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Comment: False premise (Score 2) 148

by Dunbal (#49501319) Attached to: The Upsides of a Surveillance Society
Honestly I think the kind of person who is likely to go off on such a petty rant isn't going to give a damn if there's a camera there or not. Their sense of superiority and ego is such that they don't actually think at any moment that they are wrong, so what difference would a camera make? It's like saying that the guy with anger issues will not have a road rage episode because of a camera. He's not thinking about the camera - he's off in his own little rage world temporarily but completely disconnected from reality.

Comment: Skip these (Score 1) 23

by Lumpy (#49497867) Attached to: Recon Instruments' Sports-Oriented Smart Glasses Now Shipping

If they are anything like their previous product, very limited, and not useable.

We tried to use the goggle setup they have sold for years. They sucked, the Dev kit was horrid, and the goggle device was buggy as hell.

Maybe by the 5th generation they will get them right and not so small use but open so that anything can be installed.

Comment: they were pretty scummy. (Score 4, Interesting) 168

by Lumpy (#49496029) Attached to: MakerBot Lays Off 20 Percent of Its Employees

They patented things that other people in the community designed and claimed them as their own. Makerbot may have been one of the first, but they ended up as scumbags.

Now there are a ton of other companies out there doing it better, Good luck to the new CEO, he's captain of a sinking ship.

Comment: Since when.... (Score 4, Insightful) 261

by Lumpy (#49494009) Attached to: FBI Accuses Researcher of Hacking Plane, Seizes Equipment

do we call assholes "researchers"? This guy is nothing but a grandstanding asshole. You dont make comments like that and you dont do the FUD slinging that he does after getting denied.

Researchers do real work and publish their findings for peer review, not act like a street cred seeking HAx0r trolling for Lulz.

Comment: Volume and design drives the cost (Score 1) 189

by sjbe (#49489231) Attached to: The Car That Knows When You'll Get In an Accident Before You Do

One of the biggest reasons automtive grade electronics in cars are so much more expensive than commerical grade electronics is the wider range of operating conditions. For instance, the autos need components than work just as reliably in Georgia summers as Montana winters.

Most consumer electronics will work just fine inside the vehicle cabin. (Engine bay and weather exposed areas is a different story) My company does automotive wiring and consumer electronics wiring and the differences in thermal and vibration and other performance specs are just not all that huge for the most part. Sometimes some increased temperature specs for engine bay stuff and being self-extinguishing can matter but that's not a big cost burden in most cases. I do the quoting and am both the engineer and accountant at our company so I know the numbers well.

No, most of the cost is simply design and volume related. Let me give you an example or two. We make a wire harness that has a grommet on it. We make two versions of it and the only difference is the size of the grommet. Why two versions? Because the engineers and Buick and the engineers and Chevy couldn't be bothered to talk to each other and standardize on a single grommet for both platforms. So we get a worse price because we have to buy two different grommets instead of a single one at a lower price. We also have some connectors on the harness. Instead of picking an off the shelf connector they decided to go with a custom connector despite it providing no performance benefit. So we have to buy 50,000 custom connectors with a 4 month lead time instead of using a standard connector carried by every distributor in North America for less money. Plus the volumes of production are a few hundred thousand. Sounds like a lot but compared to consumer electronics its almost nothing. Apple sells more iphones in a day than the number of harnesses we'll make this year. Volume drives discounts.

Comment: Auto loans (Score 1) 189

by sjbe (#49489179) Attached to: The Car That Knows When You'll Get In an Accident Before You Do

So where should someone entering the workforce for the first time find the money to buy his first car to get him back and forth to his first job?

Someone just entering the workforce is likely to have minimal credit history and probably wouldn't be able to get a loan of any substantial size without a co-signer. It's not hard to get a junker for a few thousand dollars. I drove several for my early years in the workforce.

If you have to finance then do what you have to do. I did starting out. But do not keep an auto loan for a moment longer than necessary. It's almost always a bad financial decision.

Comment: Auto industry culture (Score 1) 189

by sjbe (#49489157) Attached to: The Car That Knows When You'll Get In an Accident Before You Do

This is deliberate on the part of the car manufacturers. The last thing they want is standards which allow third parties to undermine the profits they make in selling repairs and selling new cars. Total cost of ownership is well hidden.

I work in the industry. I can assure you that you are thinking malice where incompetence is MUCH better explanation. I've worked with engineers and executives directly at GM and Ford and several others. There is not a master plan for most of what they do. They are not that competent and certainly not that clever. You have to understand the design cycles and processes. Cars take 2-4 years to get designed and then the majority of the design is effectively frozen for 4-8 years. It takes an act of congress to get them to change a production part once a PPAP is completed and production has started.

They actually could make a lot more money by standardizing components and sub-systems and providing interfaces for third parties to work with. They just culturally do not know how to do this. They are too paranoid, too set in their ways and too slow for the most part. Their internal business culture reacts to changes and industry outsiders like an immune system forcing an allergy attack.

Comment: Re:Kind of a dup, but here's a link that explains (Score 4, Insightful) 113

It's the same for all the hype over car systems. EVERY SINGLE EXAMPLE they have to install hardware to get access to the data interface.

So yes Terrorists can take over the airplane from their cellphones if the flight crew let them into the maintenance areas and help them install several specialized devices that give them access.

The terrorists need to make appointments so they can make sure that avionics technicians are on hand to help them

Comment: Re:Debt financing (Score 1) 189

by sjbe (#49486735) Attached to: The Car That Knows When You'll Get In an Accident Before You Do

Personally, I bought a new car because I'm keeping it until it dies. It's likely to have a longer life with me taking care of it from the beginning than if I bought it used.

I understand the logic though whether or not it is a sensible decision depends heavily on how much you paid.

I put a down payment on it and financed the rest for 48 months at 1.99%. I didn't have to, as I had the money to buy it outright.

That is actually quite sensible. 2% interest is darn close to free money so I think that is a smart decision to finance given that you didn't actually have to. I would have strongly considered doing the same thing.

That being said, both of us are in unique positions where we have options.

True but a lot of people buy far more expensive cars than they really can justify if they are being objective about it. A good example is pickup trucks. Ford and GM make the majority of their profits from large trucks with terrible gas mileage. The prices for these vehicles is much higher than their utility to the buyers would justify AND very few of the buyers actually utilize the full capabilities of the vehicle. Yet people buy droves of $30-50K+ F150 pickups. They do it for self image and because they can rather than because it is an objectively sensible decision.

Comment: The exception that proves the rule (Score 1) 471

by sjbe (#49486667) Attached to: Seattle CEO Cuts $1 Million Salary To $70K, Raises Employee Salaries

A capitalist decided, on his own, without government interference, to increase pay.

Which is the exception that proves the rule. How many CEOs do you see arguing FOR an increase in minimum wage? They could voluntarily do it but very few actually do. CEO pay has increased FAR more than the average pay of the workers lower down so any argument that CEOs will decide to en-mass increase wages is pretty much delusional.

Whoever dies with the most toys wins.