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

joelsherrill Re:Its a cost decision (840 comments)

KitchenAid? I don't have enough time to give you my long-winded rant over the craptastic products that I have had the pleasure of repairing with none of my major kitchen appliances being over six years old. Let's start with a microwave door that developed cracks within six months of being new, oven controls that "stuck" and had to be replaced, dishwasher rollers that are apparently not made with heat rated plastic, an oven door handle screw that fell out inside the door, cracks in the back of refrigerator wall, broken refrigerator drawers and trays, and that's not counting that I can see the non-metal bottom of the stainless steel dishwasher starting to deteroiate. I currently have an ice maker in a box waiting for me to replace the broken one in the refrigerator and a new cover for the microwave since the handle finally pulled completely through. I found out that the cover needed six tabs which were broken on the old one (from the factory). So I looked up the parts and ordered them. Plastic tabs about 1/2" long and 3/8" wide with a screw hole. Whirlpool and every third party parts place wants about $25 a piece for the six plastic tabs ($150!!) that hold the cover in place if I ordered white or stainless. Luckily, you can't see them so I was happy with the $3.75 a piece black ones.

From the web, I can tell that the products under there other various names (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whirlpool_Corporation#Major_brands) are built with the same quality.

I have to give props to my wife who has on more than one occasion grabbed the parts when they arrived and fixed things herself. There are some amazing videos on YouTube showing how to repair appliances and the web makes it easy to order parts. Just a damned shame that you have to do it because the item you are repairing it shite the day it leaves the factory. Google "whirlpool lawsuit defective design" and add a word like refrigerator or icemaker.

Sometimes it isn't that one can't repair or doesn't want to. It is that the appliance in question is shite from the factory and parts are priced in such a way that repairs become increasingly expensive and you hate the damned appliance. If Whirlpool were to give me replacements, I would take them but I am adding them to the list of companies I don't want anything from. So Whirlpool ... if anyone there cares... you have a chance to redeem yourself. But my previous attempts to get satisfaction failed just like the appliances.

about three weeks ago

Android 5.0 Makes SD Cards Great Again

joelsherrill Re:Still a second class citizen (214 comments)

The Moto G and Moto X have an SD slot. I haven't compared the Moto X and Nexus 6 specs but they should be largely similar except screen size.

about 3 months ago

Drupal Warns Users of Mass, Automated Attacks On Critical Flaw

joelsherrill What about Drupal 6? (76 comments)

The story only mentions Drupal 7. Is Drupal 6 or 8 impacted?

about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Unlimited Data Plan For Seniors?

joelsherrill Fix Their Wifi (170 comments)

Why don't you directly solve the problem and help them improve their Wifi coverage? It could be as simple as buying something more modern with more power and some repeaters. At least see if they would let you investigate it. A few hundred dollars might side step the mobile and make all of the residents live easier.

Maybe some local company would donate services or equipment to help you do this. Talk to their ISP. Who knows until you beg?

about 3 months ago

Intel Pushes Into Tablet Market, Pushes Away From Microsoft

joelsherrill Re:Drivers, its all about the drivers (110 comments)

We have used a Raspberry Pi to compile RTEMS (rtems.org) to target the space hardened SPARC V7 ERC32 as well as gdb including a simulator. The Raspberry Pi does this and runs the tests on a simulator at approximately the same performance level as a mid-90s Sun workstation. It is a respectable CPU and great for many "ordinary" computer tasks.

about 9 months ago

Intel Launches 'Galileo,' an Arduino-Compatible Mini Computer

joelsherrill Is the JTAG Port Open? (130 comments)

Are the specifications for communication protocol over the JTAG port open? Will projects like OpenOCD (http://openocd.sourceforge.net/) have enough information to support this?

Sure they might have used a standard connector. But the devil is in the details.

about a year ago

There Is a Fly In My Tweet: Tracking Food-Borne Illness the Crowd-Sourced Way

joelsherrill Similar to Google Flu Trends (16 comments)

Assume people eat out, mention a restaurant in a tweet, and complain of being sick within 72 hours. I can see how over enough tweets -- just like enough searches -- you can make this work.

about a year and a half ago

Steve Jobs' First Boss: 'Very Few Companies Would Hire Steve, Even Today'

joelsherrill He's Dead Jim (420 comments)

Isn't productivity from a dead guy zero. Why would anyone hire a dead guy?

All I can think of is a new movie called Weekend at Steve's.

about 2 years ago

Has Kickstarter Peaked?

joelsherrill Re:Lack of Publicity (156 comments)

Your scoreboard looks interesting and if you could get information in front of the 1000s of youth soccer leagues, it has potential. I have no proof of this but suspect that the kickstarter audience is (as a broad and biased sweep) NOT the athletic type and most are not the parents of 4-13 year old soccer players. This looks like a product that needs word of mouth in the RIGHT community.

Have you all taken it out to soccer fields and shown it in action?

Have you tried to get the attention of an organization like http://www.usyouthsoccer.org/ and get it featured in a review or article in whatever news outlet they have?

Have you talked with local high school coaches about this and offered them loaners?

Once you get a little local exposure at the soccer field, call the newspapers and television stations and see if they will feature a story on this. A local feel good story might find you other marketing outlets or an angel backer.

DISCLAIMER: I am a backer of Bartendro on kickstarter. Others have mentioned being backers of nerdy board or computer games. Maybe kickstarter isn't the best place to hawk a sports related product. :)

about 2 years ago

Canonical Announces Mir: A New Display Server Not On X11 Or Wayland

joelsherrill Re:Obligatory XKCD (354 comments)

If only this were a standard.

about 2 years ago

Surface Pro: 'Virtually Unrepairable'

joelsherrill Re:disposable tech (418 comments)

A friend of mine who ran a TV repair business saw the writing on the wall when he had to start paying upwards of USD5K a year to a single manufacturer to get manuals. And the parts became entire modules with higher costs. He focused on higher end systems since anything cheap enough isn't worth the cost to repair. Eventually he gave up and went to work for LG.

about 2 years ago

Obama Proposes 'Meaningful Progress' On Climate Change

joelsherrill Re:I didn't watch the speech (583 comments)

My son is studying economics this semester and his textbook mentions that price controls were in effect at the time which had some unintended consequences. There is a section in the wikipedia article on how changes in currency value led to periodic jumps in the price OPEC wanted to keep oil at the same income to them as a supplier. Also this price control apparently impacted existing oil fields and not new ones. It became more profitable to quit using old fields and drill new ones to avoid the price controls.


I am all in favor of efficiency and lower resource consumption but there were many external factors impacting the 1970s oil market.

about 2 years ago

MS Targets Google With Another Smear Campaign

joelsherrill Pot Meet Kettle (513 comments)

Has anyone looked at the Privacy link at the bottom of the login screen for outlook.com?


Quoting here: "Uses of Information: Additional Details
  We use the information we collect to provide the services you request. Our services may include the display of personalized content and advertising.
  We use your information to inform you of other products or services offered by Microsoft and its affiliates, and to send you relevant survey invitations related to Microsoft services.
  We do not sell, rent, or lease our customer lists to third parties. In order to help provide our services, we occasionally provide information to other companies that work on our behalf."

So they can personalize content and advertising, send you offers, and provide it to other companies.

s/Google Mail/outlook.com/ and the claims appear to be the same.

about 2 years ago

One-of-a-Kind Chemistry Autograph Collection Goes Digital

joelsherrill Very Cool But Very Bad Sound... (16 comments)

When you turn a page. Wow! This is a very cool thing for Tetsuo Nozoe to have spent many years doing and a treasure. It is a great thing that it is available online (for a limited time). But WTF is up with that sound as you turn pages. If real books sounded like that when you turned a page libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops would be horrible places.

about 2 years ago



Healthcare.gov Built by Canadian Firm

joelsherrill joelsherrill writes  |  about a year ago

joelsherrill (132624) writes "While I personally have nothing against our neighbors to the North, it seems ironic that Healthcare.gov was built by the Canadian firm CGI Corp. Anytime a high profile US government website has problems and it turns out to have been built by non-US companies, it is a recipe for a PR nightmare. Even more ironic is that Canada has a functional national health system but couldn't supply the US with a functional website. Conspiracy theorists wonder if this is a ploy by the Canadians to take over 17% of the US economy (stat from Wikipedia)?"
Link to Original Source

ESA Summer of Code In Space Application Deadline

joelsherrill joelsherrill writes  |  about a year and a half ago

joelsherrill (132624) writes "August 8 is the deadline for students to apply to participate in the European Space Agency's Summer of Code In Space (http://sophia.estec.esa.int/socis2013/). This is a great opportunity to contribute to the use of free and open source software in the space community and get paid. Eligible students should look through the list of software projects participating (http://sophia.estec.esa.int/socis2013/?q=node/13) and see what interests them.

As the organization administrator for the RTEMS Project (http://www.rtems.org), I am honored to be participating again and can't wait to see what students propose."

ESA Summer of Code In Space Organizatins Announced

joelsherrill joelsherrill writes  |  more than 3 years ago

joelsherrill writes "Twenty FOSS organizations have been selected to participate in the first edition of SOCIS (2011). Each of the twenty organisations have one student slot each. The organizations are Stellarium, BRL-CAD, RTEMS, NASA World Wind, Orekit, Marble, ORSA, Robolab, ORFEO toolbox, Kstars, Helioviewer, FFmpeg/libav, OpenSimKit, Robot Construction Kit (ROCK), BEAM, Opticks, Open Mission Control, Emporda, SunPy, and x264.

Link to Original Source

RTEMS Turns 21

joelsherrill joelsherrill writes  |  about 5 years ago

joelsherrill (132624) writes "RTEMS (http://www.rtems.org) is a free real-time operating system for embedded systems. The project is celebrating the 21st birthday of RTEMS today. RTEMS supports the single process with filesystem POSIX profile on over a dozen processor architectures. To just be entering young adulthood, RTEMS has had a busy life. It has been a Google Summer of Code project twice (Thanks Google!). It has been to Venus on the Venus Express, circles Mars on the Electra radio, powers Herschel and Planck, is on its way to the asteroid belt aboard DAWN, and has been a key part of physics discoveries at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center."
Link to Original Source

Thunderbird 3.0 Released

joelsherrill joelsherrill writes  |  more than 5 years ago

joelsherrill (132624) writes "The long awaited Thunderbird 3.0 is out. It has many new features and improvements according to the release notes. Personally I have been reasonably happy with the pre-release versions provided with Fedora 11 and 12 except that it periodically uses 100% of the CPU and I have to kill it. I wonder if Fedora issue 493000 is fixed."
Link to Original Source


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