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Submission + - Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Faults Caused by Two Separate Battery Faults

Mickeycaskill writes: Samsung's investigation into what caused Galaxy Note 7 devices to overheat and catch fire has concluded two distinct battery faults were the cause — not the handsets themselves.

The company said all the devices it's planning to release this year were designed and manufactured after the Note 7 recall and have been tested according to new measures put into place since then.

That includes the Galaxy S8 expected to be released this spring. Samsung mobile communications president DJ Koh said at a press conference in Seoul the S8's release schedule was not "meaningfully" affected by the Note 7 issues.

Samsung used two separate battery suppliers for the device, and the initial problems were caused by a design flaw found in only one of those batteries, which it called Battery A.

Following the first recall Samsung stopped using Battery A and instead increased its order from the second supplier. But in its efforts to vastly expand production that supplier introduced a separate flaw into Battery B that also caused the batteries to overheat.

The design flaw in Battery A was an external casing that was too small and didn't allow the battery to expand and contract during charge and discharge cycles. As a result the positive and negative electrodes came into contact, causing a short-circuit, Samsung said.

The initial samples of Battery B were not flawed, but after Samsung ordered about 10 million new units, the battery maker introduced errors including protrusions that were left over from the ultrasonic welding process.

Those errors also caused a short-circuit.

Submission + - Samsung: two battery defects caused Note7 problems and could delay Galaxy S8 (betanews.com)

Mark Wilson writes: Samsung has finally revealed the long-awaited results of its investigation into the problematic Galaxy Note7. Having issued an apology and pushed out OTA updates to disable phones which had been banned from flights because of the risk of them catching fire, the South Korean company says that two separate battery problems were to blame.

The first problem stemmed from the fact that the battery was physically too small for the Note7 leading to a short-circuit. Replacement batteries suffered from a combination of insulation problems and an issue that cause positive and negative electrodes to touch. Samsung also indicated that the Galaxy S8 would not be unveiled at Mobile World Congress (MWC) next month.

Comment Re:Yes, custom ROMs are still necessary (Score 1) 150

even Google itself washes their hands of any phone that is older than about 2 years.

Three years. Google devices get system upgrades for two years, and security updates for three years. That's still well short of five years, as you say. On the other hand, while Apple has a history of supporting devices for that long, they've made no commitment to any specific support timeline.

Comment Re:As someone with a masters in this -exact field- (Score 2) 194

you are a true master, you should be able to explain concepts in a way that even a child can understand. Richard Feynman was famous for this. So was Albert Einstein. Of course you can go too far, and simplify too much, so the children only think they understand.

Richard Feynman and Albert Einstein both did exactly this. You really can't understand quantum mechanics or general relativity without math. You can think you do, and both of them were great at providing simple explanations that gave the illusion of understanding... but it was only an illusion, which of course they knew perfectly well.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Which, In Your Opinion, Are The BEST Tech Companies? 1

dryriver writes: Everybody knows who "the biggest tech companies" are — Sony, Samsung, Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Facebook, Intel and so forth. It is no big mystery who makes the most annual revenue/profits or employs the most people or files the most patents every year or has the highest stock price. But this is a different question entirely: Which tech companies, in your opinion, are the BEST at what they do? Who makes the best products in tech? Whose tech products or services would you not want to live without? Whose products would you take on a deserted island with you? If you could pick just 5 — 10 tech companies that are absolutely essential to you as a tech nerd, tech enthusiast or other, which companies would those be? And why?

Comment Re:Their fault (Score 1) 131

This. Humans hunted almost all big, meaty, slow-moving animals to extinction. Starting with the woolly mammoth. Seriously, a TWO TON wombat (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/18/Vombatus_ursinus_-Maria_Island_National_Park.jpg)? Something like _4000_ person-days worth of food (not to mention pelts, bones, etc.) with no natural defenses? Delicious, easy kill. All were slain.

Plus they probably rotted up long before they could be fully eaten, and then you had to get another.

Submission + - The Clinton Foundation is downsizing (ny.gov)

mi writes: You would think, the end of a political career would allow a genuinely charitable family to concentrate on their charity. Instead, the Clinton Foundation is closing shop (or, at least, downsizing) after their champion's electoral loss. According to the paperwork they filed with New York Department of labor, the reason is "Discontinutation [sic] of the Clinton Global Initative [sic]".

Comment Re: Exactly how was the study done? (Score 1) 151

They compared crashes with autopilot on to crashes with autopilot off. Same car and driver. Car crashes. .. was autopilot on or off.

And the autopilot is only supposed to be on when driving on highways where the rate of crashes is 10x smaller than on average. So does that mean it crashes 4x more often than humans on highways?

Comment Re:Short-term numbers versus long-term (Score 2) 151

I'm not up on state of the art on computer image/object recognition but the experience I have from about 10 years ago leads me to believe that...

Others have already responded to your other points, I just want to point out that experience from 10 years ago tells you basically nothing about the state of the art today. Deep learning methods have enabled dramatic progress on exactly the class of pattern matching problems that includes computer vision.

Personally, I still think that LIDAR is inherently superior to video cameras for this task, but Tesla's numbers are impressive, and prove that while their system may not be all that it should be, it's already better than a typical human driver -- at least than the typical Tesla buyer (note that I have no reason to believe that Tesla buyers would be worse than average drivers, but the possibility shouldn't be ignored).

Submission + - Scientists archiving government data to protect it from Trump (businessinsider.com)

Cludge writes: And they better hurry: links to climate change began disappearing from gov websites even before Trump's inauguration was over. The activist group "has about 50 members, and it is rapidly working to download and store the government's scientific data. The members are interviewing scientists, policymakers, and current and former agency employees to prioritize which websites and data to protect for the scientific community."

Comment Re:Whitespace takes the most space (Score 1) 186

But what is the value of an algorithm that you can't actually execute?

In the practical world, language efficiency actually matters and is a reasonable thing to discuss.

Sure, that's true. But it has no bearing on the question of whether a language can accurately be called Turing Complete -- and Turing Completeness also matters, because it defines the class of algorithms that can be implemented in the language. What's the value of an algorithm that you can't implement because the language lacks the necessary expressive power? Except in very limited circumstances, Turing Completeness is a prerequisite. Without it, there's no point in discussing efficiency.

Comment Re:You need to do a bit of research. (Score 1) 142

Star Trek Continues also violates those same guidelines (high-quality props/sets/uniforms instead of toy-store quality items, professional acting/directing/scriptwriting

Have you seen Star Trek Continues? Cheesy plots, lousy acting, terrible effects and you can't tell me their props, uniforms and sets don't look like toys.

It's like a low-budget 1960s vision of space travel.

AI

Newest Tesla Autopilot Data Shows A 40% Drop in Crashes (bloomberg.com) 151

There's a surprise in the data from an investigation into Tesla safety by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. An anonymous reader quotes Bloomberg: [W]hile all Tesla vehicles come with the hardware necessary for Autopilot, you need a software upgrade that costs thousands of dollars to make it work. Since buyers can add Autopilot features after purchase, this provides a perfect before-and-after comparison. It turns out that, according to the data Tesla gave investigators, installing Autopilot prevents crashes -- by an astonishing 40 percent...

Now -- thanks to an investigation that initially hurt the company -- there is finally some real data, and it's good news for Tesla... As the software matures to match the new hardware, Musk said on Thursday via a Tweet, Tesla is targeting a 90 percent reduction in car crashes.

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