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Comment It's not for them (Score 1) 417

Look, I understand what this survey and report is trying to say and to some extent I agree (I sure as hell don't want or need an in-car concierge), but a lot of these technologies are being pushed not with current drivers in mind but with future drivers in mind. There's a generation of drivers coming that have never known a world with dial-up internet or without cellphones. To a certain extent, I'm sure their opinion (and the way they 'interact' with their cars) will differ from ours. Now I don't know whether 18 year olds five years from now are going to want an in-car concierge but I'm pretty sure they're going to want more than four on the floor, a subwoofer and windscreen wipers.

My graduating class was literally the last class at my high school that was not required to use a graphic calculator. If you ask me what I want/need in a calculator, it's going to be markedly different from what the graduating class after me would want in a calculator. You throw a graphic calculator in front of me and I'm probably not going to use or want to use a whole bunch of different features... but I'm sure those younger than me would or at least could utilize them.

I've also been living in Japan for a long time. Japan's addressing system is pretty much what pushed Japanese electronics and automotive companies to come up with onboard navigation systems for cars. Fifteen years ago before I started living here, few people had and I'm guessing few people would have admitted that they wanted or needed GPS navigation. But it's become ubiquitous and dare I say it, extremely useful not just in Japan but worldwide.

Just because people don't want it or don't use it now doesn't mean they won't in the near future. Except maybe that in-car concierge; that still sounds kinda stupid.

Comment My own two cents (Score 1) 249

Here's my opinion on a 200 mile range:

For me, if I can get 200 miles per tank out of a conventional car, that is no problem whatsoever. I'd like it to be more, but 200 is honestly fine for me. I don't speak for everyone else but my suspicions is that for most people, they could live with having to refill their car with gasoline every 200 miles.

200 miles for an electric vehicle, specifically an electric-only vehicle... well it's just not the same. It sounds the same but it really isn't. When you have a conventional car, you can rest assured that no matter what direction you are going, you're probably never too far from a service station. That's just the infrastructure we have after generations of using gasoline-powered cars. Fair enough. There are exceptions, like expanses of sparsely-populated areas etc. but you're very rarely in a situation where you have to consciously think about the path you take, whether to alter it because you might run out, plan out a contingency if you can't find a service station, amongst other things. Hell, you could almost completely avoid the problem just by bringing a full jerry can along.

But with an electric vehicle, your options even today are still far more limited and your situation far more dire if you end up running out of juice. I live in Japan and I've started to see many electric recharge stations popping up, usually near large parking structures and/or newly constructed shopping malls in high-density urban areas. This is great to see but they're still not as common as a regular service station. Even more so once you head out of the cities.

So 200 mile range in an EV is still not comparable to 200 mile range in a conventional car. I'd probably need an EV to have 300 to 350 mile range before I considered it on an even keel with a conventional car in terms of 'empty tank anguish'. That said, I love that we are taking steps forward to pull away from conventional gasoline-powered cars. It requires patience, early adopters, investment and bridging steps (eg hybrid vehicles, government or manufacturer-sponsored incentive programs). Many Japanese cities provide reduced registration costs, sometimes free inspections (mandated by law for all cars every two years), partial reimbursement of inner-city parking fees, etc. I'm on my second hybrid vehicle and can't wait until the all-electrics become super-practical. Until then, I applaud attempts to market these advancements, even if they might be only baby-steps.

Comment Re:Business-minded criminals (Score 1) 463

You know if it was someone sick and is in dire need of an expensive procedure we would call these guys jobs creators or insurance professionals. If it is a computer it is a criminal. If it is a banker well it is just the free market working and it is the savers fault for etc.

The difference between the 2 is not much.

The difference is that the insurance companies aren't the ones infecting you with a sickness in the first place. I know there's a joke in there somewhere, but in all seriousness, that is the big difference between the two using your analogy. If group A infects you with a disease and group B promises to cure you, and there's no collusion between the two, those are your 'job creators or insurance professionals'... when group A infects you and at the same time offers to cure you, that's criminal.

Comment wide like whoa (Score 3, Insightful) 165

>>Artec Group, a maker of 3D scanners and software, said its Shapify Booth, which can scan your entire body in 12 seconds and use the resulting file to create a full-color 3D printed model, is making its U.S. debut this week.
>>The 3D Shapify booths are equipped with four wide view, high-resolution scanners, which rotate around the person to scan every angle.

It's the US, you better fucking hope they're wide view!

Comment It can't be pleaded with (Score 1) 65

The article emphasizes the sentence:

When your captor is a machine, there is no humaneness to be found, and, hence, no one to plead with

The first thing I thought of was that line from The Terminator:

"It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead."

Come to think of it, that Terminator quote pretty much sums up arguing on the internet too.

Comment Okay so what happens if... (Score 1) 82

So I read the article and I still don't get how this particularly helps in many, many situations.

Let's assume for a second that a US citizen who ia a Delaware resident and has a will governed by Delaware law has died. How does this provide his/her heirs the ability to:

for example, a) access an account on a database/web forum located solely on a computer in California;
or b) access an account for an online store residing in let's say, Japan or Australia or Argentina?

in example a, the account is located in another state and the owner of the forum/computer as far as I understand it isn't bound by Delaware law. Let's assume for the sake of simplicity that in the case of the forum, the website is being hosted by a Californian ISP and there are no out-of-state colos that hold the same account data.

in example b, the account, store, website and ISP hosting the website all reside not only out of Delaware but out of the country.

I truly appreciate what a law like this is trying to achieve. One of my parents passed away a year ago and although it wasn't vital, it certainly would've been handy to be able to have had access to their webmail account. I don't want to sound like I'm discounting the law because it doesn't affect many people, it's just that from my understanding, the law seems either unenforceable and.or toothless.

Anybody who is a lawyer want to chime in?

Comment Re:Reward the artist (Score 4, Insightful) 301

Reward the artist by going to see a show and buying some merch. Nothing else really gets back to them in any significant amounts.

Although I agree with you wholeheartedly and try to support my favorite artists as much as I can, this is nowhere near as practical for most of the world as one might first think.

One of my closest friends is a mad Dave Matthews Band fan and has been fortunate enough to attend at least four DMB gigs over the past twelve months. I'm sure Dave Matthews and my friend are both pleased as punch about this setup. My favorite artists include amongst others David Bowie and Tom Waits. I live in Japan. Go on and have a guess how many gigs either of them have put on in Japan in the past 12 months.

Now guess how many gigs either of them have put on here in Japan in the past 12 years.

Hint: you could have a nasty accident with a bandsaw and still count them on one hand. Now I'm not faulting the artists or their manager or anybody. That's life unfortunately. Even if my tastes were more mainstream, I still wouldn't come close to being able to see as many concerts as most Americans. I don't see Rihanna or Jay Z or Radiohead hosting many concerts here either. Radiohead hasn't toured here since 1994!

I've seen many of my favorite artists both here and overseas and almost without exception I've gone out of my way to get great (read: expensive) seats because I see great value for money in spending hundreds of dollars in seeing my favorite artists perform live. It's unfortunate for both me and the artists I would be willing to support that I don't live in the continental US or mainland Europe where most concerts seem to be held.

Comment from a Japanese perspective (Score 4, Interesting) 221

to be honest, from a person who has lived in Japan a very long time, this really doesn't come as too much of a surprise. There are dozens of VERY big chains and thousands upon thousands of stores both parts of chains and independently owned in Japan that exist almost solely for the exchange of used games. Some deal exclusively in games, most usually mix in some used books/manga/anime/magazines/DVDs/clothes but games and manga would definitely be their meat and potatoes if simple floorspace allocation is anything to go by. If there was any possibility that this was even remotely true, there's a very, very large population of Japanese people who would have already risen up as one angry mob complete with the Japanese modern day equivalent of torches and pitchforks and fucking SLAYED Sony.

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