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Comment Re:Totally abandoning their core userbase (Score 3, Interesting) 63

They're putting short term profits ahead of the long game. Long before the iPhone came out OS X came bundled with XCode. Anyone wanting to learn to code for the Mac could do it out of the box starting with 10.3. For a college student that wasn't quite ready to get started in Linux (And this was Linux 2003 mind you) it was amazing that I could compile stuff out of the box without dealing with cygwin on Windows XP.

If you coded in XCode the PPC-64, x86 and x86-64 migrations were relatively painless. When the iPhone finally got a dev kit the tools had been out for 5+ years. People were able to hop in to iPhone development. Distributed builds over ZeroConf have been supported for a while as well. Have a dozen machines sitting idle? Hit compile and distribute the load.

Apple has fallen completely on their face supporting the people that make the pretty widget iPhone apps. Unless they start churning out development tools there isn't going to be a machine to do iOS n+2 development on.

Comment Re:Liability (Score 1) 494

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:Common Economic problem (Score 0) 494

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) 494

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) 494

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) 494

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 Dog stuff (Score 1) 71

What about the neighbors who drop their dog waste in your can, after garbage pickup and before you return home from work, that you have to store that dog waste in your garage until the next week? If it rained there is water in the bottom of the can in which the plastic baggie is swimming (we have robotic-arm collection trucks, and the lid is often open after a collection). Ewww!

That's the need for that Nest device.

Comment Re:All of my Disgust. (Score 3, Interesting) 53

You think ICEs are much different?

Engine companies will come up with a common set of iron and sell you different power ratings.

Even then a wide range of engine ratings will share at minimum an engine block, pistons, etc.

For example the Caterpillar C13 can be bought with a rating 385.0 bhp - 520.0 bhp. It make take 2 sets of turbos & injectors to cover that range but for the most part it's all just a software change.

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