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Google Nexus Gets Wireless Charger as a user of them... (223 comments)

I got given a QI charger a little while ago... ended up loving it so much i bought a couple more and it has a number of advantages. Firstly for my phones i always end up with a fairly rugged case which makes it hard to find a dock that works, but even when I do find a workable dock its only real advantage is that it keeps the phone upright but its still "fiddly" (which gets slowly worse over time as the connector starts getting worn out)... Its rather hard to explain why the charger has been something i've come to love without videos/photos etc, but everyone i know who has one that works loves it...

Note the use of the term "works" here... a couple of people i've know who've had them hated them because they simply weren't a very good charger (took too long to charge), ironically the ones i ended up with are some of the cheapest but in terms of phone charging they are impressive (what used to take about 30 minutes now takes perhaps 40 as an example). Which leads me to say one last thing - they may seem almost irrelavent in terms of convenience but they are actually alot more convenient then they may first seem to be and they are also now so cheap they're easy to get a hold of.

just to be clear - i dont make, sell, hold patents, shares or make any money directly or indirectly from any form of wireless charging (afaik)...

about 10 months ago

Google Glass: What's With All the Hate? I dont get it either.... (775 comments)

A HUD is something i've wanted since ... so long ago i cant even remember when it started, but it was certainly around the time of me owning an amiga 500 and really dont understand the hate factor behind google glass nor where its coming from...

But then, i dont entirely get the bluetooth headset hate either, nor why some people find people talking on mobile phones in public to be a nuisance.

To me, i chalk it up to a single simple thing - hatred of technology and im exactly the opposite of that

The *ONLY* thing i can understand about what might make people dislike the idea of google glass is the camera, thats a feature i can understand people not being happy with.

But then, being able to record people in secret has been a simple thing for quite a long time now and you can do it for not even a fraction of the cost of what google glass is. In reality, at least when i see someone is wearing google glass i know they have a camera pointed at me, but if you've seen a watch, pen, button or any other form of hidden video/audio recording device (available these days for under ~$50) then google glass holds very little to threaten any reasonably intelligent person.

about a year ago

Google Glass: What's With All the Hate? Re:Well now (775 comments)

wow, talk about mis-informed...

First, google has said ad's are fobidden on glass... secondly, "well over a $1000" was for the dev version, the production version is rumoured to weigh in around ~$500 (rumoured being the appropriate word)...

But, if you bothered reading, both these things have been made abundantly clear and if you knew even a single thing about host most dev type stuff happens with hardware like this, the initial dev releases are almost always expensive compared to their later production cousins... but then, again, this is common knowledge to anyone who's been alive more then 15 years (have u even heard of economies of scale or simple things such as this?)... I honestly dont get how such a stupid post gets "3, insightful", but then again, welcome to slashdot right?

Yeah, im being deliberately insulting, but if your going to make such a retarded, fud-based and false post, you deserve no less...

about a year ago

British Telecom Claims Patents on VOIP Session Initiation Protocol YAY! (116 comments)

I say yay because i really dont like sip, i think its a horrible protocol and anything that would end its life is fantastic (even if it is a patent troll). Though its hard to see if BT are claiming ownership of any tech that does voip to pstn or just SIP.

With any luck, someone will develop a useful protocol to replace it, though my hopes arent high.

about a year and a half ago

Rhombus Tech 2nd Revision A10 EOMA68 Card Working Samples Re:Definitions, please? (57 comments)

Say what you guys will, personally i've been following EOMA-68 for a while and for a good reason. Ultimately a long time ago, i've been wanting to do what calxeda now do (around the time the first nslu2's came out) and was really excited when calxeda started talking the talk... then they released a box that is way over engineered and way too expensive for the role (not to mention rather inflexible).

With eoma-68 you could do the same thing, only the price would be far more suitable and the server boards inside the chassis "standardised" on a simple interface anyone can implement. The backplane for putting 100 of these boxes into a 2ru chassis is quite simple also. Think: a replacement for x86 based virtualisation and vps's

So yes, you may look at it and see a slashvirt if you will, however there are those of us in tech that see a real purpose to it also..

about a year and a half ago

Review: Make: Raspberry Pi Starter Kit Re:Never really was interested in the Rpi (74 comments)

Well, the mk802 is a system on a stick (which isnt what im refering to)... but for the same price you can get an mk802, you should be able to get its dev-board cousins - i.e. what the rpi is (which typically will have all the connectors on the arm chip exposed, gpio included) - and those dev boards have been around as long as the mk802 has.

As I said in the post above though, i love how the rpi has gotten this ground swell of support following it, and its spawned some very kewl things (all of which work equally well on the a10 hackberry/cubieboard/etc type boards), but my point is more that bang for buck, the rpi is actually quite expensive... but consider, for me the rpi is 53$ (shipping, etc) and an a10 based board i can get at ~$75 (inc shipping + cables) and for that i get dual core, 1.2ghz and 1gb of ram - this is not a small difference (and if it were being sold in the quantities that the rpi is, it'd be cheaper still).

I guess one thing that does irritate me about it all is that it starts out as a $25 board (roughly?) and then between me and the people who make them there are 3 layers of idiots just reaping money out of the whole thing - i have had to deal with both rs and element14 for quite a long time (or the companies which they were originally) and they really couldn't have a chosen a worse set of distributors in Australia for something like the rpi.

about a year and a half ago

Review: Make: Raspberry Pi Starter Kit Re:Never really was interested in the Rpi (74 comments)

if i login right now and go thru their order page, its $53 inc shipping to Sydney...

As i was saying, for 60$ you can get an a10 based board (dual-core, 1.2-1.5Ghz + 1gb of ram) shipped (at 70-75, you'll get every cable you'll ever need too) - and it has every connector the rpi has. But there is a world of difference between 256 and 512 of ram, and another world of diff between 512 and 1024...

Dont get me wrong, the rpi has done one wonderous thing - its gotten people very firmly interested in a architecture i love (and have since around the time of the nslu2 - which in reality was not really an arm board, but based off the arm architecture). the things (and projects) it has spawned are fantastic...

Its just that when i sit there and compare an rpi to those a10 boards, i just dont get why people are all going "yes, for 10-20 more, i could get a board with 4 times the grunt, but i'd rather save the 20$"... sure in a third world, a $20 diff is important, but to the very vast majority of people who are doing projects with them, they are ultimately an expensive board for what they do and should probably be a little cheaper.

about a year and a half ago

Review: Make: Raspberry Pi Starter Kit Never really was interested in the Rpi (74 comments)

Personally, i've never been interested in an rpi, im really very into arm based tech, but at least in australia where i am, the rpi ends up being quite expensive. Its been nice as a project for the general community to work on cause it seems to have focused everyone on a single arm board and so alot of projects have errupted from it. However as a piece of hardware, by the time you could get it in australia there were (and still are) much better options. Ultimately you'll end up spending $50 here, and then theres the stupid decision about the distributors which charge rediculously for shipping over here.

Ultimately though it was the specs on the board that switched me off in the end (which now with the larger one, still are a little light imho). For around $60 you can pick up several a10 based options which have much better cpu's and memory - often when you factor in shipping, they end up being cheaper. But then, im not exactly a third-world person, so the cost of the board was never really that important anyway. i.e. at the time the hackberry was $75 for a dual-core 1.2GHz and 1g of RAM, vs the RPI's ~$30 for 800mhz and 256M. You can either look at that as 3times the price or (as i did) a fairly insignificant price difference for a much better board and they're still cheap enough for me to own a number of them.

about a year and a half ago

Voxel.js: Minecraft-like Browser-Based Games, But Open Source Re:I don't really see the point (110 comments)

Lets ignore the fact that its 3d for a moment and concentrate on your main points... Is it novel? yes i personally thing so, but novel is in the eyes of the beholder. Is it awesome? absolutely from a developer point of view... is it cross platform - yes it is. Chrome and firefox can both be downloaded for every platform that oracle java can be (and probably built for many more too).

Then theres the version dependency fun. Consider i wrote a RTF document editor as java applet, im faced with the scenario of 3 very annoying dependencies i have to code for - first the browser version, next the java version and lastly the OS itself. The browser and version of it in that case can be problematic in some cases, but largely they just fork off to java, and this is where the real fun begins because the current version of java out there still rotate around 1.6 and 1.7 and sadly I still have 1.6 because apps written for 1.6 often have problems in 1.7... Next lets just consider windows and macos and the fun (which still exists) of making a java app run on both systems - throw linux into the mix (and i do) and it gets far worse... These days, your chances of the end user actually having java or flash or some other add-on to support your app aren't always the best odd's either.

But now the browser itself is becoming capable enough of replacing that middlewear dependency. Consider simply this, how many websites do most people go to today that have java applets on them? the answer is so very very small its really not funny. Take a look at google docs for example, how much of that would have to be written in some other addon-required code (such as java) if web browsers didnt become fundamentally more capable at doing things which java does?

When you add something like 3d into that scenario, your pain levels go up orders of magnitude. How many 3d java app's are there out there? well, theres minecraft and.... 3d in java is painful when you start trying to do something even remotely complex, minecraft is by design very simple in its 3d implementation, it barely uses more then the primitives and so its relatively easy to make work almost anywhere, but you wouldn't have to add many things to minecraft for the 3d cracks to start to appear (shaders for example).

Lastly, take a look at the code that was written to make the 3d stuff in the article work - if you can do the same with a java applet anywhere near as simply as this has been done, i'd be very very surprised.

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: How Do You Deploy Small Office Wi-Fi SSIDs? Couple of other points about controllers.. (172 comments)

as everyone's stated, what you've done so far is correct.. IMHO, controllers are well worth the money - though shop around, cause (again, IMHO) juniper and cisco are way too expensive for what they are.

What a controller will give you is a unified simple way of managing it all. I.e. configure it in one spot rather then every AP. They also often include things like portals, authentication services and firewalls. I.e. a central CA for using certificate based auth, a captive wifi portal for open access points that go to the internet or stuff like that.

Where that becomes GREAT is trying to debug stuff, when you get past 4 AP's it starts to get a little tedious making sure every AP is configured correctly (i.e. same SSID, same authentication info), and gets really hard to maintain channel separation effectively. Alot of controller based systems will distribute the channels well based on the topology of your AP network, and that is very handy.

All of this is doable manually, what a controller can do that you cant do anywhere else is force handoff from one AP to another. AP Clients typically head for the closest AP based on signal strength alone and that can get a little annoying because you'll often end up with several AP's that are flooded and others that are barely used, controllers can manage that and push clients off one AP and tell them to use a different one.

The other bit that is mighty hard to do with out a controller is running multiple SSID's from the same AP's connected to different networks (and often the firewall in the controller plays a part in this too). It can be handy in some situations to have a "visitor" SSID thats open access but only gets internet along side an "internal" SSID that gets on your internal network and maybe authenticated via certificates. Controllers handle that very well.

about 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: How Do You Deploy Small Office Wi-Fi SSIDs? Re:Aruba (172 comments)

I work with Juniper and Cisco on no-wifi, and for the last 18 months we've been doing wifi with aruba too... couldn't agree more, they're quite fantastic and gained something of a reputation for doing wifi well (well deserved IMHO).

about 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: How Do You Deploy Small Office Wi-Fi SSIDs? Re:WDS (172 comments)


This is *NOT* what WDS was designed to do. There seems to be quite a lot of people under the impression that if you want multiple access points co-operating with one another such that clients can roam between them seemlessly, you need WDS. Not sure where that came from but its got nothing to do with that.

WDS is about peer-to-peer AP connections such the data is travelling wirelessly between access points, and while WDS can be the "backbone" of a seemlessly-roaming SSID-consistent WiFi network, its an inherently flawed system. This is typically used for places where you need to bridge networks wirelessly when you cant put down a cable (for eg, you might have two offices across the road from one another).

WDS will also chew up a considerable amount of wifi bandwidth doing this (and the problem gets exponentially worse as you add more AP's/clients).

The point being though that WDS wasnt designed for the purposes of providing distributed access to a wifi network with a single SSID, but to allow AP's to also be clients to each other while still being AP's.

Ultimately the way the guy describes his setup is the correct method of deployment, multiple AP's with the same SSID and encryption parameters, thats all there is to it.

about 2 years ago

A Wish List For Tablets In 2013 Re:One change (453 comments)

i had the same thought... and yes i really do hate the lack of sd card on nexus devices (though for other reasons)... however, for media a better choice is actually a usb otg adaptor - you can generally get faster, cheaper and larger storage on the end of a usb stick then you will in a microsd card and while a bit larger, they're not inconveniently so (imho)...

Im loving my nexus 10, i really wasnt expecting to cause the reviews have been iffy at best, but it really is (to me) exactly what i've wanted in a tablet for a long time.

But like you, i do despise the nexus range for its "no-sd-card" policy and its been (so far) my only real gripe with the entire nexus lineup.

about 2 years ago

Linux 3.7 Released Re:IPV6 NAT'ing support also added (151 comments)

NAT is and never was a stupid hack, people make the assumption it stemmed from the exhaustion of ipv4 , but that isnt true... as many people do, you've made the same invalid assumption as everyone else - and thats not meant to be an insult, just a fact of life. The reality is is that we've been working with nat so long that it really doesnt break much any more, and that which it does is work-around-able. Personally I come form the corporate enterprise world and nat is and always will be a reality there (for many reasons)... When you consider the various grades of people that use the internet (home users, geeks, corporates and ISPs, etc), everyone of them has no reason to fear nat, and ipv6 wont change anything about that... IPv6 wasnt designed with any notion around "lets make something that gets rid of nat", not even close. It certainly was intended to make the address space larger, but it wasnt aimed at nat.

The only diff between me (as a network engineer) and many other enterprise grade guys like me is that im dumb enough to say "nat is important, it has a purpose and i do like it" where most aren't dumb enough to say that on slashdot where the various puritan opinions will inevitably turn me into a troll.... which im really not meant to be...

But the fact remains - nat has a purpose, a valid purpose and it will be here forever.

Consider though - just because something is abundant, doesnt mean its necessarily available to you. By that I mean if your ISP decides to only give you one dynamic ipv6 /64 subnet, what then? most home consumers wont notice, but a networking nerd like me? well... there are lots of arguments you could enter into here like "find a new isp" - none of which are worth having. But a brief tour of the nasty things ISP's (not all) have tried to do to make a couple of extra dollar's would probably give a few hints as to why ipv6 nat (and its implementation in linux) is very very important.

You could also go and get a CCIE or JNCIE and start working in the corporate enterprise juganaut world for a decade and i guarantee when get to the end of that you'll change your tune....

about 2 years ago

Linux 3.7 Released IPV6 NAT'ing support also added (151 comments)

IMHO, this is one of the more important features added in 3.7. People will hate me for saying it, but I personally love NAT and was really disappointed when initially the line was "we will never do ipv6 nat in the linux netfilter components".

But, thank god someone came to their senses.

about 2 years ago

Windows Blue: Microsoft's Plan To Release a New Version of Windows Every Year Re:The MS Strategy: be like apple. (712 comments)

Its not the pay to play model that is bothersome, this is nothing new to MS (or many companies)... MS are experts at licensing schemes that ensure they rip as much cash out of people as possible, and they've gotten better at that over the years... i.e. licensing to the nth degree... for example, you used to buy a copy of exchange, then you bought a license for exchange, and these days you buy a license for so many different parts of exchange including per-client licensing...

Thats all nothing new and the pay to play model is noting new either. Though, the idea that people will only get software from a MS controlled central location (such as what occurs in the smart-phone application market model) would certainly take pay to play to a new place MS havent been before (in that they'd be tearing money out of developers of MS-targetted software in a direct, "get a percentage of their profits" way).

If anything, i'd say the media industry learnt from software licensing, not the other way around...

My reference to the MS strategy is simply "bring out something new every year and stop trusting your users"... i.e. walled garden and new varnish on old technology.

about 2 years ago

Windows Blue: Microsoft's Plan To Release a New Version of Windows Every Year The MS Strategy: be like apple. (712 comments)

Its a shame that MS seem to feel they have only one option now... "be like apple".

Half the reason they thrive so well in corporate-enterprise-juganaut land is simply because they aren't apple and dont behave like them. A release every year is going to be an utter nightmare for a decent sized enterprise, but i guess it depends on what "next version" really means. Is it going to just an incremental update similar to what service packs used to be? In which case, the actual OS update will probably less painful, but there will be pain to be had in other places (namely licensing).

I really wouldn't be cheering for this idea if i were in a corporate desktop support role, thats for absolute certain.

Even given the job that i do (which falls into the systems integrator role), it doesn't sound good... whats it going to mean for certification? oh the pain.... then that comes with its own set of licensing nightmares (the SI role).

Still, as a linux-lover, i can only say "i love where apple and MS are taking their OS's because they seem to be working very hard to make linux as attractive as possible".

about 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Best Console For the Kids This Holiday? Get a Wii, but... (267 comments)

I would rule out the 360 for the simple reason that the difference between the ps3 and 360 for what you want is very slim, your not going to get many games on a 360 that your 9yr old will enjoy that arent also already available on the ps3. Ultimately you'll have another console, but it'll just be different, not unique really. Kinect can be kinda fun, but its a limited experience in many ways.

If you want to buy something, the Wii is the best choice. You'll find alot of good games that will appeal to a 9yr old. Games the whole family can get in on and are only available on the Wii. Its a very family focused entertainment console and you'll get quite a number of hours of enjoyment out of it. On top of all this, the Wii is cheap and second hand games for it are (not yet) hobbled by scum-sucking games developers who seem to think they have a right to make money on a second hand game.

The Wii U looks ok, but its hard to really make a knowledgeable choice about it just because of the limited info available for it.

Im trying hard to stick to the question and not say things like "you could get another console, or...."

about 2 years ago

FreeBSD Throws the Clang/LLVM Switch: Future Releases Use LLVM Re:What's the clear advantage of LLVM? (360 comments)

Its not necessarily about an advantage of either really.. clang/llvm is really more about modularity and focusing on a more flexible toolchain.

As an example, if you want to compile from c-> binary in linux, theres quite a command path depth to it (i.e. multiple processes take place in serial to eventually produce a binary). The problem with gcc is that the code has become messy and its modular approach doesnt really help when it comes to adding a new language or a new target (i.e. F# perhaps, or ARM as a target). It also carries alot of legacy cruft with it that has been there since the dawn of time.

Ultimately when you do want to add a new language or target, you almost end up re-writing the entire gcc stack which is quite painful.

clang/llvm is really about getting rid of that pain with a more modular approach so if you want to add a language or a target, you just focus on your goal not the entire toolchain. As a Plus, its also gotten rid of some of the antique cruft which is at least part of the reason its often faster. IMHO - its faster in some situations, but not all.

None of this really matters much to the end user (except perhaps the speed bit)... What does matter (and what you will care about) is as clang/llvm matures you'll find developers more likely to target clang/llvm for compiler toolchains with new languages or targets.

The other thing you might care about as well is that its better with errors, they are alot clearer and more useful and for that see however, that only extends to clang really.

about 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Little Boxes Around the Edge of the Data Center? Personally at work for small things... (320 comments)

I personally hate and despise people who put non-rackmount kit in racks...

We use various devices.. mostly all 1ru servers of various configs... for eg there are a couple of mini-itx 1ru servers we have that have e350 based mini-itx boards (i really love the e350/e450 boards)... not quite as cheap as the hp n40 microserver, but at least its a rack format.

Then we have a few that run virtualisation here and there for some tasks using kvm (some of those too have e350's in them as the e350's do have the virt'n extensions unlike the intel atoms)... we also have a few that run intel based i3/i5/i7 mini-itx boards... they're quite nice when you need some extra grunt...

some others are based on super micro boards as well though (which are quite cheap and run core i3/i5/i7 cpus rather the xeons). Then some others are old 1ru xeons we no longer need for server tasks...

about 2 years ago



Why Did You Get A Tablet? writes  |  more than 2 years ago (760528) writes "I've never seen the need of a tablet, I've played with several (including the IPad's) and just never really found a real use for them that compelled me to want one other then the geek inside me who wants the latest gadgets (that was true until a week ago). So I'm curious what made people want a tablet?

My sudden shift in tablet greed came from a rather unexpected source. A little while ago, the android market hit 10 billion downloads and kicked off its 10 billion promotion, which included Adobe sketchbook. I figured "hey, i'll get it, should be a laugh". Later, this prompted me to look at stylus's again, and to date i've hated them all. From silly sausages to ridiculous brushes, i've had a chance to play with them and disliked them all. That was until I saw the Adonis Jot and I was intrigued enough that I figured I'd give it a go (its really not that expensive). It came and I was impressed, very very impressed with its accuracy and it has me now wanting a tablet simply because I often pull out bits of paper from the printer to jot down ideas on. This seems like a perfect replacement for that purpose — though an expensive one and i'd like to get more value form it then simply a paper-and-pen replacement.

Just for the record, I am not in any way affiliated with Adonis or their styli."

Tablets and eReaders for Hackers, which one? writes  |  more than 4 years ago (760528) writes "A vast number of the devices I've owned have been things I could hack, mostly bought simply because they were hackable. I've firmware-abused such devices as the WRT54G, NSLU2, Sheeva Plug, Andoird phones, various handhelds, etc and I've yet to regret purchasing a device simply for its ability to be modified in some unblessed-by-the-manufacturer way. As such ARM devices have certainly taken my eye for a number of years and lately both eReaders and Tablets have sparked a fair amount of interest (the combo devices have me really curious to say the least). Now with the sheer volume of devices currently hitting (or about to hit) the market in this area, from a hackers perspective which make you want to rush out and void some warranties?"
top writes  |  about 8 years ago (760528) writes "I've been watching the release of the Intel conroe processor with much vigor lately and the responce has been quite interesting.

For some reason everyone's casting doom and gloom messages for AMD and I can't say I really understand why. Intel and AMD have been one-upping each other on and off for a while now. It wasnt that long ago AMD was the "cheaper alternative", and then they started becoming, the cooler, faster alternative. To me they're not an "alternative" anymore, its simply a choice.

To me, the Intel Vs AMD struggle is one of the most pure and beautiful things in our industry (an industry hit with patents, dmca, law suits and underhanded tactics). Two fairly level competitors, going hammer and tongs to produce something that achieves essentially the exact same goal and doing a fine job at it. There are very few battles in our area of the global economy that seem so "straight up". The best part about it is both companies appear to be quite strong (as opposed to one loosing cause of their inability to fund their R&D or internal struggles with this or that, like the Dell Vs HP market).

I've never been pro nor anti either company and have had alot of both of their processors. Yes, I've even had the heat-strikken prescott hyper threading model which I had to buy a new case for, yet even that didn't turn me against Intel. But I've met Intel and AMD evangilists and both seem to hate their competitors with the same vigor I hate microsoft, and it makes me wonder how many people out there would love to see an end to either of these companies.

Personally, I want neighter to win. The battle they do only makes our CPU's cooler, faster and cheaper. Both companies seem fairly open to OSS and Linux, and both seem to be aiming at their competitor with real products rather trying to make their competitor less-able to compete. The nvidia v's ati battle is possibly the only other one out there that comes close to it for sheer "consumer wins" value. I really can't wait to see AMD's real answer to Intel's conroe (or maybe it'll be an answer to intels next generation of processors, who knows).

So why would you like to see one die off, and why?"

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