Thursday, 21 June 2012

"Fuck you Nvidia" (and other news of the day)

So apparently Linus blew his top a bit and gave the bird to Nvidia with a pretty clear verbal message to match. Well if nothing else that'll be a keeper of a picture that will bounce around the internet for years to come ...

Of course, he has only got himself to blame here - if he didn't allow binary blobs to link into the kernel in the first place (choosing to discard rights that copyright gives him) then he wouldn't be in this situation would he? After-all, it was his decision alone - he could have gone either way and the rest would follow.

So much for pragmatism ...

So I guess we'll see where it goes in a few years when UEFI tivo-ises every hardware platform you buy, and you can no longer compile your own kernel or write your own operating system on your own computer, even if it is running a 'free' operating system.

Of course industry consortia such as Linaro are right behind UEFI - anyone who sells appliances would love to lock them down giving them forced obsolescence - when in reality hardware is approaching the point where software is taking over many of the functions, and is capable of much more than it's original firmware allows it. I find it pretty offensive that the guy in the linked video regards anyone who doesn't like UEFI as a pirate ...

Microsoft laptop and/or tablet

Well things must be in dire straits in microsoft's windows-rt land. One can only guess that the OEMs simply aren't embracing the platform with enough zeal - there seems no other sane reason that they would want to create their own tablet (and/or laptop, or whatever it is).

Unless it's just pure greed - which of course isn't something that can be discounted entirely. At least in part they probably think they can recreate the xbox success story - which given how much it cost, clearly wasn't anywhere near as successful as the internets would have you believe.

I bet the few OEMs even looking at microsoft windows-rt are going to be given some moment for pause with this announcement.


The only `OEM' to embrace microsoft will probably be nokia.

But they're totally fucked and who knows if they'll even see out the calendar year. They only ever made good phones, and now they don't even do that - who is going to buy a PC from them, even if the form-factor is a tablet.

But what has happened to nokia is a rant for another person - I've had a couple of old nokia phones over the years and I thought they were fine, but I don't have any connection to them other than a shared sense of disappointment in what has become of a great company in such an astoundingly short period of time.

Transformer prime

Finally got a firmware upgrade to the transformer prime last week. TBH I can't tell any difference - if anything the browser hangs more with 'application not responding' (or whatever it says) than it did before. Not that i've been using it a great deal - it's a pretty clumsy way to do anything.

I hurt my foot again (well, this time it was my other foot - my guess is my overly sedentary work-at-home lifestyle for the last few years is catching up with me and I have to at least start taking regular walks to repair my feet - even when i venture out it's mostly cycling) so I was pretty much immobile for a few days. So I dragged out the tablet and used it for some web reading and even tried a few games.

Even the touchy feely games (I downloaded some 'bridge builder' and 'physics challenge' games) which seem well suited to the tablet are a bit of a pain to control with a fat imprecise finger which obscures what you're doing. Trying to use it in bed is annoying as you need two hands to hold it - the auto-rotate stuff is a pain in the arse too - so that gets turned off anyway. As a web browser it is just ok - portable - but again you need to prop it up to use it, or bend over it, and the fat-finger-mouse can make using any web page frustrating. Not to mention all the annoying adverts I haven't seen for years (well at least the flash stops when you're not looking at it - something i never understood about firefox after it had tabs).

About the only good thing about it is it still has a battery that works - so I can use it without a tether - unlike my laptops whose batteries are all dead now. Those batteries are too expensive to make them worth replacing. But other than the battery having died so it is tethered to my desk, my X61 thinkpad is a much easier to use and much more useful device: I use it for email and forums, and most of my browsing.

Once the tablet battery dies it'll be pretty shit as the connector is in an inconvenient place.

I'm still working on the android jjmpeg stuff though - mostly just for my own entertainment. I have the code back ported to amd64 now, but I haven't seen any crashes - valgrind gives a bunch of hits but it's always hard to tell if that's just the JVM doing funky shit or real problems (none of the stack traces show anything useful, even with a debug build).

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