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Comment Re:The machine ate my package (Score 1) 147

No matter how much damage, the ROMs are unlikely to be destroyed, which means there's value in delivering the contents no matter what, at least in this case. Of course with that many cartridges in one package, I wouldn't be surprised if some over-eager postal inspector mistakenly believed that somebody was importing pirated game cartridges to sell, in which case the package is probably fully intact in the evidence locker of some law enforcement agency.

Comment Re: Not Wi-Fi mesh I guess (Score 2) 75

What about using the scanning mode of the network adapter to transfer small messages? You could theoretically place a small 32 bytes message in th SSID then initiate scanning of nearby ad-hoc stations. That way you don't have to fully associate with a network.

If we could somehow convince Apple to support Wi-Fi Direct instead of only supporting their own, incompatible peer-to-peer scheme, this would be a solved problem. Unfortunately, the fact that Android and iOS use two fundamentally different peer-to-peer Wi-Fi schemes makes this unlikely to work in practice unless you live in an all-iOS or all-Android neighborhood.

Comment Re:the real reason theyre arguing it. (Score 1) 306

There are plenty of manufacturers who *don't* glue their batteries in ...

Plenty? To the best of my knowledge, there's only one: LG. Unfortunately, the other LG hardware I've dealt with has been a train wreck of poorly tested firmware updates that I've had to expend considerable effort rolling back because of serious bugs, and I almost bought their refrigerator until I started reading the reviews and ran away screaming. And that's the same company that seriously resisted helping their smart TV users fix devices bricked by ransomware.

At least the worst problems I've had with an iPhone can be fixed by a screwdriver, a spudger, a putty knife, and a bit of excessive force.

Comment Re:Fighting it is evil (Score 1) 306

That fundamentally changes the design constraints - you now need to make a battery that's able to deal with shocks in the post, rather than just be moved from one section of factory floor to another in a controlled manner with lots of buckets of sand near by in case anything goes wrong.

That's simply not true. Manufacturers have to be able to ship batteries to their repair centers anyway. More significantly, if those batteries were such delicate little flowers that they couldn't be shipped, then phones would be exploding in people's pockets. The problem of shipping batteries without damaging them is a completely solved problem.

Comment Re:the real reason theyre arguing it. (Score 5, Interesting) 306

You're full of it. It has nothing to do with brand consumption. The truth is that the tradeoff for cheap, reliable, waterproof and sort of shock resistant is to make things with glue and not with screws.

Maybe for the watch, but not for the phone. There's nothing glued in the iPhone other than the battery. The case has snap tabs and screws holding it together, and all the complex parts are fastened in place using screws. There's absolutely no good reason for the battery to be glued in there, either. They could just as easily:

  • Use compressible foam to hold it in place so that it doesn't rattle. Manufacturers have been doing that in battery compartments for most of a century.
  • Bond it to a thin, stiff plastic layer and fasten that in with screws from the top so that it hangs suspended by glue in the middle of the battery compartment area.
  • Bond it to a thin, stiff plastic layer that slides into a tiny track from one end. Bond the plastic layer to the bottom or top part of the case, allowing you to slide it out the bottom without even removing the back. Connect it with a couple of small spring contacts on the end of the battery.
  • Glue it to the back part of the case (or a portion thereof), and offer that entire piece as a replacement part.

It's the height of laziness to say, "We can't make it this small without holding everything together with glue." It isn't that they can't make them easy to repair, nor is it that it would make them much more expensive or bigger or anything else. The reality is that Apple doesn't want their products to be easy to repair.

I'll illustrate why this is the case with a story. My parents recently took their iPhone 5s to Apple for repairs because its battery life had turned to crap. Apple looked at the device and said that they couldn't repair it because the battery was bulged, and it would be dangerous to remove it (because it is glued in). They wanted... either two or three hundred dollars to replace what was approximately a $30 battery.

Why would Apple want to make it easy to replace that $30 battery when they can glue the battery in place and use that as an excuse to cheat their customers out of hundreds of dollars, then take the defective hardware, ship it somewhere, rip the battery out in spite of the safety concerns, glue a new one in, and make even more money selling that refurbished phone to some other poor sucker whose battery dared to swell up? No, the irreparability of these devices means big money for Apple and they know it. IMO, these laws can't come soon enough and don't go far enough.

It should be illegal to glue a battery into any device, period, full stop.

Comment Re:Irreverent vs. Inappropriate (Score 1) 356

I hope you're just trolling. Go ask somebody in western France whether the U.S. saved Europe. Yes, Russia played a big role in dividing Germany's military might, but don't think for one minute that things would have gone the same way without the more than 125,000 Americans who gave their lives taking the beaches of Normandy.

Comment Re:Facebook use plummets during business hours (Score 4, Insightful) 116

Even if it is silent, it is still wasting huge amounts of battery power for content that the user may not even care about. Choose a keyframe that adequately explains the content of the video, and if users want to watch the video, they can click. If a user is too lazy to click to play the video, that user didn't really care about playing it anyway, so playing it was a waste of power.

Comment Re:U6: 7.2% vs. 9.2% unemployment (Score 1) 720

I'm not sure where you are getting "half again more people unemployed"--unless you are doing something really silly like comparing absolute numbers of people instead of rates.

Almost half again larger percentage of people unemployed. My bad. The total population has grown, so in absolute numbers, more than half again more people are unemployed now than then.

If you're talking about labor participation as measured by (1 - U6), then this is where you parted from reality. That number went from 92.8% when Clinton left office to the [much worse] 83.5% when George W Bush left office, and then *recovered* under Obama to the current 90.8%. It did not "fall *a bit*" under W and then "a bit more" under Obama.

Look again. The U6 rate started increasing in the last year of Pres. George W. Bush's administration, but it did not actually peak until November of 2009, almost a year into Pres. Obama's presidency. I'm not saying Pres. Obama caused that, mind you; it was very solidly headed in that direction as a result of brain-damaged deregulation of the banking industry under Pres. Clinton that triggered a crash late in the younger Pres. Bush's term.

Comment Re:Anxiously awaiting opinions (Score 2) 103

Patents are the nuclear weapons of the software world. Everybody files for patents because they're scared s**tless that somebody else will get patents and then sue them, and they won't be able to retaliate. That's all well and good, tending to keep aggression in check, until some s**thole company/country with nothing to lose manages to get its hands on them. After that, it's game over for everybody.

The only sane answer is nonproliferation. Even if there used to be some strategic value in software patents, that time is long past, and what remains are people getting software patents solely to protect against other software patents. This is not a significant improvement over a world that lacks software patents entirely.

Comment Re:Sigh...that's due to baby boomers retiring. (Score 1) 720

It's not Barack Obama's fault that a lot of people were born about 65 years ago. That's why retirees (and children, btw) are excluded from the labor statistics that functional adults use (U4, U5, U6--all of which look pretty good by historical standards)--and why the Breitbart set has to manufacture some misleading metric to placate their mouthbreathing outrage junkies.

I was actually looking at U6. There are almost half again more people unemployed by that metric than there were at the end of the Clinton administration. I would not call that "really low". It isn't dire or anything, but it isn't great, either.

Comment Re: How do you solve the issue... (Score 2) 120

That brings a whole new set of problems, like people buying no-refund tickets being unable to even give them to their friends if they realize that they can't make it to the show for whatever reason... not to mention all the empty seats that make the concert seem unpopular, thus reducing demand for future shows.

Comment Is it a payment method or isn't it? (Score 5, Insightful) 141

... you agree not to mischaracterize PayPal as a payment method. ... you agree to treat PayPal's payment mark at least at par with other payment methods offered.

So it is a mischaracterization for us to call it a payment method, but PayPal calls it a payment method. More to the point, if it isn't a payment method—a means of transferring money to someone in exchange for goods or services—then what the heck is it and why would anybody want to use it?

Somehow, this contract seems invalid to me, or at least guaranteed to reduce PayPal use significantly by preventing it from being characterized in any meaningful way.

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