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Comment Re: The Homer! (FP?) (Score 1) 368

My thoughts exactly. And they also have minute bundles you can purchase. Really? I mean outside of prepay, does anybody even use "minutes" anymore?

There is one feature that appeals to me: the ability to do Remote Start via the app. But it's not available on my model year and definitely not worth $200/yr.

Comment Re: The Homer! (FP?) (Score 1) 368

My Fusion is a 2011 with the old 2 line display. No touch screen, so all my sources are physical buttons (well, kinda... there's an "Aux" button that has the USB, 1/8" jack, and Bluetooth Audio in it).

Do you find that Sync Services has any value? It just seems odd to me that they couldn't have found a better way to communicate with the system than using your phone as a modem, thus requiring a subscription service. I'm not really into that side of things, but couldn't they have used Bluetooth to transfer the required information?

Comment Re:Fixed it for you. (Score 2) 406

I'm mid-40s, my wife's a little older, our two kids are in their teens. No apparent loss of interest in sex from either of us. There was a period of reduced interest, but we got through it.

Two differences from your story: 1) my wife doesn't work right now (hopefully soon). 2) We're Christians, and regular sex is a commitment (1 Corinthians 7).

Comment Re: The Homer! (FP?) (Score 1) 368

My other vehicle is a Ford Fusion. It has the Microsoft Sync system built in, though similar to your Mazda, it also has Sirius radio. I bought this vehicle used, but Sirius/XM was nice enough to include a 3 month free trial for me (like you said, to try to hook me... and to get my contact info). I used the 3 month trial which also happened to be football season. I actually did enjoy the talk stations from time to time and did like being able to tune in a game when I wasn't at home to watch it. But, as you said, nowhere near worth the price they want for it. I still get calls and letters from time to time offering me a "great" introductory rate. I ignore them all.

I recently took a trip to Canada. I had the thought that it would have been nice to start a trial as I was pulling out of the driveway (I wasn't ever going to be more than 50 miles from the US/Canada border ... down in the area next to Michigan ... so I'm assuming I would still be able to pick up service. I hadn't set it up, though, so I had to think of other solutions. So I just loaded up Pandora on my phone and blue-tooth streamed it until I got to the border. Then played the music that was stored on the phone. Way cheaper, and streaming Pandora avoided the stagnant music issue I would have had just playing music from my phone the whole trip (not to mention International roaming rates).

Unfortunately, my car does have a physical button for Sirius, but it's only one button in the mix of a whole slew of others, so I can ignore it.

My GM vehicle (an Acadia) does also have XM in it, but like your Mazada it's a touch screen so the vast majority of the time, the "XM" isn't even displayed anywhere... just those darned OnStar buttons.

Comment Re:A HUD is usefull... (Score 1) 368

I also can't see why I'd want a built-in satnav, though I wouldn't mind having a cradle that connected my phone to a larger display. The one advantage to builtin satnav is that the display can be clearer and more informative.

I own an add-on Garmin, and while I like it, I use my phone far more often. Among other things, it has a much better understanding of traffic and how to route around it. (My particular Garmin model does get traffic information over the air, but that information is much less precise and useful than the Internet can give it.) I keep it around for those days when I'm out of coverage, and a few other circumstances, but it's mostly relegated to taking up space and getting out of date. (It also has map updates, but they don't happen automatically. And a major new interchange near my house took a very long time to appear. I didn't need it, but people coming to my place sometimes got confused.)

So I can see why a car my want I/O features, but the smarts might as well be relegated to the device I'm already carrying with me. It would be nice to have better audio controls than fiddling with the phone itself, for example.

Comment Re: The Homer! (FP?) (Score 2) 368

And in general "concierge services" fail.

I've gotta believe that this concierge service is mostly GM's OnStar. I think the biggest surprise for me in the statistic that 43% of the people never use it is that 57% have. Though I guess just trying it out one time to see how it works would no longer qualify you for the "never used it" category.

The simple fact is that most people don't want to be hit with a $100 (lowest tier paid annually) to $420 (highest plan paid monthly) per year bill on top of their car payment*. I have a vehicle that has OnStar built into it and I would much rather rip the whole thing out (including the buttons they spread through-out the car) and replace it with a simple BlueTooth connection to the stereo.


Comment oh, man. Prepare for another round. (Score 2, Interesting) 86

Last time it was the Sorbanes-Oxley act. The company security policies were changed by a committee mainly run by lawyers. These 300$/hr billing rate guys have never logged into anything, always had a bevy of flunkies who did all the access to the computer, who printed out emails and who typed back the responses scrawled on the print outs. The main intent was to show that they had strict security policy in court, rather than implement policies that will actually improve security.

Passwords must be changed every ninety days, it must have one upper case, one lower case, one numeral, one non-alphanumeric, and no reuse of passwords, no substring can be a word or date found in the dictionary. A bunch of uninformed jury would be impressed, that was all the point. That it would force people to write down the passwords in sticky notes and very cleverly paste it on the underside of the keyboard is not realized by the bozos, or if it did, it did not bother them. More like, "yes!, Exactly! this process would net us enough scapegoats and sacrificial lambs to be thrown under the bus! I approve!!" would be their response if they understood what would really happen.

Not all government agencies are like that. FAA and NTSB have a decent reputation. If they realize pilots are not following procedures or checklist they would try to understand why and try to make the procedures easier to follow. (I think they would perform even better if we remove from FAA's charter "promotion of air travel" and make it exclusively concentrate on safety of air travel. )

Comment Re:an amazing OS (Score 1) 277

- the Recycle Bin made it much simpler to 'recover' accidentally deleted files, no more FAT16/32 undelete tools (anyone else remember Revive or was it Revival?) for most mistakes

And these days, we have come full circle, and need the PC undelete tools again to recover files from the SD cards in our phones.

All great ideas are controversial, or have been at one time.