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Comment QA (Score 4, Informative) 163

I've been in organizations that had pretty light SQA departments. I used to say that the "really" good shops had 1-to-3 ratios - 1 engineer doing QA for every 3 doing implementation. When I started working for more "mission critical" stuff - that ratio went even higher.

I know people that work in companies that design chips. Those manufacturing cycles are MUCH longer and expensive - you can't just recompile when you test and find a bug. This, their QA is probably more like 10 people doing simulation (behvioral, thermal, timing, power, emissions, RF susspetabiliy, etc) before a design is even fabricated.

I would imagine that in Space Exploration - this would go even higher - given the time and expense of these missions. The point is - saying "it's just software" doesn't help you here. Software is *very* complex and the intricacies of advanced logic, variability of factors - trying to do this stuff probably dwarfs that of the hardware components in this day and age.

Comment Re:Knowing the niche (Score 1) 330

No doubt the battery is *the* issue here. I don't think the watch would be often used for surfing or long calls - more for small "events" - let's say a race, marathon, triathalon, etc. My "dream" would be something I call "handoff" - that when your phone is in proximity to your watch - the watch "assumes" the cellular connection, but when the two are apart, it defers to the watch. (Obviously, you could override if needed). This would have massive problems with cellular service today because you would effectively need two identical SIM cards - or the equivalent. This way you only have one cell service/number.

Comment Knowing the niche (Score 1) 330

I used to think Smartwatches were completely superfluous and stupid. Then I started doing a lot of athletic training and running triathalons. My wife got me a Garmin fitness watch for that and it has been essential. After getting it - I still thought the Apple Watch was stupid. Why? *EVERYONE* in my triathlon training groups had the Garmins. They had on-board GPS and would work in the water (to get data for swmimming). Apple watches could do neither. Now - Apple comes out with their second-generation watch. What two new features among them? GPS and waterproofness. So I still love the Garmin software and have all that data in the Gavin ecosystem. As sexy as Apple is - don't want to jump ship. But now - what if the NEXT Apple Watch had cellular support (as was rumored was it slipped going into gen 2?) - so I could call for help if needed - or have people live-track me? What about a camera to grab the occasional shot? Or th ability to listen to my audiobooks while on a run? There may be a niche market - but the market is there. Don't count-out Apple o Garmin, yet!

Comment Too many problems to even be able to quantify (Score 1, Insightful) 163

2 years - and the most feasible thing they have is 150 sq ft? These look shiny. I'm guessing that means bad traction. They look thin. They are not letting cars or anything heavy on them. Won't the "heaters" take an impractical amount of power? If not, why not put heaters on *all* roads regardless of Solar Roadways. They don't think the complex wiring infrastructure (trenches) required in their initial description will be a problem for major, large-scale installation, but didn't do that here? I could go on a lot more...

Comment Reasonable - but not enough data (Score 2) 145

It could indeed be possible. Aloha particles are well-know to be capable of causing bit-flips in capacitive memories (DRAM). This is exactly why we have things like ECC on memory pathways. That said - its not the only explanation. There are ways of testing this. For example, observing the general abundance and frequency of such particles in a bubble chamber, and attempting to corrolate to instances if error. Or placing equipment in a shilded enviroment and seeing if frequency of errors change. Long story short - it MAY be true - but if you want to draw a conclusion - you really have to offer more data to prove it.

Comment Why I think the new watch is brillaint (Score 1) 88

I have a Garmin Forerunner 920XT watch - and I love it. I use it for triathalons. It can track my workouts because it has internal GPS (that doesn't need a smartphone), it is waterproof so I can use it swiming (count strokes, and use GPS positioning for open water). I've always said the Apple watches were "cute" and flashy - but were completely ill-equipped for my purposes. Of all the people I train with - almost *everyone* has these newer high-end Garmin watches. *PLUS* you can do things like Bluetooth audio right from them. Now that Apple has made the changes with their new watches - at a price comparable to the competition - I think they are poised to litterally blow Garmin and FitBits high-end watch business out of the water. Where will it go from here? I think the next big step might be to add 3G/LTE Cell right into the watch - so it can be used for live tracking, and even for [crude] voice and text communication. (What happens if my bike falls apart in the middle of no where on a long ride? I have to carry my cell phone for such an eventuality).

Comment Totally Missed the Point... (Score 1) 214

Scratch is good for very young kids that aren't even proficient enough at TYPING. That would be the first major barrier the Scratch could overcome. When you work in scratch - there is no "syntax" to learn - because it's all tactile. Imagine a second-grader who drops a semicolon and starts trying to interpret an error message given at compile time on the FOLLOWING line due to it...

Comment "From the makers of Pippin..." (Score 0, Troll) 129

Apple is so tied-up in giving you what they want to give you, that they have no interest in giving you what they want. Even as a TV console - can I play videos from a USB stick? Can I play via my computer without some convoluted iTunes tie-in? Can I get content from places other than the iTunes store? The answers to all these (at least historically) have been "no" - they're selling you their dream of "streamlining your experience" by doing everything as controlled by them - through them. They can't even build a decent TV-box - and now they want to be a game-console, ignoring everything about how gamers play and insisting on their rules/their way? The utter arrogance...

Comment Re:I'm a HW engineer, I understand firmware fine. (Score 3, Informative) 177

(I am an embedded systems engineer - so I understand it quite well). What might not be evident is that the people that build these routers (often/usually) don't design all the chips in them. i.e. they're made by other companies. The datasheets are available to others. People do this like crazy all the time. There was just an article the other day on how people modified the firmware in a WiFi router radio component to create a WiFi jammer.

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