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Comment Re:Population/Area has to be a factor (Score 4, Insightful) 278

Yep, but once again this statistic falls very, VERY firmly in favor of a less-dense San Francisco. You get about 18 million visitors per year ( versus 27 million annually for Barcelona ( That's 1.5 tourists in Barca for every one in SanFran, another big reason why Barcelona is by far the more densely-populated city.

Comment Re:Population/Area has to be a factor (Score 4, Informative) 278

True, but they weren't talking about the Bay Area. They were talking about San Francisco, and here the numbers are much different. The city of San Francisco has a population of about 852,000 in a land area of about 47 square miles. By contrast, the city of Barcelona has a population of 1.6 million in an area of just over 39 square miles.

That's 18,188 per square mile for San Francisco versus 41,100 per square mile for Barcelona -- less than half the density, as you'd expect. American cities are typically more sprawling, when compared to their more compact European rivals. (Other countries just can't afford the sprawl that America can. But then nor can America really, any more.)

"But they said both cities had the same population," you proclaim. Well, yes, but they were probably comparing the metro population (4.6 million for San Francisco; 5.4 million for Barcelona.) But the same holds true here -- the San Francisco metro area (San Francisco–Oakland–Hayward, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area) has a land area of 2,474 square miles, versus just 1,648 square miles for the metropolitana de Barcelona. So once again, San Francisco has roughly half the density.

But perhaps that's the problem. San Francisco has a low-enough density that drivers can get some speed up with which to kill pedestrians, whereas in Barcelona there are just so many people that you're used to constantly watching for them and sitting on the brakes, or you couldn't get through a day without hitting one.

Comment Chip and PIN would, but... (Score 5, Informative) 317

...that's not the system we're getting in the US, at least for the time being and at most retailers. We're getting Chip and Signature, which is much less secure. We're just calling it Chip and PIN, but most retailers aren't actually using PIN numbers to complete transactions...

Comment Re:That's what Nokia, Moto, and Microsoft said (Score 1) 535

The difference here is that nobody feels the need to fellate Ferrari at every opportunity by making spurious, nonsensical claims that they've turned the car market on its head, changed its direction, or any of the other tripe that gets spouted about Tesla.

Comment Re:That's what Nokia, Moto, and Microsoft said (Score 5, Interesting) 535

Tesla's impact on the market, thus far, is squat. Volkswagen brands alone sold 10.14 million vehicles in 2014. Even if you ignore Tesla's fiddling of the numbers (with nonsensical claims about sales being low because customers "were on vacation"), they sold a grand total of 35,000 cars in 2014. VW's marques managed that many in 30 hours, 15 minutes.

I know it's the done thing around these parts to fellate Mr. Musk at every opportunity, but the fact is that in the automotive world, he's a flea. He's completely insignificant and his toys for rich kids -- subsidized by yours and my taxpayer dollars, natch -- have not changed the market even one iota. Of the nearly 90-million cars and commercial vehicles sold in 2014, Elon captured a spectacular 0.04 percent of the market at best.

Comment The ripoff comes when you can't avoid the recall (Score 1) 471

We're being ripped off by the fact that as soon as this is made an official recall, Volkswagen will have no choice but to take that *advertised* performance away from customers whether they want the service performed or not, and so customers' only recourse if they want the advertised performance will be never to take their cars to a Volkswagen dealership again, even if it needs warranty work or other recalls.

Once this becomes an actual recall (which it isn't yet), Volkswagen will not legally be allowed to turn a blind eye to the problem if the car reenters its possession, even if the consumer considers the "problem" to be a "feature". And it's doubly bad for customers such as myself who have prepaid for an extended warranty through the dealership, and now likely cannot take advantage of that extended warranty without either losing the performance we were promised (and paid for), the mileage we were promised (and paid for), or both.

We will have lesser-performing cars than those which we were sold, or we will effectively lose the balance of our warranty and any ability to have the car serviced at a Volkswagen-approved facility ever again.

Comment Re:Ads are NOT necessary (Score 0) 351

This is an incredibly naive point of view. Some types of content are basically unsustainable on anything other than an ad-supported model. Wikipedia has minimal expenses beyond hosting and software development, because the content is not created by Wikipedia staff, it's donated free of charge. One example to the contrary is product review sites, which can (depending on the type of product being reviewed) very expensive to run impartially.

The large amount of time and effort spent to create a meaningful review (rather than the more typical short-form PR puff piece masquerading as a review) costs a lot of money, and in some cases may actually require you buy the product in question *and* related accessories if the company creating the product doesn't want a critical eye cast over it.

Sure, you can get some of the money you need from donations, but it's a tiny fraction of what's actually needed. So you're faced with a choice: Ads, or a paywall. With a paywall, your site will suffocate in fairly short order because people don't tend to continuously be in product-buying mode, so they subscribe for a month or two and then cancel once their purchase is made. And how do you persuade them to buy in the first place, when they can't actually read the reviews they're after and judge the quality before paying? That model isn't sustainable either.

And so ads is it: It's the only model that works, and it works well. But by ad blocking, you're stealing that content, which likely took numerous people and dozens or even hundreds of hours of testing to create.

Ask yourself this: If the content isn't valuable, why are you even reading it? Either read it without an ad blocker and support its creator, or GO ELSEWHERE if the ads are more offensive than you're willing to accept in trade for the content. Don't be disingenuous and claim the ads aren't needed, then steal the content anyway.

Science is what happens when preconception meets verification.