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Comment Re:The REAL reason for hurting: Binary Blobs. (Score 1) 73

IBM has, over the past couple of decades, done their damndest to morph themselves into a Consulting/AI firm, but 40 years ago it was all about moving metal and collecting rent^h^h^h^h selling service contracts for their metal. It's a common latter day assumption that IBM set out to make an open industry standard with the IBM PC. The IBM PC was intended to lock customers in just as much as all of IBM's previous products did. To that end, the BIOS was copyrighted, and IBM included a full listing of the source code in the user manual. IBM's assessment was that, even in the unlikely event someone did manage to reverse-engineer the PC's BIOS, they would be unable to prove (or even credibly claim) that they had done so cleanly. Of course this assessment was proven wrong within two years, but that's another story.

Comment Re: blame where it belongs - Google (Score 1) 73

Qualcomm's major advantage is their patent portfolio allows then to bake in all the CDMA/GSM/3G/4G LTE modems in with the CPU, GPU Wifi and Bluetooth. The Snapdragon SoC's implement damn near the entire cell phone in a single chip that can be used across all carriers. The carrier's underlying network technology doesn't matter because the Snapdragon supports all of them, and with one hardware version. That ne plus ultra sustains Qualcomm's hegemony and relegates Intel, Nvidia, MediaTek, etc. to Wifi-only devices.

Comment Re:Ford Motor Co. used a simple accounting system (Score 1) 256

The "accounting by weight" method masked significant cash-flow problems in the company that threatened it with insolvency. Fearful a disruption to military production during WWII due to the company's financial state, the War Production Board quietly contrived to have Henry Ford II, then in his 20's, released from his Navy service, so he could return to Detroit and help manage the company.

Comment Re: Removal of the 3.5mm jack will jack up in-car (Score 1) 289

USB and Bluetooth integration are increasingly common in new cars, starting from 2011 or so. But in many cases the Bluetooth is limited to phone calls and can't do streaming audio. CarPlay has even less penetration, and is only in cars (at all) from 2014 on, is not yet remotely ubiquitous in new cars, and likely won't become moreuniversal until the federal backup camera mandate kicks in in 2018 and rail-roads all cars into having in-dash touchscreens.

Comment Removal of the 3.5mm jack will jack up in-car inte (Score 2) 289

One of the big wins Apple scored in the past decade, outside their own industry, was the way they spurred automobile manufacturers to add iPod/iPhone integration. Now, the average car on today's roads is about 11 years old. Most cars of the mid-2000's provided just a 3.5mm aux Jack. I realize Apple's customer base skews to the higher end of the income spectrum, and likely drives newer cars, but that still will leave a large number of customers out in the cold because they don't have the means (or willingness) to change their car.

Comment Re: This worries me (Score 1) 175

The original article mentions that the survey asked parents how old the kid was when they gave them the phone, but didn't ask if the phone had service or not.

It's really common for parents to hand-me-down their old, no longer activated phones to their kids. It's also really cheap and easy to buy pre-paid Android phones and not even activate them.

Comment Re:Bbbbut Capitalism (Score 2) 224

All launch customers desire "mission assurance", that is, effective management of the risk involved in getting their payload into space. Commercial customers achieve this mission assurance by buying insurance that pays out in the event a launch failure. In lieu of purchasing insurance, the US Government "carefully shepherds" taxpayers' money by incentivizing ULA, via cost-plus award fee, to design and build their launch vehicles with an extremely high attention to detail, achieving a level of mission success that is the envy of the launch industry.

Comment Re:Delusions of privacy (Score 1) 150

As you said, the NSA is likely able to compromise the iPhone today. That said, the FBI's motive is to obtain convictions. To do requires the presentation of evidence in open court. The FBI can't collaborate with the NSA, even if the NSA would play ball, because the defense would have a field day with the NSA's blatant Executive Order 12333 violation. For those following along at home, EO 12333 specifically forbids action by the intelligence community against "US persons". Snowden's disclosures have made abundantly clear that the NSA could give two shits about Executive Order 12333, but they do care about their exploits. Not revealing sources and methods is sort of tradecraft 101.

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