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Comment: Re:Why dealerships get a free ride (Score 1) 342

by drtsystems (#46459789) Attached to: New Jersey Auto Dealers Don't Want to Face Tesla

Anyone who does their own work on their car generally acknowledges dealerships as a complete ripoff and somewhere no one who cares at all about their wallet should ever step foot in (besides, I guess, to buy a car). The colloquialism on car forums is "stealership."

NAPA, AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts, O'Reilly, etc etc provide a distribution network for parts. In fact, for an older car, you are generally more likely to find the part in stock at your local autozone than your local dealership parts counter. And, usually, for less than half the price. The free market has already provided a solution to the problem. You can get a suspension part at any price point from "cheap Chinese crap" up to "better quality than original."

And often times even "OEM" parts, which are parts produced by the manufacturer who made the original piece that went on the car. You didn't really think Honda made the parts that go in that car did you? No, they designed the specs and companies like Bosch, Moog, Luk, AC Delco developed parts to fit those specs. And are happy to sell you the identical product (sometimes with just the Honda label scratched off) for half the price Honda would charge you.

If you are the internet shopping type (which, since you are on /. seems likely), you can even get replacement parts shipped directly to your doorstep from places like RockAuto for even cheaper than you would find them at your local AutoZone (which, remember, is already probably half the price of the dealer).

You take your car to any independent mechanic and it is damn near impossible that they will get their parts from the dealer. NAPA even delivers parts to shops within hours.

Basically, if you get your Accord serviced at the stealership... er dealership, you are getting ripped off. Google ANY Honda forum and ask them to see what they say, but prepare to be flamed. If you ask nicely, they will probably even recommend good local independent mechanics for you!

Parent quoted for those using awful beta who can't click the "parent" link ;)

thought I'd chime in on why dealerships are getting a free ride before the thread is choked with constitutionalists :P.

Dealers stock parts and provide a distribution network for said parts. This is why my '94 Honda Accord still runs (and why my Volvo 240 DL would have been running if that $#%@! hadn't rear ended me).

If we remove the dealer who is going to stock parts, deliver them, and install them? I'm sure you can come up with a thousand free market answers, but the fact is running that sort of business is _expensive_. Most of the obvious solutions become races to the bottom. Eventually either you stop getting parts and service for cars after 5 years or your start getting gouged in ways you can only imagine.

So yeah, it's a bit more complex an issue then just: Dealers Bad! Tesla Good!....

Comment: Re:Why not... (Score 1) 526

by drtsystems (#37867588) Attached to: Apple's Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) Now Open Source

You are forgetting the fact that the dock connector dates back to the 3rd gen iPod released in 2003. Mico-USB (the EU's standard for charging) came out around 2007. The dock connector was ubiquitous before anybody dreamed of having HDMI output on phones. And originally it carried firewire and usb data, you really think apple would have tried to fit that plus analog audio into a mini-USB port? Especially since mini-USB has proven to be not up to the task (replaced by micro-usb because mini didn't support enough plug-unplug cycles for a traditional cell phone etc.)

Comment: Has existed for years, called Differential GPS (Score 0) 140

by drtsystems (#36955346) Attached to: Ground-Based GPS Mimic Is Inch Perfect

Its called differential GPS and is already being used all over the world. Hell its even being used on farms to guide tractors by now. It can get down to the cm level of accuracy. Not News.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Differential_GPS

http://www.deere.com/servlet/ProdCatProduct?pNbr=GT3TAPC&tM=FR

Comment: Re:Then live in the city??? (Score 1) 381

by drtsystems (#36757910) Attached to: The Cost Of Broadband In Every Rural Home

Depends on your state. People in New York State get fucked with higher taxes and it all goes to NYC. California is similar (you think the people living out in the middle of the desert are really getting their money's worth in insanely high state taxes?)

Honestly I think this country needs a government run cell phone network like the post office. It doesn't have to be the latest and greatest (you can go private and pay more for that if you wish). But coverage to everyone, everywhere, for a reasonable fee. Internet is far more necessary than postal service anymore these days anyways.

Comment: Re:Is this a part of... (Score 1) 381

by drtsystems (#36757820) Attached to: The Cost Of Broadband In Every Rural Home

Its the opposite. If you have health insurance your health insurance is charged LESS than someone would pay out of pocket. This is because the health insurance companies organize bulk deals with the hospitals.

The people who screw you over are the people without insurance who go to the emergency room when they are having a heart attack etc. The emergency room must treat those individuals even if they can't pay (assuming it is an actual emergency). Basically they can't let someone die who is sitting in the waiting room but can't pay. Unless you suggest that happen it actually would be CHEAPER for you if you subsidized those people's health insurance so they would get preventative checkups and not wait until they are about to die to go to the emergency room.

Comment: Re:Wait a second, (Score 1) 163

by drtsystems (#36592762) Attached to: Developers Defecting From BlackBerry

And that would be because all Blackberry apps suck. On an iPhone (I'll use this as my example because I have one so I have experience with it) you have plenty of quality apps to choose from. And don't let the word apps distract you, because yes I know it has become a word that applies to all those stupid fart apps as well.

But things like Skype, Netflix, Pandora, Grooveshark, TomTom, Dropbox, facebook, weather channel, google voice, simplenote, WatchESPN, MLB AtBat, etc. etc. etc.

If you think you have no interest in these apps then you really are just too senile for a smartphone or haven't given it a chance.

Comment: Trade School (Score 1) 913

by drtsystems (#36568626) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: CS Degree Without Gen-Ed Requirements?

Then go to a trade school. GEC's (General Education Courses) are an inherent part of a B.S. And really, they are quite interesting. Yea, there are a few that I didn't like (like British Literature) but you have choices and I found I enjoy Economics so I took my writing class as an Economics writing class where we studied the 2008 crash. If you find you are interested in something different then you can take GEC's in that.

My school offeres a Computer Science Engineering degree. That replaces some of the more fluffy requirements with Electrical Engineering and even a few Mechanical Engineering classes. You may be interested in something like that if you are more into math-type classes.

Oh, and this deserves to be repeated. Don't expect Computer Science classes to be programming classes. They are NOT. Yes a few of them are Software Engineering classes where programming is a big aspect. But there are also a good number of algorithms classes which feel like math classes, that kind of thing.

Comment: ADVERTISED FEATURE of Time Warner and Comcast (Score 4, Informative) 113

by drtsystems (#36224860) Attached to: Georgia Tech's ShaperProbe Detects ISP Traffic Manipulation

This is said (although almost in passing) in the article. But I will repeat it because i know how few of us RTFA. Time Warner advertises its PowerBoost feature (and Comcast has something similar) where you get like double your usual bandwidth limit for "burst" downloads and then you get throttled back to your limit after the burst is complete. This is a FEATURE they advertise, not something bad. It allows you to (for example) get 15mbit when download a web page or small file on your 7mbit plan. Notice its a 7 mbit plan, they are not throttling you below your plan's rated speed. They are giving you faster downloads for a quick burst. There is plenty wrong with Time Warner, but this isn't one of the the problems.

Comment: Re:Macs will be a closed platform in the end (Score 1) 517

by drtsystems (#36036714) Attached to: Apple To Distribute OS X Lion via the Mac App Store

This. I see the MacBook Pro models sticking around but the MacBook somehow combining with the iPad. Its not in the near future as the iPad still needs a computer and there are still many limitations it has.

In the end, I honestly don't see this as nearly as bad of a thing as everyone claims. There is a common theme among non-technies that computers are a pain to deal. Even people who use computers proficiently often do not have a good understanding of things like how the filesystem is laid out which can cause confusion if something doesn't get saved in the exact location that it normally does.

The bottom line is that someone like my mom, who uses the computer for pictures, internet browsing, and music really doesn't need much more than an iPad. No, its not quite there yet, but when the day comes that she can get something similar to an iPad and not call me in confusion when things aren't working, I will not complain.

Yes, I will still buy a computer with a full on OS. But I am also a CS major. Not everyone needs/wants a 2-ton truck or a Porsche 911. Some people can get by with a Toyota Yaris perfectly fine.

Comment: Re:This is good. (Score 2) 328

by drtsystems (#36021116) Attached to: Google Allows Carriers To Ban Tethering Apps

In the carriers defense, unlike in the wired internet world, the solution isn't just lay more fiber. The carriers will always be underprovisioning in a sense because the users a mobile. Of course verizon isn't going to make every tower on their network able to handle all 100 million customers at the same time.

Plus bandwidth is a finite resource. And many municipalities have the NIMBY attitude towards cell phone towers (I WANT MY CELL PHONE SERVICE BUT NO WAY YOUR PUTTING A CELL PHONE TOWERS WITH ALL ITS EVIL RADIATION IN MY CITY!!).

So sure, a lot of this could be solved by more investment by the carriers. But it also make sense that users should have respect for the fact that cell networks don't have the same total bandwidth available as wired connections and wait until they are on WiFi to torrent 5TB of Blueray rips. Er I mean linux ISO's.

Comment: Re:What use for a BD-ROM or BD-R drive? (Score 1) 437

by drtsystems (#36013834) Attached to: iMac Gets Thunderbolt I/O, Quad-core

Except thats simply not true anymore. Blue-rays ARE the geeky platform. I know way more non-geeks who regularly use netflix than those who play blue-rays. Now I'm sure part of it is that I'm in college so watching TV/movies on a computer screen is a lot more common. Plus pretty much everyone has a wii, xbox, or ps3 so getting netflix onto the TV is not a challange like it may be for the more senile crowd of non-geeks.

It was kinda like stuffing the wrong card in a computer, when you're stickin' those artificial stimulants in your arm. -- Dion, noted computer scientist

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