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Comment Re:Blaming American Engineers (Score 1) 301

It's not impossible that the team assigned to get it to pass US EPA testing could have done something like this without the knowledge of upper management.

As someone with an engineering degree, I'm saddened that they would do something this shady. Professional Engineers are supposed to act ethically.

And seriously...did they really think nobody would ever find out?

Comment not quite (Score 1) 85

The Prime Minister is technically the person most likely to command the confidence of the elected members of the House of Commons.

*Usually* this is the leader of the party with the most seats, but not always.

Totally agree that we need to rein in the power of the PMO, but that would require the members of the House of Commons to take back the power they've ceded to the office of the Prime Minister.

Comment a self-driving car that doesn't isn't worth much (Score 1) 247

If someone buys a "self-driving car", they're going to expect it to, you know, *drive itself*. If the driver has to be alert and attentive and ready to take over at all times then it sort of obviates the entire point of owning a "self-driving car".

Now if the features are marketed as safety-assist capabilities (interval-keeping in cruise control, auto-braking to avoid obstacles, etc.) then that's a different story. In that model the driver is still expected to be in control, and the car just makes the driver safer.

But I'd suggest that for many people a "self-driving car" is what they want. They'd like to tell the car where to go, and then read a book or sleep or watch a movie or something until they get there.

Comment actually I do use it till it breaks (Score 1) 279

Phones are different than computers, yet people still try to apply the computer mentality to it. You don't just buy a smartphone and sit back and use it until it breaks.

Actually, I do. I used a Blackberry Curve with the rollerball until it physically broke. I then got a free Android phone from my brother and used it till it broke. I have an HP Touchpad running CyanogenMod and I'm going to use it till it breaks. My current phone is a Moto G, and I fully expect to use it until it breaks.

If the vendor abandons it, you reflash it with a community distro. Simple as that...

Comment buying makes sense if you hold onto it (Score 1) 279

Renting/leasing a phone (or a car) generally only makes sense if you have to have the new shiny all the time.

It'll likely work out cheaper to buy a used high-end phone (or a new midrange one) and use it till it doesn't work anymore. The long-term ownership is where you save money by buying vs leasing.

Comment as always, depends what you need (Score 1) 350

I've got a Dell Vostro that's pushing 5 years old. I paid $440 (Canadian) for it. It does everything I need it to, because it's main purpose in life is web browsing, email, word processing, and exporting streaming video via HDMI to my home theater.

For that purpose any of the Mac lineup would be overkill.

So sure, *at comparable specs* the Mac pricing is competetive. But many people just don't need those specs, and for those people a Mac is simply overpriced.

Comment nope (Score 5, Informative) 755

It's a replacement for welfare, employment insurance, social assistance, old age security, etc.... Some fiscal conservatives are in favour of it because if nothing else it minimizes administrative overhead by combining everything into a single program.

Also, it's usually set up so that there is always a benefit to working more. Claw-backs start at 50% and go down as income goes up. (As opposed to silly current welfare that initially doesn't let people keep any of the incremental additional money they make, leading people to not even bother trying.)

Comment didn't happen in Manitoba (Score 5, Informative) 755

Guaranteed minimum income was tried as a multi-year experiment in Dauphin, Manitoba (Canada) in the 1970s. From the wikipedia page for "mincome":

"...only new mothers and teenagers worked substantially less. Mothers with newborns stopped working because they wanted to stay at home longer with their babies, and teenagers worked less because they weren't under as much pressure to support their families, which resulted in more teenagers graduating. In addition, those who continued to work were given more opportunities to choose what type of work they did. Forget found that in the period that Mincome was administered, hospital visits dropped 8.5 percent, with fewer incidents of work-related injuries, and fewer emergency room visits from car accidents and domestic abuse.[7] Additionally, the period saw a reduction in rates of psychiatric hospitalization, and in the number of mental illness-related consultations with health professionals.[8]"

Comment if you don't know your needs up front... (Score 1) 64

then cloud computing is pretty much aimed at you. (At least if your need is likely to be variable.)

The whole point of the cloud is that you only pay for what you use. If your needs are wildly variable from one month (or day) to the next, it might make sense to rent time/storage/throughput via the cloud.

If your needs generally only increase, and increase at a predictable pace, then it probably makes more sense to buy your own hardware.

We want to create puppets that pull their own strings. - Ann Marion