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Professor: Young People Are "Lost Generation" Who Can No Longer Fix Gadgets

MpVpRb Some new devices are unrepairable (840 comments)

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

about a month ago

Open Source Craft Brewery Shares More Than Recipes

MpVpRb This is not new (50 comments)

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

about a month ago

Ask Slashdot: Where Do You Stand on Daylight Saving Time?

MpVpRb I vote for GMT/UTC (613 comments)

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

about 3 months ago

Passwords: Too Much and Not Enough

MpVpRb Re:Why so high? (223 comments)


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

about 3 months ago

3D-Printed Car Takes Its First Test Drive

MpVpRb I wish tech writers were more honest (132 comments)

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

about 5 months ago

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

MpVpRb Nothing (471 comments)

They are just too tiny

I would have to carry a magnifier with me

about 5 months ago

Getting IT Talent In Government Will Take Culture Change, Says Google Engineer

MpVpRb It's more than the tie (166 comments)

It's the rules, the bureaucracy and the paperwork

about 6 months ago

Silicon Valley Doesn't Have an Attitude Problem, OK?

MpVpRb This is not new (262 comments)

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

about 6 months ago

NADA Is Terrified of Tesla

MpVpRb Buying a car (455 comments)

..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

about 7 months ago

Are US Hybrid Sales Peaking Already?

MpVpRb Hybrids are a step on the road (377 comments)

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

about 7 months ago

Apple Confirms Purchase of Beats For $3 Billion

MpVpRb GOOD! (188 comments)

I despise apple. I refer to them as "the distilled essence of evil"

Nice to see them wasting money on a stupid purchase

about 8 months ago

How Virtual Reality Became Reality

MpVpRb There's something about the promise.. (104 comments)

..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

about 8 months ago

Free Software Foundation Condemns Mozilla's Move To Support DRM In Firefox

MpVpRb Re:Yawn. (403 comments)

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

about 8 months ago

You've Got Male: Amazon's Growth Impacting Seattle Dating Scene

MpVpRb No different than.. (315 comments)

..any place I worked since 1980

Engineering offices are very close to 100% male

about 9 months ago

Could High Bay-Area Prices Make Sacramento the Next Big Startup Hub?

MpVpRb May I suggest an alternative... (190 comments)

Nevada County..Grass Valley, Nevada City..

Reasonable housing prices

GREAT quality of life!

60 miles from Sacramento

about 9 months ago

The Internet's Broken. Who's Going To Invent a New One?

MpVpRb My ideal internet (162 comments)

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

about 9 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Joining a Startup As an Older Programmer?

MpVpRb Demonstrate your worth (274 comments)

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

about 9 months ago

An MIT Dean's Defense of the Humanities

MpVpRb Yes, studying humanities can be helpful (264 comments)

..as part of an engineering degree

No, a degree in English literature will not help you find a job

about 8 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

MpVpRb Problem solving (737 comments)

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

about 10 months ago



What are your experiences with AT&T U-verse

MpVpRb MpVpRb writes  |  more than 6 years ago

MpVpRb (1423381) writes "So...late last night, this very persistent young man came to my door. He was pitching AT&T U-verse. Evidently this is some kind of hybrid fiber/copper broadband that promises high speed internet, TV and phone. He talked and talked and refused to stop, even after I told him I was not interested several times. The fact that they have resorted to high pressure door-to-door sales makes me think that the service is in deep trouble.

Have any Slashdotters tried it? If so, what are your experiences?"


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