Be the time G+ came along, I guess a lot of the more tech-savvy people had become clued-up and wary about the data-collection. I for one didn't want to give more data to yet another company...
This is what not only killed FB for me, but also kept me off of G+. It was one thing for a social network to ask me to share my phone number or physical location, and quite another when widgets and beacons started appearing on nearly EVERY website in a blatant attempt to track my every move in the name of analytics.
By the tine G+ came along, I was a bit jaded about the whole data collection issue and didn't see the benefit of sharing my life details with yet another website that that not only didn't offer anything new, but just seemed like an inferior copy of a service with which I was slowly becoming disengaged due to a lack of quality interaction. By the time Google started pushing G+, my FB news feed was already becoming a cesspool of rehashed memes, sappy quotes pasted onto stock photos, partisan politics, and "quiz" surveys. And I was more than ready to move on from the whole "social network" concept...
These "features" are pretty much all literally unavoidable in all cars these days.
True for some models, but not for all, despite what dealers want you to think. The reason that fully loaded vehicles are pushed so heavily is because it means more money for the dealerships, who can charge a ridiculous premium for each extra feature. Even worse is the practice of bundling features into a "package" with one feature you want and another half dozen that you don't. If you aren't set on a specific model and can find a dealer who is willing to work with you (none of the usual, "I can't get one of those on my lot without the extras" bs), you can definitely find a vehicle without those features.
For example, I have a friend who just purchased a Honda Fit with no extra features, manual transmission, manual everything else - probably not the vehicle you had in mind but it does lack all of those extras.
There are plenty of laptops out there but if you want a somewhat decent one, go for a Macbook Pro.
That was my first thought, until I noticed that the submitter specified this: "...3-6 disk slots which we badly need...."
and this: "....manual fan control plus easy access to the fan for cleaning."
My counter-point would be, why do you need 3-6 disk slots? Could any of that storage be networked?
Also, there used to be third party utilities for OS X that could manually control MBP fans, but I don't think that's been the case for several years and I don't think it could ever be done reliably in Windows. However, the submitter didn't specify which OS they'd be running.
I too have off-the-grid dreams as a house-owner, but the power companies always find a way, same thing with the electrical car that could run on water. Lobbyist will manipulate (read: FORCE) politicians into their direction, so you'll be depending on them one way or the other.
Huh? I guess there are places where you are required by law to hook up your house to the power grid, but nobody can force you to USE electricity. What's to stop you from just keeping the main breaker switched off?
I've actually known more than one person who didn't have utility power to their house, and they made it just fine. One of them engineered a small hydroelectric turbine system using a small creek that flowed across their land (they had several hundred acres in the North Carolina mountains) which they used to power a small refrigerator and occasionally a computer. The other used a collection of lead-acid car batteries which they charged up using a solar panel, then could hook up to an inverter as they needed.
"The urge to destroy is also a creative urge." -- Bakunin [ed. note - I would say: The urge to destroy may sometimes be a creative urge.]