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Comment Re:Didn't the Apple Menu precede this? (Score 1) 242 242

Actually, they weren't there by default. Only Control Panels were there by default. Of course, all it was doing was showing the contents of the "Apple Menu Items" folder in the System Folder, so you could put an alias to whatever you wanted in there and it would work fine.

On the other hand, Windows 95 = Macintosh '89. So there's that.

Comment Re:Doubtful (Score 1) 847 847

1) Studies that have looked at the whole picture of how the electricity is generated and transported have concluded that while there are some "green" zones that have relatively clean electrical generation infrastructure (such as California) looking at the nation-wide average, EVs actually have a *higher* carbon footprint than traditional internal combustion engines.

True. On the other hand, as has been said, you could probably manage to reduce power-station pollution in about 5-10 years. So if you start replacing gasoline with electric now and updating those power plants over time, things get gradually better over the 10 years. If you go with higher MPG cars, things stay the same as they are now over the 10 years.

2) EVs do not have the range necessary to replace internal combustion vehicles. This is not only a matter of battery life but also the time required to recharge the batteries as compared to the time to refill a gas tank.

This is always an interesting argument and, to me, the basis is more sociological than anything else.

I grew up in a fairly rural area. So when I turned 16 and got my driver's license, it unlocked lots of opportunities. The mobility of Americans is pretty impressive and it's really ingrained into our culture. The car represents "freedom" for hundreds of millions of Americans. Today, I could get into my car and drive clear across the whole United States of America on a whim! I could drive to visit my sister in Colorado. It takes a couple of days, but it's kind of fun! I could get a job a hundred miles away from home and drive there once a week--or every day if I was so inclined!

And you're telling me I have to give that up to "save the planet"?! I don't think so!

The thing is, I could do all those things. But I probably won't. I don't usually do road trips--maybe once every couple of years. The vast majority of my driving is to work and back. The furthest I've ever worked was 90 miles, round-trip, which is within the range of most EVs. Electric cars are cheaper to operate and can produce less pollution. The expensive ones can be "fun" to drive.

But I'm sacrificing my "freedom" to go anywhere I want at the drop of a hat. If I wanted to visit my sister in Colorado, I'd probably have to rent a gasoline powered car or hop on a train or a plane--driving up those mountains is going to hurt my efficiency and there may not be charging stations close enough together. At the very least, I'd have to figure all that out before I left or end up stranded in the mountains.

To me, it's a reasonable trade-off. If I could find a used Tesla roadster that I could afford, I'd buy it in a New York minute.

I've seen plenty of people who immediately discount electric cars because of the range or some other reason. When most people would get by just fine with an EV, I figure that it has to be something else. My theory is it's that "freedom." The car represented freedom when we were kids and we want to hold onto that freedom.

Comment Not very stylish (Score 3, Funny) 56 56

First off--White? It'll show all the dirt in a couple of months. Should have gone with black. Second, it's a freakin' tortoise. Irony is just calling out for racing stripes or flames or something like that.

I mean, come on guys! He lost his shell! If you're going to give him a new one, at least give him something that doesn't look like a dorky science project.

Comment Re:shorts (Score 5, Interesting) 471 471

This makes me laugh.

Years ago, I worked for a company in Mesa, Arizona. It's damned hot in that area, especially in the summer.

When the company tackled the thorny issue of dress codes, they wanted a unisex dress code--no double standards. The dress code ended up being, "You must be covered from shoulders to a little above the knee in clothing of good repair." Open toed shoes were okay, but no flip-flops.

That was it. No ripped jeans. No tube tops or spaghetti straps.

That said, there were some people who could just not handle hairy men's legs and, I'm told, argued vehemently against men wearing shorts. The head of HR basically said that whatever standards are there for women should also be there for men. If you want to wear skirts, you need to let men show their legs, too.

There were two other interesting things they did. One, they hung a sign in the lobby that said "This company supports a casual dress code." So you wouldn't wonder why people were wandering around in shorts. The other rule was that there were times--maybe once or twice a year--when it might be necessary to, shall we say, "dress to impress." When this happened, you would be notified by your manager--and it was up to your manager to do this and verify that you got the message--more than 24 hours before this would happen. If you were not notified and showed up dressed unimpressively, your manager was the one who caught the heat.

Comment Re:Just What I've Always Wanted! (Score 1) 252 252

Well, I'm sure that the car could notify me or my significant-other if something went wrong. At the very least, the police could probably track me down at work and have me remotely unlock the car so that they could put it in neutral and move the car out of traffic. Assuming the car could not be trained to notice that the tire was flat and limp over to shoulder like a driver would do. Most cars have little detectors for tire pressure nowadays, so I'm sure it could detect that the tire was flat and deal accordingly.

If it's some kind of accident, again, I'm sure the car could notify me. In which case I'd end up taking one of those automated cabs to the location and deal with it. It's not like it's going to happen every other day.

Comment Re:Just What I've Always Wanted! (Score 1) 252 252

Robocars (along with fully autonomous cars in general), are never going to happen, will never be practical [...]

I dunno. I would buy a Robocar in heartbeat. I like the idea of being able to sit in the car and read and do fun stuff on the trip home. I do agree that I probably wouldn't want to "rent it out" to anybody I didn't personally know.

On the other hand, it might cut down on the number of cars "needed." I have a car. My significant-other has a car. We both need a car to get to work and run errands. But I'm pretty sure we could get by with one car that would come at our beck-and-call. It could easily drive her to work, come home, drive me to work, go back down and wait for her to get off work, drive her home by way of the supermarket, and then come back down and lurk outside my office until I was ready to leave.

Yeah, it'd probably take some syncing of times and such, but nothing really difficult.

Comment Re:No steering column? (Score 1) 252 252

Also, why would a car suddenly start getting more usage rather than sitting in the driveway.

Besides the whole Uber-esque renting my car when I'm not using it thing...

If you have a family, you may end up getting more out of your car by using it within the family. Picture the husband and wife where the wife takes the car to work and the husband calls the car up if he needs it. Add in some kids who can have the car take them places as well and it could spend a lot more of it's time moving around than it would with only licensed drivers using it.

As for, "What happens if I need to use the car when my significant-other is using it?" I would assume this is something that you would work out either by communicating (eg, the SO calls up and asks, "Do you need the car for the next few hours?") or through some kind of scheduling algorithm (the car knows you need it at 5:00PM and returns to you at that time no matter what the situation it's currently in).

Time-sharing is the junk-mail part of the computer business. -- H.R.J. Grosch (attributed)