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Comment Re:Herein lies the problem.... (Score 1) 180

Ok fair enough. The panels would still work, although less efficiently than newer ones. For me the real deal killer was that it would only save me $30 a month. That's peanuts and certainly not enough to go to the time and expense of having it installed. I want something that will save me $100 a month minimum. Then it starts to make more sense.

Comment Re:Herein lies the problem.... (Score 1) 180

What I'm saying is that the ROI didn't work out whether I purchased them or I leased them. The fact that I'm locked into a 25 year lease with no opportunity to upgrade just reinforces that it's a bad deal.

Look, if you want to get solar panels because it makes you feel like you're saving the world then have at it. Not every decision is or should be based on money. All I'm saying is that I looked at it and I didn't like the terms. I'm not going to go to the trouble and expense of putting panels on my roof just to save $30 a month. And I'm not going to lay out 35 grand to buy panels that I know will be obsolete in 5 years. Maybe it works for you. Didn't work for me.

Comment Re:There are actually 4 options... (Score 1) 180

I stand corrected on the options - but it really does boil down to buy or lease. It sounds like your experience was similar to mine. I went into it with high hopes but the terms and the numbers just didn't do it for me. 13% increase is pretty big actually. But I suspect that in a couple of years it will be there. Then I'll give it another look.

Comment Re:Herein lies the problem.... (Score 1) 180

I did do an ROI. My net savings would have been $30/month vs what I am paying now for electricity from the grid. 30 bucks. And that is assuming you agree with their projections on energy cost going forward, which they factor into the calculation. Now I am sure that the cost of electricity is going to go up but nobody knows by how much. Factoring in the tax rebates the payoff would have been about 8 years. I'm not that I'll be in this house for that long.

Comment Re:Herein lies the problem.... (Score 1) 180

To me it just seems like a 25 year car lease. Nobody leases a car for 25 years. Why? Because the technology improves sufficiently that you can get more car for the same money. New features, better gas mileage, more power, etc.

Sure you could buy the panels outright - for about $35,000 or so depending on the size of your house. And in 5 years when much better technology comes along what are you going to do with the old panels? You could sell them for pennies on the dollar but someone has to climb up on the roof first and take then down, and hope that none of them get broken.

It kind of reminds me of those giant satellite dishes that people used to have. Remember those? They were about 8 feet in diameter.

I like the idea of solar power it's just that the technology is not efficient enough yet for me to jump in. Eventually someone is going to develop a panel that is so efficient that it will power your entire house with one panel. Or maybe even smaller than that.

The other thing I was hoping for was energy independence from the utility company. With the system that Solar City showed me it's not even close. Yes, it reduces your bill but not by a tremendous amount. At best it's a hybrid system.

Comment Herein lies the problem.... (Score 2) 180

Solar City offers you two options - buy the panels outright or lease them. Most people go for the lease option because of the lower upfront cost. I looked at this about a year ago but decided not to get it once I found out that you can't upgrade the panels when newer/cheaper/better ones come along. Whatever you signed up for you are stuck with. No thanks.

Comment Re:/facepalm (Score 2) 142

Zuck and Bono - talk about birds of a feather. Sanctimonious pricks the both of them. Zuckerberg is obviously self serving. The more people connected to the internet the more facebook users and more money he makes. Pretty simple equation.

Bono is a bit more sly about it. He is the guy that always shows up at the cause of the day asking for everyone else's money. Of course he never gives any of his own money. Nooooo...he's a big star and just showing up, well, that's his contribution. Never mind that he has 10's of millions of dollars. What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine.

Meanwhile U2 has set up operations in a tax haven in the Netherlands to avoid paying their fare share of taxes. Not that that will stop him from lecturing evil corporations doing exactly the same thing he is. Or laying guilt trips on us about his cause of the day, ignoring for the moment that he made more money last year than I will make in my entire life.

Fuck you Bono.

Comment Oh brother... (Score 1) 535

is this guy serious? The car industry is largely a huge steaming pile when it comes to customer service. When you buy a car you have to go to some third party shyster (otherwise known as the local car dealership). Once there they will quote you something they call the "Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price", which nobody in their right mind is going to pay. You are then required to chip away at this price until you get to something reasonable. Each of which requires a trip to "the manager" for approval. Meanwhile you sit and stew and generally waste your time. In the interim they will try every dirty trick in the book to get you to pay more than you should. Eventually, maybe, you reach a deal.

Contrast that to the buying process with just about anything else you can think of. This is why the car companies hate Tesla. Tesla has turned the whole process on its collective ear. Apple is capable of doing the same thing. Apple - love them or hate them - understands their customers and provides outstanding service to them.

This Lutz clown is from the same company (GM) that is responsible for 124 deaths due to faulty ignition switches in some of their vehicles. Faults that the executives of the company (Lutz is a former GM executive by the way) knew full well and tried to cover it up rather than recall the vehicles and get the damn thing fixed. Yeah - great fucking customer service.

I, for one, am cheering for Tesla or Apple or anyone else that will drag this dinosaur of an industry into the 20th century.

Comment Re:All the more reason... (Score 1) 115

"Ah yes, the great "quota" myth." - Is it? Have a look at this -> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

From the article..."In 2012, the European Union Commission approved a plan for women to constitute 40% of non-executive board directorships in large listed companies in Europe by 2020". That sure looks like a quota to me.

And this "In 2003, a Supreme Court decision regarding affirmative action in higher education (Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 US 244 – Supreme Court 2003) permitted educational institutions to consider race as a factor when admitting students.[71] Alternatively, some colleges use financial criteria to attract racial groups that have typically been under-represented and typically have lower living conditions.". This gives preference to people from minority groups with respect to admissions. While it does not spell out a specific percentage I would consider it a "soft quota". In other words, tell your admissions department to make room for minorities.

Comment All the more reason... (Score 1) 115

to not work for one of these giant corporations. These places are up to their collective asses in political correctness and "diversity". Policies that are seriously diluting their talent pool. When you abandon traditional hiring practices of picking the best person for the job and instead pick a certain quota from group A and a certain quota from group B it is bound to happen.

It's no wonder that the real talent is working for small companies or going independent or just starting their own company.

On the other hand, if you are looking to work for an employer with tons of HR drones and enough middle management glut to stuff the Hoover dam then by all means step up to a career in big corporate America.

Comment Re:Yeah, good luck collecting (Score 1) 528

I was curious so I looked it up -> https://www.nationalpriorities...

In 2013 the US gave away $23 billion in foreign aid and another $14 billion on foreign military assistance. So that's $37 billion in 2013 alone and that is only for the United States. Presumably other developed countries provide foreign aid as well although at a much lower level I am sure. Multiply that by however many years the US has been participating in foreign aid and that adds up to a lot of money.

As for population growth take a look at this -> http://www.immigrationeis.org/...

From 2001-2010 immigration into the US was nearly 12 million people. I presume this only counts legal immigration. Current US population is around 350 million and is projected to grow to 440 million by 2050 according to the US Census Bureau. Given that the birth rate is around 2.05 per family almost all of the new growth will come from immigration.

Seems to me that you are the one that is confused.

Comment Yeah, good luck collecting (Score 3, Insightful) 528

4 trillion? Is that all? Why not make it 10 trillion? How much have industrialized countries given poor countries in foreign aid? Loan forgiveness? Accepting millions and millions of their citizens into our countries for better lives. Infrastructure, education, the list goes on.

The reason that many of these countries are poor is because they are run by dictators. Dictators that steal nearly every penny of foreign aid and either put it into their own pocket or use it to beef up the military to ensure that they are not thrown out of power.

Now some of the countries are genuinely poor and need our help. But many others (I'm talking about you, nearly every country on the African continent. And some south east asian countries - Indonesia and Philippines come to mind) are rife with corruption. Their people are poor not through their own fault but directly at the hands of dictators and ruling families.

Just suppose that we did cough up the 4 trillion. What do you suppose would happen? Does this guy really think that somehow, magically, all the people in these countries would be driving BMW's with their kids in boarding schools and a summer place in The Hamptons? Not fucking likely. It would all go into the dictator pockets.

Nice try though.

Comment Re:I've got a better idea... (Score 1) 216

"What makes an American student more worthy of education than a foreign one? " - Everyone is "worthy" of an education. But American universities are funded by American tax payers (public ones anyway - private schools is a different matter). We built those schools so it seems to me that we should get preference when it comes to admissions.

"If the universities prefer foreign students because they get more money for them, maybe you should fix *that*." - I agree with you completely. Universities are gaming the system by jacking up tuition 3,4,5 times what a native born student is paying. How is that fair to anyone? Does it cost 3 times as much to educate a foreign student? Of course not.

"Of course, if you eliminate the per-student margins that universities currently enjoy of foreign students, then you are, in effect, just reducing each university's budget; they might no longer have an incentive to bring in foreign students, but they have less money to teach domestic ones with, too." - Or...they could actually have real budgets and spend the money wisely. University tuition has gone up at a rate far higher than inflation over the past 20 years. I have worked for Universities and I can tell you that the amount of waste and abuse is staggering. It continues because the funding keeps flowing in. There is no incentive to cut costs. Remember - people are in positions of leadership at universities because of their academic credentials not because of their ability to run a business. Most of these people are career academics and have never run a for profit business in their entire lives. They have no idea about profit and loss.

Comment Re:More MS BS (Score 1) 195

I suppose it remains to be seen whether or not it is illegal. There was a very similar situation several years ago when the US government was able to convince Swiss Banks to turn over information pertaining to numbered accounts for American citizens. It seemed to me that Swiss banks ought to be governed by Swiss laws and that if they wanted to keep secret the identities of their customers that should be their right to do so. And yet some amount of political arm twisting convinced the banks to turn over the information.

FORTUNE'S FUN FACTS TO KNOW AND TELL: A guinea pig is not from Guinea but a rodent from South America.