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Comment Re:Leaf off the air too (Score 1) 68

Yeah, well, it's an opportunity to sell a bunch of new modems. What should be happening is that we should have a cheap, reliable standard for data transmission at low speed that comes as a standard interface on everything, so that when you need to change the way you transmit (say, a new frequency or underlying wireless technology) for these low-data-rate devices, you just replace a fairly generic (and cheap) modem. We could call it... RS-232.

Comment Re:It's about landmass (Score 1) 437

Yeah, once they're price-competitive I'll definitely keep them in mind. Do you find that the cost of the electricity is substantially less than the cost of gas, and if so what are local prices on gasoline and electricity? My electricity is pretty cheap, around 11 cents per kWh, but my gasoline is too...

What if you had to pay as much extra in tax as you would pay in gasoline taxes if you had a straight ICE? (I know the latter isn't really a huge number, probably on the order of $100-300/year, but it's coming at some point, and we might as well account for it now.)

Comment Re:It's about landmass (Score 1) 437

Don't waste your breath on trolly AC... 1000 miles each way at IRS rates is $1070, for two people, in first-class comfort, with no rental costs, no TSA crap, and the ability to stop and do anything I want at any time. On that 3000+ mile trip, we were planning day-to-day where we would go and what we would do. If something interested us, we stopped.

Comment Re:It's about landmass (Score 1) 437

"Very long"? I not infrequently drive three hours to the nearest major city, do some necessary business, eat a nice meal, and turn around and drive three hours home. Six times a year, at least; often more. Plus two to four trips of five hours each way, plus one that involves really high mileage - I did 3000 miles in eight days recently.

A pure EV would make a great commuter car for me, because I live really, really close to work, but that's another car that I have to garage (no space; something's going to have to park outside) and pay insurance and taxes on (not cheap), on top of which it's extremely expensive for what it is. I don't buy cars only for my daily use case; if I did, I'd just drive something tiny and cheap, because all I really want for that is climate control and protection from the elements. I need something that can do 800-1000 miles in a day, and EV's are nowhere near that level yet.

Comment Re: Conclusion: (Score 1) 373

And as a corollary to my other reply, what city-dwellers are buying with those rural road programs is cheaper everything. Drive I-81 some time. The traffic is extremely truck-heavy, because they're using it to move goods from the Gulf Coast to the Northeast without having to go along I-95 (or even I-85). It wasn't built for local usage.

Comment Re: Conclusion: (Score 2) 373

No roads to farms = no food or raw materials to cities. Farmers can eat their own produce; city dwellers can't. Cities create wealth - but how much wealth they create is mostly dependent on how much raw material they have.

Simple example: Why are Boston and Philadelphia smaller than New York? All were prominent cities in the 1700s. The big thing that kicked off NYC was the Erie Canal. It channeled the enormous productivity of the entire Great Lakes region of the US through NYC. Likewise, why is Chicago so big? Because that's where you portage from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi, opening up an enormous amount of the lower 48.

Comment Re:minidisc is where its happening! (Score 1) 562

If minidisc hadn't had SCMS, and had been agnostic as to "is it music or is it data", it would have had a long run. Probably would still have some uses today, in fact, for backing up modest amounts of important data in physical form. Cassettes... Well, they were cheap, the hardware was cheap, and you could easily power them with standard disposable batteries. If you wanted to go interview remote populations deep in the jungle, and weren't too particular about sound quality, they would probably be a good choice today.

Comment There's a simple explanation... (Score 4, Funny) 124

I knew a former US Army helicopter pilot. He had great stories about stuff they did. One example: find a car driving down a lonely rural road at night. Approach it with lights off. Settle in at low altitude and fifty yards behind it. Turn on the several-million-candlepower search light, then immediately bank to one side. Turn the light off. Run away. Watch the local papers for UFO sighting reports.

Comment Re:Apple seems stuck in profit trap (Score 1) 293

They've even lost a lot of the great design stuff. My wife's Magic Keyboard just died, and got a Magic Keyboard 2 to replace it. They sized up the left and right cursor keys to be full size instead of half-height, meaning that you can't just feel for the low spots in the bottom right corner to center your hands on the cursor keys.

Comment Re:Well, not "new" (Score 1) 112

It does, in fact, participate quite heavily in warding off disease. The mesentery is full of lymph nodes. And if you take it out, you've just removed the blood supply to your gut. Good luck living with your dead bowel.

You might have a better argument with omentum - it's something you can do without if you have to. Even there, though, it serves a purpose, just as the spleen, appendix, and gallbladder all do.

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