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Comment Maybe VR would work better? (Score 1) 41

I hate to be the guy who suggests that the US military spend yet more taxpayer dollars on the "next new thing", but perhaps some of their problems could be addresses by replacing their current simulators with VR headsets and PCs?

Their current approach seems to be largely the "cave" approach, where the trainee sits inside a room by himself and images are projected on the walls around him. That's fine as far as it goes, but doing it that is by its nature expensive and takes a lot of space, which means not very many people can be using the simulator at once, which limits the military's ability to train groups of trainees how to co-ordinate their behavior with each other.

Replace that with a networked gaming PC and an Oculus Rift (or similar) for each trainee, and I think you could provide a similarly immersive experience to a lot more people simultaneously, for about the same price.

Comment Re:So much for Apple's "better design" (Score 1) 168

Well, I'll be the counter-anecdote, then. When I bought my iPhone6+, after about two weeks it started to compulsively touch itself. For example, I could be looking at a Google Map (not doing anything, just looking at the phone while it sat on the table), and suddenly the map would spontaneously scroll from my location in LA to somewhere in Utah, all on its own; as if it had received a touch event somewhere way off the edge of the screen. Similar strange spontaneous behaviors would occur in all other apps (and even on the "Desktop") at random times, every few minutes, and it was enough to drive anyone crazy.

I took the onanistic iPhone6+ back to the Apple store back for a replacement, and so far the replacement has had no problems (knock on wood).

Comment Re: Who would have guessed? (Score 3, Interesting) 170

People that are good at spotting bullshit are usually marginalized as negative influences.

I don't have that problem, so it's probably a question of how you identify BS or how you expose it up the chain.

The underlying issue is that you have to be right. If you call something out---even once---and it ends up doing what they wanted it for, then your credibility is shot.

There's an art to conveying uncertainty in regard to anything management wants.

I have never gotten a bad response from saying, "The suggested product does not have a perfect reputation, so here is an alternative if they can't deliver." And that alternative comes with a summary of the costs, functionality, and tradeoffs so he can justify the change if necessary.

The people I see marginalized as negative influences are the ones who talk shit about proposed solutions without offering one of their own. A business need can't go without a solution, so you're offering either a viable alternative or noise. And an alternative solution doesn't count if it can't check off all the major requirements, including the ones that might not be written down.

Comment Re:Who would have guessed? (Score 3, Interesting) 170

The original NMCI contract expired and was replaced by NGEN.

Under NGEN, the government has full network infrastructure documentation and certain hardware assets.

While this particular problem has been addressed, HP got a sweetheart deal because they were basically a shoo-in. Precisely because Navy/USMC botched the original contract.

So while the government apparently learned from its mistakes, the Navy/USMC are stuck with HP for the next few years regardless.

Comment Re:I've gone through four iPhones due to this issu (Score 2) 168

A "failure" here includes an app that crashes. In your case you're saying the touch screen has failed to work, 4 times in a row, and somehow you know it's about to be 5 times.

The chance of a failure involving the touchscreen is statistically (from the report you didn't read) 3%. Raising 0.03 to the fifth power gives a failure rate of 0.0000000243.

Still going with Occam.

Comment Re:I've gone through four iPhones due to this issu (Score 1) 168

Well, literally hundreds of millions of people (per year) buy iPhones (last 12 months was 215 million) and don't have this problem.

I could see you getting a bad phone - shit happens. I could (just about) see you getting *two* bad phones out of two. There is no way I'd buy that you got three successive phones that failed in the same way, as for five ? Well, I'll be charitable and say you must be the unluckiest person on the planet. Is your name Brian by any chance ?

For reference: "In line with the firm’s fourth-quarter report, a study that analyzed smartphone failures during the first quarter of 2016 determined that Android devices cause far more problems for their owners than iPhones. According to Blancco Technology Group’s new data, 44% of Android phones experienced failures between January and March of this year, compared to 25% of iPhones"

Occam's razor says I still think you don't look after the phone, assuming you're telling the truth. Sorry.

Comment Re:So much for Apple's "better design" (Score 0) 168

Yep, in an nutshell.

You sell 215 million (how many phones Apple sold in the last 12 months) of *anything*, and there's going to be a tiny percentage of them that go wrong in some pattern-like way. Even 0.001% of 215 million is 2150 people with a problem, and although a failure rate of 0.001% is pretty damn good with such a complex device, that's still enough for "many" people to come up with a common problem and someone to get some ad-revenue from the click-bait headline.

(Also own an iPhone, a 6+, and haven't seen any issues)

Comment Re:So much for Apple's "better design" (Score 0) 168

Oh for crying out loud.

There are literally (and I use the word correctly) *billions* of BGA chips out there, in all environments from the most benign to the harshest around, from industrial levels of vibration to space exploration (including the launch). Shock, horror, in a sample size that large, some of them fail, well cry me a river. There is no human technology that is 100% perfect, but soldering chips, yes, even BGA chips to boards is pretty damn close.

As for not doing them at home, I've done BGA chips at home many many times - you can actually do them with a toaster oven, but if you want a good (i.e.: ~100%) success rate, you could always get one of these. If you look past the truly egregious website, there's a really well engineered product there, which guarantees alignment as the chip is placed. I've got one and frankly I prefer doing a BGA chip than soldering a QFP by hand (of course the machine does QFP too...)

Inspection, now, that's a different beast. I've thought about getting an old dental XRAY machine off eBay, but who knows if it's strong enough. One day I'll remember to take one of my boards along to my dentist and get them to take a snapshot of it. At the moment, I'm too busy building a laser-cutter anyway.

Comment Re:Is convenience really worth that much for last (Score 1) 109

I just don't see the value proposition here.

They're selling the illusion of choice.

Most people will spend hours playing their favorite handful of games every month, and they would be better off buying the system and those games outright.

But with the subscription, they have the appearance of choice with those 400+ titles. If they never exercise that choice, well, Sony won't complain.

I can see a good point in subscribing for a month or two each year to try things out and decide what to buy. It's notoriously difficult to return unwanted games/software at most retailers, so I would use this if I wanted to try a bunch of games I couldn't borrow from friends.

Comment Re:It was user error, not a spreadsheet problem .. (Score 1) 299

I'm unconvinced that this can be classed as a user error, though. Excel is using a heuristic to determine the data type of a field

I disagree.

If you're using typed data, you have to cast it as something when it's stored. As far as I can tell, the Excel heuristic hasn't changed much since the 1990s.

With a 20+ year history, it's user error if they do not account for it.

It is dead simple to select a column and set its data type to Text, which is appropriate for gene names and will prevent any alteration of the input.

If there is an option that accomplishes exactly what the user wants and the user does not select that option, well, that's basically the definition of user error.

Submission + - Robert Heinlein Honored as Famous Missourian with Bust in State Capital

HughPickens.com writes: The Joplin Globe reports that Missouri lawmakers have inducted science fiction writer Robert Heinlein to the Hall of Famous Missourians to a cheering crowd of fans who call themselves "Heinlein's children." State Rep. T.J. Berry says Heinlein encouraged others to "strive for the stars, for the moon" and "for what's next." Donors to the Heinlein Society and the Heinlein Prize Trust paid for a bronze bust of Heinlein, which will be displayed in the House Chamber at the Capitol where it will join 45 other Missourians honored with busts in the hall including Mark Twain, Dred Scott and Ginger Rogers, as well as more controversial Missourians such as Rush Limbaugh. In 2013 Missourians were asked to vote on who would go into the Hall. Heinlein received more than 10,000 votes. Heinlein was born in Butler, Missouri on July 7, 1907 and grew up in Kansas City. "Our devotion to this man must seem odd to those outside of the science fiction field, with spaceships and ray guns and bug-eyed monsters," Heinlein Society President Keith Kato said. "But to Heinlein's children, the writing was only the beginning of doing."

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