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Comment Just don't put it on a server (Score 1) 181

Whoever is designing such a system needs to remember to keep it client-side.

Given the ridiculous amount of processing power available on even low-end phones and tablets now there's really no excuse to rely on the horrible latency and dependence that comes with server based voice recognition.

Any voice processing that relies on server-side processing has already failed.

Comment Counterfeit Electronic Parts (Score 1) 166

Export of e-waste is a major source of counterfeit parts. Counterfeit operations in Asia identify parts in the market that are of value, then scavenge parts of similar appearance from e-waste, wash them to make them appear as unused, put new markings on them, then sell them as NOS or new. They have been found in the supply chain of critical electronics such as aerospace and medical electronics and have cost industries a lot of money. From this article:

Counterfeits can come from trashed or recycled products as well as inexpensive products that are spiffed up and made to look like the new, higher-end products on the market.

More and more counterfeit parts are showing up in consumer, automotive, industrial, and any other industry that relies on electronic components. Federal law has been passed to confront the problem at the supplier end, but only for the military industry.

Comment Rhodes pianos (Score 2) 194

Harold Rhodes was famous for his electric pianos made in the 1960s to 1985, until digital keyboards rendered every electric piano obsolete. By the late 1990s, Rhodes pianos were becoming popular again and Harold was looking to put them back in production. Joseph Brandstetter took over the company and assets after Harold died of Alzheimers in 2001, and new Rhodes pianos went back into production under his watch.

Unfortunately Brandstetter turned out to be an aggressive trademark bully, suing any website or musical instrument company using the "Rhodes" trademark. He made the fatal mistake of making infringement threats against the largest collection of potential Rhodes customers - the website fenderrhodes.com where fans of the "vintage era" Rhodes piano hang out to discuss all things Rhodes. Brandstetter managed to p!ss off the members and site owners so much that no discussion of Brandstetter's pianos are permitted at all. In an act of defiance, the website never changed its name. News got around the web and sales dropped off. A few years later, Brandstetter was seeking buyers for his company. I don't know what became of it, but the outcome of that fiasco was that few of the new pianos ever made it out of the factory.

Comment US Environmental Regulations (Score 1) 271

Environmental regulations in the US (and likely the UK) has effectively shut down vacuum tube production in the US by the 1980s. Fabricating the heater/plate/grid/cathode elements is a toxic process. Besides acquiring the equipment, a hobby operation needs some way for disposal of the waste and the local landfill won't accept them. That's why vacuum tubes are made in countries with lax environment regulations (China, Russia, etc).

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