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Comment: Re:manucturer dealers could be worse (Score 1) 455

by jjo (#47270547) Attached to: NADA Is Terrified of Tesla
If a manufacturer wants to screw itself by preventing its customers from experiencing the orgiastic joy of buying their cars from a dealer, why stop them? It's not 'monopolistic' since sensible customers can pass up the cars sold by the evil direct-sales model and flock to other manufacturers who let them buy through their fair, pure, and utterly ethical car dealerships. :-)

Comment: Re:This order cannot stand (Score 1) 248

by jjo (#47255119) Attached to: Canadian Court Orders Google To Remove Websites From Its Global Index
I'm not suggesting that anyone move anywhere. I'm just saying that just as Google pulled out of mainland China to escape an intolerable legal system, it would pull out of Canada if this order were allowed to stand. One presumes that most of the Google Canada employees would look for jobs at other companies in Canada, and that Canadians would switch from google.ca to google.com (or perhaps to google.fr). Everyone would be the poorer for this.

Comment: This order cannot stand (Score 1) 248

by jjo (#47253845) Attached to: Canadian Court Orders Google To Remove Websites From Its Global Index
I fully expect this order to be reversed, either by judicial or by legislative action. I say this because Google cannot possibly accept this precedent, since their business simply couldn't operate if it had to comply worldwide with the laws of every country it does business in. At the last resort, Google would pull out of Canada rather than accept this order, and the Canadians are sensible enough to see that as something they really do not want.

Comment: One beer puts you over the limit? Not here. (Score 2) 389

by jjo (#47040051) Attached to: Swedish Fare Dodgers Organize Against Transportation Authorities

I don't know where you are posting from, but here in the USA one beer with dinner will not put you over the legal limit. Even for a very petite woman, consuming one beer over the course of a dinner will barely get your BAC above 0.03%. The limit in the USA is 0.08%.

Even if you are in a jurisdiction where one beer puts you over the limit, get real. You are talking about operation of machinery that is highly dangerous when operated improperly. Aircraft pilots are in the same situation, and they are prohibited from any alcohol consumption for 8 hours (or more) before flight. How is your situation as a driver essentially different from that of a pilot? Do you want pilots having a beer with their dinner in the cockpit?

Comment: Re:i interpret it to mean (Score 1) 497

by jjo (#46436059) Attached to: Can Science Ever Be "Settled?"

What, precisely do 90%+ of scientists working agree on? That AGW exists, and that's all. You won't get 90%+ of scientists to agree on the implications of AGW. In particular, you won't get them to agree that the current computer climate models are Holy Writ, only doubted by the ignorant. The Al-Gore crowd refuses to acknowledge any possibility of error in the climate model forecasts, even though any honest climatologist will admit that the models are imperfect.

Anyone who claims the ability to predict the future behavior of a complex, imperfectly-understood system with 100% accuracy doesn't really understand how the world works.

Comment: It's a non-zero-sum game (Score 1) 712

by jjo (#46305105) Attached to: Are Bankers Paid Too Much? Are Technology CEOs?
Do you honestly believe that the economy is a zero-sum game? If I'm a goldsmith and I decide to make a couple more earrings this week, and I thereby increase my income, am I stealing that income from someone else? Have I not created a non-zero-sum game? With billions of people contributing greater or lesser amounts to the world economy every hour of every day, anyone who considers it to be zero-sum has a warped sense of reality.

Comment: "Certificate", not "License" (Score 1) 312

by jjo (#45857817) Attached to: No. of vehicle license types I hold:
I hold a driver's license for a car, but the documents I hold for operating boats and airplanes are "Certificates". The State of New Hampshire requires me to hold a "Safe Boating Certificate" (evidence of successful safety training) while operating a boat of more than 20 Horsepower. The FAA does not issue pilot's licenses, but rather certifies that I have been "found to be properly qualified to exercise the privileges" of a pilot.

Comment: What you are missing is competition (Score 1) 1146

by jjo (#45708737) Attached to: US Light Bulb Phase-Out's Next Step Begins Next Month
What you are missing is competition. A monopoly light bulb manufacturer might behave in exactly the way you describe. In a competitive market, while manufacturers might like to ensure a high demand for replacement bulbs by designing them for short lifespans, they would end up with dissatisfied customers who would no longer buy their product, but instead buy from manufacturers who provided the long-lived bulbs people really want.

Comment: Re:They should upgrade the warning ... (Score 1) 526

by jjo (#45404615) Attached to: Man In Tesla Model S Fire Explains What Happened
How do you know that the 'invisible hand' is impotent to improve safety? It's true that for a many decades the automotive consumer was indifferent to safety, so the 'invisible hand' was indifferent as well, but now safety is a selling point. Luxury cars vie to introduce new cutting-edge safety enhancements that consumers choose because they want them, not because of government mandates. If they prove worthwhile, these enhancements then trickle down to the broad market. Because of externalities (i.e, the danger from someone else driving an unsafe car), some regulation is indeed necessary to ensure safety, but to assert that government alone can improve safety is preposterous.

Comment: Re:yeah, those bastards (Score 1, Insightful) 786

by jjo (#45262899) Attached to: Why Can't Big Government Launch a Website?
Here is prime example of what passes as political discourse in Washington these days. Calling your opponents 'hairless apes', and thereby giving yourself license to completely ignore and de-legitimize their arguments. Another gem: the Democrats shut down the government in order to blackmail the Republicans into voting for Obamacare funding, yet partisan Democrats say that it was the _Republicans_ who did the shutdown. The Republicans voted to fund the entire Government except Obamacare. It was the Democrats who joyously embraced the opportunity to shut down the government and blame the Republicans. The Democrats steadfastly blocked all attempts to ameliorate their shutdown until they collected their Obamacare ransom.

Comment: Instruction set (and language) elegance (Score 1) 336

by jjo (#44049963) Attached to: PDP-11 Still Working In Nuclear Plants - For 37 More Years
Having programmed the PDP-8 and then the -11, I can draw two lessons from the experience:
  1. You can get stuff done even with an instruction set that looks like a dog's breakfast.
  2. Everything is much better with an elegant, well-designed instruction set. You don't truly appreciate this until you've done without it.

These two lessons can be directly extended to higher-level programming languages as well.

Comment: The USA should accept reality too (Score 3, Insightful) 362

by jjo (#42467035) Attached to: Canada To Stop Producing Pennies In 2013

The penny is just as pointless in the USA as it is in Canada. Of course, the USA is considerably behind Canada in recognizing the changes wrought by inflation. In addition to abolishing the penny, it should abolish the dollar bill and introduce a $2 coin as Canada did many years ago. (If you wanted to be really far-sighted, you could establish a plan for when to abolish the nickel and the $5 bill and introduce a $5 coin.)

Unfortunately, currency reform would not only face stiff opposition from the zinc lobby (because penny is largely zinc now), but from the politically well-connected Crane Company in Massachusetts, which manufactures all of the paper used in printing US currency. The absurdity of vending machines and tollbooths needing to accept paper money (much more expensive than coins) counts for nothing as against a corporation with skilled lobbyists.

If you had better tools, you could more effectively demonstrate your total incompetence.

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