isn't quite that secure, you can see the difference. A Mac or Linux user needs to run the attachment AND either enter in a root password or have a privilege escalation flaw in the OS.

Re:bout fricking time... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732259)

One of the funniest TV commercials I've ever seen was an Xmas commercial that started out with snow falling down onto a city street to the tune of "Let it Snow, Let it Snow". The camera pans up toward the top of a nearby building. Eventually we see that most of the "snow" is really from a bunch of accountants frantically shredding documents Arthur Anderson style with the windows open. Then the announcer says, "Whether you've been naughty or nice, enjoy a cup of [product] this holiday season".

Re:bout fricking time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732278)

yeah you're right. remember MSBlaster? if every one of those people infected by that had used a Mac instead, they'd still have been infected. cos they're all stupid. and viruses can tell stupid users from clever ones. cos they watch you through the monitor. I swear these WINE guys working on emulation are wasting their time. just call your program a 'virus' and it'll work on any platform. so long as the users are stupid enough. I suppose they need to keep working on a solution for us clever people though don't they davmoo? ah well...

Re:bout fricking time... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732292)

Another data point, distributed.net RC5-72 CPU/OS statistics:

X86/Win32 -- 73%
X86/Linux -- 11%
PowerPC/Mac OS X -- 11%

The remaining 5% is divided among dozens of other combinations.
http://stats.distributed.net/misc/platformlist.php ?project_id=8&view=tco [distributed.net]

I have to note that the PowerPC client for distributed.net is very good, a single 1.2 GHz G4 performs on par with a dual 2.4 GHz P4. So, these statistics suggest that ~5.5% of the CPUs is running Mac OS X.


obviously (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732205)

obviously this is a conspiracy by bill gates. someone please link to one of those super clever posters of bill gates as hitler

Cyrix (2)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 8 years ago | (#12732213)

This type of news, especially in the chip business reminds me of "Cyrix" - the chip, in the mid/late 90s! In the chip business, it must be tough to be a newcomer. Texas Instruments manufactured some of these, IBM did too and a host of other companies. Some people still believe this chip still has advantages over the pentium! http://www.hardwarecentral.com/hardwarecentral/rep orts/592/2/ [hardwarecentral.com]. But who is buying that? No wonder, Transmeta may be forced to see the real world. I wish them luck though. All in all, the chip biz must be tough.

And all those outsourced jobs? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732249)

What about the work that are outsourced to foreign countries? Every now and then we hear stories about foreign workers taking liberities with personal information, a Federal law doesn't exactly cover foreign soil.

Re:Cyrix (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732272)

I've just tried to fiddle in my Mac. You're right, I don't even come close to fitting in there, let alone have enough room to bow. My AMD box has a lot more room inside, but it's all taken up with cabling and fans. I can hardly hear my fiddle outside the box.

My mom's mac is a PCI machine. I may not be able to fiddle in it, but I can install and change cards. She's running OS8. I'm running OS7 on mine.

Neither one of them gets counted in the market share statistics, although at least my mom's gets counted in web statistics. She's never gotten a virus. Neither has my Mac, but I cheat . . .I've never hooked it up to a net. Pretty much nobody but me, (and you folks look like I can trust you and you won't tell) even knows it exists, yet it has remained part of the installed base for many years.

And I can state catagorically that the installed base of Tandy Color Micros may be small, but it is not zero.

Can't even kazoo in that puppy.

KFG

Re:Cyrix (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732286)

There have been many viruses which don't rely on the user doing anything out of the ordinary in order to get infected, are users really stupid for believing when ms tells them it's safe to browse sites with msie?
Also your point about sending a shellscript to a linux user, you point out that the user has to take extra steps before he can do anything stupid, that's a positive point in favour of the os, in that it makes it harder for people to do stupid things.. And you can only trash his homedir, not the whole machine.. So next time he boots up and logs in, he's back to defaults which is a far cry from a system that won't boot atall.

yeah... (1)

pherthyl (445706) | more than 8 years ago | (#12732260)

WHOA! Didnt see that one coming!

Re:yeah... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12732288)

I was under the impression shredded paper is not as useful for recycling. The ability to recycle paper depends on the strength and length of the paper fibers. Shredded paper has lost a lot of strength and has short fibers due to being cut. That means that whereas regular paper can be recycled into some lesser form of paper, shredded paper must be used for something like a cheap cardboard/egg crates.

Regardless, privacy is more important to me than the landfill.


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