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Comment Re:Easy solution (Score 0) 424

The problem isn't that dealers don't want to sell them to anyone if they can make a profit on them, it's that customers don't want to buy them. i.e. they're 1.6% of new car purchases (leaving out trucks,minivans, suvs, etc.. just comparing to cars).

So most sales guy's experience is that even if someone walks in wanting to ask about the latest electric car, they're really going to end up buying a gas car once they get the facts about range, battery life, etc..., so why not just sell them the gas car that makes more economical sense to them in the first place and not waste everyone's time.

Of course, the three left-wing elitist publications linked from the summary believe they need to run everyone else's life when it comes to purchasing "green", so they just can't understand that the vast majority of people don't want to throw away their money and time on an environmental status symbol, so they blame the dealer. Glad their buddies don't control things like light bulb regulations, or we wouldn't be allowed to buy less expensive bulbs, either.... oh wait...

Comment Re:Extrapolating from two anecdotes (Score 0) 424

The summary links three different left-wing (for the US) news sources complaining about dealers because electric car sales aren't as high in the US as their wishful thinking believes they should be.

In October 620K cars were sold in the U.S., of which 10K were plugin electric. That's right, 1.6% of cars. That's not counting the trucks, minivans, SUVs,etc.. Heck, they sell twice as many luxury (not regular) SUVs a month than plug in cars.

How about for a reason they don't sell, almost nobody wants to buy one because they don't make economic sense for the vast majority of people who want to use their cars more for driving places then making an expensive environmental fashion statement? Without taxpayer subsidies, virtually none would be sold. Even with subsidies, it's more economical to buy a gas car, even if you include the gas and total repair costs for both over their effective mileage life.

People aren't stupid, but environmental elitists at the NY Times, Mother Jones and Green Car Reports think they know better than all the car purchasers out there what they should be buying and if they aren't buying it, it must be some sales guy's fault. What a load of B.S...

Comment Not the first full recovery from space (Score 1) 121

SpaceShip One touched space and all elements were recovered and flew to space again.

BO's demonstration is more publicity than practical rocketry. It doesn't look like the aerodynamic elements of BO's current rocket are suitable for recovery after orbital injection, just after a straight up-down space tourism flight with no potential for orbit, just like SpaceShip One (and Two). They can't put an object in space and have it stay in orbit. They can just take dudes up for a short and expensive view and a little time in zero gee.

It's going to be real history when SpaceX recovers the first stage after an orbital injection, in that it will completely change the economics of getting to space and staying there.

Comment Re:Another in a long series of marketing mistakes (Score 1) 137

You'd need a popular product to pull off obtaining second-clientage from governments, and you'd need not to reveal that your device had legal intercept.

This is just a poorly-directed company continuing to shoot itself in the foot. It's not made its product desirable for government, or for anyone else.

Comment Another in a long series of marketing mistakes (Score 2) 137

There's a truism in marketing that you can only differentiate your product on the parts that the customer sees and uses. Blackberry just can't learn this lesson. They tried differentiating on the OS kernel, which the customer never sees. And now on an insecurity feature that the customer won't be allowed to use. It's been a protracted death spiral, but it's a continuing one.

Comment What's Wrong with the Hobbit? (Score 2) 174

The Hobbit books are to a great extent about race war. The races are alien and fictional, but they are races, and the identification of good or bad is on racial boundaries. This isn't all that unusual in the fantasy genre, or even some sci-fi.

Lots of people love those books. And there's lots of good in them. To me, the race stuff stuck out.

Comment Re:Apple Music (Score 4, Insightful) 460

Please, please, please stop making everything an "intuitive" icon with no easy way to get text to tell you what a button is supposed to do.

Not everyone is constantly using the same program and wants to just start guessing what menu icons do in the hopes of figuring out over time how to work the damn app!

That's my biggest issue with these minimalist pretty designs, half the time you can't figure out what the stupid menu options actually do, let alone find the one you figure should be in there but who knows what it looks like. Don't get me started on mysterious gestures being required for an app.

This lack of basic usability is one of the two major reasons Apple mobile products are banned for technical support in my family now. The other is the walled garden, but I digress.... /rant

Comment Re:We don't need "backdoors" (Score 1) 259

Put simply, there exist plenty of systems and techniques that don't depend on a third-party who could possibly grant access to secure communications. These systems aren't going to disappear. Why would terrorists or other criminals use a system that could be monitored by authorities when secure alternatives exist? Why would ordinary people?

That's a really easy answer -- terrorists use these simple platforms for the same reason normal people do: because they're easy to use. Obviously a lot of our techniques and capabilities have been laid bare, but people use things like WhatsApp, iMessage, and Telegram because they're easy. It's the same reason that ordinary people -- and terrorists -- don't use Ello instead of Facebook, or ProtonMail instead of Gmail. And when people switch to more complicated, non-turnkey encryption solutions -- no matter how "simple" the more savvy may think them -- they make mistakes that can render their communications security measures vulnerable to defeat.

I'm not saying that the vendors and cloud providers ALWAYS can provide assistance; but sometimes they can, given a particular target (device, email address, etc.), and they can do so in a way that comports with the rule of law in free society, doesn't require creating backdoors in encryption, and doesn't require "weakening" their products. And of course, it would be good if we were able to leverage certain things against legitimate foreign intelligence targets without the entire world knowing exactly what we are doing, so our enemies know exactly how to avoid it. Secrecy is required for the successful conduct of intelligence operations, even in free societies.

Comment Re:We don't need "backdoors" (Score 1) 259

Sure. One hypothetical example:

The communication has to be decrypted somewhere; the endpoint(s) can be exploited in various ways. That can be done now. US vendors could, in theory, be at least a partial aid in that process on a device-by-device basis, within clear and specific legal authorities, without doing anything like key escrow, wholesale weakening of encryption, or similar with regard to software or devices themselves.

The point is that when US adversaries use systems and services physically located in the US, designed and operated by US companies, there are many things that could be discussed depending on the precise system, service, software, or device. Pretending that there is absolutely nothing that can be done, and it's either unbreakable, universal encryption for all, or nothing, is a false choice.

To sit here and pretend that it's some kind of "people's victory" when a technical system renders itself effectively impenetrable to the legitimate legal, judicial, and intelligence processes of even democratic governments operating under the rule of law in free civil society is curious indeed.

Chemist who falls in acid will be tripping for weeks.