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Comment: Boring (Score 1) 92

by R3d M3rcury (#48471727) Attached to: I prefer my turkey ...

Conventionally roasted. That said, I'd love to try deep-fried.

I go out for Thanksgiving dinner--the relatives are too far away to visit for an extra long weekend and I'm seeing them at Christmas anyway. This year, though, I ran across a place that was doing smoked turkey. We'll see how I like it...

Comment: Re:In a Self-Driving Future--- (Score 1) 453

by R3d M3rcury (#48446475) Attached to: In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

I would say the number for whom driving is a passion is a significantly smaller number than those who drive because they have to.

That said, the quote I thought was interesting, from the summary:

Buying sexy, fast cars for garages could evolve into buying seat-miles in appliance-like pods, piloted by robots, parked in public stalls.

This is an intriguing point. What you might end up seeing is the death of economy car.

I have a fast and sexy car in my garage (okay, it's not THAT fast but it is kind of sexy, or so I've been told). One reason I bought it is that I liked how it looked, it had decent performance, was comfortable, and still got good gas mileage. But I'll be the first to agree that, at least out here in Southern California, what kind of car you drive generates a certain image about you. And I'm not sure that renting a self-driving "pod" for a date would give the same message as showing in a gorgeous Mercedes, Bentley, or Maserati.

Those who buy a Toyota or Honda because they're solid, dependable, economical cars would be the first people to trade in their cars for a rental pods. But the people who buy "aspirational" brands--Lexus, Cadillac, Mercedes, etc.--wouldn't be so quick to trade these in because they'd be giving themselves a poorer image. Arguably, if I pull up in front of a club in a self-driving rental "pod" versus pulling up in front of a club in self-driving Mercedes or a non-self-driving Lamborghini, I'm getting a heck of a lot less attention from potential sexual partners.

The mistake, of course, is to think that it must be one or the other. The reality is that, here in America, there is room for all of them. Like I said, I could see people who live in dense urban areas renting a nondescript pod for a trip to the grocery store where it would be inconvenient to carry all the groceries home in your arms. I could also see people owning their own slightly nicer pods because it's more convenient to go out to the garage and hop in every morning and be able to leave stuff in your pod. Heck, you might even defer some of the cost by renting out your slightly nicer pod when you're not using it. You might see luxury pods with bars and hot tubs.

You might even see non-self-driving cars! Like you said, I think there will continue to be demand from those who like to drive and those who don't feel comfortable entrusting someone/something else to transport them. What I think will be interesting is what form those cars will take? I mean, a self-driving sports car would be like a Harley with training-wheels. But sports cars can be expensive. Would it be worth it to produce inexpensive sports cars--like Kias? Are there enough people who would buy these to drive? Or will it become only the province of the wealthy to be able to drive themselves?

Comment: Re:How much does the device weigh? (Score 1) 167

by R3d M3rcury (#48420591) Attached to: Bicycle Bottle System Condenses Humidity From Air Into Drinkable Water

Just in case you're not up on this, I believe he's talking about a Camelbak. It's basically a backpack with a bladder for holding water and a hose that you can drink from. They're handy for bicyclists and runners who want to keep moving and not fiddle with bottles.

Comment: Re:Missing Option (Score 1) 123

by R3d M3rcury (#48408323) Attached to: Electric Shock Study Suggests We'd Rather Hurt Ourselves Than Others

I assume (RTFA? Pfft!) that the idea was that I was offered the choice of zapping someone else or zapping myself and getting money (ie, if I chose to zap someone else, I merely got the satisfaction/revulsion of zapping them but if I zapped myself, cha-ching!)

So it now becomes a question of how much money does it take for me to not inflict pain on another person. Did they actually know who the other person was? I don't necessarily mean names, but could they see the other person and see them getting shocked? Because that introduces a bunch of biases and how much money would it take to overcome them? That might be a neat study...

It'd also be interesting to see what happens over time. Would the amount of money change? "I didn't zap that person for $5, but after zapping a few people, you're gonna have to pay me more to stop..."

Comment: Re:Meanwhile in America.... (Score 1) 418

by R3d M3rcury (#48394305) Attached to: Japanese Maglev Train Hits 500kph

Personally, all else being fairly equal, I would prefer a train.

Why would people rather travel by airplane? Because it's faster. And I don't blame them one bit. I'd rather fly across the country in five hours than take a train for five days. Who wouldn't?

But trains have a number of advantages. There isn't necessarily the case for "let's see how many people we can jam into a given space." Cars can be added or removed based on demand. Luggage is another example--want to travel with a bicycle, wheelchair, or something kind of large? You're going to paying a heck of a lot more and it's going to be really inconvenient.

Consider California's High-Speed Rail project--or at least the concept (we can argue over the implementation, but that's not the point I'm making). This would have trains that would go between LA and San Francisco in three hours. It takes about an hour to fly between LA and San Francisco--where I'm jammed into a tiny seat and have to pay extra just to bring along more than an overnight bag. Compare that to a three hour train ride where I have actual leg-room and could bring along clothes for a week stay without paying extra. Heck, I might even be able to bring a bicycle without packing it up!

I know which I'd prefer.

Now, I could sort-of take a regular train from LA to San Francisco (it actually ends up in Oakland). It takes about 12--count 'em--12 hours! Yeah, given a choice between an hour of misery or 12 hours of comfort, I think I'd put up with the hour.

Comment: Re:Perhaps the answer is taxes (Score 3, Informative) 161

by R3d M3rcury (#48338749) Attached to: Florida-Based Magic Leap Builds Its Team With Bay Area Hires

Oh, it's certainly happening. As you point out, in 2011, 234 companies left California.

What's entertaining is about 132,000 new businesses were started--tied with Texas. And California leads the nation in job creation, which is why these other states are trying to steal businesses from California.

Comment: Re:And you get to live in Florida!!! (Score 3, Insightful) 161

by R3d M3rcury (#48338709) Attached to: Florida-Based Magic Leap Builds Its Team With Bay Area Hires

Well, I looked for a location for the company and it said Dania Beach, which is along the Atlantic Ocean side probably about 20 miles north of Miami. While Florida may be "red" state, the Miami area is pretty "blue."

That said, a company I used to work for got bought and we all ended up moving down to Miami. I was in my mid-20s and Miami was a pretty fun place. Lots of fun bars in Coconut Grove and South Beach (which stay open until 4AM!). You have a warm ocean, so you don't need to put on wetsuit if you're spending more than 10 minutes in the water.

The heat and humidity? Yeah, it can be bad. Make sure you live someplace with a pool. That solved the problem for me. Also, it's one of those cases where pretty much every place you live has central A/C. If they don't, you don't want to live there.

About the only issue I had was that after a year or so in Miami, I felt like I'd been everywhere and done everything. And once you get out of Miami/Dade, you're in The South which definitely was grating.

Thufir's a Harkonnen now.