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Comment: Re:Repair (Score 1) 52

by cptdondo (#47949197) Attached to: Inside Shenzen's Grey-Market iPhone Mall

As someone in manufacturing, you're wrong. Repairable things cost far more to manufacture. I have to have accurate drawings and records of manufacturing processes for parts, I have to have specs for all the little bits and pieces, and I have to have manufacturers who hold that standard.

If I'm not concerned about repairs, I just contract out based on function, bolt the thing together, and run it out the door.

Fridges are a great example. I can buy a cheap dorm fridge for $100, or I can buy same-sized Isotherm with a Danfoss compressor for around $1000. The danfoss compressor comes with all the diagrams you need, it's rechargeable, everything in that fridge is replaceable at a cost.

The dorm fridge - you can't even be sure that the compressor is in the same place from one box to the next.

However, when I'm stuck in port somewhere in Bogata, I can get parts for the Danfoss. I know I can. 10 years from now I know I will be able to get parts.

Comment: Re:Science creates understanding of a real world. (Score 1) 770

by cptdondo (#47857249) Attached to: How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

I have to disagree, even with your "kids in chemistry" example. There are many, many aspects of chemistry that fly in the face of common sense.

You're basically saying that our "common sense" is the equal to hard science, and that by simply applying it to the visible world we can understand the universe and our environment as well as a person who has studied the topic for years.

Bottom line, we can't. There are parts of what I do that would be completely obtuse to a layperson, but are clearly obvious to me, with 30+ years of experience, and no amount of "common sense" explanations can reduce that knowledge to a "geez, that's obvious".

Comment: vi and arduino (Score 2) 372

by cptdondo (#47518165) Attached to: 'Just Let Me Code!'

That's why I work with vi and arduino, or openwrt.... Much more fun, simple, and I can do almost anything I need done.

But yes, it's a fixie, not a jumbo jet. It's what I like doing, and I happen to make a living at stuff like that. If you are hired to build a jumbo jet, then you need jumbo tools and jumbo overhead. If you don't like it, scale down, hang up a shingle, and get a client. You might be surprised.

Comment: Re:There's something touching about that comment (Score 1) 102

by cptdondo (#47495815) Attached to: "Intelligent" Avatars Poised To Manage Airline Check-In

In other words, except for the douche, good customer service.

I fly a regular route with American from a small airport; if I get the usual counter staff I don't get charged luggage fee. Giving up $25 to make a guy who drops $2k - $10K on airfare every month moderately happy is probably not a bad idea. (And no, I have not reached the exalted flyer status, as my flying is spread over many airlines.)

Comment: Re:nice job (Score 2) 102

by cptdondo (#47495767) Attached to: "Intelligent" Avatars Poised To Manage Airline Check-In

You clearly have not been through some of the airports that I have. It's not the wait; it's the incredibly rude and arrogant staff. I've been yelled at by someone with a bullhorn, had my passport thrown at me, been told to "step aside" when my flight was cancelled and I need to reroute.... I could go on and on.

A nice avatar isn't going to help any of that, unless it means getting rid of the worst offenders that I've run into.

Some airlines (not all, but certainly some) could take that money and use it to train their ground staff in basic customer service; that would provide much better return than a bobbing head on a screen.

That being said, some airlines, and some specific people at these airlines, are shining examples of customer service and dedication, and by and large have saved my trips time and time again.

Comment: Re:You already know the answer (Score 2) 331

by cptdondo (#43961333) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do You Prove an IT Manager Is Incompetent?

Read up on Project Management. You're looking for Scope, Schedule, and Budget, in particular the S curve. You should be able to plot % complete against % spent for a sampling of projects, and demonstrate where the projects went off the rails. Then you can figure out why.

Usually it's because the scope was not well defined. and thus budget and schedule were not based on a realistic assessment of what it takes to achieve said scope.

And yes, I provide training for exactly this. A neat little tidbit:

Q: Of 700+ projects in a study, how many recovered once they were over budget at 15% completion? That is, if a job was over budget at the very beginning, what are the chances of completing it on time and within budget, based on 700+ projects?

A: None. Not a single job.

Comment: Re:nope. it starts with accuracy (Score 3, Interesting) 366

by cptdondo (#43373649) Attached to: The 'Linux Inside' Stigma

Well, I can only go by my family. We use computers, mostly for email and web browsing. My kids use googledocs in school. When their desktop died, I got a cheap laptop with Windows 8 for them. After a couple of weeks, I see my daughter using my wife's computer. So I asked "Why?" Turns out she can't use windows 8, hates the interface, and wants something that works.

One Xubuntu CD later, she has a working laptop that now gets used all the time, and it "just works".

Most people *don't care* what's inside. They just want it to be a part of the background so they can browse, do their stuff, and surf the web.

Comment: Re:The logs don't lie (Score 1) 841

by cptdondo (#42900499) Attached to: Elon Musk Lays Out His Evidence That NYT Tesla Test Drive Was Staged

Try it some day. My car logs GPS coordinates, speed, direction of travel, outside temp, nearest landmark, and elevation every minute. Now you could falsify this with enough effort, but seeing as my car also takes a picture of the road at the time it records the other information, it would be nearly impossible, since you'd have to get the same picture in the correct weather conditions at the same (or different) time of day.

I'm sure the Tesla records things like SOC, engine output, current drain, braking effort, battery and outside temps, speed, throttle position, and pretty much everything else, a lot more often than than once a minute. To falsify this effectively would take a huge effort, as all of the data would have to be consistent, and that's incredibly difficult to do.

Comment: Re:Great! (Score 1) 472

by cptdondo (#42797413) Attached to: HR Departments Tell Equifax Your Entire Salary History

Not. The schools hide the actual cost by shifting costs around.

For example, our "free paid for by by athletic money" athlete study facility is actually costing the university $2M / year - and this is "hidden" in the maintenance and janitorial budgets. Sure, the tutors are paid for and the facility was donated, but the maintenance, upkeep, and cleaning still falls to the university. And apparently our sports prima-donnas don't feel any need to keep their facility clean, as the janitorial budget for that building is substantially higher per square foot than other buildings.

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.