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Comment Re:what purpose does this app serve? (Score 1) 421

why on god's green earth would you need a wifi powered garage door opener *for your phone*, when the tried and true RF based ones have been around for decades?

Obviously so you don't need to have another thing that can be lost or left in the house; pretty much the same reason I use my phone instead of my old online banking security token. Using a phone isn't a bad idea per se, but having it connected via a third party is lazy design (can't really say malicious when all it does is open a door) and just asking for trouble. The alternative, however, is to have a static IP or something that can pass for one, which isn't easily done by most people.

Yes, the guy threw a tantrum, but anyone who has had any experience in a public-facing job will know that this sort of outburst happens all of the time. You don't respond to this with a petulant comment and disabling the device that your customer has already paid for. I expect they will end up seeing their EULA laughed out of court if they imagine they can withhold service from someone who said some nasty things and used a few rude words in their support forum.

Comment Re:Uh, why? (Score 4, Informative) 232

I don't think anyone would run something as sensitive as an ATM on Windows.

They can, and do. In the past I've seen crashed ATMs running NT4, XP, XP Embedded, 2k and... OS/2.

Banks are a bit like the military when it comes to IT: they stick with what works long after others have replaced it with something new.

Comment Re:Subtraction... (Score 2) 133

26.29 rounds to 26, not 27. And, although the wording clearly implies an absolute relationship, the correct relative formula would be 26.3/25.6=1.03 when significant digits are accommodated (which would be a 3% relative increase).

26.3 (the previous record), multiplied by 1.027 (or 102.7%, or increasing by 2.7%) equals 26.29, which rounds to 26.3 (the new record).
That's not elementary maths, I grant you, but I'm sure you would have spotted it if you weren't so eager for the FP.

Comment Re: Liability (Score 1) 500

A natural reaction might be "DIY parts void your warranty", but the farmer who installs a third-part transmission is out of warranty anyway so custom sw won't make a difference.

Not necessarily. Installing a third party transmission would only void a warranty (in Europe, anyway) if the replacement part was responsible for the fault for which you're claiming. For the car example, a car maker couldn't refuse to honour a warranty claim for a faulty engine if you used OEM brake parts.

Comment Re:Simpsons... er, Apple did it. (Score 1) 50

How often do you remember when exactly you pulled in? Particularly if you are in a group at a restaurant and have a lot of other things on your mind?

Rarely, but paid parking generally takes two forms for me: ANPR* regulated or Pay and Display (the ticket). ANPR is easy because you don't display the ticket in the car; you take it with you and it has the time printed right on it. Pay and Display often doesn't give you a spare ticket but in those cases all I need do is tell Siri to start a 30 minute/1 hour/whatever timer.

*ANPR, in case you don't have it there, has a camera pointed at the entrance and exit of the car park. Your registration plate is read when you pull in, you pay at the machine and enter the registration number there, and your plate is read again when you leave. You don't need to show a ticket on the dashboard and you can add more time by phone or SMS message in most cases. There's also grace period after the plate is read at the entrance to give you time to park or to change your mind and leave.

Comment Re:Nice, but hardly new. (Score 1) 50

On my iPhone I always have a map location for my parked car on my notification screen after I've been driving, along with places I frequently visit, so there's nothing to set up there. I assume it's picked up that I'm driving when I linked it to the car stereo via bluetooth. It's also, somewhat creepily, learned that I always visit my gran on Wednesday nights after work so instead of giving me the driving time home on Wednesdays it shows her address. Ditto with the supermarket on Saturday.

Apple Maps aren't cached as far as I can tell so Google does have the upper hand there, but this thing with parked cars isn't what I'd call new and/or exciting. It's not terribly precise but it's good enough to get me close enough to the car that I can see the lights (my fob has a button that can turn the headlights on and off; it's not meant for finding the car but it's better than repeatedly locking/unlocking the doors and watching for the flashing hazard lights.)

Comment Re:This is inevitable (Score 1) 82

As the number of POTS phone customers decreases, the cost of maintaining the infrastructure is spread over a smaller and smaller number of subscribers.

This isn't happening nearly as quickly as you might think. Unless you have cable (which is hardly ubiquitous outside major cities and large towns) or mobile Internet, or none at all, you need a POTS line. Most people in the UK have either DSL or FTTC and for these you need a landline; FTTP is rarely seen here.

Comment Re:Yes, "line rental" is for POTS (Score 1) 82

Why a standard phone?

...
* Far cheaper than a mobile subscription.
...

Nope, not even close. Without looking around, I can tell you that there are mobile subscriptions with 500 bundled minutes for £10 a month or less. The line rental on my POTS line, which I only keep for Internet access, is £15 a month and includes no calls whatever.

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