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Comment: Re:Cue party of hypocrites supporters (Score 1) 234

by Straif (#48214105) Attached to: Michigan Latest State To Ban Direct Tesla Sales

Online sales favor small manufactures with limited choices but in most cases dealerships help offload a lot of manufacturers cost and reduce their risk. In either case the government shouldn't be the deciding factor in determining which option your company chooses and it should never have been involved in the first place. These laws were originally meant to protect dealers from having to directly compete with manufactures who might decide to muscle them out of a profitable area by opening up a competing lot. That's all well and good but should never have been put into law, that's a contract condition, not a legal one.

Dealers add to the system by paying for the physical storefronts, paying franchise fees and a lot of local promotional costs. In return they get to profit off of the few buyers who can't haggle in the slightest but generally make real profits on the service side. It's worth it to sell a $30,000 car for just a $500 profit if you can get a person to come back to you for $60 oil changes once or twice a year, plus $500 in new tires every couple years, plus whatever other maintenance charges they can come up with.

At present, it makes sense for most manufacturers to use dealerships (or at least some sort of parking lot style sales system). Just the vast array of options available means a person is more likely to need to see the physical vehicle before making a purchasing decision. Chevy, for example, has 19 vehicles currently available for sale and each of those has several models with a vast array of trim and performance levels. Tesla, by comparison, has 2 and while they offer some variances in trim, you're still getting essentially the same car no matter what you choose. For Tesla having a dealership full of 50-100 identical cars is just a waste of money. If you want a Tesla you want a Tesla and having one available for viewing in a small mall storefront would generally suffice. You should then be able to then go online and customize you trim level and order away without any government interference but the guy buying the Chevy is still most likely want to see all his options in the flesh.

Comment: Re: Politics (Score 1) 379

by Straif (#48204083) Attached to: Ebola Does Not Require an "Ebola Czar," Nor Calling Up the National Guard

The President usually submits a budget to Congress (this is an outline of his priorities), the Senate and House both propose their own budgets (they can use the President's proposals as a base or not) and vote independently of each other. Finally the House and Senate budgets are reconciled to create a final federal budget.

In the last 6 years:
- Obama's budget's have failed every time they were brought to the senate floor for a vote, usually without getting a single 'yea'.
- The Senate, under Harry Reid has only passed 1 budget even though budget require a simple majority to pass.
- The House has passed a budget almost every year (but since this written by Republican's has little chance of passing in the Senate in it unaltered form)

Because of the failure of the 3 interested parties to get along the US federal budget has been essentially run by a series of Continuing resolutions since Obama took office.

The good side of this is that this might lead to an end of omnibus budgets and return to the days of more compartmentalized process. It harder to hide money when you pass budgets in smaller chunks as opposed to one large all encompassing bill with everyone's pork added on top.

Comment: Re:Politics (Score 1) 379

by Straif (#48203899) Attached to: Ebola Does Not Require an "Ebola Czar," Nor Calling Up the National Guard

When has POTUS ever truly tried to work with congress. He gives speeches saying his is willing to work with congress, hits the late nite circuit to talk about how he's trying, but even members of his own party say he rarely talks to anyone in the House or Senate and rarely puts anything concrete down on paper.

Saying you want to feed all the hungry children is easy to do in a speech but it's in the number crunching to make it a reality where the hard work gets done and even fellow Dems say he's not big on the actual details of implementing his grand ideas. Then when things don't get done because he provides absolutely no guidance in how to achieve his goals and won't even work with his own parties representatives he starts a second round of public appearances to pass the buck.

Several times he's even been criticized by Democrat Senators and Congressmen for sabotaging his own proposals and putting his own party members into corners by moving the goalposts last minute beyond what they had already worked out with opposition members.

Comment: Re:Politics (Score 1) 379

by Straif (#48203753) Attached to: Ebola Does Not Require an "Ebola Czar," Nor Calling Up the National Guard

The suits previously recommended (at the time of the Texas incident) as part of the CDC protocols did not even cover all exposed skin. They weren't the suits you see in movies used in research facilities, they were little more than glorified aprons and face shields (actually they only recommended goggles and face masks). It was quite easy to be fully and properly dressed according to CDC protocols and still be exposed. The nurses even complained about exposed skin on the head and neck and were told to just use some tape to cover the neck area a bit better.

Outside of the equipment guidelines the procedural guidelines were also extremely lacking.

The new guidelines are closer to what you see in movies and TV but none of those were in place when the Texas hospital was asking the CDC how they should proceed. So according to the old CDC guidelines it was very possible for nurses following all procedures to the letter and still get exposed, hence the revamped protocols.

Comment: Re:Proof (Score 1) 421

by Straif (#47984991) Attached to: Users Report Warping of Apple's iPhone 6 Plus

There are several pictures of bent iphones just there for the Googling.

The reason the same video is used is because it's very hard to find someone who isn't running a tech blog/Youtube channel to bend there $800 brand new phone on purpose and it's mostly pointless to make a video of a bent phone after the bend is discovered, hence the need to Google for photos.

Comment: Re:Nope they are clever (Score 1) 336

by Straif (#47937113) Attached to: Apple Locks iPhone 6/6+ NFC To Apple Pay Only

I use NFC whenever possible but I have found a small oversight with some of those NFC enabled interac machines. It seems in most restaurants I've tried them in they are set the same as McDonald's terminals, in that they just accept your payment but never prompt you to enter a tip. If you insert your card instead, you'll receive the tip prompt but tapping just pays. I'm assuming it's just a simple config setting but makes me a bit hesitant to use at a real sit down restaurant unless I happen to have some cash in my pocket.

I've only seen one that actually prompted for the tip first before allowing you to tap to pay.

Comment: Re:so (Score 1) 150

by Straif (#47835143) Attached to: Hackers Break Into

Only 2 problems with your claims,

1) The VA has received one of the largest increases in funding of all government departments and it's been a bipartisan effort to increase available funds for a while now. Their 2003 budget was $50 billion; the 2015 budget is $170 billion and that increase was not all at once but continually over those 12 years.

2) In that same time period patient case loads have only increased about 30% and the majority of those cases are not vets from Iraq and Afghanistan but older vets.

Comment: Re:FDA? (Score 1) 390

by Straif (#47607005) Attached to: "Secret Serum" Used To Treat Americans With Ebola

Pharmaceutical companies, on average, make between 15-20% profit margins. Still high but not quite the 30% people keep claiming on here. They tend to have burst profits that carry forward for a few quarters and then slow down until a new wonder drug is brought to market.

Over the past 5 years some have had quarterly profits as high as 65% (Merck last quarter of 2009) but they also have negative quarters like -4.4 (Merck in last quarter of 2010 of -19 for Bristol-Myers Squibb in 3 quarter of 2012) but overall it's still a very profitable business.

Comment: Re:RUDEST PASSENGER EVER (Score 1) 928

Regardless of his 'tool' status or not, he was aboard the plane when these extra actions by the gate agent took place. Removing a paying customer who is no longer even interacting with you, over an online complaint they made is just terrible terrible idea.

If the flight attendants lodged the complaint because he was being disruptive while seated then it would be a clear cut case of the customer being in the wrong but from all accounts it was the gate agent that took action AFTER he was already boarded. That's a pretty clear cut case of a spiteful abuse of power.

Comment: Re:Customer service? (Score 1) 928

As I wrote above, boarding last often mean no storage space in your isle to put you and your children's bags.

An adult with 1 carry-on can easily compensate for the lack of storage and either find another available storage compartment in another isle or ask an attendant and as that is the only thing you have to keep track of the likelihood of forgetting it is low (although even then, not unheard of).

For a parent with 2 children, having your 2 or 3 bags being stored in multiple locations as well as maintaining order of your kids increases the likelihood of something being left behind exponentially.

Comment: Re:Customer service? (Score 1) 928

Except when traveling with children it's much easier if all your items are within easy reach.

Boarding last often leads to having to store 1 or several of your groups bags in overhead compartments that are not in your isle. For an average adult, taking those few steps one way or the other to grab your bag is no hassle at all, for a parent with a child or 2 having to , A) remember that bag is not with your other bags and B) retrieve it while still maintaining control over your children in a unusual environment, can be a real pain.

And for the record I don't have any children but have flown more than enough times either with family members or simply just on planes with people with kids to understand the simple logic for allowing families with children to board first.

Comment: Re:For us dummies.... (Score 1) 382

by Straif (#47460663) Attached to: White House Punts On Petition To Allow Tesla Direct Sales

And if you look at the links you'll notice they aren't dealerships at all. Some of the descriptions outright say you cannot buy cars there, just get information about the models to use when purchasing one online.

You can buy Tesla T-shirts and hats though.

Size and layout-wise they are closer to resembling the cellphone store in the mall below my office than a car dealership.

Comment: Re:Pen & Phone (Score 1) 382

by Straif (#47460481) Attached to: White House Punts On Petition To Allow Tesla Direct Sales

Google ACA Mandate extensions.

For that matter google any of the dozens of changes made to the ACA by executive fiat without congressional approval. He's even threatened to veto a congressional proposal to pass a modification of the ACA that did exactly what he did with an EO.

There are parts of the ACA that were intentionally left vague to give the HHS a lot of wiggle room to make policy decisions but most of those are made within HHS, almost all of the decisions about the ACA made directly from the White House are in direct violation of the law and have nothing to do about unfunded mandates and much more to do with avoiding uncomfortable situations just prior to important election periods.

"Irrationality is the square root of all evil" -- Douglas Hofstadter