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Comment Re:Synonyms being used (Score 4, Insightful) 109

Any particular reason why we should just assume that only those nice, 'anonymized', 'statistics' were for sale; or that the 'anonymizing' done wasn't as pitifully weak as it often is?

Shockingly enough, people seem to be willing to pay more for data that are more or less cosmetically obfuscated, and trivial to correlate with information from other sources; and less for data that are actually anonymous enough to be impossible to reconstruct.

Comment Re:Money stores value (Score 1) 144

The American Revolution is proof that you are wrong, as they won the war using only paper money.

Might want to brush up on your history a bit. They won despite the paper money, which was a major hindrance. Google for the phrase "not worth a continental". When the constitution was written, the memory of America's first hyperinflation was very fresh in their minds, which is why the gold and silver clause in the constitution forbids fiat currency.

-jcr

Comment Re:Microsoft...why couldn't they do this? (Score 1) 218

>That's every company's job, but notice how plenty of them manage to do that without taking actions that are "just barely legal" or non-monopolist in nature.

Sure, but that's because their customers will actually leave them if they become too dickish.

But there's LOTS of companies that are just as bad as MS, and people still flock to buy their products. John Deere is one that's come up a lot lately in the tech news. Oracle is another. And there's various other "enterprise" software makers that are generally regarded as making horribly overpriced crap.

>Also, none of the OSes you describe are "ancient" or "obsolete". Both of them are supported right now.

The older Windows versions are nearing EOL. You can go buy a 20-year-old used car and it's still "supported" by the manufacturer, but that doesn't mean they're doing new development on them, or that they're going to help you retrofit a new lane-keeping feature in them from their newest model.

>There's no apologizing for Microsoft here. This is a dick move, and just on the edge of what is allowed.

It *is* a dick move. What I don't understand is why this is some kind of revelation. MS has been doing dickish stuff for as long as I can remember, and really all the way back to their founding 40+ years ago. Don't you remember "DOS ain't done 'til Lotus won't run"? But people keep flocking to buy their stuff. So why shouldn't they be dicks?

>At the end of the day, a lot more people need to be punishing Microsoft instead of feebly trying to apologize for them.

I'm not apologizing for them, I'm explaining how their behavior is perfectly rational and sensible. Very few people seem to grasp this. It's like people not understanding why wild tigers and Grizzly bears aren't nice, friendly, cuddly creatures, and instead will viciously kill you if you get too close to them.

>Sadly, Windows users appear to be willing to put up with anything

That's exactly the problem.

>because the cost of switching to anything else can be so unreasonable.

No, for many it's because they're lazy and refuse to investigate alternatives. Most home users are in this boat. But the same goes for many large companies; they could adopt a custom Linux build if they really wanted, the way some city governments in Europe did, but they just don't want to bother.

Comment Re: Pew Researchers.. no shit sherlock (Score 1) 214

Yes, as someone else pointed out with real data. However, the thing to understand is that not all boomers were hippies, in fact very very few were. The hippies were a tiny, but vocal minority in the Boomer generation. That's why the overall actions of that generation seem so contrary to hippie values. They never had any political power.

Comment Re: Millennials AREN'T a Bunch of Job-Hopping Flak (Score 2) 214

Citation needed. The Millennials I know have Android phones (and may run alternative firmwares), and all the people I know with iPhones are Xers and up.

I'm sorry, but as an Xer myself, I have much more respect for the Millennials than my own generation. My generation seems to be chock-full of people who absolutely refuse to manage their finances properly, and feel entitled to living like kings even when they don't earn enough money to afford all the luxuries they crave. Then they get mad and blame the "Mexicans" and vote for Trump when the problem is really their own stupid life choices.

Comment Re:Hydrogen = oil (Score 1) 154

Unfortunately, green brains tend to disengage before considering the big picture, and "hydrogen" will be pushed forward as an ideology, ignoring where it comes from.

Citation needed on the "green brains" bit. I don't think this push is coming from the environmentalists, it's coming from entrenched industry players who don't want to switch to electric vehicles. The smart environmentalists know that EVs are the real future, not hydrogen. Hydrogen is a stupid fuel; it's expensive to generate (and can't be mined), it's hard to handle, it's very hard to store, it embrittles metal, it has to be stored at incredibly high pressures to get useful energy density, and even then you still have a fraction of the range you get with gasoline/diesel. It's just a terrible idea all around. If you can't switch to all-electric, the next best thing is to switch to CNG or LNG, which are very clean-burning and can use existing engine technology (and even be retrofitted pretty easily on existing vehicles).

The path for "greening" vehicles is pretty simple IMO: hybrid-electric, alternative fuels (LNG/CNG), then all-electric as battery technology improves or quick-swap batteries are standardized on. LNG probably makes more sense for replacing diesel for large engines (esp. for shorter routes), and can then be coupled with hybrid-electric tech for even better efficiency, to get diesel pollution problems way down. Cars should probably just stick with gasoline, adopting hybrid tech. Eventually both can just move to all-EV as batteries improve and costs come down. Hydrogen is an awful distraction that makes no sense.

Comment Re:Scam (Score 1) 154

That'd make a hell of a lot more sense than hydrogen too. LNG and CNG have both been used successfully in vehicles as an alternative fuel for a long time (I remember a big push to retrofit vehicles in Arizona with them back in ~2000, with hefty tax breaks). The main problem is the range isn't as good as gas/diesel, but it's still going to be better than stupid hydrogen, plus you can run it in existing engines with minimal modifications, and the storage tanks are a lot easier to construct and are safer.

Hydrogen is an incredibly stupid and impractical fuel; it's mind-boggling that Toyota is wasting their time with this crap.

Comment Re:Scam (Score 1) 154

Not true.

Fission is stellar, as you said, but definitely not solar, since solar implies it comes from Sol, our current star. The heavy elements came from other stars that are long-since gone.

Also, tidal power is not solar: it comes from the motion of the Moon around the Earth, which is basically just potential energy created by whatever particular process caused the Earth and Moon to come to their current state.

Also, you could make the case that fossil fuels are not entirely solar in nature, and are also "stellar": carbon, like uranium, was created in long-dead stars.

Comment Re:Torque (Score 1) 154

The defined torque is a property of the motor design. Much smaller fuel cells could be used to produce a similar torque given a different motor design.

Actually, you could produce identical torque with no fuel cells at all, and no batteries: just connect the truck and its motor to mains power (through an appropriate power converter).

It's the motor that generates the torque using electricity; where that electricity comes from is irrelevant to the motor. It can be from fuel cells, a battery, or a Mr. Fusion for all it cares.

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