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Comment: Re:Tesla needs just a few more things (Score 1) 336

by mcrbids (#46784243) Attached to: Mercedes Pooh-Poohs Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential"

but the pure electric car isn't going to be ready until a) massive updates to the power grid b) swappable batteries c) battery tech that lets cars go 500-1000 miles on a charge.

Why the boolean logic?

In case you hadn't noticed, pure electric cars are stomping the ever loving crap out of the luxury/performance car market. So long as the cars are selling at a growing pace, they are here to stay and are ready for the people who continue to buy them.

And as long as this happens, manufacturers will make continuing improvements to the cars they make.

A) The power grid is constantly being worked on. As people buy more cars, the grid will be upgraded to match demand.

B) Swappable batteries might be one of those improvements. But they don't seem to be required, at least not yet.

C) 1000 miles on a charge? Show me any common car that gets anything like that range.

Lots of people expect the world to change all of a sudden. But it doesn't really. Instead, continuing incremental changes gradually make the world into a different place. Those incremental changes have rather drastically changed how people interact in just the 30 or so years that I can personally remember.

Comment: Re:Wat? (Score 1) 580

by mcrbids (#46764237) Attached to: How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?

Your points are valid, in a sense. But do you really think that people are going to stop trusting Open Source technologies? What isn't part of the conversation is just how terribly horrible OpenSSL actually is. It's a readability nightmare. The patch makes my eyes bleed, makes me weep gently to myself as I rock myself in an attempt to succor the horrific nightmare that code of this quality is what drives most Internet "security".

I so sorely wish more consideration was given towards NACL as a replacement for OpenSSL. It's clean, elegant, readable. Bugs will be shallower because readers might have *some idea* what is going on. And with an LGPL license, it should be quite embeddable.

IMHO, OpenSSL should be toss summarily as soon as possible. Beneath its horrific API and code lurk untold numbers of nascent, undiscovered holes no doubt already being exploited by our good friends at the NSA.

Writing security code is *hard*, folks. Making it hard to read only makes it impossible to debug...

Comment: Re:I'll wait and see (Score 1) 117

by mcrbids (#46674185) Attached to: The Verge: Google Is Working on a TV Box Of Its Own

Well, that is certainly possible if that's important to you. .

You also could have clicked the link I provided,l and perhaps typed the word "ethernet"... There are lots of models covering many different use cases. My unit works great over wifi, which is great since I have no Ethernet in my bedroom...

Comment: Re:Polishing turds (Score 1) 117

by mcrbids (#46674143) Attached to: The Verge: Google Is Working on a TV Box Of Its Own

Google TV isn't a failure, it's just not the only success.

I have a Google TV stick and I love it! It is just a tablet that uses my TV as its screen and a wireless keyboard as its input. It is about the size of a thumb drive. It cost $40 on Amazon (.search for mk808b to get the exact model I'm watching Hulu+ on as I write this)

See my post history for details: this is quite successful. I have no idea what Google would want to improve...

Comment: Re:I'll wait and see (Score 1) 117

by mcrbids (#46674119) Attached to: The Verge: Google Is Working on a TV Box Of Its Own

Play store: no problem. How else do you think I installed Netflix,, Hulu, uTorrent, and all the other apps?

Seriously, just imagine a tablet running on your TV using a mouse/remote instead of a touch screen. That's what I use every day. (And what is currently playing Sherlock Holmes a la Hulu; my wife loves that show)

Comment: Re:I'll wait and see (Score 4, Informative) 117

by mcrbids (#46674037) Attached to: The Verge: Google Is Working on a TV Box Of Its Own

I have a "Google TV" and I love it! Also called a "TV Stick" they are best sellers on Amazon with many models to choose from starting at around $25. I bought an MK808B for my bedroom TV and it's hard not to love.

1) It cost $40.

2) It uses my already existing TV

3) It streams Hulu, Netflix, CBS, NBC, and any other TV network that bothers with an Android app over wifi.

4) It uses about 2.5 watts of power.

5) It's not much bigger than a thumb stick.

6) It works seamlessly with an "air mouse" wireless remote.

7) It plays MP4 videos fluidly and runs uTorrent without issue.

8) It has room for two USB devices and an SD card.

9) Effortless support for 1080p resolution.

What more do you want from set top box that actually hides behind the TV?

Comment: But Terrizm! (Score 0) 233

by mcrbids (#46666771) Attached to: Most Expensive Aviation Search: $53 Million To Find Flight MH370

Seriously: a major airplane "disappears" despite evidence that it wasn't really crashed. Everybody's wondering who dunnit and how, and whether or not it will become another impromptu bomb.

There's a *lot* you can carry on a 777. $50 mil is a lot, but the amount of damage such a plane could do with a little direction makes $50 mil look like peanuts. And it's pretty clear that anybody with the skills to make it disappear as completely as it did is capable of more than just a little direction.

Comment: Lacking a point (Score 1) 88

by mcrbids (#46653931) Attached to: Amazon's Fire TV: Is It Worth Game Developers' Time?

The problem here is that the product has no specific point to it - it exists *solely to produce vendor lock in*. Since it's little more than a re-badged Android TV stick there's really nothing special at all about it. This, in a market space that's saturated with me-too also-rans.

It's not that Amazon's offering is horrible, it's that it's not notable in a field littered with the corpses of other not-notable failed products.

Comment: Re:Hypermiling (Score 1) 364

by mcrbids (#46653773) Attached to: Your Car Will Tell You How To Hit the Next Green Light

BTW: Very few "normal" people are actually aware of hypermiling. Techies/nerds more so.

You can pretty significantly improve your fuel economy by using a "hybrid" approach, which I do to raise the average fuel economy of my car by about 20%, which is significant. This, by the way, includes enough "pedal to the medal" incidents that I do get to enjoy the 200 HP engine in my beautiful convertible!

Simple things, like trailing cars going through timed lights, letting off the gas a mile or so before your turn off so you bleed speed from 65 to 50 or so before exiting and watching a half mile ahead for red lights can improve fuel economy significantly without pissing people off. If you were in the car while I drove, it's likely you wouldn't notice unless I said something.

Comment: Re:Its called paying attention (Score 4, Informative) 364

by mcrbids (#46638799) Attached to: Your Car Will Tell You How To Hit the Next Green Light

Ha ha... paying attention goes oh so much deeper than countdown timers...

What most people don't know is that you can improve your fuel economy rather dramatically using a variety of techniques commonly referred as "Hyper-miling". I didn't think much of it myself until I got a car that has a fuel economy computer built into the dash, and then it started to click.

See, brakes are death to fuel economy. Sounds obvious, but what isn't obvious is what that translates to in real world use.

Example: negotiating a red light. Most people don't pay attention to red lights until they are half a block or so away. If it's red, they start to apply the brake, and then as the light stubbornly refuses to turn green, they apply more and more brake until they stop behind the next car. Which is exactly the *wrong* way to get best fuel economy. Instead, you should be looking ahead as far as possible, and apply the brake as early as possible to reduce speed as early as possible to increase the amount of time it takes to cover the block distance while losing as little forward momentum as possible. Instead of waiting until the last minute and losing all forward momentum, you brake early and keep perhaps 30 MPH. This means that you don't have to accelerate to 30 MPH and you save that much fuel.

It was rather surprising to me how much difference I could accomplish using these techniques! On the freeway, if I drive around 50 MPH unless going up a hill, then more like 40-45, the normal 25-28ish MPG becomes closer to 34 MPG. Around the town, normally, my car (a 4-seat Chrysler convertible) gets around 18-20 MPG, but using these techniques about braking and reduced acceleration, I can get over 30 MPG on town surface streets! (flat land) Unfortunately, I do have to get used to being flipped off in order to achieve this.

In any event, you *can* get a rather sharp increase in fuel economy by paying attention to the forces of momentum, timing and friction.

The test of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts. -- Aldo Leopold