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Comment LONG past due (Score 3, Interesting) 183

Honestly, I have a $150 chromebook that has a trackpad that is 100x better than all 3 of my $1k+ Windows laptops. Not having proper support in Windows has driven a lot of that, so it's Microsoft's fault. But also, the drivers that implemented these gestures made by the touchpad companies sucked.

This is just another example that if you leave it to OEMs, they basically suck at everything. Microsoft, Google, etc are all learning that they need to drive the bus here, because otherwise the OEMs find ways to cut costs, even on their highest end laptops, and as a result we are getting a lot better hardware here.

Comment Might be time (Score 1) 104

My account with Wells Fargo is my longest sustained credit item on my credit report. I've had an account with them since 1983 (well, it was a local bank that then got bought by them). It out-distances any of my other accounts by about 15 years of longevity (parents opened it for me when I was an infant). It'll knock my credit score down if I get rid of it....but maybe I should just stick the minimum balance in there and then never use it again.

Comment Re:My state/county can barely afford asphalt (Score 1) 168

With respect to taxes, we've tried multiple times to get simpler taxes through. Obama made it a priority, but the problem is that most tax prep companies are based in California, and they're big companies that make tons of money and have lots of clout. Whomever wants to push that through as to do it without the California delegation, which is really, really hard.....They've presented a pretty united front.

Comment Huh? (Score 1) 168

Uh, what? What magic ground breaking technology is specifically in 5G that enables it versus 4G (or even 4G)?

Guess what, NOTHING. It's just, you know, if you want to instrument a huge chunk of a road, then you pretty much need to be the government. A single sensor attached to a billboard does nothing (and no one would opt int). You basically need to instrument a huge chunk of it, and the owner of that land is the government.

Comment Re:This is no roadway (Score 2) 163

Yea, sidewalks and other pedestrian areas seem to make a ton more sense. I mean, I can't tell you how many pedestrian areas around commercial buildings I've seen dug up to put in heater wires and then filled back in. One employee slipping and cracking their head on company property that hasn't been adequately cleared of ice can be pretty costly. If these can get cost comparable to those heater systems by just being able to lay over existing walkways, or even just require less tearing up of the current walkway than the embedded wires do, or generating power in non-winter months to help pay off install costs, then I could see a future in that niche area. These look kinda slick themselves though, so it could be self defeating :) On a real road with multi-ton trucks at 65mph with gravel, and other stuff in their tires? Not a chance.

Comment Re:ELI5 (Score 5, Informative) 119

Annealing is an optimization algorithm, mainly. It can be applied to other things, but generally it is really good at optimizing complex problems with lots of variables. Used extensively in simulation packages for pretty much everything, and other problems without easy closed form solutions. Good for the traveling salesman problem also.

Comment Re:Mozilla is wasting money, brains, and time (Score 2) 97

Yup. They're without a mission. And looking in from the outside, all future/current missions looks like bad plays. IoT will play out like the smart phone thing, and so on.

So, what should they do? Well, you wait until a mission comes. You don't just cast around for one because you have money and the desire. You enhance, solidy, and perfect your current mission. Polish the heck out of FF, and wait for the next thing. It'll likely be adjacent to FF, and having an exceptional product on hand will make that leap easier and more likely to be successful.

They keeping trying to hop onto fads as they start -- like trying to get in on the bottom floor or not miss the boat. Instead, they need to wait for a problem to present itself and fester for a bit so that the ways to fix it are clear. Trying to catch every bandwagon just leaves you exhausted and covered in dust. My bet is that they still feel that "it's win" because they nudged to market towards a freer or opener place or something. But they'll never have impact, nor survive like that....gotta have the big marquee projects and successes also.

Comment Re:Solar bubble? (Score 1) 160

Some of our schools essentially have "token" solar installs, and others have legitimate ones. The legitimate ones have reduced operating budget for the schools resulting in more money for actual education at the school. I don't know about the token ones, they probably don't do anything. When designed right, things work. When not, they don't.

Comment Re:Solar bubble? (Score 1) 160

Yup. And with the current tax credit setup (in my state at least), if you're replacing your roof you can essentially roll a large part of that cost into the solar tax credit $$$, so people line up like crazy to do it....I haven't looked into the exact words in the law, but tons of people do it and essentially get solar on their roofs for almost nothing.

Comment Re:Not new (Score 4, Insightful) 160

They very well might. Never underestimate the power of timing combined with marketing. It's what made the iPhone and countless other products.

I looked at the Dow and other systems, and they were quite expensive and not really wanting to talk to individual home owners, and when they did it was ridiculously obtuse and no installers would touch the things. They were 5 years too early and didn't have enough juice to make it happen, both likely inside of the company to essentially go all in, nor with public mind-share and installer credibility.

Cells are much cheaper now, home solar is much more of a known commodity, and you have a company with nation-wide installation presence fronting the install and handling all of that, and a man with free-press touting this. It definitely could have legs. If Musk does one thing well, it's identify things that are good ideas and feasible, but everyone is timid about, and then just take that idea and go balls-to-the-wall all out bet everything on it. Thus, he becomes a driving force, and every success adds to his confidence and ability to take massive bets and the cycle continues.

Comment Re: So funny (Score 2) 176

To be fair, Tesla is doing better and is further along than any automotive startup in the US in recent memory. So, something is going right, and yea, if you count the capital expeditures associated with building the factories for the Model 3 and the Gigafactory, they're losing money per car they sell -- but that's not how things are typically calculated. Those things are called "investments", and are expected to pay off it the future. If Tesla scrapped the Gigafactory, the massive build factory updates, and other capital expenditures to non-growth levels Tesla would be profitable right now -- not as profitable as planned due to the aforementioned quality issues, but still profitable. Instead, they're investing in themselves to grow as a company. Pretty typical and expected at this stage.

They have a very, very tough road ahead and they're current performance isn't inspiring with the unrealistic Model 3 ramp up and issues with the Model X, but those are also solvable issues (and in many ways smaller issues than most other auto companies have).

Comment Re:Doesn't quite add up... (Score 2) 144

This contract, her golden parachute if bought out, retention bonuses for key staff if bought out, and some other contracts that make a buyout look less appealing. My guess is that they were trying to swallow a poison pill -- make it too financially dangerous to get bought. But then they realized the next week that the best option was to get bought :)

Comment Re:that's a lot of $$ for nothing (Score 1) 144

They do it because it nets them more money than it costs (or at least in theory it would). Search engine traffic is tens if not hundreds of times more monetizable than any other type of traffic (after all, this is one of the only times ads are truly relevant in shaping customer buying habits), so people jockey for it intensely, including by spending hundreds of millions of dollars to get large chunks of it.

Comment Spilled milk (Score 1) 428

This makes a difference now? It's water under the bridge man. I mean, let's just keep going back in time and complaining and whining about all the other water under the bridge. I next nominate the US industrial revolution. We stole a lot of IP to make that shit happen and get big. I propose that whatever his solution is here with YouTube that we also apply it to him and the fruits of the American Industrial Revolution.

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