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Comment Re:Alarming Battery Costs (Score 5, Informative) 175

While on the surface that sounds like a lot of money, its important to remember that current model Teslas are premium products and are priced accordingly. More modest EVs, with their smaller packs, will be much more economical.

For example Chevy has said they've gotten the pack price for their upcoming Chevy Bolt down to around $145/kWh, since they're planning on a 60kWh pack that works out to about $8,700 for the pack - after "profits" they'll probably sell replacements for 10k. That sounds like quite a bit, but when you consider that the pack should provide a usable lifetime range between 6-8 years its not that bad.

* At 6 years that's about $1,666 annually, or $32/week.
* At 8 years that's about $1,250 annually, or $24/week.

Granted your experience will differ, for me its about $1 daily to fill up my 2015 Nissan Leaf since I don't drain the battery to empty. I'd expect a similar experience even if the pack size were larger than the current 24kWh pack I have. I've owned the Leaf two years now and I've spent perhaps, at most, $600 to fuel my car - or about $300 annually or $5.75 weekly. So using the examples above that takes the "fuel" costs up to:

* 6 years = $1,666 + $300 = $1,966 or $37.80/week
* 8 years = $1,250 + $300 = $1,550 or $29.80/week

When I drove gas I spent upward of $40/week, about $2,080 annually, in fuel. When I consider the maintenance I'm no longer doing - oil changes, spark plugs, various belts, transmission, etc... - along with the cheaper insurance, my rates actually went down and I'm now paying about $75 monthly on a brand new car!, it works out to be cheaper overall. All in, without digging out my old receipts and doing the math, I was easily at least $50-$60 weekly ($15k-$25k total over 6/8 years) keeping my gas car running.

However unlike a gas car which has these charges spread over the 6 to 8 years, making it easy to not notice them, when the time comes to replace the pack in an EV you pay it all out at once and this makes it looks like an expensive vehicle to maintain. Granted it is a lot of money to spend at one time on a car, but Total Cost of Ownership between EVs and Gas over time have no contest - EVs are far cheaper over the long term to maintain and run than a gas car. The biggest expense on EVs are tires, brakes, suspension, air conditioning, and the battery pack. Brakes seldom need to be replaced due to regenerative braking, tires are tires - everyone replaces those, and suspension and AC are just parts of the standard vehicle maintenance. But all the rest that comes with owning an ICE engine you just don't have that and you couldn't pay me to go back, I've got better things to spend my money on.

And this, of course, assumes that you're going to replace the pack after 6-8 years. If the degraded pack still meets your needs, you can continue to drive on it until it doesn't. Additionally the battery tech is getting better all the time, so as the technology improves replacements will get cheaper and existing packs in newer vehicles will maintain their usable life for longer periods - the TCO will just get lower.

Comment Public Theft... (Score 4, Interesting) 228

And thanks to those same companies lobbying efforts they're still able to enforce copyright on something, which by all rights, should have entered the Public Domain 21 years ago.

So much for the continued progress of the arts and science, Axanar looked like an interesting project - it was the first "real" Trek I'd seen in years and I was looking forward to the feature.

Been wondering if we couldn't use corporate law against them in this case, by pushing for ever longer terms they're missing out on profits - corporations are mandated to maximize profits. Paramount, by lobbying to extend the term lengths, is missing out on that sweet sweet Star Wars money (which should also be in the public domain) and thereby depriving their shareholders of a potential revenue steam.

I'm not a lawyer but I'd have to wonder if these guys could get some Paramount shares and counter sue?

Comment Re:Goodbye! (Score 1) 100

that will still give me access to all the shows I like

* Mr. Robot - $24.99
* The Americans - $34.99
* Silicon Valley - $24.99
* Veep - $24.99
* Halt and Catch Fire - $24.99

For about the price of a month's worth of cable you could have all the shows you're interested in and save the other 11 months for something else. I did this years ago, picked up an AppleTV - works great for streaming Netflix and my purchased DVD / Blu-Rays I've been ripping into my iTunes Library - and now just get season's passes for the shows I watch. For local events I put a DB8e on my roof, though if you live in an apartment you could mount it to a weighted pole on your balcony or window.

All in, between my Netflix subscription, Crunchyroll (I really love Anime), DramaFever (I really love Korean dramas), and my iTunes seasons passes I spent around $300 annually on my entertainment - when you consider I used to spend almost $1,500 on cable its amazing how much money I saved. I also have more free time, less of it spent channel surfing looking for stuff to watch, and I never have to watch commercials unless I'm watching OTA, which is why I picked up a DVR+.

Unless you're big on sports, and the AppleTV has been getting all the big ones lately (Hockey, Football, whatever - I don't watch sports), or your shows aren't available digitally there really isn't much reason to get cable / satellite anymore. I've been cable free for nearly 4 years now and I can honestly say that I don't miss it.

Note: While I'm Canadian, I'm assuming you're an American and have used the iTunes prices from the US store

Comment Re:"stealing just like stealing anything else" (Score 2) 408

Bell is actively trying to gain traction for their own brew of Netflix (CraveTV) is mere coincidence.

Except that they're really not, they only offer it to people who already have a Bell - or one of their partners - subscription to a Satellite package. You literally cannot sign up for Crave unless you have one, they won't let you, and I'm not paying the metric fucktonne of money Bell requires to get a Satellite package - not to mention they'd likely want me to sign up for their internet too. Did I also mention you can't even sign up for the service unless you have third party tracking cookies enabled by default on your browser? Fuck that noise.

Shomi, the Rogers equivalent, is pretty much the same except you need - you guessed it - a Rogers, or other partner, cable service in order to get it. And again, they'll likely want you to get their internet on top of it.

So for about $100+ per month I could spend $4 to get a streaming service that has a few extra shows than the Canadian Netflix does or I can save my hundred bucks and spend $8 on Netflix. I cancelled my Bell internet a few years ago, went with Teksavvy - totally worth it, and signed up for Netflix while sticking an antenna on my roof for OTA HD. I honestly don't miss cable, Netflix / Youtube covers nearly all my visual entertainment needs, and for what it doesn't cover I get either OTA or use an iiTunes Seasons Pass for the rest.

Comment Can I have four? (Score 4, Insightful) 148

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Absolutely love this show! Sure, the beginning was a bit slow and rocky, but after seeing The Winter Soldier in the theatres it made sense - they couldn't really build up to it during the season or it'd ruin the movie. I've been really enjoying ever since and I can't wait to see what Age of Ultron does to the show afterward, or how the show plays into Age of Ultron (Fury isn't the director anymore, Phil is so it'll be interesting to see how that plays out).

Agent Carter

While still fairly new, I've been enjoying it so far. Like how they're filling in some of the backstory on the first Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D, and can't wait to see where they take it - and what interesting tidbits and teasers they're going to put in for the Team Coulson.


Could they have made a better show, I really doubt it! I have nothing to say for this one other than if you haven't seen it you need to rectify it ASAP.


I had no idea this was a comic book thing, I just figured it was a TV adaptation of the horrible Keanu Reeves movie. I'll consider checking it out later.


Never watched it, will not watch it. Not because I don't want to, the reviews look good and people are saying great things about it, but because its on Fox. After being burned by them so many times I'm afraid of watching the show and liking it, only to turn around and watch it get cancelled on some cliffhanger (I'm looking at you Firefly, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Brisco County Jr., Tru Calling, etc..)

The Flash

When asked what superpower you'd take most people say flight, I'm afraid of heights so I always go with speed. The Flash has long been one of my favourite superheroes (DC really needs to make a Flash movie instead of dicking around with Superman / Batman all the time) and also enjoyed the '90s flash with John Wesley Shipp, so I was really excited about the new Flash. So far I've been liking it, its had some rocky episodes - but I'm liking the slow progression of Barry's character and the little team he's building up around him.

I'm not sure it'll last long though, those special effects can't be cheap - one of the major downfalls of the original '90s flash (okay, okay, there was bad writing there too - though the episodes got much better toward the end) - and I'm thinking the ratings will be need to be higher than average to justify the cost.

The Walking Dead

Watches the first season, enjoyed it. But the second season really got slow, and boring. Every episodes seemed to devolve into the same overall plot:
* Go somewhere for something needed on the farm.
* Generally act like dicks to each other.
* Stop a whole fucktonne of "Walkers".
* Resolve to be better people.
* Do it again in the next episode.

A zombie show just doesn't work if you stay in one place too long - unless they're Resident Evil types, which run fast and chase you down - they're really easy to avoid. Once you've hunkered down, unless you're an idiot and draw attention to yourself you just won't have to deal with them much.

I've heard the Prison season was pretty good, so I might go back and finish The Farm - but honestly, I was liking "Z Nation" way more than "Walking Dead".

Comment Re:What's a reboot? (Score 1) 252

On a side note, the list of lost actors from the B5 production should include Tim Choate who played my favorite character, Zathras.

One of the problems with trying use the original actors in the film is that a significantly large number of them, including Tim Choate, are dead. Though I do agree with you, Zathras was one of my favourites too.

I'm shocked really at how many are gone - since I have fond memories of the show its really hard to think that 20 years is all that long ago but I was watching a video of the Babylon 5 20th Anniversary Reunion at the Phoenix ComicCon filmed in 2013 a few months ago and they had a Video Memorial showing all the fallen stars of B5 and was surprised at how many were gone.

It makes sense that they want to restart with a new cast and I trust JMS to do it right - I doubt we'll see "Old Sheridan" meeting up with "New Sheridan" like "Old Spock" / "New Spock", unless Boxleitner happens to be playing Sheridan's father in the episode.

Comment Re:Surprised people still use... (Score 1) 192

My point was you can't properly judge attraction from still photos. You lose sound, smell, motion, etc. I've found very attractable women that take horrible photographs, and vice versa. Meeting someone for the first time in meat space gives a better indication of whether or not there is physical attraction between two people. Online they're just as liable to click 'next' without even bothering to find out if it's there.

I certainly don't disagree with this. There is definitely something to be said about meeting someone in "meat space" versus the online world - there are a lot of missed cues that just can't be picked up via a glowing metal box with some text on it, then again in the online dating realm that's what you have to work with. When that's all there is its to be expected people would be putting their best foot forward, ensuring any photos they post of themselves are as representative as possible to increase their chances of getting responses.

If one can't be bothered to put out a decent representative photo would you really want to meet that person in real life? I've actually seen women state in their online profiles that they were Non-Smokers / Non-Drinkers who then posted profile pictures of themselves smoking a cigarette while holding a beer!

Personally I don't like online dating for the reasons you point out - I have met a number of women I've found physically attractive, even if we didn't really have much in common otherwise, that I'd have never responded to an ad for because they just don't look good on film.

Comment Re:Surprised people still use... (Score 1) 192

If your goal is a 40 years relationship, but still think attraction is a valid characteristic, you need to grow up.

We were talking about whether or not using physical attraction to a person as one of the metrics of selection on a dating website was harsh for people to do. Its interesting how you missed my stating that while physical attraction is certainly a valid choice, its also not the only thing that matters: "Selecting for attraction is just as valid as selecting for ideals and interests. "

In the past, I dated two very beautiful girls (one was a model). Both times I was deeply in love, but it didn't last. After a few months, I just didn't care about them and even found them quite annoying. Physical attraction doesn't last.

Which, ironically, was kind of my point. You need a combination of physical, emotional, and intellectual compatibility along with a decent amount common ideals and interests to have a long lasting relationship. No one thing is more important than the other, they're all equally important.

Then again I'm not sure you'll really understand this - someone who equates the short term lust of a beautiful woman with the deep emotional, intellectual, and physical attraction of someone whom they share a great deal of common ideals and interests with love needs to grow up far more than I do.

Comment Re:Surprised people still use... (Score 1) 192

she ruled out the people that she didn't see a physical connection with, which sounds harsh

What's harsh about it? It actually makes sense.

Selecting for attraction is just as valid as selecting for ideals and interests. If you're going to potentially spend the next 40 plus years with someone its usually best to pick someone you're attracted to physically - even if it feels harsh the person being rejected, better to be with someone who desires you in every way and doesn't shudder at the thought of having to see you naked.

Comment Re:"Reasonable" a la carte prices? (Score 1) 223

But where are the "reasonable" a la carte prices?

Depends on what you consider "reasonable", how willing you are to think outside the box, and how willing you are to be patient. After listening to my family complain constantly about the $220.00 per month, $2,640.00 annually, we were spending on Cable and Internet we took at look at what was available and what we were willing to give up.

With our Cable cancellation, which was a $120.00 per month and at a different provider from our Internet, we now had $1,440.00 freed up to spend on our video entertainment.

Our iPads have apps for all the major TV Networks, I'm Canadian by the way - just for context, and an Apple TV. The Network apps have nearly every show the day after they air, basically as long as you're willing to wait a day you more or less get them for free. Sometimes they'll have ads which are usually less than 30 seconds, by the time you're reaching for the remote to mute the sound the show is often back on. For the ones that won't play on the Apple TV because of "restrictions" from the rights holder we just all shuffle down to the big screen in the basement where I've got the iMac hooked up, we open a browser window on the big screen and watch it from the Network website.

This a-la carte method of TV, where we only watch the shows we want, costs us all of $0.00 total.

We also like movies and and a bit of variety. For a decent selection of older movies and TV, much of which we haven't seen so its all new to us, we got Netflix for 8.99 per month.
I love Anime, so I picked up Crunchyroll for 11.99 per month.
We also picked up the Crackle, Viki, Vimeo, and Youtube Apps to round things out and give us some more variety - all free by the way.

At this point the entertainment services we do buy work out to just 251.76 annually, an amazing savings of approximately 1,188.24 annually. That money saved can be used for other things. For example the shows we can't get through the "free" channels, or that we just want to see in higher quality, we simply buy them. Some, when they're not too expensive at iTunes, we'll get a Season Pass for - even though they're available through the Network websites I still get Arrow, S.H.I.E.L.D., and Doctor Who via Season Passes because I like the higher quality. I think its reasonable to pay $35.00 - $40.00 for 22 45 minute episodes (1.60 to 1.80 each) as experience has shown the Blu-Ray will likely cost $60.00. I just think of it like a rental or magazine subscription that works out to the equivalent of a doughnut and a drink at the Timmies once a month.

For some shows the online options are simply too expensive and unreasonable to buy, I personally refuse to pay more than physical price for an HD season of TV on Blu-Ray, so we just wait and buy them when it comes out on Blu-Ray / DVD - or, if we're being patient, will wait until it hits Netflix.

Since much of what we used to watch we could still get via the Network websites and Apps, we spent just over, I think, $300.00 on TV & Movie DVDs / Blu-Rays last year - though I'd have to pull out the receipts and add them up. About the only thing we were missing out on was the first run movies and sports, if you're big on either you might have to make a bit of a sacrifice there. It wasn't a problem for us since we don't much like sports and we've found that first run movies we want to see bad enough to rent are often ones we want to buy anyway.

Even the prices you stated in your post aren't really all that unreasonable when you think it through, $2.99 / $3.99 for a for 45 minute show is about the same price as people spend for a "Specialty" Coffee at the Starbucks, a magazine / newspaper they'll read once and then throw away, a beer at the pub, etc... I personally wouldn't buy it at that price either, its getting too close to physical purchase cost and I'd much rather wait and have the physical item in hand. Still, if it was a show I desperately wanted to see it could certainly be justified - especially since I could afford it since I'd just freed up that $1,440.00 I was wasting on Cable.

Comment Re:Please ruin it like you did Star Trek (Score 1) 376

Put up new-khan next to old-khan and it all doesn't seem that bad really.

Except it does, it really does.

"Old Khan" is still, without a doubt, arguably the best film in the entire Trek franchise. Even after all this time it still holds up as an engaging story with just the right amount of character development and action. I've seen it more than 40 times, its one of my absolute "go to" favourites, and I still cry when Spock dies at the end - every single time, without fail. Say what you will about Shatner's acting in general, that one scene is so emotionally touching and moving - the grief and hopelessness he exudes at the death of his best friend, its hard not to be moved by it.

The "New Khan", I laughed my ass off at New Spock's "NooooooooOOOOooooo" Vader moment - as did most of the theatre I watched it with on opening night. It was utterly pathetic, devoid of any emotion at all. It was the big death scene and it played like a cheap joke, a pale comparison to a 30+ year old movie which did it far far better than J.J. was able of coming up with.

Not saying I didn't enjoy the new film, it was a decent action flick, but it was a pale imitation of the original. I definitely won't be watching it 40+ times, when I want to watch a good "Wrath of Khan" story I already have the far superior original to choose from.

Comment Re:no thanks (Score 1) 201

My old iPod I treat with utmost care because the little booger has a spinning disc in it.

I used to speed walk with my old 5th Gen iPod with the 30GB spinning disk in it, tucked it into shirt pocket where it bounced around quite a bit. After all this time it still works just fine, though the age of the battery means I barely get 6 hours out of it and something happened to the audio jack recently so I can't hear anything out of it anymore; I've been debating on getting it fixed because it just works so well.

Even though I had bought a 3rd Gen 64GB iPod Touch, I kept using my old 5th Gen iPod to hold the extra bits of my music collection that wouldn't fit on the Touch. Now that the audio jack is borked I'm hoping the new Touch, which usually comes out in the fall, will finally enter the modern age of storage and have 128GB on it so I can finally upgrade and put all my music in once spot.

Granted my 5th Gen is beat up and covered in scratches, it's well used and it still works - audio issues aside - so I'm betting even if you had one of the First Gen units you'd could get away with being a bit rough and tough with it.

Comment Re:Not Upgradeable? (Score 1) 464

The parts are useful to keep a hodge podge of frankencomputers working around the house.

I hear you there, people keep giving me their old crap - the 486 DX4-100 came from a friend who was working on an upgrade from a 386. He was about to install the motherboard when he knocked it to the floor put a nasty crack in it, since he'd bought the chip and board used and hadn't sunk in a whole lot of cash he just used it as an excuse to upgrade to a Pentium. Since the chip was fairly well protected by socket and fan, and my motherboard could run it with a BIOS update, I figured I'd try it (I wanted an excuse to upgrade to one them new Pentiums too) and ended up with a modest speed boost that lasted me another 4 years until I bought the K6-2.

Since I bought the Mac Mini in 2005, and the iMac in 2009, I haven't used the K62 or 486 all that much but I do know that they still work - I play the odd game in Windows 98 or DOS game that doesn't work all that well on XP or I can't be bothered to mess around with the DOSBox settings for.

Comment Re:Not Upgradeable? (Score 5, Interesting) 464

In all the years I've been building computers I can name only twice where I ever had the opportunity to upgrade; once with an old 466 when I went from a DX2-50 to a DX4-100; another time when I upgraded a K6-2 333 to a K6-2 500. Most of the time when it came time to "upgrade" there had been so many changes to the bus types, socket types, memory types, etc... it was just easier to start over from scratch than try to pick an upgrade from a narrow list of parts which often cost a fortune, while often only giving a moderate speed boost, because they were now considered "specialty" equipment for an obsolete architecture.

Granted, there are people who will insist that they've been able to upgrade their systems multiple times - but I'm not talking about those compulsive types who need the newest graphics card every other week. Most people I've talked to will buy a machine and keep it for 2-4 years before thinking its time buy a new one, by then everything has changed and the existing machine is mostly obsolete and so they have to start new.

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