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Comment: iPhone 4 Meets Washing Machine (Score 1) 674

by lazarus (#46789729) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

My daughter forgot her iPhone 4 in a pocket while doing laundry (commercial-sized front loader in an apartment building). The door locks when you start these. She panicked when she realized (like all teenagers do when they are without their device for 10 seconds) that she didn't have it and that it was probably in the wash.

No amount of convincing could get that machine to stop or open up, so she sat their crying for the entire wash cycle (I could only imagine what the accelerometer was doing during the spin cycle). When it stopped and unlocked she retrieved the phone and it was fine. Still works today two years later. I suspect the iPhone 4 will go down in history as being a really solid device, although with 10s of millions of them I'm sure there are lots of stories to the contrary.

Comment: Re:HP 15C calculator (Score 2) 674

by lazarus (#46789665) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

Thanks for posting this. I had a 15C which I gave to a friend when I got a 28S. The 28S is still on my desk and still works brilliantly. Both calculators are my favourites. The 28S takes "N" batteries which were for "cameras" when cameras still had film in them. So they are getting a little harder to find. It takes a few years for them to die, but I'm starting to stockpile them anyway.

I'm guessing the button cells for the 15C are a little easier to find.

Comment: Anger Management Classes to Follow (Score 2) 364

by lazarus (#46638369) Attached to: Your Car Will Tell You How To Hit the Next Green Light

Except that the massive pickup behind me who is driving 3 inches from my bumper revving his engine and cussing has no idea why I'm driving as slow as I am. I drive a VW clean diesel and my fuel economy (on average over three years) is already over 50mpg from driving like this as often as possible. Trust me, this initiative will go absolutely nowhere until the cars are driving themselves. You can't change human behaviour like you are hoping to. Even when they can see the red light in front of them people MUST get there as quickly as possible so they can stop and wait.

Comment: Re:Once again ... (Score 1) 387

by lazarus (#46232603) Attached to: Ohio Attempting To Stop Tesla From Selling Cars, Again

"Once again, companies try to prevent competition through legislation "

Yep. Ever wonder why you don't see more good light-duty trucks in the US? It's because of the Chicken Tax, a law from 1963. I kid you not. And the American consumer is the looser.

What is new about the Tesla situation is that it is an American company getting squeezed, rather than protection from goods from foreign countries.

If I lived in Ohio I would be asking my rep how this is good for me as a consumer and whether he's heard of social media.

Comment: Waldo (Score 1) 104

by lazarus (#45906269) Attached to: International Space Station Mission Extended To 2024

Too bad, I was hoping to buy it and become Waldo.

On a more serious note, I don't see the ISS as a single "thing" that can/should be abandoned or destroyed. It is a collaborative effort of many people and many nations and is designed to be built upon and "developed". Like a new community. I'm hoping that we as a species find the right combination of profitability and marketability from it to ensure it is still in the sky long after I'm dead and buried. Perhaps we should start thinking of it as more of a "place" than a "thing".

Comment: State of the Modern Society (Score 3, Funny) 219

by lazarus (#45679633) Attached to: Wikipedia's Lamest Edit Wars

I can't decide if I should be thrilled that we have achieved some kind of intellectual enlightened society evidenced by our capacity to be pedantic in a globally connected ecosystem of information, or appalled that people don't have better things to do with their time.

Perhaps we should have a discussion about this. On-line.

Comment: ePost (Score 3, Interesting) 226

by lazarus (#45664821) Attached to: Canada Post Announces the End of Urban Home Delivery

Canada Post already has something called ePost, which makes most regular postal mail obsolete now. It sounds to me like they're helping to put traditional postal mail out of business anyway.

I'd like to have no mailbox altogether. The notion that I have a "postal" address (which everybody wants for some reason) that a human being drives a car to so they can fill it with unwanted matter printed on processed dead trees is completely ridiculous. Give me ePost for bills and a local post office for packages and I'm good.

What's your address? 127.0.0.1. Same as yours.

Comment: Light Sail (Score 3) 46

by lazarus (#45576135) Attached to: Solar Pressure May Help Kepler Return To Planet-Hunting Duties

This is fascinating, but what I find even more interesting is why they couldn't use a similar technique to make the need for the attitude control wheels obsolete? It would require a spacecraft much different than Kepler, but would it not be possible to use sails to orient a similar craft no matter what area of the sky it wanted to point to?

Comment: Re:Only Ford? (Score 3, Interesting) 293

by lazarus (#45547711) Attached to: With Burning Teslas In the News Ford Recalls Almost 140,000 Escapes

My personal favourite was the recall of 3.4 million airbags last year in Toyota and Nissan vehicles because the ones in the seats may catch fire in the event of an accident:

"In an accident, the airbag for the front passenger seat may not inflate correctly because of a manufacturing defect in the propellant used in the airbag inflator, the companies said. As a result, there is a risk of fires starting or of passengers being injured."

You survive the accident, but then your seat catches on fire...and your door won't open... Just imagine. Good thing the media is informing us all about how dangerous a Tesla is.

Comment: Wrong Question (Score 3, Insightful) 356

by lazarus (#44830543) Attached to: Can the iPhone Popularize Fingerprint Readers?

"But the technology has thus far failed to become ubiquitous in the consumer realm, and it remains to be seen whether the new iPhone — which is all but guaranteed to sell millions of units — can popularize something that consumers don't seem to want."

This is not how Apple thinks of design. Instead of asking people "Do you want a fingerprint scanner?" the question they ask themselves is "How do we make security easier if not completely transparent to the end user?" If you asked people if they wanted to be secure without having to do anything at all, your answer would be different. The fingerprint scanner just happens to be the right solution to the problem (in Apple's opinion).

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