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Comment Re:So, Microsoft is a social leech! (Score 5, Insightful) 103

Microsoft contributes something (its patents - so others can use them and make money)

Scenario A: Google back when they initially developed Android ran into a design roadblock. They saw no way to solve the particular problem until one of the developers read a MS patent that solved their issue. MS is therefore paid royalties on their patent.

Scenario B: Google developed Android without ever having heard of any MS patents. Once Android became popular MS lawyers studied their patents trying to stretch them enough to find infringement. They bully the Android phone makers into paying billions. In this scenario Android would have been exactly the same product without the MS patents and MS is being paid billions for nothing.

Scenario A is what the patent system was supposed to be. Scenario B is reality most of the time today. Question is if the few cases of Scenario A justifies all the Scenario B's.

Comment Re:Comcast and Time Warner, a match made in . . . (Score 1) 112

I've lived in Comcast, Cox, and Timewarner cable areas. I'm commenting solely on Internet service, but Timewarner has far and away been the best.

Same experience here. I've had TWC internet-only for 5 years. No outages, no data cap, no artificial slowdowns on "non-approved sites" (AFAIK). There's a local phone number on the bill. The times I've needed service I called it rather than the 800 number and each time I've talked to an on-shore call center that was able to fix the issue.

Now Comcast on the other hand... yuck.

Comment Re:Hmm... I thought it was *my* vehicle. (Score 1) 157

At least in the case of Tesla, the update will only be done if you allow it. The screen displays a message that an update is available and gives you the option of scheduling it for later that day, immediately, or you can close the message. If you close it it will nag you a few times but will eventually stop.

But I could see other manufacturers not giving the option to refuse an update.

Comment Re:I use Gentoo - but not for much longer (Score 1) 175

If package 1.2.3 is incompatible with my Xorg, I'll mask 1.2.3 and newer. There is a slight chance, however, that 1.2.4 will be compatible, but it doesn't matter, since Portage made me masked out 1.2.3 and newer, I'll never even know.

Gentoo lets you mask only a specific version of a package with =package-1.2.3.

Comment Re:uhh (Score 5, Insightful) 549

In Musk's case, though, I don't think he's crazy. I just think he's a charismatic con man looking to line his own pockets by selling a pipe dream.

Really? The man was independently wealthy. He could have bought his own island and lived in luxury the rest of his life. Instead he plowed his entire fortune into Tesla and SpaceX and was a couple of weeks away from losing everything. If the 4th SpaceX launch had failed like the previous 3 or if they hadn't figured out the drivetrain problems on the Tesla roadster he would have nothing now.

I'd think it's pretty clear that Musk is motivated by other things than money. You may agree or disagree with his dream, but there's no question the man is sincere.

Comment Re:How does the quote go...? (Score 1) 267

My bad. I always thought that GM's main business was branding and marketing cars. Guess it's not, so what else is it?

Unfortunately GM figured out that there was much more money to be made in financing car buyers (GMAC). Before the bankruptcy GM was widely considered a financial institution who also occasionally made cars.

Lutz really is a car guy and I have much respect for him. He has had a very frustrated career at GM, fighting accountants and finance guys through the years.

Comment Re:Why dilute the brand? (Score 1) 393

They SHOULD compete with supercars. No one, ultimately, is going to be able to compete with Ford or GM if they ever actually decide to make electric cars with the same seriousness they devote to building trucks.

That's the whole point of Tesla. Musk has stated several times that they want to push the big guys (Toyota, GM, Ford, VW etc) into building real electric cars, not just compliance vehicles. Tesla doesn't want to be the only on the market, they want to be one of many. That's why they opened up their patents.

Comment Re:What they dont tell you ... (Score 1) 393

First show a proper cart of how the batteries charge capacity decreases with time.

Miles driven is a much better metric as charge/discharge cycles ages a battery more than age.

Such a chart was done on the Tesla forum where owners reported miles and the max range after a charge. The chart showed a very small deterioration with well over 90% capacity remaining after 100K miles (the highest mileage reported).

Second what proportion of the cars cost is the batteried which will have to be replaces in N years time

We haven't found the limit for Tesla batteries yet. How will we know what a replacement battery will cost in X years where X could be upwards of 15-20 years?

What is the 'carbon' footprint of the vehicles manufacture and how does that compare to the typical combustion engine cars manufacture and lifetime use.

All aluminum (easily recyclable) car with very few moving parts and no tail pipe emissions vs just about anything else... I'd think it compares very favorably.

"The fundamental principle of science, the definition almost, is this: the sole test of the validity of any idea is experiment." -- Richard P. Feynman