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Comment Re:Millennials (Score 1) 91

Drones are just a special type of R/C helicopter with auto stabilisation

Racing quads do NOT have stabilization. You need to push these machines to the absolute limits in order to race, and you need complete control. You do not want the machine fighting your commands.

Don't confuse a racing quad with some cheap $49 thing. Racers are highly tuned machines that can cost over $1000.

Comment Re:How do they fail? (Score 2) 177

We pretty much know how these things will fail. Batteries are only good for so many discharge / recharge cycles, so simple counting can tell you when to dump a battery (note that disposing of LiPo batteries can be an environmental nightmare if not done properly). Motor and ESC failure is known but tends to happen on spin-up (these machines are not racing quads, so there shouldn't be the huge instantaneous current draws that a racer needs). The biggest single point of in-flight failure is propellers: you simply expect to have an in-flight failure at some point in time (hence responsible quad operators avoid areas where their machine dropping out of the sky will hurt someone).

Conversely, a quality frame will simply last and last (unless you're smashing it into things). If Amazon had an aggressive maintenance schedule for their fleet (batteries every x flights; propellers every y flights or if situations warrant it; motors / ESC's every z flights) then the frame becomes a multi-year investment.

Even with all of this, there are going to be in-flight failures that can't be predicted. It's a question of how many failures per thousand flights, and given the swarm of drones Amazon seem to be dreaming of, is the number going to result in a monthly failure, a weekly failure or a daily failure?

Comment Re:Recharge on the go.... (Score 1) 177

I would not be surprised if the vehicles will also be able to recharge themselves at their own charging ports at the warehouse or somewhere on the delivery route.

I would be quite surprised if this happens. LiPO batteries take ages to charge, for their flight time. My Chroma has a 6300mAh battery that offers (at most) 25 min of flight time. It takes somewhere between three and five hours to recharge the battery. The logistics don't work out; you would need someone on the truck swapping over the flight packs.

Comment Re:This is what I've always thought... (Score 3, Informative) 190

If you want a cheap, easy to learn computer system, make it a ZX80-type system with everything included but a monitor

The ZX-80 (and -81 and Spectrum) all required a cassette deck, so they were hardly "everything included". In the case of the ZX-80, you also needed to supply your own frozen UHT tetrapack of milk to keep the machine cool enough to keep running with the 4K rampack! Oh yes, the RAMpack... that was extra. A 1K ZX-80 isn't overly useful.

Comment Re:Time to invest in hard hats (Score 1) 277

Hardware fails, drones will fall from the sky, and no one seems to be discussing this

It's not a quadcopter; it's more a VTOL plane. If a motor fails on a quad; well there's a splat roughly directly below it. But a VTOL plane... a plane has wings and an ability to glide. If a motor fails, there are enough smarts nowadays in flight controllers to detect that and take action. Supposing it was cruising at 400', it could conceivably glide to a pre-determined safe spot.


Comment Re:Surprised? (Score 1) 424

"The issue was, ultimately, they looked at the stories and they said, 'We want to make something for the fans,'" says Lucas.

A lesson you would do well to learn Mr Lucas. Making your fans happy is how you became a success in the first place... ...and displeasing them is how you crashed and burned.

I agreed with you right up until this point. The story writer's first loyalty is to the story, not the fans. You can never satisfy fan expectations, because for every fan who likes one story point, you'll find another fan who passionately hates that very same story point.

As an example, look at all the Harry Potter fan fiction out there. Suppose JK Rawlings decided to write The Half-Blood Prince and The Deathly Hallows according to fan wishes. Do you think that would have honestly been a better story? Or in Babylon 5, suppose Straczynski went for the "fan friendly" end to the Shadow War with an all-out CGI battle? Would the long term story goals have been served by this?

George Lucas can't write decent dialog, that much is true. His "CGI for the sake of CGI" sequences in I-III really detracted from the story. Directing seems also problematic. But he created an interesting universe with an interesting story. To read that JJ Abrams is making a fan-aimed Star Wars saddens me, as that means the story of Star Wars (eg. does the actions of our parents dictate our own fate?) is likely to be ignored. Sure, we've seen the beautiful vistas of crashed Star Destroyers, the Nazi-esq First Order rallies etc. But at what cost?

Be faithful to the story, not the fans. Fans of the story will follow you anyway. But pander to the fans... well, enjoy Draco Malfoy teaching Hermione Granger a few muggle things

Comment Re:It's their job! (Score 1) 192

It doesn't matter whether they want to do it or not, it's their job to make the software ready for customers.

If customers want a better UI and, oh the horror, a more intuitive interface, then guess what. You're a developer. That's what you're going to develop.

Would be nice if these developers who talking about paying high salaries for good developers would show some evidence for this need because all I keep seeing on here are people who whine about having to do their job.

If their underlying business logic and data model is not well thought, it might be impossible to update it.

Comment Re:Go Work for the Competition (Score 1) 192

So find out who the competition is and get a job there.

He said ERP, SAP and SalesForce in the once sentence. One of those things isn't like the other two combined. Sounds like they might not actually have a clear idea of who the competition is - which is a bigger concern.

Comment So what IS the ERP system? (Score 1) 192

You've asked for help, but as an ERP technical consultant myself it would be nice to know what system you're actually talking about. In Dynamics AX, for example, there is business logic that lives on forms (that has no business being there, but whatever) that would defy UI upgrades. In many cases, the UI is a manifestation of the underlying tables and relationships. The big UI upgrades we've suffered through over the last few years (AX4 -> AX2009 -> AX 2012 -> AX 0212 R2) have inflicted more changes that seemed to be warranted, with the AX design team now layering a new set of data interfaces to de-normalize the tables they have normalized.

And let's not forget the pain that is the constant changes to the direction the underlying language is (X++ -> X++ is becoming c# -> x++ is now a first class .net language).

So, what system is it? The dev team might actually be right: updating the UI might break a lot of underlying business logic. If you're not big enough to migrate the business logic AND the data, you may well be stuck.

Comment Re:Wrong incumbent (Score 1) 73

It was just obfuscated enough to get it past the general public without much of a fight.

This was negotiated in secret, the governments deliberately acted to prevent the public from knowing in advance what was going to be imposed on them. Large companies were let in on the negotiations which is why it contains clauses to help the screw the public and small business.

Much like the TPP, then. How comforting to see such consistency, especially from the Australian government.

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