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Comment How will you tell? (Score 2) 74

How on earth will anyone tell they have a fixed phone? Will it have a big S on it for safe. Or be a different colour? Or will you have to find some tiny serial number and look it up?
I do feel sorry for Samsung, as you can test hundreds of samples and not see a problem, but when you sell millions it only takes a low failure rate with a big consequence to have major repercussions.

Comment Lead free solder to blame??? (Score 3, Informative) 222

Yep. BGAs are difficult to rework, but perhaps the real blame for this can be aimed at the EU when they forced the electronics industry to transition to lead free solder 15 years ago, while not touching other industries, like car batteries.
Solder used to be 60%tin 40% lead. Lead was a great modifier to give ductility to solder joints. By going to almost 100% tin, solder joints are now more brittle, thus micro BGAs suffer more from thermal expansion fractures and shear fractures from physical drops.
The crazy thing, is the transition, which cost the industry Billions, was based on unproven science that tin/lead solder leached in ground fill rubbish dumps. It doesn't unless you have acid. But here we are today, stuck with a EU mandated change that increases energy to manufacturer and decreases reliability (see tin asker problem as well).

Comment Australian Observer (Score 5, Insightful) 618

American Culture seems to be strongly influenced by 'every man for himself'; or more subtly, your destiny is made by you and the effort you put into life. If you happen to be lazy, then suffer you.

I think there are three levels of maturity in a people and society:
1- Dependency (Child Stage)
2- Independence (Late Teen Stage). ie I can do it without anyone's help
3- Interdependence (Mature Stage) we all need to work together.

The USA seems to have gotten stuck between 2 & 3, while Europe/Canada/Australia went on to stage 3.
ie, We have strong social support systems such as good basic free medical care, good basic social security services, humane prisons with some attempt to reform.
While I as a tax payer don't like supporting lazy people, I think it is the lesser of two evils. ie having destitute people resort to crime with all the associated costs.
So I think the article is right, but culturally I don't see the USA ever changing within my lifetime.

Submission + - Australian Census night DDOS (

labnet writes: Tuesday night was census night for millions of Australians, but the stress tested systems completely failed night leaving millions frustrated. the ABS now claims it was maliciously attcked.

THE census website was shut down after being attacked by foreign hackers, the Australian Bureau of Statistics has revealed. “It was an attack,” chief statistician David Kalisch told ABC radio this morning. “It was quite clear it was malicious.” The ABS is now working with the Australian Signals Directorate to determine the source of the attack. Mr Kalisch said so far it had been very difficult to work out where it came from. In the past Australian government websites have been attacked by Chinese hackers.

Comment I call bull$it (Score 1) 537

Have made a shielded room, and done plenty of EMC in others; it is super hard to keep cell signals out. The article looks like he has glass windows and is not underground. With an EMC room, you need conductive foam braid on the the door seals, and soon as you crack the door, you get cell coverage. Even the wiring has to have filters, as the radio waves can get in and out via wiring, plumbing etc. glass windows would need fine copper mesh. More likely he has a jammer installed, and and just told everyone it's done by mesh.

Comment Australia's System (Score 1) 675

As an Australian, we did away with mag stripe many years ago.
For transactions under $100, most cards/retailers use contactless 'pay wave' transaction using RFID.
A pin is required for larger transactions.
Signatures are not used anymore
For larger retails, the transaction takes about 2 seconds; for smaller retailers still using dial up, it takes 10 seconds.

Comment Re:So just rename it then? (Score 2, Interesting) 330

I've driven a tesla with autopilot for a week, and thought it was an undercooked dangerous feature. The number of times it gave up auto steering because it got confused and the only warning you get is a subtle bong with sometimes sub second reaction times to stop an indecent made turn it off altogether.
I agree with consumer reports. It should be disabled.

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