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Comment Re:Apple always gets away with it. (Score 1) 409

Yeah, imagine if you bought an expensive car and you had a minor collision, broke your head light, replaced it with an after-market one (perhaps the only one available in your area) and drove away. Then, after a few months the car manufacturer sent an OTA update that disabled your car and told you "sorry, you should not have done that, but you have the chance to buy our newer and shinier car! 'k thanks bye!".
Mandatory car analogy...

Comment Apple always gets away with it. (Score 5, Interesting) 409

Apple always gets away with it and the other vendors don't follow, because they don't have customers who will eat up anything.
Let me give you an example just from my experience. My 3rd iPhone 4S in a row has failed in the same exact way: wifi/gps disabled. Just do a quick google about the "grayed out wifi" problem, you will find thousands of posts and also a lot of iPhone 4/4S phones on ebay with that fault. Only the first of the 3 failed within warranty in my case and all three where always in an office and used once a week for testing/debugging (that's why I kept replacing it, I test on various devices). People have actually pinpointed the problem: the overheat detection of the wifi/gps module fails and the software disables it. In fact, this disabling was a "feature" introduced with iOS 6 IIRC, so people who had stayed with iOS 5 did not get the issue. For any other company there would have been a recall, since it would have been an easy class action otherwise, and even a software patch would fix it. But apple is happy with customers getting a new phone and their average customer doesn't mind much.
Ooh, another example, my boss, who you would call a dedicated Apple fan, had bought a mac mini 5-6 years ago. After 6 months it started killing his keyboards. He went through a few expensive/fancy keyboards before figuring out it was the mac mini and so he took it to the Apple store (Manhattan) where they diagnosed a faulty MB and told him it would take a week to have it replaced. He left it there, got a call about a delay and finally went to get it almost two weeks later. Instead of returning a fixed mac mini they told him they had voided the warranty because they found "dust" inside!!! And the only solution they offered was a 10%-off a new mac mini!!! And he took it!!! Bought the same thing, at a 10% discount!!! He didn't even flinch, I mean, I only found out because I asked, he did not find it interesting enough to mention. My jaw dropped when I heard it, I told him there is no such thing as warranty voided because of "dust", that if the device maker thinks they should not have dust they put a little filter in the computer intake (I do that in my custom builds), that a 6-month old mac mini in a no-pet no-smoke office would not have any dust anyway (and even if it did, why would it fail when decade old dusty components work fine). For all my arguments his response was "the apple genius told me my warranty is voided there is nothing I can do". He actually believed they were right. Even after I showed him the warranty which of course does not mentions dust he though they were right somehow...

Comment Seems like a 25-30kW (nominal) system (Score 1) 213

Average power doesn't make much sense for a solar system - they work during the day in a sort of parabolic curve (for a cool graph see the last image here where a partial solar eclipse "eats away" part of that curve). The PV system that produced the graph in that image I linked to, is at my vacation home in Greece and at 10kW nominal power it produces about 15MWh per year, or half the amount of this Porche pylon (which does not look like the Monolith to me). Given that Berlin is not as sunny as Greece, it would mean this pylon is more than twice my 10kW installation, I guess at least 25-30kW nominal would be needed to generate 30MWh per year.

Comment Re:This is why (Score 2) 229

Oh, come on, consumers are furious when they get caught in a small technicality and now you are suggesting that it's Amazon's fault for not thinking "unlimited photos" can also mean "unlimited data posing as photos"? I mean, if somebody was storing many TB of their actual photos Amazon would have no right to say anything based of their promise, but this is not the same thing.

I've seen this before. I have a Kindle Keyboard which came with a nice little perk: it has a browser (experimental, very simple) and with unlimited 3G internet anywhere in the world. It has helped me numerous times in various trips without having to worry about my phone data roaming. So, at one point people started hacking their Kindles to enable tethering in order to have free unlimited worldwide 3G connections. Technically they could do it, but they sure as hell knew it was not what Amazon meant. We were lucky enough that Amazon did not limit the service too severely after that - you have 20MB in 3G per day and then it slows down to 2G (at least last time I checked). It is still fine for me - 20MB not bad for the e-ink display browser, although it is a limit that you might reach on a busy day and it was only put there because people were using a technicality to abuse the "promise".

Comment This is crazy... (Score 5, Interesting) 301

I could understand it when it was a crime to cause harm to underage kids, like assaulting them or taking pictures of them. I can also understand how it would be bad to sell pictures of kids even if you haven't produced them yourself, there should not be a market for that.
It starts to go downhill when it is a crime to download or just view (which is pretty much the same thing) an underage pic on your computer (and let's not go into ludicrous things like underage cartoon characters who are also considered verbotten!). Then they tell you the same thing is not a crime if you do it in order to catch other people doing it. So, is it a crime or isn't it? I don't know of another crime that it is OK to "perform" if you're "the good guy"...

Comment Blame... cannabis? (Score 2) 232

I thought it went "Blame Canada".

But if it was natural cannabinoids we have to "congratulate" the lab for producing something deadly from a relatively benign plant...
Also, I am curious how this can happen. Before starting such trials they are supposed to give huge doses of the "new" stuff to some unfortunate non-human mammals. I didn't know there could be a fatal compound that is non-fatal for e.g. rats in larger doses (if it was, it would have raised many flags I assume).

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