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Comment: Re:Doesn't do enough, IMO (Score 1) 82

by Amouth (#48463161) Attached to: A Toolbox That Helps Keep You From Losing Tools (Video)

You have a very valid point. For their light sensor method to work they are having to implement shadow boarding (laying out everything in a predefined pace). If a shadow board is done correctly then a quick glance at it will tell you exactly what is missing (high contrast colors between the background/foreground/tool in place)

While i see the value in having a "smart" toolbox, i for one would want it to be able to give me the inventory along with helping me find the tool as you say. "digitizing" the same visual information i get from shadow-boarding just doesn't justify it for me.

Comment: Re:There's another way to handle this that's easie (Score 3, Informative) 82

by Amouth (#48463127) Attached to: A Toolbox That Helps Keep You From Losing Tools (Video)

So to chime in on the whole Tech owning their own tools. I hate to say this but that works fine for Auto Mechanics because they are working on random people's cars. If the Tech doesn't have the right size wrench he'll jsut use pliers or an adjustable wrench, face and corners be damned, won't matter not their problem. Same with a torque wrench, let them just tap it a few times, or use the air gun.

Move over to the industrial world and a real manufacturing/process plant where over torquing something can stop production, or damaging the bolt can cause delays in repair (lost of production) and we have a real problem. Most plants do not allow Techs to bring in their own tools. I know Plants that have banned adjustable wrenches (if you don't' have the right tool for the job don't' do it mentality)..

All that being said in real industrial settings, tool control is a big deal. The more sterile and regulated the environment the more important it can be. See the link below where it was a contractor failing to do a tool count that did some real damage.

Tool counting is a basic thing, and should always happen. Things like this tool box can be used for good and bad, it all depends on the culture of the company and people using it. Sure they could use it to bash people over the head for loosing tools, but they could also use it as a safe guard/helper/checker to help the tech out in doing a tool count to make the work go quicker. I know places where this would be seen as yet another big brother in the plant, and places where they would love to have this because it would make their job easier and quicker. Its all about culture.

Personally i love the simplicity of it, although i will say that you have to have a solid 5S/Shadow boarding in place to use in place light sensors like this. It would work very well for specialized tool sets, but not your run of the mill mechanics toolbox. For that cheap RFID tags/single box reader might be more appropriate. (and could also be used for locating the tools if lost in the equipment).

Trust me that the cost of something like this is a drop in the bucket compared to the costs of real specialty tools, and the impact to production/operations when a tool is lost.

Comment: Re:They tried to raise prices 20% unnanounced (Score 1) 392

by Amouth (#48271115) Attached to: Cutting the Cord? Time Warner Loses 184,000 TV Subscribers In One Quarter

My dad plugged his coax straight into his tv (which does not have or support a card) and he gets about 100 channels. So, I say try plugging the coax in and find out what is really what.

If he is getting 100 channels then it is digital cable. His TV just supports it (most non CRT's do, and all New TVs support Digital TV signal). The difference is he is using a provider who didn't require encryption on all the channels like some are doing. If the digital signal is encrypted then you need a box or a cable card to de-crypt it and that is what they charge you for.

Comment: Re:I hate hardware (Score 2) 150

by Amouth (#48149719) Attached to: If Your Cloud Vendor Goes Out of Business, Are You Ready?

while not a complete data center, we do have a few racks.

The mentality you have to have when dealing with the "cloud" is how can i utilize it to make things better. Not "lets just shove it all up there" just like having that one box in the back-office that is the only one that can do something, you have to treat the cloud as a point of failure. When you design IT systems, you to the best of your budget try to mitigate single points of failure. Your budget is what limits the bounds in which you can do that, and the impact to the business should justify the budget.

For dropbox what we did was setup a synology san unit with with Cloud Sync attached to a single admin account. We then implemented a business process for creation of dropbox folders for use with clients (we are a consulting firm). When a folder needs to be created, it is created on that account, and then shared out. This ensures that it gets a local copy of all dropbox folders used for clients. We then back the synology unit to our normal in-house back.

We didn't go to dropbox because we wanted to replace our san or our local file storage abilities (honestly having everyone sync over the net connection vs local lan would be horrid). But rather wanted the convenience of their service, and the ease of use for the end users. But having that be the only centralized place anything existed would cause a single point of failure and should not be acceptable. It's the difference between leveraging something and relying on something.

We also use AWS for outward facing web services, But we have our own IP Block with addresses reserved for fallback, anything we push to out is first pushed to a local production system for final QA then to AWS production. If AWS would disappear, we would just update DNS settings and be back on-line within a MAX of 24 hours. Now our local pipe and production system couldn't handle the same load that AWS would in the same manner but would be functional (stress test shows page loads going from ~.1 to 4-5 sec), but that is ok as the risk is low and the impact is only moderate so ultimately it's a risk we are willing to accept.

Too many places now days don't do proper risk analysis and mitigation, and very few companies have real DR strategies. DR doesn't have to be expensive or complex, but it must be planned for and maintained, else you will be bitten when the disaster happens.

Comment: Re:I hate hardware (Score 2) 150

by Amouth (#48148543) Attached to: If Your Cloud Vendor Goes Out of Business, Are You Ready?

This should be part of any companies DR strategy. If they don't have the provider going down, the same way they assume a DC goes down, then they aren't doing their job.

We use DropBox, and we keep a local mirror sync'ed within our own servers. We use the service for the efficiency, but if they went belly up, we already have all our own data and would just be looking for a way to fill the efficiency gap.

Comment: Re:Drop Caffeine Altogether (Score 1) 133

by Amouth (#47785627) Attached to: Coffee Naps Better For Alertness Than Coffee Or Naps Alone

I accidentally did it by switching from Coffee to Tea due to stomach issues... (yes i know Tea has caffeine, keep reading)

After i switched to Tea i went and tried many different types till i found ones i liked, and sat well with my stomach after drinking it all day. An that Tea was Rooibos Tea also known as Red Tea. After more than a year of switching i found out Rooibos Tea had zero Caffeine.

I don't drink sodas and haven't for many years, and again i made the witch to find something that fit my stomach better. Honestly i never understood people and their Caffeine cravings because i never found coffee or a soda to give me any type of perk up (i drank coffee because i like the taste).

But anyways, that is how i "accidentally" quit caffeine, i switched what i was drinking and cut it out without even realizing it.

Comment: Re:Why not make Pi = 3 while they are at it? (Score 1) 528

by Amouth (#47767031) Attached to: Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

Why not make Pi = 3 while they are at it?

silly, everyone knows Pi = 4

(suhhhhsh! i know the answer, but if Ohio can't recognize the problem with this bill they won't recognize the problem here either, and we can use that to differentiate them from the rest of society. start talking with someone, and they aren't making logical sense ask them what Pi = and if they say 4 you know why)

Comment: Re:Dropbox use AWS (Score 4, Interesting) 275

by Amouth (#47745651) Attached to: Dropbox Caught Between Warring Giants Amazon and Google

We tried ownCloud first, ended up with a complete mess of files as the client is very dump and only works if there is a perfect clock sync between all clients and everyone is on a low latency high bandwidth client.

Considering we are working with multiple people on the road in spotty net connection areas with laptops from different companies whose clocks differ a small bit we ended up with a gigantic mess of conflicts and 0 byte files which lovingly got propagated.

Needless to say our testing of ownCloud showed it to be far from ready for production use.

Also their documentation and reliance on community forums was very sad to say the least.

Comment: Re:Dropbox use AWS (Score 2) 275

by Amouth (#47745281) Attached to: Dropbox Caught Between Warring Giants Amazon and Google

That said, perhaps DropBox could sell a self-hosted version of their software and bring over their ease-of-use.

If they ever do that they will make a lot more headway in the enterprise. The ease of use is excellent from the end-user perspective. But the file retainment is a nightmare for IT organizations, and many block it because they have zero real control over the documents or ability to backup/preserve them with out massive workarounds.

Comment: Re:Is this really good news? (Score 1) 233

That's the whole point, they don't pay people 30-50$ an hour to "drive a forklift" they where paying it because the union contract required x% pay increase each year of service, and the forklift guys had been there for 20+ years still driving a forklift (the ~30 ones). the ~50$ was a different plant, where operators who had been there for 20-30 years who could no longer physically do the work required by operations (long standing, heavy lifting, etc.) where assigned to be the forklift drivers as it was a job within their physical abilities and was used as a "golden job before retirement" this was also exasperated by the fact that they had bad policies around promoting from within from the shop floor. It didn't mater your skills or years of service or knowledge of the business, if you didn't have a 4 year degree you couldn't be salary, and you could't be a supervisor as that was salary only, let alone a production/process engineer or a manger. So if you were an operator or a technician and you didn't have a 4 year there was no where to go but within the hourly positions.. Yet they would still get the annual pay increases even though the job did not show the value of that raise.

Its bad policy & management of the workforce and the distribution of talent which can have a very profound effect on the labor rates which translates to a cost of good sold. which can cause the viability of producing local vs producing oversees comes into question.

Comment: Re:Is this really good news? (Score 4, Insightful) 233

Yes it is. Stop viewing it as crushing wages and more a normalization of wages. It takes time to cycle out bad habits from manufacturing companies here int he US (and in some part due to labor unions although unions are not all bad).

For example i've seen plants where people work their way up, as they have more years, and as they gain higher pay, they move to different jobs. But the reality is you shouldn't have a 30-50$/h person driving a fork lift. But due to the way they organize them selves and their people that is what you see.

I'm all for a fair wage for a fair job. But that wage should be based on the contribution to the goals, to the product. And as someone moves up in rake and wage they should be expected to contribute more value.

The mentality that everyone is entitled to an x% wage increase for every year of service for the simple fact of being there doesn't make sense. Doing it because they increase their knowledge and skills that can be contributed back to the organization does make sense.

The off shoring of jobs to 3rd world conuntries for manufacturing due to cheap labor that they could abuse is also a failing of the company, but it is made possiable in part by the 1st world workers not being able to show the value added for the ratesthey command. As this balance equalizes the rates and contribution should also. At that point (and what seems to be happening) is that the offshore people are starting to command more for the value they are giving, and with that there comes the question of if the difference in labor costs justifies the increase in logistics cost. There is a tipping point where the difference will cause the Jobs to move back, and be more distributed.

When it comes to logistics costs, unless you are in extreme high capital investment processes (thing IC Fabrication) normally the Cost of Goods Sold (non-capital) are they moving costs which are lowest when you do manufacturing within the region of sale. By the labor gap closing, the best place to increase margin is to make adjustments to the logistics costs, which means changing how you do business.

But over all this is good, this is a very good thing. the closer all global labor markets are, the more likely the manufacturing will be to distributed so that you are preforming the work in the region of sale. once this happens the supply & demand for any given region should level out, and you should see better balanced net imports/exports. Rather than any single economy being unbalanced. once you get balanced then the life of the average worker will on average get better and more stable.

Again, this is a very good thing, it is a long and ever changing road, but just like the universe this is, as the nature of all things, a move towards less entropy and is natural in any system.

Loose bits sink chips.