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Discussions

Bass Bass Knows the way the wind is flowing.
  • The New vs Evolving the Now

    Charles said:
    exoteric said:
    *snip*

    I'm just trying to have a conversation around developing new (revolutionary versus evolutionary) methodologies versus modifying old ones to exploit the advancements in hardware in the most effective manner as possible. Auto-parallelization at the machine level is pretty much science fiction without explicit support at the expressive level way up the abstraction stack.... Or is it?

     

    Of course, throwing everything out that's been invested in for so long is unrealistic, but this is why theory is fun Smiley


    C

    There is simply some practical problems that can not be parallelied effectively, if algorithms depend on intermediate data you are SOL until that intermediate data is computed. It's not science fiction it's logicial impossibility. This whole parallel affliction is one of the worst things to ever happen to the software industry. I don't think it's something that most software developers should have to worry about.

  • Microsoft's creative destruction

    W3bbo said:
    intelman said:
    *snip*

    I don't know about you, but I've never had to carry a textbook (or any book for that matter) around campus for any course or module I've done. All the written material is available as slides/handouts on the module webpage, textbooks are never anything more than Recommended Reading, and if a chapter or two is essential we get photocopies.

     

    All I carry is my laptop bag with my laptop in, an A4 pad, and my pencil case... and I carry the laptop more for amusing myself at the back of the lecture theatre thesedays.

    Yes, when I was in school for the last 2 years I never bought textbooks. It was just too easy to visit the CS library and read their copy. Probably saved over $2000, which helped pay off the student debt.


    I never take notes either. It's just not my style.

  • Microsoft's creative destruction

    intelman said:
    Charles said:
    *snip*

    With the exception of the Xbox 360 and its RROD issues, the hardware Microsoft produces is arguably the most impressive part of Microsoft.

     

    Keyboards, Mice, Webcams, Zune HD .... beautiful products.

     

    I'd buy a Microsoft tablet if it were a huge Zune HD like device that ran Windows.

     

    Right now I am eyeballing the Touchsmart TM2. The iPad has dangerous appeal to the "student" because textbook manufactures have signed on. It does not allow one to take notes, how stupid is that? 

     

    I know it sounds lame, but my bookbag is too damn heavy around campus. I have a rather crappy 6.5 lb laptop, 3 notebooks, and at least one lab manual and textbook. That has to stop, it truly is not healthy.

     

    If the iPad ends up getting a sizeable portion of schoolbooks, Microsoft did drop the ball. If they had a store or an app that would provide such things, especially if they were optimized for tablets, I'd be ecstatic. Perhaps the kindle application will fill this gap. Perhaps Microsoft should push amazon to focus on getting schoolbooks on their app. This is essential. I'd support them. 

     

    There is so much more Microsoft could do to really attract the attention of students. I am at a Live@Edu school, where no one in my lab classes knew about skydrive or groups. Previously, people had some lame archaic system of swapping thumb drives 5 times to share lab data. I then showed them groups.live.com and their corresponding skydrive. They love it ... That tool has been available to them for a while. 

     

    I am sure if students saw what they could do with tablets, they would become quite a bit more popular. I think Microsoft could lose that opportunity. I think they will also lose at Office Live Workspaces. It simply isn't functional or streamlined enough to work well. Plus the updates are quite slow, Microsoft has to be an aggressive beast. Google Docs has great collaborative features now, and it seems to be quite prevalent on campus.

    What exactly is so innovative about the Zune HD? It a "me too" iPod Touch with 1/1000 of the functionality of the original at best. Sorry.

     

    Much of the things I find really innovative from Microsoft have been vaporware or quazi-vaporware, Courier, Natal, WinFS, Surface, etc. And yes I'm calling Courier and Natal vaporware, unless Microsoft does settles on a release date I have no reason to believe either will ever come out, and if they do, they will never be the same products in the fabricated "concept demos".

     

    Of the things that are actually out and usable today, I would call "PowerShell" the most innovative thing from Microsoft in the past 10 years. They took a 30+ year old idea, and made it new and fresh.

  • Microsoft's creative destruction

    W3bbo said:
    Charles said:
    *snip*

    Exactly, so shouldn't Microsoft be good at the design of software and services that lead OEMs to be better players against your competitors?

    MSFT managed to maintain a near monopoly on OSes for 15+ years. From a business perspective, that is pretty impressive.

  • Australian ISP wins against film studios claiming copyright infringment

    elmer said:
    W3bbo said:
    *snip*

    Yes, I agree with most of that, and I’m certainly not arguing a case for censorship or trying to be an apologist for the Govt/Conroy.

     

    However, many of the claims made about the proposal, and the subsequent perceptions held, are based on misinformation, and I believe that the only way you can wage an effective campaign against something, is if you know he facts and base your arguments on them.

     

    The only point I would make is that the proposed mandatory filters don't actually set out to make "morality" judgments, and only propose to filter "illegal" material... i.e. stuff that you would otherwise be arrested and penalised for if found in possession of.

     

    However, as you say, the effectiveness is so questionable, that it's hard to see how it's going to be anything more than an appeasement of the wowser groups... and it's such a slippery slope to be stepping on to, that you really have to ask if we should be going there at all.

    I don't personally support any form of prior restraint on speech, regardless of it's legal status.

  • Microsoft's creative destruction

    Ray7 said:
    Bass said:
    *snip*

    I see your point, but what if you have your head in your sand to such an extent you believe you're invincible? A lot of the problems we're seeing here is because Microsoft could not (and still doesn't) see Apple as competition.

     

     

    These kinds of things happened before. IBM/Apple went through such phases. You eventually lay off virtually all of middle management, some of upper management, and many of the lower end peons who aren't doing anything really useful. You kill any long standing unprofitable projects.

     

    The organization gets a lot smaller and more focused, the people employed are mostly directly focused on the core business, the management structure is flattened and bureaucracy is largely eliminated. Then you start hiring more self motivated people as you get back on your feet, but bureaucracy starts creeping in again inevitably. Then you just repeat the cycle if it gets bad enough.

     

    If you don't do this, you will eventually go bankrupt in a competitive market. Unless of course, it's not a competitive market. Like you are a government agency with a steady revenue stream of tax dollars. Or you are a big business with a very stable business model. Then you just stay in business without having to worry about organizational efficiency. For the case of Microsoft, if their steady revenue stream starts loosing pressure, they will also start doing these things (as they have in the past year or so, due to declining revenues). They find no shame in trimming the hedges, which leads to believe they are better run then you think.

  • Microsoft's creative destruction

    ManipUni said:

    I agree with W3bbo. Microsoft needs to start up small organisations and tell them, here is some cash, if you can make it profitable you can keep a stake. If you cannot then we destroy it and start again after a few years. Even if 90% of the cash you throw at this might be wasted, the 10% will easily pay for it.

     

    In other words Microsoft as one company = bad. Microsoft as the overlord of tons of micro-companies = good.

    Competition is such an important thing for the health of a organization that China (which is still largely Communist, believe it or not) competes with itself. In that there will be multiple government agencies producing a single kind of product on purpose. So basically they are doing what W3bbo said, on a massive scale.

  • Microsoft's creative destruction

    Ray7 said:
    Bass said:
    *snip*

    I don't think the competition is going to help. This is a culture problem.

     

    Competition kills organizational problems. It's the business equivalent of natural selection.

  • FOSDEM this weekend

    TommyCarlier said:
    Bass said:
    *snip*

    No, I can only go on Sunday, for the Mono-track. I think it's pretty cool that such a large event can be organized without charging people.

    That's a shame. There will apperently be 65 types of beer available.

     

    I think it's pretty cool that such a large event can be organized without charging people.

     

    FOSDEM has some pretty wealthy sponsors.

  • Microsoft's creative destruction

    I think Microsoft will become more innovative once they have some real competition and actually have to fight hard for green balance sheets. They resemble to me a for-profit government agency. Which basically means public sector culture, with private sector job security. Perplexed