Professor: Young People Are "Lost Generation" Who Can No Longer Fix Gadgets
Regardless of your skill, some devices are designed to be throwaway
Some are assembled with glue or welding
Some are completely encased in plastic by potting or overmolding
Some components, like ICs in BGA packaging, cannot easily be replaced with common tools
Many manufacturers don't offer repair parts..at any price
Sometimes, manufacturers grind off the identifying information on common parts to make repair and reverse engineering more difficult
Schematics and repair manuals are often completely unavailable, or very expensive
Many products require special tools that are unavailable at any price
Even if you have the skill to build your own tools, software interface documentation is rarely available, and often the interface is obfuscated
I have been building stuff, fixing stuff and reverse engineering stuff for many, many years
Yes, I agree that fixing stuff is a valuable skill that should be taught and not allowed to die
But, much of the fault lies with the manufacturers who aggressively resist any attempt by users to gain control over their devices
This practice should be illegal, we should have the legal right to fix stuff we own if we have the knowledge to do so
Open Source Craft Brewery Shares More Than Recipes
Vinnie Cilurzo of Russian River published a homebrew recipe for Pliny the Elder along with a detailed description of how he designed it
Mitch Steele of Stone wrote a book on IPA which included recipes for many of Stone's beers
Craft brewing and homebrewing have a long and interconnected history
Many craft brewers started as homebrewers and many craft breweries own homebrew supply stores and support homebrew clubs
The craft brewers I have visited freely answered any questions I asked
Ask Slashdot: Where Do You Stand on Daylight Saving Time?
It's the same everywhere
Instead of our current system where work/school starts at 8:00 and we adjust our clocks to compensate for the season, it would make more sense for schools and businesses to adjust their hours based on the season
Passwords: Too Much and Not Enough
It's hard to imagine any site allowing 1,000,000 bad guesses
It probably varies by site, but methinks anything over 100 or so would trigger a response
Even if the limit was 1000, same outcome
Nixie Wearable Drone Camera Flies Off Your Wrist
I wonder if an actual prototype has been built
3D-Printed Car Takes Its First Test Drive
Yes, it's a cool demo..congratulations to a bunch of cool engineers
No, it's not a 3D printed car
At best, it's a crudely 3D printed body shell over traditionally made parts
There is no 3D printing tech available now that can print a ball bearing..or gears..or springs..or a motor
Ask Slashdot: What Smartwatch Apps Could You See Yourself Using?
They are just too tiny
I would have to carry a magnifier with me
Getting IT Talent In Government Will Take Culture Change, Says Google Engineer
It's the rules, the bureaucracy and the paperwork
Silicon Valley Doesn't Have an Attitude Problem, OK?
In the 90s, I worked on a project in San Francisco
As I walked around the city, I saw angry rants pasted on various surfaces around town
The ranters were denouncing the "yuppie invasion" and claiming that it was ruining the neighborhood
It seemed to me, that if you replaced every occurrence of the word "yuppie" with the word "nigger", it would have fit perfectly into a KKK rant from the 50s
NADA Is Terrified of Tesla
..in the traditional sales system is not a thing that most people enjoy
Some people falsely believe they are "players" but they still get screwed
Most people are "sheep" and they get screwed faster and harder
I am not a master negotiator..I just want a car at a fair price
I always feel like a lamb in a roomful of tigers when I deal with a traditional car dealer
I'm a really good engineer, and I have many other talents..but cutthroat negotiation is not one of them
I really, really want a better system
Are US Hybrid Sales Peaking Already?
The real solution is pure electric
The energy source may be batteries, supercapacitors or hydrogen..or something new??
Hybrids are at best an intermediate solution
The good news is that they advanced the manufacturing experience of electric motors and control electronics for vehicle use ,,and started consumers thinking that gasoline is not the only path
Apple Confirms Purchase of Beats For $3 Billion
I despise apple. I refer to them as "the distilled essence of evil"
Nice to see them wasting money on a stupid purchase
How Virtual Reality Became Reality
..of VR that makes writers ignore reality and talk about fantasy as if it really exists
This is an important step toward the answer..but NOT the answer..yet
VR is harder than anybody realizes
Free Software Foundation Condemns Mozilla's Move To Support DRM In Firefox
Valiantly fighting the good fight against the evil weasels who view our freedom as a threat
He is still a hero to many of us
You've Got Male: Amazon's Growth Impacting Seattle Dating Scene
..any place I worked since 1980
Engineering offices are very close to 100% male
Could High Bay-Area Prices Make Sacramento the Next Big Startup Hub?
Nevada County..Grass Valley, Nevada City..
Reasonable housing prices
GREAT quality of life!
60 miles from Sacramento
The Internet's Broken. Who's Going To Invent a New One?
It's fast and secure
Anonymous if you want, although I think most people really don't care
Totally free of any and all censorship..of any kind..absolutely..no exceptions
I don't care how compelling your argument is..no censorship..ever..for anything..ever
Reality may be ugly..but truth is good, no exceptions
Ask Slashdot: Joining a Startup As an Older Programmer?
Teach them something they don't know
Solve a problem they can't solve
Become the go-to guy when stuff goes wrong
Do this, and the rest won't matter
An MIT Dean's Defense of the Humanities
..as part of an engineering degree
No, a degree in English literature will not help you find a job
Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?
Although my main profession is software, I also do circuit design, construction, metalworking, carpentry and most of the other building trades
I find that even though the specifics are different, the fundamental skill is the same..problem solving
Software, circuit design, carpentry or any of the other disciplines seem more similar than different
The steps are the same..clearly identify the problem, look at the tools and materials that are available, then find a solution using what you have to work with
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