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It's Not A Problem If Nobody Knows
August 28th 2000, 21:58 CEST by andy

Spotted a link on Slashdot to a story on InfoWorld, "Sun admits to memory problem". Very interesting stuff, revealing how "a few dozen" Sun UNIX servers have been experiencing memory problems for around 18 months.



What's most interesting, though, is that clients who were experiencing the problem were reportedly asked by Sun to sign non-disclosure agreements. According to the InfoWorld story, quoting an analyst, "the nondisclosure agreements were apparently offered with a claim that signing them would bolster Sun's commitment to resolving the problem quickly".

Read between the not-so-subtle lines and it sounds like Sun were blackmailing their clients -- those who talked to the press (or anyone else) wouldn't get their systems fixed as quickly as those who kept the problem secret. Nice attitude, eh?

C O M M E N T S
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#1 by "Karl Palutke"
2000-08-28 22:04:24
palutkek@asme.org
I am Jack's Complete Lack of Surprise.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#2 by "Rantage"
2000-08-28 22:05:01
rantage@hotmail.com http://www.steelmaelstrom.org
Blackmailing?  I don't think so.  If Sun had said, <I>"if you <B>don't</B> sign this NDA, we won't work on the problem,"</I> perhaps I would agree.

I'm sure there's more to this story, and I'd like to hear it.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#3 by "szcx"
2000-08-28 22:41:04
szcx@planetszcx.com
if the story is accurate, it sounds like blackmail to me.  people had machines they couldn't use, and sun wouldn't fix them unless they signed an nda.

no nda, no "bolstered" commitment.
#4 by "BloodKnight"
2000-08-28 23:34:52
bloodknight@somethingawful.com
Blackmail from Sun's anal

I have no clue about this story (I don't even know what the hell Sun is), but this does sound like blackmail to me
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#5 by "Paul"
2000-08-28 23:40:10
paul@paulbullman.com http://www.paulbullman.com
it's not really blackmail. no one was forced to do anything. in fact, a whistleblower might have gotten a quicker response from Sun. Threaten a little bad press, and a fix should be right around the corner.

- Paul
#6 by "szcx"
2000-08-28 23:54:20
szcx@planetszcx.com
i'm not going to <i>force</i> you to pay $50,000 for these photos of you and dolly the sheep... i'll just publish them.

sun didn't <i>force</i> them to sign nda's to get their systems repaired... they can just wait until sun feels inclined to look into it (ie. never).
#7 by "PiRaMidA"
2000-08-29 00:17:07
piramida@agsm.net http://www.agsm.net
Sounds to me like they are doing what they can to fix it.. As for blackmailing, I highly doubt it, but we just don't have the facts to claim it is true or false - maybe because I can't read between the lines. I'm not one of Sun's customers, just a regular employee, so maybe the inner workings are real dirty and the NDA is there to really silence the customers, but I doubt it. Problems seem minor (yes I know about eBay story, but it was caused by something else, as far as I heard). If the problem was serious I doubt that companies which spent quite a lot of money on their hardware would not loudly comment on it. Maybe Sun actually does what customers ask it to do?<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#8 by "Dethstryk"
2000-08-29 00:18:06
dethstryk@damagegaming.com http://www.damagegaming.com/
It all seems a little fishy to me, and come on.. with how the corporate world is today, how can it not be on the shady side?


--
Dethstryk
Damage Gaming
#9 by "Bracket"
2000-08-29 00:28:15
thebracket@yahoo.com http://borealis.eyep.net/
Can't say I'm surprised; Sun have done this sort of thing before. A university at which I used to work had a bunch of Sparc servers. One of them (a high-end server supposed to cater for several thousand users) had truly awful reliability - rebooting most days, and taking nearly an hour to come back up. Sun's technicians played with it a lot, and never could make it work - but the University had signed a gagging order preventing them from publicizing the problems with this particular model of server... even though the server was still on sale, and everyone we spoke with had suffered a similar fate. Sun have a great rating with BugTraq largely because they won't let anyone report the errors, as opposed to their having a stable OS.

Ironically, the university switched everything over to NT (ditching Sun completely), and have had next to no problems. So much for reputations!
#10 by "flamethrower"
2000-08-29 02:13:36
flamethrower@barrysworld.com http://flamethrower.evilavatar.com
<a href="http://www.evilavatar.com/EA/News/M12927/default.htm">Of more interest to gamers than SUN workstations</a><I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#11 by "crash"
2000-08-29 02:22:32
crash@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
flamey: in regards to your question on the thread posted on ea:

<a href="http://patents.uspto.gov/cgi-bin/ifetch4?ENG+PATBIB-ALL+0+985998+0+5+105367+OF+1+1+1+PN%2f5%2c687%2c357" target="_blank">5,687,357</a>

<a href="http://patents.uspto.gov/cgi-bin/ifetch4?ENG+PATBIB-ALL+0+986388+0+6+20391+OF+1+1+1+PN%2f5%2c721%2c947" target="_blank">5,721,947</a>

<a href="http://patents.uspto.gov/cgi-bin/ifetch4?ENG+PATBIB-ALL+0+986664+0+6+59594+OF+1+1+1+PN%2f5%2c758%2c182" target="_blank">5,758,182</a>

<a href="http://patents.uspto.gov/cgi-bin/ifetch4?ENG+PATBIB-ALL+0+986910+0+8+16520+OF+1+1+1+PN%2f6%2c023%2c738" target="_blank">6,023,738</a>

<a href="http://patents.uspto.gov/cgi-bin/ifetch4?ENG+PATBIB-ALL+0+987168+0+8+93304+OF+1+1+1+PN%2f6%2c092%2c124" target="_blank">6,092,124</a>

have fun. it's all Greek to me.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#12 by "RahvinTaka"
2000-08-29 02:33:31
donaldp@mad.scientist.com
Gee sun gagging bad press - who would have everthought ?

All I can say is oh DERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

they have been doing this for years.

There is clauses in initial agreements that state support bought (if any) is limited. Gee according to Andy logic that makes it all right. Everyone who has sun stuff agreed to these limitations from the begining.
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#13 by "Craig"
2000-08-29 02:42:31
craigl@globalnet.co.uk http://www.planetcrap.com/crapspy/
Here are the links that crash provided, redone for CrapSpy users (as it doesn't respond to new browser window requests)

<A href="http://patents.uspto.gov/cgi-bin/ifetch4?ENG+PATBIB-ALL+0+985998+0+5+105367+OF+1+1+1+PN%2f5%2c687%2c357">5,687,357</A>

<A href="http://patents.uspto.gov/cgi-bin/ifetch4?ENG+PATBIB-ALL+0+986388+0+6+20391+OF+1+1+1+PN%2f5%2c721%2c947">5,721,947</A>

<A href="http://patents.uspto.gov/cgi-bin/ifetch4?ENG+PATBIB-ALL+0+986664+0+6+59594+OF+1+1+1+PN%2f5%2c758%2c182">5,758,182</A>

<A href="http://patents.uspto.gov/cgi-bin/ifetch4?ENG+PATBIB-ALL+0+986910+0+8+16520+OF+1+1+1+PN%2f6%2c023%2c738">6,023,738</A>

<A href="http://patents.uspto.gov/cgi-bin/ifetch4?ENG+PATBIB-ALL+0+987168+0+8+93304+OF+1+1+1+PN%2f6%2c092%2c124">6,092,124</A><I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#14 by "flamethrower"
2000-08-29 02:47:12
flamethrower@barrysworld.com http://flamethrower.evilavatar.com
<b>#11</b> "crash"

<QUOTE>have fun. it's all Greek to me.</QUOTE>


<b>--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A DMA controller which responds without operating system intervention to virtual addresses provided by application programs, and a memory management unit for providing translations between physical addresses of input/output devices and addresses on a system input/output bus for data transferred by the DMA controller.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------</b>

In the voice of an chest-wheezy old bum in Deus Ex: "sounds like this chip company is trying to take control of all future types of computer".
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#15 by "Vengeance[CoD]"
2000-08-29 02:50:30
rhiggi@home.com
<b>#14</b> "flamethrower" wrote...
<QUOTE><B><A href="spy-internal:Load/142#11">#11</A></B> "crash"


<quote>have fun. it's all Greek to me.</quote>


<B>--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A DMA controller which responds without operating system intervention to virtual addresses provided by application programs, and a memory management unit for providing translations between physical addresses of input/output devices and addresses on a system input/output bus for data transferred by the DMA controller.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------</B>

In the voice of an chest-wheezy old bum in Deus Ex: "sounds like this chip company is trying to take control of all future types of computer".
</QUOTE>
Oh no more patent stuff, its only a matter of time now....
I know we're all going to come up with the same old shit.  "I just patented air, and no you can't have any.  DIE DIE DIE!"
Lets try to be a little more original this time shall we?

V<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#16 by "Vengeance[CoD]"
2000-08-29 02:55:46
rhiggi@home.com
<b>#12</b> "RahvinTaka" wrote...
<QUOTE>Gee sun gagging bad press - who would have everthought ?

All I can say is oh DERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

they have been doing this for years.

There is clauses in initial agreements that state support bought (if any) is limited. Gee according to Andy logic that makes it all right. Everyone who has sun stuff agreed to these limitations from the begining.
</QUOTE>

Oh no.  Hes going to jump on this big time as it supports the previous threads on EULA's.

I never knew it was this bad, course I guess it makes sense if no one can say anything negative.  At least know we know where MS gets their diabolical plans from....

V

btw, you left out an 'E' on the end of DERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR, its silent :p<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#17 by "RahvinTaka"
2000-08-29 04:15:48
donaldp@mad.scientist.com
<b>#16</b> "Vengeance[CoD]" wrote...
<QUOTE><B><A href="spy-internal:Load/142#12">#12</A></B> "RahvinTaka" wrote...
At least know we know where MS gets their diabolical plans from....
</QUOTE>

I would contend that Sun got them from MS, MS got them from IBM - not sure where IBM got them from.

Some days I see Sun as the next MS as it does similar things - but recently I have seen a big sway away from MS tactics. They fully support Gnome2 (a linux thingie) which is like them supporting a competitor to their OS.

They also supporting linux generally a lot more - pushing stuff to different linux distributors etc. Their java side while still mega restrictive is slowly opening up as the MS threat goes away and the majority of people switch to java as dev platform.

My contention is that sometime in the future they will opensource parts of their own OS and integrate it into linux. Much like IBM and AFS filesystem. Once Linux can compare to Suns OS and run on all sorts of hardware then I see them jumping boat and paying for support. Smart move by them I guess - thou they wont act for at least another 3-4 years is my guess - still gives em time to pull out and close everything up again.

It will be interesting to see how it pans out. I can see the end of product based software industry on the horizon - yea :P.

Maybe then it will come across into games industry :P - thou never while there are those immature producers about .... mmm I would even look forward to some big guys like WB or AOL becoming distributrs of games - that would push us into service orientated economy faster - yea :P



<QUOTE>
btw, you left out an 'E' on the end of DERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR, its silent :p</QUOTE>

dammit - never was to good at speling.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#18 by "None-1a"
2000-08-29 04:21:09
none1a@home.com http://www.geocities.com/none-1a/
All I can say on topic is it's nice to know (or at lest have some resonable suspesion) that at lest one of the compnies that can do no wrong (Sun, orical, any body not microsoft) has dark side.

<b>#15</b> "Vengeance[CoD]" wrote...
<QUOTE>I know we're all going to come up with the same old shit. "I just patented air, and no you can't have any. DIE DIE DIE!"
Lets try to be a little more original this time shall we? </QUOTE>

Ok I just patented a very addictive drug that also happens to support the basic functions of the human body. Every one will be required to have an anti-resporator implanted into there body at brith (I also hold the patent on this technology), indaviduals can aquire the rights to use this addictive and nessisary drug for a small fee, governments can also aquie the rights based on their acctaul census infomation (this will be varified by no less then two outside srouces at the expence of those trying to aquire the rights).

I will be granting temporary use to all current living persons, untill they are admited to a doctor for any reason. At such time they will be require to have the anti-resporator implanted.

May not be original, but it sure as hell sounds better.

--
None-1a.

O forget it.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#19 by "Warren Marshall"
2000-08-29 04:37:35
warren@epicgames.com http://www.epicgames.com
<b>flamethrower</b> (#10):
<QUOTE><A href="http://www.evilavatar.com/EA/News/M12927/default.htm">Of more interest to gamers than SUN workstations</A></QUOTE>

Patents suck.  They suck for software and they suck for hardware.  Can anyone think of any GOOD that has come from someone getting a patent on either of these things?

--

Warren Marshall - Professional Nuisance<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#20 by "None-1a"
2000-08-29 04:42:54
none1a@home.com http://www.geocities.com/none-1a/
<b>#19</b> "Warren Marshall" wrote...
<QUOTE>Patents suck. They suck for software and they suck for hardware. Can anyone think of any GOOD that has come from someone getting a patent on either of these things? </QUOTE>

No, they need a major change in the time frame software and hardware patents are active. For example software should be nomore then 1 year, and hardware no more then 6 months (that way the pantint for the previous generation is just expiring as the company begins to enhance it for the second).

--
None-1a.

O forget it.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#21 by "Andy"
2000-08-29 04:44:56
andy@planetcrap.com http://www.meejahor.com/
<b>#19</b>, Warren Marshall:
<QUOTE>
Patents suck. They suck for software and they suck for hardware. Can anyone think of any GOOD that has come from someone getting a patent on either of these things?
</QUOTE>
The "good" comes before the patent, not after, and that's really the way I think you have to look at it. Being able to patent technology is, in part, the incentive to create that technology in the first place.

Why should company A spend money researching and developing a new technology, only to have company B copy and market it at a cheaper price? The only incentive for company A is the few months of initial market exclusivity, and in most cases that won't be sufficient to justify the R&D costs.

Patents, ideally, reward innovation.
#22 by "Warren Marshall"
2000-08-29 05:36:26
warren@epicgames.com http://www.epicgames.com
<b>Andy</b> (#21):
<QUOTE>Patents, ideally, reward innovation. </QUOTE>

Ideally, yes.  But this is hardly ever what happens.  Although I wouldn't be so opposed to them if it worked somewhat like what None-1a was saying ... small windows where the patents are active.  6 months should be enough for a company to have it's advantage and reward for developing a technology.

--

Warren Marshall - Professional Nuisance<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#23 by "Gabe"
2000-08-29 05:51:18
gakruger@hotmail.com
I work for a small early stage research company developing a new medical imaging technology targeted for use in mammography. We are currently venture funded and in the process of looking for further funding.

We have patented our core technologies. This allows us to discuss openly our technology. We can present it at scientific conferences, we have a web site with information about the technology, and we can fairly safely approach potential partners. This is all because of patent protection. Since we are trying to get the word out and build up interest in the hopes of getting funding, we could not viably go the route of trade secrets. Without patent protection, a company like G.E. could take the idea and run with it. Six months would not come close to providing ample time for us to get an advantage. A large company will already have the infrastructure in place to manufacture and market devices well before we ever could.

I put forth this case study not to say that all patents are good, but rather that not all patents are bad.

Gabe<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#24 by "Paul"
2000-08-29 06:13:35
paul@paulbullman.com http://www.paulbullman.com
Vengeance[CoD]:

Sorry dude, but I patented the idea of patenting air a few years back. Therefore, I own the rights to patenting air as well. We can sit down and work out a reasonable contract though.
--

What ever happened to the guy who patented the real life image thing on computers and sued 3d Realms(and a few others I believe).

Paul
Shrinkweb.com
#25 by "None-1a"
2000-08-29 06:17:27
none1a@home.com http://www.geocities.com/none-1a/
<b>#23</b> "Gabe" wrote...
<QUOTE>We have patented our core technologies. This allows us to discuss openly our technology. We can present it at scientific conferences, we have a web site with information about the technology, and we can fairly safely approach potential partners. This is all because of patent protection. Since we are trying to get the word out and build up interest in the hopes of getting funding, we could not viably go the route of trade secrets. Without patent protection, a company like G.E. could take the idea and run with it. Six months would not come close to providing ample time for us to get an advantage. A large company will already have the infrastructure in place to manufacture and market devices well before we ever could. </QUOTE>

When I read warren's comments I took them to mean in computer hardware, For example say Nvidia wanted to support T-buffer, or 3dfx wanted to used the same t&l engine as Nvidia. Currently they'd have to strike a deal, wait for the patents to expire, or take each other to court to have them deamed invalid.

Right now most companies are taking the last option, this is unessisaraly tieing up the courts (who normaly rule that the patinet should be voided), when a shorter 1 generation system would allow these companies to use the older tech which in all likly hood would have the patient removed if pushed.

Think about a few technologies that have been introduced in the last few years, T-buffer, hardware t&l, SSE, and others. All are currently seeing little use, and all excluding t-buffer have been around for one generation. Had a 1 generation system been used all new graphics cards would be able to use the same t&l engine as the GeForce cards, while Nvidia and those making cards based on their chips could have easly mopped up with the early adopters. 6 months latter the new generation of cards is ready to release and now the rest of the companies can now use the same t&l engine as the origninal GeForce line, Nvidia still makes money do to lower cost to produce the chips now (selling as a budget line), while the other companies try to offer lower cost version or new features built around the old engine. We can all take advatage of this because we now have a quasi-standered, which developers could use and expect all new cards to have the needed support (the same with any of the above examples).

Yes there are going to be some areas where it might now work out right (say CPU's that have a much longer generation) however I belive that over all in comsumer level computer hardware and many consumer electronics it would be a much bigger boom then a bust (considering design to market time for these are much faster then in say medical tech).

The deffinet solution is a per case, per product, per industry, based time limit that would be desided at the time of the application. I'd deffinetly take more time when filling, but it would save a lot of time on the other side of things (expecialy when you include the fact that some companies will hold much of the tech and apply at a latter date to try and extend the time).

--
None-1a.

O forget it.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#26 by "Gabe"
2000-08-29 06:28:37
gakruger@hotmail.com
<b>#25</b> "None-1a" wrote...
<QUOTE>
The deffinet solution is a per case, per product, per industry, based time limit that would be desided at the time of the application. I'd deffinetly take more time when filling, but it would save a lot of time on the other side of things (expecialy when you include the fact that some companies will hold much of the tech and apply at a latter date to try and extend the time).
</QUOTE>
I get really nervous when per case, etc. starts getting bandied about. Who decides? Can you appeal? When you leave leeway in the definitions, things get muddied.

Patents leave room for a small company to innovate and potentially fight with the big boys. Perhaps some company is out there with a brilliant idea that dramatically increases performance. About the only thing that would allow them entry into the market might be a patent on that idea. If they are stuck using the same time limits set for established companies, they won't have a chance.

Gabe<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#27 by "Sgt Hulka"
2000-08-29 06:52:25
Sgt_Hulka@Hulka.com http://www.hulka.com
<b>#23</b> "Gabe" wrote...
<QUOTE>I put forth this case study not to say that all patents are good, but rather that not all patents are bad.
</QUOTE>

Excellent point Gaberooni!<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#28 by "None-1a"
2000-08-29 07:08:46
none1a@home.com http://www.geocities.com/none-1a/
<b>#26</b> "Gabe" wrote...
<QUOTE>Patents leave room for a small company to innovate and potentially fight with the big boys. Perhaps some company is out there with a brilliant idea that dramatically increases performance. About the only thing that would allow them entry into the market might be a patent on that idea. If they are stuck using the same time limits set for established companies, they won't have a chance. </QUOTE>

That's just it, say I have a start up producing new graphics chips at the comsumer level. If I'm not in the market quickly I've already dead. This is exactly what happened with Gigapixel, when it was first being shown it killed every thing on the market at the time, unfortinitly Gigapixel just couldn't get it out in time and got passed up quickly. Now there on the 3rd or 4th generation of their engine, and have yet to produce a product that I can buy. The current perofrmance (in that great place called thery where every thing works just right), kills every thing on the market today (even toppling 3dfx's own 4 chip solution v5 6000), unfortinitly it doesn't look the 3dfx is going to get these technologies onto a chip for market untill some time next year (by that time S3, powerVR, ATI, Nvidia, and just about every oneelse will have products that meet surpass it's performance).

A quickly expireing patient could help these companies more then hirt them, if it expires more quickly they will feel more pressured then they currently are to get it out the door (has both a good and a bad side I know). If they miss the window with or with out the shorter tearm they still fail.

<b>#26</b> "Gabe" wrote...
<QUOTE>I get really nervous when per case, etc. starts getting bandied about. Who decides? Can you appeal? When you leave leeway in the definitions, things get muddied. </QUOTE>

The same people currently desiding if the patient stands or not. Currently any company can chalange a patient at any time (normaly claming the company continueing to hold that patient harms consumers). Now basicly what I would do is move this same process up to before the patient is given (the company would be given a temporary patient to bar the technologies use while the procidings where taking place), the basic procedings would be just to determon the average life span of the technology in that field, the average of time before the technolgy is enchanced or completly out dated by other meathods. It would also take into account how much is being done to create to this new technology (is it completly new or simply built off of something that exist).

One last little example for before I head off to bed. Take IBM's nanite buildt read/write heads for hard drives (where the matiral is basicly attached to a DNA/RNA strain that is tricked into putting it together as intended), this oviously takes much more R&D time then a relativly simple inhancemnet to the existing manufacutring process and read/write heads themselves.

Now I do see a down side to trying this now, the people making these desision have no idea how this stuff works, or even able to understand much of it. Also the people advicing them are going to have there own hidden reasons for seeing the time peirod shorted, however we are currently dealing with the same thing when ever a patient infrengment or and attempt to over turn one is brought up. I'm not going to say it's perfict (ok I've came close), but there must be a better way then appling the old system system to industris that moves this quickly. Speeding up the experation to better match the industry makes since, while keeping an option of reivew to incurage companies to take the jump into radicaly new areas also makes some since.

I've got this idea and throw it out there, it's not as radical as the fuck all patients, copywrite, and trademark crowd. The just has to be a way to change the current system, while keeping around the exact thing it was designed to do in the first place.

--
None-1a.

O forget it.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#29 by "Dragon"
2000-08-29 07:17:44
dragon@planetshogo.com
Patents are also a way to keep small companies from getting into a industry.

What if Intel patented the 80x86 archietecture? That would have kept AMD, Cyrix and a few other comapines out while Intel just kept getting richer. Intel then wouldn't have any real competiton and would be able to charge what ever amount of money it wanted for it's chips. ($6000 for a P-3 450 anyone?)

Although, I'm probably over-simplifying my example and you guys will rip through it like a hot tank through butter. But I'm caffine-deprived and can't think of anything else to say.

Good night.

Dragon
Am I supposed to put a sig here? Bah, the heck with it.
#30 by "Seth Krieg"
2000-08-29 07:24:45
seth@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
<b>#29</b> "Dragon" wrote -
<QUOTE>

Patents are also a way to keep small companies from getting into a industry.

What if Intel patented the 80x86 archietecture? That would have kept AMD, Cyrix and a few other comapines out while Intel just kept getting richer. Intel then wouldn't have any real competiton and would be able to charge what ever amount of money it wanted for it's chips. ($6000 for a P-3 450 anyone?)

Although, I'm probably over-simplifying my example and you guys will rip through it like a hot tank through butter. But I'm caffine-deprived and can't think of anything else to say.

Good night.

Dragon
Am I supposed to put a sig here? Bah, the heck with it. </QUOTE>

I may be wrong, but didn't Intel at least initially fund AMD for a while? I don't know whether this is absurd or not, but a heard it from an (new hire) Intel employee who said he heard it at his orientation (Umpqua Community College is an Intel nest over here, as Beaverton is only about 2 hours away from where I live).<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#31 by "G-Man"
2000-08-29 11:12:31
jonmars@shiftlock.org http://www.shiftlock.org
All you people extolling the virtues of patent protection in the marketplace should probably cast your baleful eyes on Japan, the land that the patent office forgot. Remember we're a highly adaptable species.

 - [g.man]<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#32 by "Warmonger [AI]"
2000-08-29 11:35:35
warmonger87@hotmail.com
<b>#29</b> "Dragon" wrote...
<QUOTE>Dragon
Am I supposed to put a sig here? Bah, the heck with it. </QUOTE>

First off, Hi Dragon! Haven't seen you for a while. School got you sleeping at normal times? When do you use ICQ now?

How's this for a sig:

Coding away at LOF till the cows come home<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#33 by "dukope"
2000-08-29 12:05:06
holy f*cking harpoon:

http://www.fatbabies.com/fatstories.html

dnf is changing engines again?

somebody start a topic on this beast please.
#34 by "None-1a"
2000-08-29 13:28:08
none1a@home.com http://www.geocities.com/none-1a/
<b>#30</b> "Seth Krieg" wrote...
<QUOTE>I may be wrong, but didn't Intel at least initially fund AMD for a while? I don't know whether this is absurd or not, but a heard it from an (new hire) Intel employee who said he heard it at his orientation (Umpqua Community College is an Intel nest over here, as Beaverton is only about 2 hours away from where I live).</QUOTE>

I think Intel produce the chips for AMD before they had their own facilities (I know there is a connection between the two one way or another, because I sware I've got an AMD chip around here that had Intel's name on it, haven't yet figured out what the chip does exactly).



--
None-1a.

O forget it.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#35 by "Tom Cleghorn"
2000-08-29 13:48:40
tc10@spammegoonidareya.st-andrews.ac.uk http://www.fisty.com/~tom/
<b>dukope:</b>
I'll believe it when I see a press release from 3dR... until then, well, that site's a part of Portal of Evil... so you can take anything you read there with a big - wink...
#36 by "G-Man"
2000-08-29 15:06:49
jonmars@shiftlock.org http://www.shiftlock.org
<b>#33</b> "dukope" wrote...
<QUOTE>dnf is changing engines again?</QUOTE>
It is probably something trivial like, switching to the Unreal 2 engine or adding Digital Extremes's MMORPG code into their build. Or changing engines for a console port only, etc.

 - [g.man]<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#37 by "Seth Krieg"
2000-08-29 15:53:05
seth@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
Wonder if this has anything to do with Hargrove leaving. Seing how Brandon is the hot-shot programmer for 3dRealms now, we know where his history is. An engine switch seems unlikely, maybe incoporation of another engine to the exisitng DNF code...

I'd be willing to bet their art/level designers will leave if they have to redo everything again for another broad engine change.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#38 by "Gabe"
2000-08-29 16:07:55
gakruger@hotmail.com
<b>#28</b> "None-1a" wrote...
<QUOTE>
A quickly expireing patient could help these companies more then hirt them, if it expires more quickly they will feel more pressured then they currently are to get it out the door (has both a good and a bad side I know). If they miss the window with or with out the shorter tearm they still fail.
</QUOTE>
Do you really believe Gigapixel didn't get to market because they didn't want to? Because they were lazy? That having only a six month window with exclusive use of their technology would somehow have gotten the chips on boards and in our hands? I think it just goes to show how difficult it is to get into a market, even with superior technology, and if patents were so limited, new companies would have practically no chance.

Anyway, Gigapixel was rewarded for their innovation: 3dfx bought them. If they did not have the patent protection, 3dfx would've just taken the technology and the inventors would not have been rewarded.

Gabe<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#39 by "RahvinTaka"
2000-08-29 17:20:35
donaldp@mad.scientist.com
<b>#18</b> "None-1a" wrote...
<QUOTE>All I can say on topic is it's nice to know (or at lest have some resonable suspesion) that at lest one of the compnies that can do no wrong (Sun, orical, any body not microsoft) has dark side. </QUOTE>

racle !!!! they are evil incarnate - what plane are you existing on ? =)<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#40 by "RahvinTaka"
2000-08-29 17:22:58
donaldp@mad.scientist.com
<b>#39</b> "RahvinTaka" wrote...
<QUOTE><B><A href="spy-internal:Load/142#18">#18</A></B> "None-1a" wrote...

<quote>All I can say on topic is it's nice to know (or at lest have some resonable suspesion) that at lest one of the compnies that can do no wrong (Sun, orical, any body not microsoft) has dark side. </quote>

racle !!!! they are evil incarnate - what plane are you existing on ? =)</QUOTE>

grr O-racle !!!<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#41 by "Jeremy"
2000-08-29 17:23:22
jnthornh@eos.ncsu.edu
<b>#35</b> "Tom Cleghorn" wrote...
<QUOTE>I'll believe it when I see a press release from 3dR... until then, well, that site's a part of Portal of Evil... so you can take anything you read there with a big - wink... </QUOTE>
Bingo!

You have to take POE sites even less seriously than the crapper.

Jeremy
--
Despite your efforts to be a romantic hero, you will gradually evolve into a postmodern plot device. <I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#42 by "xero"
2000-08-29 17:27:42
xero@tweak3d.net http://www.tweak3d.net
<b>None-1a</b> (#28):
<QUOTE>That's just it, say I have a start up producing new graphics chips at the comsumer level. If I'm not in the market quickly I've already dead. This is exactly what happened with Gigapixel, when it was first being shown it killed every thing on the market at the time, unfortinitly Gigapixel just couldn't get it out in time and got passed up quickly. Now there on the 3rd or 4th generation of their engine, and have yet to produce a product that I can buy. The current perofrmance (in that great place called thery where every thing works just right), kills every thing on the market today (even toppling 3dfx's own 4 chip solution v5 6000), unfortinitly it doesn't look the 3dfx is going to get these technologies onto a chip for market untill some time next year (by that time S3, powerVR, ATI, Nvidia, and just about every oneelse will have products that meet surpass it's performance).

A quickly expireing patient could help these companies more then hirt them, if it expires more quickly they will feel more pressured then they currently are to get it out the door (has both a good and a bad side I know). If they miss the window with or with out the shorter tearm they still fail.</QUOTE>

That is bullshit.

Gigapixel did not <b>fail</b>, they were <b>bought by 3dfx</b>. Without that patent on their GP1 technology, they would have <b>never been bought</b>. 3dfx would just look at their stuff, rip it off and go on their merry way, richer in technology for free.

Because patents were there, 3dfx bought GP so they could own the rights to their technology and use their technology. The former owners of GP are now rich. I don't see how they failed.




On the flipside, the problem with NVIDIA is they are claiming patents on things that are basically obvious. This is just like the case where Amazon somehow managed to confuse the patent office into granting a patent on One-Click Shopping... that's right, shopping online involving a single-click purchase method was owned by Amazon.com. Obviously this was later invalidated.

The true problem is at the patent offices: they don't know what's unique and what's obvious in the tech world. All a company has to do is make something obvious sound complex to get it through the patent office. Since these things will never hold up in court, they save them as ammunition against other companies to use when they need a basis for an expensive lawsuit or injuction to stop a shipping product. Nice political tactic eh?

Conversely, when it comes to something as directly specific as NVIDIA's T&L engine, no, it is not fair to let anyone copy that after a year. They need to make their <b>own</b> T&L engine. Adding on to that, letting them copy NVIDIA's T&L engine wouldn't do a damn thing for developers except make sure there are more cards with T&L out there, something that will happen whether NV's T&L is public or not. The APIs D3D and OGL will allow for developers to all utilize T&L whether it be 3dfx or NV's version, so we're not really helping anyone by doing that.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#43 by "PainKilleR-[CE]"
2000-08-29 17:34:23
painkiller@planetfortress.com http://www.planetfortress.com/tftech/
<b>#42</b> "xero" wrote...
<QUOTE>Adding on to that, letting them copy NVIDIA's T&L engine wouldn't do a damn thing for developers except make sure there are more cards with T&L out there, something that will happen whether NV's T&L is public or not. The APIs D3D and OGL will allow for developers to all utilize T&L whether it be 3dfx or NV's version, so we're not really helping anyone by doing that.</QUOTE>

and just maybe someone else's T&L engine will perform better than nVidia's and the consumer will be the ones to gain something from the research that most card makers wouldn't undertake if there were a shorter lifespan on patents. Things like 3dfx buying Gigapixel and nVidia and S3 making deals to use each other's patents are the reasons that people do this sort of research to begin with: to profit from it.

-PainKilleR-[CE]
#44 by "xero"
2000-08-29 17:52:50
xero@tweak3d.net http://www.tweak3d.net
<b>PainKilleR-[CE]</b> (#43):
<QUOTE>and just maybe someone else's T&L engine will perform better than nVidia's and the consumer will be the ones to gain something from the research that most card makers wouldn't undertake if there were a shorter lifespan on patents. Things like 3dfx buying Gigapixel and nVidia and S3 making deals to use each other's patents are the reasons that people do this sort of research to begin with: to profit from it.
</QUOTE>

Precisely. :)

I did forget to say that: patents give technology actual cash value. Giving them cash value makes getting them a good buisness decision. Companies will pursue better technology, companies will compete, and the consumer benefits as a result.

You can see what happens when companies <b>don't</b> compete; anyone remember the old Intel roadmap that said Intel's P3-800 should be coming out in about a month or 2 from now? Looks to me like AMD might have changed that. ;)<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#45 by "JSHAW"
2000-08-29 17:53:08
JSHAW@carolina.rr.com
Screw SUN and screw their fucked up server memory problems!

What I find funny is that SUN's main mouthpiece CEO goes around everywhere he can trashing and talking shit about Microsoft, and Bill Gates, yet they want to play "hush hush" about their own internal problems.

Sounds like SUN didn't want the problems getting out into the media so their stock prices wouldn't come crashing down...right?
#46 by "Andy"
2000-08-29 18:04:34
andy@planetcrap.com http://www.meejahor.com/
Shhh! You're not allowed to talk about 3DR. It means you're biased against them and you're just trying to get hits.
#47 by "Whisp"
2000-08-29 18:34:23
whisp_@hotmail.com
I assume you've all read about the Intel 1.13 GHz recall?

-Whisp<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#48 by "Ian"
2000-08-29 18:54:04
Duke Forever changing engines, you say? I guess we all now who can take credit for that one.

In case you don't know who can take credit for the engine change, go to the story "The Dancing Bears of Hypocrisy" and check out post [99] and look at the very last line. In case that's to much effort for you, I'll just tell you that it was me, of course, who told George to change engines in DN4E. What I can't understand is why 3DRealms doesn't just save time and actually hire me instead of sending me "anonymous" envelopes stuffed full with twenty dollar bills every time they steal one of my ideas.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#49 by "MCorleone"
2000-08-29 18:56:07
johnnydell@hotmail.com
3DR guys:  

Did I miss a meeting?  When last I heard you were using the Unreal Engine for Duke.  Wasn't that why you brought Brandon over?  

I just read on fatbabies that you've switched again to a self-developed new engine.  Is this going to put dev back to square one again (again)?  

Quoth the Raven, "When it's done..."
#50 by "MCorleone"
2000-08-29 20:14:03
johnnydell@hotmail.com
My apologies.  In my eagerness to post a scoop I neglected to notice post 33 and further...

I agree:  Fuck the "bias 3dr lynch mob" pre-emptive strike that George feeds you all the time.

Could this be because recent games have dwarfed Duke's graphics and gameplay?

I for one can't even go back to SysShock2 let alone Halflife.  Not since Deus Ex.  You're free to do (almost) anything!
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