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Comment "Wouldn't they be stuck in the traffic as well?" (Score 0) 60

"Wouldn't they be stuck in the traffic as well?"

I believe the theory is that if you practice something, you get better at it. An Uber driver (presumably) practices driving, which means they get better at it, which means that they don't automatically slow down any time they see a huge ball of fire in the sky (try 101 Northbound at 4-5 PM), or other stupid things that less practiced drivers do, meaning they end up not clogging things up, like less practiced drivers tend to do.

The expression "Sunday driver" is actually based on observations.

Comment They already know the cause. (Score 4, Interesting) 145

The fact that they can't determine why these phones are going up in smoke is scary. In a way it's understandable; the ones that do end up exploding burn up so there's no system logs or other evidence that could be checked to determine the cause.

The problem is obviously the charging circuit. If it were anything else, they could just put in better batteries, or ship better chargers. The recall happened because the problem is on board the phone itself.

Newer phones still have the problem, so we know it's a design problem, rather than a component sourcing problem (like the counterfeit capacitors problem). In addition, Samsung manufactures their own phones, and their assembly lines operate differently, compared to Chinese assembly lines at Foxconn: it's very easy for them to localize a problem in the manufacturing process, whereas Foxconn goes out of their way to hide it by making bad employees into nameless cogs.

So basically, they have a design problem in the charging circuit, probably in the cell leveling portion of the charger, in the same way that the "Hoverboard" clones that keep starting on fire have a known bad charging circuit that overcharges some lithium cells in the larger battery, while other lithium cells get too little charge, on the charging circuit keeps drawing amps for all of the cells.

Then when the overcharged cells are discharged, they pretty much "Flame On!", and someone does a fair imitation of The Human Torch(tm).

This stuff isn't rocket science, it's basically third year in a U.S. community college EE and analog circuit design.

Comment Re:really (Score 1) 145

Yes, there's an issue with software updates .... vendors need to be more responsible about that.

Vendors are. Cell carriers aren't. Without a new shiny, how are they supposed to lock you into a new contract for another 18 months, until the next new shiny comes out?

Everything is predicated on locking a customer into your business, in order to reduce customer acquisition costs. It costs a heck of a lot more to acquire a customer than it does to lock them into a contract so you can retain them.

Without this aspect of the business model, both your cell phone costs and your service costs go up. The phone costs go up because they are no longer subsidized, and the service costs go up because they can't amortize the customer acquisition across an average of 5-7 years, and instead have to worry about the customer leaving.

The entire telephone company service model has always been about charging based on circuit switching points, and charging for long distance. Now that everyone is using cell phones, they can't do that any more, and have moved to packet switched networks. But in order to maintain their profit margin, they've had to push the costs off to other areas.

In case you care, most of the costs come from federally mandated rural service. If the telephone companies didn't have to provide service so that when someone in a rural area was having a heart attack, they didn't just conveniently die, and not be in a rural area any more, they could vastly reduce their infrastructure costs.

Most of the rest of the world (certainly Europe) doesn't seem to realize that the U.S. has about 180,000,000 people who do *not* live within 50 miles of a coastline. Unlike the U.K., where *everyone* lives within 50 miles of a coastline. The U.S. is *big*.

Comment Is this for the one guy who kept hist Galaxy 7? (Score 1) 145

Standardizing parts would help a lot. In this case, for example, it's a lot of screens and such that have nothing to do with the problem that SHOULD be going into the spare parts bins for repairs.

Is this for the one guy who kept hist Galaxy 7?

You know, so he can replace the parts every 5 -7 days as it catches on fire?

Comment Re:Does anyone else find this absolutely hilarious (Score 1) 164

You can "dude" and "bro" me all you want.

The point is that Facebook is willing to pay to get people without any access service to the point that they have at least some access .

Bitching about that access not leading to all possible places on the Internet is like bitching about the food bank not guaranteeing that the food they give you is Halal food.

Comment Re:Does anyone else find this absolutely hilarious (Score 1) 164

The hardware is "existing cellular infrastructure and telephone handsets to be provided by the carriers".

Still not seeing the government paying for anything.

I agree that them discussing it at all is time politicians could be better spending doing things like honoring their campaign promises (e.g. closing GITMO), but realistically: if you pay a politician for access, you get access.

Comment Re:I like the the political angle (Score 1) 164

Get the Obama/Democratic White House behind this idea.

Given the editorializing that Facebook has been accused of on the news feeds, favoring Democratic candidates, one would think both of those would *already* be behind it, since they're already reaping the benefit, and this would be a way to amplify it further.

Just saying...

Comment Re:India said No to Free Basics (Score 1) 164

Because it breaks Net Neutrality.

I give India credit for being smart.

Actually, India said "no" for two large reasons:

(1) There was a specific Indian Internet startup that has about 5% of the Jobs Board market, and they were about to be shut out of the market that Facebook was about to open up by providing Jobs Board access to pretty much everyone -- only not their Jobs Board. Rather than pay the entry fee, and join the subsidy group of web sites, this startup decided to spend the money they would have spent on that lobbying against the idea, and buying as many politicians as they could.

(2) The jobs market in India is highly competitive, and this would have opened up the "haves" to competition from the "have nots", in terms of people applying for the same jobs that they felt were rightfully theirs. In other words: it was egalitarian, and based on whether you had sufficient merit to compete in the jobs marketplace, rather than being based on your social standing (i.e. read as: can afford to pay for Internet access in order to apply for the jobs in question).

In the first case, it was potentially raising a barrier to new startups who could not afford the buy-in; the buy-in was subsequently restructured as a "percentage of net revenue", so as to be non-discriminatory against smaller companies (but by then, the trigger had been pulled on the "Net Neutrality" gun).

In the second case, however, it was simply the people with Internet access being anti-competition from those "lower caste" persons who currently don't have the access, but who would potentially be winning jobs away from "higher caste" persons.


I can understand an insistence on a percentage of net profits being able to "buy access", even if that amounts to nothing more than $1/year, so as to not create a barrier to entry, but I really can't fathom building a wall between the people who can afford Internet access and people who canb't afford Internet access, and then forcing the people who can't afford Internet access to pay for its construction.

(and if that hit a little close to home for some people -- good: it was intended to).

Comment Re:Does anyone else find this absolutely hilarious (Score 1) 164

There is not a single altruistic fiber in this move. It's an attempt to corner the market, on the expense of people who already have nothing.

This would be the lucrative market of "advertising things people can't afford to people who have no money to buy them in the first place"?

I'm thinking that the pre-dot.bomb Internet is calling, and they say they want their business model back.

Comment Re:Does anyone else find this absolutely hilarious (Score 1) 164

Everyone -- absolutely everyone -- who is posting on Slashdot against the idea already has Internet access!

"I've got mine, and screw everyone else, even if getting a cut-down version would be astronomically better than what they currently have!"

The "I've got mine" attitude works a whole lot more for a limited commodity, not so well as adding another node to a network. Plus, given that this wireless Facebook access wouldn't allow for access to Slashdot, it's not hypocritical to the Slashdot crowd.

Actually, it is.

The people who already pay for Internet access are the ones bitching about other people not paying, if they don't care about web sites too poor to help pay for the subsidy to allow access to their sites.

There's no question that it's anticompetitive against poor sites -- but given that the target market aren't seeing any sites right now, them continuing to not see your site because your company is unwilling to help pay for subsidy access really could mean three different things:

1. (the one you want it to mean) People don't get the full Internet for free, and so they should get absolutely no Internet instead, because it's somehow better for them that, if they can't look at my site using the subsidy service, they should simply have no Internet access whatsoever.

2. (the one I think it actually means) Your company is a cheap ass company that wants any free offering to include it without having to pay their fair share of the access subsidy so they get whitelisted with the other altruistic companies.

3. (the "dog in the manger" version) I have Internet access I pay for, and if some sites are free to other people, they should be free to me, too, but I have some cheapskate sites that I like to go to, so they shouldn't have to pay, but I shouldn't have to pay either.

And if you don't think Internet access is a limited quantity, I invite you to spend a summer in La Verkin, Utah -- Population 4,060, and not worth U.S. West's time to put in high speed network access for anyone.

Comment Re:Does anyone else find this absolutely hilarious (Score 1) 164

This is against Facebook abusing and manipulating their power to promote specific websites and potentially strangling their rivals using government money to do so.

That's just the thing, though, isn't it?

This is about "zero-rating", meaning that there is no government money involved.

I know that it's fashionable to not ready the articles before commenting, but had you read the article, this will be paid for by Facebook, the carriers (as a loss-leader to get people to buy into paid data plans instead), and by the major web sites that would be accessible without code (including, but not limited to, Facebook).

If they were spending tax dollars on it, that'd be one thing, but talking to the White House to get your political pull lined up to allow you to offer something at your own cost, instead of having the public pay for it? That's not spending tax dollars.

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