ubikuberalles

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  • ubikuberalles
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    Yeah, wait until next year on the car purchase. Because…. 2020+1.

    10-4 on that. On Friday I brought my car to the dealer to have its oil changed. The service rep mentioned that he felt sorry for the sales folks at the dealership since they had nothing to sell. Normally the dealership has 115 plus cars on the lot. This past weekend they had 8. I then went to the waiting area which is also the display area. Normally it is filled with different models of Mazda cars. Last Friday it was empty. I looked outside and I could see six of the eight cars in the main lot. They were all the same model (CX-3 maybe? I didn’t look closely).

    I was thinking of getting another stick for my next car but that is going to be difficult. The only non-sports car they have with a manual transmission is a Mazda 3 – same as my current car. The 2022 Mazda 3 didn’t appeal to me. The engine is about the same as mine and none of the packages offered were attractive to me. Also, do I want a repeat of the same model? Doubtful. If I stick with a manual then I would either go with a Toyota or Honda (the service for Subaru is lousy in ABQ and multiple people warned me off them).

    I am now thinking of getting a Hybrid vehicle. It’s the only option if I want to phase out of all-gas cars since I want a car I can use for road trips. The infrastructure of electric vehicles is still iffy. I’m sure I could get from point A to point B cross country with an all-electric but only if I install the right App on my phone, do some advanced research before the trip, be willing to stay at the station for more than 20-30 minutes, and be willing to veer off my main route to get to an electric station. UGH. No thanks. I’m a “drive as far as I can on a tank of gas and spend only long enough there to gas up, potty break and maybe grab food” Occasionally I’ll stop at a rest area for a potty break but, in both cases, I’m there less than 15 minutes. (the longest leg I drove without stopping was 400 some miles from ABQ to somewhere in Oklahoma. I did it to see if I could. That was stressful and I’ll not do that again). I’d like to continue with Mazda, due to the excellent service I’ve gotten from them in the past 12 years. However, they’ve just started selling a hybrid – the MX-30 – so that is pretty limited. I may go with Toyota (except I am not getting a Prius) or a Honda.

    In summary, meh. Until next year. In the meantime I am thinking of repainting my current car as the paint is rotting off (I call it paint cancer) and I’m beginning to be embarrassed by it (the paint rot has been going on for two years at least so I am slow to being embarrassed).

    By the way, I have the original Star Wars trilogy on VCR tape, prespecial edition. Watched the whole trilogy earlier this summer. Still says “Episode IV” in the beginning of the first movie (I’m not calling it “A New Hope” – stupid name) but that’s been true since the 1981 theatrical re-release. Maybe I should rip it to DVD (if possible since the tape may have anti-pirate encoding).

    in reply to: We (don’t) be jammin’ #27320
    ubikuberalles
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    Well, who ever is building the jamming equipment is either doing it illegally or making it outside the US. According to this article, “Federal law prohibits the operation, marketing, or sale of any type of jamming equipment that interferes with authorized radio communications, including cellular and Personal Communication Services (PCS), police radar, and Global Positioning Systems (GPS).”

    One would think any legitimate Ham radio could be used as a jammer by replacing the microphone with a device that emits white noise or any other kind of noise that is annoying.

    ubikuberalles
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    Thanks, but what I really need for my current car is a MP3 player with Bluetooth. According to the user manual, my car can pair up to 7 devices. I’m not sure how it handles connecting to both my phone and MP3 at the same time. Does the phone override it? (the phone overrides the radio and CD so I think the answer is yes). The only way to find out is try it.

    I tend to get my new cars in late December because I was told by one of my department managers (who bought and sold cars as a side business or hobby) that car sales people are more likely to sell a car at a discount at the end of the month and especially at the end of the year as they are trying meet their quotas. Buying a new car for me does not seem likely at the end of this year, unless I get some unexpected extra money. The most likely scenario is December of 2022. Hopefully the prices will go down by then.

    Another tip my manager gave me was to buy any previous year cars they may still have in stock. Buying a new 2021 car, for example, instead of the 2022 model. Dealers are anxious to get rid of those older cars because they don’t want to incur the cost of shipping them back to the factory. I haven’t done that yet because the older models are already gone in December. I’m thinking the sweet spot for this tactic is probably August-October as the dealer needs room for the newest models.

    ubikuberalles
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    I do scoff at those who still collect VHS/BetaMax tapes because of the low resolution and high shelf real estate cost.

    I somewhat disagree. I agree that it is silly to own a VHS tape of a progrm or movie that is readily available on DVD/Blu-Ray. However:

    There are some titles which have been released at the DVD level that haven’t been remastered and re-released at BluRay, never mind 4K

    There are even more VHS titles that are not available on the more modern, digital formats. The main reason is cost. The licenses and residuals to actors and other fees on the VCR tapes only applied to the VCR tapes. That means the IP owners have to re-negotiate everything and the cost is likely more than what they would earn from issuing the DVD, Blu-Ray or even streaming.The only way you’ll hear the original songs played on WKRP in Cincinnati is a bootleg of a recording from the original broadcast (as far as I can tell, it was never released on VHS).

    In my experience, there will always be titles from an older media that will never exist in the newer media. That not only goes for video but music and books as well.

    ubikuberalles
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    Specking of car audio: My current car has a 6-CD player that can read MP3 files. Early on I created a bunch (more than a dozen) CDs jammed with MP3 files and I use those in my car. I was able to put 12-15 albums on each CD giving me nearly 100 albums (or about 1000 songs) always available on the CD player (plus more CDs in the glove compartment). The car also had an audio jack so I could insert an MP3 player. Currently, the only portable MP3 players I have are from 9-10 years ago and they hold less than 2GB of content, which is less than 6 CDs (about 4GB). They also did not have Bluetooth which meant I couldn’t use the car controls to select songs and had to use the tiny buttons and tiny LCD to select and play songs. Too much distraction for driving so I stopped using them in my car. I tried playing songs via my phone and the Amazon music player but I quickly ate up my bandwidth within a couple days.

    I plan to get a new car in the next year or so and I have no clear idea on what my audio options will be. I am hoping there will be an option where I can insert a jump drive filled with MP3 songs and the on-board MP3 player can play those songs. The more likely scenario is streaming apps on the car. Or maybe I could buy an mp3 player with bluetooth controls. The streaming part I am not keen on since I’m not willing to pay a subscription for a service I would only use a little (I mostly only listen to the car radio when I commute to/from work. That’s only 40 minutes per day).

    Anyway, that is only tangentially related to this topic. Go original theatrical version of Star Wars! (And it’s called “Star Wars”! not “A New Hope”! Blech).

    ubikuberalles
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    I couldn’t do laserdiscs because no sane person has a laserdisc player these days.

    Woof. I know a couple people who take umbrage with that statement. A red flag that the author is a hipster douche who thinks the only tech worth using is the newest. No consideration that the older tech has a lot of hidden gems worth hunting ofr.

    in reply to: Starliner test flight faces months-long delay #27292
    ubikuberalles
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    Boeing is still using the old methodology for building and launching rockets; same process since the 1950’s, really. With this recent delay, it shows and they need a shakeup to make them more responsive, improve their cycle times and so on. Space X has outperformed them routinely on major milestones and NASA is watching. Space X isn’t perfect with their early rockets exploding and Musk acting up but they learn quickly from their mistakes and fix them far faster than Boeing does. The culture differences between Space X and Boeing are stark and Boeing needs to change its ways in order to compete. Boeing was caught sleeping, frankly. As late as 2018 Boeing (and NASA) thought that Space X will miss its deadlines and the Boeing Starliner would finish before the Falcon X. I think that made Boeing complacent in their work on the Starliner.

    This article discusses how the different culture at Space X often clashed with NASA and why NASA thought (wrongly) that Boeing was going to win the first commercial launch of NASA astronauts.Boeing has had a long relationship with NASA and it knows NASA culture and how to work with them to have the designs meet criteria and so on. The cost, I think, is it slowed down Boeing’s ability to complete their product quickly. The article show that NASA needs to change its culture too if is going to succeed. Their interaction with Space X is forcing a cultural change within NASA, and that’s good.

    I hope the Starliner succeeds in the end, because it is a nice looking rocket with a lot of keen features. However, if Boeing doesn’t change its approach to their engineering and production, they are going to continue losing contracts to Space X. Boeing is already in a lot of hot water over its problems with the 737 MAX aircraft. I can only hope that blunder on their part (and the tragedies it cause) has caused them to make major changes on how they design and implement aircraft software and procedures. I doubt that any changes in the aircraft division will migrate to the space craft division but maybe it will play a part in a change in the whole company culture.

    in reply to: Robots get to meet the most interesting people #27290
    ubikuberalles
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    I saw that photo in ELO’s FB page and I immediately thought of you, Earl. Two out of three ain’t bad.

    in reply to: Voyager thoughts #27171
    ubikuberalles
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    OSHA was shutdown in the aftermath of WWIII (or whatever Deep Space Nine called it) when they (OSHA) declared the whole planet was unsafe.

    in reply to: Voyager thoughts #27138
    ubikuberalles
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    Does he take his staff to the mines of Moria, hit it on a stone bridge and shout “You shall not pass!”

    in reply to: Voyager thoughts #27096
    ubikuberalles
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    Great, now I’ll have to go home and watch tin man. Thanks! (I’m not going to look for the Steve Carrell episode in Cheers).

    in reply to: Voyager thoughts #27092
    ubikuberalles
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    First thought out the top of my head when pondering the mute crewmen: they aren’t officers, they’re crewmen. That’s why they can’t become the medical OFFICER. They probably can’t even be nurses as those need to be officers too. Those crewmen are med techs, at best. True, they can still be of great service to the Holodoc: they can take patient vitals, give injections, prepare the patient for surgery, etc. etc. They can’t prescribe anything, they can’t treat the patient, they probably can’t diagnose the illness. Also, they can’t talk as they are extras in the show (oops, I bumped into the fourth wall).

    At least, that would be my response if I was a hapless writer on a Voyager panel at ComicCon enduring the outraged questions of angry fans (waving posters of “Free Tom Paris!”).

    BTW, Steve HATES Voyager so I would love to hear his take on this thread. 😀

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by ubikuberalles.
    ubikuberalles
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    It makes sense from the content providers point of view since it keeps the buzz about the show going a lot longer. How long is the Buzz for a show that allows audience to binge watch? A week? Two, tops? One episode at a time, even in this age of only 8-10 shows a season, keeps the buzz going at least two months.

    Ever binge re-watched one of those one-at-a-time shows after the season is over? Feel let down? Is it because you knew what was going to happen or because the tension of you knowing you have to wait for another episode is not there? Often that tension and investment is more than the show deserves (and many times the show writers know this). Many times, the resolution in the next episode was not deserving the anticipation it got when the previous episode ended.

    Case in point: Lost. So much of that show’s popularity was based on the secrets it had and the anticipation the audience had when they got to see the next episode. Now that we all know its secrets, we realize that anticipation was not deserved. No doubt many folks, when the series first ran, declared “I waited a week for this? Ugh.” I think that was a big reason so many fans dropped the show when the second season came out. The payoff was not worth the wait. If Lost was first available for binge watching, I think the show would have been much less popular. It might have been dropped after the first season.

    This is my experience with Lost: I didn’t watch the show at all the first few season because I heard the phrase “conspiracy theory” mentioned in its presence. I hate conspiracy theory shows (big reason I never watched – and still haven’t watched – the X-files). But then, since there was still quite a bit of Buzz about the show (my Mom even watched the show, although she never understood it), I decided to watch it. In late 2008 I opened an account with NetFlix – yes that is why I have NetFlix – and “binge watched” the show. I got two DVDs at a time, so the “binge” lasted 8-10 episodes at a time while I waited for the next two DVDs to show up. Even then, I had some anticipation waiting for the next DVD to show up in my mail. It took months to finish the first four seasons of Lost, but I barely finished just before the start of Season 5. From that point on I had to wait a week between episodes just like every other schmuck. Despite that, I really liked season 5 and thought it was perhaps the best season of the series. That may have been entirely because I had to wait a week between episodes. Season 6 of course sucked and showed me the Emperor had no clothes and I had little anticipation and just wanted to get to the end already.

    Three years pass and I discover Lost is on NetFlix streaming I began to wonder, was the show worth the hype? Was the story line any good now that I can watch it all at once instead of having to wait a week between episodes or, worse, months between seasons? So, in August of 2013, I started binge watching Lost. I took an 18-month break after midway through season 2 but, in May of 2015 I went back and finished watching the rest of the show so I could answer my questions.

    Well, we all know the answer to all of the questions. A big resounding NO. Especially season six. Yuck. I think one thing binge watching does is expose the flaws of the overall story (if it has a story). Continuity errors show up like ugly red zits on a white girl. It becomes clear that the writers had no idea what they were doing and were making up shit as they went along. That may help them end an episode, but it hurts the series. Binge watching demonstrates that writers and producers must use a different strategy in their long story arcs if they want viewers to binge watch the show. Not just binge watchers but viewers with long memories, especially review writers who will remember the sins of earlier seasons (they also take notes to remember details later).

    Anyway, this goes to show that perhaps the show producers know that it is a lot harder to write quality shows that are binge watched instead of watched serially and they want to go back to the good old days with their lazy writing habits. Keeping track of your characters and myriad storylines is hard (I guess).

    in reply to: The Onion: ‘Hundreds Of Unexplained ELO Sightings’ #27012
    ubikuberalles
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    Wearing NASA t-shirts, no doubt.

    in reply to: The Onion: ‘Hundreds Of Unexplained ELO Sightings’ #27009
    ubikuberalles
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    Have the ELO experiencers formed a support group? I’d like to join even though all my ELO sightings have been explained.

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