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Comment Re:Free market unleashed (Score 3, Insightful) 149

Like it or not the cost of everything in a country eventually lands on the shoulders of the productive non-business owner. It's just a fact in economy. Governments don't produce and companies can't eat costs for long or they'll cease to be.

Then wouldn't it make more sense to subsidize the consumer if you're going to subsidize anything?

Comment The problem is what you consider useful (Score 2) 126

When I can say from my couch "Alexa, make me a steak, medium rare, and bring me a beer, IPA" and a robot hands me a beer in 1 minute and a plate with a hot steak 18 minutes later, I'll give a shit and I think other consumers will, too.

Reasonable enough. Other than the stock capabilities (weather, time, shopping list, timers, alarms, "what's playing at the movies?", "what's the phone number for Tire-Rama?", oodles of music sent to the theater system), the only third-party capabilities we use regularly are:

o Adjust the lighting via TP-Link smart plugs
o Adjust the heating / cooling via Sensi smart thermostat
o Check Fitbit stats / progress

Is it worth $49 or so out the door, plus hardware cost for associated devices to be able to do all this without having to otherwise go and do it? Well, it is to us.

For instance, sitting in the theater, it's either get up, make a 20 foot walk to the light switch, flip the switch, a 20 foot walk back in the dark, and sit down again, or just say "Echo, Turn off the lights." Likewise, when the show is over, it's just "Echo, Turn on the lights."

But when it'll cook a meal, see it delivered to the table, even see that the dishes are washed... yeah, that's going to be a fine day. At consumer prices, I'd hazard a guess that's still five or six years off.

Comment Oracle "gouging their clients" (Score 0) 131

"Oracle ... gouging their clients."

One example of Oracle's gouging, two stories:

Oregon settles bitter legal fight with Oracle for $100 million

Oregon Reaches $100 Million Settlement With Oracle

How it happens: Managers with no technical knowledge believe they can buy contracts for technology development. Technology companies know they can say anything and it will usually be accepted.

Another example of an ignorant manager assuming it is possible to manage technology without knowing anything about technology: Price for Failed Obamacare Website: $394 Million and Counting.

Former U.S. President Barack Obama often acts like a knowledgeable leader even when the depth of his knowledge is extremely shallow.

Comment Of course... (Score 4, Interesting) 75

Of course, if they hadn't been so greedy and stupid as to design a non-user-replaceable battery into the phone, they would have been able to simply send out a relatively low-cost component to the afflicted users, instead of incurring a 5.3 billion dollar loss and severely inconveniencing every one of their note 7 customers (at the very least.)

It was their insistence on screwing the customer with planned obsolescence that bit them. They deserved to be bitten.

As does any company that designs in a non-replaceable, limited-lifetime component — much less one that is non-replaceable, limited-lifetime, and potentially dangerous.

Submission + - Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Faults Caused by Two Separate Battery Faults

Mickeycaskill writes: Samsung's investigation into what caused Galaxy Note 7 devices to overheat and catch fire has concluded two distinct battery faults were the cause — not the handsets themselves.

The company said all the devices it's planning to release this year were designed and manufactured after the Note 7 recall and have been tested according to new measures put into place since then.

That includes the Galaxy S8 expected to be released this spring. Samsung mobile communications president DJ Koh said at a press conference in Seoul the S8's release schedule was not "meaningfully" affected by the Note 7 issues.

Samsung used two separate battery suppliers for the device, and the initial problems were caused by a design flaw found in only one of those batteries, which it called Battery A.

Following the first recall Samsung stopped using Battery A and instead increased its order from the second supplier. But in its efforts to vastly expand production that supplier introduced a separate flaw into Battery B that also caused the batteries to overheat.

The design flaw in Battery A was an external casing that was too small and didn't allow the battery to expand and contract during charge and discharge cycles. As a result the positive and negative electrodes came into contact, causing a short-circuit, Samsung said.

The initial samples of Battery B were not flawed, but after Samsung ordered about 10 million new units, the battery maker introduced errors including protrusions that were left over from the ultrasonic welding process.

Those errors also caused a short-circuit.

Submission + - Samsung: two battery defects caused Note7 problems and could delay Galaxy S8 (betanews.com)

Mark Wilson writes: Samsung has finally revealed the long-awaited results of its investigation into the problematic Galaxy Note7. Having issued an apology and pushed out OTA updates to disable phones which had been banned from flights because of the risk of them catching fire, the South Korean company says that two separate battery problems were to blame.

The first problem stemmed from the fact that the battery was physically too small for the Note7 leading to a short-circuit. Replacement batteries suffered from a combination of insulation problems and an issue that cause positive and negative electrodes to touch. Samsung also indicated that the Galaxy S8 would not be unveiled at Mobile World Congress (MWC) next month.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Which, In Your Opinion, Are The BEST Tech Companies? 1

dryriver writes: Everybody knows who "the biggest tech companies" are — Sony, Samsung, Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Facebook, Intel and so forth. It is no big mystery who makes the most annual revenue/profits or employs the most people or files the most patents every year or has the highest stock price. But this is a different question entirely: Which tech companies, in your opinion, are the BEST at what they do? Who makes the best products in tech? Whose tech products or services would you not want to live without? Whose products would you take on a deserted island with you? If you could pick just 5 — 10 tech companies that are absolutely essential to you as a tech nerd, tech enthusiast or other, which companies would those be? And why?

Submission + - The Clinton Foundation is downsizing (ny.gov)

mi writes: You would think, the end of a political career would allow a genuinely charitable family to concentrate on their charity. Instead, the Clinton Foundation is closing shop (or, at least, downsizing) after their champion's electoral loss. According to the paperwork they filed with New York Department of labor, the reason is "Discontinutation [sic] of the Clinton Global Initative [sic]".

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