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Comment Re:EPA standards (Score 1) 569

It only makes sense for heavy vehicles to have more powerful engines. You need that power to tow trailers and other large cargo... things a little car is NEVER going to do, however polluting the engine might be.

You make it sound like normal cars cannot tow anything. Well you're wrong. Practical caravan has pretty positive reviews regarding the towing capability of Golfs, Passats, but also Ford Mondeos.

Why don't you go complain that those 16-wheel semi-trucks are allowed to pollute more than small cars, too? It doesn't make sense.

The parent only mentioned 'light trucks'. So yes, bringing 16-wheelers into the discussion really would be a show of bad faith.

Paris even banned pre-2011 diesel vehicles to deal with the problem.

Re-read the article. They have not banned pre-2011 diesel cars, they will do it by the end of the decade. It's not quite the same now, is it?

It puts the lie to the claims of their advantages, that most people were doubting without evidence, even while their other unremarked problems have been made undeniably obvious.

Oh. So it's enough for one manufacturer to cheat for you to conclude that any diesel cars of any brand is bad has none of the claimed advantages like lower fuel consumption, higher torque, etc? Biased much?

No question in hindsight that Europe made the wrong decision promoting diesel over gasoline, and now it looks like they're bound to continue declining in popularity there, too.

May I remind you that there is no such thing as a unified Europe government? Any policy promoting the use of diesel has been at the initiative of individual countries, not of Europe. In France it was not even a real decision to promote diesel cars like the Bloomberg claims. Rather whenever the government tried to raise the taxes on diesel the truckers (yes, 16-wheeler kind) and taxis just blocked all traffic and the government caved in every time. Since diesel is cheaper, and that diesel cars get higher miles per gallon and have seen their price drop to little above gasoline cars, it only made economic sense to buy these cars which many have done.

Comment Re:This subject is work. (Score 1) 241

I'd expect a lot of them to start and end their day at the contractor's 'office', if only to pick up and bring back the tools and stuff to be installed. So not as foggy as you on contractors. But again, that would not the case for the cleaning lady doing your apartment (though those are often independent), the person helping your gradma get out of bed and clean up in the morning (definitely not independents), etc. And those companies definitely cross wires a lot.

Comment Re:This subject is work. (Score 1) 241

It won't. This is about contractors who wander from gig to gig, likely many of them different every single week. Think about, say, plumbers.

Contractors already include the cost of travel to/from the client in their business contract. This is about employees, not contractors:

contractor: person hired to do a job on a business contract, as opposed to a permanent employee.

Comment Re:This subject is work. (Score 1) 241

If a more distant company can't remain competitive when charging more to cover commuting costs, why do you think that closer-by employers would be able to attract those more distant employees? If distance is the issue, it impacts all parts of the equation unless someone is willing to move.

Most of the time you have people in town A working in town B while people in town B are doing the same job in town A, or are unemployed because the job is already taken by someone in town A. If this forces some rationalization it will be a good thing.

Comment Re:This subject is work. (Score 3, Insightful) 241

Like all other worker rights, it will just mean slightly lower pay rises over the next few years as the employers recover the costs.

You're assuming every business will be affected equally. In reality most businesses will be totally unaffected while the few businesses that were abusing this (house cleaning companies for instance, maybe not the example you were expecting) will finally have to compensate their employees correctly, and probably won't be able to compensate just by freezing the salaries for a few years (e.g. because of minimum wage laws).

Comment Re:Bullets don't knock people down (Score 1) 369

So these bullets are going EVEN SLOWER than normal ones, and it's supposed to "knock down" a person?

Independently of whether a bullet can knock over a person or not, you should realize the slower bullet is only slower because it is much heavier, and that it has the exact same momentum as the faster one: that's the conservation of momentum principle. So as far as knocking over people nothing it makes no difference.

Comment Re:Photoshop (Score 1) 889

Agreed. I can't move my wife to Linux simply because she's an accountant and needs access to Quicken/QuickBooks and others tools (MS Excel) that are pretty much industry standard for her. It would be great to have those all ported to Linux, but you'll have to convince a lot of corporate oriented software development houses (f.e Intuit) to do so. It's a big chicken-vs-egg issue - corporates won't move over unless there's software and the software devs won't make the software without the corporates.

Note that recent versions of Quicken should be quite usable on CrossOver and maybe Wine too. Same thing for Excel 2010 or older. Unfortunately it's not the case of QuickBooks :-(

Comment Drop anywhere? Really? (Score 1) 84

The article claims that users can "drop [the cars] off anywhere that public parking is allowed within the city". Given that I very much doubt every single public parking spot in the city has a a charger, and assuming they are not stupid and did not lie, that means they plan on having a bunch of employees running around moving the cars to the nearest charger(*). That could partly explain why the price is over twice as much per hour as the similar Autolib' service in Paris.

(*) Note that no matter what it's necessary to have employees moving the cars around if only so they don't all accumulate in one spot (Autolib' in Paris does that too). But letting users park anywhere would likely seriously increase the workload.

Comment Re:Or for slightly less per month (Score 1) 84

Depends on how much you use the car. Drive a brand new car off the lot to the used car dealer across the street, and you'll find the car is now worth about half what you paid for it.

That's incorrect. Car employees can typically buy two brand new cars with a 20% discount every year. So most of them are on a cycle where they buy a brand new car every 6 months and resell it for the same price 6 months later. This way they keep a brand new car at no cost forever.

Comment Re:Or for slightly less per month (Score 1) 84

At $30/hr it sure doesn't sound like a big market.

It is cheaper than a taxi, and cheaper than Uber, and way less hassle than a conventional rental car. Those are all multi-billion dollar markets.

But then in Copenhagen you could also rent a car for the full day for about the same price. Sure it won't be a BMW but if the brand is the only reason for the higher price, that again justifies putting this offering squarely in the (narrow) luxury market. Even more so as they could have picked cheaper Renault Zoe or Bluecars for their fleet if price was the issue. Note also that Autolib', an equivalent service in Paris, rents their electric Bluecars for well under $15 per hour, so being cheaper is totally possible.

Comment Re:Never park? (Score 1) 280

Why would it take more SAVs than cabs to move a given number of people?

I said nothing of the sort. I'm saying it takes fewer autonomous vehicles (or cabs but that's off-topic) than privately owned and operated cars to move a given number of people, and thus that this can reduce parking congestion (in addition to traffic).

Comment Re:Never park? (Score 1) 280

They will only give another person a ride during peak hours, say morning rush hours and evening hours. Mid-day traffic will be lighter, and middle of the night traffic will be downright dead. At those time these Johny Cabs still have to go somewhere.

Except that moving three people into town in the morning takes roughly 3 cars (the average number of passengers per car is 1.1), whereas a cab will be able to make multiple round-trips during the same time, thus carrying all three (roughly). So this will reduce the number of vehicles that need to park during low traffic periods. So either they remain marginal and make no difference (i.e don't make things worse), or they become popular and make it easier for everyone to park.

Comment Re:What are they going to replace with? (Score 1) 484

When I went to France I noticed a lot of people use resistive heating because the electricity is cheap.

Electric (resistive) heating is generally considered more expensive than other methods of heating in France. Of course that depends on the price of natural gas and oil so it ma change. Really the advantage of electric (resistive) heating is that the equipment is really cheap. So it's favored by landlords but also by people who cannot afford better. Finally there's another reason it's popular in France which is that it has been pushed forward to ensure nuclear reactors have some place to send their electricity to at night as they cannot simply be turned on and off.

I'm always looking for a new idea that will be more productive than its cost. -- David Rockefeller