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Comment Re:ZTE... (Score 1) 160

Well considering how many people are sticking to or buying Galaxy S5 phones and S6 sales are horrible, I'd say that maybe these features are more valued than you and Samsung would like to believe.

Samsung Silent on Disastrous S6 Sales
  - "Has the reduced battery life and removal of expandable storage in the new models proved a bigger negative in customer eyes than was expected?"

Why Samsung Galaxy S6 sales suck
  - "Samsung took things that S5 owners liked - features such as a removable battery and microSD card slot - and dumped them from the S6 design in order to make a smartphone that looked and felt more like the iPhone."

Comment Re:Regeneration (Score 1) 246

*The U.S. may be an exception, with its exceptionally low fuel taxes

Exactly; I was talking to someone who's obviously an American who lives in a rural area. All our taxes on cars are much lower than in Europe; fuel taxes are far, far less, but also sales taxes are much lower. There is no "road tax" (except maybe on commercial trucking). I understand there's high taxes on car sales in Europe based on things like engine size, which is why in Norway Teslas are so popular: the gas-car taxes end up doubling the cost of a car over there, but Teslas are exempt so $85k for a car doesn't look so bad compared to a $40k Audi that costs $80k after taxes, plus the Tesla doesn't need fuel at $8/gallon (or whatever), just electricity which is comparatively cheap.

That would be a huge waste of many perfectly functioning cars.

They're not perfectly functioning; they're spewing out enormous amounts of pollution. Brand-new cars barely register when you measure the pollutants, but 20-year-old cars can be really bad. Engine technology has really improved a lot in that time, plus older vehicles typically aren't maintained that well: piston rings and such wear out over time, leading to higher emissions. Maybe you don't have so many problems with smoke-spewing cars in Europe, but here in the US there's lots of shitty old cars on the road belching smoke. That was one of the motivations for the (poorly-executed) "cash for clunkers" program early in the Obama administration.

Maybe this would have made sense when cars where getting much cleaner by the year, but that has not been the case for over twenty years.

Huh? That's BS. Cars absolutely have been getting cleaner by the year. LEV, ULEV, and SULEV ratings did not exist 20+ years ago. Fuel economy has improved enormously in that time too, and carbon emissions are directly proportional to fuel economy.

Comment Re:I wonder... (Score 1) 46

How much of a minority? A sizeable minority is still a problem, and has a huge effect on the overall culture of a city. Face it, SLC simply isn't known to be a liberal city in any way, not like Seattle or Portland or SanFran. The kind of people who'd really like to live in one of those cities probably would hate it in SLC.

Comment Re:ZTE... (Score 1) 160

The swappable battery isn't just for people who burn through their battery in a day and need to swap it. It's also for people whose battery goes bad and they'd like to replace it. With a non-removeable battery, you either need a new phone or have to pay $$$ to have it swapped professionally. With a swappable battery, no problem, just buy a replacement somewhere and pop it in. There's no really good reason not to have it; the Galaxy S5 even manages to be waterproof with a swappable battery.

Would you buy a car where the tires couldn't be changed? It's not like you have to do it often, and some tires can go nearly 100k miles now.

Comment Re:your speech borders treason (Score 1) 56

Oh, but I am willing to kill off corporations. Since corporations are the creation of the state, and are sanctioned by said state, the state has every right to dissolve the corporation for gross violation of public trust, trust the corporation is entrusted with by the state upon creation.

We do allow them too much authority over government, which is why I oppose corporations (and unions) from contributing to political causes, either directly or indirectly. We call these subversions of public servants "lobbyists".

I am not your envisioned version of Libertarian. I believe that corporations can and should be killed off. It is the only way to hold them accountable for their actions.

Comment Re:The Power of the State. (Score 1) 239

Your view, there are no rights except by convention (legal or otherwise), which are thereby granted by government, which can then take those rights it grants away by any arbitrary reason it can come up with. Which is exactly what Tyranny looks like. You're nothing but a slave to the tyranny you believe in.

Comment Re:Market share != $$ (Score 1) 160

I dunno, maybe it's a gamble for them and they're hoping to become profitable before too long by building up a brand and reputation. I'm really not sure. Are the numbers correct though: are they really losing money? And in all markets they sell in? I can't imagine the numbers are the same for developing countries, for instance, as they are for the US and western Europe where there's lots of people who can afford iPhones. People in China can't afford those prices.

But as for Apple having 80-85% of the profit, just because one company has somehow figured out how to make a ton of profit on a product doesn't mean just anyone can do that. Apple's somehow carved out a niche of customers willing and able to spend a large amount of money on a phone which doesn't cost them that much money to make. Most companies would kill for profit margins like that, but if it was that easy to get that kind of profit margin, everyone would do it. You can only charge what the market will bear, and for most things, it won't support that kind of profit margin; someone else will come along and make something just as good (or maybe not as good) with a lower profit margin and take away your customers with lower prices. Occasionally, companies get lucky and build up a coveted brand name like Coach and charge high prices and get away with it, but usually their volumes are much lower for it (not that many people can afford $5k for a stupid purse, or $300k for a car like a Rolls-Royce). Apple's really defied the odds and somehow gotten both high profit margins and large volumes, making the company insanely profitable. But there's lots of people (like me) who refuse to buy iPhones for various reasons, and lots more people who can't afford them, so there's certainly a market for smartphones not made by Apple, but they're not going to have that kind of profit margin, just like not all carmakers can have the profit margins of R-R or Ferrari. But that still doesn't mean it makes sense to sell phones at a *loss*, so there must surely be something else going on. Either they're making money somewhere else on them (pre-loaded crapware maybe? Malware even?), the numbers are incorrect, or it's a strategy to try to operate in the red for a while to build a brand.

Comment Re:your speech borders treason (Score 1) 56

We have great consumer protections on US made goods. Everything else imported not so much. China doesn't care if there is malware on phones, or poison in the pet food or anything else. The only fix for this is to hold the IMPORTERS and DISTRIBUTORS here in the US fully responsible, and put them out of business. The problem is, there is too much money involved in the politics of killing off corporations.

Comment Re:they are proposing customized outsourced compon (Score 2) 238

As I mentioned in my original post, my plane can accept three engines, from two different companies.

That's probably because it was specifically designed that way, and those engines are all very similar to one another. Lycoming and Continental have a bunch of engines that are nearly identical, at least when comparing size, power levels, mounting, etc. But you're not going to grab some random engine and toss it in there.

My car also comes with three engine options. Each of those engines is also used in other cars and trucks, of different marques.

Again, that's because those cars were specifically designed that way. The mfrgs wanted the flexibility of being able to offer different engines to customers. Lots of cars have multiple engine options. But you're not going to take a random Chevy and throw in a random Honda engine, they're just far too different. There are some small companies that specialize in making kits for installing engines into cars which weren't designed for them, but these kits are usually quite pricey because they have a bunch of custom-made parts, and that's even when the new engine is from the same mfgr as the old one. You need custom-designed engine mounts, driveaxles, wiring harness adapter, maybe a different hood, etc. And a lot of times, with kits like that, you can't install all the normal equipment, so you might have to go without A/C because there wasn't any room for it.

In long-term essential software especially, it's good not to be locked in to a single supplier.

Yes, and that's why your plane was designed for multiple engines. But not just any engine, only the 2/3 models it was specifically designed for. You can't just grab some random engine (even if it's a similar size and power rating) and toss it in there (though truthfully, assuming it's a typical Cessna-like front-engine plane, it's probably easier than swapping engines in a car).

As for automakers and their suppliers, automakers have *always* used suppliers. Heck, in the early days the automakers didn't even make their cars' bodies! Have you forgotten about "Body by Fisher"?

That isn't done very much in software.

Sure it is. You get a database from one supplier, you get components for it from another supplier, you get a source-control system from yet another supplier, etc. Haven't you heard of "applications"? Even a lot of commercial software contains components from other companies; you just don't see them because it's opaque to you, just like you probably have no idea which company made the headlight assemblies for your car.

Comment Re:configure; MAKE; make install (Score 2) 238

Um, it's not quite as bad as you describe. Things like bolts are not custom to a single model; go look up the mfgr part numbers for various bolts in your car and compare to other cars by the same mfgr; you'll find they're likely all the same. It's not like they need different kinds of 10mm bolts or flare nuts, unless there's a special application that needs a high-strength version or something. Same thing with engine gaskets: those are certainly particular to an engine, but not a car. The same engine is frequently used on multiple models (though it might be retuned, which is usually a software change, though there could be different manifolds on it too). Stalks and buttons are frequently reused across models by the same mfgr. Go to a Volvo dealership and sit in all the different models; they probably all have the same stalks, or slightly different versions of them (for when they have different options, some might have a rear window wiper and others don't, for instance).

What you don't see much is the same component from different mfgrs, at least for stuff that drivers typically see. But even here there is some commonality, as they get a lot of components from suppliers who sell to multiple mfgrs. So for instance Takata is a big seat belt and airbag maker, so while the overall modules are probably specific to automakers and even models (because an airbag is usually integrated with some piece of interior plastic), the pieces inside may very well be common. A supplier selling A/C compressors could very well use the same model for different carmakers (though the carmakers would designate it with their own part numbers), though it might have a different pulley on it because Ford wants to use a serpentine belt with ribs and Chevy wants to use a V-belt.

Wiring harnesses likely are very custom, but even here there might be some commonality (not sure though): if you have two models that are pretty similar (a sedan and a CUV for instance), they might share the same wiring harnesses in the doors if the mounting points are the same. Maybe. One thing that really is the same though is the connectors: one automaker will reuse as many connectors as possible across the whole line. And those connectors are made by a supplier, so you'll probably see that same connector on different automakers' cars.

The basic truth is that manufacturers save money by reducing their number of unique parts as much as possible, and then buying them in higher quantities, so they try to standardize as much as is feasible to realize savings by economies of scale. But a car is a complex system of parts working together, so there's only so much of this you can do. You wouldn't use the same alternator on a stripped-down econobox as you would a top-of-the-line luxury sedan or SUV.

Comment Re:Maybe an Engineering Revolution? (Score 1) 238

Make PEs liable for crappy designs and bad implementations.

And why exactly would anyone want to assume this liability? It's not like companies are going to pay their employees big $$$ to be PEs and assume this kind of liability. No one else in the engineering world does this kind of thing, except civil engineering consultancy firms. In those, the PE is really a head honcho of some design/construction firm, not just some low-level employee, so he's staking his reputation on the bridge not collapsing, but he's also rewarded handsomely for it (it's partially his business).

Off-the-shelf software doesn't work this way, and never will. Software made by consultant firms could, but how often do people hire consultancy firms to build them custom software? When companies do do that, there certainly are contractual provisions about the product meeting certain requirements. Avionics software is probably a good example here, and that kind of software is not developed at all like normal software. No one would be willing to pay for their computer OS to be developed in that fashion.

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