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Comment They haven't figured out how to bork them (Score 1) 184

IMHO, it's pretty simple. The FAA hasn't figured out how to completely bork the use of the technology to the point of always having to ask them for permission to fly in the form of regulatory fees. Thus far, most of the existing regulations are stupid. The 5-mile rule is dumb because the ILS approaches and patterns don't need that much space. The commercial rules are dumb because what makes anyone think that because you're getting paid to fly means that you're automatically going to do something stupid? Spying on your neighbors? Seriously? People are far more likely to have their identity stolen. Noise? Pfft. Wake me when you require motorcycles to have mufflers and spank those law-breakers hard. What's worse is that there is a gaping hole in the identified uses for these things, that being search & rescue operations. By definition, you don't have the luxury of time to ask for permission to fly nor do you have the luxury of only flying in approved areas. I would really enjoy introducing some dumbass FAA inspector to the grieving family of the 2-year-old who died of exposure because said dumbass wouldn't let searchers fly.

Comment So stupid (Score 1) 256

Problem: kids won't eat veggies.
Solution: make the other food so gross that they have no choice but to eat the veggies or go hungry.
Yeah, that's effing brilliant. And people got research funding to come up with the obvious. Where do I go to get that kind of funding?
IMHO, we need to start an award like the Razzies. Something like the No sh*t, Sherlock Prize.

Comment Which entity is really cheating? (Score 4, Insightful) 166

I'm just going to throw this out there knowing that a certain type of reader will scoff.
First, the EPA sets two competing requirements: lower emissions and higher mileage. Do they have any engineering expertise that proves this is even possible? My guess is not just no but hell no. It's also possible that the EPA can get away with this by playing the evil, greedy corporation card saying, "The car companies don't want to do this because they are greedy," and a certain type of person will believe it. So, if you're a manufacturer trying to sell a product, which of these two requirements is going to sell better? I can pretty much guarantee that the consumer doesn't give a rat's ass about emissions when they could be saving money on gas which may also be artificially expensive.
Second, it's entirely possible that the EPA has created unrealistic if not unattainable requirements for auto manufacturers not because they have any real scientific or engineering expertise that it's possible but in a thinly-veiled long-con attempt to drive these companies out of business. Kafka would say, "Damn, wish I had thought of this." The consumer is never going to pay more money for less product unless they are forced to. Brow-beating them into "saving the planet" doesn't work when it's costing the individual a lot more money.

Comment Now if we could do this for enclosures (Score 1) 196

IMHO, one big missing piece to ultra-short-run production of electronic products is the ability for a DIYer to make production-quality enclosures in small quantities that aren't stupid expensive. I had (and still have) high hopes for 3D printing to solve this but current technology is slow and prone to mid-print failures. Plus, the results are lacking in appearance of a finished product.

Comment The effect of Toyota on the American market (Score 1) 535

Last summer, I had dinner with a guy who was a VP at GM way back in the late 60s/early 70s. Being the new guy in upper management, the board of directors sent him to Australia to asses the potential threat of Toyota on their market share. Back then, Toyota barely registered on the American consumer's radar. After spending two weeks down under he learned the following: before Toyota showed up on their shores, the dominant car manufacturer had an 87% market share. After Toyota arrived, that same company wound up with a 3% market share. So, he went back and reported his findings to the GM board. Their collective response was, "That'll never happen here."

Comment What if it's secretly about Android? (Score 1) 279

I read an article about this in Thursday's WSJ. The article said that it's about shifting control of the customer from the carrier to Apple. I'm sure that's true but I wonder if goes a little deeper. What if part of the goal is to prevent the carriers, who don't work for Apple, from convincing a customer to go with Android. Maybe the carriers are getting more profit margin by pushing a non-Apple product. If you set the way-back clock to the mid 90s, Apple was really struggling to sell their products in the computer stores of the day e.g. CrampUSA. PCs were a commodity item and yielded a higher profit margin for the resellers. This is one reason why Apple took the step of building their own stores.