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Comment Re:Bad signs for a long time (Score 1) 55

technically Sprint was the first carrier with VoLTE (or VoIP). They inked a deal with Google several years back where your Sprint phone number became your Google Voice number

Obviously that's not VoLTE, and I expect T-Mobile's widespread deployment of VoIP on their handsets predates that, anyhow.

Even Sprint never mentioned that, in relation to their VoLTE plans:



Comment Bad signs for a long time (Score 4, Interesting) 55

Anyone who has been paying attention has been scratching their head about Sprint for a long, long time. They seem to make ever technical decision WRONG... and not just wrong, but mind-bogglingly, inconceivably wrong. It seems like they are NEVER looking forward...

Of course they chose WiMax, but they also sat back and had Clearwire do all the work for them... and very poorly. And when Clearwire was failing miserably, instead of Sprint using their tenuous connection to advantage and letting their creditors take the hit, Sprint spent the money to buy them out... a useless network.

Sprint actually had great network coverage... by accident. They bought Nextel, whose 2G iDEN network was every bit as good as the big guys. Perhaps because of the lower frequency, 800Mhz spectrum, you could get a good signal EVERYWHERE. Sprint was required to keep it running under terms of the merger, and sold cheap access to it as Boost... When they were allowed to shut-off iDEN, it was a no-brainer to use the frequencies for their new LTE radios, but instead they announced they'd use them for their CDMA/3G network... Existing phones couldn't use the frequencies, and people aren't looking for good coverage on their 3G network, today. It made no sense.

Then Network Vision came along. Sprint was going to basically replace all the equipment in their entire cellular network... Awesome... Except with all that work, they were just replacing legacy equipment to keep it operating cheaper. It seems crazy they didn't include installing LTE on all their towers as part of the project. It was an obvious opportunity to get them back on a good footing, and they squandered it.

And on a similar subject, they announced they weren't interested in deploying VoLTE, yet. A perfect opportunity to get people off their legacy 3G network, so they don't have to spend money upgrading it and can focus on LTE, and they say no, folks should keep on making calls over the old 3G network.

Their pricing is insane, too. They've got rock-bottom prices for MVNOs, but sign-up for Sprint direct, and their prices are nearly as high as Verizon/AT&T, despite their horrid coverage, speeds, etc.

They're a perpetually backwards company, and mystifyingly so. Obviously always taking the wrong steps, which is why they've fallen behind tiny T-Mobile, which simply hasn't been so idiotic.

Comment Re:How much will it cost. (Score 2) 396

Not everybody lives in a house. In fact, in some cities, very few people do.

For the past year in California, landlords MUST allow tenants to install EV charging stations... It doesn't matter whether you live in a house, condo, apartment, etc., you can plug-in your car.


Comment Re:Figure out independent contractor vs employee? (Score 3, Interesting) 145

Uber went too-far... They dictated the acceptable models of vehicles, their condition, where and when drivers needed to position themselves, etc., etc. Amazon has far less reason to dictate such minutiae, so they're far less likely to run into trouble.

My concern would be more about security... In a gated community, instead of just the UPS/FedEx/USPS drivers needing to be allowed entry, now anyone and everyone can claim they're delivering a package... Any thief who want to case a building can conveniently sign-up as a delivery driver, and have a legitimate reason to be at the location, studying the security layout. The risk used-to be failure to check on *fake* delivery men, now the legitimate ones can be the criminals.

Comment Re:I always love hearing about city-based services (Score 1) 145

It's always nice to read about the high speed fiber, car services, delivery services, etc. that I know will NEVER EVER come to my small city.

Actually, it often works the opposite way around... Look at the biggest cities in the US and you'll find lower penetration of fiber than the less-populated suburbs. Or take the extreme case and look at most of Western Europe, where labor prices are so high that replacing the (slow) DSL networks just isn't economic.

Plenty of sparsely populated suburbs in the US have FIOS deployed (while cities do NOT), because labor there is cheaper than the big cities, the area isn't so densely built-up that installing new lines gets astronomically expensive, and since the town's telephone lines need to keep operating, the lower maintenance costs of fiber eventually pay for the deployment.

The same could be true for "sharing" services like Uber & AirB&B... Lower cost of living in rural areas, lower labor prices, lower fuel prices, more idle cars/homes, etc., could make such things economical... certainly more economic than the huge overhead of traditional hotels & taxis.

Comment Re:EPA standards (Score 5, Informative) 569

Many Americans drive, as their family vehicle as well as work vehicle, "light" trucks (e.g. Dodge RAM 3500) and SUVs which have much larger Diesel engines in them

Bull. There are only a handful of diesel SUV models sold in the US, and their sales are extremely low. Diesel engines are more popular in extremely heavy-duty trucks, but still not very popular, and those aren't viable "family vehicle(s)", and very rarely used as commuter vehicles, at all.

EPA regulations is that driving a much more polluting large Diesel pickup truck as your personal vehicle is allowed, but driving a relatively much more efficient and less polluting small European Diesel vehicle is not allowed.

It only makes sense for heavy vehicles to have more powerful engines. You need that power to tow trailers and other large cargo... things a little car is NEVER going to do, however polluting the engine might be. Why don't you go complain that those 16-wheel semi-trucks are allowed to pollute more than small cars, too? It doesn't make sense.

And NOBODY is going to buy a huge pickup, because they couldn't get a tiny diesel car... It's not a competition at all. Gasoline cars pollute far less. So much so that Europe is developing huge smog problems, with those famous landmarks covered in soot. Paris even banned pre-2011 diesel vehicles to deal with the problem.


Frankly, this is the death-knell for diesel power small-cars in the US. It puts the lie to the claims of their advantages, that most people were doubting without evidence, even while their other unremarked problems have been made undeniably obvious. No question in hindsight that Europe made the wrong decision promoting diesel over gasoline, and now it looks like they're bound to continue declining in popularity there, too.

Comment Re: Innovation: first != successful (Score 1) 92

Tesla was ultimately awarded the patent for radio

That's a lengthy discussion that, in the end, isn't relevant. Marconi patented numerous aspects of his radio systems (Tesla never even tried to develop long distance wireless comms), most of which weren't challenged. And no matter the end result of the patents, the Marconi companies were very profitable, for decades after Marconi developed the tech.

and Fairchild preceeded Intel

Fairchild never intended nor attempted to create microprocessors. Bell Labs preceded Fairchild, but that doesn't mean Fairchild never invented/developed anything of their own.

Comment Re:Of course the Air Force didn't adopt it (Score 3, Informative) 320

talk about the $148 million a piece price tag for the base F-35 model. A-10's start at around $30 million each. You let me know when one F-35 can out compete four A-10's for air to ground combat.

Predator Unit cost: US$16.9 million

It's not the F-35 that ended the A-10's service career... As of 2012, almost one in three USAF aircraft were UAVs.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, UAVs were reportedly more frequent specifically requested by ground units than any other aircraft.

"Whereas a manned fighter will seldom be able to stay on station for longer than an hour or so, a persistent armed UAV (PA-UAV) could potentially stay on station for up to 20 hours"

- http://www.military.com/NewCon...

Comment Re:What's old is new again. (Score 1) 320

The F-35 might have been at least halfway decent if we didn't have to design the whole plane around the Marines' VSTOL requirement

The Marines get too much credit for this design. The F-35 was designed in collaboration with other countries, to be sold for export.

The allied countries in question have navies, but not full-sized aircraft carriers like the US. The UK in particular is getting rid of its Harriers and ordering F-35s. Without STOL, not as many F-35s would be sold.

Comment Re:Innovation: first != successful (Score 1) 92

In the history of technology, the first to develop a technology and attempt to bring it to market is usually not the one that is ultimately successful.

Daimler-Benz seemed to do reasonably well after inventing the modern internal combustion automobile and all... "By unit sales, Daimler is the thirteenth-largest car manufacturer and second-largest truck manufacturer in the world."

Marconi had a pretty solid monopoly on wireless communications for quite a few decades.

Holt's (patented) continuous track tractor company did pretty well, if I recall... Let's see now: "Caterpillar is the world's leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives."

Sikorsky Aircraft developed the first stable, single-rotor, fully controllable helicopter to enter large full-scale production, and "remains one of the leading helicopter manufacturers, producing such well-known models as the UH-60 Black Hawk and SH-60 Seahawk"

RCA & NBC had a pretty good long run of TV dominance.

Ampex was pretty damn successful as the industry standard tape recorder for decades.

I seem to recall a little company named Intel creating they first commercially available microprocessor (Intel 4004). I think they're still around.

Has Tivo gone out of business yet?

Just about anybody could come up with a lot more of these...

Comment Re:Negative pricing is huge incentive for batterie (Score 1) 211

Lead-acid batteries work reasonably well for homes, but aren't a good option for grid-scale installations. Try the numbers with a Redox Flow Battery. The operating costs (after up-front installation costs) are more favorable:


The Wright Bothers weren't the first to fly. They were just the first not to crash.