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Comment I'd believe insurance over a banker (Score 1) 193

Insurance is more believable than Citibank - which relies on loans and investment in capital growth areas for income. (of which Coal and other established utilities are not)

Insurance has it's own flaws. Many of the WTF provisions in the building code (wired, networked smoke alarms without requiring a central management point or cutoff, residential sprinkler systems, head heights, deck railing requirements, etc.) have been written by the insurance industry to reduce their risk. Still, on a long term, overview approach to reducing risk and costs, they're pretty astute.

Comment So a Mac troll would say... (Score 0) 194

So in looking at the landscape of 3 major operating systems, Macs are in 4th, headed to 5th shortly, and Linux places 7th, behind people who are too lazy to upgrade from Windows 8 to 8.1 and Vista. That's gotta sting.

I'd make some lousy crack about XP still having such strong numbers but, to be honest, I have a machine running XP too. I can't upgrade - it won't run anything later - but I haven't replaced it yet (it's replacement is, however, being prepped as I type.)

Comment Two girls at one time is taken so... (Score 1) 777

Shut down my business, buy a winter home, hire a maid. Tell people I'd inherited about 1% of the wealth I had and set up an anonymous non-profit to parse out most the money for education and arts projects I like.

Then go do everything I'm already already doing, except I'd never bother to look for sales. 'Cause, really, I kind of like my life.

Comment Re:Do you need a laptop? (Score 1) 144

I honestly haven't tried one. The specs are pretty basic - you'd have to burn quite a bit to charge a laptop (40Wh/2W = pretty much all day for a 6-8 hr charge), but it should keep a phone running if you're not pounding away - an iPhone or an Android without wifi/gps will probably stay "even" with a 2W charge. And a good phablet with a bt keyboard is passable for some tasks. It's better than having nothing if the sun takes a multi-day holiday.

Comment Re:Never understand jailbreaking an Apple iOS devi (Score 2) 198

"android device last 3+ years with continued OS support and also not slow to a crawling POS"

Well, that's difficult for iOS devices, too. iPhone 4 devices were sold until September 2013 and can't be updated to iOS 8, which was released in September 2014. One year to obsolescence. My daughter's iPod Touch stopped getting updates after about 2 years. Same with the iPad1 I have. (both were, admittedly, bough near the release of the next model).

I actually gave up all my paid apps in iOS to move to Android. Compared to the cost of the phone, the apps really aren't that expensive. I'm running "last year's" version of the OS by choice - I just don't have time to mess with 5, and there are no clear advantages to me. As for hardware quality, I have not once thought "I like my G3, but it's just not built as well as the iPhone 5 it replaced". On the contrary - it's camera is wildly superior to my wife's 5s (she borrows my phone for taking pictures now), and it's got a plethora of other advantages.

Now that I have a rooted Android phone, I can't imagine going back to even a jailbroken iOS device. I can just do more with it, and many apps in the official stores are written for those with root permissions so I don't have to go nosing around in Cydia to find apps that do things which Steve has forbidden.

Comment Re:That's gonna be a nope (Score 1) 133

Look, if the CEO is infinitely concerned about the finish and feel, and says nothing about the system, then it better be a piece of jewelry he's talking about - not a phone. Getting a nice finish isn't hard - all the majors are doing it. Getting a nice interface is much more difficult - almost nobody is getting it right. But he's not crowing about how he's talking every effort to make usability the number one goal - he's just polishing the fenders and hoping you don't ask about what's under the hood.

Comment Do you need a laptop? (Score 4, Informative) 144

Most laptops are pretty power hungry (7-10W). Can you work web and iOS app-only? The iPad air sucks less than 3W when running. Which means you can work pretty long without needing to recharge. Obviuosly a macbook air if you need a laptop or a MS Surface is fairly power-efficient if you need a windows machine, and they'll burn closer to 5-6W. Grab a solar charger (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00G6CDTGS) and a Biolite stove (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BQHET9O/) for recharge and cloudy-weather just-in-case charging.

If you're close enough to civilization for mobile/cell data, that's your best bet (and where the iPad would really shine, tho the Surface 3 has an LTE version). If not, there's more costly solutions like Iridium Go! (http://www.bluecosmo.com/iridium-go/rate-plans $125/mo for unlimited data, but at 2.4kbps rates...you're just telnetting, right?), but still fully portable.

Comment Re:There is no voter fraud! (Score 1) 284

235 million registered voters, barely over half of which voted.

Still an anomoly? At the presidential level, possibly. Though 74,000 votes separated Obama from Romney over 29 electors in Florida, for example.

But you don't even have to drop to the state legislature to see small numbers matter. In 2014, Martha McSally beat Ron Barber in Arizona for the US House of Representatives by 219 votes. That's a pretty slim margin for a district with 640,000 residents.

So, yes...it actually does matter.

Comment That's gonna be a nope (Score 4, Insightful) 133

" quality of finish, all of these little details that make a beautiful design"

Yeah, that's nice and all, but what we really want is usability. Freedom from the advertising deluge. Control. Everybody and their brother can make a svelte 3D mockup that looks beautiful. But in the end it's going to come down to software. It's why Apple ruled the roost early on. A beautiful piece of garbage is still a piece of garbage. And, tbh, we have enough of that out here at the moment.

Comment Re:Non-lethal?! (Score 1) 180

It depends on how the law is actually worded. A prohibition on lethal weapons is not a legalization of non-lethal weapons. FTFA:

"Then Bruce Burkett of the North Dakota Peace Officer’s Association was allowed by the state house committee to amend HB 1328 and limit the prohibition only to lethal weapons. “Less than lethal” weapons like rubber bullets, pepper spray, tear gas, sound cannons, and Tasers are therefore permitted on police drones." (emph mine)

While it's true that anything that is not prohibited is permitted, this bill does not somehow make non-lethal weapons "legal" where they weren't yesterday. Aside form the FAA having a few things to say on this topic (including "NO!"), unless the statute defines lethal weapon narrowly, any weapon which *can* kill, even if that is not the sole purpose or design, is still a "lethal" weapon. Usually, the definitions of those things go something like "can result in death," which would include anything which has ever caused, or could be reasonably considered to potentially cause death.

tl:dr, this story isn't about weapons on drones, it's about corrupt politicians watering down restrictive in laws for their friends at the expense of public safety.

Comment Re:Dumb Idea (Score 1) 111

Modular is practical in PCs because there is s much extra space it's easy to fit things in, there are few structural loads, and power is almost never a limiting factor. The modular laptop market, where these things matter more, the options are fewer. Move into ultra-books and your options shrink again. Tablets even more. Phones - well, up until smart watches came out, phones were the end point for miniaturization of portable computers in mainstream usage.

Interest will always be there, but the need/desire for modularity in phones is almost always going to be sidelined for size, weight, and battery life.

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