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Comment Re:Headphone Jack is Pretty Crappy (Score 5, Informative) 457

So what's the objection to everyone using BT headsets? People hate wires today.

In no particular order:

  • Hitting pause on NetFlix, then hitting play again, and having no sound for the first two seconds, thus missing half a line of dialog
  • Relatively poor sound quality
  • Having a radio transmitter basically in my ear
  • Having another device to charge every day, and possibly more than once per day

That first one by itself is a showstopper for me. The rest just add more reasons to question the sanity of Apple's upper management. Not that I needed more reasons to question their sanity given that they're still trying to make the d**n things thinner even after they were forced to reengineer parts of the iPhone 6 Plus to fix bending problems....

Comment Re:Headphone Jack is Pretty Crappy (Score 4, Insightful) 457

This has been my experience as well. Not every jack fails - but it still happens more often than for any other jack type that I commonly use.

If that is true, then it is true because it is the jack that you use far more often than any other type of jack. I treat headphones like crap, and headphone jacks even more horribly. The last time I had one actually break was on a PowerBook 145 (where I broke at least two or three headphone jacks). Even with massive abuse, I haven't broken one in any hardware built in the past twenty years.

On my first iPhone, I did have one instance where the jack thought headphones were plugged in when they weren't. That took a little bit of jiggling with a pair of headphones to resolve. But at no point have I ever seen a modern jack break. Not in my gear, not in gear belonging to anyone I know.

I have, however, seen Lightning plugs break off in the jacks. Not only will you lose your headphones when that happens, but also the ability to charge your phone. On the plus side, Apple is going to sell a LOT more AppleCare plans after people break their third or fourth Lightning jack. So my stock loves the idea....

Comment Re: How? (Score 1) 336

The reason that companies like Logitech get cranky is that they assume the goods are probably grey market imports, which you're allowed to do, but you have to clearly advertise the fact that it has no U.S. warranty. But if you have receipts to prove that it was purchased in the U.S., they have no legal grounds to challenge you reselling it as new.

Last I checked, most (if not all) major retailers routinely take unopened returns and put them back on the shelves as new. So if the law considers those to not be new, then that is the most consistently ignored law in the history of the world. And I've dug through California's code, and I see nothing that defines "new" in any way other than "not used". And an unopened package clearly precludes use of the product, so at least in California, I'm about 99% sure that you're wrong. Obviously the answer may vary from state to state, but it seems unlikely that an unopened product could ever be considered anything but new by a reasonable person.

Again, as I said, for automobiles, the law is explicitly different. Once it is transferred to a non-dealer, it is considered used. But as far as I know, that is the only product for which this is the case, and only because there is a specific body of law that explicitly defines the transfer of an automobile to a consumer as "use".

Comment Re:How? (Score 1) 336

Yes, even to a toaster oven, there is a legal definition of "NEW" and if you buy it at Walmart and resell it on Amazon, it is actually no longer "NEW".

As far as I know, there's no commonly accepted legal definition of "new". That's why various companies like eBay and Amazon explicitly describe what is meant by "new". Through most of those channels, "new" does not mean "sold by a licensed dealer", but rather "unopened". Up until you open the packaging, something is generally considered "new", no matter how many times it changes hands, and no matter whose hands it goes through in the process, because there's no practical difference between purchasing a product directly from a store and purchasing it from someone who purchased it from a store, so long as no warranty registration occurred. (You should, of course, apply for a tax exemption if you resell new items frequently, because otherwise you're getting charged sales tax twice, but that's orthogonal.)

The only absolute exceptions I can think of are vehicle sales, where "new" means "never previously owned by anyone who isn't a car dealer licensed by the manufacturer," but that's more an artifact of the way cars are sold than anything else (no packaging, franchise dealerships, etc.), and doesn't really apply to consumer goods.

Comment Re:Yay for Open Standards! (Score 1) 51

Not sure how this changes the facts—that ASN.1 is a niche language used in a few narrow areas, that it doesn't get a lot of attention because only a tiny percentage of engineers understand or use it, and that we'd all be better off if everyone just used more sensible data formats, such as JSON, XML property lists, or any number of other similar formats that are well understood, broadly used, and thus thoroughly debugged. The same is true for all the usual binary formats that people define using ASN.1 (BER, DER, etc.), but doubly true for the ASN.1 format itself.

If they're really passing the actual ASN.1 syntax data around over an insecure channel and providing a compiler that compiles the abstract syntax into a new parser to parse a data stream... that's just a recipe for failure in every possible way. Such a design means taking ASN.1 compiler code that most people assume will be used only by software engineers in a controlled setting, and deploying it in such a way that communication equipment all around the world has to use it on the fly to create executable code and run it. Such a design precludes code signing, because the device has to be able to run unsigned, freshly generated parser code derived from the ASN.1. This means that the security of the device is weakened fundamentally, and any security holes in either the ASN.1 compiler or in the resulting parsers are likely to be easier to exploit as a result.

More importantly, it means that arbitrary third parties can create parsers and then provide incompatible data to feed to those parsers, maximizing the chances that there will be an exploitable bug in those parsers that can result in privilege escalation.

ASN.1 should die already, and so should all of the various binary encodings derived from it. IMO, they're fundamentally bad for security, they're hard to audit, and when used in dangerous ways like this, they represent a major security risk.

Comment Re:This Adds to my Nest Frustration (Score 1) 52

Wouldn't virtualization make this pretty trivial, concentrating your workloads on hosts served by a single zone?

Depends on what you mean. It makes reorganizing the machines pretty trivial, potentially, assuming they all have similar hardware capabilities (which may or may not be a safe assumption). But there is a cost (both in power and time) to moving large quantities of data from one machine to another, so you can't necessarily shift load around instantly, depending on what the machines are doing and how many other machines are configured to do the same job.

Comment Re:This Adds to my Nest Frustration (Score 1) 52

While this is awesome, it's light on details. I assume they loaded their datacenter with all kinds of sensors and have an advanced HVAC system that can mix external air when desired. So you look at current server load, predicted load based on past patterns, external temp, predicted external temp, along with internal temp, and then decide what air supply and cooling mix to use. So if you have CRAC units that are more advanced than on/off, and can use outside air with add/remove humidity, you can really draw down your cooling power usage.

I have no idea what they're actually doing with AI, but one other thing you could maybe do is improve the data center organization so that machines whose temperature spikes at the same time of day are all on the same air handler. Then again, there are limits to how far you can go in that direction without the equipment overheating, so that might not work too well. Hard to say.

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