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Comment Schedule? and: WiThings Activite (Score 1) 232

Firstly: "kept track of my schedule and the current time." How painful is it to get a proper schedule into that watch? That alone is true nerd-dom, to spend an an hour a week typing tiny text into a watch...

I went another way: Been wearing the WiThings Activite Pop for a year now and it has helped me a lot. About to switch to the Activite HR if they would ever actually ship it. :) Basically: ~8 months on a regular watch coin cell (CR2032 I believe) and you get an analog watch, and an activity tracker (think fit bit) and vibrator alarm that looks and acts like a regular watch. Very light and not smart watch bulky. You can swim, sleep, run and it tracks each one with data presented in the phone app. Syncs automatically via BluetoothLE. It also changes time zones when you do! So a watch.. with benefits.

Funnest thing is setting the time from the app, making the hands sweep around the face in sync with dragging your finger around a circle in the app.

The any-day-now to be released HR model tracks heart rate (duh) but also will do event notifications from the phone. 1 month on a charge.

Comment Re:Alternative remote desktop solution (Score 1) 173

"Chrome Remote Desktop (a Chrome browser extension from Google) ... you can set up persistent connections which you can use any time."

Where the hell is THAT documented? Seriously: I would look at it once.... Having Chrome always running might sound like a great idea until you NEED it, but unless it also works on Chrome Desktop (ie: Chrome books, Chrome Boxes, etc) it is of questionable use for supporting grandpa and 8yr old Susie.

Comment Re:Why no "skateboard" designs? (Score 1) 229

True, I didn't get where you were going. Apologies!

Let me stab at the skateboard? Turns out not so wonderful an idea (like hydrogen in general purpose cars). The physical demands of different role vehicles require customized platforms: Length, width, ground clearance, center of gravity (or not), load capacity, runtime, and horsepower. So... cost justify the change to GM's well-understood and real-world-liability-tested production process. That's it. That and letting Tesla go to class action court first...

I would LOVE a skateboard Volt. But I would also LOVE a CUV Voltec, as long as it wouldn't drive like a stretch Volt.

To wit: Tesla got the Model S skateboard design directly from GM's research. They are the reigning king of championing the design benefits (which agreed are many). Why doesn't the Model 3 use the same skateboard if it is just a matter of bolting a different body on top? Because it isn't. You still will need a CUSTOMIZED skateboard design to be successful in a different role. GM has already solved that engineering problem for managing it's chassis production, and skateboards would be leaving the safety of that engineering for new, cooler, costly and unknown lands.

Comment Re:Massive subsidies (Score 1) 229

Provide an actual source, or it didn't happen. For some reason, conservative talking heads decided (years ago.. maybe 3) that the Volt was a symbol of something they hated, and so was to trashed talked for about a year. Then Volt hating season was over and it dropped off the radar. During that time they made up all kinds of unsupportable accusations. One of which was that all of the money invested in GM (TARP funds) to keep the US Auto industry from cracking apart and failing - was all meant for the Volt. That was the only way their math came close.

Buuuuuuut to answer your question: I'll let you add up the 5 numbers.

Comment Re:Why no "skateboard" designs? (Score 1) 229

The problem is swapping bodies? What? Because that is a limiting factor now? I think you just invented a problem that didn't really exist before you thought of it If you meant swapping "batteries" then, firstly say that, and secondly try driving electric for a month. You laugh at the "old think" you fell victim to. In 20 years no one will worry about range anxiety because even if battery capacity doesn't explode (see what I did there?) everyone will have adjusted to understanding your driving pattern - and it isn't a big problem to solve. Even though science will solve it, it is a (unsustainable) human expectation problem.

Comment Re:What is "Dead" (Score 1) 283

For the first time in 3 years I didn't get to go to a YAPC (the conference thing in the video) and am really getting pissed about it. Having said that... why is everyone here fixated on Perl 6? Perl 6 will continue, much like a fork, running besides the Perl 5.x series. Both solving problems in their own spaces. Or not... feel free to argue amongst yourselves somemore. Where Python is currently a better tool, use it. But if you are highly productive (comfortable, knowledgable, not missing features..) with Perl 5.x, why not be productive?

Comment Backups? (Score 1) 281

Knowing the data collected is worth more than the license cost of any package you might pickup, a VPS sounds like a winner because it will automagically be BACKED UP by someone that isn't you. Secondarily OSS. Thirdly Filemaker Pro, but at least that is a FIXED cost. What about multi-user? You get that for free in the web app, but no internet in Senegal is a thing right? Maybe a locally hosted, on one of the Win7 boxes, mysql and apache web app. Local multi-user minus auto backups.

Since you mentioned what you would do, and didn't rule it out (like: must be a desktop app), then hosted sounds like a great way to go. Unless the hosting cost is a problem, but you didn't say that either. No budget at all for that matter.

Open Source is only free if your time is worthless. The benefits of openness are network benefits.

Comment Re:Electric. (Score 1) 659

Yes, yes, people always want stuff for free... OR cheap. OR slave labor. I own a Volt with 31K miles on it. It saved, repeat: saved, me over $2K last year. I guarantee your gas car cost you full retail price to drive it around.

20K miles @ 22MPG (US average fuel economy) = 909 gal * $3.50/gal (2013 avg price) = $3,181.50 in fuel costs
20K miles @ 4mi/KWh = 5000KWh * 10/KWh = $500 in electrons for same distance travelled

You would pay Three Grand and have nothing left over, I would put $2,500 away into a 401K or something. And have done ZERO oil changes, or tunes ups, or replaced belts, or starter motor, or transmission fluid, or...

As soon as people understand they are getting a Lexus quality ride that costs pennies instead of dollars-a-day to run, the starting cost is less important. But then that is why I am not a pennliess hippie, I'm a upper middle class hippie.

Comment Re:Price (Score 1) 398

OH! But the biggest savings of all? Not having to make special trips to go to the damn gas station to stand around while filling up. I kid you not, you just have no idea how much you revile the idea when you get on the other side of it. I'll fill up at home, in my fuzzy slippers, with a cold adult drink, thank you very much.

Everytime I see the new tobacco ads where the little guy drags the smokers outside in the rain, bullies them around... substitute gas for cigs and you are so there.

Comment Re:Price (Score 1) 398

I have a Volt - and my story looks like this:
- 52Mi daily roundtrip commute, charge at work for free, almost always 100% electric.
- Takes long trips, 370mi from DFW to Amarillo @ 3-4 per year. Plus Austin, Hot Springs AR,...
- Lifetime is 72% EV, 30Kmi total since Dec 2012.
- Just broke 100MPG lifetime! Should plateau about 160MPG.
- Avoided 755 gallons in 2013, spent ~$350 on electricity to drive the same miles. $3.50/gl*755=$2642.60 - $350 = ~$2,300 Saved in 1 year!
- First brake job should be north of 80Kmi, due to regen braking instead of using the pads.. (lookup NFC rotor coating)
- Oil changes are not tied to odometer, but to how much you actually run the engine. I'm getting an oil change at 18 months, because I'm a cautious man.
- First engine tune-up is advised at 112,000mi
- No serpentine belts, no AC belt, no alternator, no transmission... gear box fluid at 160,000mi?
- Battery pack has 8yr/100,000mi warranty. It is never expected to need to be replaced (lookup EREV).
- EOL car battery packs are expected to sell for $500-$1,000 to go into grid storage (etc.) applications, better than a $10 battery core credit?
- One Volt owner is now past 126,000mi and still gets 42mi on a full charge. Future looks bright...

So the car actually PAYS ME BACK for driving the miles I have to traverse to work and play. No change in lifestyle required, silent, reliable, fun... Electric cars are here, try to keep up. ;)

Comment coughCHEVY VOLTcough (Score 1) 398

If you want to drive electric, but can't resolve the range anxiety issues, seriously look at a Chevy Volt. If the 4 seater size fits your lifestyle, it is a GREAT car. Even my Leaf friends admit it. ;) Proof is: I get ribbing becuase I do still burn SOME gas (zero gas is part of the EV mantra) but then when we ned to go to Austin for a conference - do we take a Leaf? No. They suffer along just fine in the go-anywhere-all-day-long Volt.

Comment Opinion != Subject Matter knowledge (Score 1) 558

So, my fiance happens to be a Board Certified Behavior Analyst specializing in Austim, and from the comments I can tell you two things:

1) The science (yes, I chose that word on purpose) of Behavior Analysis (BA) has grown immensely in that last decade. Both in the body of research, the systems of diagnosis, and the professional development associations supporting the work to address the needs of people "on the spectrum". She is board certified, which is not a trivial thing if you haven't ever had to stand in front of one, and knows more about how kids brains work than I know about computer systems. Keep in mind I'm a VP managing a HUGE cloud infrastructure, still SSH into boxes myself and have 30+years of computer work under my belt.

If you have never seen how a multi-week observation is conducted to determine where, and if, a child is in need of training or other assistance, well STFU. Calling the child, or the parent, or the staff involved "lazy" shows you need to look in a mirror.

2) The biology behind Autism is not well defined, but the symptoms, ie: how it manifests, it VERY clearly defined - and data driven. Behind every Autism "diagnosis" is a multi-page report prepared by one or more people (double blind) and then reviewed before presentation to parents. And before thousands of tax-payer dollars, or insurance dollars, or whatever resources are allocated - there is HARD EVIDENCE of the need. Maybe the child is mild,and just needs for adults to start treating him/her like a human and not an animal to be spanked or yelled at. Maybe the child will be lucky to count change properly and/or complete a transaction at a lunch counter... Don't tell me we shouldn't try to help those people because "it didn't happen that much back in my day."

Bottom line: Have some compassion for your fellow humans. Especially the 8yr old ones. And stop confusing facts with "feelings". It hurts other people. Often.

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