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Comment Re:Am I missing something? (Score 1) 139

Hangouts does everything you describe. It's what I use all the time. It is seamless across my phone and table and my PC. And it is seamless across windows, linux and apple.

It is seamless between SMS and the internal delivery system, and the conversations are synced to my gmail account allowing me to search them.

I like Hangouts and use it constantly, both personally and for work (I work for Google, where it is arguably the primary means of communication), but it isn't quite as seamless as iMessage in one respect: SMS integration. In iMessage there is no distinction between SMS and iMessage messages; they're all just messages. If they can be delivered via Apple's infrastructure, they are, if not they're routed via SMS. With Hangouts, SMS and Hangouts chat messages are distinct. They look similar, but they're different in subtle ways.

Of course, Hangouts clearly is superior to iMessage if you or your friends use non-Apple devices, because Hangouts works on a much wider variety of platforms, and for those who understand the distinction it's *good* to know what is SMS and what is not, because SMS is inherently unreliable -- and in some parts of the world SMS is also ridiculously expensive while data is cheap.

So, although depending on your context Hangouts may be better than iMessage, it's definitely not as seamless in a pure-Apple world as iMessage is.

Comment Re: Renewables will never work (Score 4, Informative) 244

The world would have to stop spinning (so the solar panels were always lot and at a perfect angle with zero clouds) with all the panels moved to the equator, while the wind would have to be a constant gale at all wind locations..

Nope. The capacity of an installed solar panel is the sum or average of expected generation over a day/month/year, so it takes generation time and location into account.

And the wind around here is a yearly average as the given power level, and at least here, wind generates more than all the petrochemicals in the same grid. But then, I'm not in the US.

The proof renewables work is all the lies told by those who hate them. If they didn't work, then they wouldn't need to lie so much to make them look bad.

Comment Re:It's not the FWD that are the real problem (Score 1) 131

They don't share their methods. They say to try to keep anyone from gaming the results, but from insiders, it's because it's not consistent or logical. It's easier to justify numbers in court and such (as they get sued) if they have 100% perfection, or no process. If you have a process and it fails 1% of the time, that failure in process can be justification for a lawsuit, but "opinions" can't be sued.

As you note, they did a report of a car before they had enough data. Not the first time, not the last. They paid out Suzuki when they invented a new test, explicitly designed to flip the Sidekick and were sued for it.

CR doesn't accept advertisements, except for/from themselves, and when they have something to sensationalize, they do, to get in the news.

Comment Re:Hardware is so much better? (Score 1) 78

I wish my experience were similar, because I'm also the kind of person who doesn't buy cheap tat and does do his research. I only buy from reputable sources. I typically buy mid-range products at minimum, and often towards the higher end. And I have still encountered dramatically more failures generally but also dramatically more deliberate crippling of products in recent years.

I do agree that there is some element of modern technology simply being more complex and/or working on smaller scales and so inherently having less margin for error. Whether I really need a more vulnerable 4TB hard drive instead of a more robust 1TB drive if I only have a few hundred GB of data to store anyway is a different question, of course, but bigger numbers presumably shift more boxes so that's what everyone supplies.

There is probably also an element of dumb luck in my personal anecdotes. I had an amazing lack of failures for many years, with not so much as a hard drive giving out on me during its working lifetime across many different machines. Statistically, I was well into the long tail for that period, and what I've seen more recently may in part just be reverting to the mean.

But that doesn't excuse things like printers that decide your ink/toner has run out after a fixed number of pages when you can see there's plenty of supply left, or tablets that get security patches for barely a year or two before some OS update designed for newer hardware leaves them barely able to run any more, or cars where diagnosing a warning light on the dash means an expensive visit to a dealer but adding a simple report of the underlying fault code to the already pathetically bad onboard UI would mean owners could fix the problem and the clear the error in five minutes themselves without paying. These kinds of trends are rampant in their respective industries, even among big name brands and high-end products, and they are nothing but customer-hostile cash grabs.

Comment Re:Really... (Score 1) 115

That sounds like a good idea. Like the $1 you can donate on your taxes, political donations are allowed, only to the general fund, and you can give it in the name of someone, but not earmarked. Then, the funds would be distributed in a set manner. I would set the distribution such that a 3rd party candidate could make a profit running an unwinnable campaign, and the major parties would see a cut in funding, but since it would be the major parties voting on it, I don't think that would ever fly.

Comment Re:Something's fishy (Score 1) 212

I don't really understand that sort of generalisation, though I've certainly seen it a lot lately. About 16 million people voted to remain and about 17 million to leave. That's a lot of people, the majority of the adult population of the UK, so no doubt there were some delusional extremists and some just plain nasty people in there, but I imagine most of those millions of people probably weren't like that, on either side. Certainly I've talked to plenty of people from both camps who have been reasonable and quite well informed, even if they came down on opposite sides of the debate in the end. I guess I must be living in a different country to the one I keep reading about.

Comment Re:Something's fishy (Score 1) 212

I honestly have no idea what you're trying to say there. Did you reply to the wrong comment?

My previous comment was agreeing with someone else's view that Brexit will almost certainly reduce GDP in the short and possibly medium term, and then noting that there are various ways it might work out better in the longer term but no-one really knows what will happen that far ahead. I didn't say anything about subsidies, nor express any other opinion on Brexit.

Comment Re:Hardware is so much better? (Score 2) 78

I'm afraid we might just have to agree to disagree on some of this.

Certainly you're right that modern cars are more reliable, and the better built-in diagnostics are a part of that. But the flip side is that you used to be able to buy a repair manual for any major model of car and take care of it yourself, and if you did then many popular models could last almost forever. Today it's barely possible to change a light bulb or diagnose the cause of a simple warning light in many new models without going to see your dealer, a term for the official representatives of the car manufacturers with other connotations that also seem all too appropriate these days.

As for the modern electronics you speak of, I fear you're suffering from much the same perception bias you think I have. A lot of devices made the best part of a decade ago were pretty reliable, but standards have dropped sharply even as recently as the past 5 years. My previous washing machine also lasted about a decade with a couple of minor repairs along the way. Talking to a surprisingly honest salesman when buying the new one, he said only certain prestige brands would expect that sort of longevity today, and with most of the mid-range models you'd be doing well if it was still economic to maintain them beyond 5 years. I never had a PC fail on me before being retired after many years of use until about 2010. I haven't had a single PC, at home or work, of any spec, last beyond about 3-4 years without at least one serious hardware failure since then. My previous DVD player lasted many years. My current Blu-Ray player, a relatively expensive model at purchase, is already starting to fail after maybe three years. Printers. Phones and tablets. TVs. PVRs. Headphones. Networking gear. Almost no technology is built to last these days, except perhaps for some of the high-end prestige brands, and many of the electronic devices in my home and office come with some element of built-in obsolescence that is entirely artificial, often due to legal controls on replacement parts and interoperability, or to dependencies on software or online services that aren't supported for very long.

I'm certainly not saying that everything we made yesterday was better made in every way than what we produce today, but junk that fails after what used to be considered a very short lifetime, often for entirely deliberate and artificial reasons, and with limited or no prospect of servicing or repair to restore it to use, is mostly a very modern and very unwelcome trend.

Comment Re:Something's fishy (Score 1) 212

Those predictions are certainly consistent with what the more informed people I know have been saying. In the short term, it seems almost certain that the UK economy will drop significantly in GDP terms. It's possible that this effect will continue for several years, depending on what if any post-Brexit deal with the EU gets worked out. But the worst of the doom-and-gloom predictions probably aren't realistic, because there are also areas such as those we were discussing before where the EU has been a negative influence even if it's a net benefit overall, and there are some effects like the devaluation of Sterling that may provide some cushioning effect for the economy.

In the longer term, it seems the jury's out. The UK already trades more with non-EU partners than EU ones, and trade with non-EU partners is growing faster so the gap has been widening. It will surely widen even faster in future if the remaining EU leaders follow through on their scorched earth rhetoric, though at some point it's likely that the adults will step in and prevent that. Meanwhile, the EU has serious economic problems of its own still bubbling under the surface, particularly within the Eurozone. As we've been seeing with TTIP and CETA, claims that the EU is somehow better placed to negotiate new trade deals with foreign partners than an independent UK may be exaggerated. And if the coming elections in places like France and Germany go in favour of eurosceptic/nationalist parties, which is certainly a possibility at the moment, the EU may not exist in its current form within a few years anyway.

For any of these factors to mean Brexit leaves the UK economically better off, it seems we're talking about 5-10 years at a minimum, though, unless something catastrophic happens within the EU sooner than that. And even a decade from now, if events turn the other way with the EU stabilising but wider global trade suffering for some reason, maybe Brexit will prove to be unhelpful economically even in the longer term. In reality, I doubt anyone has enough information and foresight to make useful predictions that far out.

Comment Re:It's not the FWD that are the real problem (Score 5, Insightful) 131

That's one of the issues with CR's reporting. 100 people with problems with a cupholder would rate as "poor" while 2 with a blown engine would rate as "good", when the sum of cost of 100 cupholders is less than two engines, so the upkeep cost of the "reliable" car is higher than the "unreliable" car.

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