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Segway - maybe, electric car - no
TRCSr   4/8/2014 9:23:09 PM
I am not ready to write of either of these two additions. While it is true that the Segway is not "ready for prime-time" with the general public, I am not sure that it could be considered a failure. Manyof the so-called niche applications are very important and have made a lot of differences in those niches. Just the security uses of them is enough to justify them as being a success.

As far as the electric car is concerned, I am also not ready to write them off as a success. How many years did it take for the gasoline powered car to become a common item? Since the car companies have gotten serious about them the market has grown quite a bit. Given a few more years with development of better power sources (such as fuel cells powered by Hydrogen) and I think that the electric car will become a viable form of transportation. While they may not become a long distance, vacation trip item within my lifetime, I do think that they will become a commuter car/soccer mom car eventually. Also, if the fuel cell/hydrogen vehicle is developed with hydrogen fueling stations they may eventually compete with the gasoline vehicles. That would be nice since hydrogen can be produced with renewable energy sources, mainly electrolsys using solar or water power.


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The winxp Lenova pen tablet was a best seller for years.
Trenth   4/8/2014 7:47:34 PM
I'm typing on one right now.  All the big company field agents used them.

Electric cars are taking off right now

just search

electric cars 2014

Pure electric cars are a limited market, but if you include plug in hybrids, they are already life cycle cheaper.

Sales of the Leaf doubled from last year.

Norway and Netherlands electrified cars are now both over 5% of total cars.


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Re: I bought a Zune!?!
tekochip   4/8/2014 7:40:33 PM
I don't have a Zune, but I do have three of its predecessors, the Gigabeat.  All three still run, one in the living room, one in the car and one in the plane.
I will admit that they are running Rockbox, though.

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#6 - Voice Recognition
CTHP   4/8/2014 5:42:57 PM
Generally I agree but with one notable exception IMHO. I've probably used a dozen different smart phones through recent years and while it really pains me to admit it, Windows CE had the best voice recognition I have ever experienced, hands down. Apple and Android don't even come close, but I use an Android phone today because I don't like a Windows for everything else. No matter how badly I pronounced a name and regardless of the background noise, the Windows phone always got it right, maybe 100% of the time. Go figure...

William K.
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Re: Some obvious... some don't belong!
William K.   4/8/2014 5:18:43 PM
There are a couple of big problems with that Segway, which the worst is with stopping in a hurry, which is not possible unless the rider is able to pull back a lot at the same time. And the handling of other than really small bumps is not so great, either. Of course, besides that, for the price of a segway I can buy an OK used car or a fairly good used motorcycle, and have much more useful transportation. PLUS, you can drive a car in the rain, even into puddles. You can't do that on a Segway.


Andmit is true that an electric car would probably be OK for a lot of people's daily commutes, but not for their weekend trips. And I would not want to spend $35K or more for a commuting only vehicle, and give up that much personal freedom besides.

Ralphy Boy
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Re: I bought a Zune!?!
Ralphy Boy   4/8/2014 3:58:01 PM
I also bought a Zune... As a Christmas gift for my granddaughter. Her dad had one and like it for the screen/videos like you said.

A few months after I gave it to her I asked her if she ever used it. She said 'yes', but I never saw her with it. A few years later when she got the Nook she never put it down (she's a novel reader), and now she has one pad or another and she never puts that down.

It's not always possible to tell upfront what little device will become unwanted by the time the batteries need recharging, or which one will get used every day till it wears out, but it sure would be nice. 

User Rank
Re: Good list!
Ratsky   4/8/2014 2:31:37 PM
The "duck" is a 70+ year old design from WW2, and to my knowledge all of those still in use hail from that time.  It got its name from the military nomenclature DUK-W (some sort of acronym).  It was designed to supplant the LSTs used on D-Day by not having to dump the soldiers in the water, but get them up on the beach.  There were several later attempts to make a more useful consumer version.  I remember the Amphicar from the '50s, about the size of a modern compact or sub-compact that had pretty much the same problems as the "ducks": mediocre car, bad boat.

User Rank
Re: Some obvious... some don't belong!
RonChownyk   4/8/2014 2:26:18 PM
The inventor of the Segway, Dean Kamen, is alive and well.  The owner of the company that manufactures them, James William "Jimi" Heselden, is the one who died of injuries after driving off of a cliff on his own product.


The average person drives less than 30 miles a day, making the electric car a superior choice.  It's the mindset that you can't jump in one on the spur of the moment and take a long trip that keeps them from becoming mainstream.


And where's my flying car!?!?  I was promised a flying car!


Sadly, I'm just old enough to remember that Beta was DEFINITELY better.  Now I need a way to transfer those old home movies from all of those little tapes to DVD...

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Some obvious... some don't belong!
Ceylon0   4/8/2014 1:55:16 PM
It should be noted that the inventer of the Segway accidentally ran one off a cliff at his multi-million dollar estate just recently.

The electric car clearly doesn't belong here. The lack of success of electric, (whose story has yet to be fully written) has nothing to do with the technology and everything to do with the corporatocracy that controls our government, as well as the minds of the majority of people out there who find it too hard to actually reason through issues and instead choose to respond with talking points they never fact-checked to begin with.

Also, by todays standards, indeed the flying car looks like a joke; however, in 20 years and with some strategic breakthroughs, I wouldn't write this off yet.

User Rank
Re: 15 Inventions discussion
Turbineman   4/8/2014 1:27:58 PM
I just gotta weigh in here on "speech recognition".  This is a usefull function for folks who's handicap deems it necessary, and should be widely available to them.  Otherwise, I consider this just more "technology in desperate search of a use".  My 2011 Honda Pilot came with speech recognition (voice command) that will respond to over 200 commands..........If it understands what you're saying, which it doesn't most of the time.  First you have to divert your attention from the road to find the one of 10 buttons on the steering wheel that needs to be held down before you can say the command.  Usually after 2-4 tries, it finally understands you and does what you want.  I've given up trying to get it to dial a phone number for me.  It's almost, but not quite, as useless as the backup camera.  Ok, I'm off my soap box.

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