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Comment Enough talk ... (Score 3, Interesting) 378

Lets get the skinny.
Is this car :
1. priced to be less than $25,000 ? If not, forget the mass market. Keep diddling your rich customers (declining market) for your kicks if you like.
2. designed with the right looks/capacity ? After looking at the pics and the trunk space, this car passes that test. Someone with real world needs can actually use this car for everyday use, instead of being a fashion statement at the Golden Globe awards.
3. designed so as to go into mass production (>60,000 cars per year in the first year, and potentially rising later) ? If not, forget it. This is related very closely to 1.
4. designed so that (battery pack cost / time to replacement) is no greater than $500 / year. If not, forget it. No one in their right mind would want even a cheap electric car that costs a few months' mortgage per year to upkeep.

See, its not so difficult to get a practical car on the road, if your priorities are straight. However, the fact that these people are teaming up with Mercedes is not a hopeful sign of any desire to go past the Hollywood set. In other words, they are setting themselves up for failure (out here in the *real* world). Had they gone with a cheap Japanese or Indian carmaker, it might have been exciting.

Comment Re:Exhibit 'A' for the theory of evolution (Score 1) 1306

As I have mentioned on the thread, Texas is one of the exceptions among red states in that it puts out slightly more dollars in taxes than it takes in federal aid.
However, given that the two previous Texan US Presidents (LBJ and GWB) have ended up pushing the country into needless wars, I am not sure that that slight advantage is worth it. Especially, when you factor in all this medieval stuff.

Comment Re:Exhibit 'A' for the theory of evolution (Score 1) 1306

As some of these people so gleefully point out - evolution is only a theory. Maybe sociological conditions of this sort should be considered a part of evolution. Kids raised in such intellectual darkness are less likely to become technologists or scientists, or make a lot of money this way, and more likely to similarly cripple the minds of their kids in turn. Maybe this process should be recognized as a form of evolution that will one day result in Homo Republitardus.

Who knows. As these people say, the final word on evolution is yet to be written.

Comment Exhibit 'A' for the theory of evolution (Score 4, Funny) 1306

Frankly some of these people are an embarrassment to the country. Maybe they can band together parts of the old Confederacy, make Chuck Norris its new Jefferson Davis, and get the hell out of the US. As it stands, most of these states survive on federal aid handouts (they take more in federal assistance than give in in taxes). The reason is simple - educated people and the high paying jobs that follow them don't want any part of their 19th century thump-the-good-book-to-get-all-answers "paradise".

With Chuck Norris, they can take their rightful place along with witch doctors of Africa, voodoo practitioners of the Caribbean, fundamentalists in rural Afghanistan and Pakistan, etc. and form a living human history museum of sorts, where we can bring our kids off and on to show how we used to live in the old times.

Evolution states among other things that not all members of the same species evolve/progress at the same rate. The odd century gap between these jokers and the rest of humanity is a startling confirmation of that.

Comment Its beyond just the numbers (Score 4, Interesting) 596

Linux is a more fundamental threat than Apple. Apple, fundamentally, is another commercial vendor - one that can be dealt with, cajoled, threatened, and God forbid, even bought. Plus, Apple's focus is on hardware.

Linux cannot be dealt with in that fashion. The business model is different. Microsoft can pull a Novell or a Xandros deal, but that either 1) ends up helping those distros, or, more worryingly, 2) does nothing to fight the multiheaded hydra that Linux is. Add the fact that it cannot be bought or threatened with any serious lawsuits, its a major headache for Microsoft. All Microsoft can do, is to slow down its rate of adoption, through a combination of tactics, and that is what they have been doing for the past 10 years. This is also good for Linux, as it is giving the developers breathing time and space to improve the quality. In looks department, they are already comfortably ahead of anything Vista or Leopard throw up. The only missing pieces of the puzzle are UI workflow design (where Apple has a superior product) and apps (where Microsoft is ahead). The latter is changing, while the former, is IMO languishing a bit for Gnome, though KDE4 has made some notable improvements.

Microsoft's overall domination of the PC is currently not under threat, but Linux's success is forcing it to slash profit margins and do other things that it would rather not have do. The reason is that unlike Apple, Microsoft's userbase is full of people who want quality for a good price and don't want to be fooled into paying for pricy stuff they really do not need.

It is not the year of linux on the desktop yet. But its coming, and that is giving people in Redmond sleepless nights.

Comment Re:Oh Boy (Score 4, Insightful) 131

I do not think you can. I have spent some time in India in the past. Judges there are not elected. Instead, they are like bureaucratic career professionals, selected through some examinations, and appointed by elected officials. A bit like our (and their) civil service.

That system has its pluses and minuses. The minus is pretty obvious in this case. The plus is that their judiciary, though as corrupt as the rest of the country, is under no political pressure. I would check this with some of our Indian friends here, but I think its pretty hard to fire a judge there.

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