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Comment: Mercedes Owner Here (Score 1) 360

by longbot (#46797919) Attached to: Mercedes Pooh-Poohs Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential"
I own one of MB's older diesels 300TD), which have a certain reputation for durability. It really makes me sad how cheaply made their cars now are. I wouldn't touch a Benz made after the W124 era, they just seem like cheap junk that requires frequent and expensive service.

Tesla is doing damn near everything right in order to grow a brand. There is nothing more desirable in the price range today. My old oil burner will last me long enough to see a Tesla model I can afford (It'll take a while to fill in those next 300,000 miles) thanks to the kind of quality Mercedes USED to offer in a vehicle.

Comment: Re:Brilliant strategy: Pay more for less (Score 1) 298

by longbot (#46131549) Attached to: Price of Amazon Prime May Jump To $119 a Year
You seriously think they give a damn? I live in an apartment complex with package lockers, and I had a lazy mail carrier break the key off in one of the locks, making it unopenable. They chucked the key in my mailbox and left it there for three days. My options were to call USPS or take power tools to the locker. The latter would be a felony, as it was supposedly USPS property. I spent two hours on the phone before I got to the regional postmaster, and even then, they refused to do anything until I threatened legal action. I just wanted my goddamned package... And people wonder why I ship everything I can via FedEx.

Comment: Re:worth it to me, with the free shipping and vide (Score 1) 298

by longbot (#46131535) Attached to: Price of Amazon Prime May Jump To $119 a Year
Unless you are obscenely overqualified, and have either huge saving to pay rent/other expenses or don't have them at all (mom's basement?) being unemployed for several months while looking for a job that pays better than starvation wages (not an exaggeration at my last one, I had to choose between gas, food, and rent on a regular basis) isn't exactly an option. Since most people like not going hungry, building huge amounts of debt, or being homeless, we tend to keep the jobs we have.

Comment: Re:Still A Toy (Score 1) 627

by longbot (#44666769) Attached to: NHTSA Gives the Model S Best Safety Rating of Any Car In History
One of several reasons why I bought an older high-end car. It still has all the benefits of being made well, and still cost far less than some modern American or Japanese made plastic peice of crap. I'll buy electric one day. But until then, I have absolute confidence in my old Mercedes to keep clanking along. Regardless of how many years or miles between now and then.

Comment: Apple's Batteries... Good & Bad (Score 1) 363

by longbot (#44578955) Attached to: Studying the Slow Decay of a Laptop Battery For an Entire Year
I've owned various Apple portables (as well as PCs) since the Powerbook 170. Until I owned a G4 iBook, Apple's battery longevity was nothing different than the PC counterparts. I bought a used G4 powerbook when that model was 1.5-2 years old. When I got it, the battery was good for about 6 hours of solid average use. I had it for five years (only replacing it with this Macbook I have now last year) and in all that time, the battery only ever lost about 30% of it's capacity. I still saw a solid 4 hours of use out of it per charge. It was by far the longest I've ever had a laptop battery last (even keeping the comparison to Li-Ions). Comparatively, this Macbook never got great life (maybe 3hrs tops) but in over a year, I've yet to notice it losing any capacity. And in the past, a year is about all the time it ever took for previous laptops' batteries to hold zero charge at all. I had a Sony Vaio that killed it's battery every nine months, and before I bought the iBook, I was just used to a $50 replacement cost annually or so.

From this article (as well as what I've heard from others) at some point between this Macbook and the current models, the batteries or charging method Apple's used have significantly shortened the usable lifespans. Which will probably prove annoying when it eventually comes time to replace this machine in another 3-5 years.
Biotech

Scientists Seek Biomarkers For Violence 294

Posted by timothy
from the thoughtcrime-or-a-propensity-thereto dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A Newtown couple, both scientists, who lost their daughter in the school shooting, are wondering whether there were clues in the shooter's physiological makeup — his DNA, his blood, his brain chemistry. They are now involved in a search for biomarkers, similar to those that may indicate disease, for violence. They are raising money to help fund this research, but the effort is running into obstacles, in part, over ethical concerns. 'I'm not opposed to research on violence and biomarkers, but I'm concerned about making too big of a leap between biomarkers and violence,' said Troy Duster, a researcher at the University of California at Berkeley. There is concern that science may find biomarkers long before society can deal with its implications."
Science

Scientists Use Sound Waves To Levitate, Move Objects 78

Posted by samzenpus
from the they-like-to-move-it-move-it dept.
sciencehabit writes "The tragic opera Rigoletto may move you to tears, but here's a more literal application of the moving power of sound. Sound waves with frequencies just above human hearing can levitate tiny particles and liquid droplets and even move them around, a team of engineers has demonstrated. The advance could open up new ways to handle delicate materials or mix pharmaceuticals."

Comment: Re:Am I the only one? (Score 1) 455

by longbot (#43650693) Attached to: Why Your New Car's Technology Is Four Years Old
Thanks to A/B/C (and D, in wagons) pillers quadrupling in size, increasing focus on aerodynamics lowering visibility in modern vehicles (especially for tall people like myself), I'm less likely to get into a wreck in my antique because I can actually see the damn road!

I gladly give up the side curtain airbags and better rollover survivability for that 25 or so degrees of road that's now typically blocked. The best way to survive an accident is to avoid one, and the best way to avoid one is better view. Somehow, this principle seems to be lost on those designing cars nowadays.

I have seen quite a few newer vehicles so poorly maintained as to more than offset superior emissions control. The 2007 Ford Cobra blowing a giant cloud of blue smoke I saw a month or so ago is a great example of how newer != better. My three decade old diesel does not smoke. At all.

"More software projects have gone awry for lack of calendar time than for all other causes combined." -- Fred Brooks, Jr., _The Mythical Man Month_

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