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Comment Angels on the Head of a Pin (Score 1) 222

Arguing about the safety of fully autonomous vehicles is an exercise is futile theoretics. We know that if they work exactly as we imagine how they should work, it would be safer. But the question is *can* they be perfect? Or *will* they be perfect? Or even *when* will they be perfect?

Arguing about how safe 100% autonomous vehicles are is like debating if a Pegasus can fly faster than Griffin.

How about we stop reporting on how people feel about non-existent/unproven technology and just report the testable advancements in said technology until they're at the point to where the technology is ready for the market... and then report on adoption and experience?

Comment Re:Typical of Musk (Score 1) 142

The promise wasn't simply self-landing first-stage rockets. It was a commitment to provide low cost orbital launch vehicles and responsive launch services, on a recurring basis, using a mature vehicle design and a commercially derived booster to meet mission/payload requirements. (2005) It's safe to say that that expectation hasn't been met (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Falcon_9_and_Falcon_Heavy_launches#Past_launches).

The promise wasn't "electric cars that you can buy now", it was "electric cars that anyone can afford funded by electric sports cars for the rich". That didn't happen. The public funded the subsidization of the electric sports cars and the "affordable" EV is happening as the result of massive public and private investment. And the affordable vehicle won't even have the features promised.

Home power storage solutions was never a promise because we have still yet to approach the point where people NEED to store their own power. It's a solution for a problem that doesn't exist and has come as a side-effect of Tesla needing to source their own batteries (and thus have a battery factory) and then sell the batteries they'll over-produce.

Someone mentioned solar roof tiles. Those still aren't here yet and they won't ever be at the price of replacing a roof outright as promised. It will only be comparable in price when you factor in receiving all possible incentives (in the long run) and the irrational idea of financing a $7,500 roof with a 30-year loan (thus artificially increasing the cost of a regular roof). It's all here: https://www.tesla.com/solarroo... . And even then, it's not likely going to be the whole roof full of tiles.

Here's the thing-- I don't think these projects will fail in the long run. I know that the private transportation of goods to space is a current reality and it will only improve with time. I know that EVs (or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles) are the future of private transportation. I know that we'll eventually have a majority of autonomous vehicles on the road. I know that when we move more towards ubiquitous solar (were sensible) and wind, we'll need better ways of storing energy to deal with grid spikes and valleys. But it won't be nearly as quick as Musk says and it won't be nearly as cheap. Someone has to pay and even if it's not out of pocket for you right now, you're likely paying for it in your taxes via subsidies. Musk isn't a financial or technological genius. He's not the scientist or researcher making these things happen. He's not Tony Stark. He's an ideas guy and a hype-man.

... because there's no way in Hell that Tony Stark would believe that boring holes under a metropolis or the hyperloop would EVER actually work. Those ideas are guaranteed vaporware.

Comment Re:I gave up (Score 3, Insightful) 111

This is exactly how I feel, now. If there's a news article or headline that uses any kind of suggestive emotional descriptor, I turn off.

"Shameful Statements from the President. Critics Respond." -- Newsflash: "Critics criticize!"
"Horrific Accident on the Freeway..." -- Yep. Happens literally every single day of the year.
"Person Stuns Other People" -- I don't care about the emotional responses of other people. Shocked, offended-- doesn't matter. Just tell me what the person did/said.
"Sad Tale of Person Who Feels Bad Now" -- Ok... but what led to the feels?

If you just trim it down to the necessary, journalistic info, you find that most of these articles or TV segments should be 20% their presented length. Just tell me what happened! I'll know figure out my own thoughts, opinions, and feelings on the matter!

I'm not kidding when I say that I would happily pay $30/month for a news service that committed to leaving all that crap out and just reported like the following.

Headline: "President Does This Action", Body: On , President did this. These countries have acted in support. These countries are filing official protests. Here's the legal/historical basis for this action (link).

Headline: "Business Hypeman Unveils Design for Thing", Body: On , Business Hypeman revealed the design for a Thing. The thing is not functional yet. Business Hypeman says when released it will do that. Here's the basis for the technology (link).

Headline: "Law Proposed to Change How This is Done", Body: On , a legislature put forth a bill to make this process standard. Supporters include these guys. Detractors include these guys. Lobbyists involved from these industries have taken sides. Here's the legislation (link) and an analysis from an unbiased source (link).

Comment When Smartphones got too big... (Score 1) 214

Off the top of my head, here's how I've experienced portable music players changing:

1. Cassette Player ("Walkman")
2. CD Player
3. MP3-capable CD player, mini-CD player
4. Proprietary medium player (mini-disc, etc.)
5. MP3 player with internal storage, some expandable (Diamond Rio, Creative Nomad, Archos Jukebox, Apple iPod, Sandisk Sansa)
6. Smartphones (using local media collections) & surviving MP3 players in the market
7. Smartphones (using streaming media collections) & re-emerging MP3 players in the market (Fiio, Apple, Sony, many other audio-focused companies)

But then smartphones began to change themselves. They kept getting BIGGER and people no longer felt comfortable needing to lug around a phablet on bike rides, runs, or in their pocket while just walking around the office/house. So, "wearables" hit the market as a solution to wanting both LARGE phone screens and portability. Most people think "smartwatch" and "fitness tracker" when it comes to wearables, but the iPod Shuffle (being part of the "iSuite") might have been one of the first modern wearables.

Opinion

I think we're going the wrong direction with the balance of of the size of the smartphone and the utility of wearables. Today's newest smartwatches are now coming with GPS/GLONASS, app libraries, and direct cellular connectivity and as a result they're getting VERY large. We don't want to carry around phablets while exercising, so we're taking other small devices and making them larger, separating out sub-devices for processes that were previously relegated to smartphones (The Mighty for Spotify playlists, Pebble Core for GPS/alerts, etc.).

But instead of a person owning 3 different GPS trackers, 4 wi-fi chips, and 3 cellular transmitters, why aren't we just focusing on further shrinking the smartphone has a hub for all the processes while developing a separate device to make the smartphone SEEM bigger? One such device is being kickstarted right now (Superscreen). This concept allows you to use your smartphone via a tablet-sized proxy.

Thus, you can get a physically small smartphone, carry it everywhere, connect everything you want to it (BT headphones, smartwatch, etc.) and when you want the LARGE form factor for reading, you pull the "big screen" from your portfolio, coffee table, or desk. Additionally, all of those other devices will need to charge less frequently because your phone is the one doing all the heavy transmitting.

Comment Re:That'll change too (Score 2) 156

THIS! The greatest myth of attracting large employers is that they won't move to City A because taxes are "too high". The truth is that neither their big money earners want to live there nor do they think they'll be able to attract the necessary skilled employee pool.

People want to live in nice places and, as Seattle, San Diego, Orange County, Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Portland, etc. all show, they'll pay for it. They'll pay for transit. They'll pay for good schools. They'll pay for bikeability. They'll pay for wide sidewalks, shade trees, and farmer's markets. But those things actually have to exist in some way, shape, or form first.

If you try to make your city a tax-free zone, you prevent ALL THOSE SERVICES from developing and thus you will never attract new businesses that actually employ people.

Comment If you can't force someone to work... (Score 4, Insightful) 364

If you can't force legally press someone into labor, then there's no point reporting on anyone that is unwilling to or incapable of working.

If you know that 4.5% of Britons want work, but can't find it, then you can act on that information: find them, find open jobs within their skill-sets, and make connections.

If you know that 21.5% of working-age Britons aren't working, you have to do a LOT MORE work to filter out who can/can't work and who won't work.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 308

By applied, you presumably mean "had some ideas to tweak other peoples' aged ideas"? He had yet to "develop" anything except for very small values of "develop". If he has "developed" the Hyperloop, then I have "developed" a universal job search engine-- that being I've thought about it a lot and made some rough sketches of some relational DBs.

Comment Re:It makes sense. (Score 1) 708

The VAST majority of bicyclists also drive automobiles and, in doing so, pay gas taxes.

More importantly, though, anyone who makes money in the US pays into the road system. The gas tax has been insufficient to fund the roads for the last 30 or so years and income taxes have been covering the difference.

"General taxpayers at all levels of government now subsidize highway construction and maintenance to the tune of $69 billion per year – an amount exceeding the expenditure of general tax funds to support transit, bicycling, walking and passenger rail combined." http://www.uspirg.org/reports/...

Thus, anyone who DOESN'T drive a car, but still holds a job, is paying MUCH more than their fair share of the road (that they can't/don't use).

Comment They ARE worth it... if you don't upgrade. (Score 1) 291

iPhones are NOT expensive... if you don't upgrade during every cycle. An iPhone 5c still runs just fine right now. There has been no change to internet browsing, text messaging, and phone calls that make it necessary to upgrade the 5c.

However, if you fancy yourself a photographer and thus need the best iPhone for the best camera. OK.
If you're a serious mobile gamer and need the best graphics and a phablet screen. OK
But, similarly, you need to understand that you're trying to get multiple high-performance devices squeezed into one-- and that's going to cost if it's the best on the market.

So it's not really, "This is too expensive" but instead "Is it really worth it to me at this price?".

Comment Re:Vaporware (Score 1) 110

Thank you for saying this! There are too many people online who can't differentiate between renders and reality so they don't read the article and they see "an object" and thus assume that said object is physically real and at least nearing production. Futurists do this a lot. "So and so is doing this! Amazing!" But when you read further, you see that it's an artist's rendering based on some ideas that a guy wrote on a napkin.

They may be at some point in planning, investigating, financing, etc. ... but they certainly do not HAVE a product.

Comment Re:False Scarcity (Score 1) 245

You're mixing terms but not 100% correct. Carpool/HOV lanes are rarely toll lanes so they're not sold back to you. They're restricted lanes for vehicles with 2+ or 3+ people in the vehicles. In all reality, if you gain a carpool partner, chances are that that person is sharing the cost of the commute and parking with you and thus you're obviously saving money.

However, you are correct in the effort to create artificial scarcity. And that's not hidden. The goal of a carpool lane is not necessarily to benefit those who would already carpool without one, but to entice those who are not carpooling to do so. The fewer drive-alone commuters on the road, the less congestion there is and everyone moves faster, pollutes less, and lives happier.

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