Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Dead pixels normal... in 2001. (Score 1) 241

Oh I don't think twice about opening things, unless it's under warranty. Then I want to make sure that solving one problem doesn't mean losing that warranty, because where there is one design flaw, there are usually many and the Switch is no exception. So when I've tried to return something under warranty and was told "we'll ship you a part", I wanted to be damn sure that installing it won't void the warranty we obviously needed once already.

Comment Re:Dead pixels normal... in 2001. (Score 1) 241

If that does become an issue, and you have a soldering iron, you can fix that by adding a better antenna to the left controller that isn't going to be blocked by your hand. There's at least one video online showing how to do it. The existing antenna gets blocked by the palm of your hand, which isn't as much of an issue with the right controller because everything is flipped and the antenna is near your fingers instead of your palm.

And immediately lose all warranty coverage because you have now modified the device to fix their design flaw. No, thanks. Unless they give me instructions to do it, in writing, and an authorization code to keep warranty protection, I'm not opening their hardware.

I have received such instructions and authorization to open up other electronic hardware and replace a part from other companies, but somehow I'm not expecting it of Nintendo to authorize such home fixes.

Comment Dead pixels normal... in 2001. (Score 5, Insightful) 241

I didn't plan to buy one anyhow, but this is proof positive that Nintendo still has the sense of entitlement leading them to say "you'll take what we give you, and you'll like it". Getting rid of region locks might have been seen as a step to hand some control back to the customer, but refusing to accept that dead pixels are defects and have been considered such for at least ten years now is an admission that they either can't do better, or are honey badgers about what the customer actually thinks. Unreliable connections are defects too, even Apple wasn't able to get away with the "you're holding it wrong" defense for very long.

If they can't do better for technical reasons... well I'm not buying that. They can do better, because other device manufacturers are doing better. If they can't afford to do better, then they really should get out of the hardware market.

Comment Re:Unintended consequences (Score 1) 337

If you're hearing impaired do you really want to screw over millions of people who aren't just because you can't access something? I doubt it.

I've encountered people with exactly this attitude. "If you don't make it in a form I can consume, then you can't make it at all." It doesn't matter if it's free, and transcription would cost the creator money. It doesn't matter if it's music without lyrics, they want it fully described. (Frank Zappa famously said "talking about music is like dancing about architecture".) It led to a rather bitter exchange on Quora which eventually led to me picking up "content warnings" for stuff that had been there for months, because the Deafie went through all my old posts and flagged anything that could be considered even mildly disrespectful or in poor taste. That, and similar incidents leading to the suspension and banning of top posters, led me to walk away.

So yes, there really are people who would prefer to deny content to the world just because they can't have it themselves.

Comment Like a Chromebook? (Score 1) 157

If I wanted a Chromebook to run Linux on, I'd just buy a Chromebook and flash the firmware. There's an Xubuntu-derived distro specifically for the purpose, too, GalliumOS.

Wait, did I say I would do that? Let me correct myself. I already have. It runs Windows 10 the majority of the time, but it does have Gallium installed and bootable via rEFInd.

Comment Re:temp (Score 1) 136

Fortunately, Dewar flasks and Thermos bottles weigh very little because they're empty space inside, and also can be left unattended without power for considerable periods of time. The trucks used to shuttle the goods from the warehouse or store to the building being served may be reefers and warmers, but the robots don't need to be. They just won't be in control of the food long enough for a lightweight, insulated package to fail.

As for efficiency of scale, there are two answers to low density: charge a lot, or only deliver on a schedule so entire regions can be served at once. The former is the Pink Dot model, and the latter is the method grocery stores have used for years. The only difference would be using a robot instead of a human to complete the delivery. Getting the model to make money is a solved problem, at least in some areas.

Comment Re:Needs a certain size of apartment building to w (Score 1) 136

It's the arcology of SimCity 2000 come to life. Get everything you need without ever leaving the building. And it will work for buildings with enough people, though it seems to me it would make more sense to test it out in hotels first. Higher population density, they often have kitchens for room service already, and if people aren't pleased with the service they'll be gone in a fairly short period of time.

For smaller buildings (or less dense ones), perhaps the robots will only be around once or twice a week, and you have to put in your order the day before so they can cover the whole building in one pass, and with one delivery truck.

Comment Money. (Score 1) 474

The main reason is money. Each generation costs billions to develop and produce, and manufacturers are going to make sure they get a return on their investment. These investments stretch back years, and designs have to be made with assumptions about what will be workable at the current process node at the time the chip is ready to produce. That said, not quite all the low hanging fruit has been picked yet. Ryzen could not carry a 50% IPC improvement over the FX if there was nothing left to work with. Maybe this means treating transistors as cheap and power consumption and time as the hurdles, and moving back into a true CISC paradigm. Less microcode, more dedicated logic circuits. There was a very long time when transistors were considered valuable, and designs tried to optimize so that they would all be in use as much of the time as possible. Now we have the reverse problem -- power is dear (on battery-powered devices), heat is a killer, but idle transistors are quite tolerable.

Meanwhile Intel chips away with 5% here, 8% there, and continues to make money hand over fist. Their main motivation has always been to make money, and since they have proven able to do so without amazing leaps, they'll ride the slow train of progress rather than staking the company on a complete overhaul the way AMD is forced to do every five years or so. I'm still sporting a desktop with a 1090T, and this is the first thing AMD has done since 2011 (when I built this) that actually makes me sit up and say "wow, I want that".

My laptop is on the slow side, but I didn't get it for heavy lifting. I don't see (currently, who knows down the line a bit) that AMD has done anything to make me want to change it. Nor has Intel. 5-8% improvement per generation, times four generations, would appeal if I needed the muscle, but I'm rocking a Haswell 1.4 GHz dual-core Celeron. Getting an i3 board (which can be had for about $100) instead would be much more cost-effective than buying new. Heat, noise, and battery life are all pretty well acceptable, even if they have continued to improve since.

Another major reason is that for massive number-crunching tasks, the CPU is no longer the most important part of the system. The GPUs (plural) are, and they continue to advance at a fairly impressive rate because they're several nodes behind. (Those old foundries have to do something.) When (not if) GPUs start hitting the process node wall the way CPUs already have, then they too will start to drag down the pace of improvement.

Comment Re: There is two ways ads can survive (Score 1) 244

The only exception is where the consumer deliberately seeks out filters that discard the shitty ninety percent, such as only watching movies endorsed by Roger Ebert. This is not perfect, but man oh man, the troubles he's seen. He watched The Brown Bunny and The Human Centipede so you didn't have to.

He also wrote Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, so his tastes could be suspect as well.

Comment Re: wire (Score 1) 128

I have seen complaints that the battery life is unsatisfactory, and there's a good chance a lot of those people are listening to them loud. Mind you this is not unique to AirPods. Even the headset I had, had an underwhelming battery life when cranked up full throttle. However, batteries have improved in the six years since I had those. At the same time, expectations have gone up. It's one thing to sell something that only lasts three hours at full throttle with a "three to six hours" claim, and another to say "up to N", N being whatever number Marketing wants it to be.

At the same time, adding more surface area in the form of a connection between the two will solve the "losing one AirPod" problem, the synchronization problem (which they have dealt with but it still expends power on the phone side), possibly the reception problem, and allow for a battery that should outlast the charge in the phone. It would also solve, or at least greatly reduce, any distortion problems that might be caused by the power rail to the amplifier being unable to match the input curve of the signal.

Happy now?

Comment Re: wire (Score 1) 128

"Really loud" is relative. Unless they are noise-canceling, the only answer to not being able to hear your music over noise is to turn it up. Thus headphones that sounded fine in the store, and still sound fine when you get them home, can completely fall apart when you decide to walk to the grocery store or take them to the gym. This is easy to hear, but harder to measure because of the background noise obscuring the distortion of the signal.

If you have a headset with a higher capacity battery, then (to a certain extent) turning it up should just shorten battery life. In practice, most of them probably allow themselves to be turned up to the point where they distort, because (1) distorted is better than not being able to make out the signal at all, and (2) low input levels won't actually distort, so the extra gain can be used to even out from one track to the next.

Comment Re: wire (Score 1) 128

No, not all Bluetooth headsets have tiny batteries. I had the kind with the wraparound strip in the back, and the battery was generously sized because it was in that strip on the back. In noisy environments, which is where they mostly got used, the sound quality was decent. I wish I could tell you what they were but I lent them out and the borrower managed to lose them within 48 hours.

The main problem was that the strip was in back, and putting the phone in a front pocket meant constant disconnections. It was fine if I left the phone on a table, and even if I walked 15 or 20 feet away, but the moment I tucked it in a pocket and the signal had to go through me, it was dropout city. Since I was forced to leave the phone on my desk, I walked away from it many times and lost the signal.

The problem here is that Apple is trying to solve a fashion problem with two separate earbuds, when a less fashionable but technically superior solution exists: tether one to the other, and hide more battery capacity there.

Slashdot Top Deals

Wishing without work is like fishing without bait. -- Frank Tyger