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Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret

ravenscar Re:Splits the community in half (800 comments)

Ha - I was just making a bad Fast and Furious joke.

As someone who has heavily modified a few Japanese cars, I'm well aware of what "ricers" are capable. There is a great Top Gear episode where the crew take 3 super cars to the drag strip in Vegas. They get schooled in the quarter by a bunch of modified cars. It's fun to watch.

4 days ago
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The One Mistake Google Keeps Making

ravenscar The one mistake investors keep making (386 comments)

This reads like the bible for the short-term investor. As an (admittedly small time) investor, I want to put money into a company that makes solid profits with its current goods/services while pushing the envelope for the future. Be on the bleeding edge. Push boundaries. Create new markets. Fail often, kill your failures, and learn. Don't stagnate in your current market; waiting to be dethroned by competition.

Something like a driverless car could revolutionize transportation and all of the industries which rely upon it. Being on the forefront of that could spell enormous profits (not to mention entirely new industries).

Sadly, it seems the current investor is only interested in what a company has done this quarter. That results in companies that are so bent on shaving costs on their current products/services that they completely miss the thing that makes them obsolete. This is one of the reasons Buffett always argued against splitting Berkshire stock. He wasn't interested in collecting investors who couldn't commit to the long-term. Interestingly, Berkshire started as a textile manufacturer. That isn't to say they are on the bleeding edge, but they do represent a company that is willing to look for and invest in something new and different.

about a month ago
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Hotel Group Asks FCC For Permission To Block Some Outside Wi-Fi

ravenscar Re:Fine (293 comments)

It's a fair point, but not completely analogous. Given the competition that exists in the hotel space one can almost certainly find a hotel that does not try to block your hotspot. Of course I would pick that hotel over one that does block my hotspot. If I could find a theater that allowed me to bring my own food and beverages I would certainly pick it over others. I don't know of any of these (at least in my area).

To answer your question, though, I will go to the theater now and then to watch a movie, but I don't purchase the food. I generally avoid the theater for several reasons such as:
1. Major improvements in home theater have allowed me to get a satisfactory viewing experience at home (for the vast majority of content).
2. Convenience (food, bathroom, pausing, lack of annoying people texting around me, the ability to text without annoying others, etc).
3. Cost.

So, are my principles iron clad? No. Are they sound to the point I feel like expressing my opinion on the matter? I think so.

about a month ago
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"Star Trek 3" To Be Helmed By "Fast & Furious" Franchise Director Justin Lin

ravenscar Re:Action movies are boring. (332 comments)

Exactly. I'll add in: perhaps a "bad guy" that isn't so bad or a situation with no right answer. Often, neither side is completely wrong in a conflict. It all depends on the point of view one takes or the way one ranks morals (say, freedom over equality for example). One of the things I appreciated most about the Star Trek series was the willingness to present and explore morally ambiguous topics. Things such as:
1. Should they get involved?
2. Trading one life for another (or others).
3. Are some values more important than others?

I liked getting to the end of the show and wondering if the characters really made the right decision.

It seems that's all gone now. The last times I really noticed similar themes were the BSG reboot and The Wire.

about a month ago
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Hotel Group Asks FCC For Permission To Block Some Outside Wi-Fi

ravenscar Re:No, not "in other words" ... (293 comments)

This seems like people using electronic attacks to interfere with the proper operation of my own personal network. Whether the network is on their property or no, I would think electronically attacking it to cause failure should be problematic. Telling me I can't have my network there and must shut it down or leave - no problem (though I'll never come back). Attacking it to cause it to fail? There are problems there. Wireless or no, the network is a thing and it's MY thing. You don't get to break it just because I'm on your property.

about a month ago
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Hotel Group Asks FCC For Permission To Block Some Outside Wi-Fi

ravenscar Re:Fine (293 comments)

First, I'll say that, regardless of whether their activities are or aren't legal, I will not patronize a hotel that takes part in such an activity. I equate it to not allowing me to bring my own toothpaste so that I'm forced to purchase theirs at a dramatically inflated price. I'll vote with my dollars and go to a hotel that offers an environment more suited to my needs.

Second, the legal issues are interesting here. Yes, they do own their property and should have domain there, but (for numerous reasons) broadcast rights are limited - even on one's premises. Additionally, what they are doing is interfering with the operation of your own network. I think of it a little bit like a denial of service attack. You're running your network just fine and the hotel is actively launching an attack to prevent it from functioning. It seems like they could detect your network, locate you, and ask you to turn it off or leave. Actively interfering with its proper operation...I'm not so sure.

I don't really know how the courts would rule on these legal issues. I'll just say that It appears that there is more to consider than "It's their property so they can do what they want."

about a month ago
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Cuba Says the Internet Now a Priority

ravenscar Re:Gah, just skip it (115 comments)

Coffee out the nose. I wish I had mod points.

about a month ago
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Researchers Accidentally Discover How To Turn Off Skin Aging Gene

ravenscar Umbrella Corporation (175 comments)

I'm pretty sure I played a video game that started out just like this. Maybe they'll do Dobermans next. The fact that I live north of Seattle leads makes me a little unnerved about Vancouver as Raccoon City. On the bright side, who doesn't want the chance to waste some zombies?

about a month ago
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Will Your Next Car Be Covered In Morphing Dimples?

ravenscar Re:If dimples have this big an effect (138 comments)

I would guess that most aircraft travel at a speed where the dimples are detrimental rather than beneficial. The article notes that, if golf balls traveled fast enough, they would be better off with smooth skin. Probably, 400-550 mph is above the threshold of "fast enough".

about 6 months ago
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Will Your Next Car Be Covered In Morphing Dimples?

ravenscar Re:11% fuel efficiency improvement (138 comments)

I know I'm feeding the trolls, but I'll venture that English is not Max_W's first language. Don't be an asshole. Or, if that's too hard, just be an asshole by yourself. No need to trumpet it online.

about 6 months ago
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Man Booted From Southwest Flight and Threatened With Arrest After Critical Tweet

ravenscar Re:Southwest Boarding Policies (928 comments)

Are you kidding? You must not have had status with any other airline. Trust me, other airlines treat their frequent fliers much better than SW treats theirs. Expedited security, special customer service numbers, the ability to choose (weeks in advance) the best seats on the plane, early boarding (without the ridiculous need to race to the computer and check-in 24 hrs ahead of time), free alcoholic beverages, frequent flier status bestowed on anyone traveling with me on the same reservation, free access to airport lounges... I get all this and more in exchange for my loyalty (and 60 or so flights per year). I would never consider SW anymore.

I did fly SW (and was relatively happy with them) when I was 22 and wanted a sub-$170 round trip ticket to Vegas or something. I only flew now and then and had no issues with being treated like livestock. THAT is the kind of customer SW has catered to for forever. Heck, when they started, they were designed to compete against regional bus transportation (think Greyhound). I'm not making this up. You can find it in any SW case study.

They've just started trying to appeal to business fliers and they're adding loyalty programs to attract them. IMO, they are a very long way from really competing in that space at all.

SW is a well-run business and I'm sure if they commit to being successful with frequent business travelers they will be.

about 6 months ago
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Comcast Customer Service Rep Just Won't Take No For an Answer

ravenscar Re:My Cancel experience with Comcast (401 comments)

Yes - this exactly. I did the same. The lady that helped me was quick, courteous, and clearly not a trained sales person. Saving me as a customer wasn't in her job description. Getting things done quickly and efficiently in order to help the next customer in line was. If you have a Comcast service center in your area this is the only way to go (not to mention it makes equipment returns much easier).

about 6 months ago
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White House Punts On Petition To Allow Tesla Direct Sales

ravenscar Not a duty of the Executive Branch (382 comments)

These White House petitions drive me a little nuts. I appreciate that they bring publicity to an issue, but they also demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of how the US Government is designed to work. The issue is state and local laws. These laws don't contradict federal laws. What do people want the President to do about it? If people are upset about their local laws they need to work at the local level - petitioning state law makers.

The argument could be made that this is interstate commerce. Great, then work with your national representatives to propose federal legislation that would overrule the local laws. It very likely would have to stand up to a court challenge, but the courts have been exceptionally liberal in their interpretation of interstate commerce. If the local governments fail to comply THEN the executive branch will get involved in enforcement.

It seems like people want the Executive and Judicial branches making the laws. This isn't how it's supposed to happen - for good reason. This reflects not only a bad approach to government, but it is also a sign of just how completely broken Congress is. How said that the only ones who seem able to push any sort of legislation through Congress are big businesses. Everyone else is stuck looking for some sort of alternative. Sadly, those alternatives, should they end up successful, will just result in a less representative, more authoritarian government.

about 6 months ago
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Three-Year Deal Nets Hulu Exclusive Rights To South Park

ravenscar Hulu: Television for Women (138 comments)

They must be trying to attract a male audience. I took a look at Hulu. All I saw was the crappy, prime time network crap that has been engineered for middle aged women of below average IQ. Revenge, Hell's Kitchen, The Kardashians, etc. The shows that might be interesting (Doctor Who and a few others) aren't exclusive and can be seen sans annoying commercials on Amazon and/or Netflix.

When I think of the South Park audience I don't think Hulu. That's probably what Hulu was thinking - what a way to attract new subscribers! Here's the thing. People who want to watch South Park still aren't going to Hulu. They'll just torrent the episodes (sans commercials) for free. I can't imagine that 80 million is going to net much for Hulu, but good for Parker and Stone.

about 6 months ago
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Scientists Have Developed a Material So Dark That You Can't See It

ravenscar Paint it on stairs (238 comments)

I want to see this painted on stairs. It would remove all sense of depth. I bet it would be really odd to watch somebody walk up them. Heck, an escalator would be cool to. Imagine what something like this could do for live theater, rides at Disney, etc. Also imagine what it would be like to be in a room with all surfaces covered in this material - seeing someone laying on a bed or sitting in a chair...

about 6 months ago
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Aereo Embraces Ruling, Tries To Re-Classify Itself As Cable Company

ravenscar Re:It's only fair (147 comments)

Says someone who clearly has never, you know, had a ton of fun playing a sport. I can see your criticism of spectator sports, but playing a sport is totally different.

about 6 months ago
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Amazon Seeks US Exemption To Test Delivery Drones

ravenscar Re:Government control of our lives... (155 comments)

While I agree with the spirit of your post in many ways, this is different as it involves airspace. If you own property, you have certain rights to the air over it. When flying things were an obvious link to the future it became necessary to think about the world in a new way. It wouldn't be practical for flying things to obtain rights of passage from every property owner. Similarly, the rights of property owners to the sanctity of their airspace had to be considered. Someone had to think about how to govern the air. Congress could, but it would be far too involved and require far too many frequent changes for Congress to do an effective job. As such, provisions were made to delegate this authority to the FAA. This is similar, in spirit, to the FCC which also governs things (radio waves) that enter your property with or without your permission.

I agree with your concern about concentration of power in the Executive Branch, but with the pace of change in this particular space, I just don't see a preferable alternative. Perhaps dividing the organizations - rules created by a committee that is appointed by and reports to Congress with enforcement remaining in the Executive Branch. Still, I imagine this would result in unacceptably slow rule changes and updates by the rule makers.

about 7 months ago
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Aereo To SCOTUS: Shut Us Down and You Shut Down Cloud Storage

ravenscar Re:How many? (342 comments)

Ahahahahaha! Are you joking? Comcast and Time Warner ARE content companies. That's the whole problem. Content providers should be completely separate from internet providers. When they aren't, the internet/content providers have incentive to make sure their content is unfairly promoted/protected on their networks. If you think Comcast/Time Warner will ever stand up to content companies I've got some wonderful property in the Everglades in which you might be interested.

about 9 months ago
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Tested: Asus Chromebox Based On Haswell Core i3

ravenscar Re:Definitely not for power users (103 comments)

I completely agree. I picked up a Chromebook just to try it out. It has these things going for it: Cheap, acceptable display, great battery life, boots from a powered off state in around 10 seconds, and is pretty solid at internet browsing. I don't store anything on it and it was $200 so I'm not overly concerned if it's lost, broken, or stolen. I find myself using it frequently around the house for light internet tasks where a keyboard is desired (which is fairly often).

A big plus that I didn't expect - remote desktop works really well. In the event that I'm sitting on the couch and I find myself needing to do something that requires different software or more processing power, I just remote into my home server and do the work there.

I can't say that I have any complaints at the price point. Of course, I don't expect to do things for which it wasn't designed.

about 10 months ago

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