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Comment Re:Not enough to cut budget product lines. (Score 1) 40

What does it mean to make a 'superior' product anymore?

The low end is built on no margins. They just don't have the economies of scale to compete at the low end; I think that much is clear. You can't compete on price anymore, because the next guy can sell for a penny less, and that may be your entire profit margin. That's not hyperbole--at some point HTC (I'm pretty sure it was HTC) was making an average profit of only 1-2c per phone. Untenable.

So you need a product differentiator--and what is that? You run the same OS as everyone else, everyone hates it when you mess with the default OS skin, so...hardware features? But differentiating on that basis requires pretty big features now; things that nobody has, by definition. The only way to recoup that sort of outlay is by going to the high-end.

HTC can no longer afford to care if you can't afford their phones. They have to move up-market because that's the only place where they have any potential to make money, and they can cut the costs of sourcing lower-spec components and designing those lower-spec phones. They can move this year's model down one tier next year, and sell that as their 'discount' phone since they'll hopefully already have made enough money on those phones that any additional sales are basically just pure profit.

If they don't make money at the high end, they're doomed as a handset maker; there's nowhere else to go except out of this market.

Comment Whether you use Android or iOS (Score 1) 91

...I hope that we can come together and agree that it's sad and hilarious that companies like Gartner exist and consistently make such completely asinine predictions about anything at all.

Every year some analyst predicts something absolutely stupid that all of us know is impossible. I hope whoever made this call knows that they are bad and they should feel bad.

Comment Re:More likely they will pull out (Score 4, Insightful) 131

I don't think it really matters, it costs almost nothing to defend these cases for Uber. They're just trying to defer spinning up a big HR division between now and in five years when Uber replaces most of their human drivers with driverless cars. People keep treating Uber as if they're going to be this massive, massive employer -- they won't. Ideally in 10 years most everything will live in the cloud run by a team of 300 engineers, with local service centers to swap out batteries and electric drive units for the cars. Human drivers will only work in areas that don't have enough ride share demand to deserve a dedicated service center.
Worrying about driver's benefits is a very short sighted goal and really is a waste of everyone's time.

Comment Re:Too quiet?? (Score 2) 382

The electric buses in SF are plenty loud, tire noise, old creaky suspension, flexing frame etc etc you can hear them coming, especially as they accelerate up the hills we have out here. They're not as loud as the shitty diesels that they have running around the flatter areas (electric buses are superior from a torque standpoint going up hills) but they're loud enough.

Comment Re:first (Score 1) 382

It's remarkably easy to buy renewable-only power from renewable sources. It all feeds in to the same grid, but the bill comes from the renewable sources. Since there's a limited supply of renewable power that companies and people are trying to buy from it tends to cost 1-5% more than normal electricity, but you're using only green sources of power.
When I lived in Dallas for 7 years I got my power from Green Mountain energy and cost about 4% more than regular energy, but my house was 100% renewable powered.
It's not much of a stretch to assume that the buses will be recharged with renewable power as well. Something like 70% of the power for washington state comes from Hydro as it is.

Comment Re:Square of the distance... (Score 2) 79

I bought three charging pads for my Nexus 5, one bedside, one at my home office PC, and one at my office PC. It basically stayed charged 100% of the time unless I was on a road trip or some such.
Doesn't matter where the pad is, you just need the charging pads where you use the phone the most. A dedicated charging pad in the car, one by your bed and one at the office cover 90% of use cases for probably 80% of the population. If apple got behind wireless charging, you would probably see charging pads appear in BMW and Mercedes first, followed by Lexus, Acura and then Honda/Toyota and eventually american manufacturers. We just need a standard that we're going to stick with. I'm ok with a Qi/USB Type-C world.

Comment Elisp is a Friday afternoon language (Score 2) 149

So during the week, I get my normal work done, but on Friday afternoons, if I've been frustrated with some part of the build system I've written or I want to make something about my process better, I work on tinkering with emacs. Few people need elisp as their main language, but if they're using emacs, they're working in elisp on the weekends to make the rest of their week more liveable.

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