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Comment: Some options . . . (Score 2) 526

by dogsbreath (#46204499) Attached to: Customer: Dell Denies Speaker Repair Under Warranty, Blames VLC

One option is what you did here on /. . . . but in a planned campaign that includes getting the VLC org on your side.

Another is civil (small claims) court. No lawyer necessary and guaranteed to cost Dell more than you if they fight it. You are very likely to get a judgement on your side if Dell doesn't send a representative. You can have oodles of fun serving the judgement on Dell. I have gone to civil court twice and both times the judge was very good.

In Alberta: http://www.albertacourts.ab.ca...

A bit of a windmill tilt since after all is said and done you could easily replace the speakers yourself for much less.

Your local state/provincial/federal government is bound to have a consumer affairs section which has an interest in making sure businesses treat consumers fairly. You could look into that.

Finally, go around the service desk if you can. See if you can make contact with someone other than a scripted service droid.

I had an HP inkjet that would not pick up paper no matter what I did. I had several trouble calls in with them while it was under warranty but nothing helped so I tossed the offender into the closet and got on with my life. About a year later (outside of the warranty) I happened to read online about a service kit from HP that would cure the problem. Free under warranty. Called HP up and you know they said too bad, so sad, your warranty has expired. They would sell the kit for $40 bucks plus shipping. Half the cost of the printer. I protested about my trouble calls and they said the tickets were no longer in the system.

On the off chance, I sent an email explaining my situation to the HP CEO as firstname.lastname@hp.com. Expecting nothing, I was floored when the next day I received a response from HP apologizing for the situation and that a kit plus a set of ink cartridges were being shipped to me.

I am sure that the email did not go to the CEO of the time (uh, about 8 yrs ago so ...) but someone read the mail and dealt with it.

Nice, but I wasted at least 40 hours on the issue. Wayyyyyyyyyyy more value than the printer. I shudda just thrown the darn thing out at the first sign of trouble.

How upset are you? How much are you prepared to put into it.

Have fun.

Comment: Re:I predict lucrative markets for . . . (Score 2) 364

by dogsbreath (#46115485) Attached to: EU Secretly Plans To Put a Back Door In Every Car By 2020

Yes! Exactly.

Think of anything that happens to personal computers and servers on the internet now and then imagine automobiles being rooted and forced into remote servitude.

I like the way you think.

Combine this with NFC purchasing and the obesity/heart disease problem could go through the roof with massive line ups at Jack-In-De-Box or what ever your favourite fat delivery system is.

Comment: I predict lucrative markets for . . . (Score 1) 364

by dogsbreath (#46114895) Attached to: EU Secretly Plans To Put a Back Door In Every Car By 2020

1. Jailbreaking vulnerable car systems

2. After-market engine performance and firewall firmware/hardware replacements

3. Advanced "radar" detectors which now become AIPS and AIDS (Authority Intrusion Prevention & Detection Systems)

4. Automotive GPS spoofs

etc etc

My guess is that since the NSA revelations, it is easy to give wing to any story about government intrusion into everyday life. It might even be true. I am sure that even if this story is out of the Weekly World News* bin, somebody in authority has given thought to the idea.

*things like: 26ft Chicken Caught in Texas and Alien Backs Bush in Election

Comment: Re:Is funny, da? (Score 1) 348

by dogsbreath (#45871955) Attached to: U.S. Waived Laws To Keep F-35 On Track With China-made Parts

Yup, exactly. Bad wording on my part.

Some of the fellas around me speculated that the "commies" sent us the rejects. I think things were just what they were with no evil planning.

I never saw any news stories about the issue but this was pre personal computing, pre widespread internet, and news gathering was a foot-and-mouth issue. The magnet item would never have surfaced. Probably because it is and would have been a non issue.

Cheers

Comment: Is funny, da? (Score 1) 348

by dogsbreath (#45866365) Attached to: U.S. Waived Laws To Keep F-35 On Track With China-made Parts

From the Department of FWIW.

In the 1970's the semiconductor revolution was well established but there was still a lot of vacuum tube tech around, especially in the military. Equipment such as radio transmitters and high sensitivity receivers still used tubes because of unique properties they afforded or just because the tech just had not been updated.

By the mid 70's it was difficult to get a reliable tube supplier located in a NATO country. Soviet Russia was still firmly in the heated glass bottle camp with a high level of supply capability.

That's when the USSR became a NATO supplier.

From personal experience, I know much of civil and military stock of NATO vacuum tube parts were sourced from Russian or other Warsaw pact sources.

Mind you, I never saw a Soviet back door in a 12AT7. Neither did I see any performance issues or increased in-service failure rates. More stuff failed right out of the box but that was the case with the old stock we had that was sourced from Canada, the US, the UK and so on.

Comment: Re:Is it just me? (Score 2) 101

Yes the description may be flawed but seems to me that this is essentially a technique that has been in use for a long time, at least back to the 1950's, with systems like surveillance radar where several ping round trips are superimposed (added together). Involves delaying/storing the received signal and adding back together in a time correlated manner. Noise tends to reduce and object reflections tend to reinforce resulting in an effective improvement in the signal to noise ratio. In the early days, analog delay lines were used which also introduced noise but which would also cancel out.

With high performance computing it is not hard to imagine compensating for and correlating frame position, observer location, time etc.

Even if the object has a velocity such that there is no reflection signal increase, background noise will be decreased.

Comment: H-E-double hockey sticks . . . (Score 1) 732

by dogsbreath (#44733193) Attached to: EU Proposes To Fit Cars With Speed Limiters

. . . 70mph! Nonsense!

That's well under the base speed on the QEII or Highway 63 on a Friday night (Alberta).

FYI: Notes for the understandably confused -

--- QEII is the fast pipe between Edmonton and Calgary which, every weekend, appear to exchange urban populations at a rate limited only by asphalt, wind resistance, and whatever protective limits are programmed into engines.

--- Highway 63 is the deadly route between Edmonton and Ft McMurray (oil mines)

The RCMP set up speed traps but it's a bit like swatting snowflakes in a blizzard.

70mph same same 113 km/h

In Alberta, you can usually travel at 10km/h over the limit (100 or 110 on most highways) without getting a ticket. On the QEII where the limit is 110, if I travel at 120 km/h then I have to stick in the slow lane while vehicle after vehicle passes me rapidly.

Alberta has the second highest provincial fatality rate in Canada but pales in comparison with Saskatchewan which is 50% higher.

Yukon T. and NWT have double Alberta's already high rate.

Comment: Re:not just buses...planes too (Score 1) 372

by dogsbreath (#44578557) Attached to: New Tech Money, Same Old Problems

Yeah, I agree. I did that sort of thing for a long time and it has many downsides to counter the upsides. A lot of folk make it work though but there has to be serious emotional resilience, life pattern flexibility and commitment by both partners. Kids do fine as long as they see overall stability and don't get forgotten about.

Again, companies do what they need to attract workers into positions that make serious demands on their lives. When a whole community lives that way, the community culture gets weird.

Comment: Re:Not unlike . . . (Score 1) 372

by dogsbreath (#44573917) Attached to: New Tech Money, Same Old Problems

Not a one-company town . . . a mining town with lots of big players.

The similarities are:

- lots of money and opportunities for multiple players (companies). Think of Silicon Valley as a huge mining operation. There is a rich field of opportunity for players that get it right.
- many of the workers plan to work long hours and sacrifice personal time to make a bundle and become financially independent early in life
- the companies do a what they can to facilitate the 'nose to the grindstone' crowd
- the community suffers (in my opinion) from this money-work-golden-payoff culture

One of the things I noticed in San Jose (haven't been there for 10 years) was the way the community shut down early in the evening. Hard to find a place to eat after 9pm. Maybe that has changed but a restaurant manager said nobody goes out late because they are all up early. Ft Mac is the same except for the yahoo/cowboy bars. When the restaurants close says a lot about how much leisure time people in a community are allowing themselves. Also means no after-show late crowds.

Just saying that the clean living Silicon Valley industry has numerous attributes usually associated with the dirty end of the industrial spectrum: mining towns. Busing workers is part of it.
Boom/bust cycling is another.

Not perfect comparison but curious I think . . .

 

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