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Comment: Re:Sociopath Ruins Lives, Film at 11 (Score 2) 728

by Altus (#48111567) Attached to: Why the Trolls Will Always Win

It all depends on what you mean by a small number. Even if it was only a fraction of a percentage of internet users that is still an unbelievable number of people and while they are making a concerted effort to ruin peoples lives there isn't really that much that decent people can do to stop them. I cannot somehow stop a sociopath from finding and publishing some poor persons social security number and I can't stop an asshole from posting a death threat and even a ton of people supporting someone does not make that death threat any less frightening.

It seems like a very difficult battle to win

Comment: Re:It's true (Score 1) 267

by Altus (#48027309) Attached to: Former GM Product Czar: Tesla a "Fringe Brand"

BMW and Mercedes make cars that are in the same price range as the tesla but they also make a lot of cars that are a lot cheaper, and those are the cars they sell a lot of. They are much much larger companies and they ship a lot more cars than Tesla. It is true that it is hard to come up with a comparison to another car company in terms of market but in terms of volume and cost they do have more in common with Ferrari. The big difference is total cost of ownership. Ferrari are very expensive to repair and I would bet they break down more often than Teslas. They also burn gas like crazy while the tesla recharges from your relatively inexpensive wall power. Also they are far more practical cars for a daily driver in terms of design and cost per mile. These are all reasons that you might know more people with teslas than Ferraris. I can report a similar experience but I do see about as many Ferraris on the road as Teslas around Boston.

Still as a manufacturer they are probably more similar to Ferrari even though their target market and the use of the car is very different.

Comment: Re:Take the long view (Score 1) 494

by Altus (#47936391) Attached to: Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

I agree with you, that model for citizenship makes a lot of sense, but it means that a person living abroad would end up being a citizen of an independent country and had no input into the creation of that country... also someone who is living there now but was born in Wales would not end up a citizen and does get a vote. Seems kind of odd, thats all. I don't have any skin in the game so I don't really care but it does surprise me that it might work out that way.

Comment: Re:Still pretty affordable (Score 2) 393

by Altus (#47930225) Attached to: Is the Tesla Model 3 Actually Going To Cost $50,000?

The reason to give the subsidy is to encourage people to engage in behavior that would not be economically beneficial to them otherwise. I probably wouldn't buy a tesla for 45K because that makes no sense for me. I won't pay that for a car and the savings on fuel will not get me even close to the point where it makes sense. With a 10K subsidy it would be a lot closer to making economic sense for me to buy this car. Sure it might end up a bit more expensive over the life or the car, or it might even end up being a good deal. I am far more likely to buy the car with a subsidy and if it is determined that we want to encourage people to buy electric cars the subsidy might be necessary to get that to happen.

It is similar with solar panels... where I live if I had to pay for them in their entirety it probably wouldn't pay off, or it might break even (not taking into account the time and energy I put into getting them installed... break even really isn't compelling) but if we want people to install them then we need to make sure it is worth their while and subsidies is how we make that happen.

Comment: Re:I like watches but.... (Score 1) 471

by Altus (#47875513) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Smartwatch Apps Could You See Yourself Using?

you really find low power bluetooth to be that bad of a drain on your phone? I use it for my helmet headset all the time while I am riding and it doesn't seem to cause too much of a problem. I doubt this would either.

I will give you that daily charging sounds like a pain though I almost worry about the watch being slightly better than that but not a lot. I can get into the habit of charging it nightly but remembering every couple of days would be a pain in the ass.

Mostly though the point of this design is to be discreet... the whole reason you want to get notifications on your wrist instead of with a loud ringtone or vibrating phone is to be discrete, to be able to check the time without making everyone around you aware of the fact that you are bored and are waiting to leave, or to check to see who is calling to decide if it is important enough to answer or to navigate through a city without staring at your phone half the time (particularly useful for runners or bikers).

I get that this might not be a critical issue for you but it is a real attempt to change the way people intreract with technology so that it is less obtrusive and that has value to some. Now that said it is crazy expensive and the next version will be thinner with better battery life and probably cost less so early adopters are going to get screwed on this, just like they did with google glass (which will also likely be way cheaper in its next revision) or with just about any other first generation product. I will likely wait before I invest in something like the apple watch but I think to dismiss it right now would be a mistake.

Comment: Re:Lame (Score 1) 730

by Altus (#47873797) Attached to: Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

You already had a player to compare it to, you had a device that had limitations that you wanted improved upon, it was easy to see why a better designed version would be an improvement.

It is harder with a new category of product. It was hard for me to see the appeal of the iPad, after all I already had a iPhone, why would I need a big one, but then I tried it and it was pretty bad ass, and once I owned one (which I needed for development purposes) it quickly became a huge part of my daily electronics usage and replaced my laptop for the vast majority of non development tasks.

I suspect this is similar, if you had a pebble and you were using it you would probably look a a device like this and instantly be able to see the ways it is better than the one you have, but since it is a type of device that nobody really has it is harder to understand the ways in which you would use it. This is not just a problem for apple but also for any other smart watch developer.

Comment: Re:No Dick Tracy calls? (Score 1) 730

by Altus (#47873575) Attached to: Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

This isn't about a wrist computer and infact a wrist computer would likely not be very useful unless we get to the point where conversational voice command is a thing but honestly at that point it would be hard to justify putting it in a watch instead of in some other jewelry.

What this is, and what smart watches really need to be, at least at this point is an extension of your phone. The primary goal of the apple watch is clearly to provide you with the information your phone does but in a way that is subtle and discrete. The tapping on your wrist replaces a ring tone or a vibrating phone, you can see and even quickly respond to many types of notification. Siri is available but she doesn't speak back to you because that is loud and not very discrete. It provides you with turn by turn directions without taking out your phone and finally, it also tells you the time without digging your phone out as well. Discrete was clearly one of their primary design goals. Its not very fashionable to walk around a cocktail party staring at your phone but a nice looking watch that provides you with the data you need in a discrete way is perfect for almost any environment.

this was clearly their goal and it is probably the best possible use of a smart watch. Admittedly the price is pretty high for the value it gives and for some people the value is limited but for others it is quite valuable and I suspect the price will drop with future versions allowing for better adoption.

Most public domain software is free, at least at first glance.