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Comment: Re:Could elect not to sell any vehicles in Califor (Score 1) 462

by motokochan (#47101025) Attached to: Fiat Chrysler CEO: Please Don't Buy Our Electric Car

I have a 2011 Mazda 3 and am in California. My car doesn't have Daytime Running Lights. As far as I am aware, it's never been a legal requirement here, and likely not anywhere in the US. Some manufacturers offer them because of "safety", but it's not legally mandated.

I do agree with you on the light placement, some new models just aren't well designed in that area. Then again, I'm used to drivers not actually using their signals, so placement doesn't matter for that.

Comment: Re:Google more restrictive than Microsoft (Score 1) 194

by motokochan (#46443541) Attached to: Google Blocking Asus's Android-Windows "Duet"?

I'm not sure about the changes made with EFI booting, but for "classic" BIOS-mode booting, Windows does support multiple OS from its own bootloader. Check out info on the boot.ini (NTLDR). Heck, there's even a tool, EasyBCD, that will help you set up the booting options.

Of course, since most people that use desktops run only Windows, almost nobody has actually seen the Windows NT bootloader menu. Some of the people who used NT 3.51 or 4 might recognize it. In addition, since no consumer version of Windows until XP (the merge between the classic and NT codebases) supported multiboot, it's not a huge surprise that people don't know about this. That doesn't discount the practical issues too: editing boot.ini requires writing to an NTFS volume, which only really became possible on Linux with NTFS-3g, or you have to boot into Windows. If you were going to be using Linux primarily, it was much easier to just use lilo or grub for the bootloader.

Comment: Re:So what? (Score 1) 944

by motokochan (#45785289) Attached to: 60% of Americans Unaware of Looming Incandescent Bulb Phase Out

Three-way incandescent bulbs are still going to be sold under an allowance for specialty bulbs.

Modern LEDs are actually really good with dimmers, as long as you don't go for the ultra-cheap models. The cheap LEDs can't go as dim as the mid-price ones. I replaced some PARs in my hallway with store-brand Utilitech (Lowe's) LEDs and they work great with the dimmer I installed.

Personally, I can't complain about the color spectrum. If you're picky, Cree has their TW series that are really solid and project light just like the standard A19 incandescent to which people are familiar. The Cree bulbs even have real glass.

Comment: Re:Overrated (Score 1) 218

by motokochan (#45558739) Attached to: Unpublished J. D. Salinger Stories Leaked On Bittorrent Site
Keep in mind that with Fellowship, especially in the beginning, Tolkien was aiming the writing at children. The story started as an extension of The Hobbit, and got more serious as Tolkien developed the plot. That's why you have some really weird stuff like Tom Bombadil at the beginning. Of course, the writing remains awkward, but it loses simplicity quickly.

Comment: Re:what is it supposed to be (Score 1) 442

by motokochan (#44342949) Attached to: Microsoft's Surface RT Was Doomed From Day One

Wacom actually makes screens you can draw on, it's called the Cintiq. They are, however, quite a bit more expensive than the Surface Pro. Of course, the Surface Pro won't replace the larger model Cintiq devices.

The real problem is that the RT, which is the subject of the article, is a fancy tablet with a nice keyboard cover. There's no legacy application support, for obvious reasons to anyone reading Slashdot. There's no Wacom digitizer functionality. It does have Office, in the Desktop view. Microsoft failed on the RT by not having any obvious advantages over the major competitors in the space and by creating confusion between the RT, the Pro, and plain Windows 8. If a potential customer isn't sure which Windows tablet they need, they are just as likely to get an iPad or Android tablet because of the ecosystem those have.

Comment: Re:News at elleven (Score 2) 290

Yeah, the major US operators have done their best to make money no matter what way you go. If you pay full price for your phone or go for their subsidized offerings, you still have to pay $100/mo for service if you want a data plan. There is no service price difference either way. Often, you have to go on a two year contract either way as well. If you don't take their subsidized phone, they just make a better profit on you. That makes it advantageous for customers to upgrade every two years as there is no benefit to them for keeping an older device.

The only major operator that isn't that way is T-Mobile, where you got a lower price if you brought your own device. That was on their old "value" plans. Now they have fully unbundled the two things and you can get a phone with discount on an interest-free installment plan and choose whatever service you want. The downside is that T-Mobile has fairly poor coverage outside their major areas. I'm lucky to be in a region that has decent coverage with them. It will be interesting to see how the other majors respond to the new T-Mobile plans, but they might just be too big to care.

Of course, pre-paid MVNOs operate differently, but are subject to the whims of the majors upon whom they depend for connectivity.

I only wish such good mobile plans were here in the US, but the corporations have made sure to make it near impossible to happen.

Comment: Re:News at elleven (Score 1) 290

In the US, out of the four major carriers, only one (T-Mobile) offers post-paid service that is cheaper if you bring your own device. For all the others, the monthly price is not affected by if you take a subsidized phone or not. This makes it advantageous to constantly "upgrade" your phone when the contract is up. Doing so does lock you into a contract with high early termination fees, discouraging you from leaving. The only advantage of being month-to-month with those carriers is if you are planning to switch. Also, given the fragmentation in spectrum usage in the US, switching carriers usually requires purchasing a compatible phone.

The MVNOs such as Virgin Mobile, Boost Mobile, TracFone/Straight Talk/Net10, and others operate a little differently and may offer lower prices if you bring your own unlocked device.

For pre-paid service, you usually have to pay for the phone up-front, so there is often no subsidized price.

I understand that the situation is different outside the US, so it might very well be cheaper in other countries to pay the full retail price of the device.

Comment: Re:color condinated pipes ! (Score 2) 88

by motokochan (#41687109) Attached to: Photo Tour of Google's Data Centers

Looking at the chart, and reading their descriptions, it does look like they are following insustry-standard codes for what they mention at least. The only difference is that they are painting the whole pipe, not just marking by bands.

Examples:
Picture 5 (http://www.google.com/about/datacenters/gallery/#/all/5)
Caption: "The blue pipes supply cold water and the red pipes return the warm water back to be cooled."
The suggested markings ("Chilled Water Supply" and "High-Temp Hot Water Return") match the colors shown. You can also see labels on the pipes over on the right of the picture fitting the description.

Picture 9 (http://www.google.com/about/datacenters/gallery/#/all/9)
Caption: "The bright pink pipe in this photo transfers water from the row of chillers (the green units on the left) to a outside cooling tower."
The suggested markings state that this color should be used for condensate / steam, which seems to match the description. Likewise, you can see a label to the left on the green pipe stating "Chiller Condenser Water Supply". The suggested markings indicate this would also match. The label on the yellow pipe is "Chiller Condenser Water Return", which might possibly fit with "Low-Temp Hot Water Return" as suggested on the linked page.

So, it looks like they are following standard conventions as close as possible. Keep in mind this tour isn't just for people who live and breathe pipe standards, it's also for the average person too and is meant to be a little fun.

Comment: Re:In coming calls are free in India. (Score 1) 177

by motokochan (#41507285) Attached to: Indian Minister Says Telecom Companies Should Only Charge For Data

Nothing built-in, unfortunately, but Google Voice works well. If both parties have it, they can send messages to and from the application and it's all counted as data. Since it's a normal phone number, people without it can use standard SMS on their end. The only difference with normal SMS is that Google Voice doesn't handle short codes (those four or five digit numbers often used by marketers and special lists). If you want something even more cross-platform, Google Talk, which uses XMPP, also works great and is a full-fledged IM service.

Given the animosity between Apple and Google over the whole Android thing, I don't think they'll be working on or agreeing to any kind of cross-platform messaging system anytime soon. Even then, they'll run into issues with the cell carriers in the US who will be very upset over being cut out of revenue they used to get.

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