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Comment Batteries... (Score 2) 904

EVs are not necessarily cleaner or better because they need batteries. Mining of the rare earth metals required for the batteries is mostly monopolized by China, and is an unregulated ecologically damaging industry. A shift to electric will move the US from a being energy independent with fossil fuels to being dependent on Chinese rare earths. At any point, China could make our lives miserable by cutting off exports of rare earths, making it very expensive to make or buy batteries. The cost to restart rare earth mining in the US is in the tens of billions, and a decade or more away after all the lawsuits by the eco-lobby.

Comment Apple and Proprietary (Score 1, Interesting) 184

Let's just dispense with the "Apple does proprietary connectors to charge royalties and profit!" line. Let's ignore for a minute the fact that modern Macs (including the new USB-C sporting MacBook) have zero "proprietary" connectors on them. And let's ignore for a minute that Apple was the greatest early champion of USB, Ethernet, and WiFi. When Apple does do a home-grown connector, say FireWire for example, it is because they have come up with something better than anything that exists in the market. This was even true of Lightning, which arrived years before USB-C, and was so much better then any small form-factor USB connector. Often, as in the case of FireWire and Mini DisplayPort, Apple either made them available for anyone to adopt as standards or added to an existing standard. And let me just throw this in here preemptively, because I know someone will bring it up. Thunderbolt was developed by Intel and adopted by Apple, so it is not proprietary. Any PC maker can adopt Thunderbolt, and it is inexplicable so few have.

Comment Re:Wonder how many incidents are accidents... (Score 1) 445

Spoke to a friend of mine who is an air traffic controller. He says that laser incidents are primarily reported by helicopter pilots, and rarely by commercial jet pilots. He pointed out that jet aircraft flying at cruising altitude and speed would be nearly impossible to track from the ground with a handheld laser, although there are lasers available with beam ranges that could easily reach them. Tracks with what others said here, helicopters fly lower and slower, and have significantly more glass surrounding the cockpit.

Comment Re:Wonder how many incidents are accidents... (Score 1) 445

It's just a silly sig, riffing on my favorite Arthur C. Clarke quote and my platform of choice. The truth is, when I discovered the Mac in 1990, it was magic to me. The sig may come off as a fanboi-ish, but I have always said that if anything better than Mac OS comes along, I would switch. Nothing better has come along. BTW, this has been my sig since I joined /.

Comment Wonder how many incidents are accidents... (Score 1) 445

These lasers are often marketed as "great for sky pointing", and indeed a tour guide used one for that legitimate purpose on my recent trip to Puerto Rico. I am sure there are dumbasses purposely doing this to low-flying aircraft (during take-off, approach and landing), but I wonder if pilots are also reporting lasers that are unintentionally pointed in the vicinity of aircraft during legitimate ground uses. And yes, I will be buying mine before they get banned...

Comment Divorce... (Score 1) 682

My son got an iPod Touch when he was 4, for the express purpose of FaceTime with me and his grandparents. He doesn't see me daily due to a divorce. I set up the device with favorite contacts and a few games for him. He can't take it to school, and FaceTime requires WiFi, so he pretty much just uses it at home. He brings it in his bag when he travels between my house and my ex-wife's house. He is 7 now, and I can't see that it has affected him adversely. He gets good grades, reads, plays outside, has friends, etc. He probably uses the iPod Touch less than I played Atari when I was his age.

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