Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Re:I worked on Sync 2 (Score 1) 291

Wish I had mod points to mod you up. Also there was the guy on Hacker News (emcrazyone) who I think was a systems engineer at Ford, he (or she?) explained the BSquare shitshow.

I feel for you guys... having these asinine decisions rammed down your throats, and being told to "make it work". Sounds like you guys never had a fighting chance...

Comment Re:bet the "marketing requirements" were the origi (Score 1) 291

My understanding is that if this goes to trial, which in the U.S. is public and open, all the documents presented (except possibly source code?) will be available to the public.

Sounds like Ford is in very, very bad position on this one. Usually attorneys save the most damning material for trial. Maybe we'll see.

Comment Re:Wrong company for the job (Score 5, Informative) 291

It's even worse than Microsoft -- actually some hack 'n' sack firm called BSquare (was a publicly-traded company, I think they're swirling the drain) did the initial version of Sync Gen 2. Oh, but BSquare is a Microsoft "Gold Certified Partner", whatever the hell that means.

There was a story on Hacker News a couple years ago, an embedded systems engineer (inside Ford) was lamenting upper-management's choice of Windows CE and BSquare for the system.

Interesting that the 3rd generation of SYNC (out since 2016 I think) is based on QNX and appears to very well received. No Microsoft, no BSquare, no Windows CE. QNX is a real-time operating system. Windows CE purports to be, but a) all the middleware crap that comes in MS Auto is so buggy and full of priority inversions etc,, give me a break.

Someone (maybe the Hacker News article?) said something along the lines of "the decision to use WinCE in MyFord Touch was a handshake on a golf course, and Ford has felt the pain ever since."

Submission + - 14 new trusted root certificates quietly added to Windows ( 1

fugas writes: A few days ago, a bunch of new root certificates have been deployed to all Windows versions, without official notification. As a reminder, a root certificate provides tremendous power to its issuing authority, including the ability to MitM any HTTPS connection.

Submission + - Class-action reveals Ford engineers thought infotainment system was unsaleable (

Lucas123 writes: A class-action lawsuit against Ford and its MyFord Touch in-vehicle infotainment system — originally based on a Microsoft platform — has brought to light corporate documents that show engineers at the Dearborn carmaker referred to the problematic technology as a "polished turd" that they feared would be "unsaleable." The documents even reveal Henry Ford's great grandson experienced significant problems with MyFord Touch. In one incident, Edsel Ford was forced to wait on a roadside for the system to reset and could not continue to drive because he was unable to use the IVI's navigation system. The lawsuit describes an IVI screen that would freeze or go blank; generate error messages that wouldn't go away; voice recognition and navigation systems that failed to work, problems wirelessly pairing with smartphones, and a generally slow system. Ford's CEO Mark Fields even described his own travails with the SYNC IVI, referring to it as having crashed on several occasions, and that he was so frustrated with the system he may have damaged his car's screen out of aggravation. The civil suit is expected to go to trial in 2017.

Submission + - Ford's Buggy Infotainment System Referred to Internally as "Polished Turd" (

An anonymous reader writes: Ford's MyFord Touch in-vehicle infotainment system has been on the receiving end of scathing comments from customers, as well as Ford engineers and executives. Forbes describes MyFord Touch as the "polished turd" that stranded former Ford CEO Bill Ford on the side of the road ; the Detroit News describes current Ford CEO Mark Fields as being so angered by the system's crashes and hangs that he allegedly punched and broke the system's display. Another disclosed internal Ford document quotes another engineer as saying, "Those poor customers."

Comment This could backfire... (Score 1) 87

Easy to see how this could back-fire and cause more harm to Spotify. Seems like a childish reaction instead of doubling down & re-grouping to make their service better and more appealing.

I mean, the last time I used Apple Music, I think I said something out loud along the lines of, "This app [on my phone] is buggiest, most confusing and counter-intuitive piece of crap I've ever used." And yet Spotify is still scrambling...

Comment Re:Walmart mentality (Score 4, Interesting) 205

TFA's implication is that a white person has a right to make $700k/year, while the Chinese don't deserve to make a living because they are yellow skinned sub-humans.

You're way out of line here, dragging skin color (not nationality, but skin color) into this.

I think the article / story would have published even if the American was black, Native American, "brown", "yellow", etc. [I put those terms in quotes, because if I said Latino or Asian, that would be nationality, and I'm debating your choice to drag skin color into this. Personally, I think simplistic terms like white / yellow / brown to describe skin color over-simplify things, but I don't make the conventions...]

I totally agree with you about the patent bullshit, about similar products being around forever, etc. but I don't think this is a "Chinese are sub-human animals" piece. That's way too sensitive.

Chinese knock-offs, both legal and illegal, are widely acknowledged as being a reality. They have nothing to do with skin color.

The lady's business was fragile, she should think she had a good run. That also has nothing to do with her skin color.

Comment Paging Mr. Stroustrup... (Score 1) 286

"Within C++, there is a much smaller and cleaner language struggling to get out."
- Bjarne Stroustrup (from the excellent book, "The Design and Evolution of C++")

I use C++ for embedded systems, not a hater at all, but I feel that the language is becoming bigger, with more features, more keywords, larger libraries, and over-ebullient language nerds who aren't building stuff that powers the world (PC-centric Herb Sutter: "Hey, let's add a 2D graphics API! Because PC and Windows and Microsoft!") How is that useful to my embedded implantable medical device? Why does this need to be part of the core language specification? (Well, really the standard library, which is part of the language specification, let's not get pedantic here.) )

Look, I think some of the newer stuff is OK, but enough is enough... plus, and I know I'm in the minority here, but many of the platforms I work on don't use a compiler with C++11 (let alone C++14) support.

This makes my job as a "C++ evangelist" even tougher; organizations that are already scared by the size & complexity of the language are terrified by the "every 3 years, more stuff!" tendency.

I know some of you will say, "If you don't like it (C++11, C++14, etc) , just don't use it." or "these new features make the language /less/ complex." I don't have the time to debate that, but I'll just say that in my (working) world, those arguments don't work.

Comment Re:Umm, yeah, that's pretty idiotic. (Score 1) 144

Re-programming an on-chip "ROM" that is really flash memory - e.g., many microcontroller bootroms / bootloaders, I get that. But if you're talking about "re-writing" the **mask ROM** - how exactly would your typical hacker do that? I'm being sincere, I'm not trying to be argumentative. (BTW, I'm familiar w/ de-capping, FIB, etc., but that is really outside the capability of 99.999% of hacker's budgets and expertise, surely you're not talking about that.)

Comment Re:Why car info tech is so thoroughly at risk .. (Score 1) 192

I don't know about MS Sync; I think Sync is name of the application, which runs on top Windows CE and MS Auto. My recollection could be wrong -- I've tried incredibly hard to forget everything 've ever known about WinCE, but I think WinCE and maybe MS Auto are "Shared Source", where you can obtain the source.

QNX is definitely open-source.

Comment Re:Software error ... (Score 1) 234

...the MISRA standard for embedded systems includes these rules: 2) absolutely no local variables. it could lead to stack overflows.


Could you please cite the MISRA C 2004, C 2012, or C++ 2008 rule that forbids local variables? I don't remember such a rule.

Also I'll make the distinction between a local variable (which could be static, and thus not on the stack) and an "automatic" variable, which is local and almost always allocated on the stack (but not required by the standard -- in fact, small automatics might only live in registers & not even use stack memory).

While it's absolutely true that a large automatic object ("variable") can blow the stack, I don't recall MISRA forbidding such objects.

Comment Re:Experts... (Score 5, Insightful) 345

I've made the exact same argument to co-workers at many firms... namespaces (e.g. Timer_Init()), virtual functions (tables of function pointers), etc. can be approximated / kludged together... but automatically invoking a function at the right place (destructor and, let's face it, the constructor is pretty handy too) is something that has to be baked into the language, and C++ has it. I work in safety-critical systems, and knowing that I can't leave a function with interrupts disabled, I can't forget to close this socket, etc. is incredibly comforting.

I'll quote Bjarne Stroustrup here:

"Just that closing brace. Here is where all the ‘magic’ happens in C++. Variables get destroyed, memory gets released, locks get freed, files get closed, names from outside the closed scope regain their meaning, etc. This is where C++ most significantly differs from other languages. It is interesting to see how destructors -- an invention (together with constructors) from the first week or so of C++ -- have increased in importance over the years. So many of the modern and most effective C++ techniques critically depend on them"

Comment Amazon Vine (Score 3, Interesting) 116

I'd be interested to know if the data-crunchers at Amazon have looked at the Amazon Vine reviews, as a group, to see if they are slanted positive.

Amazon Vine is the program where a certain select demographic of Amazon customers receive free stuff (including items such as 60" TVs, laptops, etc.), with the understanding that they will objectively review the product and post the review on Amazon. My experience is that almost every Amazon Vine review is 4-5 stars. I'd also be curious to see if Amazon looks at the spread of reviews from Vine reviewers -- by that I mean, "Do reviewers in the Vine program rate free Vine products higher than other products they've bought?"

The implication being that Vine reviews (many of them) probably feel that a good review of a product that Amazon wants to sell is "quid pro quo". I strongly suspect that Amazon wants exactly the opposite of quid pro quo; they want early Vine reviews to weed out marginal or bad products.

Slashdot Top Deals

When all else fails, read the instructions.