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Comment Re: I just upgraded my OLD PC to Win10 (Score 1) 404

Indeed. At work I convinced them to buy a handful of 250GB $100 SSDs as a "test". Rare for client systems to use even half that.

After seeing the dramatic improvement in boot time, and system responsiveness, all new systems, and any drive replacements are with SSDs,

Comment Re:VCR didn't compete against DVD (Score 1) 131

VCRs haven't competed against DVDs for a long time. If you buy a movie, it has come on DVD (or blue-ray) for over a decade.

The reason people buy VCRs now is to record shows off the TV to watch them later. That's not easy to do on a DVD player. So as DVRs have become more popular, they've replaced the final uses for VCR.

There was a brief period (10ish years ago?) that set top DVD recorders were readily available and could be used for time-shifting (like DVRs and VCRs). They also made it easy to digitize VHS home movies. And until PC optical drives started disappearing, you could even take the disc and watch it on your PC.

Now with Broadcast and cable formats turning to HD, VCRs and set top DVD recorders are fairly useless at timeshifting.

Comment Re:Sometimes... (Score 1) 159

They're becoming increasingly rare, and therefore expensive, but you can still get all of those features in used cars. The lead additive for gas is very hard to find in first world countries, but there are still places you can get that to complete the primitive automobile experience.

Go to your local general aviation airport. So called "100 Low Lead" is still the primary fuel in GA. It contains more lead than normal auto fuel ever did.

Comment Re:Physical access (Score 1) 159

You can see in the video that the thief triggers the vehicle alarm, and then proceeds to work on it as the alarm is going off. That means that even old-school hot wiring would have worked. Once the thief has access to the car and plenty of time, there's nothing to prevent him from taking the car.

Once you have access to the vehicle and a tow truck, you can tow the vehicle away to a shop where you can spend however long is required to either reprogram the ECM, or part it out as required.

Key immobilizers just keep away casual thieves (people looking for a quick getaway car for a crime, or kids looking for a joyride). Forget hotwiring. Some (many?) older pre-immobilizer cars could be stolen with little more than a hammer and a screw driver. Break the lock cylinder, turn it with a screw driver, and away you go. Or possibly a bump-key. 90's Hondas and Chryslers were very easy to steal in this manner, and a popular target for thieves just looking for a ride (and not to part out, or ship away a car).

The ability to wipe immobilizer codes are usually a built in feature. If you want a key programmed and you only have one, or if the ECM is replaced it needs a method to programming keys. The OBD tools dealers would use to perform this are built on a simple CAN protocol, and usually provide a timed lockout (10 minutes?) to keep the method from being used to easily boost cars, but not impossible.

Comment Re: Yes, definitely assholes (Score 1) 440

While I admire the new engineering that Musk is bringing into the world, history shows that government agencies, not engineers, do a better job of determining what the safety specifications for new things should be. I remember cars without lap belts, and I was driving before shoulder belts were required. I remember the fuss Ralph Nader raised, and the resistance of engineers and manufacturers, to things we now take as a matter of course, such as collapsible steering columns that do not impale the driver in a crash the way so many died in the 1950s and 1960s. The role of government in determining safe automotive design is obvious.

You're confusing engineers with management. Management doesn't want the engineers to include features that "needlessly" increase the cost of the BOM. In the case of seatbelts, they were invented by engineers, and because it was demonstrated that they provided a benefit on the models they were available on, government agencies required their use.

Seatbelts, airbags, Stability control. These are things that were invented, and proven a safety benefit before administrators required them.

Engineers like tech and gizmos, I don't think it was them that wanted to make them added cost options.

Comment Re:I don't buy it (Score 1) 365

Depends on your definitions. I drive an automatic transmission which has both a "park" gear and a parking brake. I don't use the parking brake unless I doubt the locking of the park gear on a slant I'd really rather not be parked on in the first place. The key does not turn all the way to a removable state unless the gear is in park.

So, that's the "old way" of doing things with an automatic transmission. The "new way" of handling those is to have an auto-enable RFID system that makes the car think it should be unlocked and ready to go any time the stylish keyring decoration is within some range that depends on the model of each part.

I've heard people complain about getting out of their push-button start car and accidentally leave it running. Anytime I had a rental with push-button start I never had this problem, but it removes the tactile sensation of having to remove the key.

This is continuing it by removing it for the shifter as well. With an "old fashion" design you can't get the key out unless it's in park.

I can understand the desire to remove the mechanical linkage to the transmission, but couldn't it be replaced by a 5 position switch?

Comment Re:Except for FAA regulations (Score 1) 156

Canada Post installs them on streetcorners in neighbourhoods in Canada to replace home mail delivery. You walk a block to get your mail instead of having it go through a mail slot in your front door.

That's interesting.

While more of a PITA than getting it delivered straight to your house.....what about packages, especially LARGE packages like from Amazon, etc?

Do they just leave those at the foot of those community/clustered mailboxes?

Seems they'd be much easier to steal there than when left on your doorstep (or often they'll leave them inside the fence in my backyard out of sight....

The newer mailboxes are designed for decently large parcels. They are also good when away, because they can hold 2 weeks worth of mail, so you don't worry about leaving your mail unprotected in front of your house, or leaving a giant hole in your house that heat can escape.

Medium sized parcels they will use one of the special parcel compartments. For very large parcels they will actually try your house, and leave a card to pick it up at the local postal outlet if you're not there.

The postal outlets usually have decent hours (open 7 days a week, usually till 9), and are usually at local pharmacies or grocery stores. Much better than dealing with FedEx or UPS for parcels when not present, where you either have to leave it unprotected in front of your house, or drive 50km away to the nearest depot.

New subdivisions have had community mailboxes for 30 years. The whole home delivery thing is a whole lot of excitement about nothing. Mail volumes are going down, while costs aren't. Unlike USPS, Canada Post wants to do something about it.

Comment Re:If nothing much is changing... (Score 1) 227

They call the car the same as they did the year prior.

And Apple is calling all iPhone an iPhone, just like Chevy calls all Camaros a Camaro. Chevy differentiates models by model year and trim level. Apple differentiates iPhone models by a model number and a modifier.

Typically with Automakers, a certain model will be based on a certain platform virtually unchanged for about 5 years. During this time there will be insignificant changes to trim level equipment (This year the SE comes with reverse camera and heated mirrors, where last year you needed the SS), and the grill and taillights may change slightly yet be interchangable, but the underlying engine, transmission, etc will be the same. Go to the parts store and the brake parts are the same for all 5 years. Yes there will be improvements in this period, but these are usually technical in nature, and (sometimes) backported to older models of the same generation (replacement part substitutions, recalls, TSBs, "customer experience programs.")

Usually after 5 years the platform will be mildly refreshed. The sheetmetel will change, the instrument cluster will change, the wheel design will change, but underneath the same powertrain, brakes, tire dimensions, etc are there. The manufacturer will sell this model for another 5 years, giving a total of about 10 years on the same platform, before doing a large re-engineering of the platform, even if they give it the same model name.

In the Camaro example, there are six "Generations" of Camaros spanning 42 model years.

With iPhone at best the n, and nS models are similar, but the between those they are different.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 2) 187

This is a silly justification. The first problem is you listed Chromebooks, and this is EXACTLY what Chrome does. The RAM usage is still low for a rational number of tabs, a few hundred meg, and nobody is going to have 100 tabs open on a phone.

I noticed on Android and 32bit (low RAM) Windows systems Chrome seems to kill old background tabs. They will reload if selected, but they are little more than a bookmark.

In any case I rather use Chrome on these systems than Firefox on any system, as Firefox will bloat up to 1.5-1.9GB RAM usage, even when all tabs except about:blank are closed. Open one more page and everything will crash.

Comment Re:poor marketing and confusion management (Score 1) 72

They've been better about labeling their iPhones

They are? I can tell the difference between an iPhone 3, 4, 5, and 6. I cannot tell the difference between 4/4S, 5/5S, or 6/6S.

Is there anything in settings? Nope. Can Siri help me? Nope. You need to look up a cryptic model number.

Comment Re:Remember when others started this? (Score 1) 155

What tiny fraction of the functionality? What is the difference the app gives? To me the user, the Facebook and messenger app didn't appear much different than the mobile site other than lacking notifications. The app also gives Facebook more permissions.

Disa so far still works as a third party client. On a PC (or a mobile set to "Get desktop site"), seems to give most useful features of the app

Comment Re:I like the service, not the app. (Score 1) 155

Because Messenger (as a service) is the only way I get messages from some people. I either stop talking to those people, piss those people off by constantly cajoling them into switching services, or just talk to them the way they want to talk to me.

But Messenger (as an app) is a hateful piece of programming. I haven't had the battery issues others do, but it consumes too much memory, and causes other parts of my phone to misbehave (camera, etc.) so I'm happier not using it.

I migrated to Disa for my Facebook messenger needs a few months ago. So far so good. I got pissed off at the ever increasing notifications from the main Facebook app (itself old because I refused to upgrade to a newer version with more permissions) "Do you know so an so?" "Wish so and so a happy birthday" Fuck off and don't bother me unless someone is specifically engaging me (message, tag me in a post, or write on my wall).

I use Disa for Facebook messaging, because for some friends it is the best way to contact them. However I'm using Facebook less and less. It used to be people posting individual ideas, and sharing photos of something (party, trip), now it's all resharing memes or Buzzfeed articles. I'd rather look at baby and puppy pictures than this!

Comment Re: Ensuring uniqueness (Score 1) 321

First of all, this is all way off topic from TFA.

Second, most of the time the DMCA is used to bully people who have legitimate claims over content through fair use or in some cases direct contracts with content providers.

Probably the best one can be read about in Ars --

The video was mentioned by name in the official recommendations by the US Copyright Office on exemptions to the DMCA as an example of a transformative noncommercial video work. In other words, the US government said this was clearly a good example of fair use.

Fast forward a few months (I think) and Lionsgate issued a DMCA anyway, taking down the video, closing down the youtube channel of the poster and generally making themselves a nuisance-- despite the fact that the incredibly popular video was already named as a clear example of Fair Use.

For some reason the crappy movie Pixels created all sorts of DCMA takedown requests on content predating the movie, and even trailers for the movie itself

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