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Why You Can't Manufacture Like Apple

LodCrappo just economics (408 comments)

If the startup made the same huge profit margins that Apple does, I don't see why doing any of these things would be a problem.

The real lesson is that you'll need your customers to pay *a lot* more than it costs to make something if you want to do silly, expensive things while making it.

about two weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: What Smartwatch Apps Could You See Yourself Using?

LodCrappo Undecided but interested (471 comments)

I see a lot of "I can already do the same things on my phone" posts, but that doesn't close the book on smartwatches for me.

A phone can do everything a tablet can do. A laptop can do everything that a phone or tablet can do. A desktop can do everything a laptop can do. Go back to the start of microcomputers and there is the "the office mainframe can do everything a PC can do" argument.

All of the above platforms succeeded because they helped people do mostly the same things (or a subset of overlapping things) but added some advantage in portability, cost, ease of use, etc.

Google's official vision for Android Wear is interesting because it clearly explains where Google thinks the advantage for watches will be: timely notification of important information *without* interrupting what you are doing. If you're not understanding why you'd want to own a smartwatch, it is worth reading:

I wouldn't say the current crop of hardware and software delivers this vision all that well, but if this is the goal then I will remain interested. Apple's strategy seem less focused and more of just "hey, it's yet another thing like an ipod or an iphone or an ipad, but tiny". Maybe that isn't accurate, I haven't spent as much time reading about their platform yet, just a first impression.

about three weeks ago

Moto 360 Reviews Arrive

LodCrappo Re:Battery life seems to be a killer (87 comments)

I gave up on the Pebble long ago (found it mostly useless), but one thing I do remember is that I was constantly running out of battery while out and about. I've been using an LG G watch for quite a while now, and running out of battery has never been an issue.

It is counter intuitive, but the LG's ~36 hours better life actually works much more reliably for me than the Pebble's two days (when it goes all buggy) to 7-8 days (when it doesn't, and you mostly ignore it), The reason is that I *know* I charge the LG every night, just like my cell phone. I quickly got into the habit of setting the watch down on it's charger thing as I put my wallet, phone, whatever on the nightstand etc. The LG is forgiving enough if you do forget to charge that you'll probably make it at least till noon the next day, but I almost never forget for the simple reason that it's a short, consistent pattern.

With the Pebble, I didn't want to wear out the battery by partially discharging each day then charging back to full each night (TBH I don't know if it's battery works that way, I just figure less charge cycles is probably "good" somehow.. shrug). So I tried to remember to check, pay attention to the low battery alert, whatever. It just didn't work. It was much more tedious and failure prone then just knowing I set something in a certain place each night. Sure, I could have just said screw it and charged it every night regardless, but then it's only equivalent to the Android options at best.

about three weeks ago

Moto 360 Reviews Arrive

LodCrappo Re:Screen FAIL (87 comments)

yeah, except for the part where it actually works fine in sunlight.

about three weeks ago

Moto 360 Reviews Arrive

LodCrappo Re:Battery life seems to be a killer (87 comments)

I've been messing around with an LG G watch for several weeks now (part time android dev, just getting to know the platform). It lasts over 24 hours on a charge, often approaching 48 hours if I don't fool with it a whole lot and turn off the "always on" display. To me, this is quite reasonable. Set it on the charger when you take it off each night, but if you do forget, it will still work for a good part of the next day. FWIW the battery life on the Moto X is similar, about 36 hours, and being able to use the phone all morning even when i fail to charge the night before has been very, very handy. I suspect if you're a heavy watch user you would appreciate the "day and a half" range of battery life in a similar manner.

As for the 360.. Initial reports from early users said they were getting "almost two days", which would correlate with what I've seen on the LG G, and make it perfectly reasonable in the battery life department IMHO. However, as the official reviews come out today it seems they are reporting ~25% of the LG G lifespan, which is insanely awful... If true, that puts the 360 firmly into the useless category.

about three weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: Preparing For Windows XP EOL?

LodCrappo no more OS changes means potentially more secure (423 comments)

Since we can assume XP will never change once support is over, can't we then do new things to secure it that were impractical in the past?
Hard coded file checks, read only filesystems, out of band checks and so on.. It wouldn't take much to install Linux on a USB key and have it check the local HDD or even just overwrite the OS files at boot, and that's just the first idea that comes to mind. Maybe a bios that won't boot if any of the xp boot files are changed, etc. I'm not saying it's ideal, but it seems like a once moving target is now static, so maybe that can be leveraged to create some safety, especially for the types of systems that are required to continue using XP (I.e. not consumer desktops).

about 6 months ago

Should programming be a required curriculum in public schools?

LodCrappo Re:YES! (sort of) (313 comments)

Many of those subjects *are* required in American high schools. Electricity and the principles of combustion engines/mechanical systems are covered in physics and chemistry. The math used to manage finances and in food recipes is covered by traditional math classes, even in elementary school. Biology covers the mechanisms behind producing a child, if not the parenting.

There is value in understanding the basic concepts of computing, just as there is value in the basic concepts of chemistry, physics, biology, etc.

about 7 months ago

With 'Virgin' Developers, Microsoft Could Fork Android

LodCrappo Re:Whats wrong with Windows Phone? (241 comments)

" AOSP is the proprietary part"

No, AOSP is the free and open part. Android Open Source Project -

The Google cloud services are the proprietary part (Gmail, Hangouts, G+, etc). AOSP is a fine mobile operating system without any cloud services. Many third party ROMs for Android devices are pure AOSP. You can also put different cloud services in place of the Google services and distribute that to your hearts content, i.e. the Amazon Kindle.

I agree that Windows Phone is a very nice operating system. I tried an htc 8x for a few months and found it very capable in the basics. Email, phone calls, MMS were really quite good. For some people it may be a better choice than Android, though Android improves so fast that it's hard to be confident there. WP is absolutely not "crap" and honestly if we are comparing only the OS itself it is in league with any other modern mobile OS.

There are two serious problems with WP, IMHO. First we all know that the selection of apps is just awful. This is a chicken and egg problem, something Microsoft has had more success than most in solving before, so perhaps that can be corrected. However, the more serious problem is Microsoft's current strategy to create some sort of universal environment (I think a universal environment could actually work, but so far they are just doing it wrong) For example, you mentioned Win 9 providing unified apps that run on a desktop and a phone. This sounds like a perfect recipe for apps that *suck massively* on both the phone and the desktop. I can't see that helping either platform. Same with the desktop vs Metro issues in Win 8... I like Metro on my surface pro but it's worse than useless on my traditional desktop. There may be a way to have one OS to rule them all, but I'm not sure MS is going to figure it out.

about 7 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Package Redirection Service For Shipping to Australia?

LodCrappo Next on Ask Slashdot: (206 comments)

Where did I leave my keys?

Does Billy like me like me, or really like me like me?

about a year ago

Apple Blocks Lawrence Lessig's Comment On iOS 7 Wi-Fi Glitch

LodCrappo Re: Another day, another anti-Apple story (326 comments)

"Say what you will about Jobs, and from what I've read I'd say he was probably a sociopath, but the man did care about the quality of his products. If given the choice of shaving pennies and making something low quality or going for the better tech and raising the price Jobs always seemed to go for the latter which is probably why they built up a rep for quality products. "

I am not so sure about this. I readily agree it is a common belief that Apple has (or had) some kind of commitment to quality, but for years their products have been using the exact same components as basically everyone else. Open up a Mac from any of the last 10+ years and you will find the same CPUs, RAM, hard drives, graphics cards, etc as found in most PCs. I think by charging a lot more for the same components, putting them in a pretty case, and doing some very effective advertising they created a sense of added quality in their fan's minds without actually spending any extra pennies on actually providing anything above average. I don't know how well these same concepts apply to the iThings as they are not so easy to open up and look at the vendor names on the components :) but I suspect it's much the same as Apple's strategy with PC hardware. There have certainly been a fair number of hardware and software defects in the iPhone line (antenna-gate, the daylight savings fail, the daylight savings fail II (aka revenge of the incompetence), various crazy bandwidth consumer glitches, and so on), most of which predate Jobs untimely demise.

There is quite a bit of evidence to support how irrelevant factors can make huge influences on perceived "quality", for instance I recall watching a video where utility water out of garden hose was served in a fancy bottle and folks were asked if they preferred it to some major brand bottled water. Vast majority picked the hose water if it's packaging was made to appear "premium" compared to the alternative. Apple seems to have found ways to package their products to inspire a similar reaction.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Where Are the Complete Hosting Providers?

LodCrappo Re:DH, FTW (178 comments)

Sorry, but one of my biggest clients has had nothing but problems with DreamHost. Given such different experiences, I recommend some serious research to anyone considering them.

about a year ago

Mac OS 10.9's Mail App — Infinity Times Your Spam

LodCrappo what did you expect (158 comments)

This is the company that can't correctly implement daylight savings time in an alarm application. You expect them to handle something as complex as implementing an ages old industry standard correctly?

Apple is known for selling lots of shiny bobbles, not for writing solid code.

about a year ago

Dell Ad Says Windows 8.1 Apps Will Run On Xbox One

LodCrappo ah... (148 comments)

So Metro apps are really for game consoles, now I get why they make so little sense on a computer.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Mitigating DoS Attacks On Home Network?

LodCrappo This is not a DOS attack. (319 comments)

Point 1: The fact that you mention mac addresses and dos in the same question shows that you do not know enough about networking to assess this situation properly.

Point 2: Home internet connections don't get DOSed. There is no profit in it to justify the the effort or risk. Anyone with the skill and capability to attack a network most certainly has better things to do.

Point 3: All of your symptoms fit perfectly with a local problem. None of them match a DOS very well.

You very likely have a compromised PC or a PC running something like torrents/other P2P software that isnt properly configured. Use up all your outbound bandwidth either way and you will have exactly the situation described.

obligatory: wtf is this doing on slashdot? Its a basic home user networking issue.

about a year ago

Irony: iPhone 5S Users Reporting Blue Screen of Death

LodCrappo Re:A Long time? (192 comments)

Your computer is broken. Have it repaired. (Or stop trolling... Sometimes it's hard to tell so apologies for giving a serious answer if so)

The typical Win 7 machine is impressively stable. I haven't seen a blue screen in years.

about a year ago

Irony: iPhone 5S Users Reporting Blue Screen of Death

LodCrappo not only 5s or os 7? (192 comments)

Here is video of an older iPhone and os making exact same blue screen/restart.
Seems to take different actions to trigger, but not sure this is a new bug.
From the comments sounds like it wasn't too uncommon either..

about a year ago

The Chip That Changed the World: AMD's 64-bit FX-51, Ten Years Later

LodCrappo Those bastards (259 comments)

Apple just released a 64bit processor, and now AMD is copying it TEN YEARS ago?!?

Can the industry please do something original and quit just following wherever Apple leads it?

1 year,5 days

Ask Slashdot: Are 'Rock Star' Developers a Necessity?

LodCrappo do not underestimate your needs (356 comments)

I think pretty much any opinion on the primary question already been offered. However I would add that whether or not you feel that your needs are challenging and/or require great programmers, a great programmer may very well be worth every penny they cost you and more.
Take a look at the daily wtf or other similar sites to see the huge cost a mediocre programmer can be to a company even in very simple applications. Even a minor change to a system can be done well or done poorly, and too many items done poorly can be a catastrophe.

You might not be doing mission critical projects, but when generating a TPS report coversheet brings your network to its knees because some mediocre programmer doesn't know or care what she's doing, it sucks and it costs money.

1 year,19 days

Most Tor Keys May Be Vulnerable To NSA Cracking

LodCrappo duh (236 comments)

1. Us government creates Tor.

2. Us government can audit Tor traffic.

Who exactly is surprised by this??

1 year,24 days



Internet on the Tandy Color Computer

LodCrappo LodCrappo writes  |  more than 4 years ago

LodCrappo (705968) writes "I am one of the devs working on a project to bring TCP/IP networking capabilities to the 30 year old Color Computer. Our efforts recently won first place in this year's RetroChallenge Winter Warmup. We've created the CoCo's first web server, telnet server and client, an IRC client and more. We've also bridged TCP connections with legacy software such as an ancient BBS system. Our project differs from strategies such using Contiki in that we've added this networking functionality to the CoCo's native operating system, OS-9. We present TCP connections to legacy applications as a collection of standard serial devices that provide modem emulation and a new networking API. Thanks the the unix-like design of OS-9's I/O system, this means almost any existing program can now be internet accessible."
Link to Original Source

LodCrappo LodCrappo writes  |  more than 7 years ago

LodCrappo writes "The SANS Internet Storm Center handler's diary is reporting that many more sites are serving up the exploit code that was found last week on the Super Bowl stadium websites: "On Friday we reported that the Dolphins Stadium (home of the 2007 Super Bowl) was infected with a scripted pointer to malware that exploited two patchable Microsoft Windows vulnerabilities. While doing research on that issue we uncovered many more sites that contain similar references."

It appears that some of the sites may have been infected since this past November."

LodCrappo LodCrappo writes  |  more than 7 years ago

LodCrappo writes "From Websense Securitylabs: The official website of Dolphin Stadium has been compromised with malicious code. The Dolphin Stadium is currently experiencing a large number of visitors, as it is the home of Sunday's Super Bowl XLI. The site is linked from numerous official Super Bowl websites and various Super Bowl-related search terms return links to the site.

A link to a malicious javascript file has been inserted into the header of the front page of the site. Visitors to the site execute the script, which attempts to exploit two vulnerabilities: MS06-014 and MS07-004. Both of these exploits attempt to download and execute a malicious file."


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