* Posts by Kevin McMurtrie

1430 posts • joined 15 Jun 2007

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5 reasons why America's Ctrl-Z on net neutrality rules is a GOOD thing

Kevin McMurtrie
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Don't you mean $2000/month?

Right now in Silicon Valley: Comcast Business 75/15 Mbps with static IP addresses and no blocked ports costs $198 a month. Comcast Xfinity does not allow incoming connections and it blocks ports. Competitor Sonic could get me 6/2 Mpbs bonded ADSL2+ for about $120/month but IPv6 remains broken. AT&T's Uverse doesn't allow incoming connections, they block ports, and it costs extra to opt-out of spying.

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No one saw it coming: Rubin's Essential phone considered anything but

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Saw it coming, just didn't care.

I see the microSD card as being able to carry just my phone where a laptop or a USB drive was once needed. About 100GB in my phone is offline OsmAnd+ maps and an offline Kiwix copy of Wikipedia. Traveling adds music, movies, documents, DSLR backups, and video camera backups. I've filled my 200GB card before so I've been thinking about a 400GB card for next year.

256GB phones are rare and expensive. A better question is if you really need 256+ GB of expensive high performance flash, or could most of that be a bit slower and 1/5 the cost.

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Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Saw it coming, just didn't care.

It's just like an iPhone but without iPhone support, so it's Essentially useless.

Pro-tip: Cater to people who don't want an iPhone. Give it a headphone jack, give it a microSD slot, let it run 3rd party ROMs, and maybe even make the battery user-replaceable.

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New battery boffinry could 'triple range' of electric vehicles

Kevin McMurtrie
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Mushroom

Re: Still haven't graduated from lithium

Atomic batteries have been around for a long time, even in very small forms. They're perfectly safe as long as you keep the core cool and entirely undamaged for a few hundred years.

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Shazam! Apple chucks £300m at Brit what's-that-song app – report

Kevin McMurtrie
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Bringing a bit of the 2010s to the 1990s

It sounds like they'd use Shazam to chain Siri and iTunes together. It's mind boggling that Apple has over 30 Million songs for sale but you can't be a customer without the iTunes app. There must be some people at Apple pulling their hair right now about iTunes getting a bit fatter.

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So you're 'agile', huh? I do not think it means what you think it means

Kevin McMurtrie
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Dead Vulture

Consultant says you need a consultant

It really comes down to making a functional team that's trying to work with the customer to produce good solutions. It requires careful planning and open communications. Giving names to methodologies that don't have a single form of solution is just for the Agile Preacher's sales pitch.

PS: Copy-pasta in the article's URL.

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Shingled out: 14TB helium-filled Toshiba drive floats to market

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: RAID rebuild times?

Sometimes a redundant disk array is just to delay a full replacement/fail-over until it's more convenient. I'm not an Ops expert, but I've only seen rebuilds used on mostly idle systems. Even at home I've given up on waiting for rebuilds to finish.

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Android flaw lets attack code slip into signed apps

Kevin McMurtrie
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I thought this was announced years ago. Did somebody lose the JIRA ticket for it?

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Japanese quadcopter makes overworked employees clock out

Kevin McMurtrie
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Hovering targets

Time to introduce the Japanese to Silicon Valley's Nerf gun culture. The Jolt wins for concealability and accuracy but there are massive drum and chain-feed guns if you're of Storm Trooper lineage.

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It's a decade since DevOps became a 'thing' – and people still don't know what it means

Kevin McMurtrie
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DevOps as a team

A DevOps team fills the unquantified void between normal Software Engineers and remotely managed cloud services. It's process management with some pseudo-technical work. It means that a DevOps team can claim they need a "Cloud DBA" then hire somebody who can read SQL, write up some policies, and mis-quote Stack Overflow. They can command junior Engineers to define new API wrappers for public standardized tools and then say they're API architects protecting internal standards. They can re-configure cloud SCM tools then claim they're in charge of the code quality process. There's no limit to how big a DevOps team can grow if there's no definition of what it should do.

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Boffins foresee most software written by machines in 2040

Kevin McMurtrie
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WTF?

Clippy

Why would you have an AI write code? I shudder when I think of what garbage it would get as training data. Take whatever it's supposed to be doing and convert it into libraries and language features.

Software tends to have infinite requirements. Every time somebody swears they have an architecture to solve the problem of writing code, they instead create an architecture that solves one use case. The architecture is modified to handle more and more use cases until eventually the architecture is more complicated than writing code. This is the birth of a "legacy system" that people will curse for years.

Recent advances in computer languages have been in better abstracting data transformations. You can describe what you want done using formulas and it gets taken care of. When those don't fit needs, plain old brute-force still works. The next step could be making it easy to declare, at will, a locally scoped DSL for performing a specific task - there would be some good science in figuring out how that would look.

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Tech giants at war: Google pulls plug on YouTube in Amazon kit

Kevin McMurtrie
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Don't get worked up over each other

Ajit Pai is going to let AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast block all of your traffic in the name of opening up competition, or whatever nonsense he gets bribed to say.

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La La La, I can't hear you: FCC responds to net neut concerns

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: I Curse You, Ajit Pai

It could happen. The dung of then thousand dogs is the new American broadband plan.

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China reboots internet conference with keynote from Cook

Kevin McMurtrie
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Big Brother

Please?

Could the great firewall of China please block the bots? I realize that China's network is so bad that it hasn't been able to handle traditional abuse complaints for over a decade now, but how is it that a fancy system with deep packet inspection can't identify bots attempting to send spam and guess passwords at full network speed?

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Android Wear hardware boss bails

Kevin McMurtrie
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If only it didn't take up space on my wrist too...

To have a phone in the pocket and remote terminal on the wrist is too much junk for most people. Smart watches will be hot products when they have fancy power storage and displays that can completely replace the everyday features of a pocket phone. Until then, wearables are legit products with real customers but not the swimming-in-money mega product that people keep saying they are.

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Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the failest mobe of all?

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Apps not platform

It's #2 if you turned on cloud auto-completion suggestions. It's apparently a popular keyboard with pimps, rapists, drug users, and teenage ganstas.

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User dialled his PC into a permanent state of 'Brown Alert'

Kevin McMurtrie
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Magic Magnets

The old CRT monitors were calibrated with a complex stack of sliding ring magnets to align the three electron beams through the mask and onto the matching phosphor. Dynamic defects in mask alignment were fixed by taping weak magnets to the back of the tube. Of course, the magnets fall off as soon as the warranty is up. An amazing Facilities lead has been changing the HVAC filters regularly so you find a perfectly clean CRT tube when the cover is removed - and you're screwed because there are no spots of missing dust where the magnets belong.

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iPhone X Face ID fooled again by 'evil twin' mask

Kevin McMurtrie
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I hope Apple fixes this cheap 3D printer trick. I'm about ready to power up the fusion reactor in my new underground evil twin factory and I have bills to pay.

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Pokémon GO caused hundreds of deaths, increased crashes

Kevin McMurtrie
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New driving test

Final driving test is to navigate a winding road lined with concrete pillars while the instructor calls and texts your cellphone. Let the idiots kill themselves before they're out on the road killing others.

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Russian regulator says да to Uber/Yandex merger

Kevin McMurtrie
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Paris Hilton

Analogies

Yandex was the Yahoo of Russia, but Yandex is too classy for that analogy so they should be the Google of Russia. Rambler is the new Yahoo of Russia. On the other hand, all of the scam e-mails that I receive have switched from Yahoo to GMail contact addresses, so Google is now the Yahoo and I don't know who the Google is.

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China plots new Great Leap Forward: to IPv6

Kevin McMurtrie
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Is there a list?

Hopefully China posts a list of these new address ranges so I can immediately firewall their botnet infested networks. No working abuse contact, no service.

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While you're preparing to carve Thanksgiving turkey, the FCC will be slicing into net neutrality

Kevin McMurtrie
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FAIL

Don't forget the rabid studios

Deregulating Internet service that's provided by music and movie studios is extremely dangerous. They have armies of rabid copyright lawyers that would be allowed to do pretty much whatever they please to justify their existence. They could monitor traffic, block large encrypted streams, forbid codecs that can't be inspected, and forbid peer-to-peer transfers. Throw in the rabid marketing departments and they're going to ask competitors to pay commission on customers visiting.

These aren't imaginary tactics. Some hotels monitor their guests and then demand commission from the shops they visit. CableTV and TV stations blackout shows during fights for commissions. Music and movie producers have a history of creating "Private copying levy" taxes on all recordable media. Sony distributed rootkits, has worked hard to make copyright infringement a severe crime, and even strangled to death their own line of home electronics in the name of studio profits.

The Internet and tech companies are extremely resilient by nature. If it doesn't work in the US, it will relocate to a better country.

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Uber: Hackers stole 57m passengers, drivers' info. We also bribed the thieves $100k to STFU

Kevin McMurtrie
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Thanks much

Can I forward all my botnet spam to Uber to thank them for funding criminals?

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AT&T insists it's not sweating US govt block of Time-Warner gobble

Kevin McMurtrie
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Departure?

I thought the precedent has been blocking AT&T acquisitions because everybody hates AT&T products.

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iPhone X: Bargain! You've just bagged yourself a cheap AR device

Kevin McMurtrie
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AR for the iPhone XV

There's a huge potential for AR - maps, technical/schematic assistance, gaming, and new forms of telecommuting. Anyone who's tried to navigate Tokyo or repair a scientific/industrial machine knows that 2D diagrams aren't enough. You need at least 3D AR. Better yet, 3D AR with a human or digital assistant.

The problem is that nobody has the building blocks to efficiently create AR products yet - 3D data, physics models, optical location recognition, 3D contextual assistance, and the elusive user interface. There's nothing more than some demonstrations that were extremely labor intensive to build. A few real products might become available soon if you place barcode stickers on everything. The iPhone X may be AR ready to some degree but it's going to be obsolete before practical AR products are available.

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OnePlus 5T is like the little sister you always feared was the favourite

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: So Close!

I've become addicted to a microSD card. Android has some pretty good apps for offline music, video, maps, mail, translation, Wikis, RAW camera files, and background file backups that are built for a microSD card. It's essentially a laptop computer without an attached keyboard.

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Some 'security people are f*cking morons' says Linus Torvalds

Kevin McMurtrie
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Exercise stack to avoid everything living in registers

https://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/kees/linux.git/diff/?h=usercopy-v4.15-rc1

https://github.com/torvalds/linux/blob/master/drivers/misc/lkdtm_usercopy.c

I had forgotten how much I really hate other people's C code. I'd be screaming and cursing too if I was a Linux kernel developer.

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Aww: Apple won't be HomePod for Christmas

Kevin McMurtrie
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I COULD TYPE, BUT I LIKE YELLING AT DEVICES

Another terrible sounding wireless speaker with a more-creepy-than-useful digital assistant that will soon stop working when it's required "cloud" tethering is terminated. Do I have to awkwardly pretend that I enjoy using this amazing premium product or can I have it delivered directly to the landfill?

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OnePlus 5 x T + five short months = Some p*ssed off fanboys

Kevin McMurtrie
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Meh

One Plus OPPO

If only siblings OPO and OPPO could be merged. I want microSD card (OPPO), NFC (OPO), headphone hack (both), 3rd party ROM support (both), and global LTE bands (OPO). Stereo speakers would be nice but I can live without them when there's a headphone jack.

I actually don't care about the dual camera tech. That has been slamming up against diminishing returns for years. I'll bring my big lens hardware when I need sharp photos and videos in low light.

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Now Oracle stiffs its own sales reps to pocket their overtime, allegedly

Kevin McMurtrie
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...so pull your weight and everyone will appreciate

Those are salaried jobs. You work as long as it takes to get some amount of work done and you get paid for that work. Salary is also periodically renegotiated based on performance.

Hourly workers are told exactly when to arrive and exactly when to leave. That time is meticulously tracked and any falsification is grounds for firing. Big companies have a habit of telling people to regularly falsify time sheets then firing anyone that complains. The grounds firing may simply be an example where you falsified a time sheet (as you were told to do). This "with cause" termination usually cancels all accumulated benefits that would otherwise be due to the employee. People who find themselves suddenly unemployed from a nearly poverty-level salary can't afford lawyers to fight back.

Oracle has money to properly pay employees. There are no excuses.

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US trade cops agree to investigate Apple's 'embrace and extend'

Kevin McMurtrie
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They already lost me

I waited years to Apple see if Apple would reverse their trend towards a walled garden. They didn't so I've moved on.

Apple's embrace of open standards started in the late 1990s after losing the critical mass to exist as a closed environment. I was a Mac developer at the time and everyone was quietly killing all Mac development. MacOS 7 was archaic, MacOS 8 was too buggy, and market share was down to 3%. Open standards got them back into homes, schools, workplaces, and produced a badly needed surge of new software. Unfortunately, Apple now has enough cash that they can stubbornly support poor products for at least a decade.

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Softbank gets Uber A-OK for $9 BEEELLION investment cash splurge

Kevin McMurtrie
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Don't stop there

The Radio Shack web site still seems to be up. It's not too late to buy another well known American brand that nobody likes. Half the store was to sell Sprint phones, right?

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Amazon to make multiple Lord of the Rings prequel TV series

Kevin McMurtrie
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Running up stairways of falling rocks

The Peter Jackson series of movies were popular because they were entertainingly terrible on an epic level never seen before. It was like Jackson was boasting, "Yo, Raimi. This is how it's done! <mic drop>" It was all fun but I don't want to see another Tolkien-inspired movie for at least another decade.

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Metal 3D printing at 100 times the speed and a twentieth of the cost

Kevin McMurtrie
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3D PCB

If you could print with an alloy that melts at 240C, and a thermally conductive alloy that sinters at 240C, and an insulator that sinters at 240C, you'd have 3D PCBs. Place the components in it as it's built-up then bake it. It sounds hard but it can't be worse than designing the sandwich in the iPhone X. More advanced designs could even accommodate liquid cooling ducts.

The Borg collective is calling. We must go.

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OVH data centres go TITSUP: Power supply blunders blamed

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Ah, that explains it..

I've already blacklisted OVH so I got a flood of spam yesterday when spammers moved elsewhere.

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Brit moron tried buying a car bomb on dark web, posted it to his address. Now he's screwed

Kevin McMurtrie
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Mushroom

Occam's razor

Maybe he really hated his car.

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Marissa! Mayer! pulled! out! of! retirement! to! explain! Yahoo! hack! to! Senators!

Kevin McMurtrie
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Another helpful step

Lay off your abuse staff so you're not wasting money reading all those complaints about hacked accounts doing bad things.

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KRACK whacked, media playback holes packed, other bugs go splat in Android patch pact

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: I will never buy another adrioid device which doesn't ...

Ah, I had the 2015 Moto X Pure. A minimal OS phone that promised rapid updates, except that software and hardware support was immediately terminated. No VoLTE and no warranty service. ZTE also went the extra mile by also promising parallel Cyanogen development but instead disabled bootloader unlocking and published non-functional kernel code.

Some companies like class action lawsuits more than repeat customers, I guess.

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Kevin McMurtrie
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Mushroom

Easy upgrade

We can get the security patch by purchasing a new phone next year.

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This could be our favorite gadget of 2017: A portable projector

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: How much...

For the rated lumens, it's probably one multi-die LED on sapphire substrates. These LEDs are virtually indestructible except for reverse polarity. It's likely that the board will cook before the LED does.

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Kevin McMurtrie
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Pirate

Romania?

Sounds like the projector is doing transcoding in the cloud. And by cloud, it means a group in Romania that offered to transcode pay streams for free.

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For fanbois only? Face ID is turning punters off picking up an iPhone X

Kevin McMurtrie
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Worse than no headphone jack?

Facial recognition problems seem tiny compared to having only a single connector. I still don't know how those phones sell.

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HPE HQ to leave Palo Alto birthplace as it 'consolidates' offices

Kevin McMurtrie
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The real deal

HP's most used product in Silicon Valley continues to be office buildings.

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OK, we admit it. Under the hood, the iPhone X is a feat of engineering

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: 20 layers you say.

Thermal stress was the first thing that came to mind when I saw the teardown. With no thermal goo, I wonder if the OS has to juggle clock speeds to match the temperature between the two sides of the sandwich. Or maybe it cracks in two years and Apple tells you to buy a new one?

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Tesla share crash amid Republican bid to kill off electric car tax break

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: The US has an inverted system

What Tesla is doing today will be copied and made cheaper by somebody else next year. That R&D has broad value in the long run. Besides, don't forget the enormous gasoline subsidy in the form of military intervention in areas of oil production.

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Hardware has never been better, but it isn't a licence for code bloat

Kevin McMurtrie
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Trollface

This is too slow

Fixing it looks really hard but I think I can add some code to work around it being slow.

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HTC U11: U-hoo. Look over here! Two new phones! We're Not Actually Dead

Kevin McMurtrie
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Stop

Nope

Maybe I'll accept the lack of a headphone jack when there are two USB ports. I'd rather have the phone be a few milimeters larger than have to carry more accessories while traveling.

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Slashing regulations literally more important than saving American lives to Donald Trump

Kevin McMurtrie
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Calling BS on the effectiveness

Major crashes usually involve people doing something incredibly stupid - being too uncoordinated, not having a driver's license, running stop signs, or swerving a 35 MPH Toyota into the fast lane's 70 MPH traffic. A computer looking at low-precision vehicle vectors is going to have a hard time judging the difference between a potential accident and an imminent accident quickly enough to significantly change the outcome. It probably can't do it at all. Combine all the computed mistakes of each vehicle on a crowded 10 lane freeway and it's not going to work at all.

I drove 1000 miles to buy a version of my car without automatic collision avoidance. Owners said it sometimes skidded to a halt on busy freeways when lanes shift for construction.

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Google remembers it has an air-fares API, takes the usual action

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: I like this kind of behaviour ...

Google would buy the whole US government, replace taxes with listening devices, declare the project a huge success, then promptly turn the country off.

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