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Comment Re:o rly? (Score 1) 74

Jupiter is the largest planet? Gosh, had that not been in the sentence none of us would ever have figured that out. This is news for nerds, not news for planettists. Thank you, intrepid editors, for understanding and saving me from confusion!

You're complaining that the editors got something 100% right? I mean, they've got some even simpler stuff utterly wrong before. I mean, look at the Self-Driving Tesla Owners Share Videos of Reckless Driving story: somehow, a Volvo engineer became a Volvo driver!

Comment Re:Pilot still needs a UAS license? (Score 3, Interesting) 124

Nevermind, it's not clear from the summary, but all of the articles mention this. Yes there is still licensing, no the rules are not as strenuous as a full pilot's license (no medical, etc).

FPV flight is still dead without a waiver. Interestingly, you can fly above 400' as long as you are within 400' of a structure (eg, for remote visual inspection of tall buildings).

Licensing is for commercial operations. Recreation / hobby use remains unchanged.

FPV is fine provided some means of situational awareness (eg. a spotter) is maintained. The wavier is needed if you don't intend to use a spotter.

The biggest disappointment is maintaining the Line Of Sight (LOS) requirement, although with the situational awareness requirement I do see the (gasp!) consistency in the regulations.

Comment Re:Look out below!! (Score 1) 124

There is nothing pertaining about use of drones in concert

I guess you missed the bit in the regulations about not flying over people:

The new regulations also address height and speed restrictions and other operational limits, such as prohibiting flights over unprotected people on the ground who aren’t directly participating in the UAS operation.

Comment Re:Aern't most of China's chips based on the Alpha (Score 4, Insightful) 247

So, not homegrown, more like "homecloned" from US chips and then enhanced.

In other words, the hard work was already done, and they just took it.

Think back to when Chips & Technologies made their own IBM PC-AT chipset (5 chips replacing the 63 the PC-AT used). It was nothing more than a clever clone... but once the clone happened it set in motion companies other than IBM to develop the standard. Think, for a moment, of the first 80386 system: the Compaq DeskPro 386. That was an original design, not cloned from IBM.

Yes, I completely agree. This is a "homecloned" system - for now. The next version is likely to have some innovations; the version following even more. Within 5 generations it will be it's own system.

Comment Re:Even Linux Boxes? (Score 1) 255

... How in the name of the eight worlds of Sol ...

Back when I was knee-high to a grasshopper, there were nine worlds of Sol. You kids don't know how lucky you are by not confusing the solar system to Disneyland and only having to remember eight names!

Of course, science fiction has taken a hit: Planet IX sounds a whole lot less ominous than Planet X.

Comment Re:Accounting is murky anyway (Score 1) 63

The problem with Cloud is you're selling the customer the _potential_ to use a service in the future usually. Knowing when to book that as an actual sale seems to be hard with this model.

Erm.. this is the basis for accrual accounting. Quoting from nolo, we see:

Under the accrual method, transactions are counted when the order is made, the item is delivered, or the services occur, regardless of when the money for them (receivables) is actually received or paid. In other words, income is counted when the sale occurs, and expenses are counted when you receive the goods or services. You don't have to wait until you see the money, or actually pay money out of your checking account, to record a transaction

It's pretty straightforward. Think of it like a gift card. The customer buys a gift card from Oracle, who then books the accrued income. As the customer uses the services, Oracle sends the customer a monthly invoice and deducts the invoice amount from the gift card. At this point, we can count the income.

What seems to have happened here is that Oracle looked for a way to fudge the figures. They figured that ErichTheRed was probably going to buy a couple of million in Oracle gift cards and booked that. Once on the books, it's simply a matter of choosing the right language so that the actual revenue is never mentioned but the projected accrued revenue magically becomes the number released. Then up goes the stock price, people cash out, and when the accrued revenue fails to materialize the excuse is that it was a projected amount, that the market changed, customers didn't follow through etc etc.

I mean, I can project my monthly income will rise in three months by several thousand dollars, can't I? It's hardly my fault if the company sees a dip and can't follow through on what they projected, which in turn hits my projections. And nobody was actually hurt in all of this, were they?

Comment Re:Read between the lines (Score 2) 173

It's also why MS doesn't compete with FB (the only software market which MS does not try to overtake... because FB plays ball with MS).


Microsoft enters markets in which it believes it can make money. Lot of money. Microsoft also enters markets where it believes it can win. Every single hair-brained scheme they tried under Ballmer's reign to capture niche retail and consumer markets ended badly. Today, Microsoft is into the big enterprise systems where they can win, so long as they play the long game. For example, originally SharePoint was a bit of a joke. Today, it's almost mission critical. Dynamics CRM was a toy, today it's giving Salesforce a run for it's money. ERP. The list goes on.

I guess you missed the bit where Microsoft grew tired of competing with Quicken after almost 20 years, and threw in the towel. They tried to take over that market and failed. Portable music players tied to an online store? Zune was a flameout. Enterprise and consumer smartphones? They bought Nokia and still cratered. Don't forget there were plenty of companies that "played ball" with Microsoft over the years and got bitten bad (Cringely's Accidental Empires had a good list, go read that).

No, my friend, the Ballmer era Microsoft wanted it all and ended up stalling the company for years. The "new" Microsoft (the one who plays nice with Red Hat on Azure; the one bringing Ubuntu into your Windows 10; the one bringing SQL Server to Linux) knows it can't overtake markets anymore, and instead is trying to learn to place nice(er).

Facebook isn't safe because of Ballmer. Facebook is safe because they are the 100lb gorilla in a very small niche that Microsoft knows they could not dislodge. Funny, Myspace thought they were that, too...

Comment Re:Now they just need to perfect robot-bought shoe (Score 4, Interesting) 166

I think the global issue of diminishing work due to replacement by robots will more likely be solved when production and consumption happen in the same country, so politicians can see "both sides of the medal" - cause and effect. Producing in country A and selling in country B on the contrary makes it less likely the problems of unemployment are solved.

You raise a very interesting point about onshoring manufacturing, although you didn't specifically say it: quality.

With robotic production, production quality can become almost a constant. So what differentiates a good made in Country A vs. Country B? We could go for tariff protections, but I hate the idea of rent-seeking governments inserting themselves into transactions merely to soak up money. The quality of the good is ultimately going to be determined by the precision of the robot; meaning how well maintained is that machine (bearing, sensors, hydraulics etc).

So the competitive advantage is going to go to the countries who are investing in training (essentially) mechanics. I don't think drag'n'drop programmers (see another /. story) are going to cut it in that world...

Comment Re:Now they just need to perfect robot-bought shoe (Score -1, Troll) 166

The low-paid workers in China were not really buying expensive Adidas shoes before, anyway.

But the low-paid workers in China had a job. Now they don't.

Hooray for the SJW campaign against exploiting low-paid workers! No longer are those poor souls being exploited! Rejoice that the SJW elite's enlightened ways have scored a victory against capitalist exploitation of developing countries!

So how are those people expected to feed themselves and their families now? Western handouts?

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