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Comment: Re:EPEAT = Ugly? (Score 1) 405

by MaestroRC (#40583851) Attached to: Apple Exits "Green Hardware" Certification Program

Yep, the article you linked to refers you to Apple's battery page here:
http://www.apple.com/support/macbookpro/service/battery/

That clearly states that it's $199 for a new battery via Apple. Not saying it's ideal, or the right thing to do, but it does save weight/size on the laptop, which is what Apple is after. And there is obviously a market of people that don't care, or Apple wouldn't continue making these.

I can say that the market that doesn't care likely includes my parents - on a previous laptop, they continued using it for years with a battery that wouldn't hold a charge more than a couple of minutes. They just plugged it into the wall. They didn't care, and didn't want to spend the money either for a new battery ("why spend money on a computer I need to replace") or for a new computer ("this one is good enough right now, I can spend money on other things"). Note that they *knew* it needed a new battery, and that a new battery was $60-75. This computer was also 3 years old at that point, and they used it until it was almost 6 years old tethered to a wall and shut it down whenever they weren't using it.

So yes. While you do care (and so do I), there are a large number of people that just *don't*. As much as you may not want to admit it, these people outnumber you and I.

Comment: Adding the missing link (Score 1) 492

by MaestroRC (#39908761) Attached to: Is Google the New Microsoft?

I think what a lot of folks here are doing is jumping on the whole "OMGWTFGOOGLESTOLEMYBASEBALL" bandwagon. The reality is, if google's solution is even marginally good at syncing and sharing files (which it appears to be with my limited usage), it has potentially the missing link of a pretty damned good documents toolbox for text, spreadsheet, and presentations.

But let's back up here for a second. Ever since Google has had a documents platform from January 2010 on, they've been in want of an *easy* way to get your documents there. Sure, you could go in, upload them, and then pull them back out later, but that was cumbersome and annoying. You could email them to yourself, but again - cumbersome and annoying. They FINALLY added this ability - and just took a baby step forward to make it a "cloud drive" for all of your documents. Not that big of a deal for them, but a hell of a lot more useful to the average Joe.

I do understand that Dropbox has been around for a while - since 2007 in fact. But they never really picked up until the 2009 timeframe for the average user, and while they've been pretty innovative on the synchronizing front, they've not really expanded out very far. Not to mention, they have a bit of a strange market - They tout themselves as a sort of sharing and backup solution. However, the only reason there even needs to be a "sharing" solution is because emailing larger files can be inconsistent but the means to do so with Dropbox isn't particularly elegant even as they add features to make it easier. And to consider dropbox as a means to "back up" your documents is a bit of a joke when there are far superior services that don't try to get into the "sharing" market (and can therefore create a much better backup solution) that are quite a lot cheaper. I'm looking at you, Crashplan and similar services. Because when I want to back up my computer offsite, I don't want to pick a quite limited-capacity folder to do so.

So really, Dropbox is only particularly better than the competition at sharing files. But as I said, it's not even quite great at that. If Google can step up and put out a product that integrates with email for their millions of users (it does), integrates with Google Docs to persuade people to jump into the cloud documents market (it does), and can not lose your data (Google seems to be pretty good at this) - I'd say that's a *good* thing. Hell, it may even convince Dropbox to continue innovating. And isn't that the idea of free enterprise in the first place?

Comment: Re:Best (Score 1) 480

by MaestroRC (#34840460) Attached to: Verizon Finally Unveils Apple iPhone

I was grandfathered in on an unlimited plan (as was my wife).

That also means I can *cough* tether *cough* without regard. I DO come close to 2GB when tethering, and my wife comes close to it when streaming Pandora a lot in a month.

Even with me tethering (which I do frequently), it's generally under 2GB. But to save $5/month and then have to watch it like a hawk to make sure I don't go over 2GB, it's not worth it to me.

Comment: Re:The good and bad... (Score 1) 480

by MaestroRC (#34840202) Attached to: Verizon Finally Unveils Apple iPhone

It's not about having pandora or youtube going while in a call. It IS entirely about maintaining a tethered connection, verifying that the email/SMS your client/boss/wife/etc sent you while you were on the phone was received, checking the weather, SENDING your wife/boss/client/etc an email/SMS, or a sundry other things that you can't do without simultaneous voice/data.

As an iPhone 4 (previously 3G) user that lives in an area that frequently switches between 3G and EDGE (which doesn't support simultaneous voice+data), I notice it a LOT when it's not available. Also, as a VZW blackberry user (work phone), I frequently get annoyed that it is just not possible on there.

Comment: Re:The good and bad... (Score 1) 480

by MaestroRC (#34840126) Attached to: Verizon Finally Unveils Apple iPhone

Not true - AT&T and the iPhone (I've had a 3G and currently have a 4) DOES allow simultaneous voice/data. The only caveat is when on EDGE/GPRS (E or o next to the bars), it does NOT work. On 3G, however, you have full ability to do both.

I have many instances where I tether with my laptop while on a call, send/receive email, browse the web, use google maps, update reddit, etc, simultaneously.

If it's just after getting signal again, you may not be waiting long enough for your phone to switch to 3G before trying to do both (generally it will scale up, and you'll initially hit EDGE then bump to 3G).

Comment: First? What about Chattanooga TN? (Score 4, Informative) 168

by MaestroRC (#34705440) Attached to: South Korea Launches First Electric Bus Fleet

Chattanooga has had electric bus service for years - http://www.carta-bus.org/routes/elec_shuttle.asp. Granted, these are "shuttles" and not full on bus service, as they are used for short routes in the downtown area.

I feel like they should get credit where due, however.

Comment: Re:they hit for right on red even when it is ok bu (Score 1) 976

by MaestroRC (#31826268) Attached to: Red-Light Camera Ticket Revenue and Short Yellows

What's a local ordinance? Here all of that is state law. The only thing the cities get involved in is whether or not to have the cameras. Right now, actually, the state has decided the halt any more installations pending a statewide review - and they barred cities from adding more or any cities that don't have them from adding them.

I totally agree that if there's collusion between the local city, police departments and red light camera companies, nail them. In TN for the most part though, there's been a pretty good separation of responsibilities.

City traffic engineering is responsible for the signal and timing, the red light camera company merely gets a signal for "Red", and any violations go through the police departments.

So far I don't know of any, if there are any, violations that have been overturned in Knoxville.

Comment: Re:Then why are they shutting a bunch of them down (Score 1) 976

by MaestroRC (#31825932) Attached to: Red-Light Camera Ticket Revenue and Short Yellows

Around here, the city vehicles (police vehicles are the ones that make the news) that get ticketed go to the driver. For the police vehicle example, the video and call log are reviewed, and if the officer was not responding to a call they have to pay the fine out of pocket.

Comment: Re:they hit for right on red even when it is ok bu (Score 1) 976

by MaestroRC (#31825878) Attached to: Red-Light Camera Ticket Revenue and Short Yellows

As I live in TN, I can't speak to your state. However in TN, stopping before turning right on red was always mandatory, just never followed in practice. The only people that really bitched about it were the ones that occasionally got pulled over and got a ticket (although most of the time the cops would probably let it slide).

Also in TN, we have our driver handbook available online. Not exactly the law, but good enough and easy enough to access and read through periodically. It's available here: http://state.tn.us/safety/dlhandbook/menu.htm . If you click on the study guide and go to page 16, it states:

"RED: Stop behind crosswalk or stop line. Unless otherwise posted, you may turn right on red after coming to a complete stop and when no pedestrians or cross traffic are present."

Pretty clear to me.

Comment: Re:Sorry, you just flunked driver's ed. (Score 1) 976

by MaestroRC (#31824858) Attached to: Red-Light Camera Ticket Revenue and Short Yellows

In TN, you are considered to have run the light if you are within the "box" - stop bar to stop bar all directions - when the light turns red. For simplicity sake, they consider you to only have run the light using red light cameras if you pass the stop bar after the light has turned red.

Therefore, an officer can ticket you for being in the box, but a camera can only ticket if you enter the box on red. They also changed the laws around and made a camera ticket a non-moving violation (to comply with another law requiring moving violations to accrue points on the driver's license), but an officer can still give you a moving violation ticket.

The reasoning for that is a non-moving violation can be assessed against the owner of the vehicle and they have no way of confirming who was driving at the time the infraction occurred.

Comment: Re:Then why are they shutting a bunch of them down (Score 1) 976

by MaestroRC (#31824788) Attached to: Red-Light Camera Ticket Revenue and Short Yellows

Red light cameras are obviously not for every municipality. Small towns or cities (or even bigger ones) may only see the dollar signs, but in many places (like East Tennessee where I live), it is an everyday occurrence to see people running red lights, even after the cameras went up. Some people don't even care - I'll be ahead of someone in a different lane, come to a nice and easy stop as the light is turning, then see them fly past me after the light is well within its red cycle.

In Knoxville, the intersections with cameras still have an incredible number of infractions, even after all of the awareness that they're there. Either people don't care and would rather pay the fine than wait a moment, or there are an incredible number of people not paying any attention whatsoever. Being that it's east tennessee and from gauging the reports in the news, I'd say there's a valid mixture of both.

The cameras have been installed for about 4 years now and I lived around the block from one for 2 years that I drove through every day. I've yet to get a ticket.

Comment: Re:How the cameras work. (Score 1) 976

by MaestroRC (#31824694) Attached to: Red-Light Camera Ticket Revenue and Short Yellows

Correct. The cameras receive a signal lead (and that is all) from the intersection computer. Once the signal comes in that the light is red the camera goes on alert. They usually have their own embedded coils or similar, but may just be a motion trigger depending on the vendor.

If the camera system picks up a vehicle entering the intersection it then goes into action and tracks the vehicle to get sufficient quality images to get the plates and may also record video of the infraction.

Simple solution - slow your ass down and pay attention at intersections. if the light turns yellow and you're not right on top of the intersection, don't assume you can make it, just hit the brakes and stop. Once you see a couple T-bone accidents, this all becomes crystal clear and burns into your mind, because you'll never want to be the car that gets hit.

"Be *excellent* to each other." -- Bill, or Ted, in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure

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