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Submission + - New Type-C USB connector ready for production (extremetech.com)

orasio writes: One of the most frustrating first world problems ever, trying to connect an upside down Micro-USB connector, is bound to dissappear soon.
Type-C connector for USB is declared ready for production by the USB Promoter Group (http://www.usb.org/press/USB_Type-C_Specification_Announcement_Final.pdf).

China

Chinese Researchers' 'Terror Cam' Could Scan Crowds, Looking for Stress 146

concertina226 (2447056) writes Scientists at China's Southwest University in Chongqing are working on a new type of camera that takes Big Brother to a whole new level – the camera is meant to detect highly stressed individuals so that police can catch them before they commit a crime. The camera makes use of hyperspectral imaging, i.e. a 'stress sensor' that measures the amount of oxygen in blood across visible areas of the body, such as the face. Chinese authorities are deeply concerned about the recent spate of deadly attacks occurring in public places, such as the mass stabbing attack by eight knife-wielding extremists in the city of Kunming, Yunnan in March, which left 29 civilians dead and over 140 others injured.
Businesses

Comcast Drops Spurious Fees When Customer Reveals Recording 368

An anonymous reader writes In yet another example of the quality of Comcast's customer service, a story surfaced today of a Comcast customer who was over-charged for a service that was never provided. At first, the consumer seemed to be on the losing end of a customer service conversation, with Comcast insisting that the charges were fair. But then, the consumer whipped out a recording of a previous conversation that he had with another Comcast representative in which not only was the consumer promised that he wouldn't be charged for services not rendered, but the reason why was explained. Suddenly Comcast conceded, and the fees were dropped. But most telling of all, the Comcast rep implied that she only dropped them because he had taped his previous interaction with Comcast customer service. I wish I had recordings of every conversation that I've ever had with AT&T, the USPS, and the landlord I once had in Philadelphia. Lifehacker posted last year a few tips on the practicality of recording phone calls, using Google Voice, a VoIP service, or a dedicated app. Can anyone update their advice by recommending a good Android app (or iOS, for that matter) designed specifically to record sales and service calls, complete with automated notice?

Comment Re:Thank GOD (Score 1) 96

Are you sure that you are average? Perhaps you should not entirely discount the idea that you are in the 50% of the population with better than average vision.

I have no trouble seeing the difference between 720p / 1080p on a 55" screen at 5m (15'), what I find strange is that I notice that many other people do. I always thought the figures for average vision must be underestimates, but other people seem to roll with them.

Comment Not that simple (Score 5, Interesting) 294

While the technologies and tools underlying this transformation can make development work more powerful and efficient

...and they can also bury them in irrelevancy. It can make them depend on debuggers instead of good coding practices and skills and self-checking that tend to make the debugger an uncommon go-to. It can isolate them further from the hardware so that the difference between what is efficient and what can only be said to work becomes a mystery to the new-style programmer. It can turn what should really be a one-programmer project into a team effort, where "team" should carry the same negative connotations as "committee." It can move critical portions of projects into the black boxes of libraries and objects sourced from outside the primary development effort, and in so doing, reduce both the maintainability and the transparency of the overall result. Languages with garbage collection can create much looser coupling between performance and system capacity, reducing the range of what can actually be done with them. Worst of all, with all the wheel spinning and checking code in and out and the testing methodology of the month, it can make them feel like they're really doing something worthwhile in terms of time spent and results obtained, when what it really boils down to is something far less efficient and effective overall.

There's another factor, too; the industry really wants young programmers. The costs are less for remuneration, insurance, and vacation; the families are smaller or non-existent, and these people will work much longer hours based on nothing more than back patting and (often empty) promises. One of the consequences here is that some of the deeper skill sets are being lost because they simply aren't around the workplace any longer.

I think there is no question that all of this has changed the face of coding. An interesting exercise is to ask yourself: When was the last time you saw a huge project hit the market. Now ask yourself how many little does-a-couple-of-things projects you've seen hit the market in the same time frame. My contention is that there are very few of the larger projects being undertaken at this point, or at least, being finished.

Just one (retired) guy's opinion. :)

Comment Less power?? (Score 1) 96

Power is governed by change of states per second. It varies by the voltage, but by the square of the current. There's only so much saving from reducing voltage, too, as you run into thermal issues and electron tunnelling errors.

You are much, much better off by saying "bugger that for a lark", exploiting tunnelling to the limit, switching to a lower resistance interconnect, cooling the silicon below 0'C and ramping up clock speeds. And switching to 128-bit logic and implementing BLAS and FFT in silicon.

True, your tablet will now look like a cross between Chernobyl, a fridge-freezer, and the entire of engineering on the NCC-1701D Enterprise, but it will now actually have the power to play those 4K movies without lag, freeze or loss of resolution.

Comment Yes, no, maybe, potato salad (Score 2) 294

Modern programming languages are a fusion of older programming languages, with chunks taken out. Often, it's the useful chunks.

There is no table, that I know of, that lists all the features ("significant" depends on the problem and who cares about solved problems?) versus all the paradigms versus all the languages. (Almost nothing is pure in terms of paradigm, so you need a 3D spreadsheet.)

Without that, you cannot know to what extent the programming language has affected things, although it will have done.

Nor is there anything similar for programming methodology, core skills, operating systems or computer hardware.

Without these tables, all conclusions are idle guesses. There's no data to work with, nothing substantial to base a conclusion on, nothing to derive a hypothesis or experiments from.

However, I can give you my worthless judgement on this matter:

1) Modern methodologies, with the exception of tandem/test first, are crap.
2) Weakly-typed languages are crap.
3) Programmers who can't do maths or basic research (or, indeed, program) are crap.
4) Managers who fire the rest of the staff then hire their girlfriends are... ethically subnormal.
5) Managers who fire hardware engineers for engineering hardware are crap.
6) Managers who sabotage projects that might expose incompetence are normal but still crap.
7) If you can't write it in assembly, you don't understand the problem.
8) An ounce of comprehension has greater value than a tonne of program listing.
9) Never trust an engineer who violates contracts they don't like.

Comment Re:Cities (Score 1) 246

You had a COMPLETELY different experience to me in Paris. I have been there 3-4 times now and love it and the places you can find tucked into small corners. There are restaurants everywhere and there was always someone nearby who would speak English to me if I needed help.

As for restaurants did you try walking from the Eiffel Tower to the Arc de Triomphe? There are a gazzilion on that strip alone. And Paris is the only city I can think of where you seriously need to check out the cemeteries. Particularly the catacombs.

Comment Re:Translated into English (Score 1) 306

In California you can use cheaper panels because they don't have to be rated to withstand hurricane force winds.

I did a quick search comparing the two cities. In 2014, Victorville had stronger winds, across the board than Tampa:

Victorville, CA:

The highest sustained wind speed was 38 mph, occurring on February 28; the highest daily mean wind speed was 22 mph (April 26); and the highest wind gust speed was 52 mph (February 28).
http://weatherspark.com/histor...

Tampa, FL:

The highest sustained wind speed was 28 mph, occurring on September 15; the highest daily mean wind speed was 17 mph (April 17); and the highest wind gust speed was 48 mph (June 13).
http://weatherspark.com/histor...

With houses in Florida not able to resist hurricane force winds, I don't see why you think solar panels will have to be built like stone tablets...

Comment Re: Video peer to peer comm (Score 1) 267

Why would I want them? my LAN here isn't the same as the WAN; but my router does what it needs to do to translate the port and IP to the right machine. I send other kinds of realtime data peer to peer; it works fine.

If, however, you've buried yourself behind stuff that won't pass ports and/or IPs around, then this won't work, but you should fix that, really. :)

Comment Re:They're all evil. Really evil. (Score 1) 267

I am sure that the most recent version of XCode doesn't have the ability to target PowerPC Macs, and I believe that has been true for at least 2 or even 3 major revisions of XCode.

A) I didn't say a word about PPC macs; the mini I am referring to is a fully loaded multicopre Intel mini. Likewise Intel dual core, my 17" supposedly high-end Macbook pro cannot run Mavericks either. But truly, that's ok. I don't need it to run Mavericks. I just wanted Aperture to load the RAW images from my camera. But they tied that ability (yes, the ability of Aperture to load image files) to the OS level. So after paying for three separate versions of Aperture, I ended up with no camera support because Aperture can't load those files under 10.6, and no way to get it on the mini or the laptop with Aperture, because Apple won't let Mavericks run on that CPU, which I repeat, is not a PPC, but a pretty vanilla Intel multicore. I did, btw, buy Lightroom, which works fine. Unfortunately it kind of sucks compared to Aperture, and of course my investment in Aperture is 100% lost money now.

B) The development toolchain under 10.6 can generate applications that run under 10.6 and all the way up to Mavericks. So, if one wanted to develop something that wasn't automatically obsolete under anything but the latest, and one doesn't actually need features from the latest, there's no reason not to use the 10.6 toolchain. In fact, I use it every day. Works pretty well, all things considered, and my stuff works under all levels of the OS going up. Also, speaking of PPC macs, 10.6 retains the PPC emulation, so all the old PPC stuff works too. Pretty nice OS, really. Other than the nonworking features, of course, like UTF-8 printing via lpr.

C) The OS bug I refer to is a consequence of a broken compiler, which they have fixed. All it would take is a recompile of a very small part of the printing portion of 10.6 and it would work as designed. They refuse to do so. I find this both despicable and inexcusable.

Face it. Time marches on, and we really are talking about an Architecture that Apple discontinued NINE years ago. Hard to believe; but it's true.

No, that's not what we're talking about, and it isn't true.

But eventually, if you are still driving a buggy, you gotta accept the fact that, at some point, you simply aren't going to be able to buy buggy whips...

I don't have a problem driving a buggy. I have a problem buying a buggy, and then when I eventually take it for a serious spin, I find out that the roof was attached with chewing gum, and it falls the fuck off, and the buggy manufacturer, as a remedy, tells me "you're going to need our new buggy, and by the way, you can't hitch those horses to it, so tough shit, sonny"

Comment Re:They're all evil. Really evil. (Score 1) 267

And you could have saved yourself that whole message if you'd read my entire post, instead of part of it, or skimming it.

And as for this:

"clearly you don't understand software development at all"

You're funny. I've been doing almost nothing but software development for the last 45 years. I'm single-handedly responsible for the vast majority of code in one of the most powerful image processing applications ever shipped -- WinImages F/x/Morph -- as well as several CAD programs, compilers, assemblers, paint programs, PCB routing systems, arcade video games, documentation processors, genetic AL software, aurorae analysis software and a whole bunch more I won't bore you with. Even now that I'm retired and enjoying the fruits of my labors, my current freeware, a real time SDR engine, is orders of magnitude more sophisticated -- and sizable in terns of lines of my code -- than anything most slashdotters will ever be involved with on a team, much less write by themselves. I take my own medicine; I don't write features that break previous features; I don't require later OS versions for new stuff I write -- instead I make sure that features that use new OS features doesn't appear under the older (or other, since I write multiplatform) OS, that's all. And I sure as hell fix bugs when they're reported well enough to be able to reproduce them.

But hey, don't let that affect your state of delusion. Keep thinking I know nothing about software development. It's the very best way to distance yourself from a true understanding of what you're reading here.

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