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Comment: Re:So ... (Score 1) 62

He said he predicted failure for their SECOND tablet. Which was the iPad.

Yes, this is what I meant, and I was far from the only one saying so. Those who weren't Apple fanbois mostly predicted the iPad to be nothing more than an oversized iPod Touch filling a small niche that could only cannibalize from Apple's existing portfolio.

10" touchscreen tablets were totally unheard of, the Newton was a flop, and everyone hated laptops with touchscreens. A tablet, keyboardless computer had, in the history of mankind, never been successful. Plus the iPad was _expensive_. People would buy the cheaper Kindle or netbooks (remember those?) instead. The concept of carrying around a tablet instead of a laptop was ludicrous, because the apps that would enable you to do that did not yet exist. Four years later it's easy to look back and say "well, duh", but in 2010 it was seen as a risky move for Apple.

My point is that it's easy to be wrong about what people will buy, and it's too early to know what will happen with wearable computing. The right product at the right time could change everything.

Comment: Re:Sorry (Score 1) 22

"I think that anecdote points to a broader, American Exceptionalism-based difficulty: we regularly hold peaceful revolutions at the ballot box. While the rest of the world, and Russians are arguably among the more egregious cases, have much greater policy time horizons, the U.S. has trouble remembering anything."

Too much truth to that, but it does not mean we should not try to do better.

"The State Department should provide a more "traditional" geo-political interface, but then you come to the question of to what degree agreements with the U.S.S.R. hold any sway. One might be tempted to pretend something like the referenced agreement never happened. Fine. But you really don't want the Russians weaponizing space, as we agreed to eschew in the Outer Space Treaty, do you?"

Exactly.

Now with that thought in mind think back on how the US government has in fact treated Russia since the Soviet Union dissolved. Is it just me or does it seem like our government as a whole actually WANTS to provoke them into something drastic like that? First off, why expand, instead of disband, NATO if we are not planning to attack Russia? And why pour all this 'democracy promotion' money into the likes of Svoboda if we are not actively scheming against Russia? I have no trouble believing this has been on the Russians minds all this time because it has certainly been on mine, and I cannot come up with another credible answer.

The Europeans were involved at first and they were thinking of expanding the EU to the Ukraine (which was probably a bad idea from the get-go given their economic woes) but they have since backed off quite a bit. Less because of their economic woes and more because of the sheer unsavoriness of the new regime.  You could see street protests bring down several EU governments if they even get close to admitting a country where the likes of Svoboda is in government, and I've started seeing admissions that there is no way in hell Ukraine will be invited to the EU for the foreseeable future.

"While I understand that paranoia is the Russian national sport, I still thing BHO was a complete fool for, inter alia, abandoning the missile shield in Poland."

Really?

What value would it have been?

I mean in general I think interceptors are a great idea, but there? Whose missiles would it ever have a chance to intercept, if not the Russians? The Iranians never had missiles with that range and are unlikely to develop them, and still less likely to actually use them. Turkey is a member of NATO after all, and who else outside of Europe has the range to hit that area? Seems like a damn short list.

It does not seem paranoid to me for them to worry that a missile site ostensibly aimed at Iran, yet not in range of Iran, but nicely in range of them, might actually be intended for use against them. Combine that with the color revolutions, the expansion of Nato, the dismemberment of Yugoslavia, the recent events in Libya (Russia agreed to a resolution with strict limitations only to see the limitations ignored basically from day one, and a regime friendly to them eliminated as a result,) and Syria (where the Russians have refused to agree to even a token resolution because after Libya they simply do not trust us not to do the same thing again) - I do not think it's paranoid for the Russians to feel a bit persecuted.

That's without even mentioning some of the cruder anti-russian propaganda that you can be sure is being rebroadcast for them with captions.

Comment: Re:Profits (Score 1) 245

by tlambert (#46790797) Attached to: Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

Given that Ford earned $7.2 Billion in net income in 2013 and GM made a $3.8 billion profit over the same period I think GM and Ford will be very surprised to hear that they cannot make cars in the US profitably since most of their profit comes from US operations.

They'd only be surprised if you told them they'd be doing it in Detroit, instead of non-union plants in other U.S. states:
http://www.nytimes.com/ref/us/...

You don't need to expand factories to make the efficient.

Correct. You just need to reduce the number of employees to increase the profit per employee, which is something you can do with automation, and.or lower wages, which is not something you can do in Michigan.

Comment: Re:FLYOVER (Score 1) 245

by tlambert (#46790703) Attached to: Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

If you're interested in high tech manufacturing with a skilled workforce, it would be hard to find a better place than the automation alley counties. What you'll spend in wages will be more than made up in productivity. And you won't be spending a fortune in recruiting costs. If you build a factory your staffing problem won't be finding qualified workers, engineers or tradesmen, but getting a big enough HR department to hire them.

The reason all but one automotive assembly line has pulled out of Detroit is that the unions wouldn't allow that much automation, or you were "allowed" to have it, but you had to still hire the same number and type of workers to satisfy the contracts, so it didn't do crap to change your value to unit labor cost ratio.

You are an absolute idiot if you locate a manufacturing facility in a state where the unions are in charge of whether or not you get labor, and you can't push costs down by automation.

Most blue collar jobs have migrated outside the U.S. due to inflated labor costs relative to value produced. It has dick all to do with what a living wage is or isn't, and *absolutely everything* to do with value produced per unit labor cost. Most U.S. auto manufacturing that still exists in the U.S. at all is in non-union states, in non-union shops.

As Steve Jobs said, "Those jobs are gone, and they're not coming back". Near the end, before they sold it to Canon, the NeXT factory producing laser printers required exactly two (2) full time workers to operate the entire factory.

Comment: Re:Not in agreement (Score 1) 226

by SuperKendall (#46790509) Attached to: Criminals Using Drones To Find Cannabis Farms and Steal Crops

There are some that go that far (I am not one). But at least they are logically consistent. If you are not OK with killing babies one second before birth, or one second before the brain activates, you are not logically consistent.

It's OK to not be logically consistent. It's NOT OK to not be so, while claiming others should be. Then you are just a dick.

Comment: Re:do they have a progressive view? (Score 1) 245

by dublin (#46789179) Attached to: Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

I would die first before moving to texas. most of my friend also feel the same.

in all my life, I have never heard anyone EXCITED about moving to texas, at least for tech. sure, there is tech there but only for those that can stomach the texas lifestyle and redneck attitudes.

the outright racism and bible-belt feel just is not compatible with many techies' view of what a good living area should offer.

Wow, I'd say that post pretty much serves as a prime example of how to beclown oneself while simultaneously establishing oneself as a bigot of the first degree!

There's a reason that 3 of the top 10 cities of the US are in Texas today, and Austin's rising with a bullet, showing staggering 6.6% growth, a substantial portion of which is tech, although way too much of that is the social/mobile bubble. (Austin is #11 today, Detroit is 18, FWIW...) Yeah, pretty tolerable weather, awesome food and music, really nice people (yep, even "bible-belt rednecks"), a great tech scene w/o the backstabbing attitude, entrepreneurial dynamism and focus on results, Formula 1/SxSW/ACL - why would anyone even consider working here? If there's a weak spot in Texas, BTW, it's Austin, mostly because of its "progressive" dedication to regulating the crap out of everything they can. (Don't get me started about permits here - smart people start or move their companies nearby, not in, Austin...)

Oh, and a friend of mine from Detroit (who happens to be black) told me years ago (when he had been in Texas only a few months) that not only was he shocked to find that there were actually far fewer racists in Texas than in Michigan, but that he preferred even those racists because "at least here in Texas and the South, you know when people have a racist bias!" He didn't find that to be true in Detroit, his home town, despite the fact that he came from a fairly well-connected family (his Mom was in the state congress), which insulated him from some of the racial bias in the first place...

Comment: Suggestions (Score 1) 1

by Arker (#46789127) Attached to: Thrifty system for volume billed Internet. -HELP
I dont think OS matters too much, but I would recommend Slackware specifically, since most Linux based systems these days have a lot more automatic stuff to disable for what you want.  But you can do it with any OS if you take the time to customize.

For the web browser you want to disable loading of images, scripts, and other extraneous nonsense automatically. This could mean lynx or links or emacs-www but it could also be FF with no script and request policy.

Seems to me the most important thing would be to have your own meter running though, so you have a way to check where you are at on your quota. I dont have a solution there, offhand.

Comment: Re:So ... (Score 4, Insightful) 62

Anything that makes "wearables" die out faster is good in my book. Keep releasing different models all running different OSes and all doing different versions of nothing useful. Manufactured product pushes are like diarrhea. The sooner all the products exit the pipeline, the sooner corporate sees that marketing was blowing smoke up their ass when they told them "wearables" were going to be hot, the sooner I don't have to hear about them and, hopefully, the sooner that marketing dipshit is fired.

The same goes for the asshole who decided that Wendy's, Carl's Jr/Hardees, and Sonic all had to jump on the non-existent pretzel bun bandwagon. Oh wait, nobody actually wanted those? Better jump on the ciabatta bandwagon! That failed too?! Well what about brioche? Still no boost in sales? Revert back to our "classic" buns to save money and leverage our brand!

Sometimes the product vision is right but the timing or state of technology is wrong. I think wearables might fall into that category but it's too soon to tell. Groundwork and thought leadership today could reap rewards later. Apple's first tablet was such a colossal failure that many, including me, predicted the same for their second attempt. I was definitely wrong.

Comment: Re:Nonsense (Score 1) 282

by dublin (#46788325) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: System Administrator Vs Change Advisory Board

Wow, there's a LOT of negativity and assuming that the CAB is only a bureaucratic, bad thing. (It may be, but hear me out - it shouldn't be, and if it is, you can help change that...)

I think part of the problem here could be that the OP is assuming that no good can come from this.

If the CAB is doing its job, then it should be *helping* to determine which patches to apply, why, and when, based on taking into account the hardware, software, networking, and application environments and the "risk" a patch represents to each. That kind of support is a real net plus to a sysadmin. Note that it's implicit that the CAB is either doing or facilitiating this extra work, not just dumping it on the admin. (In that case, it's not really a board, but the worst sort of bureaucratic assemblage holding authority but no responsibility by dictating policy to be implemented by others who have responsibility without authority.)

Yes, this *is* a lot of work, and it *may* be justified, especially if there's been a history of being bitten by patches that were more of less blindly applied simply because a vendor or package owner/author posted them.

As with all process issues, the important thing to understand is "*WHY* are we doing this?" That questions is frequently answered the best by answering other related questions, including, "Is this the best way?", and "How else could we achieve the same goal?" , and perhaps even more important in winnowing down the answers from that one - "What could we do that's 'close enough' in benefits, but way easier to implement and support?"

Asking the right questions is *really* important!

Comment: Not in agreement (Score 1) 226

by SuperKendall (#46788017) Attached to: Criminals Using Drones To Find Cannabis Farms and Steal Crops

I think abortion should be allowed twosome degree. But this argument has a problem:

it should be possible for everyone to at least agree that it can't happen before there is brain with some level of function. No brain, no problem!

When you buy a lamp without a bulb, do you throw it away before you plug it in because it's not emitting light?

Or instead is some value placed on the container before it's switched on, because of inherent capability...

Comment: Wrong (Score 1) 226

by SuperKendall (#46788003) Attached to: Criminals Using Drones To Find Cannabis Farms and Steal Crops

And they do. Except on drugs. And media regulation. And pornography. And abortion.

The only one of those things that most people "leaning to the right" I know disagree about ever, is abortion. That's still a hot topic which society has not figured out an answer that pleases everyone, and probably never will.

But all of the other things? Please. Modern libertarians are not not for heavy regulation on anything, much less drugs... I personally think legalizing all drugs is the only sensible thing to do.

Comment: Re:The Real Breakthrough - non auto-maker Maps (Score 1) 193

by jo_ham (#46786435) Attached to: How Apple's CarPlay Could Shore Up the Car Stereo Industry

Sure, how?

Looks like it only has a "lightning" interface: http://support.apple.com/kb/sp...

  Plug the cable into the android charger. You know, the same way you plug the micro-usb cable into the Apple charger to charge the Android phone.

i know, you use your USB 2 Lighening dongle?

Comment: Re:Almost all router bandwidth management is shit. (Score 1) 95

by tlambert (#46786077) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Which Router Firmware For Bandwidth Management?

OK, as someone who has been trying different methods of QoS over the past years, with varying levels of success, mainly to have my VoIP phone rock solid over DSL, I'm very interested in what you're saying.

Is there a reason this approach hasn't been implemented yet? Does it break something? If my router is lying to one my upstream router about its TCP window size, wouldn't that impact both the FTP and video stream?

You lie about the window size on a per connection basis, so no, since it's not a global policy, it's a resource policy by application, and potentially by port/IP tuple, so it's not a problem. The point is to keep the upstream router packet buffers relatively empty so that the packets you want don't have to be RED-queued. Nothing breaks because of it.

It generally won't work, unless everyone "plays fair", and the port overcommit ratio for upstream vs. downstream bandwidth is relatively low. As the downstream data rate increases to approach the upstream data rate, the technique loses value, unless you get rid of overcommit, or do it on a per-customer "flow" basis (as opposed to a per virtual circuit "flow" basis) within the upstream router itself, or move to a "resource container" or similar approach for buffer ratio allocation in the upstream router.

So in theory, Comcast (as an example) could do it if they made everyone use the router they supplied, and their routers all participates in limiting upstream buffer impact.

Maybe the next time they replace everyone's cable modems, they'll bother to do it?

Without the deployed infrastructure, it's easier to RED-queue and just intentionally drop packets, forcing a client to request a retransmit as a means of source-quenching traffic. This wastes a lot of buffers, but they probabilistically get through, and for streaming video, that's good enough if there's a lot of client overbuffering going on before playback starts (JWZPlayer, for example, is a common player used for pirated content that will habitually under-buffer so intentional drops tend to make it choppy).

For VOIP, unfortunately, forced retransmit causes things to just typically suck, unless you use a sideband protocol instead, where the router at the one hop upstream peer agrees to reserve buffers for specifically that traffic. This is why Skype is terrible, but your phone calls over your wall jacks which are actually wired to the same packet interface instead of a POTS line are practically as good as a land line or cell phone.

Google hangouts tend to get away with it because they are predominantly broadcast, and are either "gossip"-based CSMA/CD (ALOHA style) networks between participants (i.e. people talk over each other, or wait until the other end is done before talking themselves). It means they tolerate large latencies in which 1:1 VOIP/Skype connections won't. They can be a bit of a PITA for conference calls because of that (Google uses it internally, and gets away with it, but mostly because Google has its own, parallel Internet, including transoceanic fibers), but if Google employees never see the problem, they never fix the problem. Same way any company that assumes local-equivalent bandwidth works as well for their customers as it does for them (free hint to Microsoft inre: Office 386 there).

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