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Comment Re: How much will it cost. (Score 1) 396

Your mother is either incredibly nice or incredibly naive, I'm not sure which. My neighbors wouldn't dare ask to borrow my car. As for the rest, there at least 15 pickup trucks in the parking lot of my office right now. We all live/work in relatively upscale (solidly "middle class" but McMansion style living) environments and probably 3 of those pickups ever get used for anything other than light duty similar to what I do with a roof rack on my sedans. I know for a fact that I've towed more with my Honda Crosstour than all but one of those trucks have towed. Most pickups on the road in urban areas are either stripped down as the GP stated or they're just "manly" commuter vehicles. A lot like Hummers and the giant SUVs.

Comment Re: illegal autonomous cars? (Score 1) 396

Tesla should just lease the batteries. Replace them every X years and do battery charge capacity or some other meaningful metric instead of miles to determine how much you owe on the lease at the end. Recylcling the batteries will be "green" and it keeps people coming back for upgrades that will keep the cars on the road longer and reach more than just the niche market of people who can afford niche cars.

Comment Re: illegal autonomous cars? (Score 1) 396

You can buy cars that are just as nice for half the money, it makes no sense other than as a fashion statement or a "I'm saving the Earth" statement.

Or perhaps to keep supporting a company that is driving that market? I'm with you, it's not useful enough but there are other reasons to buy these than image.

Comment Re:I don't trust Yelp with a Sandwich (Score 1) 372

As opposed to letting your insurance company pick one for you? Seriously, I use customer reviews to pick doctors, dentists, and just about every other thing. At least I get some insight as to how they actually treat patients that way. The "old way" you just accepted whatever doctor your primary doctor recommended without much else to go on... who knows why they pick each other but I can guarantee one thing, it isn't because "they're the best". There's only 1 "best" and it's very unlikely that person lives and works near you.

Comment Re:Shop elsewhere if you need this drug (Score 1) 372

AFAIK, the situation is like this. As part of the 2007 update to the Food and Drug Administration Act added the authority for the FDA to require drug manufacturers to implement a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) to ensure that the benefits of a drug or biological product outweigh its risks. The theory was that some drugs might have serious enough side effects or complicated treatment plans that the FDA should require drug manufactures to make sure patients weren't harmed needlessly by taking these drugs in a way not supported by safety trials (aka elements to assure safe use or ETASU).

As an example, they could restrict wholesalers to sell the drug only to physicians or patients who attended training seminars, or only allow use for certain purposes and time-limit quantities to prevent certain side effects, make sure medicine is stored correctly and destroyed when expired, and they could require patients to be monitored for certain specific serious side effects, not allow the drug to be administer to otherwise healthy people etc... Seemed like a good idea at the time....

The completely intended result of this is that Pharma companies have been crafting REMS to make it nearly impossible for generic manufacturers to obtain sufficient quantities of approved drugs for the required safety and equivalence trials. For example, a part of the ETASU might be that all patients must attend a company training seminar, or not allow the drug to be used on healthy people, but if you are doing a blind trial, that won't work.

To make the situation worse, even if the FDA didn't require REMS for a particular drug, the Pharma companies decided to "voluntarily" implement similar restrictions for their drugs on the wholesalers.

Wholesalers that don't comply with the Pharma's ETASUs would be violating both FDA rules and probably licensing restrictions and subject them to direct liability and thus will generally not sell product directly to these generic manufacturers. The only option remaining for generic manufacturers would be to purchase the product directly from the brand-name manufacturer. Under current law they are not required to sell drugs directly to their competitors and under strict interpretation of the FDA act, if a drug has a specific REMS, it is likely not technically legal.

Also even if the generic manufacturer decided to buy some of the drug on the "grey-market", they won't satisfy the requirements of the ANDA (abbreviated new drug application) which would require the same version available in the US market for demonstrating bio-equivalence.

FWIW, in 2012 there was an effort to amend the FDA act to allow the medical trials to bulk purchase of brand-name drugs at market prices and exempt REMS requirements, but it failed due to heavy lobbying...

Fixed that for you.

Comment Re:Stream 11 (Score 1) 508

I've been using a $5 mouse for over 10 years. Hardly something that will "break when you look at it". My keyboard cost I think $8 or something like that. It's lasted easily the same length of time. It's not like keyboards, mice, or even monitors routinely crap out and are replaced. Other than buying a new computer when was the last time you actually needed (not wanted) to replace your keyboard?

Comment Re:"Infringing"? (Score 1) 215

I don't know where "over here" is but in the US most banks won't cash a check for you unless you're a customer with an account. There is no fee (that I'm aware of) if you are an account holder, though.

As for processing payment, all methods of payment require processing that costs time and money. Credit card transactions, electronic payment of any kind and even cash payment requires processing. Some requires more time and money to process, obviously, but that's the cost of doing business. If a business is processing my payment "off-book" that's generally considered illegal and it is the business that has to deal with the repercussions, not the customer.

Comment Re:"Infringing"? (Score 1) 215

You are aware you aren't supposed to be paying taxes on services, right? You only pay taxes on merchandise/goods. If I pay a tree trimmer $1500 to top a tree in my yard, there are no goods/merchandise changing hands and a check is the right form of payment. I don't know any contractors using "e-invoicing" unless they work for a large corporate chain like roto rooter or something. Also, who cares if paying by check is "actively discouraged", it's a valid form of payment. If a contractor won't take a check they don't get my business. Simple rule.

I don't really care what the rest of the world is doing, if a check is the right option (you can stop payment on a check if the services weren't done correctly/satisfactorily and you have a record of payment that you don't have if you're paying cash) then it's the right option.

Comment Re:"Infringing"? (Score 1) 215

You would be wrong. Every job I've ever had (even the "non-office" blue collar jobs) people routinely printed. They still do if I go to any of those offices today. People are printing less at home, I believe, but certainly not in most corporate (and a lot of "blue collar") business environments. Others have mentioned plenty of examples that refute your claims. Hell, I printed no less than 10 documents in the last 2 days and I'm one of the people who uses our printers least in my office.

It's all about perspective but, as others have mentioned, the numbers don't corroborate your position in the slightest.

Comment Re:So, Japan is winning the new space race... (Score 2) 87

So, because NASA had two catastrophic failures SpaceX is cutting corners? Nice try. Seats don't need to be "Space rated". Many internal components don't need to be "space rated" as long as the external components protect them sufficiently by being "space rated". You're barking up the wrong tree.

As for the strut, do you really think there are no components that slip through the cracks at the "big boys"? Have you ever actually built anything? Infant mortality happens; it's a fact of life. That doesn't mean your supply chain is crap though it is ONE possibility. There are many many other possibilities though.

With respect to your engine failure example, if you really believe nine engines are "required" to do the job, you're clearly wrong as they have successfully delivered payloads with less. They have designed in redundancy, which is NOT a failure, no matter how you look at it. "Main engine" or not, if the mission was accomplished safely, it IS success.

Is SpaceX cutting corners? Sure. That's how they have had the success they have. Are they doing it in a controlled and well measured manner based upon years of engineering experience (in and out of space)? I believe so. Their track record is pretty strong so far. Consider that the Space Shuttle program had 135 missions over the course of 30 years. SpaceX has had 19 in how many years? 5? According to Wikipedia, if they keep on track, they'll have something like 60 missions before they hit 10 years of operation at a significantly reduced cost.

Comment what difference does it make (Score 1) 110

The only place where "facial recognition cameras" are common are places where you are requested to remove sunglasses, hats, etc anyway. The "let's enhance it and run it through the facial recognition software" seen on tv is utter crap. Until people start using higher resolution "security" cameras this will just be an expensive and stupid looking gimmick that will, as others have said, be easily overcome with a few software tweaks. Why are people worried about this?

The life of a repo man is always intense.