The Conversation

Technology: Discussion of technology events and developments.

What's With All of the Poop Talk?

Feb 18, 2013 5:40 PM PT

In response to False Consciousness & the Ship of the Poopie:

Poop this, poop that. Has Breitbart's 'The Conversation' gone to the pooper? There are like, 5 or more 'poop deck' stories about Carnival's SS Pooper, what's up with that? I think we all need to step away from the toilet, and let the pooping stories about the ship go down the drain? Do we all agree, or do you all just don't give a poop?

False Consciousness & the Ship of the Poopie

Feb 18, 2013 4:49 PM PT

In response to Hitting the Cultural Sweet Spot:

You're right, I was treating those comments as mutually exclusive.  But you're right, the nastiest form of anti-capitalist sneer is always directed at the poor, isn't it?  How dare they dream that they could have nice things like we have.  We, you see, are enlightened enough to know the opulence and comfort we surround ourselves with is a Lie.  We despise these material blessings (the same blessings, by the way, that give us our viciously superior attitude). 

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Hitting the Cultural Sweet Spot

Feb 18, 2013 4:31 PM PT

In response to Reviewing the Comments to CNN's Article on the Poop Cruise:

If you draw a Venn diagram showing a circle titled strained critiques of capitalist excess and another circle titled class snobbery toward bargain travelers, there is in fact a tiny point at which they overlap. And that point of intersection is Cruise Ship Disaster. The last time we hit this cultural sweet spot was James Cameron's Titanic.

re: Electric Cars

Feb 14, 2013 1:51 PM PT

In response to John:

The Tesla S does look like a beautiful car. I would happily take the car for a test drive if Tesla wanted to offer. But it strikes me as similar to a lot of $100K cars: an expensive toy. I mean, who buys a car which may need a new $12k battery pack in 8 years? Someone with money to burn who wants an expensive conversation piece. When you get up in this range, it's not about practicality so much as having something more powerful or more exclusive than the other guy.

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Our ever-reliable electric cars

Feb 14, 2013 1:31 PM PT

In response to Tesla vs. the NY Times Follow Up:

Oh, let us not quibble so fiercely about precisely when our six-figure heavily subsidized electric cars will drop dead on us, Mr. Sexton!  Let's just sit back and enjoy our "transformation" into a "sustainable" world where nobody moves around much more than a typical medieval peasant.  The algae-mobiles Obama promised us will probably work a lot better.  Today, Mayor Bloomberg mandates more electric-car charging stations in New York City; tomorrow he'll mandate a dirty bathtub be kept in every parking lot, for easy algae refueling.

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Tesla vs. the NY Times Follow Up

Feb 14, 2013 1:16 PM PT

Tuesday I wrote about the public spat between Tesla's co-founder Elon Musk and John Broder, a writer for the NY Times. Broder wrote a negative story about Tesla's $100k electric sports car (the Model S) and Musk responded by accusing him of faking the events in the story. Musk claimed that data logged during the test drive proved Broder hadn't been honest in his account.

Yesterday, Musk did publish a response on Tesla's website including several graphs based on data taken during the test drive. It turns out that some of the claims Broder made are not true. Specifically, in his initial response to Musk he claims "I drove more than 100 miles below 55 on cruise control to conserve power." Not so according to the logs which show a roughly 100 mile stretch driving an average of 60mph.

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Tesla vs. the New York Times

Feb 12, 2013 1:36 PM PT

Last week, New York Times reporter John Broder took a top of the line Tesla Model S for a road trip from Washington DC up Interstate 95 to Connecticut. 

The trip started out fine, but as the weather got cold, the car's battery began showing reduced range, which left him wondering if he could make the next charge station. Broder then spent part of his day driving a $100k sports car in the right lane at 54 mph. He even had to turn the heat down inside the cabin to improve his odds.

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Wall-to-wall propaganda

Feb 9, 2013 8:22 PM PT

In response to Out of the Mouths of Reporters:

Another thought about the "global warming attracts asteroids" nuttiness: Leftists understand that even patently absurd propaganda can be effective when it's wall-to-wall.  Global warming (and later, when that term became too specific and untenable, "climate change") has been a flood-the-zone affair, since its inception.  It's everywhere.  It's difficult to get through a few days of nothing but light entertainment programming without being hit by global warming ideas and terminology, dropped casually by characters in everything from breezy comedies to sci-fi epics.  And of course, it's perpetually appearing in news broadcasts, too.  I vaguely recall a story years ago in which some meteorologist urged his peers to mention global warming at every opportunity, precisely because he understood the value of repetition, particularly casual mentions.

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