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Comment: Re:Could have been worse (Score 2, Insightful) 236

by Isca (#48324541) Attached to: CNN Anchors Caught On Camera Using Microsoft Surface As an iPad Stand
At least they would have been using a core functionality. The surface pro is one of the better devices to come out of redmond. It hands down beats the Ipad in lots of areas except for the apps. But the Apps are what people want, and they certainly don't want to give up the interface they are used to.

Comment: Re:Cannot stop progress (Score 1) 294

by Isca (#48164179) Attached to: Michigan About To Ban Tesla Sales
Tesla's and/or other electric cars will certainly be affordable for the average person at some point. When the Gigafactory comes online and is fully in production the cost of the batteries will drop dramatically. Economy of scale will kick in for all of the other production costs too. Eventually other manufacturers will come on board with fully electric cars as well.

This is still in it's infancy but I have no doubt that there will be multiple 250+ mile range electric cars under 30k in the next 5-10 years. The leaf right now is already in this price range - it would be even cheaper if it wasn't for the cost of the batteries (and the lower amount of those to keep the price down).

The Gigafactory is supposed to drop the prices of the batteries by at least 30%. But Panasonic themselves say that's a very conservative figure by 2017 (they would like to maximize their profits after all). New factories overseas will drop those prices even more, and Panasonic/Tesla is keeping an eye on those figures to make sure the gigafactory still remains competitive on price.

Comment: Re:Bad news for ESPN (Score 2) 139

by Isca (#48155389) Attached to: HBO To Offer Online Streaming Without TV Subscription
Well, for one ESPN wouldn't make enough money. Purportedly a HBO cable subscriber pays 15 a month for HBO, but only around 9-10 goes to HBO.

ESPN is getting an average of 8-10 dollars per cable subscriber. But it gets this from ALL of subscribers of "basic" cable.

HBO has seen it's viewership shrinking because the cord cutters can find alternative means to get their HBO shows, and the ones who don't watch sports are the ones most likely to cut the cord. So it doesn't really hurt them much to switch people over to cable. A lot of people know that HBO is owned by Time Warner. what they don't realize is that Time Warner Cable is a separate entity, so they are not cutting their throats by doing this. In fact they are really the only entity who could realistically go up against Netflix in the short term.

ESPN can't make that move without charging at least $25 a month. And at that price they wouldn't find as many buyers because of the growth of other regional sports networks - you'd have a smaller pool of sports fans willing to pony up. It may happen eventually but it will only come because the cable model is disintegrating completely. In the meantime they'll milk every cable company in the country for as much as they can by getting 8-10 per customer even if that customer hates sports. (BTW, as a lifelong University of Louisville fan now and a big sports fan I would be a cable cutter if I could pay ESPN $25 a month and HBO $15 a month.)

Comment: I've been impressed with IE lately (Score 4, Insightful) 122

by Isca (#48054901) Attached to: Internet Explorer Implements HTTP/2 Support
Chrome has plenty of innovations but it easily becomes a resource hog and bogs down the system. IE 10 keeps chugging along. Microsoft isn't quite the microsoft of the past. These improvements should be felt the most in the mobile space where they clearly have the best browser. Their only problem? it might all be too late if they can never get out from under the shadow of their reputation.

Comment: My guess:Series Hybrid + recharge tech licensing (Score 4, Interesting) 51

by Isca (#47865135) Attached to: Toyota and Tesla May Work Together Again
The current Priuses and other Toyota offerings are parallel hybrids. That is, they have transmissions that directly drive the wheels using the ICE (Internal Combustion Engine).

In a series hybrid, each wheel has it's own motor, and the ICE engine runs at a steady speed that is very efficient to generate electricity that is then used to recharge the batteries that are fed to the electric motors.

A second part of my guess is that Toyota is licensing the recharging technology from Tesla, so that they can use the supercharger network as well. This way they can have a vehicle that can run 100% off of electricity only, but have a ICE engine that is available at any time to back that up (faster refueling, can go anywhere there is a gas station, etc.)

Comment: Re:where are we headed 5, 10, 15 yrs from now? (Score 1) 143

by Isca (#47719897) Attached to: How Argonne National Lab Will Make Electric Cars Cheaper
Don't forget that all of the old batteries that are returned to Tesla will probably go into large warehouses in rural areas where they can take those batteries that are only 70% of their effectiveness and use them for another 20 years as grid storage. I honestly think this is Elon's long term goal. Using them in transportation pays for the initial cost of the batteries - long term grid storage is what will make the money. Once the first few large scale grid storage "warehouses" come on line the financiers will join in to make purchasing your electric vehicle batteries a lease with the goal of making money over the long term, making it even cheaper for the EV owner to purchase them.

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