using microwaves to charge your phone
I heard that Apple products could be rapid-charged by putting them in the microwave for 20 seconds!
But what if that really worked? And why is there no internet urban myth about that?
328 posts • joined 26 Sep 2007
I heard that Apple products could be rapid-charged by putting them in the microwave for 20 seconds!
But what if that really worked? And why is there no internet urban myth about that?
11 out of 6 people are bad at math
A large company will have a dedicated accounting system, but as soon as the beancounters need to make sense out of some info they'll dump it into an Excel file and massage it into a report.
Probably not the best tool for the job, but the one that people can get around on.
Could it be something going on with the network? Since that phone is packed with radios, any change in the RF conditions or configuration of the networks might adversely affect the battery drain. The lower your received signal the higher it will need to transmit to get back to the tower. Same if the operator has configured the system to ask the phone to register with the network .
Put a phone in a metal box and it will drain the battery searching for a signal and trying to reach any tower it might find.
OpenDNS is free, sure they scrape your queries, but I find that there are settings in it that hobble many of the most obnoxious ads and don't break much. They also steer you clear of malware sites, and others if you wish. I have been blocking doubleclick domain resolution as well, and it cut back on the ads without breaking much of anything.
Configure your firewall to use it for DNS instead of your ISP's, and then for extra umph set up the firewall to funnel all DNS queries through it (individual devices and smartphones can select their own.) All of a sudden your internet got a cleaner.
Amazon product reviews mimic this exactly, as do everything on the Microsoft web page.
I haven't figured out the ones that come back with "I don't have the problem you describe and I don't even own this product, but it seems like it might/should work for you."
I think it is because there is some sort of community pissing contest where people are ranked based on the number of comments, regardless of their helpfulness.
You did miss the usual Microsoft support site canned reply of "I can't/won't help you unless you spend the next 5 hours dumping all of these logfiles and tracking down a long list of details." Those copy/paste-tards usually are able to do everything EXCEPT actually help.
We let the smoke out of a bunch of lab equipment, many times. I was working at a company that supplied equipment for airplanes, which run at 120V, 400 Hz, and we would have to run our checks from a PC connected by a serial line (120V 60Hz).
To save money on the 400 Hz system they did not tie the grounds together, and you can imagine what happened. Plug the device under test into 120V 400Hz, then connect the serial port to the device, and nothing would work. Blown serial port. We got really good a replacing plug-in serial boards, because we blew them out so often. Maybe once or twice we would blow a power supply, or in those days pop a fuse. the one 400 Hz power outlet gained a huge note "FLOATING GROUND".
The last time I recall getting this amount of hype and superlatives was with the Segway. It was going to revolutionize walking or something, and be bigger than the Internet. And it too was delayed, to heighten the hype and drama.
And didn't it have some nickname too that played on the magicalness of it all, wasn't it Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers type of "secret hype code name"?
Even though they're a failure they still sold over 3 million blingpieces in a quarter of the year. I wish I was such a failure.
Seriously I have the question of why it needed "the cloud" in the first place. Not owning any Logitech remotes I assumed that the cloud link was so that the user could go to the cloud and download profiles for new types of remotes to impersonate. In which case the cloud access would be pretty useful. Is that true?
It would still suck to orphan them though.
Yes that is true. But the places where you likely need it the most are home and work, and presumably you're already set up on those networks. In practice I sometimes found out that I had low/no coverage and would then connect to the nearest hotspot.
There are some of the new disruptive cellular alternatives (Google Fi) that prefer a WiFi connection and will log in automatically if they have deals with those network providers.
With flames shooting out of its arse.
We have three Roku boxes in the house. They're the quickest and easiest way to get smarts in a TV. Plug them in and they work.
Started with Roku3 so we could stream Netflix, then a Roku1 to smartify an old projector to watch movies outside on the garage. Just upgraded a couple months ago to a Roku Stick ($45 USD), and honestly it does everything the Roku1 it replaced did, just a little bit faster. And that's about it. I loaded Plex on a machine and serve up a hundred or more movies for watching around the house. I specifically didn't go all the way up-range since they all do basically the same thing.
I am waiting for some of the usual cable channel providers to de-couple themselves from cable and allow direct subscriptions. Roku may be in the best place with their content-agnostic strategy, any provider could come up with their own app and you subscribe directly (many offer streaming apps and for now you authenticate using your cable TV account, which is really strange.) PBS has an app but it could be better, and as you mention the Roku is blind to it. The overall user experience becomes handicapped by the quality and eccentricities of the app itself (Netflix's app is both good and frustrating at the same time). The Roku search function does well to find a certain show across all of the online libraries. In general it works but the seems to be nothing breathtaking about it. Casting is convenient but my Android phones don't seem to support it.
You may not have experienced the oddities of the Roku app and how it struggles for control with the included remote. There's just something about how it is a dumb remote rather than an extension of the interface that is baffling to me. In my experience Tivo has a much better Android-app remote where it acts as a smart extension of the controls.
I keep seeing more and more of these Microsoft tablets. In fact my company just splashed out a ton of money to buy them for all the managers. They're flashy enough for the management types, but they can also get real work done.
I bet they are pricey but does anyone know how much they are losing on each one? Is a small price increase (or cost reduction) all it would take to make things balance?
At one time Microsoft was somewhat interested in selling hardware as it was a tangible product and visible for people. But it is hard for a software company (that can change their answer on a whim) to have patience for hardware. There's also the legacy cost and EOL and supporting stuff that has already shipped.
I got a new job and a new W10 laptop a year ago, so I used Edge and it seemed fine and workable to me. Until Windows updates silently discarded my list of freshly saved bookmarks (that I needed to get my job done and had saved for a reason). And it happened more than a couple of times in rapid succession.
So I switched the default browser back to IE, and use Chrome for other general websurfing. I'm not that interested in going back to Edge. Does it do something that the other ones can't?
IBM tried to keep their hardware customers happy. That was back in the days when you sold hardware at gigantic margins and the software was incidental.
Current times are different. Hardware is commodity and all the value is in the software. You don't need to buy any hardware if you get software that is in the cloud. Or you're the new IBM where the hardware is commodity, software is open source, and you make money on consulting.
Now Microsoft comes along but they're a software business. Two keystrokes and a few mouse clicks give you new software, just go download a fresh copy. Hardware doesn't work that way, it is persistent.
Some time ago I had a PHB/manager that REQUIRED the use of a unix workstation, like her minions were using. The monitor had multiple inputs and she was always complaining of how when she undocked her laptop the screen would switch to the workstation and not switch back without a tedious sequence of button pushing on said monitor, and required grousing.
After about a year of watching her do this I said "just unplug the workstation, after all it has been stuck on the boot screen the whole time!!" The boot/init script was stuck about halfway down the process so it had never been operable, despite the claims that "I'm using it for my work".
She was the kind of boss that worked double-hard to try to cover up the fact that she was incompetent, so getting caught in a failure like this did not go over too well. A very expensive paperweight that thing was.
A large majority of single-family homes in America are heated by forced-air furnaces, so they are relatively quick to warm up, and may be the most responsive to programmed cycles. It is the most straightforward way to get heating and cooling in one system. Zoned heat/cooling is not common unless you're in the money or have made a substantial addition to the size, but even then it is like two large zones.
As many have described there are a lot of other types of HVAC with different tradeoffs of efficiency and response times. As they say YMMV.
With all of the electronics and batteries that thing is not going to fit into a pocket and leave any room for the usual wallet items like money and credit cards and ID.
I also got a right laugh out of: "This is Rob. At first glance he's just a regular guy."
No he's not, he's a bearded hipster.
Rob won't buy this. It would need to be steampunked or artisanal, or shiny white to match his earbuds.
Couldn't get past 30 seconds. Do not want, do not need.
I wanted to get a 900 number for my home phone, that way when any of those robocall companies called me I'd make money. Maybe $10 for the first minute and $5 for every minute after that.
In many cases it costs money in the short term to save money over the long term. When a company is so focused on the short term finances that they lose track of the bigger picture then they're not going to last very long. Management will formulate the idea that they're very expensive to maintain and will sell off or shut down the whole thing.
This is where private equity can come in and make the correct big picture investments and make money.
This has a very definite side-affect: now that every travel approval has to go all the way to the top, they're going to take their own sweet time deciding to approve or not. What will happen is that the delays will push the traveler from the cheap early advance purchase ticket into the much more expensive last-minute fares. There might be fewer trips, but each trip will cost much more.
Or maybe management will think they're smart and wait until after it is too late to approve. At which point they'll be issuing credits for service level agreement failures.
99% of your general public will not understand what the network specific hostnames are for. You'll end up with another layer of facepalming:
Amazon maybe isn't getting the advertising revenues they expected - I'm sure Tide and Charmin pitched in to make these a reality.
Supermarkets are strange - the business setup is nearly opposite of what you'd assume. It is more like real estate where the shelf space is what they rent out, and make a very small margin on the actual sales.
Apple came in and broke the grip of the US operators. Before the iPhone we were stuck with lousy choices for phones. Verizon was too arrogant to allow another company to speak to their captive customers. AT&T was starving for an advantage, and put themselves at the mercy of Apple. AT&T had a couple boom years of exclusivity while Verizon got to eat crow.
Same thing happened in Japan. Softbank deployed world spec networks and then the iPhone. Everyone in the telecom world said that it would never work, Japanese required custom products,etc. After only a year or so Softbank had picked up huge market share.
The Sigfox network only burps out a message of 12 octets, so around 100 bits. The data that is there is going to be fairly abstracted or obfuscated. And nothing would preclude them from encrypting/encoding the data, sending it, and then decoding it when they pull it from Sigfox's cloud. So wouldn't it be like sniffing encrypted internet traffic?
So Belkin spends the time and money to issue updates to their software, which is promising, but how is that handled? Do the devices automatically update or does it require the user to do it? Publishing a software update is a necessary step but doesn't guarantee that it will be installed. How many people that buy those light switches are going to be mindful of updating, if the thing works (as far as they can tell)?
It is getting off topic, but that is part of the reason for Wi-Fi calling. Hard to beat the price of an already installed wireless access point. Put the coverage where you need it.
Once the hardware has shipped and the manufacturer has pocketed the money the ongoing support just looks like cost. And as the device is supported it also means people aren't as motivated to replace them so the vendor loses out on those replacement sales too. This all works against the consumer.
So maybe educating the consuming public, and embarrassing vendors into declaring their support plans, may be the way to get this translated into business results and business terms that the beancounters can understand.
This is where I thought Microsoft would be around to catch the OEMs running away from Google. At the time of Winphone 7 and 8.1 they *were* slightly less evil than Google.
Now is pretty bad timing and Microsoft is going to miss this window of opportunity. Their phone OS is having a lie-down, and they're shooting themselves in the foot with W10.
No - getting involved is the best way to make sure that you don't get tasked with anything. I've just done this with a few "initiatives". Offering to RUN the committee (into the ground) is even better! You tell your daily taskmasters that you're too busy with the "task force", meanwhile you're in charge of said task force and get to use the whip on everyone there, making sure that you don't have any actual work to do besides taking credit for everything that is being done. As they say on fireworks: "light fuse and point away from body".
The boss has the attention span of a housefly so in a month's time there will be another long-term plan to torpedo.
Keep your friend close, and your enemies even closer! Or embrace, extend, extinguish!!! You have to beat them at their own game.
Hammer, or garden hose, would fix the beeping
I have been waiting for the day when people start to realize this.
"In the old days" we didn't have to keep keeping up with the constant changes to "apps" and software, the functional and interface changes. Back then you got a piece of software and maybe you'd get some downloadable updates, and you had control over your corner of reality.
Now it is a continuous revision cycle where apps get updated and things generally move around just because the developers changed their mind. Things get added and taken away, and you have no control over it! Get on the bus, sit down, and get ready to go where the driver wants.
This is where social engineering plays. It is really easy for the crooks to impersonate the companies, hoping to confuse you long enough to hand over some money or information. And like viruses and spam, when the companies improve their information it is an escalating war that will need to be solved some other way.
It happens in real life (hucksters misrepresenting themselves), on the phone (Microsoft calling), and online. It has always been lucrative.
Or maybe you're implying that the legit companies and the crooks are all acting the same way, which is also true. Many "legit" companies are finding that they can get pretty far with the sin of omission (not telling you everything that is going on.) This has also been going on and has almost always been lucrative *in the immediate term*. So who are the real crooks?
At the time that iMessage came out sending messages over the data connection was much cheaper than sending them by SMS for 10 cents apiece, and was a way for Apple to gain control over the wireless operators. Now that SMS is dirt cheap and data is capped the equation may be different.
I estimated that Google would continue to screw over their hardware "partners" by turning the hardware into a bottom level commodity product, which would send hardware vendors running into the arms of Microsoft. Back then Microsoft was a more competent company than they are now, and less evil than Google. This was probably 6-8 years ago.
Now Android and its apps have become a security and bug problem on all fronts, but Microsoft has decided to opt out of mobile for a while so they they figure out what they are doing.
I never understood why the Electronic Program Guide is a separate piece of information aggregated and provided by a third party. With the whole move to digital TV it seems there would be enough spare bits in the datastream to transmit the EPG, and it *could* be updated in near real-time.
Except it didn't work that way. I guess what may have happened is that TV Guide and other companies (think newspapers and yellow page printing companies, not media companies) started something as a service to the TV companies, and that model hasn't been disrupted for some reason.
Well that and the TV stations proved that they were not capable of handling subcarrier data - for a few years in the 90's many VCR's were sold with the capability to automatically set their time from the TV signal so they weren't blinking "12:00" forever. I heard that many people had problems with it because the time sync server at the TV station was not maintained, so many VCR's were showing the wrong time, and could not be manually overridden.
I proctored a science fair type event last year at the middle school, and one youngster was in a complete panic about getting his computer to recognize the screen and transmit said information to the projector. He had shown up a little early to test things out, and it just didn't work at all. He had no other fallback method to get the job done.
Only after another fellow spent 30+ minutes trying to figure it out did the boy mention that he had just upgraded to windows 10 the night before, and in the process wiped out all of the specialized drivers for his gaming laptop. Most importantly was the video driver with the soft control to switch between laptop panel and projector modes was not loaded.
An important lesson learned for him: If the sodding thing is working, DON'T F**K WITH IT RIGHT BEFORE YOU HAVE AN IMPORTANT MEETING, unless you have a few days to test it and work the kinks out.
Planned Obsolescence is the cause. If a company builds a product that is so good you only need one of them, then their volumes go way down and the cost goes up (paying for the quality.) So if that company designs the product to crap out after a few years they might be able to sell you the replacements too. True for both hardware and software businesses. There is some opportunity to provide more functionality as technology improves, but that value need to be compelling.
The other scenario is that company B comes along with a substitute product at a lower cost (but with much lower lifetime.) Which one will you go for? If you buy on price you'll buy B. If you buy for "lifecycle cost" you'll choose A.
Don't shoot me for this - I'm only the messenger!
Washing machine sharing? I post online with some whizzy app the availability of my washer, someone can come by my house and use my washer and dryer to do their clothes. I suppose if I really was bored I could post that they could drop off their stuff and I'll wash, dry, and fold, for a price that may or may not compete with the local laundromat.
After all I'm not using it 24x7, so it makes use of the idle time.
Or what if I post that I have a half a load of bright colored clothes and willing to take on anyone's other half of a load for a price. That's really pushing the envelope on efficiency. Green even.
The line forms here - first 5 people willing to put up a million can get in on the ground floor.
The thing that made Dell the powerhouse (in the 1990's this is) was that they followed the major PC companies and then applied their supply chain optimization to produce clones of clones at much lower cost.
Dell may have had R&D spending, but it was focused on manufacturing and supply chain, not on computer tech and moving the industry forward. So they saved on a lot of R&D and risk, letting the majors invest in tech and take risks with products out in the open for all to see. Dell would come along and take the safest path with their products now that the market had been sorted and/or the trail had been blazed by someone else.
When IBM veered off into services Dell lost one of their main sources of tech innovation and places to monitor product data. HP eventually caught up with them on cost and so Dell's major advantage was minimized.
Don't get me wrong - Dell did do some really good things in the market but I posit that it was mainly around the supply chain more than the tech itself.
People will dump their cable subscriptions altogether. Too bad there aren't many good internet access alternatives (cable modem or DSL, both brought by the same companies we hate.)
The thing that would accelerate their switching would be if the cable industry gets more anti-customer than they already are. If they doubled the price of cable people would dump it immediately and figure out something else. It would also open the door for a bunch of better internet access providers.
Who cares if satellite radio is a monopoly, you could always listen to commercial radio (that is mostly adverts with a few songs scattered inbetween). At this point nobody listens to radio and uses internet streaming or music stored on their player. Go ahead with your monopoly, we'll just substitute it with something different.
There are instructions out there on the internets on how to turn these into more useful gadgets than just ordering another roll of toilet paper (GIUF = Google is Ur Friend). Something like not registering them with Amazon, instead getting them to hit a server on your internal network.
Are these just launching in the UK now? They've been available in the US for some time, maybe a year. I do not think they automatically order things, they push them into a queue of some sort on the site, and you have an opportunity to kill the order before it goes through.
I do think the people that use these will be in for a general fleecing, as Amazon will start ratcheting up prices once it determines that you're a captured customer that doesn't shop around or price compare. Like boiling a frog.
And Amazon surely is selling the button as advertising space - I bet each of the brands listed have paid a nice sum to get their logo placed on a button. So this is a nice scheme by Amazon to separate fools/tools from their money.
While these look really great (make the operators pay for the spectrum), we all know that it will come around to the general public as higher service prices. These enormous companies don't have billions of dollars stuffed in the mattress somewhere.
Other countries dole out spectrum by way of other methods but those also have problems. The law of unintended consequences is one of those things that is hard to get around.
I'd add that another red flag would be in the Craigslist posting.
Aren't the people that use it some of the tightest around? Willing to slog through endless postings to find the few that are useful?
Or it could just be me - we attempted to sell a few furniture pieces via Craigslist, and everyone wanted to turn it into an opportunity to haggle and nitpick and chisel down on the price. Finding stuff was an exercise in frustration for me.
AJ@: I did just that - I did a clean install on a new SSD in an old machine, downloaded the W10 install disc, and when it asked for a key to activate I used the W7 key. Worked. As if it didn't even notice, or care that it was an old key.
That process has been known and publicized for most of 2016. Sorry you didn't know that!!!
I started playing P-Go yesterday, just to see what the hype is all about. I will tell you that in my area the Pokestops are mostly at places where the homeless and vagrant types like to hang out. They're generally harmless but unstable psychologically and will get twitchy if they think people are watching them or moving in on their reserved bench.
So when a bunch of bored people with expensive tastes in phones start milling around the homeless camps this could go either way - it could push the vagrants to loiter somewhere else in effect cleaning up the park benches, or there is going to be mugging and violence against the naive who are baited into marching right into the situation in search of Pokemon.
I just re-seated two RAM modules in an old desktop that I have been using. Random crashes ever since I dusted it off and loaded W10. For 6 months it suffered from random lockups only under stress, and it even passed memtest a few times. I thought it was a bad driver for the MB raid chip.
Before that, the guy that gave it to me had tons of problems, and when I initially plugged it in sparks came out of the back of it. Replaced the power supply. When I tore apart the original power supply I found that the socket for the cord was connected using only cold solder joints. Too bad I had torn it apart to the point where it was not repairable.
At some point a subscription for Nest seems like it could be a powerful carrot - if they stop the service then they're also going to give up that revenue stream. If they sell product with "lifetime service" then they're on the hook to provide the service but with not much future revenue from that initial sale (cue the upgrade offers, etc.)
On the other hand, this "XaaS" model will be very closely watched by the beancounters and by the top manglement as they probably made some commitment that this is where their growth is going to come from. If the number of subscriptions don't ramp up fast enough to cover the costs then there is going to be a lot of pressure to make adjustments - raise prices, reduce service/capacity, or drop it completely.
But then again, Google makes loads of money and this is really just a side project. They could get bored and bin the whole thing on a whim. That seems like the real risk here.
On many shows the Kardashians are referred to as "famous for being famous". That's it. They're attention and "like-whores", who have the money in this day and age to create continuous publicity events for themselves. To some extent pop culture has always done this, it is just that the K's are taking it to the end state where it becomes blatantly obvious.
The media is also such a wasteland that they are lining up for this reality TV "content". It gives them something to play on the channel between advertisements.
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