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Comment: Couldn't have happened to a nicer group of people (Score 4, Insightful) 56 56

Ah, schadenfreude. Seeing these jerks die by the sword they have wielded against the rest of us is just too satisfying.

I particularly like how it's come out that they were backdooring (and presumably screwing, or at least reserving the opportunity to screw) their own ethically-challenged customer base.

Really, it's not nice to take such delight in the downfall of others, but it just feels so damn good.

Comment: Re:The reason is more simple (Score 1) 657 657

somebody that makes less than 20K is not buying a new car. They will buy a used car, use a bike, or public transportation, or more likely, be given one by family. Simple as that.
And in 15-20 years time, many of the old tesla will have batteries that are at 75-150 MPC. That becomes doable for some relative that you sell to for a 1000, or even give. Simple as that.

Comment: Fun, But Useless (Score 3, Funny) 116 116

This is a fun device that can show you what can be done with 3D printed plastic. That said, it's useless. It would be really cool if I could apply 1 pound of force to the crank, turn it a Million times, and have it apply a Million pounds of rotational force at the other end. But it's made of plastic, so it won't do that. Indeed, the fast-rotating parts would wear out before the slow-rotating part made a single turn. So it's not even good as a kind of clock.

All that said, it's a good conversation piece, and probably worth the price for that.

Comment: Also continuous lipstick application. (Score 2) 223 223

I've worked for two companies where "agile" methodology applied company-wide meant point releases every one or two weeks and minor UI changes with every point release to "get better with each version." This floated mgmt's boat and kept the UX/UI people busy and excited, but it was a nightmare for customer support and (evidently, by extension) for customers who could never quite feel as though they'd "learned" to use the software.

Every time they logged in they struggled to figure out how to repeat the workflows they'd struggled to get ahold of the previous time. Of course, the widgets, labels, views, etc. tended to change between logins. Kind of like a maze with moving walls.

I argued for UI changes to be batched for major versions, but this supposedly wasn't "agile."

Comment: Re:pardon my french, but "duh" (Score 4, Insightful) 223 223

Well that may be so. But as you get older you get less patient with people wasting your time.

Let's say you're 90 years old. You're using a webmail system which does everything you need it to do. Then some manager has a brainwave and suddenly all the functions are somewhere else. How much of the 3.99 years the actuarial tables say you've got left do you want to spend dealing with that?

It's not just 90 year-olds. Take a poll of working-age users and find out how many like the MS Office Ribbon; how many people are cool with the regular UI reshuffling that takes place in Windows just to prove you're paying your upgrade fee for software that's "new"?

Comment: Re:Therac 25 (Score 2) 223 223

I was working as a developer when the news of the Therac 25 problems broke, so I remember it well. You actually have it backwards; it wasn't bad UI design at all.

The thing is mere functional testing of the user interface would not have revealed the flaw in the system. What happened is that people who used the system very day, day in and day out, became so fast at entering the machine settings the rate of UI events exceeded the ability of the custom monitor software written for the machine to respond correctly to them.

If the UI was bad from a design standpoint the fundamental system engineering flaws of the system might never have been revealed.

Comment: Re:"Harbinger of Failure" = Hipsters? (Score 1) 290 290

Actually the exact opposite is true.

Which is necessarily true in any kind of fashion, even if it's anti-fashion. Hipsterism is a kind of contrarianism; the attraction is having things that most other people don't even know about. But strict contrarianism is morally indistinguishable from strict conformism.

Now outside of major metropolitan centers like Manhattan when people say "hipster" they mean something else; there's not enough of a critical mass of non-conformity to cater to an actual "hipster" class. What they're really talking about is "kids taking part in trends I'm not included in." In other words its the same-old, same-old grousing about kids these days, only now by people who've spent their lives as the focus of youth culture and can't deal with their new-found cultural marginalization.

As you get older the gracious thing to do is to age out of concern, one way or the other, with fashion.

Comment: Re:"Harbinger of Failure" = Hipsters? (Score 2) 290 290

I thought hipsters all owned iPhone and Macbooks, and shopped at The Gap. I.e. they are all about conformity, fads and Buzzfeed.

No, those things are actually anti-hip. As soon as something gets big enough for Buzzfeed it's for a different audience.

"Hip" implies arcane knowledge possessed by a select few. A great band with a small local following is "hip"; when they make it big they're no longer "hip", although they may still be "cool". The iPhone is pretty much the antithesis of hip, no matter how cool it may be. If I were to guess what hipster phone model might look like, it might be something low-cost Indian android phone manufactured for the local market and not intended for export -- very rare and hard to get outside of India. Or even better, hard to get outside of Gujarat. Or even better only a few hundred were ever manufactured then the company went bankrupt and the stock was sold on the street in Ahmedabad. Provided that the phone is cool. Cool plus obscure is the formula for "hip".

It follows there is no such thing as "hip" retail chain. It's a contradiction in terms. A chain may position itself in its marketing as "hip", but it's really after what the tech adoption cycle refers to as "Early Majority" adopters.

Hipsters reject being the leading edge of anything; as soon as something becomes big, it is no longer hip. This means they're not economically valuable on a large scale, which some people see as self-centered and anti-social. Compare this to cosplayers; the media always adopts a kind of well-the-circus-is-in-town attitude when there's a con, but while they're condescending toward cosplayers the media can't afford to be hostile because those people are the important early adopters for economically valuable media franchises.

Let me give you a more authentic hipster trend than the one you named. Last year there was a fad for hipster men to buy black fedora hats from Brooklyn shops that cater to Hasidic men. While as soon as something gets big enough to draw media attention it's dead to hipsters, this fad illustrates the elements of hipster aesthetic: (1) resurrecting obscure and obsolete fashions; (2) exoticism or syncretism; and (3) authenticity.

Now from an objective standpoint there's no good reason to favor or disfavor fedoras as opposed to, say baseball caps. It's just a different fashion. Likewise there's no practical reason to value a hat from a owner-operated store in Brooklyn over an identical one purchased from Amazon. But it does add rarity value, and that's the key. Something has to be rare and unusual to be hip. As soon as hipness is productized it appeals to a different audience.

Comment: Re:The reason is more simple (Score 1) 657 657

good synopsis of the situation esp. of the leaf.
For a city, the leaf actually makes a lot of sense. I think that when they have a TRUE 120-150 MPC car, they will sell loads of them.

My understanding is that the leaf is going to be re-designed, not just increased the battery. Nissan has determined that style really does matter. In addition, they are going to increase the specs on it in terms of speeds. The idea that they have a 0-60 of 10 seconds is pathetic. They should have no more than a 7 (and even that is slow for an EV).

BTW, for what you described at the end, that is tesla model 3 in 2 years. 200+ MPC. $35K (and unlike the leaf, that is the BASE, not the upper end). And yes, it does have Linux. :)

Comment: Re:The reason is more simple (Score 1) 657 657

Plugshare? Really? And you own a tesla?
Here is what has been built and what is being built
And here is what will be built out over the next year.

Just out of curiosity, how long did it take? I am guessing that you just got it and are taking it for its first SC drive (everybody has to do one :) ). We are waiting until the new year, and will then get a Model S (possibly X, but I doubt it). Since it is my wife's car, she wants to pick up at the factory and drive home in it. Kind of a cool road trip. Hoping to meet some of the workers that actually worked on it. Personally, I would like to have them simply sign it.

Comment: Re:EVs are a PITA (Score 1) 657 657

When car makers are forced by tesla to build their EVs decently, then and only then, will you see those other car makers have similar sales to Tesla.
For the last year, all but the Tesla's sales have gone down. Part of that is more EVs coming on the market and THOSE old car makers EVs competing for similar space. However, when Tesla is out with the Model 3 in 2 years, it will make a HUGE dent in ICE car sales. Why? Because you will be looking at a car superior to the BMW 3 series, with under 6 seconds 0-60, 200 MPC, 140 MPH top speed, all for less than e-golfs, leafs, etc.

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