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Comment: Re:Gotta hand it to them... (Score 1) 49

by ndavis (#47323561) Attached to: Google I/O 2014 Begins [updated]

Honda doesn't go "Oh by the way, you can't use your Civic anymore, since we can't be bothered to support it, but to show how nice we are, we'll provide a toolkit to help you port goods from your trunk to another company's vehicle".

Actually Honda has done this with prior electric vehicles and are doing it with the new Honda Fit EVs that is currently available. They are lease only so they don't have to bother with support later.

Comment: Re:Who would have guessed? (Score 2) 217

You should go visit an organic farm. It is clearly not what you think it is.

This is true although it depends on the organic farm. I can't remember the name of the documentary I watched but basically the "Organic" label has been taken over by big Agriculture with them changing the definition to fit what they need.

Saying this you can still find true Organic farms where they don't use pesticides and care about the soil's longterm health they are just harder to find.

Comment: Re: Our patent system is totally broken (Score 2) 152

by ndavis (#46958391) Attached to: USPTO Approves Amazon Patent For Taking Pictures

Actually, Amazon claims it was for defensive purposes only.

In that case they only had to publish a blog post to generate prior art. And it would have been a lot cheaper. Or are you suggesting that Amazon don't know how patents work ?

Actually the real problem is the USPTO doesn't seem to know how patents should work anymore. My Father-in-law worked there for years and retired early because he liked to do research and prove patents had prior art. The new guys coming in would approve patents faster without checking for prior art or really checking into the claims. Granted my father-in-law was not a fun guy to work with as he liked invalidating patents with prior art, or not able being able to prove the patent works to the point he is convinced a few of the auto "accidents" he was in were not accidents

Comment: Re:No (Score 2) 398

by ndavis (#46816547) Attached to: Will the Nissan Leaf Take On the Tesla Model S At Half the Price?

The summary answers itself:

I just wish Nissan would ditch the weird styling while they're at it.

This is why Tesla is getting so much public attention: the cars they make look like cars people actually want to drive. Stop making every electric car look like a midget minivan (a miniminivan?) and more people would actually buy them.

This is part of the reason why I ended up with a Ford Focus Electric. My wife liked the fact it looked similar to the regular car rather then some unique shape that made people look at it.

Comment: Re:Nissan Dealers Hate the LEAF (Score 1) 335

by ndavis (#46333349) Attached to: Why Nissan Is Talking To Tesla Model S Owners
I looked at many EVs before I purchased a Ford Focus Electric. Here are my reasons for going with the Ford:

1) Decent Price (Tesla was too expensive once options are added)
2) Thermal Battery Management (Battery is heated and cooled like the Volt which helps extend the life of the battery)
3) Good Lease Deal (260 per month with nothing down was cheapest of the Leases)
4) Availability (Unlike the Honda Fit EV it was available at the dealer with no waitlist)
5) Seats 5 (The Volt was my favorite but seating 4 was a no go as my family of 4 takes all the seats)
So far I'm very happy with the Focus EV and would recommend them.

However I will mention the shortcomings:
1) Battery range when it is cold drops to around 45 miles when it is really cold (0 degrees F) as the Thermal system kicks in.
2) The Estimated range can jump around a lot while you are driving
3) I can't find a way to set the car to take cabin air and pass it over the windshield. This means it is taking outside air and heating it which is very inefficient.
4) Battery eats into trunk space although I have found this to not be an issue some will.

Now I really feel for EVs to compete the range needs to be over the 100 mile range as it is a psycological barrier just like pricing something at $99.99 rather than $100.

My hope is still for a vehicle like Via is selling a large 3 row SUV that can go first on electric then switch to gas for any trip.

Comment: Re:Something is wrong (Score 1) 311

by ndavis (#43751175) Attached to: Bill Gates Regains the Position of World's Richest Person

Put this into perspective. In 1970 a man earning $35,000 a year could afford to own a home, a car, and afford to have his wife stay at home to raise the kids. If the wife worked too then they probably had a second summer cabin somewhere.

in 2010 a man earning $35,000 is barely living above the poverty line.(depending on location) you can't support a wife to raise the kids, let alone anything else.

The average worker in the USA in 1970 earned $19.20 In 2010 the average worker earned $19.70

In 1970 the average CEO earned $500,000 in 2010 the average CEO earned $5,000,000

Now tell me what is wrong with that picture? Circuit city is my favorite example. in 2008 after a year of bad sales the CEO of circuit city came up with a plan to save $10 million over 3 years. He fired the top 3,000 highest paid non mangers and rehired new people in their place earning minimum wage. Wall street was happy, and he and the board paid themselves $5 million in bonuses immediately.

With in a year Circuit city was gone completely. why? because he fired the top 3000 sales people. He could have saved $10 million dollars immediately that year by cutting his and the rest of the executive boards salaries. They weren't doing anything anyways.

executive and upper level bonuses have gone out of control. Goldman Sachs had to borrow money from he US Government so it could pay bonuses. I always thought that if the company did poorly bonuses were to be cut first not last, but for the rich they payout bonuses and then close the company down.

While this is exaggerated quite a bit it does still have one major point that I see. The people at the bottom that spend all their income and save very little because they can't afford to are being squeezed whereas the people at the top who don't spend all of their income get to save even more. While saving money is good in general this is not true for an economy based on consumption as someone at the bottom will spend the money so another person/company will benefit.

The wealthy take the extra money and while some spend it on lavish things such as houses, cars, Yachts, many invest it and this is the big change that has happened since the 70s, the internet has made it where a wealthy person does not need to pay huge fees anymore for investing in the market. In the past some fees were as high as 15% for investing large amounts of money in the market but in today’s internet they tend to have a fixed low cost. This has made the one fee the wealthy paid (and kept low earners out of the market) disappear. So you have rising incomes at the top with less expenses for investing not to mention less taxes on those investments.

Last point I'll make is that I don't see an issue with high CEO pay but the market has forced CEOs to look at short term gains (month to month) instead of long term gains 5-10 years down the road and this has caused the issues we are seeing today when someone has no real interest in the long term growth of a company but instead focuses on short term gains it can cause a person to do really well at first but implode over the long run.

Comment: Re:Still not good enough for me. (Score 2) 303

by ndavis (#43677793) Attached to: How Netflix Eats the Internet

I feel that way about cable. Too much content I don't want, advertising, and shows are played via some schedule instead of streamed when I want. Sure there are workarounds like DVRs, but that is just a bandaid on a huge gaping wound.

I love the DVR you pay the cable company more each month so you can watch shows when you want because they like money!

This is why I cancelled cable TV and purchased a $40 antenna for my house and now use Amazon Prime for streaming service.

Comment: We will never run out...But (Score 1) 663

by ndavis (#43599311) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What If We Don't Run Out of Oil?
I had a Geologist come into my class once and state "We will never run out of oil, but it will become so expensive to extract that no one will pay for it." I think this quote is fairly true eventually oil will become so expensive that we will only use it when necessary and we will never be able to pull it all out of the ground.

Granted this could happen centuries from now but it does not mean we should not be looking to other ways of producing power so we can use oil in other ways after all we are using over 80 million barrels a day (last time I checked) and we can't support that type of production forever.

Comment: Re:Quantum computing and bitcoins? (Score 1) 490

by ndavis (#43269427) Attached to: Will Legitimacy Spoil Bitcoin?

p>What this all means is that if someone were to bring an astronomical amount of computing power to bear on mining bitcoins, the difficulty of mining bitcoins would automatically compensate, and the addition of new bitcoins into the marketplace would proceed at the same rate. Granted, the person at the head of all this computing power would be the recipient of most new bitcoins, but the currency would not be destabilized (at least through computing power alone.) There would be other things said person could do to destabilize bitcoins, though, through either Financial or Technical means. They could hoard all BTC they mine, causing the price of BTC to rise. They could sell BTC they mine at ridiculously low prices, causing the price of BTC to plummet. If they comprise more than 60% or so of all computing directed at bitcoin mining, they could hijack the blockchain, and would be able to spend bitcoins they don't own, or double spend their own bitcoins.

I'm fairly sure that anyone who attempts to hijack bitcoins through raw computing power would end up spending more on said computing power than they would earn from bitcoins. So unless a malicious billionaire or an intrepid hacker organization with a few supercomputers in their botnet decide one day that they really don't like bitcoins, it doesn't seem likely to happen.

I have to say this is the one thing that does worry me about bitcoins. The way transactions are added is when the block chain is solved which is dependant on computing power and it resets every 2010 blocks (or something like that). Well what would happen if a couple of Governments brought a few supercomputers on to the network and greatly increased the difficulty and then dropped out?

This would make it where the current network would not be able to get to the next link in the chain for say a few months and the blocks would slow to a crawl. I have seen a few other ideas where they should have the network recalculate the chains differently which might help reassure some people.

Comment: Re:The First Rule (Score 1) 234

by ndavis (#42336003) Attached to: Instagram: We Won't Sell Your Photos
I have to admit I'm curious as to how they bypass certain laws if they do licence these pictures to advertisers.

As an example if I take a photo of a friend I cannot just sell the photo without a model release form. I highly doubt instagram can just bypass this same form and sell a picture of someone I took for advertising purposes If you really want to challenge this take lots of pictures of places whos images are trademarked such as the Flatiron building in NYC and I'm sure one will be used without paying the building which from what I understand cannot be used without the owners permission.

Granted taking a picture of your food would be something that they could use without much issue as long as no person is visible.

Comment: Re:patent office = fail (Score 5, Interesting) 362

by ndavis (#40998571) Attached to: Samsung: Apple Stole the iPad's Design From Univ of Missouri Professor

If Samsung can find all these examples of prior art, how is it that Apple was granted patents in the first place? These are hardly the only examples of Apple being given patents on things that were obviously done by others well before they "innovated" them.

As my father-in-law was a patent clerk he said they stopped checking into prior art when he left in the 90s and they seemed to rubber stamp multiple things. He tended to take pride in searching for prior art as he didn't want a company to get patents on existing things. This was lost as they brought in managers who went with quotas rather then actually vetting everything thoroughly.

Comment: Re:So... not related to light at all really (Score 1) 132

by ndavis (#37641536) Attached to: Graphene Creates Electricity When Struck By Light

This has absolutely nothing to do with light, and instead has absolutely incredible implications for power generation. Graphene geothermal probes for more efficiency, graphene cooling tubes for maximum gas/oil/coal electric power generation, nuclear power (bonus: extra radiation protection)... Hell, strap graphene to just about any process that involves waste heat and get power for "free!"

This would be perfect in a car if they could use it to cool the engine as well as generate elecity without a generator.

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