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Comment Re:So much for Apple's "better design" (Score 1) 218

When dealing with millions, nothing at all is completely reliable. The PCBs they are built on fall out, even simple resistors will not lay down flat 100% of the time. But you can reliably make a working product.

A phone in which a human checks everything carefully with test equipment would cost you more than you'd want to pay.

Comment Re:So much for Apple's "better design" (Score 1) 218

That what JTAG boundary scan is for.

Seldom used, I have no idea what Apple does, but most places I work with do not use JTAG for factory test of consumer devices. The other issue is that if this was an issue that came from board flex or a bad solder joint, JTAG would not have caught it...at the time of manufacture the part was still making contact!

The only things I know of that can reliably catch weak joints are "bed of nails" probes, which are not frequently done on devices like cell phones where every pad is taking up precious space. Or x-ray can sometimes catch weak joints though it usually ends up best with broken joints, and is too expensive and time consuming for consumer designs.

They are assuming this issue was caused by flex, I am not sure that's necessarily true (or at least haven't found anyone who has a smoking gun). Often very fine pitched BGAs suffer from manufacturing issues on their own, that show up later even if the board was not flexed.

Comment Re:So much for Apple's "better design" (Score 1) 218

We, the hardware design community, have been working with BGAs now for well over a decade. A lot of time and energy has gone in to investigating how to design them in and get good results on a reasonably consistent basis. Still shit happens both in manufacturing and product integration.

The absolute worst description for BGAs I have ever read is this:
the Touch IC chips connect to the logic board via an array of itty-bitty solder balls -- "like a plate resting on marbles,"

I understand that hobbyists do not like BGAs, it requires substantially more effort to solder them down than other packages but they are neither new nor unreliable. But in terms of products you own, everything uses them, from computer DRAM to game console components.

Yes, inspection is difficult, but then visual inspection of products like a cell phone with many parts all of which are microscopic (an 0201 resistor, for example, is large) is not practical on millions of devices. x-ray techniques can catch these issues, but again on millions of parts I am not aware of anyone who x-rays every device. Latent defects end up being the hardest things to catch.

Comment Re:Or Maybe (Score 3, Informative) 332

If you want to see the bills you will. I recently had a CT scan, the average global price for this variety anywhere not in the USA (without dye, which is evidently much more expensive) is something like $500. The place billed by insurance for $15,000. My insurance paid the (evidently badly) negotiated price of $7500. I paid $1,500 out of pocket.

I just can't even.

Comment Re:Up to date? (Score 2) 332

Lots of people are incapable of thinking like the owner of a business,

If we did that the most ethically sound decision would be to kill ourselves. The sort of thinking those people engage in, while it makes sense from a very narrow perspective, either leads to sociopathy or depression. That humanity still exists is due largely to the fact that most people refuse to think like their leaders.

It's better to live in delusion.

Comment Re:So glad I don't work with her (Score 4, Insightful) 290

It's not just your company. This is a trend on the internet too. It used to be you could google for a term and get a list of steps to do. Now you get a 30 minute video (subscribe please!) with a lot of fluff and chat.

Dry technical manuals have their place, and they're very useful at what they do. But you don't normally read them cover to cover.

Comment Re:So glad I don't work with her (Score 5, Interesting) 290

Trying to decide if I'd ignore all her voice mails because I don't have time to listen to everything she said and can't scan for important things, or I'd ignore her voice mails because clearly she is full of bad ideas.

Probably both. If anyone sent me an email that took 10 minutes to read, I would ignore it after glancing.

Comment Re:Truly (Score 1) 522

Same, but other than games i play while standing in line, I am affixed to a workstation at home and at work more than my doctor would probably recommend. I cannot see any possible way I could use my phone as anything other than a toy or communications device (in that order), it's just too limited in its interactivity.

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