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E.T. Found In New Mexico Landfill

turrican Mod Parent Up (179 comments)

That in particular annoyed the shit out of me... but I still played.

about 4 months ago
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Elite Violinists Can't Distinguish Between a Stradivarius and a Modern Violin

turrican Ahead of their time, then? (469 comments)

What I'm reading is that with 300 years between them, modern violins aren't *better* than a Stradivarius.

(Yet?)

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Can I Prepare For the Theft of My Android Phone?

turrican Zipped pockets? (374 comments)

Maybe a pair of those 80's "parachute pants" would do the trick.

about 5 months ago
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Now On Video: GCHQ Destroying Laptop Full of Snowden Disclosures

turrican What about the copies? (237 comments)

I'm sure those are locked away safely.

about 7 months ago
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Tesla Says Garage Fire Not Charger's Fault; Firemen Less Sure

turrican Agreed - now BASEMENT fires... (253 comments)

You think we'd hear about more of those...

about 8 months ago
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Telegraph Contributor Says Coding Is For Exceptionally Dull Weirdos

turrican And "Telegraph Contributing"... (453 comments)

And "Telegraph Contributing"... is for... exceptionally self-aggrandizing idiots?

about 10 months ago
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Automakers Struggle With Pairing Smartphones To Car Infotainment Systems

turrican Re:Simple... (187 comments)

I think what I'm gathering from all of this is that the auto industry should be hiring video card driver developers to do their infotainment systems.

I'm not joking when I say this: I'm going to posit essentially that to the next regional rep I come in contact with (which is every week or two). Of course, it'll probably go in one ear and out the other, as has pretty much everything else I've presented. I would feel comfortable saying that though I turn the wrenches at a shop, there are only a handful of people at the marque I work for who know more about the "compatibility matrix" regarding phones and audio units (and what does and doesn't do what in which configuration) in these vehicles. It's difficult and frustrating getting info to go UP the ladder.

about 10 months ago
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Automakers Struggle With Pairing Smartphones To Car Infotainment Systems

turrican Re:Simple... (187 comments)

Toyota technicians.

The guys in ski masks only remove them.

about 10 months ago
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Automakers Struggle With Pairing Smartphones To Car Infotainment Systems

turrican Re:Simple... (187 comments)

I don't have any idea about capability; I work for neither of those marques. However, I'd ask next, has Ford done this for the majority of vehicles with infotainment systems, or only select ones..?

Also, when I mention "party line", I don't toe it. I'm a geek stuck in a grease monkey world - all of this pisses me off, too.

about 10 months ago
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Automakers Struggle With Pairing Smartphones To Car Infotainment Systems

turrican Re:Simple... (187 comments)

The only part that doesn't work is the display of text messages, and that's not a problem with Sync, but with my phone's version of Bluetooth...all the features on my wife's phone work fine in my car.

This is EXACTLY what we have to deal with on a day by day basis, with the exception that you seem like a reasonable person and aren't irate that you "JUST BOUGHT THIS CAR AND THIS NEW PHONE AND CAN'T USE BLUETOOTH AND SO IT ISN'T SAFE AND IT WORKED IN MY OTHER CAR AND APPLE SAID IT WASN'T THE PHONE AND MY SALESPERSON PROMISED AND AND BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH".

about 10 months ago
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Automakers Struggle With Pairing Smartphones To Car Infotainment Systems

turrican Re:Simple... (187 comments)

You did, in fact, say there is no variance. But, that's just quibbling and less important than what you say after, which is that said variance is manageable. It is, of course. However, as I implied in the OP, the problem is systemic, as it doesn't only involve setting a standard at the development level, but involves many layers of decisions made by persons who aren't as tech savvy as, say, those charged with custody of the Samsung Galaxy codebase. The auto industry has come a long way, yet it still has a long way to go before it can be expected to behave like a tech industry giant. There are still too many people in the industry making decisions regarding this technology, who are incapable of actually using it.

You point to CAN Bus as an example, which made me snicker. Ask any tech who was working on the original CAN systems; they won't likely use the term "easily fixable". The examples you keep giving aren't refuting but instead are amplifying my original sentiment, which is that when it comes to the automotive industry, processes that most of us who are reading this would see as "simple" (in large part because they're obvious fixes to the core problem), aren't, and aren't (for now) easily fixable - mainly because they involve more than simply being stricter on the dev/spec side of things and demanding modularisation and standardisation.

I'm not defending the industry. I'm trying to give you a peek into how it is right now, and right now there aren't enough geeks working in it. Well, at least, not enough in the important decision-making positions...

about 10 months ago
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Automakers Struggle With Pairing Smartphones To Car Infotainment Systems

turrican Re:Simple... (187 comments)

VIN specific dash hardware negates that.

Unfortunately, incorrectly populated manufacturer VIN-to-hardware databases negate THAT...

about 10 months ago
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Automakers Struggle With Pairing Smartphones To Car Infotainment Systems

turrican Re:Simple... (187 comments)

It may sound like a simple thing to send out an update with a USB key and simple instructions on properly evaluating a unit for eligibility prior to upgrade, but trust me on this - in that industry, it isn't.

Instructions? Please don't make excuses for the incompetence of the auto industry. You should NOT need instructions. The vendor has all the data, all the knowledge. There's no variance, and heck even if there was a modular design would work around that too. Just think about that next time you buy a new video card. Do you write down the name and model, and clock frequency, and brand, and then search through a giant database looking for which sub sub sub model of the GTX 7xx series of card you have? No! You go to NVIDIA's website, click download and click install.

There is no reason why all validation can't be automatic There's no reason why a simple update process isn't available. There's no reason why this couldn't even be done OTA in the presence of a WiFi connection, not even needing USB.

This is not "hard" and the lack of a solution is more a case of corporate laziness. It's called modular design and standardisation. The car industry could learn a bit by looking up these terms in the dictionary.

I'm not sure why you're attacking my post like it comes from someone defending the industry, a particular manufacturer, or the current practices. I'm merely stating my observations and experiences working inside of it. I've stated everything you're saying (and more) on multiple occasions - however, working as a dealer tech is a lot different from working in the corporate office.

Most of what you say is valid, of course - I'm sure most slashdotters would agree that there *should* be standards (though, I'm sure they'd also agree that installing any given video card - even a new one - isn't always as simple as "grab the drivers"...). However, saying there's no variance is totally incorrect, because there often is. Additionally, expecting that any given vendor has all the data and all the knowledge is incorrect, as they often don't - an example being an audio unit using a part supplied by the vehicle manufacturer, where something internal to that particular part has changed, yet the vendor assembling the units has not been made aware of said change.

Is most of this stupid and easily avoidable? Yes. Does it still happen in this day and age? You bet. Is it easily fixable? No - at least, not from the trenches.

about 10 months ago
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Automakers Struggle With Pairing Smartphones To Car Infotainment Systems

turrican Re:Simple... (187 comments)

I work at a dealership as a tech, and I've asked essentially the same question of the manufacturer. The party line is that field updates to audio systems are problematic mainly due to the internals changing enough over the life of any given audio unit model, and that while doable, the ROI in coming up with an update that's "field-ready" just doesn't make it worth it. They figure swapping with a "remanufactured" unit (one that they've been able to go through and upgrade/replace any problematic subsystems as well as update to the latest "ideal" software configuration) is preferable and more reliable, in general, than releasing a software update that might require a technician to go through and evaluate as go/no go for a given installed unit.

It may sound like a simple thing to send out an update with a USB key and simple instructions on properly evaluating a unit for eligibility prior to upgrade, but trust me on this - in that industry, it isn't. It's difficult enough getting most techs just to avoid ruining the USB *PORT* on the diagnostic laptop...

about 10 months ago
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OCZ May Be On Its Last Legs

turrican Fast track RMAs (292 comments)

I usually tell the rep right off the bat that we've got a number of whatever part I'm calling on around the office and have already verified the failure using a known good device/part.

Doesn't always work, but the majority of the time I get someone on the phone who understands the concept, it's gotten me to the "here's your RMA" part of the call pretty quickly.

about 10 months ago
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Nokia Had an Android Phone In Development

turrican Re:Does it even have a fart app? (189 comments)

Yes, there are several. I was actually considering writing a(nother) one with features I hadn't seen (ex: a timer)

But even the availability of fart apps couldn't overcome annoyances like lack of separate controls for ringer and call volume.

about a year ago
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Nokia Had an Android Phone In Development

turrican I liked my Lumia 920, but not Windows Phone... (189 comments)

I really liked my Lumia 920, hardware-wise - but couldn't get over some of the glaring annoyances (e.g. call volume control not independent of ringer volume control) of WP8. Sold it and went back to my old iPhone for the time being.

I might have kept it had the option to try out Android on it. Bummer.

about a year ago

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