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Comment Re:The future of IoT is bloatware (Score 1) 21

And bloatware with buggy software that interferes with the core functiond of the devices.
We have "Smart TV" that are awfully slow to turn on, awfully slow to change TV channels and with bad TV tuners.
We have "Smart TV" that have "horrible enhanced" picture quality and awful user interfaces that hid to the user the basic control of a TV like volume, colour and contrast.
We have "Smart TV" that have buggy internet streaming services and that the firmware isn't updated by the manufacturer.

Comment Re:My TRS-80 rocked (Score 1) 309

Exactly: The Apple computer open hardware and software architecture was the key of its success. Same thing happened with Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum. The success was so huge that IBM with its Personal Computer made the same ope hardware stance. For them making a closed system was not a problem, they did actually made some models.
Unfortunately now the typical computer buyer is totally different from the one of the '70, actually the typical computer buyer prefers a smartphone and doesn't try to make specialized things.
A closed system isn't a problem for the typical user that theat its computer like an appliance and is trained to throw away it even if it's working.

Comment Re: Well, once the panels are installed (Score 1) 415

I think also that double stage (direct-coupling and steam turbines) methane power plants could be more efficient than tradirtional power plants.
You could also easily use a litte gas/heat generator for a condo. Like the Italian made TOTEM originally developed by Fiat because they were able to build more Fiat 127 engines than car bodies...

Comment Re:Oh for goodness sake (Score 1) 303

What's next? Let's all go back to watching movies on VHS and old CRTs! It's how the director wanted it to be seen, right? How about analogue cellphones and leaded gasoline?

I still have in use an old Sony 33 inch CRT with Trinitron tube. It's standard definition of course but the quality it's really good, the black is black and the colours are quide good. I don't need a soundbar to get a decent soud, because due the fact the case has to be big, it's not a proble to put in a couple of 16 cm woofers. And sit switches on in seconds because doesn't have to boot a complex OS to enable the 'smart' functions. It' has no DRM functions and the user interface is intuitive. If I want Smart TV function, I've hooked a Raspberry Pi.
Please let me explain why I should thrash it and buy a tincan-sounding washed picture and bug ridden LCD television?
The long playing has a big advantage on CD and is that due the limitations of the medium it's not feasible go in the loudness compression war that hapens with digital formats, so and older mastering for vynils sounds better with a modern remastering with all the tracks overcompressed and a dynamic range of 6 dB on a 96 dB capable medium, and of course it's really fifficult install malware with a record even if theoretically possible https://upload.wikimedia.org/w...

Comment Re:iPhones just one affected component (Score 1) 128

On older times for some remote location especially when a wire could be destroyed by natural causes, like for a mountain hut, the official solution was an analogue phone patch in VHF or UHF between the phone central and the hut provided by Your Friendly Phone Company. That was a costly solution but was sometimes used. Then for a less costly solution but illegal, someone imported a cordless phone marketed for the US market but with a detachable antenna on the base station and sold it with a rooftop antenna and used the extended coverage given by the antenna to use it long range. With the arrival of cell phones of course these systems were reduced. The main problem with shutting down 2G is that a lot of simple control appliance for instance burglar alarm or heating control systems are using 2G data interface to be controlled via SMS or to automatically make a pre-recorded voice call. While buying a simple 3G phone is not a big problem, changing the interface of an old but perfectly functioning control system could be a big effort. Thee simple solution is of course change operator. With analogue cellphone shutdown the problem was little because few system used cellphones to control and alarm, but with 2G and SMS this usage exploded because was easy to implement and cheap

Comment Re:Part of the problem is archaic compliance testi (Score 1) 79

The pump uses a proprietary protocol on 900 MHz ISM band. It is nor Bluetooth neither uses TCP/IP. So to interfere with the device one has to be in the proximity and having a system to send fake commands: it's a lot like the problems one could have with garage door openers rather than the ones with IoT things. Luckily J&J didn't followed the easy route, mabye because the pumps has to run on a small 8 bit microcontroller and adding a TCP/IP stack was unfeasible.

Comment Re:The historical record has always had big gaps (Score 1) 348

The fact is that we're producing now a lot of digital data that is in a really perishable form, so you could have a lot of difficult to read media where maybe there's some interesting information to save. I'm not talking about encrypted/DRMd data, but about some machine-readable format. A stack od bad labelled 5 1/4 floppies could be easily thrown in the trash maybe simply because nobody has a 1541 drive or worse they're read in a IBM PC machine and marked as empty/unreadable.
If we think analogue media, we've lost some tv series made in the 1960s, like the English version of "A like andromeda" or the first episodes of Doctor Who. Amusingly the Italian remake of "A like Andromeda" was preserved, but more by luck than deliberate actions: In the 70s italian television switched to colour in 1977, so a black and white serial was deemed useful for reruns and the master taped was not recycled. In Uk the switchover was made in 1967, when magnetic vidotape was precious and a b/w tv programmes was "old".

Comment Re:So they studied for the test (Score 1) 86

I think is the same for other appliances. I have a dishwasher and in the appendix is specified how the energy test was made, with a specific program and a specific set of dishes and pans. If you've time you could use the "energy saving program" bus of course if you're in a hurry or need a high-temperature washing the dishwasher will draw more energy. I suppose is the same with fridges and so on. In the real world the conditions are too different to get a standard and unique test.

Comment Re:Smartphone size? (Score 1) 536

And a 2,5 to 3,5 or even 6,3 mm adapter is way more cheaper AND reliable than an USB to analogue converter.
Being a pure mechanical adapter doen't have to be supported by the operating system, doesn't consume power and being cheap coul be bought easily by the headphones instead of by the cellphone.

Comment Re:FM radio's last gasp? (Score 1) 340

Normally I listen the FM radio with my cellphone. first of all there are some news and interview programmes thar are quite interesting or *gasp* I like in the summer afternoon listen at the football and basket radio description while jogging or walking the dog.

I could surely use the streaming service from the radio but: normally I jog in the countryside so it's possible to have poor cellular coverage or only 2G coverage, but more importantly FM radio battery consumption is way lower than having to leave the 3G/4G data transfer on, not to mention to save the data cap.

Of course I have always the solution to take back my old MP3 player+FM radio and the smartphone and solve my problem, but actually the deal maker for my current cellphone was the FM Radio Option

Comment Re:More than one million Americans (Score 2) 104

Which is why I wish type II had a different name. There is no "cure" for type I - there is no magic combination of exercise and diet that can make it better. Diet control and exercise are required to manage type I, but the fact is the body is damaged and cannot regulate it's insulin levels (and as a result, cannot regulate blood glucose levels). People spreading misinformation like that is one of my biggest pet peeves (that, and all of the "oh, but you're not fat!" type of remarks that I get).

Actually even in Type II diabetes and MODY there's acually no cure: you have to manage it with diet and lifestyle and if you're lucky the medication you've to take are pills and not insuline shots. But the body is indeed damaged. In type II diabetes normally you've a reduced insulin production so you're going to have blood glucose swings if you don't take medications and start to eat badly.
I know some people with type II diabetes that are quite skinny and have an athletic body, due dieting and exercises, so I suppose that comment is made also with type II guys.

Comment Re:Uh uh (Score 1) 372

I agree that public works is a good alternative to GBI. It also help people feel like they are contributing. There are plenty of jobs that could be invented from making trails, to picking up trash, to tutoring. Even something as simple as paying people to volunteer at the 501c3 of their choice. Another option though (or maybe in combination) would be to start reducing the work week in sync with the job loss. If the maximum work week was 40 hours and the government mandated 39 this should in theory lower unemployment by approximately 2.5% when companies hire to replace all that lost work.

The problem with reducing working hours it that by most employer is perceived as "bad" so they'll push for mandate overtime, possibly without pay for it. Especially for things that aren't easily automated: the classic factory forker is already automated but say the maintenance operator is not and its job isn't so easily automatable
The private sector tries to automate some jobs that are not so easily automatable with automation anyway when for instance the work week is well defined and requested, for instance because worker unions are strong and a treacherous or untrained employeee could make big damages.
One example are the banks, where the clerks oprating with cash are replaced with ATM and clerks not operating on cash: this is a big disservice for customers, that if they have to make a special operation or have a problem, or simply the advanced ATM are out of order and they need a cashier' check, they have to wait in long queues or worse find the bank open, but nobody is authorized to make the transaction.

Comment Re:Not that unusual (Score 2) 165

There are many industrial processes and machines running ancient hardware. Also common in the medical field.

A local radio station I service (IT) finally replaced an audio editing computer last year. This computer was running Windows 95. Why? A 'bespoke' audio editing card, which required an EISA bus. So why not some other software solution? Because this software did EXACTLY what they wanted to do, was very easy to use, and very easy to train new users on.

I think also that the fast pace of hardware innovations and ditching older interface in the IT industry in respect other field of technology and manufacturing makes different vision of what ancient is. Add to this that the older equipment still in use today after 20 or 30 years of use self demonstrates its reliability and fitting for the job in most cases. Unfortunately in the nineties the most cost effective and flexible option at the time was to use an off-the-shelf PC running a DOS-based software instead of a custom hardware solution, or a fully custom one. Unfortunately the idea "get rid of old trusty interfaces, serial, parallel, vga, audio out, whathever because there's the new fancy gimmick" and "throw away backward compatibility on software" mantra of these years if making a lot of damage because of this. Older systems using custom hardware aren't affeccted so hard with this problem

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