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Comment Re:Karma! It IS a bitch! (Score 1) 245

This is unlikely. He's a white collar criminal of the purest sort. It's extremely likely that he'll get probation, at most. Or exoneration. What it really boils down to is: who has he burned? The question of whether he'll see some time behind actual real bars hinges on whether the people behind the prosecution (not necessarily the SEC, btw - the SEC is merely the complainant...) have a grudge. This could easily be political, too - if he gets convicted, people in the State and Federal Government up to and including Obama step up and say "bad man, we fixed it, love us".

Comment Re:That Was Quick (Score 1) 110

The bigger challenge is seeing that they don't re-reverse when the heat is off and think they can now get away with it once fewer people are paying attention.

They may never issue another firmware upgrade for these particular hubs; simply, the next version of the hub will be marketed as "for Friends of Our Wallet Certified Partners Only" and will be incompatible to non-partner devices from the get-go. It is absolutely conceivable that this was truly a UX decision - trying to tamp down the level of complaints from consumers who bought third-party bulbs that don't quite work right. However the fact is that this is a nascent (many might say, unnecessary luxury) market and people who buy this stuff are almost exclusively bleeding edge technology buffs and tinkerers, or people who simply throw a blank check at an integrator and say "make it work". The latter category of people isn't generating these support calls, because their integrators buy the expensive bulbs to avoid tech support, and the former category - which is the enthusiast category that could grow these devices into the mainstream - demands interop.

Comment Re:Increasingly difficult to innovate (Score 1) 239

Mmm, actually I'd go one stronger than that and suggest you never, ever enable any of the network connectivity features - don't attach it to your WiFi network, don't plug an Ethernet cable into it. The OSes and apps on those things are completely security unverified, and several of them have been proven to send very nasty quantities of information gleaned from your local network activities back to home base (besides serving you up advertising).

Comment Re:Increasingly difficult to innovate (Score 1) 239

Smart TVs are this whole argument all over again. They UNIVERSALLY suck compared to using a third party set top box, or using a content thrower/receiver like Chromecast and having a real, non-adware-infested, regularly-updated app on your smartphone or tablet. A good TV is a dumb screen that shows nice pictures and makes nice sound. The market for good TVs is saturated and prices have been driven down because there's not much difference between a $300 TV and a $600 TV of the same nominal specs, so TV manufacturers are trying to slice off a wedge of the set-top-box profits by essentially integrating a (really, really shitty) set-top box into their TVs.

Comment Re:They can't lead in market numbers forever (Score 1) 239

Sure, I wasn't arguing with you on the question "is a tablet with zero battery life still useful as a tablet", I was stating that even if he put the tablet in a safe and only used it once a year, the battery will *still* die, because its lifespan is capped, regardless of how much or little he's using it. You can shorten the lifespan of a Li-poly battery significantly. You can't lengthen it significantly :)

Comment Re:Tablets will die off (Score 1) 239

For some reason the tech industry feels that double digit growth is sustainable, and the only indication of success.

Absolutely - and, since this belief is never true because it would also require a double digit growth in personal disposable income, the tech industry is constantly under pressure to create new product categories of things people don't want, so that this new category can have a temporary growth spurt. 3D TV and smartwatches are two recent examples.

At one time there were "home computers". These were basically appliances. You inserted the cartridge or diskette for the program you wanted

Eh, not many people would agree with that characterization of "home computers" (in the sense that it was meant in the 1980s, which your mention of cartridges implies). Most people who owned a home computer in that era learned at least a little BASIC, and pretty much all of them learned at least some "command line" skills (even if the "command line" in question was using the BASIC interpreter in direct mode).

Comment Re: online orders? (Score 1) 239

This. Plus, corporates often *lease* their computers so they get a hardware refresh every two years, service plans baked into the lease cost, etc etc. Leases wouldn't show up as sales. I'd be pretty astonished if you could point me to a Fortune 100 (hell, even a Fortune 500) that has standardized on Surface as their mobile computer of choice.

Comment Re:Title is misleading....just read the summary. (Score 1) 239

When was I away from an outlet for more than 3 hours? Pretty much any time I'm flying, which is more or less once a week, and if am not in a class of service that has power outlets at the seat. While for many (most?) people laptops have become the new desktop, it's still true that there are people who spend significant time away from mains power.

Comment Re:They can't lead in market numbers forever (Score 1) 239

ISTM that Apple is offering finance options (basically) on their phones now because the carriers are all making "we don't want to subsidize devices any more" noises, and the market for premium priced flagship devices from any vendor is unsustainable at its current size unless _someone_ is offering what amounts to low-interest financing. As a sidebar, it's also why Apple is very keen to have an embedded carrier-neutral SIM in its phones - because if you're on contract to *Apple*, not your cell carrier, then you'll want the same carrier mobility that your friend with a $200 unlocked phone has.

That whole change of subsidy philosophy on the carriers' part could very easily make a sea change in the hardware market. Even the people who can afford to drop $650 on a premium phone upfront experience sticker shock, especially since there are now many very credible phones on the market, unlocked, for $200 or less. It may be that we're going to see a combination of "purchase me on an instalment plan offered by the hardware vendor" a la Apple, plus a significant contraction of the flagship phone market in favor of devices in the middle of the price spectrum. Similarly to the PC market, not everybody actually *needs* a high end flagship, and if the "how much do I have to extract from my wallet to walk out of the store with a new phone" question gets rearranged with a much higher sticker on the flagship vs. midrange, more people may contemplate that fact before plunking down cash.

Comment Re:They can't lead in market numbers forever (Score 1) 239

On that metric, they will "fail" (but let's be careful about how we define that word) even if you do or don't use them - lithium rechargeable chemistry batteries all have a shelf life. Depending on how you define service life, they're rated from one to two years typically. Yes, they'll almost always still hold some charge after that, of course. This is why you never want to buy "new old stock" batteries for a laptop or cellphone - lithium batteries made ten years ago for your ancient ThinkPad will most likely be useless and need re-celling anyway.

Comment Re:This is a nonsequitur (Score 1) 482

"But the public? Find out how many of them would be well served by a car, how many should not be buying trucks and giant SUVs."

And this is why I didn't bother to reply to the rest of your message. This is activism. Some people - many people - WANT trucks and SUVs. And it's their right to buy them. You need to realize that you're part of a tiny minority of people who cares about this thing - what exactly you care about I can't say for sure, but it's not something the majority of people care about. Most people - I may say, NORMAL people - want a thing, and that is a valid commercial end in itself. Proselytizing them into buying your particular flavor of holy grail needs to be recognized for a religious conversion activity it is. I repeat what I said in my original post: activists think that the population will find these devices magical IF ONLY THEY CAN BE MADE TO BELIEVE. Problem is, there is no reason for anyone to believe what you want them to believe.

Comment Re:This is a nonsequitur (Score 0) 482

"The average commute is under half an hour."

This irrelevancy is the crux of the problem here. That's true. But people don't JUST use their car for commuting and therein is the issue. Electric cars are unusable for anything *OTHER* than your daily commute. They can't be used for the family road trip, for hauling purchases from that exciting little Amish sale 200 miles away, or for anything else. Hence my comment that they are not general-purpose vehicles. They are very specialized hive vehicles.

Gasoline vehicles are available in a huge variety of styles and capabilities, such that a consumer can make an intelligent selection of a vehicle that will cover most of his/her use case decently well - as opposed to the one or two EVs on the lot, which can do a fairly good(ish) job on one use case, and are totally useless for all others.

Electric vehicles are activist novelties.

Comment This is a nonsequitur (Score 1, Flamebait) 482

Car manufacturers, apart from those couple of specialized boutique electric-only manufacturers, DON'T particularly want to sell electric cars. They want to sell *cars* period. They make electric cars for two reasons: a) to game their CAFE numbers (and for this, it doesn't matter if the cars go straight into a shredder off the production line - they only have to be manufactured, not sold), and b) so they can issue press releases saying "we make the greenest car in the world, here's a 15 second video of polar bears frolicking on the snow to show our veracity". Even those car dealerships that are directly between a hemp sandal store and Whole Foods don't see a huge percentage of people coming in off the street asking for an electric car - electrics still aren't a good general-purpose solution in almost all of the United States.

This whole bleating rant is a lot of noise from a tiny minority of vociferous hippies who think that alternative cars would JUST BE MAGICAL if only PEOPLE WOULD BELIEVE. They want dealers to *proselytize* electric running shoes, not simply be knowledgeable about them.

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