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Comment: Re:Sigh, that's another waste of time then. (Score 3, Insightful) 110

by greg1104 (#47548569) Attached to: Microsoft's Nokia Plans Come Into Better Focus

Whether Symbian is a good platform or not involves more than just if the code is functional. Sometimes a lack of applications is driven by a more fundamental weakness in a platform. One of the reasons the iPhone and iPad have done so well courting application developers is that Apple tries to keep everyone marching in formation, moving the platform forward without leaving current customers too far behind. (Their formation, of course, but they are Apple)

A good example is the "pixel doubing" that went into the early iPad design. That intentionally structured the design of the platform so that applications written for lower resolutions would continue working against the higher pixel counts. That's the sort of subtle thing you do to keep developers happy and application development flourishing.

Faced with the same sort of devices with multiple resolutions problem, Android leaves the whole mess in the lap of application developers. And Nokia has just abandoned the old stuff. If you're a phone developer, how would you feel about that? A lot of things like that influence whether applications are built for a platform or not.

And, yes, Microsoft has bullied their way into a winning position using their operating system monopoly for a long time, with IE being a good example of that. I don't think it's safe to assume that tactic will keep working anymore though. I don't know anyone who feels Windows compatibility is an important thing on their phone or tablet today. At best, I might want something that opens Word or Powerpoint documents someone sends me in an e-mail. You don't need Microsoft for that on your phone though. Their software is only needed if you expect to edit the documents with low risk of corruption, and that still happens on desktops.

Comment: Re:Typical (Score 1) 158

by greg1104 (#47546289) Attached to: Bose Sues New Apple Acquisition Beats Over Patent Violations

Dr. Bose did a lot of groundbreaking research back in the day. And, yes, nobody wastes $100M in audio research the way Bose does.

The problem is that none of that is reflected (heh heh) very well by their product line. You can't prove anything from a one-off sample in their office. The real key to home audio isn't cost no object performance; it's bang for the buck in real-world production. And it's there that Bose's products are sketchy, and the way they sue anyone who measures that fact should set off a warning light. All the money going into R&D is part of the problem--that's overhead that doesn't fund itself unless it's turned into product innovation. And it didn't in this particular case; the most fundamental patent in this lawsuit set is one Bose purchased , not developed. Not exactly a high point in Bose R&D history.

I'd like to discuss the lack of innovation in Bose audio products in objective terms, but their very deep flaws prevent that from even being possible. They don't use the standard measurements for speakers everyone else in the industry does. Their theater products ignore the THX specifications everyone else adopted. That pattern is everywhere at Bose. You can either believe in the ancient Bose mythology of not measuring speakers, or you can agree that the concrete numbers every other audio researcher in the world uses are important. Read some papers by Dr. Floyd Toole if you want to find out about reflected sound from someone in the speaker manufacturing R&D business who moved past the 60's.

Dr. Bose was a smart dude, but smarter than every other researcher put together? That's a very special breed of arrogance. I'll take the side of scientific consensus, thank you.

Comment: Re:Why stop there? (Score 2, Insightful) 95

by demachina (#47545081) Attached to: SpaceX Executive Calls For $22-25 Billion NASA Budget

Probably one of the best things NASA could do at this point is abandon ISS, stop paying for it, and tell the Russians its all theirs. There is a fair chance they would fly Americans to it for free rather than get saddled with that boat anchor.

If the Russians don't want it either its time to deorbit it. It would free up a LOT of money for more useful endeavors. Its never been good for much of anything, certainly nothing to justify the staggering price tag

SpaceX will have the ability to put astronauts in to LEO in a few years. Its not like its a crisis, there is very little for people to do in LEO at the moment other than to be lab rats for zero G physiology studies. You would think they would have done most of that work by now.

About the only point in putting people in space at all is as colonists, persumably on Mars. You can do just about everything else way better and cheaper with robots.

So until you are ready to fly people to Mars to stay, stop getting your panties in a bunch about getting them to LEO.

Comment: Re:Patent is for use without music? (Score 4, Interesting) 158

by greg1104 (#47542199) Attached to: Bose Sues New Apple Acquisition Beats Over Patent Violations

That doesn't have anything to do with the lawsuit. Bose's early patents on noise reduction had a fairly wide scope to them, trying to own the entire territory of reducing aircraft noise independently of the signal. They might even have been able to claim some sort of domain over anyone who plays headphones without music; I wasn't following patent silliness back then. But those products have been shipping since 1989, so any really fundamental patent in that area expired years ago.

What Bose did then was either file or acquire a series of patents on the obvious ways to build digital circuits for such noise reduction. You can't build any digital noise reduction system without tripping over at least one of them. In the tech industry, there are all these "on a computer!" patents people like to complain about. In audio, their version of that tactic is to patent some math in the form of a "Digital Signal Processing System". The first one is really blatant in that regard. Basically anyone who builds a digital circuit with things like a FIR filter and applies it to audio noise reduction can expect a patent infringement. And Bose didn't even develop that one; they bought the patent specifically for the sort of extortion they're doing here, in the usual way Bose sues companies frivolously.

Comment: Re:pfft, 3.5% overrun (Score 1) 129

by demachina (#47539023) Attached to: SLS Project Coming Up $400 Million Short

I am nearly speechless that you would try to use the ISS as an example of a "success story". It was mind boggling behind schedule and over budget, though turning it in to an international project is partially to blame. The core is based on existing Russian design. If they had just launched that and kept it simple it would have cost a tiny fraction of what it did and accomplished nearly all the science ISS has done.

The fundamental problem with the ISS is its bled NASA and the manned space program white. NASA hasn't done ANYTHING useful, in its manned program since Skylab, other than maybe Hubble. They built Shuttle to fly to the ISS and the ISS so the Shuttle would have a place to fly. It resulted in NO breakthroughs or progress worth the price tag.

So what is your point on Falcon. I think you just agreed with me SLS is hopelessly uncompetitive and SpaceX approach is really smart.

SpaceX is trying to get to space cheaply, safely and with a very high launch rate.

SLS seems to be trying to come up with the most expensive, impractical and dangerous solution possible, just to keep funneling money to Lockheed, Boeing, ATK, etc. Its as if they are TRYING to develop a system that is sure to fail or be cancelled.

Note the proposed launch date, 2017, just long enough after the 2016 election so the next president can cancel it and start over.

Comment: Re:Even better, reflect true cost of cell phones (Score 2) 77

by swillden (#47536091) Attached to: Compromise Struck On Cellphone Unlocking Bill

And are you seriously telling me if she gets an iphone 64 GB 5S it's the same price as if she gets the $20 special?

In many cases... yes. The most expensive phones have an up-front cost in addition to the two-year commitment, but if you get the most expensive phone you can without an up-front fee, then there is no price difference between that one and the cheapest phone.

Yes, this is ridiculous.

Comment: Re:pfft, 3.5% overrun (Score 2, Insightful) 129

by demachina (#47535143) Attached to: SLS Project Coming Up $400 Million Short

"I can't imagine how demoralizing it is to spend years working on a project that would ultimately succeed"

None of NASA's major manned spaced projects are even remotely likely to succeed, they are not intended to do so any more. They are just a place to blow money, create jobs and put money in Lockheed and Boeing pockets. More importantly they buy votes in the critical swing state of Florida.

They are designed to run 4-8 years, produce nothing except votes, paychecks and contractor profits, then they get cancelled and start over. It is way easier and less risk than actually making anything that will fly.

It is not the political process that is broken, it is NASA and the political process.

Get a clue, and spend a few billion on SpaceX to help finish Falcon Heavy. I'm not sure why SLS is even on the table at this point, it isn't remotely competitive.

Lockheed and Boeing also need to be completely removed from the process. They are making a mint milking DOD contracts, they don't need to be in middle of the civilian space program fleecing NASA and taxpayers there too. They do not use money wisely, they devour everything thrown their way and produce as little as possible in return.

Comment: Re:FUD filled.... (Score 2, Informative) 212

Emergency Diesel generators usually have compressed air starters. There is a tank of compressed air connected to the engine's cylinders to get it turning over. There is usually a powered valve holding the compressed air in. When the power fails, the valve opens releasing the air and the engine starts tuning over. Then the Diesel supply gets started (mechanical pump driven by the engine).

Comment: Re:Not news (Score 1) 301

Hallam said it best: there has never been a time when humanity has successfully and peacefully coexisted with nature.

That would be a nice quote, but it contains an implicit assumption which is seriously wrong: That there is any distinction between humanity and nature.

It's not surprising that we tend to see ourselves as distinct from the rest of nature, because we are dramatically different from all other forms of life around us, and not just because we're self-centered, or even because we're objectively hugely more successful than any other species. We're dramatically different because we're the only species we know of that is capable of creating explanatory knowledge, of conjecturing and criticizing ideas, individually and in collaboration, to understand how and why things work. Many species on Earth are capable of learning, but as far as we can tell it's all "behavioral" learning; understanding merely that specific behaviors cause specific results. Sometimes the results of that level of understanding can be quite sophisticated, as in the animals who can create and use tools in complex sequences to accomplish goals, but it's still on a completely different level from the ability that humans have to deduce deep explanations of the structure and nature of the universe, and how to manipulate it.

Regardless of the temptation to view ourselves as separate from nature, though, we're not. That doesn't mean we won't benefit from applying our understanding of the rest of nature to maintain the elements of it that are beneficial to us. Obviously, we're better off if we don't make the world a worse for ourselves -- the flip side of that is that we are better off if we make the world a better place for us, so stasis is not the goal. That's really good because stasis (aka "sustainability") is impossible.

Comment: Re:That's great, but ... (Score 3, Interesting) 120

practical long distance EVs at a reasonable price and/or can recharge in less than half an hour

The price may or may not be reasonable, depending on your budget, though it definitely is for a non-trivial number of people, but the Tesla Model S fulfills the other requirements today.

My Nissan LEAF doesn't, though it's still a very practical car that easily manages all but a small fraction of my driving.

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