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Dubai's Climate-Controlled Dome City Is a Dystopia Waiting To Happen

gweilo8888 Re:Overreaction (265 comments)

Exactly. Will it be gated, and entrants checked for their bank balance before entering? Then it's not a partition. And as for "dystopia", the submitter should probably check the definition of the word. It would hardly seem relevant to this creation.

about three weeks ago
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Philips Ethernet-Powered Lighting Transmits Data To Mobile Devices Via Light

gweilo8888 Well, this sounds brilliant... (104 comments)

...if you're a lighting manufacturer wanting to lock customers into your products. What, pray tell, is the *real*-world advantage for the customers, though? Because I'm struggling to see anything this provides which couldn't be done better using a different technique.

Yet another Slashvertisement for a pointless invention.

about a month ago
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That Toy Is Now a Drone

gweilo8888 Re: Not anything new (268 comments)

Mod parent up. Submitter clearly didn't do any research before going Full Chicken Little.

about a month ago
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Protesters Launch a 135-Foot Blimp Over the NSA's Utah Data Center

gweilo8888 Re:Two thoughts (104 comments)

Correct. The blimp in question is a four-seater GEFA-FLUG AS 105 GD/4 with a 41-meter Hyperlast envelope that inflates using two Cameron Shadow burners. It's powered by a Rotax 582 UL engine putting out 65 horsepower, mounted in pusher configuration with a four-bladed, fixed-pitch Helix H50F prop. (That's an ultralight engine and a lightweight glass / carbon-fiber prop, incidentally. Dy weight is under 1,100 pounds, and maximum takeoff weight is under 2,000 pounds.)

http://www.gefa-flug.de/index....

about 1 month ago
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Sony Winding Down the PSP

gweilo8888 Re:Too much competition (85 comments)

Owning both (I had the PSP long before I ever got a smartphone), I have to say there's no contest. One has a form factor and physical controls conducive to gaming, the other doesn't. (Or at least, not to most games, just to Angry Birds / Candy Crush-type games.)

about 2 months ago
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Sony Winding Down the PSP

gweilo8888 Re:Piracy (85 comments)

Given that anybody who pirated the content likely wouldn't have paid for it even if they'd not pirated it, this is just an excuse from the likes of EA, Activision, and Ubisoft. (And when was the last time any of the above put out a game that wasn't another tepid dishwater remake or derivative copy of somebody else's game anyway?)

about 2 months ago
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Microsoft Won't Bring Back the Start Menu Until 2015

gweilo8888 Re:Any idea what's the motivation to remove START? (516 comments)

Having used them both side-by-side for the last year, Windows 8 is not far superior to Windows 7. It is in some respects modestly superior, in some respects, modestly worse, and overall, significantly less stable. Even if they both had an identical UI, I'd choose 7 over 8 in a heartbeat on a non-touchscreen machine. I haven't used 7 with touch (yet, I'll be downgrading my Win8 machine to Win7 soon and will give touch a try, then forego it if necessary).

about 2 months ago
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Comcast CEO Brian Roberts Opens Mouth, Inserts Foot

gweilo8888 Re:He also forgot to mention... (343 comments)

Comcast wants to have its cake, and eat it three times. First, it charges the customer an extortionate rate for a (usually) monopolistic or near-monopolistic service. Second, it is now charging Netflix for the right to access that customer without being throttled. And third, it is now charging its own customers for using more than a certain data cap on data that it has already been paid twice to deliver -- once by the receiver, and once by the sender.

Comcast is beyond despicable. Perhaps the only company more evil is Disney.

about 2 months ago
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Congressmen Who Lobbied FCC Against Net Neutrality & Received Payoff

gweilo8888 Re:Let's reclassify Lobbying as Bribery and (192 comments)

Mod parent up insightful. Lobbying is just another way of saying state-sanctioned bribery and corruption.

Take the money, gifts and favors out of the equation, and you have what true lobbying would be: a simple statement of facts and/or point of view as regards a matter, designed to inform or sway opinion through mere words. The fact that it has to come accompanied by cash and favors shows that lobbyists don't expect action to be taken unless a bribe is given -- and that is the definition of corruption. Not all lobbyists are evil (because right now, there's no way to have your opinion heard except to tie it to a bundle of cold, hard cash), but lobbying itself is undeniably evil and corrupt.

about 2 months ago
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Volvo Testing Autonomous Cars On Public Roads

gweilo8888 Re:only viable in small countries (98 comments)

Not to mention that you quite likely know where many potholes are locally, and you avoid them without even thinking about it, whether you can actually see them or not. Your autonomous car can't tell a puddle from a puddle with a pothole beneath it. Do you want to drive in a car that has to swerve around puddles, just in case? Because if not, you're going to be hitting more potholes, like it or not.

about 3 months ago
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Volvo Testing Autonomous Cars On Public Roads

gweilo8888 Re:No way I could trust a self-driving car (98 comments)

Great, it looks where it's going. Now, what happens when what you and I know as a road isn't recognized as one by the car? (Or vice versa, for that matter.)

Roads aren't standardized even from state to state or town to town, let alone country to country. Even in the USA, there are still many, many miles of roads that are completely unpaved, have no signage or markings at all, and are completely indistinguishable from somebody's driveway. Some of them even have foliage growing on them, or are so similar in surface to their surroundings that the only way to know where the road is is simply to pay attention to where the dirt is more packed.

You think your autonomous car will work in those conditions? I don't.

about 3 months ago
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Volvo Testing Autonomous Cars On Public Roads

gweilo8888 Re:No way I could trust a self-driving car (98 comments)

The problem is that even if new roads are reported to map vendors such as TeleAtlas, they take an interminable amount of time to add them.

I have a subscription to software using current TomTom maps. Before that, I had a dedicated TomTom device with a map subscription. Using their Map Insight feature, I reported a new subdivision to TeleAtlas -- which is *owned* by TomTom, remember. I provided them with complete details on the location of the new roads involved, or at least, as complete as is possible with their site.

Two years later, the roads still hadn't been added in my TomTom, at the point where I stopped my maps subscription. Courtesy of the third-party software using TomTom maps (Sygic), I can report that it was about 3.5 years from report until the roads actually got added to the map.

That huge lag -- even when the map vendor and the GPS device maker are essentially one and the same -- is why people have trouble with their GPS. That, and the fact that many of these maps are clearly made from satellite / aerial imagery, rather than from somebody actually pounding pavement -- and so when roads come close enough to each other beneath an obstruction (trees or whatever), the map maker believes the roads to be linked when they're not. (Or in more than one case where I live, their maps report somebody's private driveways between two roads as being a public road.)

And this, coupled with liability, is what's going to do in autonomous cars. 99.999% accurate and safe isn't enough when it comes to an autonomous car, and if you expect the driver to take over when the car gets it wrong, the driver might just as well be driving in the first place. As soon as the first reports come in of people dying because their autonomous cars autonomously crashed, the lawyers will have a field day at the auto makers' expense -- and the auto makers' lawyers know that too.

So they'll allow research and news coverage, because that makes the brand look futuristic and is effectively cheap advertising -- but you will not see these things on public roads in the hands of the public in your lifetime. You may see autonomous commercial vehicles -- especially those which drive predefined routes -- but not autonomous private cars. There's simply too much risk.

about 3 months ago
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WhatsApp Is Well On Its Way To A Billion Users

gweilo8888 Re:What?? (116 comments)

That's what it is, and a horrendously limited, unintuitive messaging app at that. I was forced to install it by friends in Hong Kong recently while I was there, and uninstalled it the day I left. I see zero reason for it to exist, not even limited text billing plans -- you have to pay for Whatsapp too after the first year, after all.

about 3 months ago
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Apple, Google Vying For Mobile Game Exclusivity

gweilo8888 Re:What's the point? (52 comments)

It only works well when the hardware is perceived to be equal. I've never owned a Playstation, have bought Xbox from the start and own almost every game in the Halo franchise. It's far and away my favorite non-racing game, but at the same time, it's not enough to skew me towards the XBone over the PS4.

I still remember how Microsoft screwed the pooch on the XBone's launch, how clearly they deride the gamers who keep them in business, and I can also see how their hardware is nowhere near the caliber of that in the PS4. So for the first time, when I upgrade it will be to a Playstation and not an Xbox.

And that shows rather nicely that exclusivity doesn't work if your hardware or overall offering is considered inferior by your potential customers.

about 3 months ago
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Apple, Google Vying For Mobile Game Exclusivity

gweilo8888 Re:Too bad it sucked (52 comments)

Mod parent up. This is the reason I've stopped playing games almost entirely -- I am sick of being nickel-and-dimed to death.

about 3 months ago
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Drones On Demand

gweilo8888 Re:You already have a scouting drone for driving (49 comments)

Why waste your money on a standalone GPS when you already have all of the same hardware in your smartphone? Garmin, TomTom et al. are dinosaurs. With Sygic, I have lifetime maps for the majority of the world for next to nothing (and they're the exact same maps you get in a TomTom device). * disclaimer: I have no connection to Sygic except as a paying, satisfied customer

about 3 months ago
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Pollution In China Could Be Driving Freak Weather In US

gweilo8888 Re:Polution tax (158 comments)

If you want quality and repairability too, those prices will be going up by another order of magnitude or so. Enjoy your $8,000 microwave, three for $250 lightbulbs, and 150-year iPhone contract. We live in a disposable society based around the creation of the maximum possible waste, we are at its epicenter, and we spend all of our free time pointing our fingers at others in blame.

about 3 months ago
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Pollution In China Could Be Driving Freak Weather In US

gweilo8888 Re:Polution tax (158 comments)

"Set the level so that it does not effect [sic] the U.S.A." -- you do realize that China's pollution is, in large part, there because US companies moved or contracted most of their manufacturing there, right? This is a nice example of reaping what you sow -- America avoids pollution itself by offshoring, but the process of offshoring trades the pollution for severe weather instead.

about 3 months ago
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Microsoft Confirms It Is Dropping Windows 8.1 Support

gweilo8888 Re:Upgrade, don't update. (575 comments)

Speak for yourself. I run both Windows 8 and Windows 7 machines, and my Windows 7 machines are demonstrably more stable and less buggy than my Windows 8 one. (Note: I say one because I've had such a piss-poor experience with Windows 8, which rapidly degrades in performance to the point of near-unusability. And even straight out of the box with a fresh install, it likes to do things such as take multiple *minutes* before task manager appears on a core i5 machine with 8GB of RAM and 50% CPU utilization or less. There's no way I'm buying another machine with Windows 8, let alone installing it on one. If I could downgrade to Win7 without needing to pay for an OS when I already paid for Win8, I'd do it in a heartbeat. And no, Linux is not an option for people who need to use real software.)

Windows 8 is a total dog, and has been from the day it shipped, even before one takes into account the absolutely godawful UI.

about 3 months ago

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