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Comment Re:Liability (Score 1) 484

VW was engaging in behavior that cheated emissions regulations.

John Deere is mandated by the EPA to lock down their software so that throttle jockey Farmers can't do the same thing. The same guys that were cutting their catalytic converters off their cars in the 70s would be doing the same thing now days with the DPF and SCR systems.

If John Deere didn't make it reasonably difficult for the average user to change their software they would be held liable by the EPA. In terms of pollution there isn't much difference between VW cheating a test and a rogue farmer installing some high horse power/DPF delete firmware on his tractor.

Comment Re:Slashdot still the best 'format'. (Score 1) 130

I get e-mail notifications. They come to my real Inbox. The only comments that don't are AC.

It's how I found this comment..

Bonus is I don't have to keep refreshing the site to check my inbox. I know that isn't in the best interest of the advertisers but I can continue to check my e-mail if something comes up but close out of Slashdot and concentrate on getting *some* work done.

[Also, HTML is so 2000. Please support some flavor of markdown].

Comment Re:Are there alternatives to John Deere? (Score 1) 484

Depending on the size of the tractor(exclude the really big ones) and equipment the connectors and power transfer connectors are rather universal and you can switch between tractor and equipment. So you can take a modern tractor or something from the 60s and the equipment will attach and work.
Most stuff tends to fit on the standard three point hitch, universal joint or PTO connectors.

Comment Re:Common Economic problem (Score 0) 484

Sorry, but there is exactly NO reason to need a "specialist" to make an oil change or switch out a spark plug.

And there isn't. They don't even have spark plugs to begin with.

You can't just slap any transmission into a new tractor and assume it'll work because it fits. Are the shift points set for that engine rating? There are hundreds of other software interactions that go on.

Comment Re:John Deere has too many non farmers (Score 2) 484

John Deere knows exactly who their customers are. They are corporate farms that buy tractors by the dozen. The newest tractors cost

It's the reason you're starting to see a lot of other small tractor companies like Mahindra and Kubota come in and cover the space that Deere used to sell to.

Comment Slashdot still the best 'format'. (Score 4, Insightful) 130

Decline in popularity aside, Slashdot still reigns supreme as the best 'format' for online discussion. I have to hand it to the creators for sitting down and thinking through how to do moderation and anonymity. Reddit seems to have just re-invented PHPBB and all the other forum software with this.

-1 to +5 limits bandwagoning. I've seen stuff recover from initial -1 to 5, on Reddit once the bandwagons and bots take over it's near impossible for a post to change the direction.

Limited voting rights. Random moderation points. Meta-moderation. Even something as simple as not being able to moderate and comment on the same thread. 90% of Reddit is "I disagree, I'll downvote then tell them why they're wrong".

AC accounts are all equal. No account needed in the first place or a simple checkbox if I am logged in. (Plus some hilarity of "I'm posting AC because I work for..." and then they forget to check the box.)

In the golden days browsing at +4 was nothing but decent discussion of tech topics. (Or people complaining about how that isn't news for nerds). Sure the trolls show up and people have been screaming about GNAA since I can remember but they're quickly down to -1.

If there's someone that I find insightful or hate I can friend/foe them *server side* and moderate a bit further.

It's not perfect but given everything that's come along since then it's still better.

I wish someone would give the codebase a good rinse and expand it to more news discussion. It's not Reddit, Facebook, Digg or anything else that I've found.

Comment Re:Liability (Score 1) 484

Is John Deere legally liable if an UNMODIFIED tractor malfunctions and hurts someone?

It absolutely is. Look at "diesel gate" with VW. If the JD tractors have firmware that cheats emissions tests and pollutes like crazy in the field the EPA would come down hard on them. License agreement or no license agreement.

Comment Re: Liability (Score 1) 484

If you buy property is yours you should be able to do whatever you want with it.

I buy a gallon of oil. I should have the sovereign right to pour that down a storm drain.

I buy a gallon of glyphosate. I should have the full right to overspray it such that it runs down into the municipal water features.

The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) stipulates that a lot of what goes into modern engine firmware for emissions regulations.

Comment Re:Planet USA (Score 1) 374

Lol you have never lived in Europe or the USA.
As someone who has lived decades in both your comments are totally outside of reality.
To tell the truth I did love the European heath care system, I would call up tell them I need shots, medical appointment, etc and would told it would be a month or two since it non-emergency. I would then say I would not be using that countries health care system and would be paying by bank transfer and I had my appointment that week. I would walk in get the work done and leave and the poor people in that system would still be there. European friend that had a bad knee got pushed back for over three years, they kept telling him he was below the age they would normally replace it, and since he could still get around he was not a priority. He just had to give up all sports and activities that placed any weight on that leg.
In the USA there are so many medical places around, and here I can use insurance, so it is fill in paperwork, hand over a card, and I am in and out. Last month I had to get a bunch of work done and some shots and longest wait I had was 45 mins to get blood drawn for lab work because I needed to get it done that day.

Comment Re:Yeah, the bubble will pop long before that (Score 1) 374

If you want the free experience that you get in Germany then go to your local community college. Most offer degrees of multiple levels and are free or nearly free.
Also there are plenty of other methods to pay for the non-community college experience be ISAs, agreeing to work at some location for a period of time or public service. People enter into those loans because they of the financial benefits they gain from them.

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