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Comment Re:Interesting (Score 1) 284

Phones put on test stands would never feel the flexing that occurs in daily use. They probably issued phones for real-world walk-around testing but I bet they did so carefully putting the prototype phones into carry bags and otherwise treating them with kid gloves, rather than jamming them into pants pockets and sitting on them.

The rush to get these things manufactured and on sale probably left no time at all for issuing prototypes out for actual testing, plus they may have been paranoid about that anyway.

It's all so stupid anyway. Everybody is used to plugging in their devices all the time these days. I have chargers at home, in the car, and at work. Miniscule improvements in battery life mean nothing. It's going to be plugged in almost all the time anyway.

Comment Hawking is wrong: lower class jobs are doomed (Score 5, Insightful) 468

Hawking is wrong about which class of jobs are threatened, and wrong about the consequences. Lower class jobs are set to be wiped out AND the results of that will be far worse than Hawking estimates, but he is right to be concerned about overpopulation and so forth.

Take an average youth looking for their starter job. Today, they might flip burgers or work a cash register or some other similar entry level job. But in the near future, a lot of fast food jobs are going to be automated. And self-checkout continues to spread.

What will the average youth do for work? There won't be a lot of options. And kids who have no jobs and no hope of getting one often fall into crime and other habits that impact society. We could easily have mobs of kids roaming cities because they have nothing else to do, and if they end up irate or angry, it could result in riots, looting, fires, etc.

It gets worse.

As we automate cars and trucks, we won't need a whole slew of other jobs. Automated cars won't crash as much so we won't need body shops and mechanics, insurance agents and related workers (this goes right into white collar workers too). Police won't write as many tickets which will directly impact many towns that depend on that revenue. Likewise lawyers and courts will suffer reduced case load from car accidents and personal injuries that don't happen, so clinics and doctors geared toward that kind of care will have fewer patients paying them.

Meanwhile, automated cars will make it far less likely for people to make impulse stops such as for fast food or snacks at gas stations. And automated cars might go refuel themselves in the middle of night to take advantage of down time or empty roads. Or they might be plug-in. In all these cases, there will be far less need for people to work at places where drivers make those stops. You won't need gas station clerks. And yes automated refueling is possible. There have been prototype robot gas stations in the works for 20 years. Only the fact that labor was cheap has kept it from becoming an option.

The net result of all these changes are a LOT of lower class people who will have no job options. And nobody is slowing down having babies. Populations are soaring. There won't be jobs for all.

Does society owe anyone a job? Probably not. But we have to realize society will demand something be done about mass unemployment and youths running rampant in the cities and towns. We'll want it fixed. Jobs are one way to try to do that. Of course there needs to be some kind of job to do. I don't see anything on the horizon that promises to employ the number of people we have now much less in 20 years.

Hawking is absolutely right that this is the biggest threat humanity has faced. It is itself a huge, dangerous issue. And one way societies have solved over population and unemployment problems is by having wars. Which is not going to be fun for anyone.
     

Comment Re:Good then bad then good (Score 1) 172

Coffee is another one. Every 30 days or so, there is media coverage declaring coffee is healthy and good for you. And then 30 days after that, more media coverage declaring coffee is going to kill you.

Ultimately life is fatal. We all die. I am not particularly interesting in living in a live sanitized and isolated for my protection and devoid of fun, just so I can maybe live a bit longer before I die. Screw that.

But the aspartame thing makes sense. There are an awful lot of very heavy people who drink Diet Coke or similar things, and often drink a LOT of it, with some idea that it is better to drink than the sugar version. And yet they never lose weight on Diet Coke. They tend to gain weight and so they drink more Diet Coke and gain more weight and it never ends.

Comment Impossible anyway (Score 1) 158

This sort of thing was possible in the 70s and 80s and did happen a few times for a few minutes on some local stations and networks.

But a lot has changed since then. Every TV and cable station is now heavily automated. The automation programs run the timing and breaks and it is simply not possible for anyone to switch in anything and have it run for 30 continuous minutes. And even if some human did manage to do it AND nobody noticed, which is not likely as they DO have their own people watching the feeds, then the automation would block or override or start squealing and throwing warnings which would get a lot of attention.

Why the hell is anyone taking a tweet for expert and actual reporting anyway? What the fuck? I am running out of sympathy for a world in which bullshit like that can be taken seriously. It's really past time for the next Chicxulub or alien invasion to wipe the slate clean.

Comment Worse than the Fire, no thanks (Score 1) 41

This tablet is not better than the Fire, it is worse, for two main reasons:

One, cost. The Amazon Fire cheap tablet can be found on sale for $35, making it slightly cheaper. There is no word on whether you can get a cover for it with the words "Don't Panic" printed on it. But you probably can.

Two, Android version. While the Fire is restricted to Amazon's ecosystem, it is quite easy to override all of that with something like CM which makes it into a regular old Android tablet. And it actually runs a LOT better with CM than the Amazon OS, which makes it a fantastic value for $35.

Maybe the B&N version is OK if you can't find the Fire on sale. But whatever. I can find people making ROMs and otherwise supporting the Amazon tablet because a fair number of people own them and have hacked at them. B&N will be lucky to sell a handful of their tablet and it won't garner much enthusiast support unless the hardware is some kind of magical thing, which seems unlikely.

Comment All the tea in China (Score 1) 20

What the HELL was Starbucks thinking?

Does China even drink coffee? Would they settle for the crap sold by Starbucks? When China adopts western stuff, they tend to want the best. Which Starbucks is not.

Do they even WANT coffee? What else can Starbucks even sell? Tea?

China pretty much invented tea. Or at least certainly mastered it, centuries ago. They have their own ways of preparing it and drinking it which have NOTHING to do with American concepts of tea, except water is nominally involved. They do not need Starbucks to have tea. They don't want American tea.

What did Starbucks think they could ever possible sell to China? Idiocy.

Comment Re:Trek's M-class tells you plenty (Score 1) 69

If Star Trek has taught me anything, it is that I like mini skirts a lot, and also nearly every alien world looks a lot like a rock quarry.

Likewise, Dr. Who agrees: companions seem to prefer mini-skirts and most alien worlds almost always look like rock quarries.

That's good enough for me.

Comment If you can't tell, made or mined does not matter (Score 1) 365

De Boers is missing the point. Of course De Boers wants to defend the cost of their diamonds, but they are wrong to equate cost with worth. Something is worth what someone is willing to pay for it.

If the average person cannot tell at glance whether a diamond is manufactured or mined, then the difference doesn't matter. Well it matters only to the mining companies and jewelers. The typical diamond-wearer is not going to carry around a detector machine so they can validate their diamond to anyone.

Or is De Boers implying you won't be able to have a social party or workplace or any place where people with wedding rings show up and NOT have one of these scanners present, you know, just to make sure only people with real diamonds are allowed in? Fuck you De Boers. Your own stupidity is your certain doom.

Maybe what needs to happen is that people stop regarding diamonds as important and desired. After all, diamonds have only been a "thing" for about a hundred years mainly thanks to marketing. Nobody really cared about diamonds at all until marketing turned them into a big deal. But like all things created by marketing, they can also be UNcreated as tastes change and people want other things.

If people still desire to judge their own place against others, and diamonds are no longer a simple and easy way to measure that (i.e. who has the bigger diamond ring means they spent a lot), then people will find other ways to compare themselves. They already do this with who has the bigger/more expensive house or car, or at the other end, who has the best electric car and tiny house. Or they compare kids or pets or gadgets or macaroni salad.

Comment Re:sounds familiar (Score 1) 163

I thought radar was typically used to know how far one is from the ground? Seems a lot more straightforward than detecting thumps and bumps.

Radar takes a lot of power to run and a non-trivial amount of weight and space for something you only use ONE time. So when possible they try to come up with other ways to do it.

In this case I have no idea what they were using but nobody has mentioned radars, but they have mentioned that the lander was running on very small batteries designed to only last a couple days on the surface. This suggests they didn't have the power for a radar.

Comment Where is your God now? (Score 1, Troll) 106

Well, this one is for all you Apple fans who jumped up and down and breathlessly supported Apple over the Santa Barbara phone case.

The company you cherished and supported and defended and swore could do no wrong.... was stabbing you in the back and selling you down the river the whole time.

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

The truth is, big companies like Apple don't get to become big companies like Apple unless they sell out LONG before they get that big. They've ALL sold out. They ALL happily hand over your data all the time. You have NO privacy. NOBODY will protect you. And if you ever really believed otherwise, you were a fool.

Comment Re:And nothng of value was lost. (Score 1) 108

And my main PC monitor is a $300 37" 1080P TV monitor I got from Costco. It works great for the computer -gaming on this thing is surreal. But it also works great for movies, spreadsheets, porn, etc. And it works great as a TV. The speakers even work very well.

I am sure your $1000 screen is nicer and probably better, but I'll settle for "good enough for me" for 1/3 the price.

Comment LTE takes after GSM on the insecurity tree (Score 1) 80

GSM was full of holes and worthless and now its direct descendant LTE has similar holes. WHAT A SURPRISE.

And of course the industry rubbed their hands about the GSM issues and they will do so again about LTE. Everyone has spent too much money on this shit to go back now and fix it.

Apple had some major issues with their early iPhone security because they were of course GSM-only for a long time and any competitor who wanted to listen in on test calls or record everything only needed to setup a GSM eavesdropping station, would would fit in a briefcase and could be run from a car in the parking lot, and they'd have the whole thing. I have no doubt that happened. And now, it will with LTE too.

The presentation was by a woman, too. The world has changed, basement dwellers.

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