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Comment Re:Caller ID Blocker (Score 2) 233

But this does answer, and it answers with "Hello? Hello? Hello?!?!" if that doesn't get you transferred to a live agent, the dialer is a failure.

These days a lot of autodialers ARE failures. If you actually answer it, about half the time it either hangs up on you or there is nothing there but silence and you eventually get tired of saying "hello" and hang up.

Comment PINO (Score 1) 210

Some of Porche's current offerings I could see getting the self drive treatment. Like the Panamera and whatever the heck they call their SUV/XUV/whatever they are called this week. I could see people who want the Porsche label for name only, but want a sedan or minivan totally picking the self drive option. They could rebadge these models as the Porsche PINO edition and all the hipsters would fall over themselves to get one. At least until they find out it means Porsche In Name Only.

Comment Re:APorsche Self-Drive? (Score 1) 210

And not to forget you need an automatic transmission for that.

Not necessarily. BMW makes a dual clutch manual transmission with an automatic clutch. You can use the paddles, you can use the bump shifter. It has no torque convertor. It WILL roll backwards on a steep hill.
I would have rather had a full manual with stick shift, but we are a two car family and we occasionally have to swap cars. My wife will not learn standard. Sigh.

Comment Re: APorsche Self-Drive? (Score 0) 210

Because Republucans are lazy, and typically the only people that can afford such things.

Actually, it is mostly nouveau rich lottery winners, flash-in-the-pan musicians, actors, and reality TV stars that tend to buy supercars, and most of them are usually democrats.
But back to the original false statement. Republicans are lazy so they like to buy cars that don't drive themselves? Um, what?

Comment Re:Time to give the consumer total choice (Score 1) 164

Netflix is quickly becoming an over-the-internet only service. The problem with that is that you have to already have internet to your home to be able to make use of that. In most places, you have few choices for internet, and one of them is the cable company. The cable company makes it price prohibitive to JUST have internet with them. So, even though netflix is only $12.95 a month, in reality, it is actually about $80 a month.

Comment Re:Discovery Channel is all BS reality TV now (Score 1) 164

Exactly. Discovery used to be one of the reasons I had cable. Now, I hardly watch it anymore because it is a bunch of shows about building custom motorcycles, searching for gold in the snow and other extremely low budget reality shows. How do they keep making shows more cheaply, with people who are so desperate to be on TV that they don't even have to pay them, and then expect us to pay more to watch them?

Comment You're right, it's bogus. Dang! (Score 1) 118

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoke_detector mentions none of this.

You're right, it's bogus.

I was told that decades ago. But a little research (in the online patent databases) shows that there were ionization smoke detectors for decades before that (back in the tube era, even, when beta emitters were easily available to the common man). NASA says their only involvement with smoke detector design was (in collaboration with Honeywell) coming up with a variable-sensitivity design to stop annoying false alarms in Skylab.

Sorry to have repeated a myth. B-b

Comment Re:been done (Score 1) 132

Another factor: How efficient is it - I predict a considerable transmission loss too, and in this era of energy saving dictates it might be a bad idea.

And the same people that buy electric vehicles and look down their noses at all the inferior people are the same ones that buy wireless everything and would use one of these wireless chargers.

Comment Heroes in more ways than one. (Score 4, Interesting) 118

The Appollo I martyrs are heroes in more ways than one.

One of NASA's responses to the fire was to design a detector for miniscule amounts of smoke particles, to provide an early warning of electrical problems that might lead to a fire - in time to evacuate the capsule if on the ground or hunt down and fix the problem if in space.

The detector used a miniscule amount of radioactive material to ionize the smoke particles and then detected the current conducted by the ions. (Radioactive materials were for NASA, a government agency, to design with, difficult for random inventors or corporations to even consider.)

The first, space-rated, low-volume prototypes were pricey. But the circuitry and the detection chamber were dog-simple and could be dirt-cheap when manufactured in volume.

So this was plowshared, and became the ionization-type smoke detector, the first practical, affordable, smoke detector suitable for broad deployment in residences. Even when this was the only type in use, it was quickly saving, first hundreds, then thousands of lives per year.

Modern detectors, combining ionization and photoelectric mechanisms, are credited with cutting the death toll from fires by somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2. They detect different types of fires, and the one detected by ionization accounts for somewhat less than half of them - which is still an enormous number.

So the loss of those three lives has been repaid with enormous interest in the decades that followed. The benefits are still flowing.

Comment Such sites would RATHER be boycotted. (Score 1) 118

Even better if they boycotted all sites which block ad-blocking viewers, ...

If you're blocking ads, you don't contribute to their revenue, but do contribute to their resource consumption. So the operators of such sites would RATHER be boycotted by people using ad-blockers.

Sounds like a win-win. B-)

Comment Re:Forbes again (Score 1) 118

I love how it keep trying to convince me to turn off my ad-blocker.

"Hey, turn off your ad-blocker so our malvertisers can give you something special!"

Really. I wasn't going to click on your ads anyway, so to save both of us some hassle and bandwidth, I am blocking them up front. You should be thanking me for lowering your cost of doing business.

Comment They should have argued it was a "Taking". (Score 0) 84

But the rule has meant millions in lost profits for utilities. Those companies argued that the program impermissibly targets retail customers.

They should have argued that it was a "taking" and the government had to reimburse them for their losses.

The tail end of the Fifth Amendment reads:

[...] nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

and the Supremes have already ruled that new laws and regulations, and changes to existing ones, that suck part of the value out of property (in this case, the value of the power generation and transmission infrastructure, which is based on the profit it creates) constitute a "partial taking" and require the government to pay for what it took.

Getting the Supremes to recognize that a rule change which imposes a change in the flow of money from customers to the investors in a busines can constitute a fifth amendment taking of the value of the latter's investment would inhibit arbitrary economic winner-picking regulations and move the US economy away from Fascism (alias "crony capitalism) and toward (free-market) Capitalism.

Comment Re:superior liability coverage (Score 1) 113

a more proximate cause is Yellow Cab losing a $8 million accident liability suit by a passenger who is now paralyzed......So much for the medallion cab argument that they offer superior liability coverage.

To be fair, they did cover it.

Maybe they need bankruptcy insurance :-)

The lesson is that ANY cab-like co better be ready for an 8-mil zinger.

Exactly. A REAL cab company doesn't need liability insurance because they are going to have $8 million in a bond somewhere that can be used to pay for a catastrophe such as this.
An independent contractor HAS to have liability insurance, because they probably are lucky to have $5,000 sitting around in case of a catastrophe.

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