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Comment Seriously reporters, just give up on foreign words (Score 2) 161 161

Actually from the OP and not just a stupid editor: "Cykelslangen (pronounced soo-cool-klag-en) " (fault of Wired.com)

Cykels Langen - there is precisely zero chance that's pronounced soo-cool-klag-en.

More likely, with a usually wierd euro-pronounciation of the "y" it's soocles-langen.

I'm American, and I'm honestly not sure why Americans are SO BAD at pronouncing foreign words. Do we just see an unfamiliar collection of letters and what, just give up?

Comment Re:someone trying to unload lackluster tesla stock (Score 1) 878 878

I posted the exact same comment in reply to that actual blog post and predictably, the zealots are going nuts.
It probably makes me a bad person, because I knew that they'd get upset, and I knew that not one mind (there) would be changed. That's pretty much the definition of trolling.

Comment except.... (Score 1) 203 203

...Frankly, part of the charm of the show was the sort of kludgy, clumsily-produced, backyard-BBC feel to it.
As much as I look forward to the show, it's not likely to succeed.

1) there's no flipping way any American audience will stand around. Holy shit, I've always been amazed at how desperate one would have to be to be on TV to stand in a crowd of people, mostly in the dark, for the hours and hours it would take them to shoot that show.*
* unless you're a hottie, in which case you'd clearly have been escorted to the front of the pack to stand innocuously in the background behind Clarkson & crew as they monologue. Usually, I can't be the only one to notice that?

2) I cannot *conceive* of them being able to do most of the stuff they did on location. The legal climate in the US simply won't allow half the crap they do as too dangerous to the stars, or the other half as too dangerous corporate exposure to outside lawsuits. Notice it's called Top Gear, not Safety Gear. Hell, I doubt US lawyers would allow them to put a star in a reasonably-priced car without wrapping them in bubble wrap, much less make the astonishingly-politically-incorrect comments for which Clarkson is famous.

Comment someone trying to unload lackluster tesla stocks? (Score 1) 878 878

Ridiculous. Yet another "world changing vision" brought to you by an entitled, elitist cadre of the Bay Area who fail to understand that the rest of the world doesn't live like they do.

The opening premise "well, a lot of people adopted smartphones rapidly, so they'll adopt this too" already smells like snake oil: people adopted smartphones because they were BETTER in almost every conceivable way to the previous generation of phones.*
*would they have done so, if one had to charge the phone for 12 minutes for every 1 you talked? I doubt it.

Let me debunk the list of putative "improvements" individually: (I apologize to /. users for the stupid format characters, but /. still doesn't understand pasted quotes/apostrophes.)

"It's more fun to drive, with smooth, transmission-less acceleration. For most of us it is the fastest car we have ever owned."
- Maybe it's more fun to drive. A vanishingly tiny % of people in this world buy cars primarily based on their "fun". Nobody gives a flying hoot about 'transmissionless' acceleration, nor does 'fastest' really matter in a world with speed limits.

"Itâ(TM)s quieter at all times and nearly silent at low speeds."
- I've never once heard someone buying a new car based on how quiet it is. Never. (OK, I *have* heard of motorheads not buying a car because it's not loud enough.) Considering some of the instant off/on tech in the newest cars, they're exactly as quiet as the Magical Tesla while idling, ie silent/off. And aside from older cars which will naturally phase out of the system, the bulk of noise from a highway is tires, not engines.

"It is always âoefullâ every morning one drives it and you never need to go to a gas station."
- Simply, completely, thoroughly wrong. Well, unless you sleep 3 days at a stretch.Further, I don't know about you, but I drive more than once just in the morning.
According to (https://www.cars.com/articles/2013/11/how-quickly-does-the-tesla-model-s-battery-charge/) the nominal charge for a non-special installation (ie a normal outlet) is FIVE MILES PER HOUR OF CHARGE. That's ridiculous - 60 hours to "fill the tank" to the full range, or (roughly) needing to charge 5x the driving duration.
The average commute in the US is 25 minutes. Assuming highway speeds, that's 25 miles. That means to stay 'level' in terms of range, the car will need to charge 5 hours for each leg of the commute. Go to visit a friend in a city 250 miles away? Sorry, we can't go to a movie, my car needs to charge *four hours* for us to get to the cinema and back.

"It has a user interface - including, notably, its navigation system - as superior to that of other cars as the iPhone was to earlier phones."
- I can't really refute iphone-zealotry, that's religion, not fact. It probably does have a better UI than most other firms, as they really made the most of the newest touch-screens and systems (and had no aesthetic legacy to maintain), but this is likely to be adopted relatively soon by other automakers. Nothing particularly special here, except indeed being a little ahead of the likely curve.

"It is connected to the Internet."
Christ. You know that you should really be paying attention to the road, right? 4g works well enough for map updates, which is really all the driver should care about. And personally I find the modern paradigm of everyone sitting in the car watching their own movies, playing their own games, reading their own narcissistic social media addiction reprehensible. We already suffer from an atomized society generally, you're saying it's laudable to encourage this? I have an alternative entertainment that is perfect for trips in the car with your kids or friends: "conversation".

"It continuously gets better with automatic updates and software improvements."
The Tesla is comparable to a fixed-hardware console. Ever bricked your Xbox360? In any case, electronic systems in petro-cars also get better with updates and software. Nothing new there at all.

"Itâ(TM)s more roomy and has a trunk in the front (the âoefrunkâ) AND a spacious back."
Now you're just trying to be silly. Who gives a crap where the trunk is? It has ample storage space, indeed. But then again, so does a minivan. By that logic, minivan sales should be skyrocketing?

"It comes with an app that allows you to manage the car from your phone.
It allows you to drive in the carpool lane and to sign up for a cheaper energy usage plan at home (obviously these incentives wonâ(TM)t last, but they will help get us to the tipping point described below)."
I tend to prefer sitting IN my car when 'managing' it, so the convenience of a smartphone app is moot (how secure is that, by the way?).

Setting all that aside, the Model S is $70,000. The current US new vehicle average purchase price (and let's remember that the US is pretty much the wealthiest country on the planet, ever) is $31k. As Car and Driver noted: "Logging 630 miles and conducting performance tests in this 70D required 14 plug connections versus three or four stops at the pump for the most fuel-thirsty luxury sedan driven the same distance. In exchange for the loss of convenience, you do reap substantial savings in operating costs. We spent less than $30 for the Teslaâ(TM)s electricity versus the $100 in premium gasoline a conventional luxury sedan would have consumed driving 630 miles."
FOURTEEN fill-up stops (they politely didn't mention how long those took) and an average upcharge of $40,000 ....to save $70? Woo.

Not to mention ongoing and - as far as I can see - unanswered concerns about performance, longevity, and resale PARTICULARLY in climates less benign than Palo Alto...ie everywhere. (I LOL'd at Tesla blogs talking about the bitter cold of below-freezing temps. I live in MN where winters routinely hit -40F. Ever try to turn on a flashlight left outside at that temp? Further, Car & Driver noted some troubling cooldown-demand in relatively mild warm conditions while driving aggressively as well.)

The Teslas service such a tiny, boutique market (you know, the 1%), it's hard to understand these bigger-picture items that will come to the fore when the market for them scales up to real numbers. (Tesla's monthly sales are in the 3k units range; real car sales are in the 600k (and light trucks/suvs, etc are around 800k). Tesla might as well be hand-building them for as fast as they're selling.

To suggest from this Pollyanna view that somehow electric cars are going to suddenly take off? Nah, it smells more like someone bought some Tesla stock recently and is hoping to generate enough buzz to unload it without taking a bath.

On it's own merits? It's a decent car, certainly, if you live in a benign climate and idle enough that you can live 'around' its charging-time demands. But no, I don't see consumers DEMANDING this at all.

Comment keypad (Score 2) 687 687

We talked about this ad naseum back when Chromebooks were about to hit the market. A better question is, why don't keypads (the 10 key-like group of buttons on the right of a PC keyboard) have TAB, SHIFT+TAB and Backspace keys. This would make it much easier to navigate and enter data in web forms and spreadsheets with only one hand. Idunno -- just a thought.

Comment Ha ha ha ha..... (Score 4, Funny) 83 83

Rate me -1 troll, but I think it's hilarious that "the science fiction future" for which everyone is optimistically hoping is being brought to us by something so prosaic and "dirty" and anti-utopian as murdering people. (Well, I guess it has been through much of the last 100+ years, as in the internet and aircraft.)

Kind of like the 'brave new world' of the internet and tech being driven by the porn industry.

Comment Re:Details (Score 1) 141 141

I thought about that, but what I'm terming the Streisand Effect here isn't so much "something bad happened that I don't want people to know about but my complaints publicize it" as a parallel "this is my joke and I don't want people repeating it, but now everyone is going to" and a second-order "I don't want anyone to find out that I purport to be a 'comic writer' but push this astonishingly un-funny joke and ultimately will regret it being associated with me, as well as the general douchiness thing...".

So yeah, I'm still going with Streisand in the sense of "your inordinate attention-whoring will get you publicity you really DON'T want".

And, for what it's worth, I think it's amusing that someone complaining about IP plagiarism has a twitter handle of runolgarun, I wonder if she's appropriately crediting the writers of Run Lola Run with every tweet?

Comment Re:When? (Score 1) 132 132

Well the US bailed out the US by just printing shit-tons of money, and nobody seemed to care.

So maybe the economic laws of gravity have truly been suspended. If you have debt that the political class feels you shouldn't (say, hypothetically, you buy a $500,000 home on an income of $24k/year), they just strike it out with a pen and let the taxpayers pay for it. But somehow when they WANT you to carry that debt (say, you're Greece and need to be "punished" for being "lazy") it's sacrosanct and cannot be paid for by the precious tax dollars.

Funny, it's almost like there are two standards.

Comment Maybe I just don't "get it" (Score 1) 258 258

I don't really even understand the app ecosystem.

It used to be we'd need to run a word-processor program to edit text.
A spreadsheet to manage numeric data.
An encyclopedia program to see images and text together.
Hell we even needed a 'website editor' to do that.

Now, ostensibly, we have a single browser on which I can do basic wordprocessing and spreadsheet work through google docs, edit websites, play fairly sophisticated games....all through the same browser.

Yet, on my phone I have 150 different goddamned apps, each for some teeny little function that someone feels they can 'deliver' better to me than the good old browser (yes, I'm looking at you BBC and NPR apps, for example).

Isn't the POINT of the internet browser and HTML concept a sort of 'Swiss Army Knife' of applications, meaning that it's the website's job to deliver content to the browser so that we don't need a separate "program" for every single stupid thing we're trying to do online? Wouldn't this seem to be a natural point of efficiency that would be especially useful in the power/resource constrained environment of a smartphone?

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (10) Sorry, but that's too useful.