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Comment: I had a microsoft smart watch for about 12 years. (Score 3, Interesting) 156

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#48186855) Attached to: Microsoft Gearing Up To Release a Smartwatch of Its Own
It was called Timex DataLink. Released around 1995 or so. You set up the calender, contacts etc in the PC and click on "send to watch" menu item. The CRT monitor will flash horizontal bars. You just hold the watch up in front of the monitor to receive the data.

It sort of worked. But it was too much of a pain but it worked when I tried. Eventually I stopped updating the data and carried around long obsolete phone numbers, addresses etc for a long time. It had super good battery life. Lasted 12 years or so. Then I went back to a simple Casio GShock.

Comment: Re:Enfield .303? Wow!! I know these rifles. (Score 1) 276

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#48180709) Attached to: No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade
I am not very sure about that. Wiki says .303 Enfield is being phased out. May be being replaced by a 7.62 mm caliber weapon. It could be a NATO weapon, India buys from both NATO and Warsaw pact. Does crazy things like adding magic-matra missiles (NATO) on to MIG-21 or MIG-23. How they got the missiles' target acquisition radar with Russian cockpit displays and the target selection pointer I have no idea.

Comment: Enfield .303? Wow!! I know these rifles. (Score 2) 276

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#48180341) Attached to: No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade
They are very common in India, and I assume in all of British Commonwealth. Local police have them but usually do not carry them around regularly. A typical police station would have about six of them very visible but locked by a strip of metal. All the police station scenes in Bollywood movies would have them. The National Cadet Corps, a high school student training program, would culminate with the training to use these rifles. We get to fire at most 10 rounds as the right of passage to get the "C" certificate if I remember right.

To imagine the same weapon used so heavily in the tropics, mud and monsoon being noted for its reliability in Arctic conditions is amazing. But this is a very simple basic weapon. Even India is phasing them out, apparently.

Comment: Re:Luxury auto makers suck in electronics. (Score 1) 155

Look at the supported phones of 2014 X3. Phones supported in AT&T not supported in T-mobile! What the hell? Why would the carrier make a difference to blue tooth? Google Nexus not supported. Google Nexus is supposed to be the reference implementation of Android. It probably tests only iPhone. Have you tried feeding it home made mp3 files?

Comment: Luxury auto makers suck in electronics. (Score 4, Interesting) 155

The auto makers are mostly work with very long life cycles. Vehicles typically get used for 10 to 15 years, especially for well built luxury vehicles. Model life cycles are long too. They are not used to the fast changing world of electronics and entertainment systems. My friend driving Mercedes hates its navigation system. He often uses google maps on his iphone. My BMW balks at playing old mp3 file created by ripping CDs in WinAmp back in 2000. Every other music player and computer will play those files, BMW alone will keep crashing its music file system and resetting itself. BMW's support of bluetooth is abysmal. My 2006 Prius links without any issue any cell phone via blue tooth. Have you seen how small BMW's approved list of cell phones is? The damned thing would not even support Nexus4 or Nexus5. And if I pair it with an "unapproved" model, somehow it forgets the supported models too. Theoretically it can maintain connections to four phones simultaneously and auto switch on incoming calls. But in practice it is extremely poorly done.

Why wouldn't they just provide a simple docking station, allow the docked device access to the car speakers and stay away from building their own navigation and music players? They still think they can hold their customers up for ransom by demanding 1800$ for an integrated navigation system or 1200$ for the music player. No, just put in good speakers and allow us to bring our own devices into the car.

The lack of imagination of the auto makers is astounding. WiFi is what 15 years old? iPod is 10 years old? Why didn't they build a car with WiFi that will connect to your home, down load daily news, weather, traffic reports into the hard disk 10 years ago? After missing the boat then, now they are coming up with walled gardens of WiFi, memory storage in the car etc.

Comment: I did not know I owned a ... (Score 1) 77

I did not know I have a microbial lab on top of my refrigerator! I kept throwing out old boxes of cheerios!

Cheerios are very good baby sitters too. Empty a small portion of them in the tray of the high chair and the infants will have hours of fun picking them one at time and inspecting them individually and find their mouth with their tiny hands by trial and error.

Comment: We should learn from municipalities, not toyota. (Score 1) 132

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#48169273) Attached to: Mixing Agile With Waterfall For Code Quality
Agile process has its roots in the process used by the industrial engineers of Toyota, Japan in improving the quality of the process. It is interesting to note that the success of Toyota, Japan, is not easily replicated, and even Toyota, USA and other siblings are not able to be as efficient as Toyota, Japan. This process is good for making multiple copies of a well known object using large number of workers with highly interchangeable skills, and the process could be broken down into very small pieces where any team member could do any task.

Software development is not making the same widget again and again. This is the fundamental misapplication that is messing up agile implementations.

Software grows more like a city. Any new functionality needs to interface with and restricted by existing infrastructure. A large software project is like adding a new skyscraper to an throbbing downtown. If we could distill the collective wisdom of the town planners about clearly marking existing interfaces, existing users, the typical use case scenarios that will be affected by the reengineering, detours and diversions needed while the project is going on, we would get a better process. Agile is simply promising too much to the top management and then blaming the developers for "not doing agile right".

Comment: Status quo ante can be restored easily. (Score 4, Insightful) 406

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#48167727) Attached to: As Prison Population Sinks, Jails Are a Steal
The main reason for the drop in prison population is because so many criminals in Wall Street went scot free after the 2009 crisis. Just make up the short fall in prison population by jailing the top people of large financial firms. They have long ago gone from "too big to fail" and "too big to jail" to "too big to be free".

Comment: These two patients are different. (Score 1) 463

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#48149063) Attached to: Positive Ebola Test In Second Texas Health Worker
They contracted ebola in the USA. Which means these ebola viruses is natural born US Ebola viruses, invested with more constitutional rights than an alien undocumented ebola virus. So these viruses must be given their due process. So it would take longer to process them.

Comment: It is small, not sure it consumes less than 100MW (Score 1) 564

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#48149023) Attached to: Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project
In all the fusion research the key question is, "Is it producing more energy than it consumes?" The article is silent about it. Looks like they have shrunk the size of the reactor. But might not have made it net energy producer. It speculates it could power a ship. But does not say clearly they have made it net energy producer. If Fusion produces significant amount of excess energy (more than it consumes) for a significant period, that facet alone, by itself, is a major break through, irrespective of size.

Looks like a desperate team trying to generate headlines to keep their funding going.

Comment: Radical changes are not (always) good. (Score 1) 240

by 140Mandak262Jamuna (#48139611) Attached to: Fighting the Culture of 'Worse Is Better'
Take a look at evolution. Sexual reproduction has so many hurdles to jump through before a beneficial mutation could find a toehold. In asexual reproduction individuals can rapidly and radically adjust to the changing environment and pass on the beneficial mutations to the next generations. They produce teeming masses of viruses, bacteria, fungi, insects, and at most reptiles. (A confirmed case of parthenogenesis of a shark sent shock waves through the biologists. But I think it has never happened among mammals).

Sacrificing backward compatibility and interoperability for radical changes would lead a large population of rapidly mutating code and runtime environment. You see this both in biology and software. Malware proliferates, ditches backward compatibility and interoperability and tries to adapt as quickly as possible to exploit newly discovered vulnerabilities. Giant organisms and big pieces of software change slowly, spend enormous amount of energy and effort in maintaining a thriving eco-system.

Radical changes (saltations) has its advantages but also limitations. Slow incremental changes has its limitations but also advantages.

Comment: Good passwords are everywhere. (Score 1) 546

Just look at the usernames in slashdot. They all make very good passwords. Take my username, please. It is a damn good password. If I can casually waste it as user id, imagine how many more goodies where it came from. 263Bhaskar 264Kuppa 261Shyam 260Thomas 259Raghu 258Siva ... Passwords just make themselves...

Today's scientific question is: What in the world is electricity? And where does it go after it leaves the toaster? -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"