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Comment Re:The human fund (Score 5, Insightful) 375

Man...this seems to happen to ALL "cool" companies.

They start out often quite employee centric....sure you work hard, but they give you lots of perks at work, free food drinks, kitchens, parties on and off campus...even keggers....

And then..they get a bit too big, the owners cede management to more managerial types, who count pennies but don't know the worth of a HAPPY EMPLOYEE....and then well, the fun and perks start to disappear, and soon....it is like any other boring job, and those little extras that build team work, or make you feel 'ok' about working a few extra hours to get something out the door, *vanish*.

At that point, unless the pay is insanely good...no real reason to stay or show any type of loyalty whatsoever.

The soul of the company is gone.

Comment powered wagons (Score 2) 102

Interestingly, not on TGVs which are among the most common high speed trains in Europe (470 trains). These trains have power cars at both ends.

On the other hand, German ICE (InterCity Express) and Swiss ICN (InterCity Neigezug) both use the "no power cars / each wagon with an electric motor" configuration (though not on 1st class wagons in the swiss case to diminish noise).
- This gives them tremendous power enabling them to climb steeper slopes than normal powercars (which is useful in hilly pre-Alpine regions)
- This gives them very efficient regenerative braking (In switzerland, two train coming down from the Lötschberg tunnel can entirely power one train climbing up to it).

I've also seen it on Czech Pendolinos.
I seem to remember that Austria's ÖSB has also such configuration, but I'm not 100% sure.

But funny that you mention: seems indeed that the French TGV are almost the only high speed trains not doing it.

Comment home cinema (Score 1) 337

The main reason left to go to a cinema is that the screen is bigger and the sound system is fantastic. Everything else you can have at home.

With a good home cinema setup, you can come close, and you have none of the expensive popcorn, queues, guy next to you getting on your nerves, obnoxious advertisement and other bullshit. Plus you can pause the movie to get a drink from the kitchen and cuddle your cats while watching.

Cinema is on the way out. Once Hollywood understood the lesson that the music industry had to understand, things will get better.

Comment Re:Be careful how hard you squeeze (Score 1) 322

The equivalent of "stop outsourcing" would be like Wyoming blocking imports of almonds from CA just because it wants its own local almond farmers to have business.

I agree that the question isn't borders. If you are in Texas, northern Mexico is more "local" than NYC. But in either case, China is not local.

People *are* permanently unemployed. Not a large percentage of the population but unemployment has never been 0. Ever. I'd say what well-intentioned tariffs we've passed to try to keep unemployment down aren't working very well. And with the upcoming onslaught of automation...I don't see how you *can* keep people from being unemployed for long periods of time.

The part that's never zero is called "structural unemployment", and was mentioned in the part that you cut. People between jobs, people who are moving, etc.
But unemployment-because-you-cant-find-a-job is not god-given, and in fact in various countries around the world there have been periods when this unemploymend was zero.

"the upcoming onslaught of automation" - the 60s called. They want their argument back.

Rather than cling onto the idea that everyone needs to be employed (when reality obviously isn't letting that happen), perhaps it's time to revisit how we make sure every citizen is taken care of in a post-industrial society and this idea that "everyone needs to work".

Oh, I agree on that. I've had periods in my life without a formal job (self-employed, my own small company, not working very much) that were wonderful except for the not-much-money part. If that were somehow covered, I'd immediately go back to working 20 hours a week, or 80 hours a week on stuff that I love.

Trade and technology are the 2 pillars that create wealth

How we are all caught in the Silicon Valley mantra and the Venture Capitalist religion. Most of the really large and powerful companies in the world are not called Google and Facebook. They are energy companies, food companies, and a dozen others. Trade and technology matter, but you buy an iPhone every year while you buy food every day.

Comment Re:Um, so? (Score 1) 265

I think the point is that major corporations are using US bonds as a tax shelter, and if they had paid taxes instead of investing in US debt, the US debt might not be at it's present level of 100% of GDP.

Well, if the US Federal Govt. didn't keep spending so fscking much.....more than it takes in, we'd not have the debt in the first place.

If they learned to live more within their means, they'd be much better off.

The Feds get PLENTY of tax revenue coming in each year already.

Comment Re:So the next botnet will be Audi cars (Score 3, Interesting) 102

My biggest concern is...

How do you turn this car-to-anything-external comunication the fuck OFF?!?!?

Geez, I mean, I don't want this crap on my car, to aid in tracking etc.

Hell, its difficult enough to disable OnStar or any other myriad of car to base communications as it is....this sounds like even more potentially intrusive software/hardware reporting to authorities on the road.

Hell...I guess I am going to just stick to in the future...70's muscle cars, and other older 'fun' cars to ride in, without all this crap.

Hell, I'd pay EXTRA on a new car to get it without all this external to car communication.

Comment Re:Note will have a pen holder (Score 2) 104

The headphone jack isn't just a hole though, it has electronics that take up space in the internals which manufacturers want to use now for other things.

Common !
- Other manufacturer are managing to still cram an audio jack into their competing smartphones
- Smartphone are getting *wider* with *larger screen* each generation. In theory they should have *more room* for electronics.
- The "other things" might not be as useful as marketing would like you to think (Apple's taptic engine was the excuse for removing their jack).
- The only reason that manufacturer are lacking space is because they have launched themself in a competition for the thinest device possible. By trying to shave a few mm of thickness, they are losing critical space. This has already cost Apple their bendgate (less thickness = less mechanical resistance) and caused Samsung a few exploding batteries (not enough space for battery expansion).

In other words: I manufacturer weren't competing for the first company to release a phone thin enough so you can cut cheese with it, they would have plenty of space to keep a phone jack, add their useless new features AND have bigger batteries with better life.

I get why people want to hold onto this legacy port, it's a well established piece of tech that has been tired and true and remained unchanged for decades but to say that there's a pen hole so a headphone hole is the same thing isn't really accurate

The total volume of a pen, is still bigger than the volume of small compact jack connector and the tiny DAC feeding it.

No the real excuse is getting a way to sell either extra dongles (audio-out to USB-Otg or Apple Lightning)
or expensive accessories (force you to buy Bluetooth Wireless earphones. Or wired phones with custom plugs).

Comment Not the timer (Score 1) 102

so the traffic light will cater to whats best for the person in the $100k luxury car but the kid in the beater has to be at a disadvantage on teh public right of way?

Nope. The traffic light still waits all the same for every one.
The only difference is that the driver of the luxury car gets the privilege of having the wating counter of the traffic light directly displayed on their dashboard.
(And the car will be able to shut down and restart the engine during the wait on its own if it is economic to do so).

Comment Buy a Zoe instead - affordable electric (Score 1) 102

Go buy a Renault Zoé instead.

- it's done by one of your French companies.
- the newer Zoe platform features a 44kWh battery that should be okay for 200+ km between charges (rated for 125km/h).
(the previous one had a 22kWh battery, rated for 125 km. I still manage to get ~100 km out of the Zoé of the local Car Sharing copmany even when I'm driving like an idiot).
- you can either buy just the car and rent the battery (and the car comes rather cheap between 15'000 and 25'000+ EUR depending on the options), or you can add ~8'000 EUR and buy your own battery.

Hybrids motors are extremely complex and that comes at a a cost.
(you basically got both disadvantages of an ICE engine - complex delicate mechanical device
combined with the disadvantage of an electric drive - big expensive complex battery and ancillary electronics ; also an electric motor which, although cheap, is much bigger than the standard alternator of an ICE.
And on top of that, a slightly more complex transmission - specially on hybrid that can do both serial and parallel hybrids).
Because of this complexity, cost is never going to go down that much.
It's a nice stop-gag technology to diminish smog problems, but electric drive is the long term solution.
(Specially in a country like France that doesn't rely much on fossil energy to produce its electricity).

Electric cars - outside of the expensive battery and its electronics - can be even a bit cheaper :
- the car tends to be much lighter for better efficiency. Depending how it's done it might drive the price slightly up (Tesla and their space alloys) or down (the newer 44kWh Zo is lighter than the older one, without being more expensive).
- an electric motor is dead simple and much cheaper than the mechanical complexity of an ICE (it's just a glorified spool of wire, attached to a fixed ratio gear. That's why Tesla can afford to slap a 2nd one on their 4-wheel drive vehicle (the xx"D" series), and that's why most european high speed train can afford electric motors on each of their wagon.)
(This is opposed to energy storage. On a gaz powered car, energy ist stored in a glorified jug with a cap and a tap. Whereas an electic car require a complex chemistry in the battery and complex electronic to control both the charging of the car, and the power delivery to the motor).

Cost of batteries is going down, as car companies invest in mega-factories - Tesla is building one in Texas, Renault is building one in France - and as the demand for lithium batteries increases in modern technology (laptops, lithium-powered power tools, etc.).
Network of charger is increasing.
Mennekes connector is becoming standard accross Europe.
Tesla is building their own network of superchargers.
In France I've seen chargers in Highway rest areas.
In Switzerland, nearly all parkings in big cities have charging spot.
European countries burn a lot less fossils to produce electricity. (France relies on its nuclear power, Switzerland has endless supply of hydro-electric. Northern Europe is developping green sourse like solar, etc.)

Future is in electric cars.

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