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Comment: Re:scary for net neutrality (Score 1) 400

by Sunrun (#34621252) Attached to: Look Forward To Per-Service, Per-Page Fees

People pay what they value something at. Soda for example costs maybe $0.05 to fill up a glass in a restaurant. Yet people pay $2.00 for sodas in sit down restaurants. Just because something has a high profit margin doesn't mean something's dishonest. It just means you found a successful product. It would be dishonest if they were telling me I was paying for Soda and instead getting some inferior concoction, but when a product is clearly labeled and the consumer agrees to pay a price for that product, it isn't dishonest.

...Which is the other reason I tend to stick to ordering just tap water when eating out (the first being that I just don't drink soft drinks for health reasons). That's a very apt analogy I hadn't considered -- point well made. Kudos!

Also, a lot of times businesses will lose money a in certain areas like when they sell you your phone under a 2 year contract, expecting to make that money back from services like this. Is it dishonest for them to sell me a phone at a loss and make money back by charging more for texting? Dishonesty would be if I went to best buy and they tell me that monster cables are amazingly superior to the $5 cables I can get from monoprice, but best buy simply selling monster cables for $50 is not dishonest, even though it's not worth that money, because they sell their TVs a lot lower than competition and expect to make it back on such accessories and service plans. That's not dishonesty, that's me being an uniformed consumer.

Funny you should mention Worst^H^H^H^H^HBest Buy and Monster Cables.. I've actually been told that exact thing by a Best Buy salesperson. I, too, happen to know better, but I would say this still constitutes dishonesty on their part, regardless of my level of awareness. Unless there's a difference between 'telling the consumer an outright lie' and 'not telling them anything about a product (or at least hoping they don't ask) and assuming they know all about it already', this seems to turn the "simply selling Monster Cables for $50" or 'selling text plans for $5/month' or 'selling unhealthy $2.00 soft drinks in restaurants' into a bit grayer of an issue than suggested. (Quite a bit grayer in the area of soft drinks.. Whose responsibility is it to look out for a consumer's health: the vendor or the consumer himself? Restaurants sell alcoholic beverages as well, also at a tidy profit. Yet it's clear that alcohol impairs judgment and physical coordination even at low levels, which makes driving away from said restaurant an inherently dangerous undertaking. AFAIK, vendors of on- and off-sale alcoholic beverages have been successfully sued by the deceased's family for wrongful death caused by a driver impaired by the alcohol the vendor supplied. But this is now WAY off topic (not that it wasn't before...).)

That being said, I do agree that caveat emptor is a useful axiom to live by. I just wish it wasn't necessary to do so. :)

Comment: Re:scary for net neutrality (Score 1) 400

by Sunrun (#34617818) Attached to: Look Forward To Per-Service, Per-Page Fees
The problem I have is with the artificiality of the price they charge -- it is motivated purely by greed. People think the price they pay for texting services is based on what it costs the carriers to provide the service. But the cost is more closely associated with the operating overhead involved in actually charging their customers for the service, not the service itself, and it's certainly not even 1% of the amount of money they charge. It amounts to price gouging, pure and simple, and it's in the carriers' best interest to hide this fact from consumers. I'm fine with them making a reasonable profit -- emphasis on 'reasonable'. Then again, P. T. Barnum said, "There's a sucker born every minute," and Theodore Geisel wrote in The Lorax, "You never can tell what some people will buy." In all honesty, I do have a texting plan on my phone -- $5/mo. for 200, which roughly equates to 2.5/message, but only if I send/recieve 200 messages. The reality is closer to 10/message (50 messages for my $5), and while that's still cheaper than the 20/message à la carte rate, they don't have to charge even that much to make a tidy profit. Again, it's just greed. It may be basic supply/demand economics and the status quo but that doesn't mean it isn't dishonest.

Comment: Re:scary for net neutrality (Score 1) 400

by Sunrun (#34616652) Attached to: Look Forward To Per-Service, Per-Page Fees
The problem is that it because of the way SMS messages are sent (i.e. along with other data that was "already going that'a'way" (in the packet headers for the nerds) it functionally costs the wireless carriers nothing to provide the service for which they charge money. In other words, it's 100% profit, no matter how much they charge.

Comment: Re:Good Idea. (Score 2, Insightful) 685

by Sunrun (#27348579) Attached to: California May Reduce Carbon Emissions By Banning Black Cars
I would think they'd be less visible only at night. In the daytime they're actually the most visible.

Try this.. Place two cars of identical make and model, but one in black and the other in silver, next to each other and stand 50-100 feet away. I'm willing to bet you'll think the black one appears bigger than the other one in the daytime and smaller than the other one at night.

+ - Study Indicates Autism is Mostly Genetic

Submitted by Old Man Kensey
Old Man Kensey (5209) writes "A study funded by the National Institutes of Health and the nonprofit foundation Autism Speaks has found multiple verifiable genetic links to the development of autism, including a gene involved in glutamate metabolism, a process implicated in other childhood neurological disorders like epilepsy. One researcher went so far as to say the findings indicate that autism may be as much as 90% genetic."

I have hardly ever known a mathematician who was capable of reasoning. -- Plato