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Comment India, China, Fracking ... (Score 4, Informative) 116

Last time oil hit almost 150$ a barrel, and stayed well above 100$ for a longtime after that, all the airlines were squeezed dry. Southwest alone prospered it had locked in oil at 60$ a barrel for several years and it was riding high. It was making so much profit on oil desk, it was rumored SEC is going to classify it as a energy trader and not a transporter. Some airlines were prohibited by the regulators to buy options and were forced buy in the spot market. Airlines have learnt their lesson well. When the oil crashed below 40$ most of them have locked in oil at low prices. So they are sort of protected from oil shocks.

And China and India are booming. The largest airplane order was from Indica, a domestic airline from India. 410 orders for Airbus 320. Airbus with their government funding is able to give them very long lease terms and guaranteed buy back price. Boeing needs to raise cash on commercial paper, Airbus does so on government underwritten bonds. But that is a different story.

Confluence of these factors, and a general belief that oil is never going to exceed 100$ ever again is fueling the optimism and large airplane orders. Oil producers trying to kick their oil dependence are trying to become transportation centers. Now a days it is impossible to beat the fares offered by Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Etihad to India/China from USA. So even the oil states are investing in airplanes.

They believe the moment oil goes above 60, fracking becomes profitable again. At 80, the fracking will flood the market with over supply and oil will slideback.

Comment Re:Looks like power surge issue (Score 1) 44

Thinking about it, it is a very good way to nudge the user to stay on the upgrade treadmill!

Create a special circuit to detect the battery's surge current delivery capacity. This is a good indicator of how old the battery is, and good indicator of how old the phone is. Internally throttle the clock based on the current delivery capacity. Thus as the battery ages, the phone slows down. Slowly, over time, imperceptably to the user. Then two years later, when they see a new phone, it is zippy by comparison.

The only counter point is throttling the clock extends battery life and the users might get used to much longer endurance. So the phone should also drain the battery internally slowly so that it never exceeds the "expected" endurance in a predictable way.

Yes, this is devious and diabolical. If there is a strong competitor who might actually deliver undegraded performance and long battery life one might worry. But if you convince your user base to stick to you even when the competitor beats you on performance metrics ... then why bother. Just wring the user dry for every last cent you could.

Comment Re:Inadvertently attached to an unintended recieve (Score 2) 62

The question is how hard you hard you try to interpret the subpoena language as restrictively as possible. If you own the data you can fight very hard and spend lots of resources and lawyers to make absolutely sure you don't turn in anything outside the purview. But if it is not your data and if it is no skin off your teeth, you only spend just enough to satisfy the contract language with your customer.

The customer knows what is really valuable, guess the motivation of the other party and know what one should try to protect and what one should disclose to decrease signal to noise ratio. One side wants an expanded fishing expedition. The other side wants to draw red herrings across the trail. In this high stakes game, bringing in a third party who may be able to provide the data makes things difficult. The only way to proceed is to make sure the third party vendors can not physically deliver the data. Even if the code runs on the vendors servers, there should be no permanent data stored there. Not even encrypted version of the entire data base. Defendant will be forced to disclose the encryption keys, and the vendor might be able to decrypt it all.

Comment Looks like power surge issue (Score 2) 44

As far as I’m able to understand what happened here, Apple found that sudden spikes of activity to the maximum power draw could cause older batteries, which had some mileage on them, to deliver power in an uneven manner, which would cause an emergency shutdown of the devices

So some older batteries are not able to support higher draw. They might have tweaked the scheduler not to launch too many jobs at the same time or throttle some jobs or even slow down the clock at high loads.

Comment Re:The US ranks with Mexico? (Score 2) 99

Yes, I agree with you. There are some jobs Americans find so loathsome and beneath their dignity they would not do it no matter how much you pay them. Most agricultural, seasonal and fast food work does not fall into that category. But I concede there are a very small number of such jobs that Americans find it beneath them. Like marrying pervert billionaires, you have import their wives from some eastern European countries.

Comment Missed a y, claims honest typo. (Score 4, Funny) 24

The founder of that company claimed that he was merely smart person and a phony dealer. He meant to register "Smartphony" as the brand name to hawk "Rs 251 Smartphony". Once you pay 251 rupees and get a brick you would realize the device was phony not phone. And the buyer will learn the lesson, become smart and not fall prey to such scams in the future.

But the autocorrect changed it to smartphone and caused all this misunderstanding. He plans to sue to auto correct software vendor for defamation, slander and scurrilous calumnies.

Comment Inadvertently attached to an unintended reciever.. (Score 2, Interesting) 62

Waymo was inadvertently copied on an e-mail from one of its vendors, which had an attachment showing an Uber lidar circuit board that had a "striking resemblance" to Waymo's design, according to the complaint

Remember the thread yesterday about police subpoenaing Amazaon's Alexa recordings on a murder investigation? Can an email provider such as google or microsoft be required to supply email threads in a discovery proceeding? What about third party planning/scheduling/defect management/configuration management software? It is one thing if the data resides in the customer's computers/servers and the software vendor never had access to the data. But now a days I see lots of "cloud based" software doing this. Many companies use companies with names like AgileRally or CloudCentral. The entire history of user stories, discussions, projects plans, defects and corrections are archived at some fine grained detail in their servers. If they get subpoenaed in some discovery proceeding on such a patent lawsuit, how strongly would they protect their client's confidentiality? They might have contract to protect it, but at some point the cost of protecting the client might not be worth it for them and they might throw them under the bus.

Unless it is impossible for them to get the data. It is possible to create the system such that all the databases reside in the client's computer or servers. The software provider's site only runs the code and all access to the data base are funneled through client's servers and it would be impossible for the vendor to get the data without the cooperation of the client. Unless such protections are employed it would be a folly for R&D heavy companies to house their data outside their servers.

Comment Does Alexa and clones violate wiretap laws? (Score 3, Interesting) 112

Most states have strict laws about recording conversations without informed consent. Even if the owner has given consent to Amazon, Google, Apple and Microsoft to listen for commands, visitors and others might not have. And it could be illegal for them to record anything before getting consent.

Comment TCS has been doing it for ages. (Score 1) 328

They listen to the specs, misunderstand it first, then mistranslate it into some Indian language and explain it to some graduate of a diploma mill. He/She will add his/her own misunderstanding on top, search through the code they have written or seen in some application for some company in some project that has one key word that matches. They copy & paste the code and claim the project is done.

Then it is up to the customer to test it, test it again, and make the code meet the specs through a complex evolutionary process where they file bug reports and the developer fixed the reported symptom, without fixing the underlying cause, and also introducing a new bug. This process eventually stops when the customer gives up in disgust and agrees to modify the specs to meet what the code does.

The only difference seems to be they have replaced the diploma mill grad with some artificial intelligence. In some sense it is a very good experiment to see if Artificial Intelligence can ever match the Natural Stupidity.

Comment In the meantime in the real world ... (Score 1) 173

Most people just bother it is worth their time and energy to get the last drop. So they open the next bottle.

Some do care. They add a few drops of warm water to the nearly empty bottle, shake well and get a thinner ketchup out into a bowl. They shake/squeeze the next bottle on top of this to "hide" the thinner ketchup, and mix it with a fork from the kids.

Some care even more and they routinely pilfer ketch up packets from every fast food place they enter. They never go through drive through. They go in to get their hands on the goodies. The map pockets on their car door would have paper napkins from these places, their kitchen drawer will be brimming with an assortment of ketchup and sauce packets from Taco Bell and McDonolds.

Comment Re:They will game the system and destroy home wi-f (Score 1) 64

They will find a way to disrupt the indoor communications. They will feign innocence and claim it is all some mistake and misunderstaning and they are going to fix their equipment to correct the problem, but quietly they will pay a few millions in fines without admitting guilt, but make sure most people give up home wi-fi due to frustration.

Like the banks have ground down the opposition and they happily charge 40$ late fee for being 1 dollar short or 1 day late, without anyone feeling upset.

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