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Comment Re:I wish I had seen the submission request for th (Score 1) 41

How do you feel knowing that 3/4 of all sold units are currently sitting in a neckbeard's desk drawer when they found that they couldn't play Minecraft on it with any amount of satisfactory user experience?

Given the tone of smug condesention dripping from your comment, I'd say that it was more neckbeardy than the people you're complaining about.

Comment Re:$3 per package, eh? (Score 1) 230

Maybe once they get their groceries business going it might be worth it, but he current [GBP]80/year is way more than it would cost to just pay for next day shipping on the stuff I care about

They're going to have a hell of an uphill battle with breaking into the groceries delivery market. The competition there is *feirce* between Tesco, Sainsbury's and Ocado, not to mention the slightly more minor players (going by how much I, personally, see vans out and about---it's probably different in other parts of the UK) like Morrisons, Asda, Waitrose and Aldi. Apparently Lidl is already following suit.

And of the ones I've used, the service is really good[*]. I have never had a late delivery. Those companies already have massive countrywide logistics networks, geared up for the delivery of chilled goods as well.

They already use the internet, so it's not like Amazon can outcompete merely with a sprinkling of magical internet pixies. Also, they fixed the VAT problem, so Amazon's other main competitive advantage (massive scale tax avoidance) is also no longer available.

I'm sure Amazon could spin up a groceries delivery system which is of comparable effectiveness as the existing major players, but I doubt they'll have any significant advantages.

Comment Re:Everything under the sun at Amazon (Score 1) 141

Want 7-seg LED displays? Some other kinds of chips? Breadboards? Test instruments? I mean obscure things that most soccer moms don't order -- Amazon has it.

I find Amazon is frequently not the best source for any of those. I'm UK based and find RS pretty good for a lot of tech stuff. It's not as good as digikey or mouser for components (a smaller range, though sometimes they have sometheing the other's don't), and has free next day shipping on any size of order.

It also has the RS Pro brand which is basically unbranded cheapass stuff, but where they've checked them to make sure they're not too hokey. Actually, I've never been let down by the RS Pro brand and I really like the solder. The hacksaw blades are decent and the jobber bits are acceptable too. Nothing fancy like cobalt steel in that range, but decent HSS bits which aren't made out of cheese.

It's generally a bit more expensive than the cheapest stuff you can find, but awnsers the question "is this reel of suspiciously cheap filament from china actually ABS or is it 50% sawdust and cat hair?". Or "is this IEC plug actually safe?". That kind of thing. In case you can't tell, I've become something of a fan ever since they fixed their website so it didn't sort component values lexicographically rather than numerically...

Other stuff I tend to get from ebay. RS likes to ship some stuff, especially screws for some reason in quantities of infinity giving a great price per unit, but not such a great overall price for me, since I have no need for 50 quids worth of M4 screws right now. Plus their range of screws is kind of small. Ebay onthe other hand has almost every screw under the sun.

I say almost every kind, because eventually I found one (very small 1.5mm self tapping screws) for which I had to resort to AliExpress.

But ebay does most of the things I need, and mostly from ebay stores, not general bids.

And funnily enough, Maplins has been way better than expected recently.

I almost never buy anything electronic related from Amazon now. I often check, but there are almost always better options elsewhere.

Comment Re: Damned if you do, damned if you don't (Score 1) 459

Palantir will probably be entirely vindicated, but only after spending way more on lawyers than should be required.

That's a flaw with the legal system, and has nothing to do with paranoia over anti discrimination laws. I've been a victim of such things, from a private individual. I'm 100% sure the case had no merit, but I had to settle out of court because not only did I not have the time or money to fight properly, but being involved in a legal dispute would have spelled death for my company at that stage. The plantiff knew all of that and chose his time carefully.

His timing was prefect and I settled out of court. I'm absolutely sure I would have won and I'm absolutely sure the victory would have been phyrric.

Comment Re:Everything Trump does is bad (Score 2) 135

It's hard to know which is worse.

It really isn't. Just because they both fall into the category of "bad" does not make them equivalently bad.

I'd rather choose a President by random number generator than elect either of these choices. We'd have a better chance of picking a good candidate.

Sure, but that still doesn't make them equivalently bad.

Comment Re:Damned if you do, damned if you don't (Score 1) 459

Dial in the paranoia there buddy.

You can sue anyone at any time for any reason and on the grounds of no merit whatsoever, regardless of the law. Just because someone's being sued doesn't mean they're going to lose and it also doesn't mean they've done something contrary to the laws. Those two things are of course often quite unrelated.

Comment Re:VTOL planes a/k/a Widowmakers (Score 1) 134

Seriously, slashdot mods, this is not insightful. Glib comparisons to completely unrelated tech at a different stage of development is utterly meaningless.

If you were comparing predictions in the 1910s about planes to ones in 1950s about computers, perhaps you'd be on to something. But aircraft have had over 100 years of development time now and while there are still advances to be made, they're all going to be relatively slow and incremental because the technology is mature.

The problem is you can't escape physics. With reference to kinetic energy and momentum flux, you might wish to actually work out what's required to lift an aircraft off the ground. This will show you quite quickly why VTOL in particular is always going to be energy intensive.

There has also been a LOT of development time and money spent on VTOL already. Basically, it works, but it's power hungry, inefficient and difficult because you need to make high power things very light. Anyway there's already loads of different tech. You have helicopters of various sorts (regular, twin rotor, counter rotating, fixed pitch quadcopter style, thrust vectoring, lift fans, hybrids (like the tiltrotor and tilt wing), gyrodynes, planes with a thrust/weight ratio over 1 which start off vertical, flying combine harvesters (cyclogyros) and probably a bunch of others I can't think of right now.

Lots of people have already thought hard about this and the physics is well established. There are not going to be any quick wins. There'll at best be a lot of very small incremental improvements which will eventually add up to efficiency increases.

Comment Re:What the Idiotic Hell./ (Score 1) 398

compiler optimizations are more than just the back end. Rust's front-end is not as mature as clang or gcc, and so it's not as fast yet. I'm a huge skeptic of " this time it's as fast as C" claims, but I'm pretty sure rust will be in a few years as the compiler improves because it's got the same general machine model do the same opportunities for optimization.

Comment Re:I knew some scientists are shameless (Score 1) 662

If you don't like the fact that people are ignoring you, join the flat-Earthers and perpetual motionists.

I'd strike the perpetual motionists off the list for the moment. The EM drive is getting attention, and a depressing amount of it right here, even though it's a perpetual motion machine in a funny box. It turns out of you wrap perpetual motion up in enough woo (it's magic relativity! no, it's magic virtual particles!) people will pay attention to it.

Comment Re:What about English? (Score 2) 398

Humans have understood how to interpret human language, it is high time we taught our machines to do the same.

I also think in addition to a magic computer language, we ought to issue free unicorns to everyone.

Humans are intelligent, computers are not. Human language makes use of this feature, so humans can fill in the mising bits when a fellow human says somthing ambiguos or thats not quite rite and so on. Even so, plain English is full of ambiguities and imprecision. That's (a) why mistakes happen and (b) jargon dialects happen. People don't speak in jargon to be shitheads (despite the opinions of some people), jargon develops because speaking in "plain" English would be too slow and imprecise.

So, OK, let's play a game. No human knows how to do everything, so let's assume that I don't know how to sort things in order. Obviously I do, but whatever I know you'll always be able to find something I don't know that you will need to describe step by step. So, assume I don't know how to sort.

Now describe to me in English how I can sort, using step by step instructions.

And no cheating: if you say "arrange them so that they are in alphabetical order", you're just telling me to sort them without saying how.

So go on. Stop taking ill informed digs at people you've never met by complaining about curly braces and indentation and actually put some thought behind your position.

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