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Comment Re:Who cares? (Score 2) 103

The worst thing that ever happened to Twitter was the retweet, just like the worst thing that ever happened to facebook was "share". Both of these things dramatically reduced the usability and usefulness of those sites. It changed the social media from a fun way to keep up with friends to an avalanche of nonsense you don't care about with a few nuggets buried somewhere inside.

Little known feature (for me, at least): you can disable retweets for specific users you follow. This single feature made it so I could follow users who are retweet-heavy, like pmarca. Instructions here.

Since I also use Tweetbot, I had to delete my cache for this to kick in, but it does work across third party clients.

Submission + - Slashdot for Sale (again) 4

Defenestrar writes: DHI Group (formerly known as Dice Holdings) will auction off Slashdot and Sourceforge. The stated reason for the sale is that DHI has not successfully leveraged the Slashdot user base.

The future is uncertain, but at least it doesn't have Beta

Submission + - DHI Group is selling off Sourceforge and Slashdot ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: In their own words DHI Group, formerly known as DICE Holdings, has "not successfully leveraged the Slashdot user base to further Dice's digital recruitment business." As a result, DHI plans to sell off both Slashdot and Sourceforge, the latter of which has become notorious for inserting malware into the installers of popular open-source projects such as GIMP. All of this is likely to make the Slashdot editor's censoring of the Sourceforge scandal on DICE's behalf pointless to say the least, but the question remains; what is the future of Slashdot, without DHI Group?

Comment Re:Culpability at the Top (Score 2, Insightful) 307

This is almost by definition of what it means to be a good organization: you shoudl not place tens or hundreds of millions of dollars of responsibility onto your wage slave, no matter how senior he is

Well, first of all, using the loaded term "wage slave" outs your biases, but whatever. I don't consider a salaried engineer a "wage slave," but maybe your definition includes anyone at all with a boss.

Second, this was an ignition switch. One part out of tens of thousands. Should the CEO be signing off on every single part that goes into every one of their vehicles? That's ridiculous. A large organization requires some level of delegation, and it's reasonable to expect an engineer at DeGiorgio's level to be able to sign off on a part like this and vouch for its compliance, which he did not.

Comment Re:and always end up with $X99/month, coincidence (Score 1) 482

Correct. you are being fleeced and you're replacing your car too often. By your logic renting an apartment is cheaper than buying a house, as long as you move every 4 years...
Try saving you money and/or building equity.

I'm not trying to create a seismic shift in American driving habits. If you are like the majority of the population, keeping your vehicle 4 years on average, then yes, leasing will, in most cases, be a better option.

If you are in the dramatic minority of people who keep their vehicles for 10 years, leasing isn't designed for you. But, as you know, you're an outlier.

Likewise, your "by your logic" argument is absolutely correct - if your lifestyle means you move every 4 years, be it because of a job, school, or preference, then yes, renting will indeed save money over buying.

I'm not arguing that most could save money by keeping their cars longer. That's true. But if you don't, leasing is probably the way to go, if you can understand it (unlike OP).

Comment Re:and always end up with $X99/month, coincidence (Score 1) 482

You're backpedaling and showing your ignorance.

Isn't it interesting that after all of those calculations, over half of all lease customers end up with a payment of $X99 / month. That's sure odd, isn't it.

Where is your source for this? Sure, the commercials quote -99/mo payments because it's good marketing. Altering the selling price and the cap cost reduction can make the numbers where you want them to be. But where do you get the idea that customers' payments end up being such? In fact, look at BMW's fine print for their 328i lease. The fine print even suggests that a "dealer contribution may affect terms," that is, the ad is already presuming a discount off the MSRP.

So where did you get your "over half" figure?

No, they start with the "value" of the car being full MSRP plus $800 for dealer rust spray and $400 floor mats.

So now you go from claiming the financial institution is ripping you off (which is false) to claiming the dealer is ripping you off - which you have the facts directly in front of you when you sign off on them. You're free to reject the rust spray and floor mats. So who's to blame for your mythical "lease ripoff?"

Could it be that the average American doesn't know what a good money factor is?

Most money factors are what they are, they aren't negotiable, and the institutions that let dealers mark up money factors have a cap to prevent fair lending lawsuits - typically 1 or 2 percent.

Maybe someone, somewhere, doesn't know how to compare a given mileage penalty to a straight purchase?

What does this even mean? Consumers don't know that they will have to pay more if they go over miles? The bank agreed to a purchase of a car in 3 years with X number of miles. If you return it with X+30,000 miles, you think they should have to honor the price?

Ever wondered why leasing companies, and only leasing companies, use ALG values, not NADA, KBB or anything else any US consumer would recognize?

NADA and KBB don't even offer residual percentages! They offer used vehicle values! Where do you get your information? And, by the way, KBB is balanced towards the dealer anyway. Ever wonder why most dealers can afford to sell their used cars at "BELOW KBB" prices?

ALG is the industry standard for lease rates. You're welcome to do the math on a 3 year old model's worth compared to what their current residuals are - many, MANY times you'll find that the captive banks (banks beholden to a manufacturer like Ford Motor Credit, BMW Financial Services, etc) inflate the residual in order to make leasing a better deal.

There is a reason most everyone in the auto industry leases their cars - they know the ins and outs of leasing, and they know it's a good deal. It's the misinformed "leasing is fleecing!" consumers that end up paying more in the long run, provided they have the buying habits of the majority of Americans - replacing their vehicle every 4-6 years.

Comment Re:Plus $1 billion (Score 1) 482

That, plus the billion dollars per year FMC makes borrowing the $50K and leasing it to you.

You ever wondered why the auto companies push leases? Because they make a shitload of money on them, that's why.

You have no idea what you are talking about. There are no hidden numbers in a lease. You agree on the selling price of the car with your dealer, and your residual is pre-set at a rate you both agree to. If you don't like your bank's residual value, check out ALG's rates, what they are based upon - they are usually right about the same. Check what a 3 year old model is worth, and you'll find it about the same percentage off of what it was new.

Now, the only other variable (other than miles per year, which merely affects the residual) is money factor, what they are loaning you the money for. Also known as "interest." To get your interest rate, multiply the public money factor by 2400. My money factor of .00125 equates to 3% interest over the term of the loan. At that rate, it's probably subsidized by the bank!

Explain why banks get a "shitload" of money on leases. Explain how a driver pays 35-40% more, as you stated. They don't, and calculating a lease payment is simple math.

Comment Expand your peripherals (Score 1) 1633

Why, when analyzing the 2nd Amendment, do these so-called "scholars" mince commas and words explicitly in the text as written in the Constitution to derive the intent of the authors?

Why do they not read the Federalist papers, in which the founding fathers mention an individual right numerous times? (28, 29, 46, which I won't quote because you can find a much better summary here.)

Why do they not read the state constitutions written around the time, that reflect, in similar language, also an individual right?

1776 Pennsylvania: That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the state; and as standing armies in the time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict subordination, to, and governed by, the civil power.

1777 Vermont: That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State -- and as standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict subordination to and governed by the civil power.

1792 Kentucky: That the right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.

See the entire timeline here.

Listen, I get it. Stevens wants to amend the Constitution to revoke the explicit ordained right to possess firearms. Why lie about it and claim that it was never intended for individual protection?

Comment Re:The important question is (Score 1) 330

You couldn't be more wrong.

Dealers would love to sell Teslas, but Musk isn't allowing that - sticking to a factory-only model. If you were right, dealers would surely wish to sell Teslas in Texas, where it's illegal to go direct to the consumer, right? They wouldn't be competing directly with the factory there.

Dealers do make money in vehicle sales. Used moreso than new, but they absolutely make money on vehicle sales. The pre-2008 days of $5000 rebates and prices below invoice (and holdback) are no longer. No, it's not a fortune, but they do. And any good dealer will be making another thousand-plus in the finance office after the sale.

Their service department is important, and contributes to a metric known as "fixed absorption" - the percentage of profit the service and parts operation contributes as a portion of the total operating expenses of the dealership. If a dealership operates at 100% fixed absorption, that means their service and parts department completely pay all of the dealership's monthly expenses, and any profit made in new sales, used sales, F&I, or if the dealership has one, the body shop is pure profit.

You really think that a dealership doesn't want a new product to sell, one that will get brand new customers walking through their doors each month? BMWs, for example, already only require one service per year - so the trend towards less service is already occurring.

"Falling in love makes smoking pot all day look like the ultimate in restraint." -- Dave Sim, author of Cerebrus.