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Comment Re:Why is this such a mystery? (Score 1) 106

An Anonymous Coward and Junta earlier up gave the answer. Basically it's a neat feature which "should" let Enterprise admins manage and fix a box even if the user has trashed the OS. It's all done by intercepting network packets before the OS even sees them. The problem is the tools Intel provides are apparently pretty horrid. Like cross SNMP and Netboot, but several times worse horrid. The other thing is the spec isn't open, so no one else can write tools or extend tools to use them. For example, there are many tools to make Netboot a 123 experience, but there's only Intel's tools for working with the IME.

TLDR: Intel forces you to use there tools, but they suck.

Comment Re:From neglect or from hackers? (Score 1) 162

Fun fact, the Romans DIDN'T have problems with lead in their drinking water. This is because the water is so hard that lime scale quickly builds up in the pipes. Heck, they had people who's full time job was to chip scale out of aqueducts. It also means that they had to occasionally lay new pipes as old ones got clogged.

The lesson is twofold. First, some Roman engineering required regular maintenance. Second, the cause to Flint, MI's problem might be the solution to it as well.

Comment Re:They just don't get it.... (Score 1) 75

"So you have to keep a large amount of that part in stock." That part in stock are bags of plactic chips, and spools of plastic. What's to stop the manufacturer from building something else for someone else. For example, Furniture, or Hand Tools?

Not necessarily. Half the time when they're talking about 3d printing like this they're referring to SLS, or printing metal. Your feed stock is this metal powder that these hundred thousand dollar (minimum) printers use.

Now back to your question. It's the Auto manufacturers that we're talking about. They make cars. Sure they could use those printers to make other things, but that's not their core competency. The big thing is that 3d printing is expensive and takes a while. Here's an example:

GM requires special part A. Every car has one, and only one of that part. No one but GM uses that part.

In a traditional world GM would have to go find a supplier and have them do "a run" of that part. This typically has months of lead time, and GM ends up with a warehouse full of part A. If they change lines or find a problem with that part they're F***ed. There only real options are to shut down the lines while waiting for new parts or use the old defective ones. This is probably what happened with GM's ignition switches, and why they didn't want to admit it was an issue.

Just In Time manufacturing says do away with the warehouse and have the factory deliver a truck load at a time. This is a super efficient way of doing business, and it tends to avoid some of the issues I mentioned above. The problem is that you must have guaranteed deliveries, either on a schedule or with a rapid turnaround time. A great quote from The Goal is, "the closer you come to a balanced plant, the closer you are to bankruptcy." So when you have a crappy supplier you're once again F***ed and have to shut the lines down, or pay someone else stupid amounts of money to do a rush order.

Now, you might ask, "why doesn't GM just produce the part themselves?" Well, GM is a car company, not a widget company. They don't want to spend the money on machines that don't make cars. They don't really have the expertise to make that part. If they do run into an issue with the part, it's going to cost them quite a bit of money to retool all those machines to fix the issue. In short, it's also a pita. Tesla Motors actually does this, and they've run into some quality issues because now one company is doing so much more than just make cars. It can easily turn into a Jack of All trades, master of none situation, and business is all about being the master of your specific trade.

3d printing presents a solution for some extremely specific parts that match the criteria above. These parts are needed in low quantity, be extremely risky/costly to store in bulk in a warehouse, and the suppliers can not be relied on to make regular deliveries. It's only worth it if 3d printing the part is less of a hassle than dealing with any of that. Furthermore, you still have a final assembly step, and not everything can be 3d printed. Ignition switches can be more complicated than you think, so they might or might not be something that it's worth to 3d print. If you get past all of that, it might make sense to 3d print some parts.

Comment Re:They just don't get it.... (Score 1) 75

As someone said earlier in the comments, auto manufacturers might start using 3d printers for a few parts just because of supply chain issues.

Just In Time manufacturing is all about minimizing inventory of inputs and work in progress. The problem is an inconsistent or unresponsive supply chain can royally f*** that up. So you have to keep a large amount of that part in stock. Depending on inventory holding costs, and the general pita that is dealing with late suppliers it might be worth it to consider just manufacturing those parts in house. 3d printers make this possible, especially for small batches of specialty components.

Interestingly I've heard stories about some Japanese companies that came to America and had quite the awakening. Apparently in Japan if they commit to a delivery schedule then they'll keep it for anything short of a natural disaster, and probably even then. While things are changing, missing deadlines used to be an American tradition. Not so good if you have to shut down the whole plant waiting on that one item.

Comment The Intercept wants them to be another FOX News (Score 3, Insightful) 276

Rather than fill a market gap for strong-voiced journalism with a focus on domestic counter-terrorism policy and the Middle East

Because screaming about how America should be afraid will really help the Al Jazeera brand. Yeah right! American cable news is so heavily politically slanted that you have to take everything with a kilogram of salt.

I'm more likely guessing the problem came from "purchased Current TV in late 2012 from founder Al Gore for $500 million." I'm guessing the bought a lemon of a company from someone who they thought was trustworthy. Also, whenever you have foreign management take over an American company instead of starting from scratch you have issues. Established American corporate culture rarely mixes well with foreign work cultures.

Comment Re:add a clause. (Score 4, Interesting) 190

That's a good idea, but there's something else interesting. DMCA is under penalty of perjury, and he has documentation to prove it. This is the point at which you send them a settlement letter. Especially if that contract had the clause you mentioned, if it goes to court, then SONY is not in a happy place.

If SONY loses the license, then every view from then on is an instance of copyright infringement. That's stupid amounts of money. Courts tend to look down on such clearcut cases of perjury too.

Comment Re:Stated Intent Means Virtually Nothing (Score 1) 92

In Tennessee, United States the judge will modify the agreement if he or she deems it overly broad. Basically, the contract can say you can't work anywhere for the rest of your life, and the judge will knock that down to anywhere in (overly broad category) for two years. They never just toss it out.

Technically, the company has to give you something if they want you to sign it after you've joined, but the number TN judges like is at least $50. So here, two years of not being able to work in your profession is worth $50.

Heck, my law class used the example of a pest control company. Because the secret of how to sprays for bugs is apparently that big of a deal.


Comment Re:Use Git (Score 1) 325

In some ways yes, in some ways no. Large history can be an issue, but to get to that point you pretty much need to be doing something pretty special for a fortune 500 company. The entirety of the Linux Kernel clocks in at under 2GiB, the only company I've ever heard make the claim that this is an issue was Facebook, who went with Mercurial instead.

The trick with branches is that each represents a different feature or bug fix. So long as they don't touch the same bits of code, git makes merging them painless. Local branches allow for trying out ideas, and swapping between tasks easy. Remote branches allow for greater control. A common paradigm is only one or two people have commit access to master. Everyone else asks them to merge their branch.

This branch and merge strategy, called 'pull requests', is the key to github's success. On sourceforge with svn, I would have to generate a patch file, then send it to the developers somehow, then wait for them to examine it, before finally deciding to add everything as one large commit. This can take a while, especially if several things have to be modified. Worse, the developers have to revert their local code copy to a clean slate before applying the patch. With git and github, you can easily view what's going to change, and merging is a simple click/command.

Comment Re:Git (Score 1) 325

Git has what are known as hooks. Things that are run whenever you do something, like committing a file or trying to push to somewhere. It's how you get E-Mail notifications. These aren't anything new, so I think subversion offers something similar. The large difference is in what these let the maintainer do when it comes to integration.

Take a look at this page:
Click on the green check marks or red 'X's. This is something github has integrated into their system, but there are other options as well. The advantage is that developers could add a new feature, or fix a bug without committing directly to the master branch. The primary maintainer can easily view if the patches compile cleanly, and if the patch is acceptable or not.

This is a consequence of how easy it is to branch and merge using git. I know subversion has branches, but they can be harder to deal with and it's hard to spin up a branch for every feature and patch. Combine that with git's local storage and swapping/reverting branches is a sna

Comment Re:Git (Score 1) 325

Actually you can do that with git.
Just set the right pre commit, or pre upload hooks and it'll do it all.

One project I contribute to on github preforms automatic coverity and travis-ci builds/tests every time someone asks to merge their code to the master branch.

Easy way to see if the thing even builds, without the maintainers having to do a thing.

Comment Use Git (Score 1) 325

I'm always going to recommend git as the version control system of choice. It scales well, and you can learn how it works without mucking with servers to start. Plus has some good tutorials, and there are several web interfaces available. If you could convince your IT department to let you use a cloud based system, github would actually be perfect. Also, the speed. Don't underestimate how important that is.

Here's a list of reasons to use it instead of SVN or CVS:

Almost all of the requested features are possible with most version control systems, but, like back end infrastructure, require someone knowledgeable about that particular system to set things up. For instance, there are commit hooks to handle sending E-Mails and doing code checking, but that requires editing the right file.

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