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Comment Re:VoIP with WiFi (Score 1) 99

I'll have to check when flying if they list what they block before you pay. I would think they would need to, but probably not.

The most likely candidate to work would be Signal, but I think that only handles calls between people using that app. It's all encrypted, so unless they block the app entirely, it should be good.

Unless they block ssh, you could use any VoIP with a tunnel, but that's not something the common person is going to be able to set up.

Comment VoIP with WiFi (Score 2) 99

So they're not enabling cellular service, but you can usually pay their extortion price for WiFi and then make all the VoIP calls you want. If you use Google Voice, it's just like any other call. You can also use Signal, Skype, or whatever.

But for the other 95% who aren't clueful with the technology, it keeps them quiet. In time that might change. I wouldn't be surprised if in a few years, most people only use data on their devices, regardless of whether they're making a call, sending a text, or browsing a web site.

Comment Re:Not completely insane (Score 1) 289

Nonsense. If you look at what Tesla would be making if they weren't investing in the future, they would be making a handsome profit on the Model S and X. The difference in capital spending between Tesla and GM is that Tesla is expanding, while GM is spending on maintaining their business. Tesla is spending to become a much larger company, while GM is spending to try to stay the same size.

Comment Baggage Fees (Score 1) 135

I've twice signed up for airline credit cards when traveling with my family because they offer to waive the baggage fee (at least for the first bag per ticket). Even if I hadn't canceled the card before having to pay the annual fee after one year, I still would have come out ahead.

Though the last time we flew, I went to Walmart and bought some carry-on bags that were cheaper than the checked baggage fee. Still, when flying with a family with connecting flights, checking baggage is nice.

Comment Not completely insane (Score 1) 289

The price isn't completely insane. If you figure that GM sells 10 million cars a year, but has very narrow profit margins. Tesla is looking for a production rate of 0.5 million cars by the end of next year and 1 million cars a few years after that. But Tesla has a much higher margin on its cars than GM. So if you look at the projected profits of Tesla selling 1m cars vs. GM selling 10m cars, Tesla comes out on top.

Of course, when Tesla is selling 1m cars per year, they'll likely still be expanding, so the profits will be lower, but Wall Street generally likes to see companies use their margin to fuel growth instead of using their margin for profits--it's always about the future.

Comment Re:Why is longevity in the workforce never discuss (Score 1) 312

Yes, I've wondered the same thing. I've seen several studies that show that that accounts for some of the gap, but by no means all of it. Another related factor is that women often need more flexible work hours to manage families, which impacts pay in many fields. Still, even after accounting for factors like that, women earn less than men.

Comment Re:Dealers are Leeches (Score 1) 202

Tesla doesn't sell cars at wholesale prices, so any reseller would have to buy them at retail and mark them up from there. Also, I think it would be tracked as a sale, so technically they would be buying new cars and selling them used; I'm not sure about that.

In any case, Tesla isn't making deals with dealers, so if you want to open an independent Tesla dealership, your best bet is to sell used Teslas, which you can buy at various car auctions like any used car. If I weren't stuck in a satisfying well-paying job, I've thought I might want to start an electric-only used car business.

Comment Counterfeit vs. Fake (Score 4, Insightful) 60

If the product really behaves as what it's being sold as, it's a counterfeit. If it doesn't, it's an outright fake. I once bought a micro SD card that turned out to be fake (it failed, and then the company said the serial number wasn't valid). When buying phone batteries on eBay, I expect them to be counterfeit. They've always worked, though I don't have any good way of telling if the mAh ratings were real.

Comment Re:"you've known and waited for it for months now" (Score 3, Insightful) 90

Yeah, I don't think most people are terribly excited. It's not like five years ago when each new phone crushed the previous one. It's more like seeing what minor tweaks they're making to the previous model, and what things they're taking away that were good. In general, I expect more memory, better camera, longer battery life, and a loss of some feature that I used that most people ignored. Like when they took away the IR that my S5 had, so I couldn't turn off TVs in restaurants anymore.

In my case, I have an S7 now, so I'm curious about the S8, as I'll probably end up with an S9, so this gives me some idea of what to expect next year.

Comment Re:Rotating Airport (Score 4, Interesting) 340

On a serious note, you can approximate this by simply paving an entire square mile. I once heard that Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory was such an airport in WWII, allowing damaged aircraft to land without having to line up for a runway. I don't know if that's true or not (it was a naval air base according to Wikipedia, so it might be), but the idea may be valid.

If you have a location with high winds that approach from many directions, and you have a wide open area, then something along these lines would work. Of course, there aren't going to be many locations where you have those wind conditions and the space, so you could approximate it with several different runways aligned based on the predominant wind conditions. That would work great! And that's pretty much exactly what they do at all major airports.

Comment Rotating Airport (Score 1) 340

A circular runway has too many problems as others have pointed out: Weather making the runway slippery, the need for approach lights, etc. So why not stick with straight runways, but gain the advantage of a circular runways by putting the entire airport on a giant turntable? Then you can rotate the runways to always be at the optimal alignment for the wind. :)

Comment Re:Conversion typo (Score 1) 138

The phrase in question is "crossing a hill which is more than 300 meters high." It reads as a general observation, not as a specification, so I'll disagree in this case. I will grant, however, that you're correct that you can't assume the number of significant digits simply because the number happens to end in zeros.

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