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Comment: Re:NewsFox (Score 1) 132

by Balthisar (#47387679) Attached to: Google Reader: One Year Later

NewsFox was my absolute favorite! Then I moved away from FireFox to Chrome, and there was nothing nearly as good as NewFox.

The nice thing about moving to Chrome was forcing myself to use Google Reader. At first I rather hated Google Reader, but with a Chrome extension and some themes, I got it to finally work more or less like NewsFox.

These days I'm using Tiny Tiny RSS.

Comment: Re:Final Cut? (Score 1) 214

by Balthisar (#47344415) Attached to: Apple Kills Aperture, Says New Photos App Will Replace It

And it still works well with a keyboard. The only thing missing is a two dimensional grid, though.

I love full screen and spaces, and my mind handles the layout perfectly. I want to be able to have left-right orientation of major apps, and up-down orientation of the apps I'm using the support. Thus a 2D grid instead of the currently 1D line we have.

For example: I like Parallels to be far off to the right of my desktop. XCode to the left of my Desktop. OneNote under XCode. PHPStorm to the left of XCode. Photoshop under PHPStorm. Chrome to the immediate right of the desktop. Safari under it (sometimes I need Safari). In 1D, these are all spread out and it's too far to move.

Comment: Re: We should have a choice (Score 1) 455

by Balthisar (#47269833) Attached to: NADA Is Terrified of Tesla

Well, here's the current map of superchargers: http://www.teslamotors.com/sup...

So unless my plans coincided with that map, I would still take a gasoline fueled vehicle. But like I said, that range isn't a deal-killer for me, personally, because I have the option to take a second vehicle. But I don't represent the majority of the people, and the majority of the people don't plan their routes around charging stations, and given that we're talking "wide acceptance" I would presume that means something that is useful (in the context of this type of travel) for the majority of the users.

Actually looking at the current supercharger map, I think I would take a Tesla on a previous road trip I've made. I could have made that supercharger map. A couple of spotty areas, but doable. For me, a very small portion of potential road trippers on a specific route.

I'm not trying to hate on Tesla. Like I said in the parent, shiny, want. But my circumstances support it and I'm not egocentric enough to think that what's good enough for me is good enough for everyone else.

Comment: Re:We should have a choice (Score 1) 455

by Balthisar (#47269501) Attached to: NADA Is Terrified of Tesla

Yes, exactly, but although to prevent others from misunderstanding what you clearly understand, the 80% figure was just a standard Pareto choice.

In my case I would have to decide what percentage each of my needs/wants is. Is it a percentage of my annual miles/km driven? Percentage of activities that merit a certain vehicle? Or percentage of days of the year that I perform those activities?

A Tesla-like vehicle would certainly cover 99% of my miles driven, but maybe only 70% of days I use a vehicle, but also 90% of the activities for which I want a vehicle.

Comment: Re:We should have a choice (Score 3, Interesting) 455

by Balthisar (#47268945) Attached to: NADA Is Terrified of Tesla

I've had two cars most of my serious adult life, so it wouldn't be a concern for me, personally (I'd simply take a gasoline powered vehicle on a cross-country trip, which I've done on several occasions).

For a cross-country trip, though, yeah, 265 miles isn't far enough. That's about four hours of driving versus the 400 mile range of a typical gasoline car giving about six hours of driving. And it only takes a few minutes to fill up, and you don't have to plan which gas station you use. So for a lot of people, the idea of making a cross-country trip in a Tesla is still disadvantageous versus a traditional automobile.

Tesla is shiny, and I want one. It would serve 80% of my driving needs. I still require a different capability vehicle for the rest of my needs/wants, though.

Comment: Re:GM = Made in China (Score 1) 431

by Balthisar (#47259873) Attached to: Chinese-Built Cars Are Coming To the US Next Year

Actually you import cars into China. The duty is reported to be 100%. My neighbor had to import her Lamborghini (it's too big for her garage, so she leaves it parked outside). Another neighbor has a Lincoln Navigator that's not made her. Another neighbor has one of the big GM-Hummers, although to be fair, it's possible that it was manufactured here.

On the subject of made-in-Chinay, most of my neighbors have Chinese-made Audis and Mercedes, though. My Chinese-made Ford is just as good as Belgian-made version, except for the reduced feature set (really, no fuel economy indicator?). The key thing is that although Chinese people are building them (really, robots are doing the heavy lifting), it's still Europeans and Americans here ensuring that our brands are not injured by local practices. There are thousands of foreign engineers in China making sure that we build the same stuff in China as we do in the rest of the world.

Comment: Re:Car driver ethics: What do I hit? (Score 1) 800

by Balthisar (#46937561) Attached to: Autonomous Car Ethics: If a Crash Is Unavoidable, What Does It Hit?

> One, a crash with a bigger car is worse _for me_.

Why do you think that? Whether your car hits a stationary brick wall or a parked Suburban, a tiny, little Aveo, or an infinitely thin, infinitely strong force field, the force of the impact is the same for your car. There might be said for variation due to the specific dynamics of the crash, such as, does your little car do under the SUV's front bumper, but the mass of the object you're striking isn't relevant beyond the point your car can no longer move the object you're crashing into.

Comment: Slashdot took me on a Wikipedia-like adventure (Score 1) 276

It's seldom that Slashdot takes me on a Wikipedia-like adventure. But once I was there and realized that archive.org is more than a Wayback Machine, I started looking up issues of RUN magazine (C=64 and C=128 centric magazine of the time). I was determined not to stop until I found the two "Magic" articles that they published for me. Issue 65 and Issue 69, long lost in the real world, and now added to my digital trophy case.

I can't believe I was programming 8502 assembly language back then and haven't so much as learned a damned thing about Java these days.

Comment: Re:Criminal Charges (Score 1) 357

by Balthisar (#46618683) Attached to: An Engineer's Eureka Moment With a GM Flaw

What is "incorrect"? Companies will change parts due to customer satisfaction, too. That's not an admission of wrongdoing. It's an admission that they didn't meet customer satisfaction the first time (and yes, you could jump in and say that not dying is satisfying, but that's not my point).

In the case of the ignition switch, there's very easy plausible deniability. The newer, customer-satisfying version has higher torque. Customers have come to expect resistance when they turn a key, and they identify a too-easy-to-turn key with toy-like "cheapness." If the new key switch module can add less than 1 per unit in manufacturing and also improve customer satisfaction, then it's absolutely justifiable in this situation.

There is a huge emphasis on closing efforts these days. The result of all of this work is that I typically slam car doors closed, because my old-man expectation is that the door is heavy and needs a lot of energy imparted into the action. Most customers, though, appreciate easy-to-close doors. Car makers go through a lot of effort to compete with each other on this detail. It's not at all related to safety, but to customer satisfaction.

Of course "customer satisfaction" leads to increased sales and profitability. It's a downright disservice to spread misinformation that manufacturers (of any product, not just cars) only compare bottom-line price, because the successful ones realize that they cannot compete based *only* on price.

Comment: Re:Foxconn and friends were faster (Score 2) 606

by Balthisar (#46340491) Attached to: 'Google Buses' Are Bad For Cities, Says New York MTA Official

Most companies pay a 13th month salary just before New Year, and that's also when Red Envelopes and bonus payments are made. So in cases where people are going to leave anyway, this is the time they're likely to do it. To be qualified for 13th month and bonus, you have to have been at the company since October. This all causes:
  - Lots of people don't return to work after New Year. In my company it's about 11%.
  - It's very, very hard to hire people (except fresh graduates) between October and New Year (Jan-Feb, usually).

Internal migrants are also similar to Mexican migrants in the USA. They come, make a lot of money (by their standards for a short time), and return to the family home. And in the case of our engineers, they simply add our prestigious name to their C.V.'s and get a 30% raise at the next company.

"Falling in love makes smoking pot all day look like the ultimate in restraint." -- Dave Sim, author of Cerebrus.

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