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Why You Can't Manufacture Like Apple

scotts13 Re:Let me tell you (306 comments)

Those white plastic laptops of Apples got quite a few calls into their support center.
#1: yellowing and cracking of plastic.
#2: Hard drive failure
#3: Battery failure

I think with the 3 items combined, the failure rate must have been in the high %30 mark.

Anyone that owned one shoudl be able to verify that.

Hmm, I was service manager at an Apple authorized computer store. Fixed hundreds of white plastic MacBooks. I would think that, given a long enough timespan, you could get to 30% failure on those three items, collectively. But certainly not within warranty, and generally not due to manufacturing defects.

I never saw any yellowing that wasn't caused by abuse. And I mean cigarette burns, being left on top of a radiator, etc. Cracks on the keyboard bezel, sure. That WAS a design flaw. Cosmetic only, BTW - didn't affect function. Apple fixed them all, in or out of warranty.

Hard drives fail. Apple doesn't make them. Look up the manufacturers specs for G's of impact in operation, and compare that to the way MacBooks are used. Mostly by students... We had one guy who was using his laptop on the seat of a moving, off-road truck. Apple replaced that hard drive, four times that I know of, in and out of warranty - at no charge. Eventually he got a free upgrade to an Air, with SSD. Solved.

Battery failure. Well, batteries are expendable items. I would say 95% of the batteries replaced were over their rated lifetime cycles; usually WAY over. The few that weren't, were also replaced free, in or out of warranty.

13 hours ago

U.S. Threatened Massive Fine To Force Yahoo To Release Data

scotts13 Re:Yahoo knew fine was a bluff (223 comments)

How can you fine someone for not cooperating in activities that the government refused to even admit existed? having lots of people with guns on hand. They can do whatever they want, ESPECIALLY if the programs are covert.

about two weeks ago

Researchers Working On Crystallizing Light

scotts13 Science fiction comes true (129 comments)

Back in the mid-40's, John W Campbell wrote a series of science fiction stories featuring "lux metal" which was basically matter composed of photons instead of electrons, protons, and neutrons. It had, shall we say, "interesting" properties. Wasn't easy to manufacture, either.

about two weeks ago

3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

scotts13 So, they've reached the limits of human endurance (818 comments)

You can't physically cram people any tighter, and fights are breaking out. Good. When they discover they're losing more on bad PR and flight diversions than they're gaining, they'll put back the inch or two - for a while. Now that they've reached bottom, the floor will just bounce from now on; the came couple of inches continually added and subtracted subtracted every 2-3 years, forever.

As far as blaming people for not buying an upgrade, has anyone saying this actually looked at prices? Last couple of times I flew, I looked into it; a little more room doesn't cost you 10% or 20%, it's more like double or triple the ticket price. Actually habitable travel accommodations are only for the wealthy.

about two weeks ago

California Blue Whales Rebound From Whaling

scotts13 Just by coincidence (91 comments)

Japan has just now announced they're resuming whaling for "scientific research" in defiance of a UN ban. They're after minke whales, and a smaller number of fin and humpback whales, not blues... but the timing is odd. Maybe they think Sea Shepherd will be confused, and think they don't have to show up?

about two weeks ago

In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment For a Novelist

scotts13 Re:Or he was actually crazy (441 comments)

We still don't have any facts, other than public officials covering their posteriors. We "know" he wrote a letter someone didn't like. Only that. You go to psych lockup for writing one letter these days?

"McLaw's letter was of primary concern to healthcare officials, Maciarello says. It, combined with complaints of alleged harassment and an alleged possible crime from various jurisdictions led to his suspension. Maciarello cautions that these allegations are still being investigated; authorities, he says, "proceeded with great restraint."

Alleged possible crime? As in, we don't know if it happened, and we're not sure it was a crime?

about three weeks ago

Feds Want Nuclear Waste Train, But Don't Know Where It Would Go

scotts13 2048? (258 comments)

What makes them think there will be safe rail lines or functioning trains in 2048? Let alone going to whatever god-forsaken place they decide to store the stuff.

about three weeks ago

Watch UK Inventor Colin Furze Survive a Fireworks Blast In a Metal Suit

scotts13 I was hoping to something a bit more "Iron Man"... (54 comments)

... and a lot less stupid. A form-fitting, immobile steel coffin with almost no visibility has got to be the least pleasant way to watch fireworks imaginable. Especially if you fall over face first while "standing" in it.

about three weeks ago

South Carolina Student Arrested For "Killing Pet Dinosaur"

scotts13 It's all ass covering (421 comments)

God forbid the kid ever does anything violent for the rest of his life. Then, everything he's ever written, said, or done comes under scrutiny. And anyone who ever saw it, and didn't report it to "proper authorities" goes under the bus with him. Gotta over your ass, just in case.

Not-news for these "authorities" - there isn't a teenage boy (or a lot of girls) born that hasn't fantasized violence, against more than an entirely fictional dinosaur, at least once. A lot of them even write it down. But as long as they don't know about it, no one cares.

about a month ago

South Carolina Student Arrested For "Killing Pet Dinosaur"

scotts13 Re:I had to switch my stepson's junior high school (421 comments)

Pffft! I had a riflery class at my christian summer camp. When I was nine. I was a pretty good shot. Good thing I didn't write a story about it.

about a month ago

DEA Paid Amtrak Employee To Pilfer Passenger Lists

scotts13 Allowed to retire without disciplinary action (127 comments)

That's just amazing. Any company I've worked for, I'd be strung up by the heels for giving away customer data, let alone selling it for the better part of a million dollars. One article notes "It was not clear whether the DEA has rules against soliciting corporate insiders to provide confidential customer information in exchange for money." Really, they need a specific rule against that? I can see a DEA official whispering in someone's ear "Shut up, shut up, let it go and just let her retire."

about a month ago

I'd most like to (personally) explore:

scotts13 Explore the past (246 comments)

I'm more a historian than an explorer. It really bothers me to walk around my former mining town, only 150 years old, and there are old structures (foundations, dams, remnants of bridges, etc.) that no one remember what they were from. Wish there were easier ways to research them; have to get to work on that flux capacitor.

about a month ago

SpaceX Executive Calls For $22-25 Billion NASA Budget

scotts13 What to cut (114 comments)

Give NASA the $14 billion spent in fiscal 2013 training foreign armies and providing them with weapons. That'll make up the difference nicely. Not enough? Move on to the $24 billion spent on the "National Drug Control Strategy." Two things we don't need more of are dead bodies and prison inmates.

about 2 months ago

Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

scotts13 Re:Death bell tolling for thee.... (322 comments)

I have to agree. I think I understand why they want to do this: Only one code base, less overhead and more profit.

But it is a stupid idea. The different devices provide different functions and shouldn't look the same or be the same. Servers are different from desktops which are different from tablets which are different from phones.

For those who need a bad car analogy, it is like trying to put the same user interface on bicycles, motorcycles, cars, trucks and trains. No one complains that their car doesn't have handlebars. Or that there is no steering wheel on a their bicycle or motorcycle.

I well recall the cries of "Windows Everywhere!" (and Windows CE that went with it). As you note, they want this for the same reasons the government wants to standardize the military aircraft they buy - saving money by re-using common components. Problem is, something that does everything does nothing well; witness the F-35 and the TFX/F-111. Worst thing is, it never actually costs less, anyway - you get an inferior product with higher costs.

about 2 months ago

Nearly 25 Years Ago, IBM Helped Save Macintosh

scotts13 Re:PPC macs were awful (236 comments)

Macs didn't "make USB", they forced it on their users while giving a big "fuck you" to all of their old customers running anything else. It's not like the old stuff was horrible either (ADB, SCSI).

It was a little annoying that Apple made the jump all at once into USB, but really - a couple of RS422 ports was better? ADB was always only for mice and keyboards, and years of experience showed that for most users, SCSI was just too expensive and hard to set up. Or don't you remember "SCSI Hell"? For higher end Macs, you could retrofit SCSI, serial, and even USB cards if you really needed to. Some configurations even included a SCSI card.

As far as "USB was everywhere on PC's" that's just wrong. At the time Apple switched over, 99% of PC users had never heard of a USB port. I know, I was managing a computer store at the time.

about 2 months ago

Nearly 25 Years Ago, IBM Helped Save Macintosh

scotts13 Another misleading headline (236 comments)

I was working very closely with Apple at the time, and unless everyone was being lied to, "IBM saved Macintosh" is a pretty serious mischaracterization. More like three companies working together to create a platform useful to all the contributors. Did IBM put more into it than the other AIM members? Probably. But they didn't do it out of the goodness of their hearts.

about 2 months ago

Buzz Aldrin Pressures Obama For New Space Exploration Initiative

scotts13 Re:Man in Space (78 comments)

There's a reason why chimps where the first in space - man was not needed. Maned space exploration is a PR move.

There was a reason, and I'm surprised you've completely missed it.

about 2 months ago

Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

scotts13 Re:Modern Day Anti-Evolutionists (497 comments)

...I don't care if we do anything about Global Warming for another 20-30 years and at that point I have faith that civilization will start to engineer its way out of the problem...

"We'll invent something to fix this when the time comes" is not a sound policy, or a policy at all. It's wishful thinking. What if we don't?

about 2 months ago

Buzz Aldrin Pressures Obama For New Space Exploration Initiative

scotts13 How not to plan for space (78 comments)

What's the point of having a "plan" when it changes every four or eight years? It takes longer than that to complete a large technology project; the only way to accomplish it is to have a beloved leader start it, then quick shoot him - so it'll be completed in his honor. Come to think of it, we'll never get past the "beloved leader" part. What's the last time we had anything other than the lesser of evils?

about 2 months ago

Police Using Dogs To Sniff Out Computer Memory

scotts13 Re:Any Memory?? what judge will go on just that? (415 comments)

I must admit (and this will probably get some catcalls) I don't think the "kiddie porn" industry is as big or as big a problem as is claimed. I've been poking around some of the dark and unpleasant parts of the internet since there WAS an internet, and I don't think I've seen a single unambiguous example. Certainly not "$20 billion dollars worth" - NO ONE is that good at hiding. Rather, I think it's the one thing they can manufacture criminals with, that no one dares defend.

After reading this, some of my spare time will be taken up with loading as much obsolete recordable media as possible with pictures of flowers, puppies, and kittens (what's the age of consent for a cat?) and secreting them around the house. If I ever have any porn, I'll print it out on paper, to be safe from lazy searches.

about 2 months ago


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