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Comment Re:Fitting (Score 1) 43

...and I think we know Microsoft AI just simply will not be the next big thing. If Pets At Home decided to create an AI division they could probably come up with more winners than Microsoft will.

All they're really doing here is re-arranging the deck chairs. They're on a ship that looks like, smells like and swims like the Titanic. It's just a matter of time until someone looks over the edge and sees the name painted on the side.

Comment Fear Factory (Score 2) 305

In Bowling for Columbine there's an animated video describing how scared Americans are (of just about anything). The number of bunkers screams fear to me - I'm sure there are a handful of such bunkers in the UK (or Europe, generally), they're mostly for politicians who must survive nuclear war, because only cockroaches will survive (apparently). I seriously doubt there's more than a couple for private citizens (and most of those are just swimming pools in the basement).

What's the point? I mean, if there's a nuclear war, you're better off just letting the galactic dice decide your fate. For low-level issues, such as no food for a few months, you're going to need to live in a tiny bunker for the entire duration. The rest of us will all just be mucking-in together to work out ways to collectively survive it. Sure, someone will come and steal the potatoes I'm growing in my back garden, but they can't steal all the potatoes in the neighbourhood. Besides, why steal them when you can just ask and we'll give you some?

Comment Re:Print Innovation (Score 1) 111

They're buying Samsung because Samsung are soooo good at software. The marriage of those crappy devs and HP's massive bloatware is just what the industry needs!

We have an HP all-in-one 'pro' printer at home. It's actually pretty good, but the scanner stopped working the other day, just saying "cannot connect to server". Some googling turned up some settings clearing and rebooting, but nothing worked. Just one comment said "it could just be HPs servers are down". Thankfully there were some workarounds (shockingly, the Windows10 integration worked really well, so we used that instead).

Why does my scanner need HP's servers? It scans, and emails the results - how hard it that? How much 'innovation' do we need here? All that shit about being able to email stuff to your printer to print it - sorry, don't need it, especially if it's dependent on something I can't control. If I could configure which mail server it pulled from, that would be one thing, but the 'magic' in the thing is what makes it so supremely hard to use.

Comment Re: Don't put your one egg (Score 1) 239

There are two kinds of insurance on cars, and so, I'd imagine there would be on aeroplanes, space rockets and just about anything else that flies about.

Third Party - we'll pay to fix up anyone, or anything that is damaged by you
Fully comprehensive - We'll pay to fix you up as well as anything you hit along the way

The first is mandatory (depending on jurisdiction), the second is not. Seemingly Spacecom decided not to bother with the fully comp. insurance and now think that SpaceX should provide the services of that sort of insurance for free.

This all gets complicated because I suspect SpaceX have insurance against this sort of problem. However, just because they have doesn't mean they should have to pay out. Somewhere there's a very thick contract, and it'll state who pays for what - I'll bet it's not SpaceX in this case though.

Comment Re:Ars Are Welcome To Try (Score 1) 84

Yes, but Ars have superior business skillz to the leadership at SpaceX (a quick check of company financials between the two will confirm, I'm sure), and so in all good conscience had say their piece (not in private, where it may have been useful, but in public so everyone on earth gets to stir the pot).

Comment Re:Here's an idea... (Score 2) 260

You may have an idea there...

How about the TSA stop checking people that don't need to be checked? If you're transiting from one (reasonably organised) country to another, then no need to go through security again (or go via a fast track that has less checks)? The US has special secure areas at some non-US airports because they have their own special checks - surely they are secure enough not to have to recheck all the people on transit.

Years ago, I traveled to Canada via the US with a buddy of mine. He got an extra frisk 3 times before we got to Security (in Heathrow, UK). Even though we were traveling together, I only got the standard check at security. I was left wondering what the first frisk missed that it needed repeating two more times just to be sure. Why not just train the first guy to be better at his job (and arguably frisk me at the same time) rather than have the other two goons?

If they've been running a competition for a 'solution' to their problems and haven't found a winner yet, then they aren't listening. There's got to be a thousand ways to improve whilst making them more effective and do so at less cost/inconvenience.

Comment Re:So in other words (Score 1) 73

They can't exactly say "we have no plans now, but hey, if someone offers us a truck load of money...". However, if they really wanted to engender some trust, they could (probably) say "we have no plans to sell any data, and we will never sell any data from 2016".

But sadly, expecting any commitment is like expecting a unicorn to shit out your next gourmet dinner ;-)

Comment Re:Startups are mostly garbage, news at 11 (Score 3, Interesting) 120

I'd agree - the startups I've worked for weren't necessarily going for a buy-out, although that'd have kept the VCs happy. Along the way though, we got to play with some cool tech, got some (potential) customer interaction experience, occasionally flew a few places, got some 'everything's broken, you're the only one here, so make it work' type experience and drank a boatload of beer at various places when the bosses got their credit cards out. Of course, when the company went down the pan, we all got left with nothing, but it wasn't a surprise so we all had a 'plan b' lined up.

I wouldn't go for that now as I like the 9-5 so I can be at the right places at the right times for my kids. But back when I was (mostly) single, it was great fun, and rewarded me in a lot more ways than a regular salary.

Just as a side note, one startup I was at really did try to go for quality. We still had to move too fast quite a bit towards the end, but the foundations were pretty solid. All that means nothing now, because the product is long lost in some vault somewhere and provides no benefit to the customers we (nearly) had, or indeed the world as a whole. The question is, was all that quality worth it?

Comment Re:Disappoint (Score 1) 179

I wish they'd recall my Galaxy Note 8.0 (tablet). It's a nice bit of hardware, and was great when I got it. They let Android 4 onto it, so now I can't use the SD card properly, and then they stopped doing any more software updates for it. In other words, they took away functionality and then cut it loose.

I'm sure I don't need to go on about their shockingly poor 'value add' software that you can't uninstall. I've had 4 Samsung devices over the last few years. Yeah, I'm disappointed. I still can't quite bring myself to go Sony though, so Samsung might make another sale out of me - not by being the best, but by being slightly less bad. Go Samsung! Job well done there!

Comment Re:Outsourcing vs Inhouse (Score 1) 252

And the constant repeating of completely bone-headed decisions that weren't right 10 years ago and aren't right now (T&M versus fixed price - I'm looking at you ;-)

The old adage: "you can't outsource a problem" springs to mind. For people to actually 'get it' though, they have to understand what their problem is. It's almost never the individual techies that do the grunt work.

This is a shame for Nasa though - they ought to be a major force in all things to do with space, and shouldn't be in the news for having crappy IT.

Comment Re:Nah (Score 1) 175

The wording on that was misleading enough I had to go check - the quote you made is indeed from official tesla.com blurb. I'm wondering how 5 adults and 2 children can fit in that car!? I mean, do the kids have to sit in the boot? When I was a kid we occasionally had to sit in the boot for a quick trip to the park with half a dozen of our friends, but these days I doubt it's even legal (and certainly not something claimed by the car manufacturers).

The pictures of the model S have two seats at the front. There aren't many pictures to go on, but I assume a three-person bench seat in the middle and luggage space at the back. I can see how 5 adults can get in there, but not sure about the kids. Anyone know?

I have to say though, a ~300 mile range is really pretty good - not far off our conventional car. Interesting stuff - now they just need to get the cost down and we'll buy one ;-)

Comment Using Serialised Data as a Config File (Score 1) 674

When you can't be arsed to write a config file parser and you decide to just use a blob of serialised data as your config, you're making a mess for everyone who uses your software. That said, lots of people seem to be doing it. My pet gripe at the moment is RabbitMQ, but there are plenty of others (sendmail definitely, nginx maybe).

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