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Comment Re:Time to invest in hard hats (Score 1) 262

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.

Comment Re:No need for such complicated reasons. (Score 1) 103

> Although many felt Betamax was the superior format, most cite the longer recording length of VHS tapes — three hours versus one — and the cheaper manufacturing costs for VHS machines as the main factors as to why VHS eventually won out.

It's simpler than that: Betamax licence forbids adult content publishing, while VHS couldn't care less. People choose to watch combining of gene lines on app. 180-200 lines of resolution, rather than a year with a panda family NatGeo special on 300 scan lines.

Well, as a former VCR repair tech, I can tell you why we thought VHS beat BetaMax: the VHS machines were much easier to repair.

During lace-up, a VHS machine drew the tape out in a "M" shape, whereas the BetaMax drew the tape out and around the head unit in a "C" format. So a machine failure in VHS left the tape relatively easy to extract. With the tape wrapped around the drum in the BetaMax: it was a pain. From a repair standpoint, changing a VHS head was a matter of unsoldering 4 wires, pull the head off with a standard tool, drop the new head on, resolder the wires and send it back to the customer. With a BetaMax, that was only the beginning of the job: you needed specialized alignment jigs and other tools to ensure that you could play back standard tapes. VHS won, IMO, because they engineered all that stuff into the unit.

As far as "Beta was better"... that's a matter of opinion. Beta looked sharper on screen because the circuitry put a HF "ring" whenever there was a strong contrast change. VHS had a higher head-to-tape speed, with a higher chroma bandwidth (but it was still pretty crappy), I've heard about the "porn industry" reasons for years, but I've never see a single piece of evidence to back it up. To my mind, VHS won because the cost of repairing the machine was so much lower.

Comment AppleTV as a games console: Not Yet (Score 3, Insightful) 129

When has Apple ever just dropped into a market? The last time I can remember was the Apple Newton; a device so far ahead of it's time it was a dismal failure in the marketplace.

Just as the iPod begat the iPod Touch, which begat the iPhone, Apple will (if they're so inclined) only move slowly forwards, consolidating their position in each incremental market move. Moving into a market where they have no experience is simply not the Apple way.

Comment Instead of faffing about... (Score 1) 173

There's asteroids out there that present a very real danger to us. Take, for instance, 2015 TB145 ( which was discovered two weeks ago and in a few weeks will pass by the Earth within 1.3 lunar distances. Thar is an unbelievably near miss. And we never saw it coming.

Instead, billions are wasted on "fighting climate change". Designing a planetary alert and defense system seems to me to be a much higher priority... otherwise there won't be a climate (or much of a planet) to worry about.

Comment Re:Gotta feel bad for Wal-mart (Score 1) 203

Wal-mart will always have a place as long as people can't stand to wait two days over instant gratification.

Try Amazon same-day delivery. It's amazing what they can deliver within a few hours!

I don't use it often, but when I need to it's great. Especially since you never know if the local Wal-Mart will actually have stock.

Comment Re:License Plates and registrations ... (Score 1) 223

The most commonly cited quad in these instances is a DJI Phantom 1/2/3... at around $1000 is hardly a toy.

Uh, yes, it is.

You and I have very different definitions of a toy!


Though it's also getting big enough that you really shouldn't be flying it over people, or around airports.

You mean, following the FAA rules in the first place?!

365 Days of drinking Lo-Cal beer. = 1 Lite-year