Friday 7th June 2024

Took some time off from this site again. Call a cop.
To be technical about it all, I've actually been a bit busy. There's something I've been working toward doing for a while, though the technology wasn't precisely advanced enough to let me do it the way I've wanted to; now—or at least potentially by the end of the year—it's about where I need it to be. So I've been looking at updates to things, and generally learning more about how to use the things I know I'll need to use—even if I'm not entirely certain yet how precisely I can use them.
We'll get to that. Probably not by the end of the year; potentially by the end of the decade.
Otherwise, there's something I've brought up before around here; I also brought it up before around here, but in the CMS I no longer have because WordPress sucks, so I'm not sure how caught up everyone would really be.
The short version is that, about a decade ago, FutureMotion got into the whole onewheeled motorised skateboard space—arguably stealing the idea from Ben Smither in the UK and from LeviSkate in the US and from Segway in general—and threw a few patents on what I'll intentionally refer to as Prior Art [you're welcome, vast clumps of attorneys who might be reading this] in a [to date failed] attempt to prevent things like Trotters and FloatWheels from existing in a world now containing FutureMotion OneWheels.
Which people saw as patenttrollish abuse and started narcking them out for, which got whatever governmental agencies involved, which ultimately convinced the Department of Jarts that these onewheeled motorised skateboards contain molecules and must therefore be banned before any organism unaccountably dumber than the Department of Jarts comes into contact with one and unalives itself.
So now we have that problem to outsmart sometime.
Otherwise, FutureMotion being at least patent troll adjacent, the latest board that I've personally bothered to buy from them was designed with what I'll call a flaw, since there's no good way to fMRI anyone and prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the intent was boobytrapping the thing. Essentially: when, not if, the batterypack eventually wears out and dies, you can't just replace it on your end because it's paired to the Battery Management System in what I lack the fMRI to prove was by intent boobytrapped into the system to prevent the miscengenation of aftermarket batteries and a LeviSkate made more recently by FutureMotion.
Meanwhile, California [wherein FutureMotion operate a factory] recentlyish passed a law requiring things like batteries to be replaceable by the enduser. Strictly, that's for the enduser in California; but that's A) probably twenty percent of all endusers owning one of these boards, so B) making different boards with fewer boobyt—flaws just for Californians who never move out of state would be needlessly costly in a world where C) Colorado [that's where I am] just drafted a similar yet more brutal bill to the same effect.
Something I've been noticing just today is that California's version of this law, which goes fully into effect on 1st July 2024 [three weeks from now], left in a couple of loopholes to be exploited by boobyflaws or whatever: 'If you install a non-paired battery, you'll get annoying warning messages that will pester you to the point of making the [device] unusable.'
So, though Colorado's version of this law goes into effect in three weeks and six months, at the beginning of 2025, and should prevent things like a BMS bricking a board if the batteries haven't got the right handshaking serial numbers, California's thing was written by Californians to be outsmarted by Californians and the whole thing has its own flaws written in.
All of which leads to now, which I've been watching for. Daily. Hitting and clicking on Accessories wherein you wouldn't really think to look for Parts. But that's where these things ended up; and, as of about an hour ago, there's now a Battery Module available as a standalone product*

*It's not really a standalone product.

Having no idea what your personal finaces look like, I'm not gonna decide officially whether six hundred bucks is a lot of money to replace what might very well be as little as a single Electronic Cigarette Battery to get a skateboard costing a Used Car up and running again. What I am gonna decide is two other things....

  1. This is in fact the price for all thirty-six eCig Batteries, thirty-five of which could be perfectly fine; and a new BMS that handshakes with all thirty-six cells; and the casing meant to prevent you from looking inside and seeing that it's thirty-six eCig batteries in there; and a cable which—honestly—could always stand to be replaced because FutureMotion kinda suck a cable management in the first place.
  2. This is in fact the same price as just mailing the thing to them for free and having them replace one to thirty-six cells and mailing it back to you for free:

bEsT vAlUe

Logically, whennotif I need to replace at least part of my battery, it'd be the same price for more reasons [sending the board in to replace the battery kinda renews its nigh useless warranty] to arrange for them to do this for me. And I get the appeal of that. For people. Who aren't me. Personally, I'm fine with just repairing things built by people who are certifiably dumber than I am; but I'm uncommon.
Because I'm uncommon, for example, my OneWheelGT is a lot like the other three OneWheels in the house: modded a percentage of the way to hell and back. And, on the topic of to hell and back, sending a modded board to FutureMotion reportedly results more often than not in FutureMotion tearing out all the modifications and throwing them away onsite. So, now, I can order a cell costing roughly a cheeseburger amidst needless bits costing a laptop and replace the thing myself; or I can pull off the Enduro and the LifeSavers bordering it, and the KushWide kicktail, and the ColdOne heatsinks on the hub, and the BangBumpers, and whatever the hell else I've probably forgotten about adding to make the thing better than it was when it was only a couple thousand bucks.
Also because I'm uncommon, I don't wanna do either. Because, if I send the thing in, it's a cinch that they'll update its firmware to make the Department of Jarts sniffle less; and, if I don't send it in, then I won't be able to finish replacing the batteries because that requires letting the app update the firmware and register the new and yet everpresent partspaired serialnumber allowing the new parts to talk to the old ones and come within a parsec of obeying an incompetently written law.
And that's just about the GT. Then there's the OneWheel Pint I've got here, with a battery module for three hundred bucks [same as the price to mail it in and let them swap it out]; and there's the OneWheel XR, of which I have two, and of which no there isn't:

I added a placeholder image where there's no battery module for the XR yet.

So that's not good news. Though, to be technical, they've got three weeks or so to get an available battery thing on the site before the law actually goes into effect at the end of the month.
But here's why I wonder if that's even gonna happen....
According to the law, it relates to anything sold by a company in California on or after July the First back in 2021. Which, for my involvement, is fine: I got my OneWheel XR in September that year, so it's newer than the law requires.
What I wonder [or, really, predict] is whether FutureMotion possess the DunningKrugery arrogance to convince themselves that, since they no longer make the XR, and since it was invented prior to 2021, they don't hafta worry about that one. Despite their willingness to let you mail one in and have its battery replaced for five hundred bucks.
I dunno. I don't know what they're planning; I don't know how selfconvincing they are; I don't know if they even know that Colorado's about to have a law, also retroactive to July 2021, putting an end to their selfconvincing tricks unless they want to stop selling things to people in Colorado and hope to hell that no one ever gets the unprecedented idea of moving to Denver from Los Angeles.


I suppose I'll find out eventually. It might give me a reason to write things into this site again later this year.
Speaking of evil companies, have a webcomic:

More later....


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