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Comment: Re:Still ugly (Score 1) 164

by MDMurphy (#46341837) Attached to: Electric Bikes Get More Elegant Every Year (Video)

Regenerative braking appeals most to the people who think perpetual motion is possible. "If I go down a hill I'll get back the power I used to go up!" My guess is that most companies offer it more for marketing purposes than for actual usefulness.

Here's a link to a good breakdown and a quick summary: Not all drive systems are engaged all the time to be able to generate power. Of the ones that are, the amount of potential power to be recovered while braking in normal stop & go is small. The amount that could be generated comes in high bursts, often at too great a rate to be used to charge the battery.
http://www.ecospeed.com/regenb...

Comment: "Black Mirror" episode (Score 5, Informative) 241

This is the basis of S02E01 of "Black Mirror"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L...

The episode did a pretty good representation of the idea, showing things that the the dearly departed's avatar would know and not know based on their chat and email history.

Comment: Not in the U.S. (Score 1) 127

by MDMurphy (#46091853) Attached to: New Zealand Schools Find Less Structure Improves Children's Behavior

This wouldn't work in the U.S. While the article says they tossed out all the rules, I think more likely they just let kids be kids. But here in the U.S. the school and the teachers would be screwed if a kid got hurt even in the slightest falling from a tree. So, here they do stuff to avoid blame for anything (with the associated lawsuit), even if it's not better for the kids in the long run.

Comment: $15 per month... per service (Score 3, Insightful) 160

If this was deemed viable and studios signed up there'd be no consensus on how to run it. So, there'd be 2 or 3 (or more) different services, all offering you "all" of their movies for $15 a month. But you'd find Disney films only one one service, Marvel superhero movies only on another and so on...

It might be that it were possible to get all the back catalogs of movies all available to stream, but I'd strongly suspect it would take several flat fees to do it.

Comment: Re:bootloader still locked? (Score 1) 88

by MDMurphy (#44951381) Attached to: Amazon Launches Kindle Fire HDX Tablets

It's safe to assume:

The microwave will cook food no matter what store it was purchased from.
The TV will play programs from any cable, satellite provider or appropriate OTA station.
The car will work with fuel purchased from any station.

I own all of the above but do not own a Kindle or iDevice specifically because part of their reason for being is to limit the owner's choice in apps or media content. Generic Android also limits apps to those coming from the Google Play store by default but has an option to remove that restriction that's no more difficult to change than adjusting your backlight brightness.

If there was a new Kindle that had a combination of features and price that was so compelling I wouldn't mind getting it and hacking it then I'd be tempted. But it would have to be a very attractive combination of factors.

Comment: Expectation of Privacy (Score 1) 259

by MDMurphy (#44314967) Attached to: DOJ: We Don't Need a Warrant To Track You

The first "we're tracking your car" pushback on privacy was that knowing where you went was thought to be no different than a cop car following you everywhere you go, just more efficient.

How long will it be before listening in / recording your calls is explained as "it's no different than if we just walked 3 feet behind you all the time"?

Comment: Yaw (Score 1) 78

by MDMurphy (#44026077) Attached to: Helicopter Parts Make For Amazing DIY Camera Stabilization

Finally after most of the video it showed how the shot looked like from the camera. What I noticed though was that it doesn't appear to smooth out yaw motion. Granted you have to turn it to aim, but it's twitchy. Since the pitch and roll have been well smoothed the yaw noise really stands out.

What it needs is a steadicam-like gimble that keeps it pointed in the same direction unless you intend to change direction.

Comment: Irony (Score 3, Interesting) 205

by MDMurphy (#44018793) Attached to: India To Send World's Last Telegram

The end of the article gave me a chuckle. A guy is threatening to go on a hunger strike to keep the service going, insisting that it's a vital tool for fighting corruption ( presumably gov't corruption ) He sent his demands to the PM and others, via telegram of course. But someone at the telegraph office viewed the telegram as "objectionable" and have chosen not to deliver it.

So while India might still accept telegrams as legal documents, having a communications medium that requires a man-in-the-middle to function seems to be one that is too easily thwarted by the man in the middle.

Hopefully the guy on the hunger strike backed up his telegram with an email.

Comment: Expiring ID (Score 1) 342

by MDMurphy (#43873885) Attached to: Schools Scanned Students' Irises Without Permission

If it's true that the iris patterns change significantly as children grow, then this would seem then to be a good thing to use for ID kids from the perspective that the ID method would "expire" after some period, making it no longer useful after the original reason no longer exists. This would be different/better than fingerprints that would be useful forever.

This is not to suggest that that I'm necessarily in favor of mandatory biometric ID screening. But if there was a biometric indicator that was reliable and also "expired" after a year or to, that would be awfully handy. If you voluntarily used that form of ID for a temporary purpose you wouldn't be handing over a permanent key.

Comment: IPO (Score 1) 400

by MDMurphy (#43528157) Attached to: Dropcam CEO's Beef With Brogramming and Free Dinners

If I hear about a startup that hasn't lost any employees then I just figure they're waiting for the IPO. While l like the description of the diverse group of employees and other aspects of the company, I think not mentioning compensation at all is a little disingenuous

If they're paying the people a reasonable wage and the checks don't bounce then employees tend to stay. Add in stock options and waiting for the big IPO, or as mentioned in the article a very big buyout, then you have people waiting for the big payday. The perks ( or lack thereof ) might have had an effect on employee retention thus far, but you shouldn't ignore the hope of substantial monetary compensation as an additional big motivator.

Money is the root of all wealth.

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