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Comment: Re:They might as well have. (Score 1) 82

by shione (#49383667) Attached to: Microsoft Considered Giving Away Original Xbox

microsofts brand name is shot and they know it. Compare the different console boxes. The ps4 and wii u have the company name displayed quite promiantly on them while the xbox one does. Nor did the xbox 360 or the original xbox.

Even on the zune device boxes microsoft was ashamed to put display their company name prominently on it.

And on phones they used the Nokia name to push their windows phones.

Fact is, outside of pc software and hardware, microsoft knows their brand name deters customers.

Comment: Re:We aready have this (Score 1) 32

by JanneM (#49377095) Attached to: Hand-Drawn and Inkjet Printed Circuits for the Masses (Video)

I solder SMT components by hand as well. Don't even need a microscope; just head-mounted magnifier glasses is plenty. Make sure you have good light and plenty of flux and you're good to go.

But the problem is the board. Sure, if you have a finished design already, and you intend to actually use it in the future, then sending off for a finished PCB is good. But if it's just a hobby, and you're prototyping or just playing around to better understand a particular circuit, then spending a good chunk of money and weeks of time for a board is simply not feasible. You really want to set something up, try it, then tear it down and try the next idea.

With that said, I don't know that this is the answer either. Hand-drawn does not sound precise enough to handle SMT, and a whole separate device just making prototype boards sounds like too much money and space for a hobbyist. Perhaps the answer is desktop mills that become cheap and precise enough that you can use them to cut out boards from copper blanks along with other building tasks. At least that would not be a single-purpose gadget.

Comment: Well past its Best Before date (Score 1) 660

by spaceyhackerlady (#49347751) Attached to: Jeremy Clarkson Dismissed From Top Gear

Top Gear was enormous fun at first, but it's gotten stale. It's lost its way. Maybe it is time for a re-think.

Like just about everybody, my picks for a new co-host include Sabine Schmitz and Vicki Butler-Henderson. But they have to look very carefully at the show and decide if its worth continuing first. I'm not convinced it is.

The original Top Gear production morphed in to Fifth Gear, which is definitely jazzed up fro the old Top Gear it started as.


Comment: Did it the hard way (Score 1) 494

by spaceyhackerlady (#49328507) Attached to: Hacking Weight Loss: What I Learned Losing 30 Pounds

I lost 160 pounds a few years ago, and I too did it the hard way. Count calories, exercise. If you're not eating that much you have to eat well, and I'm now so healthy it's slightly stupid. I like it.

I didn't gain it overnight, and I couldn't expect to lose it overnight. It took a year and a half. No major skin sagging issues except for a residual flab roll, eliminated with a tummy tuck.

People often ask me what my secret was, and I tell them it's motivation: you have to have a reason. For me it was wanting to learn to fly, but I couldn't get the seatbelt around me.


Comment: Been there, done that (Score 2) 224

by spaceyhackerlady (#49308573) Attached to: Chevy Malibu 'Teen Driver' Tech Will Snitch If You Speed

In the noughties my employers set out to develop similar technology. We had GPS-based units that would record where a vehicle was and could be programmed to tell on you if you drove too fast, stopped for too long, went to somewhere you weren't supposed to go, and so on. They communicated over a 2 way paging network.

The technology worked. I did the mobile device programming and put together a test unit that used differential GPS. Instead of telling you which street you were on, it could tell you which lane you were in. :-) The marketing, on the other hand, didn't work. :-(


Comment: Re:Not a watch (Score 1) 111

A watch is a mechanical timepiece you wear on your wrist.

No. A watch is a piece of jewellery you wear on your wrist. The only difference between a wristwatch on one hand and a pendant, a bracelet or a brooch on the other is that a watch is the only widely allowed jewellery (other than a wedding ring) for men. Of course, the intricate mechanics and technical craftmanship is an added appeal, though the actual function of telling time is just a bonus, not the main point.

And that explains why there are such a large number of watchmakers, and such a huge number of models; with jewellery, the last thing you want is to wear the same thing as everybody else.

Comment: Re:For real (Score 5, Insightful) 124

by shione (#49264265) Attached to: Valve's SteamVR: Solves Big Problems, Raises Bigger Questions

I'm not at all surprised at how advanced Valve's VR offering is. They were actually working on VR long before the Oculus Rift started. For some reason Valve canned the project and let go of all their staff including Jeri Ellsworth. Many of these people were then snapped up by Oculus. Because Valve didn't sell their project to Oculus, Valve would have retained all their previous VR work to use when they restarted the project.

One reason why the Oculus Rift could be shittier than the Valve one is that Valve holds the IP to do something better and is not selling it to facebook.

If I am not mistaken, Valve did the ports for Left4dead, Portal 2 and HL2 to the Rift. Valve is definitely not a newcomer to the VR game.

I hope it is Valves VR that takes off. Valve only cares about gaming and doing it well. If facebook wins you can bet they will augment targeted ads into the VR.

Sigmund Freud is alleged to have said that in the last analysis the entire field of psychology may reduce to biological electrochemistry.