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Comment Depends on the Product (Score 2) 220

While some folks might like disposable products since they "upgrade" so often, I am not in that market and I tend to keep items for a long time. I suspect in most modern phones the part most likely to fail due to heavy usage will be the battery because Lithium Polymers wear out with use. However in my Samsung Note 3, the battery is replaceable so that's less of a concern for me. I'll likely keep using my phone until it can't play youtube anymore. I'm still using a Vaio Z laptop made 5 years ago. It was state of the art in its time so surprisingly it still seems like a fairly modern laptop. It can't run as long on battery and the discrete switch-able graphics are a bit weak but thanks to impressive design, weight wise and size is a match to modern thinish laptop. CPU power is pretty decent too as an i7. So no, I do not like disposable items.

Comment Netgear R7000 NightHawk Router + Custom Firmware (Score 2) 247

My home router is a NetGear R7000 NightHawk Router with TomatoUSB firmware by Shibby. Tomato firmware is notoriously stable on most of the platforms it supports and it's feature loaded with VPN and a huge number of other features. It also features an extremely nice front end GUI interface and is more than powerful enough for fast Internet applications. I originally ran my Router as a piece of software on my VM Server but eventually found it much nicer to have a dedicated piece of hardware handling it. Besides, if you're not a fan of Tomato then there's also OpenWRT and DD-WRT. Thou I've found DD-WRT to be unstable on some hardware. Regardless, this is probably the cheaper and simpler way of doing it.

Comment Linksys NSLU2 +1000 days... (Score 1) 332

One of the first cheap Linux ARM devices I got a hold of was a Linksys NSLU2 that was meant as a slow low powered device that could convert any USB drive into as network NAS device. A huge fanbase figured out how to hack full Debian Linux into the device and how to remove a resistor to "overclock" it to normal speeds. 100mhz to 166 mhz I believe if memory serves. It ended up to be my webserver using a USB stick as it's main filesystem for 1000+ days of continuous uptime before a 6 hour power black-out completely drained the UPS it was attached to. I've long since switched to a AMD athlon 610e system running VMs but it's going to be hard to beat my own personal record. :)

Comment Use a Fuel Cell?? (Score 1) 153

While I don't see Fuel Cells as being very viable for Cars compared to a Lithium Battery, they might serve a good application in this place considering now you neither care about the cost of fuel (or excess CO2 emissions) but the fact that it is silent technology. The downside is you would still need to carry around bottles of Hydrogen Fuel which is explosive although probably not much worse than ammunition or fuel. And while admittedly tanks aren't exactly silent, they do have a point if this is suppose to be used with infantry; You don't want to sound like a lawnmower.

Comment Not wrong problem, longshot! (Score 1) 167

I don't think this article really understands the problem of AI all that well. Our major issue is we don't really understand how intelligence works or even what being "self-aware" actually means as an algorithm. Even with a Billion dollars this project is a real shot in the dark. Asking a capitalist system to fund a billion dollar project where there isn't even a guaranteed response is likely to get the project not funded at all. So having it funded this way isn't a bad way to go.

Comment Mail Consolidation IMAP (Score 3, Informative) 177

I remember having a similar problem years ago with E-mail in several systems and getting annoyed that everything was in different formats in different E-mail clients. I fixed the problem by setting up my own IMAP server. An IMAP server is a mail server that's compatible with virtually ALL E-mail clients but what's important about them is they act as mail stores unlike POP3 so you can upload mail to an IMAP server without screwing up formatting or anything. Then once you get all your E-mail up to your IMAP server, you can chose to just store it there (just remember to back it up now and then) or you can redownload it all into a Mail folder on ThunderBird (Backup Thunderbird's Mail store folder for protection) ThunderBird probably isn't going away in the foreseeable future but if it does, sometime down the road you can reuse your IMAP server to transfer it to another mail client.

Comment HUD Display System (Score 1) 74

Actually this technology if it could be implemented reliably could be very useful. Imagine if you could have a full heads up display where there's no blind spots coupled with self-driving technology to alert you visibly on the screen if you were about to slam into another object or point out potholes, ect with driving guidance. I imagine the military might want something like this as well as the windows usually arn't as well armoured as the vehicle itself or there's a tonne of blind spots in an actual tank.

Comment SMR Drives are fine for archival use (Score 4, Interesting) 145

I have an SMR 8TB Seagate drive which is marked as an archival drive. It's worked well so far. The problem with Shingle Magnetic Recording drives which I have noticed is that occasionally the drive will "stall" while it rearranges data. This is probably extremely bad for some raid systems as the paranoid ones might think the drive has prematurely died. Still this drive was inexpensive for its size and stores a LOT of data which is handy for backing up my actual RAID NAS system. Just don't use a drive like this in your Raid or you might run into serious problems.

I worry about these helium drives leaking their helium eventually and dying. They claim to have a sealed unit where the seal will last for years which is hopefully the case but you never know...

Comment A more intelligent way to look at it (Score 1) 190

There's a good reason why wired beats wireless. In wireless your common medium is the air which is common to everyone. Basically it's impossible to transmit without causing interference at some level to someone else in the common area unless you're so far away that wireless is pointless. With a wire, it's now possible to have a dedicated wire strictly for just your communication. In practice this costs too much so it is shared somewhat but it's far better than a common medium for everyone.

Comment Sad Reality (Score 1) 248

I agree with the statement that we probably should do something before it becomes an unfixable problem assuming it hasn't already become an unfixable problem. It's like maintenance for your car. You can get lazy and wait till something breaks but at that point it will probably cost you a great deal more and be far more inconvenient than if you had kept up with maintenance. The reality or problem is that people are rarely ever pro-active and on top of that people who make a living on the "stay the course" lifestyle obviously don't want change because it threatens their living even if it were to all come crashing down someday. And crash it will, although we might be able to weather this storm, there's many in poorer countries that are the end of their rope so to speak. When you have no future, food or home because its underwater there's nothing stopping you from trying to take it by force.

History I suspect will show that we either finally as a species managed to find some sort of co-operation and saved our world or we followed our own selfish interests and imploded.

Comment Why would you hack the car you sold?? (Score 1) 373

This is a ridiculous scenario, why would any sane hacker hack the car they just sold to someone else? If something goes wrong, who do you think the authorities might check first? It's about as silly as saying, well what if someone sells you a car with a car bomb in it? You could argue that somehow the hacker doesn't like you but then why would he/she even bother selling you the car in the first place. The whole scenario is highly unlikely. Besides, most people who would pull pranks of this sort are not going to want to know who the victim is or met them personally.

A more likely scenario is as a prank someone crashes an entire network of cars for fun or maybe they dislike the company. Still in this situation, how many of you would knowingly do something that could potentially hurt hundreds or thousands of people? I think most hackers can distinguish between "annoying fun" and outright getting folks killed or injured.

Granted while it is important to have proper security, I doubt any of these scenarios are as dire as one might suspect.

Comment No Insurance?? (Score 1, Interesting) 204

Seeing how space travel isn't exactly safe and virtually all launch systems have at some point blown up, why wouldn't this be insured? You would think NASA or SpaceX would have some sort of insurance to cover for damages. Most of us have car insurance for example because statistically at some point virtually everyone has one car accident in their lifespan. As much as I find SpaceX a nifty company and a good idea. (It's so far had a pretty good track record for cost of launches) making it the most cost effective launch system, there should be some insurance you would think.

Comment Well sort of accurate (Score 1) 264

I think most folks are not reading this article right. The average starting salary is $66K. Being average, it means that half the graduates are paid far less than that amount. There's no mention of location as well which varies tremendously as living costs vary. I'm paid well under that average but where I live the amount they give me is considered quite good because of low living costs. This survey also probably doesn't include the unemployed as you can't report a salary if you can't find a job which is a major problem for a lot of graduates in my experience.

I think a good summary is that you can make a reasonable living with a computer science education as long as you can find a job after you graduate. I dislike how the article seems to say it's an "Easy Street" job. To be good at this field, you need to have a certain love for it that extends into your personal life. I've seen some CS Majors who went in entirely thinking they would be paid well but without any of the commitment to continue learning about it. I suspect many of those poor graduates won't survive their field in the real world.

Comment Re:Insurance companies suffer? (Score 1) 389

One obvious problem with this is that we claim to want to reduce pollution and improve air quality and have poured millions and millions of tax money into private industry all electric vehicles like the Volt. But because of the limited range, many people who would buy a Volt don't get one because they would have to have a second vehicle for longer trips if they did (particularly in single driver households) and be charged liability insurance on both.

Highly incorrect on the Volt. Unlike most EV's the Volt has a gasoline engine that kicks in when you run out of battery power. It is one of the main reasons why I was attracted to the Volt in the first place. Unlike most EV's it won't leave you stranded when you run out of power.

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