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Comment Re:'Jucers' are a meme (Score 1) 349

A much healthier choice, if you want your fruits, veggies and other similar things in liquid form, is a good old blender. The modern, more expensive stuff can turn fruits into a very fine paste. Add water or milk and you have a fresh, healthy and quick beverage. All the fibers remain in the drink, all the nutrients are preserved, but you get to make the mixes you want too.

Comment Re:I'm a troll and I'm triggered (Score 1) 478

"Troll" lost all meaning, much like "hacker", though I don't know that the former ever had as clear a definition. The funny jab troll is quite a rare creature, it's way too easy to fall into mean-spirited attacks or puerile, worthless "humor". Even in the 90s, most trolls sucked at being funny or at teaching everyone not to take themselves too seriously.

Comment Re:I know it's a crazy idea, but.. (Score 1) 606

You're the first commenter who appears to understand that none of the voice assistants, be it Google's, Amazon's or Apple's, are always listening, they're just locally looking for a specific keyword. Once that keyword has been given, they take the rest of the sentence and send that over. Attempting to listen to everything within earshot would not only generate petabytes of largely useless data, it'd also open them up to serious spying charges as soon as someone opens up Wireshark.

Coincidentally, this is also why you can't change the keyword: the recognition feature tends to be built into the hardware or firmware of the DSP so that it doesn't drain a lot of power to recognize it.

Comment Re:Pickup buyers are the problem (Score 1) 271

I think a pickup would actually be a great use case for a Volt-like hybrid: electric with a diesel engine backup for when you need the range. Since pickups should normally be work vehicles, they might need more range than what an all-electric could currently do (though they do have a lot more space for batteries).

Comment Re:Hey GM, how about that EV1? (Score 2) 289

As much as I agree that the CARB thing was a huge fuck up (they shouldn't have backed off on it), the problem with saying that it's an "artificial regulatory construct" is that if you remove any and all pollution regulations, the pollution doesn't go away. The manufacturers have been able to benefit from the fact pollution is an external cost for decades. There's exactly one way to ensure that the cost of those emissions factors into their bottom line: regulation. You can't work around that fact.

Comment Re:The Leaf is a niche vehicle (Score 1) 289

They also won't buy it if they think it looks hideous. It mystifies me why so many EV makers insist on making intentionally ugly hatchbacks.

This, so much. There's a reason why Tesla was seen by many as a game changer: they made desirable cars. I think the Leaf, Bolt, Volt, Prius and more are all great cars, but to pick one would be an entirely rational choice and would have to put my aesthetic inclinations on the backburner. The Model S is desirable, it's luxurious. It'd sell well even if it weren't an electric car.

This is also why I'm looking at the Model 3 and the VW e-Golf with interest. Mass-market yet still good looking electric cars are going to be a big deal.

Comment Fragmentation & Value (Score 5, Informative) 124

A lot of that is fragmentation. I enjoy reading up on home automation and building up a few things (don't have much, but I figure I can build up over time), and the one overriding factor is just how every single company feels the need to develop their technology above all else. No standard communication technology, no standard API for interacting with the device, no compatibility with other systems. You end up with many many "smart bridges" that only do one thing and have to chain them together to get anything done.

There's just a complete disconnect between manufacturers and users when it comes to value as well. A good recent example: for the same price, I can get a Lutron smart bridge, which only supports Lutron's smart lights and blinds, or I can grab a Wink which supports Lutron's stuff plus Z-Wave, ZigBee, BLE and Thread. There's half a dozen smart hubs on the market with the same kind of problem. Even the more generalist hubs like Vera or SmartThings tend to miss at least one thing which means you'd have to have many of them to fully cover everything (namely, Lutron's stuff, because they decided they'd have their own proprietary communication method). Philips Hue poses a similar issue: it's proprietary and doesn't integrate unless you also grab their hub.

Basically, they all want to lock you into their system, even though no given system has everything you want. On top of that, they make extension and customization really limited, often preventing integration (Lutron sells a telnet enabled bridge, but only to professional installers, otherwise it's fully locked down). I really shouldn't have to run Home Assistant on my home server to make Wink not suck, but if I just stick with Wink's app (no PC app, no website), the automation basically amounts to a dumb timer and making switches do something.

Smart homes should feel smart, almost magical. Right now you just end up with 10 bloody plastic boxes which all do one thing not all that well and rarely want to work together properly, and if you lose internet... tough luck (next to no smart devices support local control). If you want to do all the stuff they show in ads, you better be ready to start hacking, because none of them really do that without integrating into a third-party system like Home Assistant or OpenHAB.

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