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Comment Of course... (Score 4, Interesting) 64

Of course, if they hadn't been so greedy and stupid as to design a non-user-replaceable battery into the phone, they would have been able to simply send out a relatively low-cost component to the afflicted users, instead of incurring a 5.3 billion dollar loss and severely inconveniencing every one of their note 7 customers (at the very least.)

It was their insistence on screwing the customer with planned obsolescence that bit them. They deserved to be bitten.

As does any company that designs in a non-replaceable, limited-lifetime component — much less one that is non-replaceable, limited-lifetime, and potentially dangerous.

Comment Re:Just what we needed (Score 1) 228

OK, I started reading the comments hoping to be enlightened about what "Concepts" are (Gee, another common word reused to mean something else, it's going to be great searching for that on Google), but you are the only one who even mentioned it. Everybody else is too busy fighting about the bloating of C++.
So I'll ask: what are Concepts ?!? And please talk to me like I'm a stupid C programmer...

Comment Free software assistant... already exists (Score 3, Informative) 92

Free software assistant... already exists

http://mycroft.ai

They've got an RPi image you can download, slap on a card, and be up and running with a USB mic and something to handle the audio out.

Seems to me like the FSF should pay more attention to what is already going on.

Comment Squrriels and power! (Score 1) 144

True story... back in the Stone Age, BI (Before Internet) I was at my first weather school in the USAF, at Chanute AFB IL, on a smoke break (remember those?), it was an instructor and a few us students.. we were on a side of the building that faced a sub-station.

There was a small explosion, we felt a very slight disturbance, a teeny tiny shockwave I guess. People started pouring out of the school -- the power had gone out at the school and surrounding buildings. After assessment, we were told "Go home, it'll be hours before it's fixed." A squirrel had gone and shorted out a transformer.. a big transformer, not those little ones you see up on poles. We later heard there was spalling around the transformer. Yea buddy, a squirrel and some metal made for shrapnel!

Second one, in North Miami - our building had only one way in for power, a 3-phase feed off a pole (!), then buried underground (!!) and into the power. Power goes out, but it was only one phase. The boss and I go to where the noise came from.. and there was a dead squirrel on the floor, with charred fur and a blown-out left hindleg. I still have the picture. It took FPL 3 hours to come and replace one fuse on the pole. Our 90 KVA UPS took the phones and network gear through those 3 hours with plenty to spare. No, we had no generator. Just a mondo UPS.

Fucking squirrels!

Comment We've just put Biff Tannen in the White House (Score 1) 1525

Word of God: Biff Tannen in Back to the Future II was modeled on 1980's Donald Trump.

I can't wait for the White House to be decorated in gold and tigerstripe / leopard print, with vulgar paintings of what seems to be B-movie characters. Oh wait, the Obama's style wasn't too far off, all that red and gold French Provincial Whorehouse Rococo like some african dictator.

So.. is this 2017-A now? Oh well whatever.. bring it.. 2016 was an absolute disaster for me, I think from here things can only go up.. i hope...

Comment Which is why... (Score 1) 70

...we need the ability to disable permissions right upon installation of the app. When android says the app requires wifi password, camera, SD card access, your firstborn, address book access and more, there should be a box next to the permission to disable right then. I know there are apps that allow you to do that, but you need to remember to run them afterwards, you need root, and you need to redo it in case of upgrade.

Comment Re:Catastrophic man-made global warming (Score 2) 278

Perhaps, perhaps not. Venus is still very poorly understood. In its high temperature environment its conditions are largely self-sustaining (preventing the sequestration of CO2 in rock), although it's also unstable, prone to broad temperature and pressure swings. It also appears to have undergone a global resurfacing event about 300-500mya, if that gives a clue as to how unstable the planet as a whole is. ;) We don't know what caused it, or really anything about it. Part of the planet's properties are now a result of it having lost its water rather than being a cause, such as its hard crust. Obviously its lack of a magnetic field is responsible for its loss of water, but we don't know exactly when or why it disappeared (there are of course theories... I had always just assumed it was the slow rotation rate, but the last research I read suggested that not enough to account for it). Other issues as to how Venus ended up as it did may be related to size - although it's only a bit smaller than Earth, that may be the initial factor that set its fate in motion - for example, its lithosphere in general appears to be thicker and higher viscosity on Earth, which could have hindered or prevented plate tectonics, and thus subduction of carbonates.

Either way, it's a mess now at the surface (though rather comfy ~55km up ;) ). And I'm not so sure I buy into some of the proposed ways to fix it (terraforming). For example, some have suggest mass drivers ejecting the atmosphere. Let's just say you can pull it off, and then you start building oxygen in the atmosphere - what happens next? The crust is something like 7-9% FEO; it's going to rust away whatever oxygen you make in short order.

Interestingly, I'd argue that this is possibly the salvation to Sagan's airborne-microbe concept for terraforming Venus. The main criticism is that if you engineered some sort of carbon-sequestering microbe on Venus (or artificial equivalent), you'd end up with a deep surface layer of graphite surrounded by some hugely hot, dense oxygen layer, and the atmosphere would explode. But that would never happen; at Venus surface temperatures and pressures, the surface rocks would rust away the oxygen as fast as it was created, even in tiny quantities, with the wind blowing the dust around to collect at low/eddy areas. So you're laying down bands of carbon and iron oxide as you burn through the planet's iron buffer. Where have we seen this before? Right, Earth, ~2,3 billion years ago, banded iron formations. Just like on Earth, you'd eventually burn through the iron and start to accumulate oxygen. But by then the graphite is already underground, buried in iron dust.

It's not a fast process. But it has precedent. Microbes already rusted at least one planet, and that planet's surface conditions weren't nearly as favorable for rusting as Venus's.

Comment Re:Catastrophic man-made global warming (Score 1, Troll) 278

I don't know how China managed to melt so much arctic ice, leading to the absurd situation that just a couple days before the winter solstice this year I went on a hike through the snowless mountains in Iceland among chirping songbirds digging for worms. All I have to say to China about this is: Best. Conspiracy. Ever. Well played, China. Well played.

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