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Comment Re:Which luxury yacht after my new project? (Score 5, Funny) 272

Pff! All that soon-to-have money and yet no imagination, huh? Buy an old diesel Navy submarine and have it refitted. Maybe cut some windows into the hull - that'll mean you can only go down to maybe 50 metres instead of 350, but that's still plenty, and if you get lost you can just look out of the windows to see where you are without having to worry about using sonar.

I'd imagine surfacing your submarine in Monaco's marina will turn far more heads than your ridiculous yacht moored a mile offshore ;-) (besides, a submarine is phallically shaped, so works better in metaphorical dick measuring competitions)

Oh, and be sure to use Postgres or MySQL for your on-board systems - it'll scale plenty well for a long time before you need to go all 'web scale' with a NoSQL DB.

Comment Re:Car analogy (Score 1) 650

How about the Microsoft Engine XP gets designed into a variety of cheap cars and some specialist vehicles like combine harvesters, diggers, the 'crawler' that Nasa use to move rockets and a few others). Since most of those vehicles weren't galvanised, they've all got so rusty that nearly all of them have been replaced with new cars (some of which has Microsoft Engine 7, but some have Apple or Linux engines of various types).

The problem now becomes that there are a few old vehicles still running the Microsoft Engine. Their owners have taken good care of them, so they're not rusty and they're still road-legal. However, they don't have all the fancy lane guidance, GPS and airbags of their more modern counterparts. That means they're more dangerous if they are involved in an accident, but otherwise much the same as their modern counterparts if they aren't. The roads are getting busier though, and the chances of anyone being in an accident have gone up (although it's unclear if you're more likely to be in a bad accident, or just a bump/scratch type incident).

How long should Microsoft be required to supply spare parts for the old Microsoft Engine XP? Good question... and should the car makers that decided to put Microsoft Engine XP be required to stock parts if Microsoft decide to stop doing so? If so, how long for? Lastly, who pays for all this? After all, Microsoft gave parts for their engine away for free in the early days, and you could buy a contract to give you parts for free after that. Now who should do what in all this?

Comment Just because (Score 1) 161

Just because you can write a mobile app, doesn't mean you should. I'm capable of it, but I don't because there's no point making another crappy version of $whatever. I'm not going to be as motivated as the other people already in the market, so so I'll 'fail'. Having an idea of yet another way to hoover up people's personal information isn't a guarantee of success - and actually most things like that require lots of marketing and other efforts, which have a high cost when you're yet to make any money.

However, all that said, it's a nice sideline, if you've got a good idea that's fun/interesting/useful/cute/timely. If it's something you can do without sacrificing your normal earning/studying time, or more of your savings than you can afford, then go for it - the cost of entry is pretty low, and it's kinda fun.

The best entrepreneurial advice I ever saw was "scratch your own itch". If you're not doing that, you'll get bored and either hate what you're doing, or more likely you'll just let it grow old without looking after it. Either of those outcomes means it's unlikely to be worth your time.

Comment Re:Holy smoking wallets, Batman! (Score 1) 88

That form factor is almost perfect for working whilst sitting on a train (trains: something we have, and use a lot here in Europeland). You plonk the main unit on the table and the keyboard in your lap - yes, yes, I know I could do that with an ordinary laptop, but that's not nearly as cool as something like this. You'd have to stuff the spare space behind the screen with a few arduinos and breadboards, lots of loose wires and maybe a few flashing LEDs for good measure though.

The only thing that could make this form factor better would be to use a one-eye augmented reality headset, or full VR headset in place of the screen ;-)

Comment Ultimaker (Score 1) 251

I have an Ultimaker 1, bought about 2 years ago. When I bought it, it was indeed a tinkering nightmare - all the software was horrible beta, and you needed to follow a dozen wiki pages to get anything to work at all. They got started on the software fixes, and gradually things got much, much better.

Fast forward to now - I had my printer packed away for about a year. I unpacked it, downloaded the latest software and got started right away. It helped me level the bed (which was all but perfectly level already) and then recommended I upgrade my extruder (which you can buy from the shop, or print your own - so I did the latter). Since then, it's been brilliant - pretty much just switch on and print. I've printed some really big, complex things on it too.

If you're wondering, my tool chain is Google Sketchup 8 (later versions are turning a bit too commercial for my liking), and the very excellent Cura. That's literally all that you need. I'm looking to switch to Blender or other for design though. I'm also looking to use a Raspberry Pi as my gcode sender instead of needing my laptop to be connected to the printer (newer Ultimaker models use SD cards instead of USB printing, but mine still works over USB). I figure I can get my Pi to run CUPS so that I can literally right click on a .gcode file and say "print", and then use my phone to monitor how it's getting on. Time will tell how I get on with that little project mind you ;-)

Two years ago you were a very early adopter if you bought a 3D printer. These days, the newer printer models are much more "easy care" than before, there are also a bunch of (decent) filament suppliers to choose from (eg. Faberdashery). Some of the newer printers use easy to source parts (liek the Ultimaker), so apart from maybe some really specialist stuff, you can get things locally if you need to (although apart from upgrades, I haven't needed many new parts). You can use entirely free software to design and print stuff, and if you put the Ultimaker into its highest quality mode, you gets results out of it that rival some of the much more expensive printers (although I find some dimensions of small things like holes or posts sometimes aren't exactly what you specify, which I assume the $10K printers get right). The interesting thing is that the latest generation of printers aren't actually much more capable than the Ultimaker 1 - instead, they're got more convenience features, so are easier to use, but don't actually offer a huge amount more in terms of raw quality/capability.

As for what to make with it - well, I've made all sorts of things. It's been great for making small engineering parts that help make something else easier to construct, but I've made a few 'finished products' with it too. As for making money out of it - IMHO, not likely, unless you're using it to add value to something you're already making money out of.

Comment Re:No price != No cost (Score 1) 409

IMHO, you get all that with Microsoft, yet you also have to pay them cash to use their service. So in that regard, Google is still cheaper (although it's arguable how much cheaper, if at all).

Either way, I personally don't see a need to on-line docs (in the main). Libreoffice has this one solved for me, although I can imagine that even that simple install is more hassle than it's worth for some people. One wonders if people who don't want to install software do want to go through a step to pay for a service though...?

Comment Re:Privacy nutjobs take note (Score 4, Informative) 149

The problem is that person X who has never signed up for Facebook ends up in a picture with someone (Person Y) who did. No one yet knows who Person X is, and Person Y doesn't identify them, and has all the recognition/auto tag features turned off. Good thing too, because Person X looks like they're so drunk they've lost the ability to control their bowels and keep their clothes on properly.

Rinse and repeat.

Remember, facebook still runs the recognition on all photos - they use such information to surface the posts you might be most interested in. If you're in a few photos with Person X (even if unidentified), then Facebook still wants to surface your friends photos with Person X because (quite reasonably) you might be interested in them.

Years late, someone identifies Person X. Now all pictures of Person X can be found by using Person X's name, even though they never signed up for Facebook.

This is a specific case of the general concerns that always come out whenever there's a privacy/facebook story on slashdot. You don't even have to play the game to lose on Facebook.

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Whenever people agree with me, I always think I must be wrong. - Oscar Wilde