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Comment Re:Energy density. (Score 1) 734

Agreed. I watched my driving closely all of 2013, and after I could show that a sub 100 mile range just wasn't a problem 99% of the time I bought an EV. I've had it for three months and it's not once been a problem, or even close to a problem. I keep the gaso-powered cars (of which I have many, because I'm a gearhead) fueled up and ready to go, and maybe a couple times a month they've been called into action for something other than a track day, but mostly they just sits there. My monthly fuel bill went from $160 to $26 and I lost nothing in the deal. My house is due for a new roof in the next couple years, and I fully intend on integrating solar power into that work. I love ICEs and the cars they power, but for the daily, I am 100% satisfied with an EV.

Even if battery technology stagnates and people still need to have a backup ICE or rent an ICE for those longer trips I think that's major progress. Perhaps over time those longer trips will be handled with flight, trains, or some other form of mass transit. The idea that getting around in the future might consist of EVs and HSR makes me happy inside. Let's do it.

Comment Re:Go drive around in GTA V for a while (Score 2) 374

Indeed. That's what Doom did. Doom made that suggestion, albeit indirectly. Doom suggested Quake and Quake suggested Half Life.

Myst was a genre more or less to itself, a genre aimed at non-computer game players. A low-stress "experience" that included no real failure, and no rules for success. If you clicked enough, you'd eventually get it. I think more aptly, Myth's legacy is Bejewelled. Or Diablo. :*)

My $0.02, YMMV.

Comment Re:Better games came along right after? (Score 5, Informative) 374

Yes, exactly!

I worked at a software store when Myst came out, and we sold MOUNTAINS of it. That at the 7th Guest (and Encarta, LOL) were the go-tos when people added a CD-ROM to their system and wanted something to do with it. But the feedback was universal - after a couple hours in Myst and the visual excitement wore off, it turned out there wasn't much game. It wasn't much more than a graphic Choose Your Own Adventure book.

Doom came out shortly later, and everyone forgot entirely about Myst. We sold mountains of Doom, and then we sold mountains of those *terrible* compilation CDs that had bazillions of maps downloaded off the internet. And then Doom2, and then more add-on maps (and not long after we started selling NICs and 10Base2 terminators ;). Being able to go anywhere and engage anything was what Myst didn't do, a step we had *expected* Riven to take... but it didn't.

Under a Killing Moon was also a big seller - and there were other games in the vein, too. All very interesting to play, but like the LucasFilm-style games they got murdered by FPSs and RTSs. I never quite understood why - Day of the Tentacle and Monkey Island were great games with broad appeal. Strange they didn't survive longer.

heck.. what I want the answer to is what the fuck happened to space combat, and the X-Wing & Wing Commander promises of good games!

Comment Re:If you can't trust the authenticity of the sign (Score 1) 218

Absolutely. They only thing they can with aircraft in California is spot cars that appear to be moving faster than other cars. In order to get "clocked," a patrol car needs to pace or radar the suspect vehicle.

(Of course, this is a technicality - who is the civilian to argue with about whether the aircraft or the patrol car determined his/her speed?)

Comment Re:Very nice (Score 1) 136

This had been my approach as well, and I have had mixed results. My telemarketing calls have included the Cardholder Services scam, the "you may have a judgment" scam, the car warranty scam, and the free cruise scam. My initial approach was to get into the operator queue and leave the call hanging, but lately my approach has been to actually get to an operator, then "Listen, I'm really busy right now but I'd love to pursue this later. Can I get a callback number? Also, a mailing address so I can start getting the lawsuit paperwork ready." That is usually met with a "Whaaa?" which I answer with "Well, yeah, these calls are extremely illegal and the FTC has been pursuing fines and I'd like to help them out. Plus, I work for a law firm and we gobble up class-action civil suits like these." I rarely get all that out - usually they hang up. Since I've been doing that, I've never once gotten a call back.

In any case, I strongly endorse wasting as much of these guys' time as possible. The only reason their system works is because people who stay on the line are already hooked and likely customers. Their human:sale ratio is pretty good. If people tie up sales resources with dead ends, they should become pretty unprofitable pretty quickly.

Comment Re:Xbox One (Score 1) 279

That's precisely why I got in on the Kickstarter - XBMC announcing support was my sole reason. Ouya does everything any of the existing media streaming doodads do (AppleTV, Roku, whatever) and adds total openness and the potential for emu or native games (if something neat ends up showing up). I've had mine for two weeks, zero regrets. Kinda wish I'd bought two.

Comment Re:I'm not even a fan, but (Score 1) 1174

Not sure what your point is here. You're all over the map.

Refusing to do business based on a protected class is illegal, and the burden falls on the seller and not the buyer. As a business I cannot refuse service to homosexual Chinese Jew, but as a private citizen I can choose to not patronize the business of a homosexual Chinese Jew. That's how the system works. I can choose not to buy from Leatherby's and I can choose not to buy books from Card. They cannot refuse me service. It's pretty much that simple. You can argue all the whatifs you want, but I am done engaging you on them. If you want to discuss my purchasing habits within the framework of the law, we can do that.

As for marriage, "basic human rights" is probably an exaggeration. I'm open to a better description. But if you can't figure out why "social contract with certain legal ramifications" is different from a tax break or a zoning law from the viewpoint of a business then you probably don't understand why its absurd in the first place for a ice cream business or book writing business to even get involved in that sort of lawmaking. (And yes, I understand that Orson Scott Card the Person and Orson Scott Card the Author are the same entity, but thems the breaks.)

Comment Re:I'm not even a fan, but (Score 1) 1174

I don't disagree with anything you just said, but unfortunately the ideal and the reality aren't always the same. People are more or less indivisible, and you can't separate the deserving bits from the undeserving bits. Would you elect a wife-beater as governor of your state? Would you hire an animal abuser as principal of your kid's school? You don't get to skip a prison term for raping a 12 year old boy because you're a great pianist.

I wouldn't buy art from a pedophile, I wouldn't buy art from a murderer, and I wouldn't buy art from a person who is bent on depriving people of basic human privilege. I'm not saying pedophile music isn't great, I'm not saying murder paintings aren't pretty, and I'm not saying homophobe books aren't fun. But I choose not to be involved with any of them, in the same way I don't buy anything from any outlet that displays a disregard for society as a whole or society in part. I don't shop at Walmart, I don't buy BP petroleum products, and I don't buy cheese from Hilmar.

Comment Re:I'm not even a fan, but (Score 1) 1174

I'm not interested in arguing with Card, and I'm not trying to silence him. He's welcome to speak as often and at whatever volume he'd like to. I'm simply not going to help build the soapbox or provide the megaphone. He's welcome to do it himself, or find similarly minded people to help. Both are fine - I just don't want a part of it.

As for Leatherby's, whether they choose not to serve me or I choose not to buy from them because of a difference in views is moot. Bottom line is no transaction is going to take place. We're not talking about tax breaks or zoning laws, we're talking about basic human rights. If there is a disagreement on anything at such a fundamental level, it really doesn't matter who breaks the relationship first now, does it?

Comment Re:I'm not even a fan, but (Score 1) 1174

Yes, exactly that. The most effective way I can fight his message is to not fund him, so good author or not he's not getting any of my money.

We've got a local, family-owned chain here ("Leatherby’s Family Creamery") that is probably one of the best places to get ice cream. Then a couple years back it came out they put a lot of money into Prop 8. I was horrified to know my money was connected to that effort and I haven't been back since.

It's one thing for a business to lobby for laws that affect the business - maybe not a good thing, but a reasonable and expected thing. It's an entirely different for a business to lobby for things that don't even remotely affect it. Unfortunately for Card, he is his business and there really isn't anything separating the two.

Comment Re:Condmening them to poverty? (Score 3, Insightful) 665

Gotta agree. The vast majority of people can't get paid what they want for doing things they also want to do. Most of us choose a career with a happy intersection of "good pay" and "not terrible job." Many are not even that fortunate, and have to go with crap pay for a crap job. Crap pay for a good doesn't seem all that terrible. I would also put forward the notion that if the only thing you are qualified to do is make music AND you have specific income requirements, consider making popular music. Being upset about low pay rates for obscure music is akin to getting upset about slow steam engine sales or the low street price of the abacus. Wanna get paid well? Best bet is getting involved in something that everyone needs, not something a couple people want.

Comment Re:What is this MPC stuff? (Score 1) 337

I worked in a small computer store in the mid '90s and we had lots of people come in and ask to see "MPCs." Of course we couldn't show them any, because we weren't building half-assed PCs in huge volumes. Back then, most of them just wanted to run 7th Guest or Encarta and what we built would run the hell outta either of them. ;) The logo looked like this - - and it was slathered all over crap Packard Bell et al computers - the people who were building half-assed PCs in huge volumes. ;)

The failure with MPC was that multimedia titles got better faster than was anticipated, and your c1994 MPC computer was positively worthless for running 1996 multimedia titles. We had many customers buy software only to come back with puzzled faces when their MPC choked. They weren't happy when we told them their 486SX wasn't going to run anything on the shelves well.

Computers move too fast for a standard like this to exist. By the time all parties involved ratify some MPC-HD standard it will be barely sufficient to run current titles and worthless for whatever comes out tomorrow.

People who genuinely care about PC gaming are already doing just fine digesting new model numbers and looking up benchmarks and making good choices. Everyone else is just buying an Xbox or an iPad anyway. The last thing PCs need is another industry working group taking their cut of the pie with a stupid certification slash choke point.

That said, if anyone was going to do something like this, it should be Microsoft. Selling OEMs an "xbox certified" sticker to plop next to the "Designed for Windows" logo would probably money in the bank for them. Perhaps I shouldn't have said that.

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