More from: motorola

Meltdown attack targets Intel processors

For some reason I have felt the preference to buy AMD processors in all my builds for the last decade. I am not against Intel – I used Intel and Motorola processors from the 1970’s onward. I do use liquid cooling and other after market heat sink arrangements which causes me to prefer the socket arrangements for AMD because I feel the AMD is more mechanically solid, but I could identify nothing really significant in my mind that caused this preference. Here is one more little nudge in the AMD direction.

From Information Week’s Dark Reading

Meltdown allows user applications to pilfer information from the operating system memory, as well as secret information of other programs. “If your computer has a vulnerable processor and runs an unpatched operating system, it is not safe to work with sensitive information without the chance of leaking the information. This applies both to personal computers as well as cloud infrastructure,” the researchers wrote in an FAQ about the attacks. “Luckily, there are software patches against Meltdown,” referring to Linux, Windows, and OS X updates (not all of which are yet available, however).

Most Intel processors since 1995 are affected by Meltdown, with the exception of Intel Itanium and Intel Atom prior to 2013). Only Intel processors are confirmed to be affected by it so far.

Android Partners poised to invade iPad Earth

From an article in eWeek,, it would seem vendors using the Android platform, including very significant player Motorola, are building upon their past successes competing with the iPhone to forge strong alternate products to the iPad. In part the article says:

Just as Google and its carrier partners countered the iPhone with the Nexus One and several other solid Android smartphones, the partners believe they have a solid answer in tablets powered by the forthcoming Android 3.0, or Honeycomb operating system.

The Motorola Xoom will launch running Android 3.0 next month, followed later this year by LG’s G-Slate, Asus’ Eee Pad Transformer and unnamed tablets from Samsung.

The Xoom sports a 10.1-inch screen powered by the Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor, which means it should easily be faster than the iPad.

The Xoom also boasts front- and rear-facing cameras, the chief hole the iPad has yet to fill, though that should change with the iPad 2 launch this spring.

Multitasking is another big gap for the iPad, where only one application runs at a time. The Xoom also offers an HDMI output to connect the tablet to the TV to play video or games.

That would be good news for consumers: our spies tell us that the actual cost to manufacture the iPad is about $20. That means the market is ready for a severe adjustment and there may be some profit taking as initial players enter priced very high, near the iPad price and then prices drop as more vendors enter the arena until ultimately we have iPad alternates SRP around $189: that’s enough for a 60% margin on retail for the retail seller, a 100% margin on cost for the manufacturer, and another 100% margin on cost for the middleman / warehouse.

Business mobile vendor, RIM has their own iPad killer wannabe, the PlayBook, which looks like a iPad done in tasteful business Black. It multitasks well, will run a whole business day on a charge, and has enough calculating power to allow playing video intensive games such as Quake. It also has an HDMI port so you can plug into large video screens for viewing videos, two 5 megapixel cameras, one forward facing and one rearward facing for conferencing, has no qualms about running Flash, and will tether to the business person’s BlackBerry. The PlayBook is thinner than your little finger and weighs less than a pound, but it is about the same LxW dimensions as the iPad.The eWeek article,, says:

RIM’s PlayBook represents the company’s hope for breaking into the rapidly burgeoning tablet market. The screen measures 7 inches, and power comes courtesy of a dual-core processor. RIM will market the PlayBook toward businesses increasingly interested in tablets as productivity tools. In keeping with that, the device includes PDF support among other features.

Motorola is no small outfit — they know how to promote mobile devices and they wouldn’t back a looser. RIM is solidly entrenched in the business market and they are not going to disappear anytime soon. This is going to go.

It will also motivate Apple to innovate some more, which is also good. Anytime  a company has a 3,000% profit margin on cost they have a reason to innovate and protect that profit, and alternate vendors have a reason to go after that market like starving wolves.

Tit for tat

Note: this article is the writers personal opinion. It is based upon almost 40 years of experience in small computers and communications, but it is still an opinion.It is presented AS IS. All use is at your own risk.

Microsoft was unsuccessful at introducing their Phone 7 product a month or two ago, with reviewers saying everything from “Well, at least the UI looks functional” to listing long lists of features promised two years ago, and expected by consumers in all smart phones today, that still are not in the Phone 7. Most intelligent manufacturers would look at this and fix the product, but that is not the path of Microsoft Hubris.

A month or so ago, Microsoft decided that instead of fixing its own product to realistically compete with market leading smart phone platform Android and #2 phone iPhone, that instead they would try to scare Motorola away from manufacturing the Droid by suing them for supposed patent infringement. Motorola has now turned the tables on Microsoft and is instead suing them for patent infringement. The details are discussed by Nicholas Kolakowski in an E-Week article you can read here.

Don’t get me started on how stupid it is to allow massive obsolete dying dinosaur corporations to patent every mathematical algorithm and scientific principal they would like to call their own. Microsoft has once again demonstrated that it is still Business as Usual in 1986. Drive all competition out of business, kill those you cannot buy — Microsoft is ‘too big to fail’!

Microsoft is not ‘too big to fail’: Microsoft could fire their obsolete 1980’s thinkers and hire people with vision to bring the company into the 21st century and compete. This same hubris is why Microsoft has lost customer after customer over the last decade to Apple and Linux — it is a big part of why their market share (as measured by statistics on which OS is in use on every computer which visits our web sites) has dropped from 90% a decade ago to maybe 60% now. It is likely also one reason Linux has grown so much from a trivial presence a decade ago to 27% today.

This maneuverer is the same failed approach used by SCO just a few years ago to try to intimidate IBM, and it cannot but fail just as badly and for the same reasons: Microsoft does not dare show one line of code that is allegedly stolen by Linux (Android) because as soon as they do there will be a global paper chase to identify the true origin and revision history of that code, and it is very very likely that any code Microsoft would claim was stolen from them by the open source community was actually in open source some years prior to Microsoft appropriating it from Linux and inserting it into their for profit product without honoring the legal obligations that attend the GPL. In other words, Microsoft does not merely live in a glass house: they live in a glass house where most of the glass has huge cracks due to their foundation settling.

Once any supposed stolen code segment is shown to have actually been stolen from the global Open Source Community by Microsoft, Windows would likely fall under the GPL and Microsoft would collapse under its final act of supreme unfathomable Hubris and stupidity. What would be truly delicious in this situation would be if Google and IBM would like to join in the fray and deliver a serious spanking. Maybe there would follow some serious cleaning at Microsoft and the company could quit living in the past and begin innovating again.