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Comment "lost productivity" claim rather dubious (Score 4, Insightful) 153

Well, I'm no Facebook fan, (have been "wasting" my time here for years on /. instead.)
That hasn't stopped me holding down a job and delivering value to my clients over those same years.
Also, before the interwebs people did crossword puzzles, and other "non productive" stuff.
Plenty of people find Facebook a useful marketing tool also; my wife breeds and sells cats, and plenty of contacts have come via fb.

Comment Re:Sad they are not doing anything much these days (Score 1) 428

The sad thing is that Apple would be uniquely positioned to introduce a whole range of new technologies into the consumer marketplace.

Totally agree; I like nailing things together, and have probably spent too much time and money doing so, but friends and colleagues like stuff that "just works".
As I age, I'm coming round to that point of view too...
People spend tons of money on high-end AV brands, (my neighbour proudly showed me his new B&O come cinema setup the other day...it was great, but for 50 fucking grand it should be).
I'm sure that type of person would be ready to buy an Apple TV, (not the little shitty box, but a real TV) for $insane_amount, especially if it offered seamless integration with other iDevices.
Think about it, the IOT could actually become useful instead of being a box of MBA bullshit riddled with security flaws; you're listening to a great track in your car, and as you walk into the house it keeps playing on the home system. The email you were reading or composing gets read out to you, or voice-recognised, as you move from office to the car.
Or, you're talking to someone on the hands-free in the car or motorbike helmet, and as you come into the house again it seamlessly hands-over to the house system...
I (kinda) have all this today, but it required a LOT of time and cash, (ripping out modern OEM car audio these days while retaining full functionality requires some serious hackery, and that's AFTER you've managed to root and debug the Chinese-made WinCE or Android "compatible" head unit).

And don't get me started on the long-promised "universal inbox and address book"....

So yes, what Apple seemingly lacks is the vision to leverage it's unique closed ecosystem and huge cash pile into a range of devices giving a totally seamless experience, with tight integration between diverse devices. Apple brown and white goods, smart thermostats and home security; yeah could work.

Comment You can get everything you need for free... (Score 4, Insightful) 78

I've worked in "third world" countries, (how I hate that term).
On the downside, most things are run into the ground and then thoroughly scavenged for everything possible of value.
And then the rubbish dumps are hand-sorted. Because lots of young people plus no money = lots of hungry manpower
But I'm sure you can get people interested in your project, and get things of very, very little value for your projects.
Because everyone is thirsting for knowledge, (as well as clean water)
Get creative! Get the community involved, trade teaching hours for hardware...
Cars will yield fuses, voltage regulators, thin wire of little value for copper for the recyclers, switches and - in more moderns ones recently crashed - plenty of tiny electric motors again of zero value to a recycler but fine for your projects.
Almost anything can get you started - old TVs are of course the absolute best, just jammed full of stuff!
But washing machines are pretty good too, and even an old coffee machine can get you an electric thermostat plus the power supply.
Look on the web - there are dozens of sources that will help you turn old stuff into some magnificent steampunk robotics!
You don't have to buy an expensive kit of parts to make a robot.

Oh, and by the way, you don't have to buy a Pi either - you can get started by using a washing machine controller as your program control unit.
(Sadly now banned in many parts of the world, since they make excellent bomb timers)
Not everything has to be digital...
Have fun!

Comment Rubbish journalism, rubbish clickbait submission (Score 1) 176

This is the kind of tripe that's sinking /.
Yesterday, journos spin a "hey maybe there's something interesting here" announcement into an "OMG another planet" gush...
Today, we are supposed to click though to the dreadful Forbes site to find out...that more data is required....
Fuck me, who'd have thought it! Of course, the scientific method is so passé these days.

It reminds me of the tabloid that published a story (with picture) about the "amazing discovery of a WW2 bomber found on the Moon"
Did the ensuing ridicule and debunking faze them in the slightest? Nope.
They followed-up with "WW2 bomber on Moon disappears"...

Important news for nerds, ladies and gentlemen, get it while it's hot...

Comment Wrong in so many ways... (Score 1) 111

People buying Tesla don't give a damn about depreciation.
People buying smaller electric cars (Nissan Leaf etc.) clearly don't care too much about value for money either.
Electric cars (pure, not hybrid) could be a great solution for polluted city centres, but unless the Renault-touted replaceable battery pack concept takes off, (it has not so far), I don't see that a cab driver is going to tolerate cutting earnings in half every day while they wait for the car to charge...
Finally, pure elec cars have much fewer, and simpler mechanical components, so in theory they should be economically viable to repair for much longer.
A more compelling argument would have been:
"Have an open Systems architecture that makes hardware and software upgrades trivial."
Tesla manages to push software upgrades that add significant function without breaking stuff so it's clearly possible...
Also, make the only truly expensive bit of hardware that definitely does wear out - the battery pack - easy to replace.

Comment Re:I get it, but it's stupid. (Score 1) 187

The trouble is, the "nth party removed" defense has been used and abused so much that activists have got wise.
You think a company like Apple does not have incredibly competent buyers, with years of experience and great knowledge of exactly, but exactly, where their stuff comes from, even "n" layers removed?
Equally, you think they don't have clauses in their T&Cs specifying that their suppliers' suppliers' suppliers don't boil fairies and castrate unicorns to make the product?
Sure they do.
And everybody knows it's all bullshit.

So, it's actually worse than you state - are they irresponsible? You decide.
For instance, you might argue that the kids are better off digging cobalt than wandering around as part of a child army...
Back on topic, do they not know? Sure they do. So blame both customer and supplier if you're going there.
While you're at it, you can blame the consumer who knows this too...

Comment Deeds rather than words, indeed (Score 2) 53

There were no words - since their "deeds" appeared (from TFA) to consist of redacting over 300 pages of what he did request, (which was pretty innocuous and non-specific, BTW; he just asked what TOWNS the program had been active in...)
They then fill-in with a bunch of boilerplate to look like they had actually complied with the request.
Bad-faith bureaucratic stonewalling at its finest.

The main payload in the article is that the dude infers that a program that was declared illegal was simply repackaged and buried deeper, hence the desire to not give away too many details since they'll probably being doing the same old....

I'm happy to pay my taxes to live in a state of law, since democracy cannot exist without it.
But I'm increasingly of the impression that I'm getting short changed on both.

Comment Cleaner energy? (Score 3, Insightful) 319

Nuclear is pretty clean, and low co2. Yes, it's more expensive than its boosters pretend, but then ago so are most of the other highly-subsidised alternatives. Disposal of the waste is not as difficult as people pretend, and in fact would be simple and cheap if successive generations of politicians not bowed to NIMBY pressure...

Running older reactors can be perfectly safe too; costs a bit more, since you have to model how the materials age and replacement can be tricky, but there are specialists who provide those services. The concern is that some organisations are moving away from the "safety first, money no object" mentality to squeeze more cash out of their already highly-profitable installations.

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