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Comment Re:not that big of a deal (Score 1) 174

For the most part, the power is free. You did notice how much Tesla has sunk into solar development? And batteries? I'm sure the fee is intended to offset building new ones and maintaining the old ones, but each station is supposed to charge its own batteries via the sun and then recharge you car from the batteries.

Comment Re:I own one, it's horrible (Score 1) 292

Mine is a 2013, and it's My Ford Touch. The app interface apparently only ever worked on the earlier Sync system -- it showed up on the menu of MFT, but it was apparently never implemented, probably for the reason you mention.

The MFT menu system seems fine to me, other than functions that kept getting removed with each new version, apparently in an effort to trim the system down enough to be stable on the limited hardware. It will change time zones if you drive over a time zone boundary, yet you can't select Daylight Savings Time. Etc.

You're right that the nav system is pretty bad. The display is actually nicely thought out, but it tends to get confused a lot, and the POI database is minuscule. The only vehicle-moving crashes of the system I've had were related to trying to use navigation at the same time as playing music. Too much for it to handle, leading to a five to ten minute freeze followed by a reboot. After a couple tries like that, I simply stick the phone into a holder and use Waze.

My speaker phone performance hasn't been a problem. I've only used the voice commands to make phone calls, and they work pretty well.

I don't use voice commands for music, since I just put it on random play and never mess with it. So with music and nav out of consideration, I don't know why I would ever actually use the voice prompts, even if they worked perfectly.

The music system would be great, if it actually worked reliably. When it's working, it's doing just what I want, with a pretty good interface.

Comment Re:I own one, it's horrible (Score 1) 292

A previous time this came up, an anonymous poster claimed to be one of the engineers that worked on the interface. According to him, it was not the Microsoft nature of the system that was at fault, but insufficient hardware resources and the decision to build the interface in Flash.

There were a lot of complaints about how unintuitive the interface was, but I disagree strongly with that. The interface is fine. If only it worked reliably. I've had it crash while going down the road, and the music subsystem re-indexes if you look at it hard (which means it's essentially unusable for 5 or 10 minutes.) I've worked out some procedures that minimize that problem, but if you forget, or if it just feels cantankerous, it'll reset itself.

Comment Re:Best ways, huh? (Score 1) 58

Access the *Internet*. That's part of what being a computer is. I didn't say being connected wasn't vital, I said being a phone wasn't vital.

I added the "is connected" criterion to my definition of "useful computer" somewhere around 1989. Even though "uses telephone technology" is part of what makes that work, the "is a phone" part isn't all that important.

I'm not saying that I don't use the phone as a phone. But it's not why I have it. If I had to choose between a portable phone without computer functions or a portable computer without phone functions (and could only have one) I'd probably make do with email.

There are folks on Slashdot that, after asking me to get off their lawn, seem very proud of their dumb phones. "It's a phone, dammit, that's what's important." And that's fine. Just not for me.

Comment Re:Best ways, huh? (Score 1) 58

Personally, I'm buying a portable computer that fits in my pocket. That I can use it for phone calls or SMS is mildly convenient, but not ultimately vital.

As far as "most private things" go, there is some of that (but not a ton) and that's mostly encrypted. At least as far as what *I* put on there. What the phone gathers about me is a whole other thing.

Comment Re:Family Plans (Score 1) 316

I guess you could say I use Google Play -- but it's all my own music. When they first announced Google Music, I uploaded all my music to their cloud, and it's now available to play where ever I have an internet connection. They used to periodically pitch me on signing up for their paid service, but I think they've given up (or maybe I just don't notice anymore.)

If I do get new music, I buy the CD and rip it to flac. Google Play uploads it and converts it to whatever format they're using. I keep a secondary mp3 repository (converted from the flac) for my car. Those high-capacity, low profile USB drives are great.

I'm mostly done converting all my LPs to digital format. The ones that were in bad shape I bought replacement CDs, but mostly I listen to the digitized copy.

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