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Comment: Re:11% fuel efficiency improvement (Score 1) 136

by CauseBy (#47532267) Attached to: Will Your Next Car Be Covered In Morphing Dimples?

"SUV buyers... don't give a shit about efficiency."

This is nonsense. Give me a 45 MPG SUV and I'll give you $30,000 in return. Give me a 45 MPG car that seats two adults and zero carseats, and I won't give you anything, because that car is worthless to me. People buy SUVs because they solve problems, not because they love to pay for extra gasoline. It's the same reason we live in houses instead of mud huts and wipe our asses with toilet paper instead of tree leaves.

Comment: Re:11% fuel efficiency improvement (Score 2) 136

by CauseBy (#47532195) Attached to: Will Your Next Car Be Covered In Morphing Dimples?

It's true that Euro cars go a little farther on the same gasoline. In America we weigh the tradeoff between safety and fuel efficiently differently than they do in Europe. That's why many European cars aren't allowed on America's roads, because they don't meet our standards. The Euro-built cars on American roads are designed to meet America's higher safety standards. Likewise, American cars don't meet some European standards, but not because of safety.

Are Euro cars really faster? I have a hard time believing that. Don't you guys have teensy tiny little bitty cars and trucks? It's hard to imagine them keeping up with American cars doing 95 miles per hour on interstate highways.

Comment: Re:What? (Score 1) 350

by CauseBy (#47518621) Attached to: Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

I can't say this any more clearly: the promise is irrelevant. Netflix now provides a lower level of service than they used to -- we agree on that, right? When service degrades, people may find that their threshold of satisfaction lies between the service levels -- we agree on that, right? That is the end of my assessment. All other considerations are irrelevant.

If Netflix reduced their catalog to only Batman movies and Season 2 of He-Haw, would you argue that people shouldn't complain because the contract doesn't guarantee any particular movies? Seriously, would you say that? I doubt it because that would be crazy. The service guarantees are irrelevant, the question is what service is actually delivered, and if the service level drops then how do people feel about it.

Less service leads to lower satisfaction; end of analysis.

Comment: Re:Time will tell (Score 1) 350

by CauseBy (#47517555) Attached to: Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

"HULU is owned by the big baddies of the media industry so it's inevitable."

I've never figured out why those big daddies refuse to sell their shows to me, instead of sell me to their advertisers. I don't think it's the money, because consumers like me are begging them to take our money but they refuse; I think it's actually a pro-advertising corporate ideology.

The options left for people like me are to 'cheat' and download unauthorized content (torrents), or to just not watch the shows. I do a little of both, mostly the latter, and that's too bad because I know I miss out on some shows I'd like. I only bother to torrent stuff that I've heard overwhelming recommendations for.

Alas, it's nice to have the luxury of considering this to be a problem in my life.

Comment: Re:OSO (Score 4, Interesting) 64

by CauseBy (#47516759) Attached to: Oso Disaster Had Its Roots In Earlier Landslides

The real problem was that libertarians fought hard and demanded the right to die in a landslide, and then they won that right. Famously kooky Richard A. Epstein and his political brethren demanded that big government bureaucrats stay out of his business when they tried to tell him that he lived underneath an inevitable landslide. He went to political meetings and courtrooms angrily demanding his right to live and die however he wanted. He got his way. I personally have zero sympathy for them. They were asshats who wouldn't accept good advice when it was given to them. They deserve to become lessons to the rest of us.

I also reject the suggest that his hard-fought freedom made his life better. No, it didn't He could have lived equally well a quarter mile down the road where the rest of us wouldn't have to pay a bunch of money and do a bunch of work dealing with the disaster that befell him. It could have been a landslide onto an unoccupied hillside, but no, because of that jackass and his jackass friends we all have to deal with it as a human tragedy.

Screw them. They don't like it when we tell them not to live under disaster-prone hillsides? Well I don't like it when I have to clean up his postmortem mess. Preventing this mess is why we tried so many times to tell him not to live there in the first place.

Comment: Re:I know this is /. but RTFA (Score 1) 260

by CauseBy (#47515885) Attached to: Google Offers a Million Bucks For a Better Inverter

I think that objection is irrelevant. It doesn't matter for whom it "works out well". What matters is if the competition successfully advances the technology. Western civilization has a pretty long history of successfully advancing technology using competitions with prizes. My favorite example is Napoleon incentivizing the invention of canned food.

Comment: Re:What? (Score 1) 350

by CauseBy (#47515823) Attached to: Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

"When i buy an apple, i trust that it's not going to poison me."

Oh, so you don't get a contract for that? Thank you, we accept your apology.

The answer is: yes, if I try out Netflix free for a month and get one-day turnaround on my discs; and then I buy Netflix for three years and get one-day turnaround on my discs; then suddenly Netflix changes their practices and I get three-day turnaround on my discs, then the service value has dropped by two thirds. Obligation shmobligation, that's irrelevant, the important thing is how much am I actually paying and how much am I actually getting.

If you bought an apple every day at the store, and then one day suddenly they were crabapples instead, there is no way in hell you would say "Oh, those old apples were nice, but these new ones meet the contractual obligation for apples, so I will happily continue to pay the same price." That is nonsense. Nobody does commerce that way.

Comment: Re:What? (Score 1) 350

by CauseBy (#47515767) Attached to: Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

I'm not saying Netflix is obliged to provide the same level of service they did before; I'm saying consumers are right to assign a lower value when Netflix in fact provides a lower level of service. I don't think that's controversial. And if the value actually delivered falls below the actual cost of the service, then it's no longer worth the cost. The "obligation" isn't even part of the calculus.

Comment: Re:Time will tell (Score 1) 350

by CauseBy (#47515747) Attached to: Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

Yes exactly. I found that I wasn't even watching enough Netflix to get it cheaper than $2 and episode! I was way down at the low end of Netflix usage. The two factors for Netflix value are availability of titles you want to watch, and the cost-per-time of what you actually watch. I got squeezed out by both factors but most subscribers probably watch more than I ever did and watch popular shows that I never wanted to watch. For them, $10 can be a super great bargain.

Comment: Re: Time will tell (Score 1) 350

by CauseBy (#47515727) Attached to: Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

What I'd really want is an explicit notice: "You had [Title] in your Queue. We're sorry, but due to licensing contract changes we no longer carry that title." Then at least I could be reminded to go download it from a torrent or something. Also nice would have been a warning: "[Title] will not be available for streaming after [date]. Watch it now before it's too late!"

Comment: Re:Time will tell (Score 1) 350

by CauseBy (#47515695) Attached to: Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

I try not to watch TV with commercials except in rare circumstances, like NFL football, where I can't avoid it and I really want to watch the show.

I especially don't pay to watch TV with commercials. That makes me feel like a chump. I understand ad-supported content but if I pay for user-supported content then I expect there to be no ads.

Last I checked, Hulu Plus still had ads. Is that still true? If so I guess I'm not interested. Also Hulu is mostly current-run TV shows, right? Those aren't very interesting to me, unless they add football and local news.

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