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Comment Re:This problem really shouldn't exist. (Score 1) 262

This... More so than any of the other American major league sports, the NFL has inked sponsorship deals for product placement. As an example, Colin Kaepernick was famously fined $10k by the NFL last year for wearing a pair of pink Beats headphones during a post-game press conference. The only reason he's not blowing a gasket over this is that he's too busy deluding himself into believing he'll win the Deflategate appeal.

Comment Re:This is what I look forward most in hydrogen ec (Score 2) 163

Fuel cells are the only way to get thermodynamic efficiency that is remotely competitive with battery electric vehicles. At the moment, fuel cells still have high initial cost, and short service life, relative to the batteries in battery electric vehicles. Sure, they'll ride down the price curve and up the performance curve as the technology matures. But then you get to the hydrogen. All sustainable, carbon-neutral methods of generating hydrogen involve using an energy source for electrolysis of water. Which takes as much energy as the hydrogen itself will release when it is "combusted" with atmospheric oxygen back into water. Adding insult to injury, hydrogen is a gas at standard temperature and pressure. In order to carry a quantity sufficient to provide useful driving range, more energy must be expended to pressurize the hydrogen to thousand's of PSI for storage on-board the vehicle.

Comment Re:About time! (Score 1) 209

I have a pile of these ZTE Zingers in my house. The screen is, generally speaking, garbage. The 2MP, fixed-focus camera on the back is also a complete piece of crap. It at least runs KitKat, which is better optimized for devices with smaller installed memory. It's not a rocketship, but the UI is reasonably responsive. Of more serious concern is the fact that the 4GB ROM only yields about 1.25GB of free space, and the OS won't let you move apps onto the SD card. This limiation, ironically, serves to mitigate the multi-tasking issue, as it is simply not possible to install a large number of apps on the device..For my principal use case (kids playing Minecraft and watching Youtube) it is more than adequate, and represents phenomenal value, even at $30.

Comment Re:ZTE... (Score 1) 209

A year or so ago, Samsung put out an ad campaign for the Galaxy S5 that called out major features, present in the S5, that were absent from the iPhone. The Galaxy had a larger screen, SD card slot, removable battery and it was water-proof. All features absent from the iPhone. And also now absent from the Galaxy S6. Definite step back, especially since Samsung has been completely ineffective at communicating what counter-veiling new features and benefits the new model has over its predecessor and/or the iPhone.

The S6 looks classier and more expensive than the S5. That's the only thing going for it. With the iPhone 6/6 Plus it no longer has a size advantage either. This is a problem, since for many buyers of the Galaxy S3/4/5, the screen size was the major driver tipping the purchase away from iPhone. The Android OS was either incidental, or even a drawback. Those customers are all jumping over to iPhone now that it has a big screen.

Comment Re:kernel developers on Macs - that would be me (Score 2) 360

True, Harbor Freight hand tools have a lifetime warranty, and they've stepped up their game at the same time Sears' contract manufacturers moved to China and Craftsman tools went to hell in a hand-basket. But, when they do break, someone who's on the clock has to run out to Sears or Harbor Freight and wait in line to get that replacement, and you're stuck explaining to the customer why their car isn't ready today. Meanwhile, Snap-On, Mac and Matco break less often to begin with. When they do break, the local distributor shows up the same day in their truck with a replacement and you still get the customer out the door by close of business.

Apple has an extensive network of retail stores that are set up to do all manner of software support, as well as virtually all hardware repairs *in house* allowing most warranty repairs to be done same-day. And this is their baseline level of support. Dell, HP, Samsung etc. don't have anything that comes close to this.

Comment Re:the US 'probably' wont use a nuke first.... (Score 1) 341

It's only a crime if you were indoctrinated and signed a non-disclosure agreement wherein you agreed to be held criminally liable. Note that, while Snowden has a rich bounty on his head, no wrong-doing has been alleged on the part of the NY Times, Washington Post, or any of the other news outlets that published his leaks.

Now the British, they have the Official Secrets Act.

Comment Re:the US 'probably' wont use a nuke first.... (Score 4, Insightful) 341

Yeah, we used the Bomb, twice, against an enemy that fought tenaciously, and far beyond any reasonable chance of victory. The death toll, while still horrific, was a tiny fraction of the alternative.

Have you ever heard of Operation Downfall? It was the planned invasion of the Japanese homeland. The basic gist was to, ultimately, march into Tokyo and dictate surrender terms to Emperor Hirohito, personally. The planned amphibious landings were double the size of D-Day, and would have extended the war well into 1946, with casualty estimates into the millions. Additionally, the Japanese defensive plan (Operation Ketsugo) called for the all-out mobilization of the civilian population.

Comment Re:Boost mobile (Score 2) 209

Straight Talk is owned by America Movil, along with Trac Fone and Net10. Unlike most other MVNO's, they have contracts with all four of the Big Four carriers, though any individual handset will ride on only one of the four networks. The specific assortment of handsets they'll offer (either online or at retail) in any given location is a function of the coverage available from the Big Four at that specific location. Hence their website asks you for your zip code before showing you phones.

The retail packages indicate whose network the phone runs on. "CDMA-V" is Verizon, "CDMA-S" is Sprint, "GSM-A" and "GSM-T" are AT&T and T-Mobile, respectively. Pick the right phone, and you will be riding full-time on Verizon's network while paying Straight Talk's cheap monthly fees (and putting up with their shitty customer service).

Comment Re:Republic Wireless (Score 1) 209

Republic Wireless is a MVNO that rides on Sprint's network. Hence why you can't use a GSM phone with their service. You have to buy the phone from them because no one sells "unlocked" CDMA phones. They don't sell them for the simple reason that the by far largest CDMA carriers (Verizon and Sprint) don't allow unlocked phones on their networks.

Comment Re:Cheap grid storage (Score 1) 442

That statement is, dare I say it, true from a practical standpoint. It is certainly true if you want to get yourself directly into a circular orbit. However, you can get yourself into orbit if you thrust continuously for long enough on your orbit vector, once you're out of the atmosphere. You'll have a very highly elliptical orbit by the time you've raised your perigee out of the atmosphere, but it would work. Don't believe me? Install Kerbal Space Program, and try it out for yourself. Worked for my 10 year old kid.

Comment Re:Are there any reasons... (Score 1) 174

There's the oil changes, but also factor in radiator and transmission fluid flushes, timing and accessory belt replacements, various radiator and vacuum hoses, and it starts to add up. A timing belt is easily a $600 job, by itself. With the 100k mile replacement interval typical on modern cars, and 15k miles/year average usage, that one service adds $100/year by itself, if you amortize over time. Hold on to that Honda Accord more than five or six years, and you'll also start to get into random wear-out failures after 100k miles, that will be costing you real money.

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