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top

Mercedes Pooh-Poohs Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential"

rsborg Re:Tesla needs just a few more things (334 comments)

Tesla has made an electric vehicle that doesn't make anyone with a sense of style want to puke, and that's a very good thing, but there's just a handful of things they need to do, IMO, to really knock the ball out of the park for electric cars:

[... list of things that emphasize gas car and petroleum distribution benefits over electrics ...]

If or when Tesla, or any electric vehicle manufacturer, can hit all three of the above points, I'd dare say that the writing will finally be on the wall for the age of gasoline, and I think electric cars could outnumber gasoline vehicles on the road within a decade.

Here's a similar list of things that was "common wisdom" for other disruptive technologies:

1) iPads (and tablets in general) will dominate over PCs once they solve the printing and windows compatibility problem (reality: even the latest tablets suck for these tasks, but PCs are in decline while tablets sales are set to overtake overall PC sales).
2) Apple would dominate if they ever provide a mid-tower customizable Mac. (reality: Apple owns the $1000+ market for PCs and laptops, and their PC business is more profitable than the next three PC manufacturers combined)
3) How can a smartphone without a keyboard succeed? Why would anyone buy one? (reality: 99% of smartphones today have on-screen keyboards)

Common wisdom is myopic. Your points in general are all things that we enjoy today, but many folks would gladly give up one or all three of those current benefits for a car that can be bought without going to a dealer, accelerates like a bat out of hell and is smooth and silent and gets OTA software updates and support. Tesla intended to disrupt the market and looks like they're doing so very well.

yesterday
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Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

rsborg Didn't Obama campaign on this back in 2008? (415 comments)

Simplified tax filings (ie, tax authorities tell you what they think you owe, so you don't inadvertently misfile and get penalized for it or worse, get an audit notification on what could have been sorted out before the filing date) - this is what other countries do, and I hear it's really awesome. Found it here:

Simplify Tax Filings for Middle Class Americans: Obama will dramatically simplify tax filings so that millions of Americans will be able to do their taxes in less than five minutes. Obama will ensure that the IRS uses the information it already gets from banks and employers to give taxpayers the option of pre-filled tax forms to verify, sign and return.

I hope Intuit's lobbying doesn't screw this up. This is one Obama promise I'd like to see implemented.

3 days ago
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CSIRO Scientists' Aquaculture Holy Grail: Fish-Free Prawn Food

rsborg Re:Just like food, your food itself is what it eat (116 comments)

It looks like the secret is to feed them vat fed plankton instead of similar or identical species of the wild plankton they normally eat - which was apparently much hard than that sounds. The big deal is it means a more reliable supply.

So is the vat-fed plankton as healthy as the wild stuff? Because if not, then the unhealthy part of that diet will exist in the farmed prawn. Basically take the GPP's argument "Just like food, your food itself is what it eats. " and follow that down the food chain.

about a week ago
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Phil Shapiro says 20,000 Teachers Should Unite to Spread Chromebooks (Video)

rsborg Slashvertizement (101 comments)

I thought I turned off ads? These product evangelists annoy me.

about a week ago
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In-Flight Wi-Fi Provider Going Above and Beyond To Help Feds Spy

rsborg Abstinence (78 comments)

Can't say I blame them. What's the downside for GoGo?

As I work with secured customer data, knowing that I'm possibly getting MITM'd sounds like a likelihood I won't be able to use GoGo (now I have to go and verify if it's ok). So abstinence is always an option, despite me being gogo's captive.

about two weeks ago
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Meet the Diehards Who Refuse To Move On From Windows XP

rsborg Apple Migration Assistant: PPC - Intel (641 comments)

The reason it isn't easy is because a lot of old drivers and software do not work on it. Otherwise you could have just reinstalled everything on it again. Or Microsoft could have made a migration tool.

This is a really shitty reason, to be honest. Apple puts a lie to Microsoft's rigidity and inflexibility by showing how (nearly a decade ago) it's possible (using Migration Assistant) to move from a PPC system to Intel - clearly drivers won't work there, but it all happens, and works well (yes it's a migration, but the tooling works and is well supported). If it's a newer version of OSX (i.e., younger than 6 years old), then you can upgrade in place.

I never understood why Microsoft didn't work harder to make this possible - maybe because they don't actually do much of the driver work - that's done by the manufacturer or part

about two weeks ago
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Will Cameras Replace Sideview Mirrors On Cars In 2018?

rsborg Re:Why stop there? (496 comments)

What about ditching the windshield and replacing it with a 4k HD screen? Then you can embed the driver lower-down and deep inside a protective hardened shell. A no-glass car all around.

Might be interesting for fighter pilots. Hell, why stop there? Just make the entire fighter remotely controlled - all that would be left is a "droning" noise.

about two weeks ago
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If Ridesharing Is Banned, What About Ride-Trading?

rsborg Amen - Aint no sharing going on here (353 comments)

Uber/Lyft are purely a play to disrupt the taxi industry by getting around the medallion tax.

Don't get me wrong - the taxi medallion's cost is prohibitive due to very low supply and the only justification I can see is that the city wants to limit the number of taxis to improve air quality. However, with hybrid/electric cars around now that vastly reduce or eliminate any tailpipe emissions, I think cities need to reconsider possibly having "green" medallions that are not as limited in number, and require the car driving it to have AT-PZEV (Prius 2004) emissions profile or better (not difficult; many of these kinds of cars around that still get 50 mpg+).

about three weeks ago
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Wal-Mart Sues Visa For $5 Billion For Rigging Card Swipe Fees

rsborg Re:Customers may benefit... maybe (455 comments)

I'd add that they also maintain this illusion by sometimes (often?) selling similar-but-inferior products. For instance, a vacuum that is identical to a top-rated cordless vacuum, but with a smaller motor and battery. If you run through there with a bar code scanner on your phone you can see just how many of the products are actually different than the ones available through Amazon and friends.

They are notorious for advertising they will meet any advertised price for the same product. The problem is that many of their products, while similar, are only a model that Walmart sells, at least in electronics.

This isn't limited to Wal-mart either - I've noticed that all retailers do this, and manufacturers have come to support this (except for companies like Apple) by simply having thousands of different serial numbers that share the same specific model - that's what's advertised, but YMMV apparently.

This problem results in a real lack of commoditization and alignment, and prevents customers from shopping around or even getting consistent and reliable support - hell even the support rep may not know your specific video card on your laptop.

about three weeks ago
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Some Mozilla Employees Demand New CEO Step Down

rsborg Not going to happen (824 comments)

Regardless of the merits of Eich's actions, or the merits of those calling for his ouster, the fact remains that all that's going to happen is that there will be a kerfuffle and Eich will either ignore it or make some pro-LGBT concession and then things will continue on, the same way things have been going.

Does anyone doubt that the Eich is capable of handling the job? I don't hear that anywhere. Perhaps this whole thing is to focus away from the fact that he may not be the best person to head Mozilla (and remove other candidates from the spotlight by hogging all the attention)? That's a bit CT [1], but I've been accused of worse kinds of thoughtcrime.

[1] http://acronyms.thefreediction...

about three weeks ago
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In Israel, Class-Action Plaintiff Requests Waze Source Code Under GPL

rsborg Re:WTF if Waze? (75 comments)

It's basically google maps with a different skin, and you can report things like speedtraps and accidents. And you get points, so there's a game aspect I suppose.

That's it. It's one of those "tech" companies that seem absurdly overvalued based on how little they actually do. In no sane world would it be worth the billion google paid for it. And on top of that, although the interface for reporting stuff is designed to be as minimal as possible and they prevent you from typing and driving, there's no way it's safe to use. I've used it, so I'm a hypocrite there, but it is a driving hazard.

Riiiight - just a map overlay and gaming aspect. No mention of incident reporting, showing aggregated speeds of waze users, the ability to share your location/trip,nope. None of that takes coding or infrastructure I guess.

Waze is more useful than google maps, apple maps, or navigon for me in estimating my commute times - it simply works. It even noticed a traffic disruption that had only really lasted for about 1 hr, showing me an alternate route through residential streets such that I got to my freeway onramp with only a 5m loss rather than what I guess would have been much longer.

I don't like that Google bought it - I don't trust Google very much, but I can't stop using Waze (I kill the app when I get home/work).

about three weeks ago
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Tesla's Fight With Car Dealers Could Help Decide the Next Presidential Election

rsborg Mileage = not the motivating factor to go electric (282 comments)

Repair? Tesla themselves, free of charge in many cases. They'll even come get the car for you if needed, most dealerships won't do that.
Regular maintenance? *What* regular maintenance? Les Schwab or your preferred local alternative can rotate the tires and check the brakes for you. Not much else is needed... no oil, no spark plugs, no transmission (in the conventional sense), etc.

Most folks not into the electric/hybrid ownership thang just don't get this - the dividends for a hybrid (and doubly so for a pure electric) are in the small things - great acceleration "curves", quieter cabin, keyless entry, reduced maintenance, no transmission changes ever, oil changes that always came back clean even when I do them yearly, etc etc. And the Tesla takes it to a whole new level.

It's not the MPG that sold me on the Prius 10 years ago (and that I still drive daily with 50+mpg), it the fact that it felt like spaceship when it "booted" and all the other things that no other car at the time could do. The new Telsa faux-mercial exemplifies this: http://www.thecarconnection.co...

about three weeks ago
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Tesla's Fight With Car Dealers Could Help Decide the Next Presidential Election

rsborg Re:To be fair (282 comments)

You are going to need a LOT of solar panels to do this and also note most people are home at NIGHT when this is not going to work out so well ;)

Note: using solar to power your car is through offsetting your daily electricity use and powering at night - you don't actually have to use the *specific electrons collected by photonics deposits on your solar panel* to power the electric car.

The end result is the same - car gets juice (usually the cheaper variety if you're hooked up with a smart meter) and you pay less.

Hell, Musk even has a company that helps homeowners do just that - SolarCity - without all the overhead of buying the panels and installing them yourself.

about three weeks ago
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Peter Molyneux: Working For Microsoft Is Like Taking Antidepressants

rsborg Re:Well, that sort of explains Windows 8... (164 comments)

...although I'd say the devs were on something stronger than antidepressants.

All kidding aside, Win8 does seem to be a product of "Who cares what our customers want, we'll do it our way and they can just suck it", which pretty much defines comfortable complacency.

Amusingly when Apple does it, most of their users either don't complain about it, or actually appreciate it.
Hmm - maybe execution and taste matter?

Meaning - Microsoft probably not only ignored it's users, it likely ignored it's own influential employees that were critical of it (especially those who weren't vocal because it would be a CLM). That's poor taste.

about three weeks ago
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Target and Trustwave Sued Over Credit Card Breach

rsborg Re:Banks are responsible too (87 comments)

Not precisely correct.

Chip & pin is coming, it's not mandatory on merchants (yet) but if fraud is indicated and the merchant failed to have a chip terminal, and the customer has a chipped card the merchant will lose the chargeback automatically.

Liability shift, will now be on one of two entities.
The merchant, for not having the terminal, or the consumer, for not protecting their pin.

the liability also shifts almost 100% OFF the card issuing bank....
(the real reason)

I wonder how this will impact online payments - how will chip/pin be supported there?
Given most of my CC activity is online, I fathom this is a huge loophole to the new security structure...

about three weeks ago
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IRS: Bitcoin Is Property, Not Currency

rsborg Deflationary by design = Asset (273 comments)

Common sense, despite all the hoopla, bitcoin really does make a poor "currency". It's really like buying commodities at a certain price, and selling them again at another price

Best example off the top of my head is Oil futures - since both that and BTC have a) a steady increase in value due to limited supplies and b) incredible volatility at times as the market itself is really controlled by big players

Exactly the type of market that Wall Street loves.

about three weeks ago
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Google Now Arrives In Chrome For Windows and Mac

rsborg I have GMail, but it doesn't show on Location Svcs (74 comments)

Block it - Settings->Privacy->Location Services->Gmail - slide the slider to OFF to turn off ability for that app to use location services.

So I don't see it there, I only see Google Maps. Am I supposed to block Google Maps?

about three weeks ago
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Is the Tesla Model S Pedal Placement A Safety Hazard?

rsborg This is a road-legal car, not a golf cart (394 comments)

Most electric carts I've used have only one pedal. When you push it, the cart moves forward. When you let go, it brakes.

How asinine is it to expect a car to coast (no powered acceleration) but not brake? Using your model, when my car is coasting, I'd have to keep the pedal slightly depressed so it would accelerate during a long downward hill.

Also, switching around the now-standardized pedal layout (approximates automatic-drive, not manual) is a no-brainer. It would literally be a non-starter if I had to switch driving modes just because one of my cars is electric.

about three weeks ago
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AT&T Exec Calls Netflix "Arrogant" For Expecting Net Neutrality

rsborg Re:It's not arrogant, it's correct. (466 comments)

You know, like you get a higher electric bill if you use more electricity, a higher water bill if you use more water, like you used to get a higher phone bill if you would make more phone calls, and like the ISPs have higher costs if their customers consume more bandwidth.

Let's see the equivalent of the public utility commissions, or FERC, and then we calk talk about metering. I don't trust AT&T to play straight with metered billing.

AT&T is the same company that was alleged to have randomly pushed data usage on iPhones that were off [1]. My wife who was until recently on AT&T had several months where her account would get slapped with a data charge late due to unexplained usage late in the cycle. After a year or so of this abuse and a couple of hundred dollars later we finally all switched to TMobile non-contract, and strangely (hmm) have never seen the data usage with the same pattern (not that it would matter now - at worst she'd be bumped to 2G speeds, not billed for an extra allotment of data). Couldn't be happier since the switch. TMobile is great, and compared either ATT or VZ, has much better service and aren't jerks. If you get decent TMO signal where you are, I highly recommend the switch.

To this day, AT&T still won't explain to you the data specifics - it's hard to correlate what's on the bill detail vs. what's on the phone log.

[1] http://arstechnica.com/apple/2...

about three weeks ago
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Intel Announced 8-Core CPUs And Iris Pro Graphics for Desktop Chips

rsborg Re:Weird Business Strategy (173 comments)

Other details were scarce, but you can bet that Haswell-E will be Intel's fastest desktop processor to date when it arrives sometime in the second half of 2014. Intel also gave a quick nod to their upcoming 14nm Broadwell CPU architecture, a follow-on to Haswell.

Does anyone else find it kind of weird that Intel seems to have gotten into a pattern where their supposed top of the line CPUs are perpetually a generation behind their supposed commodity CPUs in terms of technology?

Not at all - the commodity CPU customers can do beta test for the more risk-averse enterprise server CPU customers.

about a month ago

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