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Comment: Re:Evil is as evil does... (Score 1) 315

by Namlak (#39518237) Attached to: Independent Audit Finds Foxconn Violates Chinese Work Rules

Sure, I understand the supply chain.... but how did it get like this? It's not like China had all these empty factories already built and all these organizations created and staffed hoping for someone to come along and the US had nothing in place. Cheap labor and relaxed environmental rules attracted the entire manufacturing ecosystem there. If we hadn't dismantled our manufacturing ecosystem by essentially transplanting it to China, we'd have all those capabilities, too. I think there is enough people needing work in the US that Apple could have sacrificed a certain amount of profit to be a better US citizen and establish it's own manufacturing ecosystem here. It would help me decide to purchase their products, leading to.....

I also understand the concept of Demand - I don't like the way they're doing business so I don't buy their products. Sure, almost the entire consumer electronics world uses Foxconn and similar companies but when Apple is literally overflowing with money, I think they could have "Thought different" about what to do with it. I'm using this knowledge by affecting the part of this that I can - the Demand part.

And since I have been modded Troll, I'll add that I didn't say that *I* thought they should be treated as an Evil Corporation (regardless of what I think), I'm curious as to the reasons why the public at large (and the media) isn't. Likely, it's Shiny Trinkets Syndrome.

Comment: Evil is as evil does... (Score -1, Troll) 315

by Namlak (#39517715) Attached to: Independent Audit Finds Foxconn Violates Chinese Work Rules

So while Apple holds a meeting to try to decide what to do with too much money, it's clear that they've been overcharging their customers and abusing their vendors who in turn abuse their workers. Why do we like Apple so much and don't put them into the "Big Evil Corporation" bag as is so popular these days? Are they any better than perennial punching-bag Exxon-Mobil?

And if they can get away with charging what they do for their products, couldn't they afford to "onshore" some of the manufacturing to the US? Or are they using China to get away with environmental regulations... oops, another check in the "evil" column, maybe?

Comment: Re:hands up! (Score 1) 231

by Namlak (#39448249) Attached to: The Sounds of Tech Past

I used to work for the support department of the Konica copier/fax/printer division back in the early 90's and used to be able to diagnose fax machines by ear. They had two modems - a 300-baud baseline for the capability negotiation and the "high speed" modem up to 14.4k at the time for the data transfer. You could tell if there were too many "retraining" sequences where it would back down the baud rate until one worked. Too many of those sequences indicated poor line conditions. Or you could hear if one of the modems had failed "deaf" or "mute" by the missing parts of the sequence. Fun times talking on a headset and doing the modem dance while standing over the diagnostic machine.

Comment: Re:Apple Disc II (Score 1) 231

by Namlak (#39448231) Attached to: The Sounds of Tech Past

I made a bunch of money aligning Commodore 1541's with and oscilloscope and the Dysan(?) alignment disk - at least good money for a 16 year-old at the time (1985 - Comsoft Computers in Sun Valley, CA). I also sold periodic preventative alignment checks since you'd find that once your drive started failing on commercial disks and was re-aligned, it didn't match all the out-of-alignment data you'd recorded on your own disks!

Comment: Re:He wouldn't be so ecstatic (Score 2) 122

by Namlak (#39328131) Attached to: Meteorite Crashes Through Cottage In Oslo

The same. In law, at least, it's not a religious concept; in some jurisdictions it is called "force majeure."

IANAL, but these terms basically all seem to mean the same thing, events beyond your control.

So this "act of God" concept actually works to the benefit of the atheists. The religious can have their claim denied because they failed to pray that they would be spared the incident or failed to achieve a sufficient degree of piety to influence their deity. The atheists would have no such control, and thus, liability.

Tricky, those insurance lawyers!

Comment: Re:No (Score 1) 263

by Namlak (#38194986) Attached to: Will NASA Ever Recover Apollo 13's Plutonium From the Ocean

Equal pressure on the inside and outside is effectively zero pressure. That's why you don't blow up like a balloon and pop when travelling from sea level to high altitude, yet your bag of Doritios might.

You don't need to pressurize the liquid on the inside, let the ambient pressure do the work. Off the top of my head, you'd only need something like a flexible diaphragm let the pressures equalize. Remember that liquids are virtually uncompressable so you you'd have very little displacement. The problem then becomes dealing with the parts that cannot be filled with liquid, such as batteries but now you're talking about much smaller structures and a hardened case may be more practical for them. Most electrical components don't have compressible space inside them that I can think of off the top of my head.

Speaking of pressure equalization and diaphragms, there's no reason you can't do this with air on the inside, you just have to have a large enough compression space for the air to compress into (i.e. an external air tank/bladder). So if the pressure at depth is 100 atmospheres, you'll need a sea-level compression space ~100 times the volume of space that your working equipment requires. Better make sure that air in there is very dry, though as there could be all sorts of effects due to water vapor condensing, etc.

Comment: Re:No (Score 1) 263

by Namlak (#38193270) Attached to: Will NASA Ever Recover Apollo 13's Plutonium From the Ocean

No, a ROV that works at shallow depths is easy. One that will work with the pressures sustained at the depths this thing is lying at is a WHOLE other story.

For example, at these kinds of pressures, the epoxy will crush, which will crush the battery. Similarly, any cameras are likely to have their optics destroyed by pressure differentials unless specifically designed for deepwater operation.

The easy answer is to drown the internals of the devices to be used at depth. Obviously sea-water is salty and that would disrupt and ruin things in short order but any non-conductive and non-corrosive liquid should do the trick. Optics can be designed to account for the difference in refraction ratios, most electric motors can be used "drowned", especially brushless types.

Comment: Re:Look at California (Score 2) 594

by Namlak (#37980878) Attached to: Could Crowd-Sourced Direct Democracy Work?

As a Californian and a Los Angeleno, I can attest to this. For example, we had "Proposition K" which floated a bond to build more parks and improve existing ones.

Well, everyone understands that more and better parks are a Good Thing so they vote Yes. I think the problem stems from the use of the term "bond" where most people seem to think that it means something like "decision" and not "more debt".

So we get stuck with more debt and even worse, continuing added expense to maintain these parks and facilities - ad infinitum. Where does the money come from to do that? Taxes and/or more debt to be sure.

They spent $180,000 of Prop K money to buy a small vacant lot at a local busy intersection and plant grass, build a walkway, wall, benches, a planter of nice looking plants, and an automatic sprinkler system. And someone has to clean and maintain this "park" - it might be 50x75 feet and I see the city worker with his large truck towing a riding lawn mower and I just shake my head at the added expense. Nobody goes to this "park" - a school kid could throw a football virtually from one end to the other and no parent I know wants their kid playing at this busy intersection, it's pointless.

And not to mention that two blocks down they are building a very small equestrian center (also with Prop K money). I attended the planning meeting for this and informed them that I live adjacent to the canyon that this equestrian center is built in and I've walked the area after a storm and the entire area is submerged and large areas eroded - like in 1998 when a 6' deep 20' wide chasm appeared where near-level ground used to be. It fell on deaf ears, probably because they've already spent thousands of dollars to come up with the plan they brought to the meetings and didn't want that going to waste. So 1.5 million Prop K dollars are being spent as we speak to build a facility that will probably get wiped away within 5 years and rebuilt with debt on top of debt.

I guess because I'm "anti-park", I must be "anti-child" and now a hateful conservative by default, hence the liberal overload in politics here.

Comment: Re:Maximum cable length (Score 1) 327

by Namlak (#37675144) Attached to: Thunderbolt vs. SuperSpeed USB

That's not a thin client, it's a lengthy and consolidated I/O connection that happens to carry keyboard, video, mouse, sound, and probably USB data. And as such, there should be no practical limitations as there would be with a thin-client implementation, particularly where gaming or the recent UI's with enhanced graphics are concerned.

Maybe you meant "thin client" as in a minimum of hardware at your desk without the box and cables. Then you'd be right, but using the wrong term.

But I like the idea. Even running a centralized server rack with all the PC's needed in the house off in a (well ventilated!) closet.

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