I know: I keep taking massive amounts of time off from this site. Mostly because the vast majority of things I could write about fit easily into social media posts elsewhere; so, by the time it occurs to me that a given thing could also happen here, it seems a bit redundant.
This might not be all that redundant. Unless PeopleAreMorons is too common a theme.
So, let’s get into this….
Once upon a couple years ago—
Hang on: le’me start earlier….
Once upon the end of the world—the other one—one of the other ones—
Back in the year 2012, shortly before the world didn’t end…again…I grabbed a neat toy called a ZBoard. Which was in a sense the second motorised skateboard I ever got onto. The first had been this absurd deathtrap, thirty-five years earlier, which this lunatic had made by taking a glorified [and probably generic] pennyboard and adding a chainsaw motor to it, and fuelling that with a bit of petrol, and somehow linking the output to one of the wheels, and the thing was just always on, so riding the thing was a matter of holding it slightly off the ground and jumping onto the deck and having the wheels hit the pavement and the board takes off real fast and…I bailed off the thing and watched it slam into a kerb with the force of a plastic skateboard powered by a damned chainsaw.
So that discouraged me from getting on a powered skateboard from about the time StarWars came out to about the time the world didn’t end…again.
So, now, it’s 2012. Vast oodles of simpletons are promising that the world’s about to end…again. And I’m looking at a motorised board—electric this time—and insanely large and heavy. It had actually just survived the junkscientific method at kickstarter.com.
I’m not sure how he’s holding it aloft like that.
So that’s a thing in the world now. Broadly.
Because, in fact, though I ordered a ZBoardPro directly from IntuitiveMotion, in 2012, I didn’t actually get the thing until February 2013.
This was a video, but the constant wind made it more useful as a PNG.
Amusingly, the handstamped serial number on the ZBoard happened to be #2012. So at least I got that.
Something worth noting about that first ZBoard are its wheels. Really cool offroad monstertruck treads. For some reason. Given that, in a real way, the ZBoard was itself a OneWheel. Like, a OnePowerWheel. Three of them just spun freely, powered by the rear portside wheel being spun by a rubber belt being spun by the electric motor.
So, since the topic here is largely about dAnGeR, I could mention that my first significant wipeout [ignoring the bailout in 1977] occurred because the world is unfair:
My view of the board once I’d limped back to it after I’d been launched off it at fifteen miles an hour because there was a damned pebble in the road.
Skateboards are, to some nonzero degree, really very dangerous. We kinda knew that. They haven’t got seatbelts. As a rule. Still, we persevere.
Something I did, the instant it became an option, was to replace those stupid offroad wheels which didn’t even work offroad with nice smooth wheels more capable of bouncing over a damned pebble. And then I also got the newer and better model of ZBoard, later in 2013: a little heavier somehow, but more power and a better battery.
All of which is largely irrelevant, except that I’ve now got two of these things, which opens the scant possibility of getting Hunter onto one of them and otherwise gives me a backup board to ride around while the other is recharging.
The temporarily new model, before the ZBoard2 happened a couple years later, before IntuitiveMotion went outta business a couple years after that.
So, that’s where we are now: a couple ZBoards, each heavy and immense, but not too bad for their time.
Personally, I’m okay with immense skateboards. I’m six and a half feet tall, so my natural stance on a board tends to exceed the surface area of a basic Birdhouse or whatever. I can do it, but it’s claustrophobic. So, on a given board weighing less dozens of pounds, I’m okay with the extended length of a longboard:
Got this one in the Nineties; it was something like eight hundred bucks at the time. Things are cheaper now.
All of which meanders us ever closer to CurrentDecade. Almost.
Because, first, there’s another company out there, starting up a motorised board around 2015:
what is this i cant even
And that’s the OneWheel. The very first original. At kickstarter.com. I didn’t get one. I didn’t really want one.
I did in fact hear about it right away. People knew I was rolling around on a couple ZBoards [generally one at a time], and this was a motorised board also; so, the instant there was anything to link to, people started linking me to it.
It looked absurd. It kinda still does. But, mostly, it looked redundant. I have, after all, got not only a ZBoard but also another ZBoard; getting into whatever the hell a OneWheel is sounds needless at best.
So then stuff happens, as stuff is wont to do.
One thing that happened was that my ZBoardPro—the ZBoard predating the ZBoardSFS—uh…puked. Writing this from the future, we now know that it was a common issue with the controllerboard just kinda…ending. So, when it puked, I mentioned it to Ben Forman—one of the inventors of the ZBoard and owners of IntuitiveMotion—and he offered to fix the damned thing because he knew what I was talking about.
But then, a few minutes later, IntuitiveMotion went outta business. I think there are still people reporting every day that they’re awaiting the ZBoard2Pearl they’d paid for and never got. Last I knew, Forman had jumped ship to Boosted [electric boards requiring a remote control] and…helped to run them outta business too.
All of which is now in the past. Except that, here in the present, I’ve only got one functioning ZBoard left. I’ve talked to a couple people who do things to these sorta boards, and there’s probably options; but I haven’t acted on any of them.
So, now it’s nearly the present. It is in fact the summer of 2021. So at least we’re into CurrentDecade now. And I’ve got one ZBoard left. And there’s a pandemic the simpletons haven’t yet ragequit. And I’m sitting here playing Minecraft a lot. And…what the hell: I’ve got some cash….
So, let’s go look at the OneWheel after all. And probably—you know—burn some cash on something….
You may envy me at your convenience.
Yeah. Those are toys. Literally tiny little NadaTechDeck toys. For I am hilarious. Also I did this:
It’s like a CVS Receipt, but four figures.
Not in the list of stuff I impulsebought one day in the summer of 2021 are the toys on the laptop up there, or—I quickly learned—railguards for the XR. Which was a stupid oversight. So, soon enough, I also ordered railguards and—yeah—a couple toys.
But let’s talk about what is on the list. In more logical an order….
1. A OneWheel+XR. That is, at the time of this screenshot, the newest model of OneWheel. The kickstarted one having been the OneWheel, now with the retronym of V1; the followup model having been the OneWheel+ [like Disney+ but less offputting]; and now the OneWheel+XR—where XR stands for ExtendedRange, unless you buy that it stands for ExtraRadical…which I don’t. It’s ExtendedRange in that it rolls for upwards of twenty miles before running out of power—about the same as the ZBoardSFS, in fact. So that’s my board. In 2021.
2. XR Home Hypercharger. A powerbrick that throws more power at the board in less time. It was part of a bundle. I’ve actually never used it yet.
3. XR CarbonFibre Fender. Because this is a board rolling along at twenty miles an hour and grabbing pebbles [that don’t grind it to a stop] and mud and whatever; and physics dictate that, in the absence of a fender, those are all flying straight up dickward while you’re rolling along at twenty miles an hour. It bolts into place and stays there, for better or worse.
4. DeepShackRack Whatever. A perfectly needless stand thingy I never use. I just lean these things against the wall. But, if you live somewhere without walls, I suppose this is for you.
5. XR Maghandle Mount. Because, though there’s something of a handle carved into the front bumper, having one on the side where it is on a ZBoard sounded clever, to me.
6. XR Bumpers. Because I didn’t know that the XR came with bumpers. I don’t know how I didn’t know that, but I didn’t. So I’d thought that I was telling the system that I wanted them to be black. Which they already were. The point is that I have two sets of black bumpers and not really a hell of any reason to have added the whole bundle thing. I’ll know better next time.
_ Let’s take a moment to reiterate that there are no railguards on this list. Because, while the XR came with bumpers, and then more bumpers, it didn’t come with railguards, black or otherwise. So I ordered those and a couple toys the day after all this showed up.
7. OneWheel Pint. This is the yet newer board. It’s smaller. It’s lighter. It’s slower and has only half the range of the XR. It’s for Hunter. I’m gonna get her onto one of these damned things, so she’s not just following me around on the ZBoardSFS I can’t replace once it dies.
8. Pint Charger Plugs. Something else I overlooked was that the charging port being wide open in proximity to mud…basically this:
My clever invention back in 2013 that covered the charging port on a ZBoard.
So, there’s a portcover for the Pint; I got one for the XR when I got the railguards.
9. Railguards for the Pint. It still wasn’t evident that the railguards were extra items; but Hunter wanted her railguards to be whatever colour they are. So there’s…twenty bucks for those.
10. Bumpers for the Pint. Now she has two sets of those: one black [probably] and one…unblack. She went with turquoise or fuchsia or whatever horrible combination.
11. Ultracharger for the Pint. Why the Pint gets an ultracharger when the XR gets a hypercharger is anyone’s guess. But Hunter gets one of whatever we’re calling this thing.
12. Fender for the Pint. Because things fly upward at sixteen miles an hour on the smaller board.
13. Maghandle for the Pint. Because the Pint actually comes with a sidehandle [and no bumperhandle], but it’s the sorta cheap plastic you don’t wanna trust to sustain twenty pounds of OneWheel. So this one’s better for a hundred bucks.
And…strike that. Fifty bucks. I think. The maghandle for the XR was the mount for thirty bucks to add it to the board at all; the two (2) maghandles for a hundred bucks were two maghandles. So that’s what happened there.
Wait a week or so for SpEdEx to deliver the things—which they almost did, by sneaking up to the house and leaving them sitting near the front door [near also the Ring Doorbell recording their crimes that they never tried to ring].
A couple years earlier, SpEdEx dragged something I’d ordered from Louisville, to Sacramento, to Denver, because that’s what they do; in a just world, they’d be killed with cheesegraters.
So. Now I’ve got a OneWheel. Hunter has a OneWheel. They’re in the house.
PICTURED: OneWheels blocking most of my house, so you can’t see what other clutter is blocking my house; there’s a synth from about 1991 back there though.
As you can see from the box alone, the XR, in the absence of railguards, looks mostly blue [thanks, Photoshop’s Eyedropper Telling Me Hexadecimals]; mine, at this point, looks mostly scratched—because I got the thing charged and took it outside to try it out. And I wasn’t all that good at it. I’ve got video of that; but, to reiterate, I wasn’t all that good at it.
Railguards show up; and a charging port cover [to replace the bottlecap from a bottle of Safeway Brand Bottled Water which proved to fit perfectly]; and a couple toys. And now we can go out and scuff up cheaper things all day….
And that’s the final week of summer in 2021. Before a couple other things happened, in whatever order.
One thing, which is probably ongoing, and which doesn’t therefore have any solid date, is that I have a OneWheel XR and a suicidal need to dick around with it. I replaced the carbonfibre bolty fender with a carbonfibre magnetic fender, so things don’t fly up dickward but I can crack the fender off the board to get twigs and things out from under it; I replaced the kicktail with a Viper, which makes things better for reasons; I replaced the replacement bumpers with BangBumpers, which pretty much never wear out; I added ShredWings to the foredeck to get the sensors to grok that I was standing on them—
This was a true story and a mystery until I realised that my SizeFifteen shoes had me standing on the edges of the deck instead of the sensors themselves.
—and, the instant I was able to order one before they sold the hell out again, I got a good tyre for the thing.
So, figuring the XR was a couple thousand bucks, plusminus the utterly needless bundle adding a few more hundred, and factoring all the stuff I’ve done to it in the last couple years to make the bundle redundant, I’m probably at about three grand with this thing now.
It’s money. It grows back.
Other things that happened after the final week of summer in 2021 were, in whatever order….
Another true story, from before I got the ShredWings onto the thing.
Also, a couple weeks after my XR first got here, a couple announcements occurred.
BRB: Buying a cheesegrater….
So that’s on my list now. Maybe. I dunno.
I actually didn’t just go preorder a OneWheel GT. Partly because I’d just thrown a couple thousand bucks at an XR, and it sounded marginally irresponsible. Mostly because, by the beginning of autumn in 2021, I’d started learning a lot more about OneWheels in general—like the thing where my XR was a 4212 [upside: that’s become about the most soughtafter model, at this point], and therefore wasn’t a 4209 which was easy to augment with more battery but also wasn’t a 4208 which had really weak BlueTooth. And it really wasn’t a 4206, which aspires to murder people.
So, I’m not getting a GT. Not yet. Not until I tire of Hunter stealing mine because it’s objectively better than her Pint.
I…I don’t Pint very well.
A selfie of me standing on her Pint, having faked ShredWings with some Velcro Strips to get the sensors to acknowledge my presence.
Because, to reiterate, I’m six and a half feet tall and Size Fifteen. Which actually makes that corridor a bit dangerous for me. Because now I’m five inches off the ground, and therefore maybe an inch beneath the ceiling.
If not an inch beneath whatever else is an inch beneath the ceiling.
So, I’ve got an XR; Hunter has a Pint, which she doesn’t exactly regret, but which isn’t an XR. And there’s a GT forthcoming, which might aspire to murder people. And then there’s this new information….
The worst news is that that’s necessarily the 4213 no one wants.
So now we’ve got the XR going the way of the Plus and the V1. Which is toward extinction. I’ve got an endangered species. Not unlike my remaining ZBoard.
And then the 4213 disappears, and all OneWheels are Hunter’s Pint and the models that aren’t really out yet.
At the time the GT was announced, there was also the announcement for the PintX. Arguably, the PintX is just the guts of an XR in the shell of a Pint, making the XR redundant unless you’re over five feet tall. So that’s not gonna work for me; and Hunter’s not thrilled because what she likes most about my XR is the thing where it’s all grownupsized. So now we’re thinking about the GT, once it exists.
Cut to the spring of 2022, and the GT begins to exist. In places. Rarely anyplace it was left. Because it’s the prototype model and the reincarnation of the XR 4206. It…it ghosts.
Ghosting is actually a preexisting concept with OneWheels. It used to be a trick. Hop off the board and run alongside it, counting on the sensors taking a second to realise that they’re not being activated; hop back on and roll away before it shuts down and falls over. Fun.
The GT isn’t that. The GT is a Ghosting Torpedo. Its sensors never grok that you’ve left the board, and the board rolls away from you at thirty miles an hour until it murders whatever it bangs into.
So that’s embarrassing. And it’s pretty much why I didn’t preorder a GhostingTorpedo.
FutureMotion—not to be confused with IntuitiveMotion, who made the ZBoard—make the OneWheel. And their immediate response to GhostingTorpedoes seek&destroying whatever they could was to call people liars.
Seriously. At most, they downplayed this absurdly common complaint as something that, they’d heard, and disbelieved, but maybe in an infinite multiverse, might, possibly, potentially be a thing aspiring to murder people; so, if your GhostingTorpedo ghosts into things, just call it a warranty issue and send it in to have your warranty claim rejected [also absurdly common an issue] and they’ll look into whatever dAnGeR you’re lying to them about.
Something I haven’t mentioned yet is that FutureMotion are Pure Evil. They’re a bad company, as companies go. They’re cheap and incompetent and bad at things. They aLlEgEdLy stole the whole idea of the OneWheel from Ben Smither, who patented fundamentally the same concept the hell back in 2007:
This is happening at the same time that you amnesiac hypocrites are promising that Senator John McSame is gonna die next week.
FutureMotion patenting their version of this thing in the States upwards of a decade later, they begin aggressively to patenttroll anyone attempting to compete with them. Court Records Show [I’m not tracking them down but it’s probably true] that they buried competing boards, and have even sued to injunct against people developing plug&play circuitboards and apps designed to fix things like GhostingTorpedoes and nonsensical sensors and whatever else FutureMotion are bad at.
Which isn’t really what this is about. But it fills in the necessary backstory on the actual point I’ll get to sometime next year….
The GhostingTorpedo ghosts. Ask anyone who isn’t FutureMotion, and he’ll tell you; FutureMotion will accuse you of lying about it. So that’s an issue to resolve.
One attempt to resolve it—or something like it—was a guy [I’ve totally forgotten now who this was] who got a GhostingTorpedo and, being a biped, he took it apart to see if he could figure out what the ghosting was about.
It was about the secondmost bad thing about the GhostingTorpedo. Because what he immediately found out was that, if you take a GhostingTorpedo apart, it dies.
Not in the classic sense. The sense where Douglas Adams once noted that, if you take apart a cat to see how it works, the first thing you see is that you have a nonworking cat.
This isn’t a cat. It’s not a lifeform. I’m writing this in 2023, before legislation makes you a criminal for being rude to you Alexa. This is a machine. And it’s a machine that dies by design if you take it apart.
If you disconnect the battery—for, say, the purpose of replacing a battery, since batteries do over time need to be replaced—the GhostingTorpedo will register that you disconnected the battery, and it’ll refuse to turn on again once you reconnect the battery because—
I don’t have it now. To my eternal disappointment. It might exist still online somewhere. But, confronted with the rumour that disconnecting the battery killed any and all GhostingTorpedoes, FutureMotion eXpLaInEd that you’re too stupid to replace a battery. You being You. Or, in better a case, You being a Certified Engineer at NASA who mentioned to FutureMotion that he was a Certified Engineer at NASA and who mentioned that he thought he could maybe replace a battery even outside of a spaceship orbiting the planet at a speed of Lots; and FutureMotion assured him that he was too stupid to replace a battery.
No one but the people at FutureMotion who can’t make sensors work correctly possesses the intellectual competence to unplug a battery and plug it in again. They say.
FutureMotion are a bad company, as companies go.
Also, the GhostingTorpedo is still ghosting. Which is a priority for no one. For FutureMotion, it’s a lie; for the rest of us, we’re mystified by the accusation that we lack the brains to unplug a battery.
So, people being sniffly, the talking begins.
People talk to FutureMotion; they talk to each other; they talk to themselves. They talk about talking to people. They talk about tattling. They talk about narcking FutureMotion out to the Better Business Bureau [lawl] to lower their bloody Yelp Rating or whatever. They talk about this for a while.
The Better Business Bureau being the only clump of twats that the United Nations can laugh at, someone gets the bright idea to talk to someone at an actual DotGov about the GhostingTorpedo’s batteries. A DotGov which, though lesser in every other way than the BBB, have something resembling the power to get in your way.
Officially, the Department of Jarts are known as the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. The CPSC. The losers whut banned Jarts.
If you’re curious….
Jarts. And my XR. Now with ShredWings I reportedly lack the brains to install.
The Department of Jarts reared its fascist head and told FutureMotion that they lacked the brains to make OneWheels. At least, in the way they’d been making them. Which sounds like outsourced revenge, which you might be into; I’m not: the enemy of my enemy is my enemy.
The Department of Jarts sneering at FutureMotion led fairly quickly to a Recall Notice.
So, that’s what the Department of Jarts did to FutureMotion: got them to send out New&Improved [not really] sensor decks artificially valued at US$150.
You’re smart enough to unplug the old sensors and plug these in, because they’re not batteries.
Those being less sticky sensordecks, which plug in near where the battery plugs in, and mailed out for free to avoid being shut down by the Department of Jarts, the problem is solved.
Not the real problem, about batteries; the problem with the sensordeck being misconfigured to notice when I’m actually standing on it.
If your battery ever dies, you’re still hoping that FutureMotion exist more than IntuitiveMotion do, and will replace your battery for…something stupid.
Fifty bucks for a battery; $550 for being smarter enough than you to plug the thing in.
Right. So. No more GhostingTorpedos ghosting; no more concerns about replacing the battery, provided FutureMotion exist next year and you’re willing to give them six hundred bucks for being smarter than you. Goody. Problems entirely solved.
Seriously. Nothing more to discuss. The Department of Jarts can troll off and sniffle about gaspowered stoves or someth—
There is the prehistoric matter of the 4206 to discuss….
No one makes the 4206. No one makes the XR. Like, if Hunter wants an XR of her own, leaving mine the hell alone, she’d probably hafta—
Good News: Used is cheaper. Better News: Used doesn’t give money to FutureMotion.
And then there were three.
The Department of Jarts, having been reminded that they exist, looked more deeply into FutureMotion’s congenital suction and discovered that they were murdering people. Something like four people had died as a result of riding a OneWheel, though zero had died as a result of unplugging a battery: that only seems to murder boards.
As much as I hate to denigrate the death of a human be—
One moment: giggling.
Okay. So, four people have died. Three of them largely because they faceplanted without a helmet on. And one that had a helmet on, because helmets are way overrated; I never bother with one: I’m already too braindead to unplug a battery, after all.
It raises a question. Like, how many people is Four.
Obviously, it’s four. Also, it’s zero.
Relative to anything else in the world? It’s statistically zilch. Even going per capita: there are hundreds of thousands of OneWheels out there [and millions of helmets]; four of them have taken a life.
Compared to anything the hell else, that’s a blip in the data. Basic bicycles, that you pedal, while hanging onto, with a helmet if you’re cowardly enough: millions of bikes; thousands of fatalities. Per year. Per day, maybe.
OneWheels have killed about half a person per year, however hard hundreds of thousands of them were aspiring to murder.
It’s a meaningless amount. It just is. You can sniffle about it; but, from an actuarial standpoint, the things are harmless.
They’re not, of course. Not if we expand the concept of injury beyond getting deceased. If you count flying off the thing like you’d hit a pebble with the stupid offroad wheels of a ZBoard and snapping every clavicle in the zipcode, then they start sounding a little dangerous again. But getting killed by something with a benchmarked top speed of twenty miles an hour? That takes a little bit of fragility. I’ve seen people faceplant off these things at their actual top speed of thirty-two; the only decedent was the can of beer that Bart Miller was holding at the time.
‘There he goes.’
But, if the Department of Jarts could be reasoned with, they might even be capable of unplugging a battery. So that wasn’t the end of that.
The problem with the Department of Jarts is that they’re monumentally stupid. And the problem with being monumentally stupid is that no one can explain physics to you.
Like, I could try. If you think you’re up to it. Prerequisite to this class is DisconBatt101, of course.
See: what happens when you’re on a monopod and rolling forward….
I should explain this thing. I really should. Okay….
So, a OneWheel—whether it’s the GhostingTorpedo or the thing Ben Smither invented in 2007—is a monopod. Simpletons call it a unicycle, for the same reason that they call allosaurids TeeRexes: that they’re simpletons. But it’s a monopod. It’s a device with a single point of contact with the ground. Like, when it’s in operation. It’s two points of contact when it’s sitting there being turned off; also, it’s less deadly when it’s turned off. With exceptions I might bother illustrating later.
The way a monopod works, in this instance, is by having this internal brushless motor thing that can spin in either of two directions. And it has a computer that measures literally which way is up, eighteen thousand times a second. But for that, the thing would never work; it would kill you way more.
The computer measures which way is up, since you calibrated it when you turned the board on. You can’t just carry it around by the handle and turn it on, as I often did with a ZBoard, because it needs a point of reference at startup to know whether it’s levelled later.
Start it up on the ground, and it knows that the centre of the planet is beneath it at an angle subtracted from the angle it should be at when it’s resting bipodically on the ground before you otherwise touch it. That matters to this.
Now that it knows which way is up, you get on the thing and…defy description.
Seriously. I’ve been pondering this for a couple years now. There’s no describing to someone how to get on this thing. My best analogue would be to tell you to go to the mall or the aeroport or anywhere else you can’t just walk into this century, and get on an escalator. As the various steps of the moving staircase recombine to level at the top of the thing, that’s about how it feels to [correctly] get level on a OneWheel. The foredeck levels downward as the aft rises up to meet it in the middle. And it’s weird and I don’t think anyone really likes it; but that’s how it happens.
That having happened, you’re now standing level [one assumes] on a board that’s ensuring, eighteen thousand times a second, that it’s keeping you level.
That’s the whole gig.
Unless you whimsically wanna go somewhere. Because you start doing that by lowering one of the decks—generally the one in the front—and angling the pitch of the board from Zero to, like, Negative One. Or Negative Ten, if you’re in a hurry.
Whatever the new angle of the pitch, the board is programmed to hate that you just did that. So, to fix your little mistake, it runs its motor in the right direction to roll the wheel forward and allow itself to level the deck again.
You can try this at home with, like, a rolling pin and a wooden spoon. Tilt the spoon forward; roll the rollingpin back underneath the fulcrum: back to level.
Fundamentally, that’s all a monopod can ever do. Be level; get knocked out of level; do whatever makes itself level again. Easier than unplugging a damned battery, really.
If you’re at all sane, your objective—having tilted the pitch to unlevel your board—will be to let the board roll forward a smidge and get itself level again. That’s it. It’s over. You’ve won.
Or, if you’re crazy enough, you could keep tilting the board.
If you keep tilting the board, the board will hate being tilted and it’ll roll forward to come up from underneath and level itself again. Same with a wooden spoon on a rolling pin. Same with any gyroscopic device designed to perplex the Department of Jarts.
And, if you keep tilting the board, the board will apply more and more energy to levelling itself, moving faster and faster as a simple symptom of basic physics.
And that’s fine. It’s probably what you were hoping to have happen in the first place.
But then we’re back to the two top speeds.
The official top speed—if we’re talking about the XR, which includes the 4206—is nineteen miles per hour. Though that depends on how much you weigh, and whether you’re going uphill, and how strong the wind is at the time. But a fair estimate of the speed at which an XR can roll itself level again is about nineteen. For me, it’s about twenty-three. It’s variable.
Unofficially, the things can easily nail thirty miles an hour. It happens all the time. And that’s okay, because it’s a nonlethal speed. We’re starting to make people who can run nearly that fast. It’s not a lot.
But it raises a question that the Department of Jarts can’t answer: if you can easily hit twenty miles an hour, and just barely hit thirty, what happens if you go faster still? And what happens if you can’t go faster still.
I’ve got an electric bike here. I’ve mentioned that before, so that’s all I’ll say about it. Except that, theoretically, its motor could burn out at whatever its top speed—twenty, for the sake of argument. In that instance, the bike [being a device that murders way more people per capita per year] would just roll to a stop. Like a car. Like a ZBoard. Like anything with more than one wheel keeping it level.
With a OneWheel, the energy pushing you forward at thirty miles an hour is a side effect of the board’s obsession with remaining level. So, if you run out of available energy to roll forward, you’ve also run out of available energy to remain level. The motor gives up. It shuts off. And now you’ve got the opposite of a GhostingTorpedo: you’ve got a unpowered and imbalanced seesaw rolling freely along and fighting basic friction. And then you spill your beer.
Getting it? Monopod. Levels because power; flops because it’s shut down.
The Department of Jarts, having convinced themselves that they’re vErY sMaRt, started telling FutureMotion to change the laws of physics. For about a year.
It’s Hunter’s fault, you know. I like my XR. I still like my XR. I like that Hunter has her own XR. I tolerate her Pint, so long as I never hafta touch it. Everything’s fine in the world. It’s the summer of 2022 now.
They’re nearly twins.
And she feels a little guilty.
So, we’re back to OneWheel.com, with its big CapsLocked tab about the recalled sensordecks. And its other tab about buying a GhostingTorpedo now that the new model has less sensitive griptape on it.
Why the hell not….
It’s only money: it grows back.
Having learned, however slowly: I didn’t bundle anything this time. I grabbed a OneWheelGhostingTorpedo, and railguards and a charging port cover. That’s all I needed. At least, from FutureMotion.
Obviously, I hit FloatLife and Craft&Ride and whatever, and grabbed up a magnetic fender and another Enduro Tyre and a KushWide KickTail and whatever else. And I charged the board and turned it on and discovered that its sensors hate Size Fifteen shoes and added more Velcro Strips because I’ll bet I could even unplug a battery all by myself. And, now, there are four of these things in the house.
I regret nothing. Even if I’m up to something like ten thousand bucks at this point. Whatevs.
The Department of Jarts aren’t done yet. However quietly, they’re pestering FutureMotion to dig up Isaac Newton and bully him into revising his hypotheses. But that’s just a given: they’re stupid people, so they don’t know how to give the hell up.
Meanwhile, I’ve got a GhostingTorpedo now. Though mine doesn’t ghost. Still, it’s what I’m calling it. Literally.
My Gremlinboard [not a coincidence that it’s got the name of my BBS from 1997] XR; Hunter’s OhGawdOhGawdWe’reAllGonnaDie Pint; my Ghosting Torpedo GT; Hunter’s Legitimate Salvage PreOwned XR.
Regarding the Ghosting Torpedo with all its aftermarket stuff: it’s faster and more powerful and has a bigger battery; it’s also heavier and a bit taller. I really try to avoid the smoke detector in the corridor now. But I like it, for what it is. Where what it is disappoints a bit: it’s a device containing a battery I’m prohibited from unplugging so I can give FutureMotion six hundred bucks to replace it.
Though that’s not entirely true. As with anything else artificially endickened by stupid people, there are alternatives. It didn’t take too long for someone to figure out how to flash the firmware clientside and make replacing the battery less of a problem. It didn’t even take too long for someone to write a thirdparty app allowing us to add Custom Shaping to the GT; though it took even less time for FutureMotion to patenttroll an injunction and get ReWheel shut down entirely.
Custom Shaping, if it’s a secret, is the ability to move a few sliders around and make, say, the XR behave differently. I’m going with the XR because it had Custom Shaping even before I bought it. The Pint never had it and probably never will. And the GT was advertised as having it, but…we’ll get to that in a minute….
Custom Shaping allows the XR to accelerate a little faster, or recalculate levelling to keep its nose up a bit when you’re going up a hill, and stuff like that. It gives the board a bit more sagginess before it lurches to the side when you’re turning, if that’s what you want; or it can tighten it up so someone nearby thinking about something turning will tailspin the board into hell.
The GT was advertised as having Custom Shaping, making it unlike the Pint and the PintX. But it wasn’t there and it just never happened. So okay: ReWheel it, or go VSEC, or live without it. I’ve just lived without it.
And then: there’s CurrentYear.
No new models of OneWheel announced. There probably wouldn’t be; they’ve skipped years before. But, on September the Twenty-ninth, EMails went out. Tweets were twought. Faces were booked. Announcements were made.
Enter the Junkjournalists….
After over a year of wOrKiNg wItH the Department of Jarts, the only people on the planet smart enough to swap a battery developed a plan to fix all the problems ever. And the plan was to issue an update for the OneWheel App that would itself issue a firmware update to any given board; and that would give us all Custom Shaping on the GhostingTorpedo.
Ahem. Haptic Feedback. Or, in fact, Haptic Buzz—just to make it more monosyllabic. Essentially what makes your phone buzz because no one’s wanted it to ring since you were shopping for Nokia FacePlates at Gadzooks. Which….
All things being equal, which they’re very much the hell not, I’d be thrilled with Haptic Feedback. Here’s the premise: you’re on a monopod, which wants only to be level; in the event that it senses that it can’t maintain levelation [I’ve invented a word] for much longer, it, like any OneWheel, will already use the last of its energy to force its nose up and warn you to slow the hell down—that’s officially known as PushBack, which is also officially something FutureMotion never really did against the Department of Jarts; but, now, with Haptic Feedback, in addition also to this weak beeping the GhostingTorpedo does in addition to PushBack, it’ll also buzz like a phone whose owner’s mother won’t go the hell to bed.
Seriously: I like it. I want that. I want my GhostingTorpedo to let me know that, irrespective of actual speed or wind or hills or whatever variables add and subtract to my total available energy, I’m about to get myself dead. Buzz away. This shoulda been a thing from the beginning. Can’t hear the beeping on a GhostingTorpdeo? Board goes BZZT. Can’t feel the PushBack when you’re rolling up a hill? BZZT. Brilliant. Better than Cats.
I’d be all for it. I’d want it yesterday. I did want it, on September the Twenty-ninth, as I kept looking at play.google.com for any modern update.
Then the update became available. I’d have got it automatically, except that I tend to prohibit apps from updating without my involvement. My phone still has this on it:
Dear Junkjournalists: Please for the love of hell stop saying Formerly Twitter you sound stupid shaddup.
My interest in updating the app and by extension the GhostingTorpedo ended the instant I saw that someone else had updated the app and his GT and bricked the damned thing. Someone, I’ll stress, that I know. Not some phantom; some actual guy.
So that could be just a fluke of nat—
Also another guy. One I know.
A third. And a fourth. And many.
FutureMotion were on it: they leapt into action by accusing the people I know of lying, like they were reporting that their GhostingTorpedoes were ghosting or some such fiction.
I got outta play.google.com and ensured that my app couldn’t update without me.
More reports of boards bricking during the update. Enough that FutureMotion revised their dismissal, from accusing people I know of lying, to—and I think I’m quoting them correctly here—conceding that ‘a small handful’ of boards were being nuked by the update.
By my calculations, the sMaLl hAnDfUl were ten to fifteen percent of consumers. Other people, doing their own research, were calling it a third to a half.
It was a lot.
So, now, I’m not updating my GhostingTorpedo. Because, if it bricks, my best hope is having to mail the fortypound thing to FutureMotion, to have them sneer at the aftermarket improvements I’ve added, and possibly—possibly—turn my board off and on again with the narrow expertise of those who can unplug a damned battery.
Burn in hell. I’m not doing it.
And, to make things more complicated, marrying the Haptic Feedback boardbricking thing to the GT’s Custom Shaping is only the best part of the deal. There’s also the binary suck wherein my XR, and Hunter’s XR, and Hunter’s Pint also get Haptic Feedback, but don’t get this new Custom Shaping thing, because the XR already has Custom Shaping and the Pint just never will; and that’s against FutureMotion’s inability to issue a software patch for the V1 or OW+, so they’re just ordering people to throw them away after punching in the serial number for an expiring credit of a hundred bucks toward a GhostingTorpedo costing twenty-two times that much.
Le’me just read that over because, if I got it right, no one will believe that I got it right.
I got it right.
If you kickstarted the V1, or got one later, or got the OW+, then you spent about fifteen hundred bucks for a board that, now, you’re not allowed by nadalaw to have anymore, but you can have a hundred bucks, until that expires, that you can use as a twentysecondth of the price of a GT.
Le’me stab that point home: if you bought a OneWheel before the XR was 4206ed into murdering people, for about fifteen hundred bucks, you can have a fifteenth of that back—two thirds of a replacement sensordeck—to apply exclusively toward a GT for $2200.
I’m just about certain that I’m right about that. The credit expires eventually, so you can’t just lurk there with it until you’re ready to magic up twenty-one hundred bucks. And, so far as I grok it, it’s not simple storecredit that you could throw at twenty little chargingport covers [those things get lost]. You can have a fifteenth of what you paid for a OneWheel, back when fifteen hundred bucks was a lot of money, if you use it to give them another twenty-one hundred for a new board.
The upside? Your new board will have the Haptic Feedback preinstalled, so that’s not how you’ll brick the thing. Though you might hit a bump and shake the battery cable loose sometime. It happens. And the warranty doesn’t cover it.
FutureMotion are a bad company, as companies go. Which I keep saying, because it’s funny: companies, as companies go, are typically bad. These guys are worse.
But, worse than that are the Department of Jarts. Officious morons hoping to change the laws of physics as a matter of policy. And which, so far as I can infer, have recently committed a crime.
Cyberterrorism, to be specific.
Because I didn’t update my app. And I told my app never to update. And I was actually asleep at the time.
But then I woke up today and looked at the ‘net, where people were panicking about their OneWheel Apps selfupdating despite all measures to prevent that. That shot, above, of the four OneWheels in a list? This:
I know: my keyboard’s dirty.
That’s OneWheel App Version 2.6.10 on last year’s phone. I never throw anything away. If I had a OneWheel V1, it’d still be here. Also, last year’s phone is actually a couple years old now; so, when this year’s phone updated to Android14, the old one didn’t. That may be a factor here.
Because this year’s phone looks like this now:
Here’s what you’re looking at with that. That’s App Version 2.6.10, from several months ago. I never even updated the app to the one whose APK people are hoping to sideload and lock down to prevent this cyberterrorism from happening to them. Mine’s older than that. It’s still older than that. It’s not the new boardbricking one I had the option of updating to and yet declined as a master of my own brain. This thing:
Note, if you like, that that’s Screenshot_20231024-092918.png from 2023OCT24 at 09.29.18—a few seconds ago—because my app isn’t updated.
An app I didn’t update got data added to it to force me into adding governmental fascism to my board if it doesn’t just brick the thing.
That’s not FutureMotion. Their abilities begin and end at unplugging batteries. I can just about promise that this is an appointed governmental entity deciding for itself that it can alter the contents of one of my smartphones without my consent. And that’s pretty much the textbook definition of cyberterrorism. The criminals.
The one thing I can still control about this, for however long, is declining to have my cyberterrorised app open at the same time that I’ve got a OneWheel turned on. Which means that I can’t see how full my battery is; I can’t change riding modes; I can’t see the speedometer. Basically, I can’t have an app to go with my OneWheel. Not until or unless I grant permission to the government, retroactively, to fascise itself all over my property.
And I’m not okay with that.
Have a webcomic, coincidentally ontopic:
While we’re noticing that I’m not like you: when I was your age, I had a Ferrari.
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