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Comment Re:Monopolies are bad (Score 4, Insightful) 55

Brick & Mortar businesses' response has been to cut back selection. Just TRY to find good precision screwdrivers locally, for example. Sears, Home Depot, Lowes, smaller hardware chains, etc - no dice. Frys has some decent sets but they're not here in the northeast so they aren't an option.

Appliances such as mixer stands - you'll find 5qt and under KitchenAid mixers with the weak motor and plastic gear case at many stores, but most don't stock the 6qt and larger models with the stronger motor and transmission with metal gears. Soo. I'm going to Amazon for that.

Monitors - Worst Buy is the only local authorized reseller for the ROG Swift monitor but no stores I've been to stock it. I went to Amazon for those. I'll be buying another through Amazon. Why do the Worst Buy "ship to store" for free shipping when I have to go pick it up, whereas ordering from Amazon gets me free shipping to my door, with better customer service?

Klipsch speakers - I can't get the Reference Series at local authorized retailers, even at the "Mangolia" outlets at Best Buy. They stock plenty of the Synergy line (which isn't bad, but isn't great), so again, I've been turning to online retailers for Reference-series speakers.

That's just a small handful of examples but I could list so many more. I try to shop local, but when the stores stick to carrying low-end crap I'm forced to shop online. It seems like retailers only want to sell low-end items that need replacing after six months to a year rather than higher end product lines that actually last.

Comment Re:Only one reason to jam GPS... (Score 1) 158

If there were only backup systems which could detect changes in motion by measuring acceleration regardless of what nonsensical GPS data says and maybe a secondary device which measures angular changes, and if the path since the last good data set could be extrapolated based on these hypothetical devices. For a thought exercise let's call the acceleration detector an "accelerometer" and the angular detector a "gyroscope." It's such a shame that those devices do not exist and are not already included in cruise and air to surface missiles. /s

Comment Re: Great way to kill the competition by making it (Score 3, Insightful) 301

Customer -> Uber -> Driver -> Tesla -> Self-driving Software -> local, state, national laws about self-driving cars -> local, state, national laws about ride sharing -> Insurance companies... figuring out who to sue and who pays in case of an accident would be like legal Inception.

Comment Sly (Score 1) 546

Nice backhanded compliment: "There are many reasons a person might support Trump that do not involve racism, sexism, xenophobia, or accepting sexual assault."

The age-old question: if you claim to be inclusive, do you have to include people who exclude others?

Similar to "what happens to 'alternative' when it becomes mainstream?"

Comment Fuck security, I give up. (Score 1) 146

I've long held onto a naïve dream that we might achieve SOME level of security by teaching users how to read domain names, enabling status bars (note: FUCK ALL CURRENT BROWSER MAKERS that turn them off by default) so users can look at URLs before clicking on them, and NOT blindly trusting that little green padlock (oh look! I'm securely connected to but for that to happen, domain names MUST be human-parseable. I don't expect everyone to become a cybersecurity expert, but if you can learn and follow a basic rules of traffic safety, you can learn follow a few basic rules of online safety.* Oh well. Now I guess I can spend my time dreaming of riding ponies and winning the lottery.

No sense mentioning how much harder it will make it for everyone who writes make-this-FQDN-a-link code. Lots of systems will make clickable but I doubt anyone BUT google will do the same for Or we can just render EVERYTHING with a dot as a link. :-/

* Please spare me the obvious jokes about OMG EVERYONE IS TEH WORST DRIVERS!!!!!11

Comment Re:It's scary that they can't figure out the cause (Score 1) 145

> . It's probably only a matter of time before Apple, LG, or some other manufacturer has a similar problem, and also can't figure it out because of the total destruction involved.

Apple already does; their response is that third-party USB chargers are to blame.
Which of course is false, since USB chargers' job is to provide 5VDC (aside from QC which can provide higher voltages at request of the device), that's all; the USB charger will keep supplying 5VDC as long as it is connected. It is the device's job to monitor the battery's voltage and cut off current to the battery pack when the target voltage is reached... and if there is an incoming overvoltage, it's also the device's job to stop accepting power.

This has been an ongoing problem since the iPhone 4, but since Apple is Apple, they get a free pass on it.

Comment More to it than simply "frustration" (Score 1) 310

I think a major issue is that it's easy and common to have contacts in your phone with addresses. People send you contacts that are fully populated with info, you can search in Maps and 'create new contact' from a result and it includes the address, etc. And you have it with you all the time so you can easily update it at your convenience. As opposed to a GPS built into a car, where you have to sit there in the car and punch the info in on the screen. You can only update it when you're sitting in the car and doing nothing else. And the UI to choose an existing location usually isn't that great.

On top of that, many (most?) car GPSs don't have Internet connections to show live traffic info, which is almost as important as knowing where you're going in the first place. In fact, more often than not, I use my phone to check traffic on the way to a known destination, which means the traffic info is MORE important than the actual directions 90% of the time. On top of worrying about out-of-date info and potentially expensive updates, it's pretty obvious why people prefer their phones.

I only ever use a standalone GPS when I'm going on a long trip (over an hour) to a new place and when traffic isn't a concern -- i.e., there's nothing else to do but stay on the highway and make my exit. THEN it's worth the time it takes to punch in the address because I get a screen that can stay on without tying up my phone. And even then I'll have the address ready in my phone, too, so I can check traffic as I get closer.

So it's not entirely that car GPS systems are totally bad -- they're just way worse (in practical terms) than phones.

Comment Re:Of course (Score 1) 78

Luckily, not all companies choose Option B. (Or at least, not all at once.) This is the #1 reason I moved from AT&T to T-Mobile 3 years ago. On AT&T, if I went over, they charged a TON for the next small clump of data. I think my plan was $30/mo for X GB, and if I went over, it was about $15 or $20 for two-tenths of X GB more -- something ridiculous like that. And it wasn't optional -- if you went over, you paid.

On T-M, besides giving me more data for less money in the first place AND including tethering for free (which was also $15-20/mo on AT&T), they have no overage charges. If you go over your allotment, you get throttled to 2G speeds for the rest of the month. (Not sure if that is still how they work for new accounts, but I still have the deal that I signed up for.)

AND they were one of the first companies to make it easy to buy phones outright and not subsidize them, so if you can stand to use a phone for more than 2 years, you save money. AND they aren't jerks when you ask to unlock your phone. Etc etc etc.

Other than the fact that actual phone calls get dropped a lot more (like, weekly or more, versus almost never on AT&T), I've been totally happy with T-M and I've saved a lot of money with them over AT&T in the last 3 years.

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