My guess is that it has something to do with medical devices in hospitals. Reprogram a daVinci robot to go all Ginsu?
There's got to be a joke relating to "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?," but I'm too tired to come up with one...
These x-ray scanners often give a dose under
The dose on the actual flight itself from cosmic radiation is
More info can be found here
I still type on an IBM Model M keyboard that will be turning 20 on Aug. 19th. Even though it lacks a "Super" key ("Windows" key for people using Windows), nothing else can come close to its feel. Of course, I can always spring for a Das Keyboard or the ilk, but why?
Plus, I like the irony of having a twenty-year-old keyboard attached to a modern, liquid-cooled PC.
GS Tech Support "only" covers three of the client's computers. So far we haven't had too many issues, other than the clients who want us to install 20+ pieces of crappy software after we restore the OS.
Since our store is part of the new and experimental "Connected Store" model, our precinct operates quite a bit differently- we have individual consultation booths where a dedicated "Consultation Agent" takes a quick look at it, determines what need to be done, and handles the sale (or fixes a really simple problem and sends them on their way, usually without charge). The "Advanced Repair Agents" (that's me) do the actual work on it. The guys we have as Consultation Agents know their stuff, but aren't quite as skilled with making a diagnosis and fixing the issue. The Advanced Repair Agents (myself being one of them) are not that good with selling, but are very good at what we do. This is nice because we get a position based on our strengths. The best part about the whole thing is that agents are never allowed to be called out to the sales floor to help with sales.
Another GS drone here... I'm fortunate enough to work in one of the new "connected stores" that operates slightly differently from the other stores, and I also have the fortune to work with a boss who is a genuinely nice person.
Up until recently, Geek Squad charged $200 for a "diagnostics and repair" service to find out what was wrong with the computer, and repair it (less the cost of hardware). Not everyone had to pay this amount; those with existing warranties or protection plans didn't have to pay the diagnostic fee ($70) at all, and only the remaining $130 if the problem was not due hardware (i.e., you got a virus/malware/borked your Windows somehow). People out of warranty were pretty much hosed- $200 for a one-time-fix is quite expensive any way you look at it.
Recently they rolled out a new plan that for the same price will cover pretty much anything that goes wrong with your computer for a year's time (excluding physical damage and the cost of replacement hardware, of course). Not only is it a lot better for the consumer, but I don't feel nearly as guilty for charging $200 for essentially deleting a few files or rebuilding the MBR or whatever. Better yet, it's 100 bucks for a year if purchased with a new computer.
Okay, enough of me sounding like a salesman trying to justify the prices. The point is, almost everyone here does not need anything like Geek Squad. We know what we're doing, and we have the skills to fix it ourselves. Unfortunately, a lot of people don't, and they'd gladly pay to have the work done (or simply don't have the time to deal with it themselves).
I'm sure many of the readers here pay money to have the oil in their car changed by the 15-minute shop down the street (or worse yet, the dealership). Just as GS charging for repairs is a rip-off in the eyes of this community, anyone with a jack, a wrench, and something to catch the oil sees paying to have your oil changed as a huge rip-off as well. And unfortunately, just like with Geek Squad, these people can end up being less-than-scrupulous as well- the one time I did take my car for an oil change (hard to do with a foot of snow in your driveway), I paid $35 for oil and a filter. When I was there, they tried to get me to put all kinds of crap in my engine to "flush" it, or pay for a premium air filter (I guess they didn't notice that I had a cold-air intake on my car with a washable filter, as it's hidden in the fender well). Worse yet, a few weeks later when I was under my car, I noticed my old oil filter still there. When I went back to complain, they quickly refunded my money without putting up any resistance (and I'm far from being a loud complainer... it's almost as if they said, "you got us, here's your money back").
The point is, services exist because people demand them. Unfortunately, the people performing these services aren't always the most honest people with the greatest integrity. On the flip side, there are many, many people out there that will do the job well.
The triangulation is the easy part. The hard part is figuring out what exactly is a gunshot and what is firecrackers, backfires, kids popping plastic bags, etc. Being able to accurately determine this is not trivial, and thus is costly.
Of course, as something sold to the government, there's always going to be excessive markup, because they know they can get away with it.
I for one welcome our robotic overlords... I mean, helpers!
Last month I got to play with one of the Da Vinci units at a car show (why it was there is anyone's guess). I am amazed at how intuitive it was to use- even though I was just putting tiny rubber bands on small rubbery cone-thingies, the 3D display and 1:1 motion mapping really made it feel like an extension of my body. Even though the unit doesn't use force feedback, it almost seemed like it did (just my brain, I guess). The most amazing part? My 7-year-old niece had absolutely no problem using it, and now she wants to become a doctor.
* (10^-12 Diopter)^-1
No, the unit of 1 Diopter is equivalent to 1/meter, thus 1^-12 Diopter^-1 would be equivalent.
Even if Diopter was a proper measure of length (and it isn't), it would actually be 1/(10^-12 Diopter) as Diopter is the reciprocal of a focal length to measure optical power. Still, it's an interesting way of putting it.