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Comment Re:the low markers arent all deserving. (Score 2) 236 236

Replicants are sentient beings.

And there's another wrinkle that didn't make it into the film: In the book, most humans follow a contrived religion, Mercerism, that is all about reverence for animals, fatalism, and "empathy". The supposed indication of the replicants' inhumanity is that they lack empathy and can't participate in Mercerism. The V-K test, with its questions about torturing tortoises and eating monkey brains might be somewhat unpleasant, is basically about good a Mercerist you are rather than anything objective.

The point of the book is not the "is Deckard a replicant" controversy from the film - Deckard is human. His memories are his own, but by the end of the book so much that he values has been shown to be sham and artifice that those memories might as well have been implanted.

Comment Re:the low markers arent all deserving. (Score 1) 236 236

Read on: its a bit ambiguous but they are biological, more like vat-grown clones based on genetically improved humans than machines built from scratch. I think its reasonable to argue that artificially growing a biological brain isn't what is generally meant by AI.

Comment Re: Why do this? (Score 1) 363 363

Those are all contributing factors, but a city council that seems openly hostile to automobiles can't be discounted.

No, those "contributing factors" are precisely why the city council is openly hostile to automobiles.

Policies like the 4 way red significantly slow down traffic and contribute to the gridlock problem.

They make it much nicer for the pedestrians who have, sensibly, left their cars at home, though.

Trouble is, attracting more cars would also contribute to the gridlock problem. Cities like London just don't have the space for everybody to bring their car.

Comment Re: Wow (Score 1) 143 143

One must note: The question of "does it make more sense" is mildly hilarious when one is discussing mass transportation on a lifeless world.

I dunno - if you could get a government grant and tax breaks, turn the debts into complex derivatives and sell them on, do an IPO then dump your stock at the peak of the market it could be profitable. Plus, unlike transport systems on earth, you wouldn't have those pesky paying customers turning up and forcing you to incur all sorts of ongoing fuel and maintenance costs.

Where do I send my money?

Comment Re:I know a way to eliminate all left turns (Score 1) 363 363

All intersections could be replaced with roundabouts.

Which are fine up to a certain traffic volume and then lock solid. In the UK, more and more major roundabouts are being fitted with traffic lights.

How did the Dutch do it in Amsterdam would be the question to ponder next, I reckon.

Simple: most of the locals ride bikes, most of the tourists go by boat, plus they have something called "public transport".

In the Netherlands, some of the cycle tracks have car lanes.

Comment Re: Why do this? (Score 2) 363 363

It's almost impossible to drive across London though. New York City traffic is not great, but you at least get where you need to go.

I don't think that's because of the traffic lights. I think that's because of road layouts dictated by stone-age goat-tracks, mediaeval land disputes, rivers that aren't there any more and WWII ending before the Germans had time to build enough V2s. And London's nothing compared to some other European cities.

OTOH, central London's small enough to walk across.

Comment Re:Firefly (Score 5, Interesting) 300 300

I thought we just called those people Browncoats.

As a wise fictional character once said, "May have [picked] the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one." Not sure that applies to the Zune, though, although it was brown...

Presumably "Crystal Pepsi" wasn't brown (and, hopefully, wasn't so pure that it had a slight blue tint...)

Comment Re:My next car will be an e-Golf. (Score 1) 688 688

Every inch a Golf, works in New England. Charger by Bosch installed in your house for mere hundreds. What's not to like?

Well, in the UK e-Golf prices start at about £26k (after deducting the £5k gov subsidy) and regular Golf prices start from about £16k.

One of these cars you can jump in to and drive the length of the country without worrying about how you are going to refuel. For an extra £10k you get a car that turns into a brick after a maximum of 100 miles, and less if you have to use the heater etc.

Translation: the £16k car would be the only vehicle you need. The £30k car is a commuting machine that would leave you needing a second car (or a rental) every time you needed to make a long trip.

Comment Re:touchpad (Score 1) 80 80

For example, in the text I'm writing, if I want to select a range of it it takes me around five more seconds to pinpoint the location I need with a touchpad as opposed to a mouse.

Have you tried enabling the "three finger drag" operation? I found it made a great difference to the usability of a trackpad.

I still prefer a mouse when working at a desk - but since Apple introduced the large, glass trackpads I've felt no need to carry around a mouse for use 'on the road'.

Comment Re:Crab Apple (Score 1) 311 311

A better question is is Apple the new Microsoft?

Nope.

The thing about Microsoft was there was only one Microsoft. Now we have Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon... and Microsoft was still there, last time I looked. Consumers are now free to choose which of half-a-dozen evil empires to sell their soul to. Hurrah for consumer choice!

...but at least Macs now run Unix.

Comment Re:My own two cents (Score 1) 249 249

Your house becomes a gas station.

If you have a garage or private drive where you can install a charger...

Your work becomes a gas station.

If your employer provides charging points in the car park...

Just like today's phones which only last a day, you get home , you plug it in.

...and as soon as something breaks your routine, you're carrying a brick. Fortunately, its rather easier to find a power socket with space to park your phone than a power socket with space to park your car... even more fortunately, phones are available that can survive more than 12 hours between charges.

There exists a subset of people who meet the profile for EVs: they have a daily commute short enough to be within EV range but long enough to make them want a full-sized car; they have a garage or driveway where they can charge and maybe even a charging point at work; they probably have at least one other car in the family, so they're not stranded while the car is recharging, and they have an alternative for long road trips; any regular long trips they make have fast chargers en. route and at the end, and/or they're within EV range of the airport.

For people in that group - great - for others, EVs still don't have the flexibility of conventional cars, and you're looking at paying 50% over the odds for an EV and still having to keep renting a conventional car for long trips.

I only need a small car for my regular short-ish commute and shopping trips, but I sometimes have to do a 200 mile drive, sometimes at short notice and with no guarantee of a charger at the destination. So, first I'd need a small/compact EV with a 200 mile range (none around, AFAIK - you need the size to carry enough batteries) and then I'd still need to make 2 30min-1 hour stops on the way out and probable 1 on the way back.

Why so many stops? First, as stated by the earlier poster, "200 miles [asterisk] range" doesn't mean "enough for a 200 mile trip" - it means "200 miles AT THE MOST before your car turns into a brick". So you'd have to top up at least once on each 200 mile leg. Then - did I mention "no guarantee of a charger at the destination"? So you have to make sure that you're at least half full when you arrive.

The BMW i3 with range extender almost does it for me, but oh god, the price... Your main concern would be forgetting to plug it in, just like forgetting to get gas. The car will let you know, and in the case of he Tesla tell you where you can go to charge without any special action required.

Comment The trouble with "loss leaders"... (Score 1) 134 134

...it may well be worth giving up 3 months of income for the sake of greater profits in the future provided your cashflow can take it. If, however, you're going to be defaulting on your debts by the end of month 2 - not such a good plan. It shouldn't be Apple's decision as to whether or not you can afford to offer a loss leader. I doubt Ms Swift would be affected, but lets be magnanimous and assume that she's acting out of concern for smaller, independent music labels who don't have 3 months of operating costs stuffed in their mattresses.

Also consider that Apple is huge and high profile. If they offer free streaming for 3 months then it is going to put a noticeable dent in all music sales, not just existing streaming services, while people try it out.

... when fits of creativity run strong, more than one programmer or writer has been known to abandon the desktop for the more spacious floor. -- Fred Brooks

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