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Comment A myth built upon a lie (Score 1) 231

The first lie is that everyone will use autonomous cars in any recent period. It will take decades to get the old cars off the roads. And there are no autonomous motorcycles or scooters or bicycles or hundreds of other non-autonomous things that can cause crashes. And why the hell would anyone want an authonomous motorcycle or bicycle??

The second lie is that everyone will use their autonomous car in autonomous mode. If the road is icy, will your car just stop?? Many will not have the patience for that and will take over control if the car deems it too dangerous to continue or drive at an acceptable rate. At least until people lose all of the driving skills.

I can bet with some certainty that autonomous cars won't go over the speed limit. I find it highly doubtful that a majority of the population that now enjoys driving 5-10mph over the speed limit will allow that. And I doubt if autonomous cars are going to include a 'drive over the speed limit' function.

I've thought about this, and while I might enjoy the car taking over for short periods, if I have to sit behind the wheel, I might as well drive. And, quite frankly, I enjoy driving. My daughter and I just drove to Michigan from Phoenix together over 4 days (she was moving). We had a great time. Over the next few months, I'm going to be driving to Florida twice, once by myself. I think it might be great to have a car that can take over if I fall asleep, but what's the use in driving if you can't drive??

I look forward to the technology that comes out of autonomous car tech that will help to reduce crash rates. Improved alerting capability is a great feature, and already available in many cars. The ability to switch it on so one can text or take a phone call is great. I see autonomous features being used periodically, not all the time.

This is no different from adapting to increased internet demand to use their product. Those that adapt will rule the market. Those that don't will die and get taken over by the rulers.

If I am correct, the insurance companies have decades to adapt. As revenues decrease, employees won't be replaced. Further automation will take place. Stock prices may drop and dividends may decrease, but companies don't make money from stock once the stock is sold. Investors can demand change all they want, but if everyone in an industry is in the same boat, the smart ones will flee leaving others holding overpriced shares and watching them tumble. If I was a CEO of an insurance company, I'd start taking advantage of any ability to sell that I can.

Yawn ... nothing to see here... move along.

Comment Certification is like selling a house with a pool (Score 1) 213

Some people won't buy a house with a pool. Some people have to have one. Some people just don't care.

No matter which way you go, there is always someone you can't sell to.

The same is true of certificates. If I see someone with a certificate laden resume, I'd probably pass on someone who is so intent on getting certified. If they had a couple, I probably wouldn't care.

If someone needs certification to learn something, I would question their ability to learn on-the-job as things come up. We are in a rapidly growing field, and I can't wait for certifications to become available, and then pay the added cost of sending someone to get one and the lost wages.

There are plenty of really smart people out there that don't need certification to learn and don't want to work for a big company. I'll let the big companies with their bureaucratic nonsense take the rest.

Comment Not that many apps needed ... (Score 1) 213

I've had a Samsung Gear 2 watch now for about a year. I really like it, and don't leave home without it. It has enough conveniences that if it breaks, or I've had it long enough, I'll get another one.

But ...

It's not enough to get someone to switch phone types, and neither is the iWatch. Mostly because, with such a small screen, the number of apps is limited. It's not suitable for reading more than a few paragraphs. It's not suitable for typing (other than voice dictation). It's not useful for web browsing.

It's a nice extension for things already on my phone so I can use some phone features without taking it from my pocket. Messaging, calendar and other notifications or nice. Of course it makes using the phone easier, especially taking a phone call when it's just not convenient to take out my phone. It is a watch, so it's more convenient to check the time and date. I use the stopwatch and timer often enough. And the Samsung watch has a camera sufficient for taking quick pictures and Facebook posting (I'll never buy another watch without a camera).

I've tried a few others, including email programs, tiny keyboards, news aggregators, and calculators. All of which have been deleted. The only really convenient one I added was one that lets me use my phone as a remote camera to see behind objects or in tight places. Every other app I've installed, I've removed. Even new watch faces because they burn through the battery. I suppose someone who is a bit OCD would like the health monitors, but I even turned them off as I find my scale is a sufficient indicator of whether or not I'm actually losing weight. And they burn through the battery. (I can get almost 4 days on my Gear, I usually charge it after 3)

I go through the apps in the gear store from time to time and still cannot find any that I feel a need for. The apps I use, in order of most used, are:
* receiving text messages (very often)
* checking the time (often)
* camera (more often than I thought I would)
* taking phone calls (sometimes
* timer (sometimes)
* remote camera (rarely)
* stopwatch (rarely)
* find my phone (even more rarely)

The only one my phone didn't come with is the remote camera.

Until some new tech comes out that lets me project my watch onto a larger surface with touch screen capability, I doubt if any app developer is going to come up with anything more useful than derivatives of the things already installed.

Comment He's a philosopher, now argue the other way ... (Score 1) 351

Ok .. interesting thoughts. I suppose if everyone wants to pay for search engines and email and over-the-air TV and radio and higher ticket prices for NASCAR and NFL and watch most professional sporting events just go away, I'm sure they would support this. Let's just rip off all the car company logos off our cars and stop wearing Nike tshirts or Juicy pants. Sell all products in plain brown boxes and clear plastic with the name of the company stamped in military stencil on the side.

Those things are all advertising also. In for a penny, in for a pound. All or nothing if you are going to do it.

I find ignoring advertising is pretty damn easy, and well worth the free stuff I get in return. It's true, Slashdot and Facebook and Google get some of my information in exchange for selling ads to other people. But I also get to use their services in exchange.

They aren't taking anything, it's a mutually beneficial exchange of services.

Comment Re:Another blow to states' RIGHTS. (Score 2) 446

Non-GMO foods are free to label their foods as such.

There are no labeling requirements for organic foods. Producers do so because they feel there is a market for it. If there truly is a market for non-GMO foods, then people will be putting 'doesn't contain GMO' stickers on their products.

So .. shut the fuck up.

Comment Not according to the bus schedule (Score 1) 654

I'm not taking over 2 hours to commute to work. And the same to commute home. After a 9 hour work day and 8 hours of sleep, that leave 3 hours for getting ready for work, eating dinner, and relaxing after I get home. Nope .. not going to happen. I don't live to work.

I took the bus to work when I was single and lived in the city many years ago. It was just as quick as a car (30 minutes each way), and I didn't have to pay for parking. There is no sense in taking a bus from where I live now, it's only a 35 minute commute. If the bus took an hour each way, I'd probably do it.

Instead, I'm looking at working from home full time in 4 months. In a completely different city, 2,000 miles from the office.

Much better alternative ....

Comment As with all things .. it depends (Score 1) 296

I haven't talked to HR first for any job that I've gotten in the last 20 years. While I have applied for positions without knowing someone in the company first, the jobs I got were a direct result of my knowing someone that knew someone and getting me in front of the right people.

So .. if you are young and inexperienced and haven't developed a deep network of friends in the right places ... maybe certification helps.

Once you get an established network, they are of limited value. Studying and passing a certification often exposes holes in one's knowledge. So, other than for self-enrichment, I'd say they are useless. As others have noted, I pay little attention to them when reading resumes. Same with degrees.

I received Linux certification many years ago as part of a teaching gig, and was quite disenchanted when I discovered one other person in the class had never used Linux before studying and taking the certification. That's when I knew they were useless for determining whether or not to hire someone.

Comment Now if only the US government could do it. (Score 4, Interesting) 177

I appreciate the right of people to look like idiots walking around talking to their camera. Documenting their journey for no one who cares to see.

Why they think that they are what is worth filming is beyond me. Or that talking while filming is a good choice.

My wife and I love to sail, and watch sailing videos on you-tube. The good ones take pictures of things AROUND them, things I actually want to see. They also either do voiceovers post-production, or use a separate microphone to eliminate wind noise.

The rest are mostly just crap, only of value to the people that shot them. Not really worth sharing to the public.

In our motorcycle group, I've witnessed people just vomit their pictures up to the web, with no care taken to edit or even select only the few that are worth posting. No pride in what they have taken, just a regurgitation of what's in their camera.

Selfie sticks are just more of the same. I'll admit they have some valid uses.

Too bad most people appear to be ignorant of what those uses are.

Comment Re:Cool (Score 0) 191

It's true that Android doesn't have it (yet) .. but Samsung Android phones and tablets have actual windowing capability; two apps can be visible and usable at the same time without having to switch back and forth.

Far more useful for me than having even more game choices. Or drawing pictures on a screen using my finger instead of a device that actually is made for it.

Nothing here for the majority of Android users to see ... moving along.

Wait .. 'starting to make'?? So all of those iDrones that had to be first to buy the latest iPhone are going to be left out in the cold. Already?? Before their phone is even a few months old?

That is the most hilarious thing I've ever heard. Will there be a a big rush on the Apple store in a few month as all of these iIdiots rush out to get the latest and greatest? Again??

Comment Re:That's stupid (Score 0, Troll) 104

So .. you prefer to pay too much for a phone with few choices simply because you don't have the ability to keep off of unsecured or untrusted WiFi networks? Which you shouldn't be connecting to anyway because there are far greater risks associated with that practice.

I never allow my phone to connect to any WiFi network I don't trust, that's just stupid. And it never downloads updates unless it's on WiFi. So that pretty much leaves only updating my phone at work or at home.

But then again, I have skills.

Yawn .. just another article Apple iDrones will point to and try to justify their overpayment of a limited product. I mean, they just got a watch. At least .. some of them did. I wonder when they will have the ability to use more than one app at the same time. I love being able to pull up Google maps in a second window while I'm also surfing using Chrome. Or pull up Evernote and jot something down. Great capability .. maybe someday the used-to-be-innovative Apple will figure out how to do windows.

Comment Labor saving better tasting (Score 2) 270

My wife just tossed her Keurig, and she is so much happier. She had forgotten what it was like to wake up to the smell of brewing coffee,and able to get her 2-3 cups instantly instead of waiting for each cup. She does miss some of the flavors, but now is more likely to add a little cocoa to the grounds the night before, or toss in some fresh vanilla with her real cream.

So .. to keep on topic ... from my experience, most things that introduce a labor saving mechanism in the kitchen change the characteristics of the food. I make pizza dough in a stand mixer every week or two. Last week, I couldn't find the dough hook and made it by hand for the first time in months. It was so much better, the kneading that I did made a dough with better texture than the dough hook. Probably because as I knead, I can feel the dough and know when it's done. Now, to be fair, it could be that I just don't do it right with the dough hook. But .. since it produced a pizza dough that was serviceable, I didn't really care. At the time.

The hand grinders I used as a kid did a better job than the using the food processor, we had much more control and it produced far more consistent texture. It is far easier to over beat egg whites using a hand mixer than doing it by hand.

I appreciate the labor saving devices, and have a microwave, food processor, stand mixer, electric knife, and ice cream maker to name a few. I use them often. Love the ice cream maker, my wife won't even eat store bought ice cream anymore. But I kinda miss the hand cranked one, I just can't seem to get the same consistency that machine did.

For something special, I almost always drop back to doing it without them. I find there is a better connection to food for me when hand mixing, hand chopping, and hand shaping that I don't get letting a machine do it and just watching.

Several years ago, I spent time in India. While there, I got over the Western taboo of eating with my hands. I now find myself being watched at restaurants as I tend to still eat some of my meal with my hand, it somehow seems to make the experience more satisfying.

In our current mobile-phone addled society, I suppose the quality of the food isn't as important as it used to be. I admit that my wife and I tend to eat dinner with the TV on because the kitchen table usually has some project on it. We didn't use to when we first got married, I always made it a habit of turning that damn thing off because she is such a great cook.

Now, I'm not a food snob. Even though I appreciate good food, my wife and I also can enjoy fish sticks and Kraft macaroni and cheese for dinner. I've been known to hanker for B&M baked beans and hot dogs and chastise my wife to not add anything to them; she is often tempted to 'tart them up' and make them her own.

Appreciating the difference between Gortons fish sticks and a hand grilled mahi mahi is not the same as turning ones nose up at Gortons. All food has flavor, and I have the opinion that if I feel food A is better than food B, it only pertains to me and no one else.

But I'm afraid that the more we move towards Keurig, the less people will know how food can really taste when done by hand. And they won't have the skills to do it when the zombie apocalypse finally hits.

Brain ceviche anyone???

Comment Re:Meh (Score 1) 372

And not understanding the problem or it's effects could also result in the wrong solution. Or an ineffective one that just wastes money.

When climate scientists stop throwing darts against a wall, I'll listen to them.

In the meantime, I'll do my best to reduce my carbon footprint. But I'm not about to change my entire way of life (which some of the more fanatical alarmists would like), when they can't come up with anything beyond a computerized guess.

Comment Re:Some good data... (Score 1) 434

Thank you! Only the techies care about the latest IOS update, I agree that most people are happy as long as the device they are using continues to perform in the manner they are accustomed to. Having used Android for years, I can't recall one 'must have' feature of any upgrade. It was nice to have multiple users on the tablet, but now my wife and I each have our own so who cares. It was nice to have better flipping of screens, but my phone doesn't re-orient the menu when turned sideways, and I don't really care. With each new device came a new OS, and while I liked the new features, I continued to use older devices without any problem. My son and son-in-law were both perfectly happy to get our hand-me-downs, and often used them for a couple more years until they became just too broken to use any longer. If anything, the larger issue is how these newer devices physically don't last more than 3-4 years. My Samsung5 phone is suffering from a common problem with an loose internal connector after two years, and will probably not be usable within the next 6 months. Time for an upgrade. With so many people upgrading phones and tablets every couple of years anyway, the lack of a consistent IOS upgrade path isn't an issue.

This is simply a 'made-up' crisis from people who have Apple devices. One of the people that sit next to me at work has an Apple phone, and he is always touting how the latest upgrades just happen. I have a company-issued Apple phone that I never use because the interface is so bad, and have yet to see any IOS update that provided anything of value or made me say 'Hey .. I have to get me one of these'. Hey Apple ... it's time to offer multiple windows and users on your tablets now that Android has had it for a couple of years. You finally caught up with a serviceable watch.

I have been very pleased with my Samsung Pro tablet update capabilities. And when I switched from one tablet to another because my old one got stolen, all my stuff came along for the ride. It appears that individual vendors are paying attention and offering features, there is no need for Google to do it.

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