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Comment: Re:Switching from Mercedes to Tesla after $12K bil (Score 1) 256

by drinkypoo (#46785103) Attached to: Mercedes Pooh-Poohs Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential"

Huh? Converting an automatic car to a manual transmission is almost never a good idea.

Who told you that? It's often very easy.

You're much better off just selling it and buying another (used) model that has the stick-shift from the factory.

Except a lot of Audis weren't offered with a MT in the USA, so you have to buy a substantially different car. And new car, new problems.

There's way too many differences between them, especially with modern cars which likely have different engine computers. Even in older cars without the software factor it's a giant PITA.

It usually isn't much of a PITA at all, there are a number of such swaps that are very simple and commonplace, like Mustang or F-Series swaps. In the Audis, it's usually a simple matter of a recode, or replacement of a module with a relatively inexpensive used one. Going to an automatic is often a PITA, because of wiring issues. Unless, of course, you're installing a pre-electronics automatic with a VRV or similar.

Comment: Re:Switching from Mercedes to Tesla after $12K bil (Score 2) 256

by drinkypoo (#46784565) Attached to: Mercedes Pooh-Poohs Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential"

Maybe Mercedes should focus of the reliability of their transmissions vs focusing on competitors. I will never buy another Mercedes - ever.

Guess what? It's not just Mercedes. I don't know where Mercedes gets their transmissions, but the automatics (tiptronic or not - actually, in some cars, it's a software and shifter issue only) that VAG gets from ZF seem to be quite crap. The A8Q I'm working on right now is on its second transmission, and the first one was replaced in about year two. As leaky as this car is, I wouldn't likely have bought it if it had been on the original slush box.

Germany was the watchword for quality up until the late eighties. But German cars are now, I am quite sorry to say, shit. My father once explained to me (repeating something a wise man must have said to him) that the Germans believed in using the best parts and the Japanese believed in doing the best design such that you could get away with the cheap parts. My experience is that these are in fact the design strategies employed by these nations. The problem with the German strategy today is that the companies making their parts are now making shit. Bosch is now turning out at least as many total turds as roses, for example, if not far more, and all of these German cars have Bosch ignition and traction control (etc.) systems — all the VAGs, all the Mercedes, and all the BMWs, as far as I can tell. These are both exquisitely expensive and poorly designed, vulnerable to water intrusion and for some reason these days typically mounted in the engine compartment. Except my LHD D2 A8, which puts the ABS control module in a really annoying place up under the dash instead of upside down in the E-box right under the PCM where they put it on the RHD vehicles, even more annoying.

Meanwhile, there are very few things that were annoying back in the W123, W126 Mercedes days in the 1980s. Turbo oil return on the diesel was crap. The engine mounts are a bit overcontrived to the point that you can't really torque all the bolts without a special tool, or taking off a bunch of stuff.

PS: You would think having purchased 4 vehicles from Mercedes and plans for another, that would mean something. But you would be wrong. Their side of the story - we were late for our Series A service - hence tough luck.

It's the economy, brother.

Comment: Re:Mercedes shouldn't talk. (Score 1) 256

by drinkypoo (#46784519) Attached to: Mercedes Pooh-Poohs Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential"

To be fair, there are a lot of W123 mercs rolling around the most backwater parts of earth, with little maintenance, going on 40 years straight now. Often under taxi duty and other hard service, routinely overloaded.

The last Mercedes built like that was the W126. I have a 1982 W126 300SD, with the OM617.951A... and with the 951B turbo from an '85. You wind up replacing suspension stuff about as much as any other car, but the control arms are actually quite inexpensive. I'm about to do them as soon as I get a spring compressor.

Comment: Re:RAID? (Score 1) 239

by drinkypoo (#46784213) Attached to: SSD-HDD Price Gap Won't Go Away Anytime Soon

It is half way through the 3 years warranty period and I do not want to void it by replacing the HDD with the SSD myself.

If you're in the USA, that won't void the warranty so long as you use a compatible replacement SSD. For example, check to see what SSDs they actually offer in that model of laptop; you could definitely use any of those. But really, anything compliant (crucial? intel?) will not void your warranty.

Unless, of course, you have to break a warranty sticker to replace the HDD. But I haven't actually ever had that problem with a laptop...

Comment: Re:@AC - Re:*Yawn* I'll Wait for the Mint Edition (Score 3, Informative) 162

by squiggleslash (#46783191) Attached to: Ubuntu Linux 14.04 LTS Trusty Tahr Released

I think the point is neither of these are attacks on the open source community. They're arguably attacks - albeit mere criticisms of - on "GNOME/Linux", but that's not the same thing.

A company contributing bodies and work to a community is helping it, not harming it. It's up to us to decide if we want Mir and Unity. We're not harmed by their existence. And FWIW, anyone arguing that Mir is terrible because it undermines Wayland isn't thinking this through, both because there's a much greater case for saying Wayland is damaging to the future of GNU/Linux, and because Mir has changed the politics whereby Wayland was once an obscure thing nobody was taking any notice of, but Mir basically turned the entire argument from "Should we replace X11 with Wayland?" (Hell no) to "OK, should we use Mir or Wayland [abandonment of X11 is implied to be a settled issue.]"

Linux Business

Linux Voice is a New Magazine for Linux Users — On Paper (Video) 58

Posted by Roblimo
from the there's-nothing-quite-like-the-smell-of-ink-on-paper dept.
This is an interview with Graham Morrison, who is one of four people behind the shiny-new Linux Voice magazine, which is printed on (gasp) paper. Yes, paper, even though it's 2014 and a lot of people believe the idea of publishing a physical newspaper or magazine is dead. But, Graham says, when you have a tight community (like Linux users and developers) you have an opportunity to make a successful magazine for that community. This is a crowdfunded venture, through Indiegogo, where they hoped to raise £90,000 -- but ended up with £127,603, which is approximately $214,288 as of this video's publishing date. So they have a little capital to work with. Also note: these are not publishing neophytes. All four of the main people behind Linux Voice used to work on the well-regarded Linux Format magazine. Graham says they're getting subscribers and newsstand sales at a healthy rate, so they're happily optimistic about their magazine's future. (Here's an alternate video link)

Comment: Re:Calling people paranoid to silence them (Score 1) 98

by squiggleslash (#46781603) Attached to: RCMP Arrest Canadian Teen For Heartbleed Exploit

I thought we'd moved on past the putting words in people's mouths BS.

1. The paranoia in the original post that I was refering to was the notion that the Canadian press had concocted a headline with the intention of providing a world wide news story that would make everyone think that Heartbleed isn't a story. I don't know where the fuck you get any other interpretation from.

2. I haven't apologized for censorship anywhere, neither in the comment you quote, nor anywhere else. The fact you think that Eich was targeted for his views rather than for being an ass about them doesn't make it true, it just makes you another idiot who puts their fingers in their ears and cries "la la la" when anyone tries to explain the truth to them.

Actually refusing to listen to what someone has to say is one thing. Inventing an entire story about what you wish they said and believed isn't just arrogant, it's a sign of a serious mental problem. Get help.

Comment: Re:No, just gives us a new way to hide it (Score 1) 314

Steinbeck is a good bookmark to use, because it's at that point there was a change in perception, not because of Steinbeck per-se (but he helped), but because the Great Depression focussed attention on the fact that "failure" was possible for people of all types, and such failure could be disastrous not merely for the individual affected, but for their friends, families, and the overall health of the economy.

The result was that between FDR/Bevan and Reagan/Thatcher there was a dramatic shift in social attitudes towards government provided welfare, the introduction of safety nets, and the creation of systems at every level designed to prevent homelessness from happening and ensure those who became homeless anyway had somewhere to turn.

So your point is sort of valid, but doesn't change the fact that we were on a pro-empathy trend that reversed in the 1980s. Which, after all, is what this story is about. And like I said, it makes more sense to look at the way politics has changed over the last three decades than whether the Commodore 64 would cause someone to think "That homeless person is there because of their own bad decisions, and therefore I don't care and they should live in misery".

Comment: Re:Nonsense (Score 1) 279

by squiggleslash (#46779221) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: System Administrator Vs Change Advisory Board

I'm not trying to be mean, but I don't think he has any case for promotion under those circumstances.

Yes, I'm aware it looks like the committee was staffed with "idiots", that is, people whose expertise was necessary for the committee to function but wasn't technical. His job was to provide the technical expertise, and to make the committee aware of the technical implications of what they were deciding upon.

He failed. Maybe it was because they really were idiots. More likely, he didn't have the political, persuasive, and perhaps even conversational skills necessary to persuade a group of non-technical people what the implications were of what they were asking for.

Either way, the committee made recommendations his job was to prevent.

Now the purpose of a promotion is to put you in a position where your political skills can be used more directly to steer the direction of an organization. If someone has poor political skills, they're going to botch that job, and their organization will be hampered, not helped, by their promotion.

As nerds we tend to be a little technocratic in our viewpoint and think that organizational structures work with the most knowledgable person at the top. They don't. What matters is that as people rise within an organization, their skills tend towards listening, delegating, and communicating difficult ideas. We're seen at least one case recently where geeks went in a rage because someone with zero skills in those areas got promoted, and then kicked out, because a particular incident that required their skills to be top notch was completely botched. The tech community refused to believe that and decided it was because the person had disagreeable opinions instead.

But that's the way the world works. And promotions need to be given to people suited for particular roles in an organization, not as rewards because you were vindicated after the fact, rather than able to convince people to stop a disaster from occuring to begin with.

The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness. -- John Muir

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