317 posts • joined 10 Aug 2012
Re: Laptop resolutions...
Pixel mania ignores other important factors such as bit depth, refresh rate and contrast range. While a claim is made that a mobe's 5" screen is higher resolution than ones laptop, the laptop display probably has better overall performance. Balance Grasshopper. The same thing goes for having the fastest CPU but a motherboard and memory that throttles the rest of the system. You would be better off with a slower processor and a MB that makes full use of it's speed.
2x the thickness
How about making them twice as thick? They could be much stronger and could fit a battery that would last for a couple of days. At some point, there is a thing as too thin. It's not as if you'd be shoving this into a tight pocket.
Car break in
Why am I getting a feeling that a year after all of this goes into effect there is going to be a news report about a laptop being stolen from a car with all of these databases on it.
Re: Luxury item
"On the contrary, I would expect people who care enough to buy organic would smoke less than average, excercise more than average etc and that this meta-difference would show up in the results... but even this seems not to be the case."
I've seen morbidly obese people order a double bacon cheeseburger, a large bag of chips and a DIET Coke. Given that, I won't believe any blanket statements about the people that eat more "organic" veg smoke less and exercise more.
I see dead trees
I'm always wary about installing yet another app to access something that can be made available without the custom app. Smartphone apps seem to be increasingly about information harvesting rather than doing just what the package reads. I get the feeling that this new system isn't going to come close to generating the income or passenger usage that the marketing chaps are on about and will die in trials. A bigger packet of nuts or pretzels would be nice.
Tell ya what, I'll just stuff a magazine or two into my carry-on bag along with some audiobooks on my iPod and I should be in good nick. Maybe I'll rip a movie from my DVD collection to the laptop. Perhaps a nap is the better plan. I've never been impressed with in-flight entertainment. Of course, I've never spent $2,500 each way on a ticket. At that price, I'm booking with Cunard for my trans-Atlantic trips.
Protecting their customers
The bit in the T&C's about being able to riffle through an account on M$ services to protect their "customers" is a whooping big net. A huge percentage (bordering on 100%) of computer users could be claimed to be M$ customers. IIRC, even Apple has some licensed some M$ code that it uses on Macs.
It wasn't too clever for the employee to be using M$ services to leak information. Sounds like the poor job review was warranted.
What a load of poo about claiming that it means anything to have their tame former judge say that it's ok to read peoples mail since, in his opinion, a sitting judge would grant a warrant given the information M$ had on hand. While it's good to have experienced legal professionals on staff to give advice, it's not the same as going through the proper channels.
What next? The phone companies will start collecting our call information? Ummm. Yeah.
If it's free, you are the product. TANSTAAFL!
Another weak link in the chain
"even if I have to pull down terabytes of data every day to my premises to drive industrial equipment."
That's going to be a fat internet connection to move that much data. One also has to consider that the data may be needed with very low latency. One errant cable cut and your factory is going to be idle until it's fixed.
I don't see many articles on purging data or procedures to limit data sprawl. I spent some time working for an aerospace company and the technical documentation repository was stuffed with useless garbage. Spreadsheets with no labels or explanations, memos to long gone employees reminding them of a weekly department meeting and all sorts of other debris that had no use or historical value. The biggest problem was that management was happy with just throwing more storage space on the server. What do they do now? Get a cloud account and upload thousands of unneeded files to a service they will be paying monthly?
It's not the technology that improves the bottom line, but a well thought out data system that leverages the use of company data and saves time finding relevant document. A cloud service MAY be a part of that system, but just going to the cloud because everyone is doing it is a waste of money. From an operational and security standpoint, it may be more efficient to keep things in-house.
A big portion of China's pollution problems might be due to the concentration of the world's industrial manufacturing being done there. Previously, industry was spread more throughout the rest of the world. Factor in the lack of environmental control requirements and the outcome is easy to calculate.
Misapplication of tech
The US would be better served spending techdev money on transportation instead of sci-fi gadgets for committing war.
Besides loads of SF stories describing exoskelatal suits, I can recall science shows from a decade or more ago that showed this sort of tech. It works but it takes a really long extension cord to do anything useful with it. I also seem to recall that it took a bit more go juice than one could get from a standard 13A plug.
Somebody else rightly pointed out that battery technology with the energy density to pull off this kind of tech is going to be much like a bomb.
Re: Return trip
If you look through a list of missions sent to Mars, it's only in recent years that the success rate has gone up. Before the MER rovers, about half of the missions to Mars failed.
The temperature cycling on Luna is wicked and makes for difficult problems. I'd like to see them send up a mission to retrieve the rover and bring it back for an autopsy. There's nothing like being able to examine the corpse to really nail down the cause of death.
Any UAV or helicopter shadowing a convey makes for a nice radar or infrared beacon to let the other side know a convoy is on the road. The same sort of problem exists for carrier air groups. The CAP generally paces the fleet. Overlay some data over time and a nice pattern (or line) emerges.
Driverless convoy vehicles also means there is no mechanic available. A very simple problem is unrepairable. What if a fuel line becomes disconnected or a battery lead falls off; it's a 5 minute fix for a human and a lost shipment without. Kinda sucks to be self-destructing expensive trucks full of gear because somebody didn't tighten up a bolt properly.
As far as Google's hallucination about self-driving cars, the insurance companies haven't had their say yet. People are still better at adapting to changing situations than computers at this point. UltraGlobalPRT has some great concepts to extend their pod car system that is running at Heathrow to include other automated vehicles that work to the same spec.
Re: They all come with a robotic arm
Oh, nice. And this will work for tourists how, exactly? What happens if the battery in your phone is flat?
The chirping passenger
Have you ever driven with a nervous passenger that gasps and grabs for a hand hold all the time. It drives me nuts as I immediately have a mini-panic and look for the lorry bearing down on me. The last thing I want is a beeper or voice warning to replace this nervous-nelly. This is like the useless daytime driving lights. A solution looking for a problem.
The corrupt telcos will have to wait in line while the studies and planning commissions eat up the first $1bn.
I'm still having a hard time trying to figure out why every student needs full time, high-speed internet in every class. So they can send selfies and IM's over wifi?
Re: "the Americans have promised never to spy on that one again"
You mean that there is anybody that would believe a promise made by a politician (or collection of same) these days?
AC 9:23 - Your best chance is to wear the traditional dress and carry a large banner reading "Allah akhbar". If they stopped and searched you, that would be racial profiling and we all know how bad that is.
Good for gorillas
So it's a bit on the spendy side, big deal. If you are in a dirty environment, like a machine shop, auto/diesel mechanic, oil rig or working around water, the price is cheap compared to HAVING to buy a half dozen Chromebooks. The thickness is a bonus if you are wearing gloves. All of the shiny iPads and Android tablets can be way to slippery under your mittens. Obviously, these are not for the suit and tie crowd, but if you're troubleshooting systems in the engine room of a boat with a sea on, you will probably appreciate how well it survives the odd fall and soaking in bilge "water".
Being able to upgrade to Win7 is a huge bonus.
No mention of the income from selling user information. Must be under misc income which would explain the large percentage that account contributes to the income line.
The bass guitar
Open E on a 4 string bass guitar is …. 42Hz. The lowest note on a 5-string is not that much lower. I can't remember the frequency off the top of my head. I'm not a musician, I'm a drummer. Below about 35Hz you aren't going to get much but the AC wind blowing across the microphone in the studio. Going down to 20Hz is just an exercise in credit card rewards points unless you fancy listening mostly to really big pipe organs at live levels. Even movies with heavy special effects aren't getting as low as most people think. The movies have to be mastered to play in theaters that have spent far less on the sound system than some audiophiles spend on interconnects.
Want impressive? Check out some of the stuff from Linn (linn.co.uk). If you have to ask the price…...
Re: Not bad for...
Oh, it's far less than 50quid in parts. Probably more like £16 if they're running them off in quantity in a Chinese factory. It's all marketing, baby, just ask Bose. They used to be a technology company, now they're just a very good marketing firm with a herd of lawyers to patent and prosecute. Kinda sad, really. Dr. Amar Bose must have died an unhappy camper at what happened to his company.
Sound is air in motion. The lower the frequency, the more air you have to move for the same sound pressure level. Basic physics. It is possible to "cheat" the listener by having a very peaked response down around the kick drum range. Claiming that it's flat to 25Hz is absurd. I see that the article didn't claim that, but proper specifications would list the -3db point as the lowest useable frequency. Little bitty units like this will need a sensitive detector to pick up their signal at 25Hz. A unit this small isn't going to have the umph to piss off the neighbors either.
If you want to commit structural damage by Toccata and Fugue in D minor played on the big pipes, you are going to need more cone area, excursion and plenty more amplifier. (and a good sense of fun)
If some technically inclined group were to demonstrate they were capable of broadcasting a stop vehicle signal in a not so congested area and then threatened to do the same thing durning rush hour in Manhattan on the Friday night of a holiday weekend in winter, what might a government pay in ransom? London? Paris? Once the cars are fitted with such devices, how to do you remove them? I would expect that they would be integrated into the car's electronics and not simply a discrete module that could be removed. I'm sure that it would be mandated that the function was implemented in such a way. The grid-lock threat would persistent from the day somebody figured out how to do it. The knowledge would also be worth a serious pile of money if the people that find the way in know how to capitalize on it. It could even be used in a political manner. The US just had what appears to be a politically motived bit of grid lock in NY/NJ.
Auto anti-theft systems were supposed to be secure against hacking due to the number of possible codes available. With a laptop and a bit of external electronics, it's possible to run a very serious number of codes in a short period of time. The anti-theft systems now become a fancy way of opening all of the doors, starting the engine, sounding the alarm and turning on the heating or cooling to taste. This was being done in the US at shopping malls during the holiday season to break into cars. With so many car alarms going off, thieves were camouflaged by all of the confusion. I wonder if anybody had to get a tow to the dealer to reset the disabling "feature".
It would take some mechanicals to shift the car into neutral that could be easily bypassed (or removed for safety reasons, I'll say). Shutting off the engine disables power steering and brakes, may be a bad thing at speed.
Is your laser telling you to replace toner?
I don't use my printer that often in these days of e-everything, but I have a spare toner cartridge just in case. I have a search saved on eBay to notify me when a toner cart is listed under a certain price. I've disabled it at the moment as the installed cart is still going strong and I have the spare so I don't need another one yet. I'd hate to own 4 or 5 and only to have the printer flip on its back and twitch.
Time is your friend. Keep searches out for spare toner long before you need it and there is a good chance you will score.
Re: Yep amazing.... erm, you need to rethink that.
Jason 7 - Small children love to print stuff. If people don't want to go broke buying cartridges, they need to lock the printer when the kiddies are home from school.
Re: And this is why I buy Brother
The Apple laser printers were repackaged HP engines. Not sure about the inkjets. Apple has been out of selling printers for ages.
Re: Few things
Wowfood. Buy a separate scanner and printer. You will be able to get better quality for both items. My scanner software has a little utility that let's it operate just like a photocopier. I have an HP monochrome Laserjet 4100 that I picked up used for a couple of hundred bucks with all of the options (liquidation of a mortgage lender that went bust) and it's been dead reliable. Color stuff I send out for. The photo printing shop I use has printers I'll never justify the price of. Still need colour? Get a good laser. The cartridges are more, but the cost per page is much less as you get many more pages out of the toner carts on average.
Re: I thought a recent court case went the other way
Most copyright/patent infringement lawsuits are settled out of court. It's massively expensive for both sides in attorney's fees and it's generally pretty clear cut whose going to win. Apple and Samsung may battle to the death, but they both have loads of cash (well, Apple does) and the stakes are much higher. This is why you don't see too many of these cases being advertised. Part of the agreements usually require both sides not to talk about the settlement.
Re: Oh yeh?
I'm sure that they were tempted to give away the printers, but there are some strange trade laws. I don't remember the exact details, but a printer with the cartridge installed has a different customs tariff than one with the cartridges NOT installed. I imagine that there would be dumping law violations if HP imported printers and gave them away as standard.
Belt and Suspenders
I have been going round and round with one of my credit card companies. It appears that they often schedule their statement emails at the same time that my ISP will go dark for maintenance/server moves, etc. When I notice that I am no longer receiving emails from them, I log into my account and try to reactivate email statements. Sometimes it takes a couple of go's to start receiving them again. BTW, spam continues to come in just fine. The company would do well to send out a paper back up copy if they have problems emailing, but then again, late fees are a nice source of income. I've contacted customer service to ask why they don't try to resend mail a few hours later, but my Hindi is non-existant and they can't do anything anyway.
Default debit card payments? That's fine if you work a regular job and receive your paycheck on a regular basis. If you are self-employed, it's often necessary to juggle payments as you receive payments from your customers. Somebody else pointed out that one may wish to make the payment from a different account. I've had the horrible experience of a "bounce cascade" where money didn't get credited to my account on the same day as my deposit and several automatic payments didn't go through and each generated a charge from the bank putting the account further behind. One extra day and everything would have been fine. As it was, I ended up paying out more than double what the payments would have been in fees. The bank was unsympathetic and also could not point to any reason why my deposit wasn't credited promptly as it had done in the past. They just pointed to some fine print and smiled. I settled up the account and closed it that week. A-holes. From that point on, I have not and will not sign up for automatic payments.
I receive statements via email, post and I keep a calendar with payment dates. A few lates and the next time I want an auto loan or a reduction on my credit card interest the answer will be no.
@ledswinger. I agree with your feelings about battery life. The manufacturer's manic obsession with having the thinnest and lightest phone is a disease. Hell, increase the thickness 2 or 3mm, raise the mass by 60g if that's what it takes to get battery life up to at least 4 days. 7 days would be fantastic. If you ever forgot your charger on a trip, you could still carry on if you managed your usage.
I use my phone much more than many people as a remote device in photography and some days I really suck the batteries dry. An iPhone or other phone that didn't have a replaceable battery would be useless to me. I often don't have the ability to plug in somewhere for a charge or I would have to stop or slow down work until I could get enough power to continue.
Smaller, thinner phones are also problematic for me as I have man sized hands, not the hands of a petite asian female. Too small of a phone and I "fat finger" buttons so much that I vent steam.
Keep thinking Samsung Vs. iPhone
Everyday smartphones are increasingly becoming a commodity. Quite decent third party phones are shipping from China in an ever expanding array of models and with feature sets to match more user's individual needs. Nearly all of these phones are being sold contract-free so users aren't tethered to a provider for years unless they pay a huge ransom to escape.
Samsung's drop in business may have a lot to do with increased competition and an increasing shift to contract free service models. In the past, your service provider's selection of phones limited your choices on what handset you would pick. Manufacturers might have negotiated contracts to supply the phone companies with handsets at favorable pricing if the phone company would agree to limit its selection to that brand for a given feature set.
If Samsung is providing a superior product, does the market place value that increased quality enough to justify the substantial premium pricing? The next phone I am contemplating buying is £61 and has all of the features I need. How much is the S4?
Re: Hell hath no fury
Try Apple Remote Desktop, assuming you are both using a Mac.
When in doubt, don't.
Pay cash. Avoid all store loyalty programs. Don't use public wi-fi.
Re: He needs to make the next one out of a different species of wood.
Sapient pear wood?
Re: @Chris W: .... @Danbo
Nope, he was expecting the mighty scotch pine!
There are lots of shops with CNC routers that will make you the parts you want. Unless you plan to open a business, it's probably cheaper than buying one. I looked at building my own CNC router once. It was cheaper to buy a used commercially made one on eBay and even cheaper to send CAD drawings to shop and have them ship back the parts in a day or so. Going DIY is fun, but not always the cheapest alternative. If you still want to build your own, look for a parts kit of the major mechanical bits or find a deal on a used/not-working one that will yield most of the more expensive kit.
Russian birch ply is marvelous stuff. You can cut yourself on the edges if you are not careful. They make junk ply too, but that doesn't usually get exported since worse can be had for even less from South American and Indonesia. Finland birch ply is the absolute top. The sheet with outdoor rated phenolic adhesive is incredible. Apple ply is a compromise for larger projects where cash is tight. Typically, the more individual plies, the better and you also want it to be void free.
The carbon fibre is cool, but remember that it's electrically conductive. Mounting a PCB with the connections contacting the CF might short out. It's not a dead short, so sometimes it could just lead to unexpected weirdness. Shorting battery connections could lead to a fire.
A speaker manufacturer built some 18" woofers carbon fibre cones for PA systems and began getting them back with fire damage. The leads to the coil contact the cone and with a high power amplifier, there was enough current flowing through the CF between the leads to start a fire. Oops.
Re: "it needed to be sufficiently innocuous for in-flight use"
You got lucky. On my last trip, the TSA took an interest in my first aid kit and emptied then scattered the contents through my checked bag. They did leave a note. I guess they wanted me to know that it was them and not just a baggage handler looking for stuff to sell on eBay.
Yahoo Email, Gmail and Hotmail/Outlook are examples of making the product think they are customers. Sign up for a Yahoo mail account, use the web interface to read your mail and you get an eye full of ads. You also get a package of cookies so Yahoo can track your web browsing habits. Now they are armed with whom you exchange mail with, what your interests are and the information that you have so kindly handed over to them and their affiliates. Compile, stir and strain, and they might as well have your fingerprints on file too. You are correct that it's something like a loss leader, but it's more like feeding the animals at the zoo so patrons will buy tickets (and over priced stuff).
I've seen trade organizations offer lifetime memberships, but their costs per member are usually minimal. Being able to amass a large number of members also makes it easier to attract additional members and therefore increases the ad space value in the trade magazine they send to members.
I have a hard time believing that this company's business model would make sense at any level of uptake. Intuitively, it seems unsupportable unless you assume a certain level of infinite growth. Even then, the sums might not come out in the black.
Re: VW Badge
-Malcolm, I surmise that the "cease and desist" letter also demanded a payment for damages and attorney's fees. That is generally how things proceed when the facts look pretty one sided. The BB's legal counsel is right to do this as the company has brought attention to their product with both the pirated song and via the controversy that theft engendered. The company being sued should settle up fast and drop the whole mess as quickly as possible. If the BB's attorney's can get a jury (or judge) to rule that the offense was "willful" the damages could climb into the millions. Settling out of court would be much cheaper. Most copyright cases are settled out of court, which is why it's hard to find as much case law as one would expect.
If the Beastie Boys don't license their songs for commercials, maybe the company should have approached Motley Crue to use "Girls, Girls, Girls" instead.
Curtis,Copyright law in the US and those countries that adhere to the Berne Convention absolutely does give a copyright holder to decide how their work is used. If the creators of the work have sold or assigned their copyright, they no longer have any rights to that work.
Parody is not a valid argument for Fair Use if the parody is created to advertise a product.
Adam's wish that any music his heirs hold copyright to that he created while alive not be used for commercial advertising would make an interesting case. I have a suspicion that if the heirs wanted to, they could disregard those wishes and license to their hearts content. I'd love to see his will and have a probate and intellectual property attorney give their views. I'm not sure if a copyright can be entailed like that.
It would be easy to block the ports used by Skype and other VOIP apps. Also, if voice calls are banned, flight attendants could tell people that have found a way around the blocks to shut up and put their toys away. You don't want to piss off the flight staff. If you make them mad enough, they call ahead and have you met by the coppers to participate in a little chat for an hour or two.
Re: Phones on planes is OK
outside? you mean the smoking section?
DainB, the difference is that on a bus or train there is the possibility of moving to a new seat to get away from a chatterbox that just HAD to call their friend and talk about nothing for an hour while you are trying to read. On an airplane, there is no where to go unless you want to occupy the loo for the whole trip. Many airlines are adding (expensive) wi-fi internet connections so people can instant message, email and surf the web until their credit limit is maxed. As long as they are quiet, I have no problem with that. If they were too busy during the safety lecture and can't find their way out in an emergency, I am happy to help them lie down out of the way as I exit. No problem. I just don't want to be motivated to find out if suicide by paper cuts is possible while a teenage girl (or facsimile) sits next to me talking to their "BFF".
There should be some videos on YouTube showing the crash testing of train cars designed to transport nuclear fuels. Impressive crash after monstrous impact never breached the integrity of the casket. It's fun to watch too. I have some photos of the transport system being used to move fuel from the San Onofre (sp?) plant in California. The trailer had 192 wheels to distribute the load and I think they crashed a train into a prototype to test it's safety. Scratched the paint on the carrier and destroyed the train.
Alan, are you talking about a Fast Breeder or a LFTR built to "burn" the Pu down? The MSFB's are bleeding dangerous!
Don Jefe, Are you sure the Plutonium figure is 30 tons? I think it's much much less than that, but I can't find the reference. Don't leave out that Pu metal is toxic as well as a radiation hazard.
All somebody would need to do is break into a power plant, access the spent fuel pool, transfer some fuel assemblies into a suitable shipping container and take it to a facility where the pellets can be chemically processed to recover the Pu. If you want the unused U235 all you need is a large plant to separate the isotopes. No problem, right? I don't worry about spent reactor fuel being used to make bombs. I worry about government weapons programs that can't keep track of their inventory.
The Little Boy bomb's theoretical likelihood of working was very high. The Fat Man was more complex from an engineering standpoint and it was tested to make sure it would work. Only 6 grams of matter was converted to energy in one of the bombs dropped on Japan. I believe it was Fat Man. That's a scary example of E=MC^2.
" (Though it is worthy of note that nobody else in the world except Roscosmos - no, not NASA itself, at the moment - posseses a ship capable of doing what Dragon has done.)"
Orbital Sciences has also delivered to ISS with their Antares/Cygnus vehicle.
SpaceX will have a man-rated capsule when the US gov. lends them a few quid and hands over some pro-forma contracts. I think there is also the matter of writing down what constitutes a "man rating" so a proper engineering requirements document and test plan can be formulated. I wish the US Congresscritters would realize that science more than welfare makes sense to support and get back to work... lazy bastards.
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