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Comment Re:Technology is slowing down. (Score 1) 302

I think you're sort of on the right track, but I think it has even LESS to do with potential technological or engineering innovation.

My sense is that the finance people have basically taken over, and that technology/engineering is being completely driven by financial modeling. Basic technology and innovation is being dictated by what the elaborate revenue models tell them, and the models are built in a way to min/max production cost and consumer spending.

I see this in all kinds of technology situations, where what appear to be the dumbest engineering decisions are made because it requires you to spend more.

I expect the same with the elimination of the heapdhone jack. They will eliminate the 3.5mm jack and replace it with a lightning based audio connector. The specs won't be released until after the phone is available to purchase and they will be the exclusive provider of native Lightning headphones *and* Lightning-3.5mm stereo adapters at huge premiums, raking in nearly exclusive revenue on them for months. They will eventually acquiesce and approve third party 3.5mm adapters, but their licensing process will also also guarantee they get a percentage of ALL of them.

Now, if you look at it from a technology perspective, maybe the 3.5mm jack does need to go. But you don't need much of an imagination to think that maybe there could have been some other jack design implemented that would have still have accomplished the other putative design reasons (thinner, more internal space) and not tied up in a bunch of exclusive-to-Apple IP.

Comment Re:Commingling Inventory (Score 1) 335

What I think is especially maddening is that Amazon allows sellers to brand what look like identical goods with their own names, yet use the EXACT same picture of the items in the listings.

I bought a digital volt/current meter from a company on Amazon and there is another seller selling the EXACT same product using the EXACT same image as the one I bought. Both companies appear fairly engaged in their product (answering questions) and the second seller has suggested usage wiring diagrams as secondary photos.

My guess is that both sellers are selling some kind of Chinese product whose "brand" is whatever factory turns them out, but why does Amazon allow them to use the same photo? Why would they WANT to use the same photo?

Comment Re:This is Why... (Score 1) 103

I prefer driving as well, and even though we have a lot of direct flights from MSP, I find that security, delays, car rental, and so on worth nearly 3 hours or nearly 200 miles of road time on the Interstate. My limit, though, is about 500 miles because distances beyond that are just too time consuming for driving. I did have a trip to Springfield, IL, though which ended up being longer flying than driving would have been due to a cancelled flight and getting re-routed via Chicago.

The upside even if driving is long is you can take stuff with you -- food, full-size monitor, a decent electric kettle, cooler, etc. All that makes a week at a budget hotel much more bearable, especially when you're working 12 hour days. I've worked a couple of projects where I literally didn't need to leave the hotel for 2 days (on one of those trips the manager called me on day 2 asking if everything was OK -- she explained they get edgy when guests at this location don't leave the room for a couple of days as it makes them think of crime/drugs).

From a rights perspective, though, I think it's a mixed bag. The whole TSA experience is like visiting a prison, but I've kind of gotten to the point where I think they don't give a shit about anything but potentially violent people and no longer have the cop's what-can-I-bust-you-for-today mindset.

And in your car, with out of state license plates? You're basically an engraved invitation for a moving violation and an intensive search, and god forbid the cop that pulls you over is anything other than a major city squad or a state trooper. The former don't generally bother with anything but egregious traffic violations and the latter the same, provided your car is late model and in decent shape.

But small-town cops and county sheriff deputies can be real assholes to out of state cars. They are hot shit in their jurisdiction, shitkicker ex-football bullies making $20k/year and just convinced that someone from out of state is carrying mary-wanna and they just love to offer you a deal -- let me search your trunk, or you can have a stay in the county lockup, eat a moving violation, impound fees and lose 48 hours of your life.

Comment Re:Life goes on (Score 1) 112

I remember rumors a few years ago that VMware was going to make a smartphone hypervisor that would allow for smartphone VM partitioning.

The downsides would be battery consumption, paltry RAM on smartphones and the fact that you would basically need a major OEM to bake it into the design.

Of course the unachievable dream would have been iOS and Android VMs on one piece of hardware.

Submission + - Skinny People With Obesity-related Health Problems (nytimes.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Claire Walker Johnson of Queens was a medical mystery. No matter how much she ate, she never gained weight. And yet Ms. Johnson, with a long narrow face, had the conditions many obese people develop — Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and, most strikingly, a liver buried in fat. She and a very small group of very thin people like her have given scientists surprising clues to one of the most important questions about obesity: Why do fat people often develop serious and sometimes life-threatening medical conditions? The answer, it turns out, has little to do with the fat itself. It’s about each person’s ability to store it. With that understanding, scientists are now working on drug treatments to protect people from excess unstored fat and spare them from dire medical conditions.

Comment Re:Kicking millions of Chinese out of jobs... (Score 1) 129

However in China Labor is much cheaper.

Not anymore. It's no longer cheaper to ship products on the ocean as it was before. All those up and coming workers are expecting better pay and benefits to support a middle income lifestyle. China need automation because labor is no longer cheaper.

Comment Re:Wow (Score 3, Interesting) 62

if they help fortune 500 companies stay rich, their methods will be legalized soon.

During the robber baron days, it was common for the corporations to hire mercenaries and thugs to wage battles with workers and strikers. Murder, mayhem and riots were so routine that the government had to dispatch the military. That activity got outlawed. Internet warfare between corporations will get outlawed in time.

Comment Re:Happens All The Time (Score 5, Interesting) 105

But presumably the Brazilian Google exec was just that -- a Brazilian living and working in Brazil, and presumably under the jurisdiction of their justice system (no matter how non-local the video hosting was).

What I as an American find kind of unappealing is the jurisdictional claims that US law enforcement makes against a foreign national living in a foreign country whose actions took place in a foreign country and only tangentially involved the US, like the guy happened to have a dollar bill in his pocket at the time, so therefore all US laws apply.

I think it's serious overreach and it makes me wonder how safe I am from the reverse situation, some foreign prosecutor who decides that because I said "boo" on the Internet and it breaks some law in Fuckedupistan that they should get to prosecute me.

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