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Comment Which is why Google should control Android updates (Score 3, Interesting) 42

Here I sit w/ my beloved Asus ME302C, complete abandonware for over 3 years now. Everything runs fine, it can handle all updated apps, browsers, Chromecast, and so on. Just no way, other than convoluted roothacking and Cyanogen installation, to update the Android OS itself.

Can I sue Asus for this? (rhetorical question)

Comment Beware of what you ask for (Score 2) 193

Reminds me of a SciFi short story in the late 1960s. Some scientist invents a full cure for the cold. Trouble is, once the nasal passages are fully free of virus and snot and stuff, it turns out humans have an incredibly sensitive olfactory system. Teensie everyday levels of chemicals (smoke, perfume, flowers, etc) a painfully overloading the smell response.
I'm not giving away the ending :-)

Comment Try for a longer-term solution (Score 1) 275

Let's assume for the sake of argument that civilization doesn't implode in the next few hundred years. At some point, all fossil fuels, as well as all easily mineable fissionables, will run out. Unless something magical happens, I don't see wind and solar cell systems generating enough power to run factories to replace themselves.
There is one genuinely reliable source of energy, guaranteed not to give out over the next few hundred thousand years: geothermal. It doesn't take a huge temperature differential to pull power out of a heat pump. And if we could design some really good drilling equip, we could use the remaining fossil fuels to dig down to layers whose temperature exceeds 100 C . I'd love to see something along those lines implemented.

Comment Re:Beating by only 15% is not a breakthrough (Score 1) 29

There's no doubt that fast-charging systems are not really going to happen. Not only is it tough on the battery management system, but the thought of connecting, say, a 10-kV, 50-amp source to your car in order to be able to charge at 500 kW rate (which would charge a 100 kWh battery in 12 minutes) is a bit scary.

Personally, I'd like to see development of fast-swap battery packs. But that would require standardization of battery modules, and undoubtedly a change in the glamourous body design of cars to allow quick access to the battery packs.

Comment true but missing the point (Score 5, Insightful) 540

Yes, it's true that every automation, starting with steam engines to run mines, led to an explosion of new job categories.

But what he's missing is that the concept of "everyone should get a job" is just plain wrong. The increase in productivity, and in automation, ought to lead to a situation where goods are so plentiful that we do not need to work, or maybe only work 20 hrs/week for 15 years before retiring. The whole "work ethic" thing arose from two events. The first was humans drifting out of their natural habitat into regions hostile to survival, necessitating a "work or die" paradigm. The second was the development of communities with leaders & followers, in which sooner or later the leaders stop working but spread the gospel of hard work -- which the proles must do to support the leaders.

Comment i'd settle for competent paper use (Score 1) 260

Walk by any printer in any office. There'll be a stack of printouts that the originators never remembered to pick up.

Next, look at the stack of printed emails; many of which are printouts of an email reply-to chain, meaning the last mail has all the content of the other 20.

Then look at the people who print out a document, redline it with a pen, then type the redlines into the softcopy file they just printed out.

Personally, I blame the Electron Lobby. Those dang charge-carriers are getting way too lazy about their job of keeping computers running.

Comment Re:It could be worse (Score 1) 302

Did you get a copy of the memo about the new TPS report coversheets?

I tried that particular response once in a relatively small company spread over 4 or 5 locations. The next month's "Company E-newsletter" included a little note, which I quote as accurately as I can:

" To the person, you know who you are, who thinks he's funny. We don't appreciate your sense of humor." Yep, an anonymous callout from an anonymous author.

Comment Re:2% failure rate (Score 1) 168

So out of one million people driving cars on the road, only 20,000 of them will think they can drink booze, read a book, or doze off while in the car?

I know you're being sarcastic here, but this is a prime example of the Prosecutor's Fallacy .
Right now, I'd bet that more than 2% of USAian drivers think they can do all that in their non-auto-anything car. You have to balance failure rates against rates of existence in the entire dataset.

Comment Re:Autopilots in planes do not fly by themselves (Score 1) 168

I know Russian Roulette and can calculate the odds, but if you do not know the difference between a pistol and a revolver, your calculations might be a little bit off.

Kinda depends on the model eh? I would submit that knowing which pistol (or revolver) is in use is more important than known what mechanical mechanism is used to feed fresh ammo to the chamber.

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