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Physicist Kip Thorne On the Physics of "Interstellar"

microcars Re:Confession - I didn't like Interstellar (289 comments)

I see so many people going on about who great this film was but I can't help but wonder what it was that I missed?

The film is about Love. Everything else is window dressing.

If you try and make the film to be about something else, you will be disappointed.

about three weeks ago

The Airplane of the Future May Not Have Windows

microcars Re:motion sickness (286 comments)

People who were prune to motion sickness will be worse off without the windows since they are cut off from the last piece of sensory information that tells them that they are moving.

And that is why I refuse to use those new-fangled elevators without windows.

about 2 months ago

Miss a Payment? Your Car Stops Running

microcars Re:LEGAL TENDER FOR ALL DEBTS (907 comments)

There seems to be a "sweet spot" of just how much cash most people can come up with for used vehicle and it appears to be around $4K max.

I don't know if you mean cash literally which would make sense, but most people can qualify for loans from their bank or credit union.

I meant CASH as in CASH. Literally. Not figuratively.
I meant people paying CASH for a car. The segment of the population we are talking about in this thread does not use banks or credit unions.
That's one reason why they end up getting these horribly financed vehicles.

about 3 months ago

Miss a Payment? Your Car Stops Running

microcars Re:LEGAL TENDER FOR ALL DEBTS (907 comments)

That may be true, but if you have the $5K, chances are you are not going to be shopping at one of these places in the first place.
These loans are for people who are are literally living week to week.

There seems to be a "sweet spot" of just how much cash most people can come up with for used vehicle and it appears to be around $4K max.
Case-in-point: I advertised my 12 year old pickup for $4500 and had several "offers" and tire kickers. I figured it was a very fair price for decent truck, but the buyer ended up being a dealer with a small lot of work trucks. He paid the full amount.
I asked him how much he thought he could get out of it. He said $8999.
How could a dealer find a buyer for that price when I had trouble at $4500? The difference was that they could finance it for the buyer.
Buyer had to put down maybe $2-3K, the rest was financed at a fairly high rate.

about 3 months ago

Miss a Payment? Your Car Stops Running

microcars Re:Opt out of the credit scam (907 comments)

and if we want a house we should just save up for 50years?

of course! after a year or two of living on the street, you will have saved enough money to buy a car.
Then you can live in that until you have saved enough money to buy a house.

or borrow the money from your parents like everyone else. (Romney joke)

about 3 months ago

Miss a Payment? Your Car Stops Running

microcars Yes They Do! (907 comments)

The dealer will buy a car at auction for $2000, then offer it for sale for $5000 but you HAVE to finance it through them. They will NOT let you pay cash.
They take advantage of the fact that there are a large group of people out there that are employed at low wage jobs who need a car to get to and from work.
They take $500 or $1000 down, or more if possible. Once you make a few payments, the dealer's initial cost for the vehicle is paid and if you don't make the payment, they repo the car and sell it to someone else for the same amount, financing the deal again.
These dealers can sell the same car over and over again without having to buy new inventory.

about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Best Service To Digitize VHS Home Movies?

microcars Re:Most important: (130 comments)

I was always told the 0s got stuck at kinks as they were wider.

That is an old wive's tale that has been proven wrong.
www.TheTruthAboutCables.com did an in depth study a few years ago.
I forgot about the parity alignment module though, thanks for the reminder.

about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Best Service To Digitize VHS Home Movies?

microcars Most important: (130 comments)

Make sure the service you find does cable straightening or uses "MASSIVE" brand cables.
This ensures all the 1's and 0's get through. Cables with kinks can cause some of the 1's to get stuck.
I use 1 inch diameter cables to import all my VHS video footage.
Why would you trust your VHS footage to anything less?

about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Best Service To Digitize VHS Home Movies?

microcars Re:What about Video8??? (130 comments)

find a used Digital8 camcorder with a Firewire (IEEE 1394) output.
Put tape in, plug into computer, import footage.
Digital8 camcorders will play back video8, HI-8 and Digital8 while converting the video8 to DV on the fly.

about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Which VHS Player To Buy?

microcars Re:Panasonic AG1980P (201 comments)

These are excellent machines that will play back just about any VHS tape you can throw at them.
I am looking at 5 of them across the room from me right now. 3 are in excellent condition, one needs some audio work and one needs all the capacitors changed.
I also leave the screws off the covers so I can slide them back and manually clean the heads when I run into some bad tapes (tapes that were crinkled or damaged or have iron oxide flaking off).

The capacitors is the big issue with these. Every.Single.One needs to be replaced at some point.
I used to send my machines out to a place in Texas to have them changed for around $300 after I bought them on eBay.
Then there was a guy selling them on eBay with the caps changed out for around $300 and they were running like new.
I think he is still there.

These machines are excellent at playing back difficult to track tapes, or ones recorded in SLP/EP mode.
don't buy one of those all-in-one VHS to DVD machines unless your tapes are all in good condition and recorded in SP mode.

about 8 months ago

UAV Operator Blames Hacking For Malfunction That Injured Triathlete

microcars Who was responsible? (178 comments)

The person that chose to use a "drone" that could be taken over by a mobile phone, and had already experienced "a similar incident" earlier that day.

about 8 months ago

Transformer-Style Scooter Lets You Ride Your Briefcase To Work

microcars Re:and long ago there was (102 comments)

Ha! The page is still up.
I managed to get him to bring that to a small meet we had in 2004 and there are some pics of it unfolding from the suitcase and a video of someone "driving it" here

If I recall the brief history correctly, Mazda engineers created this as a fun concept and then the sales force got hold of it and would bring it to shows and give rides on it until it broke (it was always a prototype and they should have used splined shafts for the driven wheel, but did not).
Anyways, the thing would go back into storage until someone would go "hey where's that old Suitcase Car we made?" and they would drag it out, break it and then bring it to this guy to fix. One day they brought it to him to fix and then never picked it up. I guess it is better than being lost in storage someplace.
If Mazda wants it back all they have to do it Google it.

about 9 months ago

Visual Effects Artists Use MPAA's Own Words Against It

microcars former film biz worker here (131 comments)

There is a good possibility that all this is a moot point in the end thanks to "hollywood accounting".

take a look at the end credits of any movie. They are ALWAYS initially "owned" by a shell corporation, usually using the name of the movie + LLC or something.
There is a reason for this.
Once the movie is made it is promptly sold for a loss (or very small profit) to the "parent" company or any number of other companies in between before it gets to the top. It could also be sold (on paper) for a massive amount of money so that the "costs" are never actually recouped.
I can't really say with any authority because that is an area kept secret from the likes of me.
The point of this is obfuscation of actual ownership, costs, and rights for tax advantages at the very least.

about 10 months ago

Slashdot Asks: Do You Label Your Tech Gear, and If So, How?

microcars WARNING Sticker: (250 comments)

"Contains Contaminated Body Fluids" usually keeps people from touching my stuff.

about 10 months ago

Five Easy Pieces: Short Product Presentations from CES 2014 (Video)

microcars Re:Doorbot (19 comments)

The upside is that it is "fully integrated" with LOCKITRON.

So that means I still have to go to the door to unlock it manually.


about 10 months ago

First New Generic Top Level Domains Opening

microcars Re:Just saying... (198 comments)

And i suspect Paul McCartney and the owners of the rights to apple music might disagree :-)

and I suspect they won't.
From APPLE Press Release February 2007:

CUPERTINO, California and LONDON—Apple® Inc. and The Beatles’ company Apple Corps Ltd. are pleased to announce the parties have entered into a new agreement concerning the use of the name “Apple” and apple logos which replaces their 1991 Agreement. Under this new agreement, Apple Inc. will own all of the trademarks related to “Apple” and will license certain of those trademarks back to Apple Corps for their continued use. In addition, the ongoing trademark lawsuit between the companies will end, with each party bearing its own legal costs, and Apple Inc. will continue using its name and logos on iTunes®. The terms of settlement are confidential.

newspaper accounts at the time stated that Apple Computer was buying out Apple Corps' trademark rights for a total of $500 million.

about a year ago



Inventor of the Telecopter dies at 92

microcars microcars writes  |  about 2 years ago

microcars (708223) writes "John D. Silva was the chief engineer for KTLA-TV in 1958 when he outfitted a helicopter with a TV camera and changed television news coverage forever.

He turned a rented Bell helicopter into the Telecopter, essentially a flying TV studio. The first of its kind, it put Channel 5 news at the forefront of live aerial coverage of major events like parades, fires, earthquakes and massive freeway snarls. He had to whittle down 2,000 pounds of television equipment to just 368 pounds so the Bell 47 helicopter could lift off the ground.
The LA Times reports that Silva, whose two Emmy Awards include one in 1974 for developing the Telecopter, died Nov. 27 in Camarillo of complications of pneumonia, his family said. He was 92.

And what did YOU do today?"

Link to Original Source

Apple Must Publicly Post That Samsung Did Not Copy iPad

microcars microcars writes  |  more than 2 years ago

microcars (708223) writes "A Judge in the U.K. has ordered Apple to post a notice on its website and in British newspapers alerting people to a ruling that Samsung Electronics Co. didn’t copy designs for the iPad. This is the same Judge that ruled earlier that Samsung's Galaxy Tab was Not As Cool as Apple's iPad."
Link to Original Source

HARVARD suggests move to open-access journals.

microcars microcars writes  |  more than 2 years ago

microcars (708223) writes "Harvard has a announced to faculty: "We write to communicate an untenable situation facing the Harvard Library. Many large journal publishers have made the scholarly communication environment fiscally unsustainable and academically restrictive. This situation is exacerbated by efforts of certain publishers (called “providers”) to acquire, bundle, and increase the pricing on journals."
The memo goes on to describe the situation in more detail and suggests options to faculty and students for the future that includes submitting articles to open-access journals. If Harvard paves the way with this, how long until other academic bodies follow suit and cut off companies such as Elsevier?"

Link to Original Source

ZAP! gets Juiced by Wired

microcars microcars writes  |  more than 6 years ago

microcars (708223) writes "Where is the green in the EV movement? Not in the pockets of a number of people that believed in ZAP! and its promise of Electric Vehicles for its exclusive "distributors". How NOT to run an Electric Car Business in 10 EZ Steps! Well...I guess it works if you own the company."
Link to Original Source


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