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Comment Never heard of the waived-fee repair? (Score 1) 373

I'm really wary on the PlayStation because of the 5 PS2s with broken optical drives sitting in my garage; none lasted more than two years.

There was actually a defect found, and due to a class action suit you could have gotten some or all of those 5 PS2s repaired free of charge (regardless of warranty status or even if you bought it third hand).

I bought for $20 a used PS2 in exactly this condition, knowing about the waived fee repair. There even were answers to the scripted questions the Sony rep would ask online so that you could streamline getting the repair approved (boiled down to saying "it says disc read error" "still says disc read error" and "nope, still the same error"). IIRC I didn't even have to pay for shipping...

Comment Re:You must choose.... (Score 1) 345

The ultimate solution would be to remove money from the necessities of life... a pie-in-the-sky idea would be if everyone (whether they are completely broke or a multi-billionaire) is granted public housing, food, schooling, medical care, and basic clothing. If the public services are open to everyone, you mitigate the "only poor people are there" effect of soup kitchens, homeless shelters, projects. This could be paid for by eliminating unemployment insurance and all current forms of welfare, and taxing all income from the first $1. A side effect could also be eliminating minimum wage. The end result is if anyone wants to exit the government system, they are free to get a job until acquiring the money they need for the things they want, and then they can go back to not working. No pressure to put in 40-60 hour weeks. Employers will have to actually *compete* for employees because "better than nothing" is suddenly a much higher bar.

In any case that is usually the solution I offer once 90% of jobs are automated away... no one is ready for that now.

Comment Re: Japanese Phones (Score 1) 360

HDTV tuners would be great over here... the TV signal is more reliable than the cellular data one, and wouldn't use data while providing a crisp picture. Probably require less processing power too.

I was disappointed to find out that Japan's and the US's HD formats ware different enough that those tuners wouldn't work here...

Comment Re:The land of ATMs on holiday (Score 2) 360

Actually, yes.
I've visited twice. Stumbling on places that took a credit card was rare. Finding a place that took an American (non-chipped) card was almost impossible. Yes, large overpriced places of course take cards, but the places where the common man actually shops and eats, cash only. Compare to NYC where even the independent $1 pizza joints and $5 t-shirt shops take cards.

Now, the best reason I can think of for this is the credit card transaction fees - there *are* electronic payment forms but they are all in the form of preloaded debit cards [where the balance is stored on the card], including at least some forms of the cell phone method. I loaded cash onto my SUICA and EDY cards and between the two of them, I was able to be reasonably cashless there, but that's really a major-city-only thing.

Comment Re:Anything to disrupt Quest Diagnostics (Score 3, Informative) 174

I don't understand your problem. My doctor just writes me a bloodwork prescription, I walk it over to the local LabCorp, less than a week later the doctor has the results in hand. If you don't like where your doctor is sending your test results to, just ask for a prescription to go and do it yourself. If the doctor refuses, find another doctor.

Comment Re:BAHAHAHA! GOODBYE! (Score 1) 176

You and the GP are talking about two different things. You are talking about the plan as a whole, he is talking about his specific data point. Him, specifically, as a customer generates more profit on the unlimited plan than a capped one (which are lower cost) since he barely uses any of it. If I ran an all you can eat restaurant, the guy who gets a salad every day and leaves is not the one I want going to a competitor, but rather the guy who sits there for 4 hours continuously eating to get two oversized meals worth out of it.

Comment Re:BAHAHAHA! GOODBYE! (Score 1) 176

The plan overall isn't but he/his case is. It's like someone who buys an unlimited ride transit pass for $30, but the total cost of their trips during the validity period would have been $25 without the pass. For that one customer, the transit authority collected $5 more than if the unlimited pass weren't offered.

Comment Re: GOOD GRIEF! (Score 1) 570

It's not easy money though. Considering there's only one machine of each type, you could spend more than a few minutes waiting. It's pretty easy to reach the threshold where it literally is not worth your time to deal with them.

Plus I used to have to take the bus to the grocery store that accepted the bottles, meaning it *cost* money to get them recycled that way. The bodega on the corner had all I needed to buy but they damn sure weren't giving away nickels...

Comment Re:Canada (Score 1) 278

The US already dropped that for meat at the behest of Canadian farmers, they felt demand in the US for their products was suffering due to the label. Ironic, because I would intentionally seek out Canadian beef, and I can't have been the only one. Now no one will be able to tell the difference.

It is easier to change the specification to fit the program than vice versa.