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Comment Re:Pierson's Puppeteers (Score 3, Interesting) 253

It's a strange attitude to have, because it implies that everyone else should be trying to murder them to protect themselves.

Isn't that what we've been doing for most of human history? Family against family, clan against clan, tribe against tribe, village against village and so on for most of human existence?

Most of European history from the Greeks onward can be seen as some kind of action/reaction to this dynamic. Established civilizations expanding their territories for both economic accumulation but also attempting to build buffers against other expanding or migration civilizations that threaten their borders.

Roman history can easily be interpreted as a continuous defensive expansionism designed to check the destabilizing influence of Germanic migrations from the North and Parthians in the East from time of Marius all the way to Marcus Aurelius. Much of European history from the 7th century through the 12th century can be defined as action/reaction to Viking expansion, from then on attempts to fix borders against expanding Mongols and Islamic armies from the conquest of Hungary, the Crusades and through the Siege of Vienna.

You could argue that almost purely economic colonialism on the part of Europeans didn't even really start until the general borders of Europe were largely established and fortified and external threats were minimized in the 17th century and even then such expansion was motivated by political and territorial stalemates of a fairly established European states and borders. The "new worlds" were conquered for their economic value but this can easily be explained as defensive maneuvers to outflank their local European rivals as well.

And the European conflicts from the 100 Years War, 30 Years War, Spanish Armada, the Napoleonic Wars all the way through WW I and II are attempts to establish hegemony and secure borders within Europe itself.

It would seem that the entire course of human history can be interpreted as a series of conflicts designed to secure specific regions against outsiders who threaten territorial independence and economic security.

Comment Egress Problem is easily solved (Score 1) 106

How hard can this be... when you request a pickup, the self-driving car begins driving to you, and a pin is placed on the map where it *thinks* it should pick you up. You review the pin, and move it to whatever door / street corner you want. The self-driving car then re-routes to pick you up where you placed the pin.

On future visits through the same provider, it will remember where you dropped the map pin and default to picking you up there. If you choose to move the pin again (say, you're coming out of a door the other side of the building) it then obeys that, and the app prompts you to give "friendly" names to those two points. Next time you choose to be picked up from the same vicinity, you are presented with a simple dropdown that offers you three options:
"The Green Door"
"The Other Side With The Cafe"
"Choose Another Location"


Am I missing something that makes this problem unsolvable with today's tech?

Comment Re:Outsourcing vs Inhouse (Score 1) 227

This, and the tendency for company leadership to feel outsourcing means they can offload all responsibility for project success.

Something I've seen firsthand is companies that are pathologically incapable of making important decisions internally, and that is why they bring in a consultancy. Consultants go around to the various stakeholders (who can't agree on anything), gather requirements from each, then make recommendations. Despite the fact that the recommendations are basically a micro-model of the stakeholders' existing points of view and the result is the same no-win scenario the company was facing to begin with, the recommendations are acted upon, either in whole or in part. When the result is the same mess that would have inevitably happened even before the consultancy was brought in, at least now it's the consultants' fault that their recommendations didn't work out. Managers can then stir up a big stink when it's time to renegotiate the contract, they win some petty, unimportant concessions from the consultancy, and it's time to rinse and repeat.

Comment Re:I've gone through four iPhones due to this issu (Score 2) 200

A "failure" here includes an app that crashes. In your case you're saying the touch screen has failed to work, 4 times in a row, and somehow you know it's about to be 5 times.

The chance of a failure involving the touchscreen is statistically (from the report you didn't read) 3%. Raising 0.03 to the fifth power gives a failure rate of 0.0000000243.

Still going with Occam.

Comment Re:I've gone through four iPhones due to this issu (Score 1) 200

Well, literally hundreds of millions of people (per year) buy iPhones (last 12 months was 215 million) and don't have this problem.

I could see you getting a bad phone - shit happens. I could (just about) see you getting *two* bad phones out of two. There is no way I'd buy that you got three successive phones that failed in the same way, as for five ? Well, I'll be charitable and say you must be the unluckiest person on the planet. Is your name Brian by any chance ?

For reference: "In line with the firm’s fourth-quarter report, a study that analyzed smartphone failures during the first quarter of 2016 determined that Android devices cause far more problems for their owners than iPhones. According to Blancco Technology Group’s new data, 44% of Android phones experienced failures between January and March of this year, compared to 25% of iPhones"

Occam's razor says I still think you don't look after the phone, assuming you're telling the truth. Sorry.

Comment Re:So much for Apple's "better design" (Score 1, Troll) 200

Yep, in an nutshell.

You sell 215 million (how many phones Apple sold in the last 12 months) of *anything*, and there's going to be a tiny percentage of them that go wrong in some pattern-like way. Even 0.001% of 215 million is 2150 people with a problem, and although a failure rate of 0.001% is pretty damn good with such a complex device, that's still enough for "many" people to come up with a common problem and someone to get some ad-revenue from the click-bait headline.

(Also own an iPhone, a 6+, and haven't seen any issues)

Comment Re:So much for Apple's "better design" (Score 0) 200

Oh for crying out loud.

There are literally (and I use the word correctly) *billions* of BGA chips out there, in all environments from the most benign to the harshest around, from industrial levels of vibration to space exploration (including the launch). Shock, horror, in a sample size that large, some of them fail, well cry me a river. There is no human technology that is 100% perfect, but soldering chips, yes, even BGA chips to boards is pretty damn close.

As for not doing them at home, I've done BGA chips at home many many times - you can actually do them with a toaster oven, but if you want a good (i.e.: ~100%) success rate, you could always get one of these. If you look past the truly egregious website, there's a really well engineered product there, which guarantees alignment as the chip is placed. I've got one and frankly I prefer doing a BGA chip than soldering a QFP by hand (of course the machine does QFP too...)

Inspection, now, that's a different beast. I've thought about getting an old dental XRAY machine off eBay, but who knows if it's strong enough. One day I'll remember to take one of my boards along to my dentist and get them to take a snapshot of it. At the moment, I'm too busy building a laser-cutter anyway.

Comment I wish Excel had custom data types (Score 1) 319

And not just data formatting.

It would be nice to be able to define a data type and some rules and limits of progression.

I could see the value in defining an arbitrary data type that was comprised of a fixed set ("Apples", "Pears", "Oranges", "Bananas") with no progression (ie, no set member has precedence or rank) or perhaps some with progression or rank (fetus, infant, toddler, child, adolescent, adult, senior). Cells formatted as belonging to a data type would only accept those values as valid entries, and sorting would apply the set's rules of simple progression if there were any.

It might help for other numeric-based data types, such as IP addresses, where it would be helpful to define rules of progression around some kind of delimiter. If they could only add one new data type, I wish it was IP addresses.

There's probably complex ways of doing this with macro/scripting, but, they end up being complex and one of the main reasons so many people use Excel because it makes it trivial to manage lists. Trivial tasks that get made complex end up being done sloppy.

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