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Comment Re: Don't hold your breath (Score 1) 214

I owned a '99 Accord V6 from 1999 to 2007 which was really bulletproof. I think EGR valve and the alternator went out, but both were replaced under some special extended warranty.

I expected the tranny to go out on that car, but I sold it to a guy who drove it for a year and then sold it to someone he knew who was still driving it as of a year or two ago, no tranny issues.

I also owned a 2003 CR-V for about two years -- no problems with that vehicle, but it got sold when we upgraded to a 2005 Pilot. The Pilot was equally reliable, but I think some part of the front end drive system got worked on -- it was my wife's car, so I don't remember the details. We sold it for decent money last summer when she bought an Acura MDX.

Honda actually settled a class action lawsuit regarding oil consumption --

I know a guy who owned two VWs with quart-a-month oil consumption, told by the dealer that was normal. How that's normal for anything that's not two cycle I'll never know.

Comment Re: Don't hold your breath (Score 1) 214

I think US car quality went into decline with emissions standards and ever-escalating UAW labor costs that forced them to cut engineering quality to maintain margins. There was also probably something of a monopoly mindset where foreign brands by and large were a lot less available and not desirable by American standards (small, slow, etc).

It's funny, but I've heard horror stories about Mercedes reliability and few positive things about Audi. BMW I hear mixed bag stories -- expensive to maintain, but not completely unreliable, either. My wife and I owned a VW Jetta 20 years ago that was junk.

We've had excellent luck with Honda, but my understanding is they've had their own problems -- "a quart of oil a month is normal" and Toyota has had its sludge problems.

Comment Hate to explain jokes but... (Score 1) 122

// Contrived, but this kind of thing can happen in duck-typed languages like Javascript
// if you're reading user input and forget explicit casts.

function duckTypingIsGood() {
    return Math.random()<=0.06;
    return 0;

var votes = '';

for ( var i=0; i<100; i++ ) {
   if ( duckTypingIsGood() ) votes = votes + 1;

console.log("In a survey of 100 programmers, "+votes+" thought duck-typing was a good idea")

// Output: In a survey of 100 programmers, 111111 thought duck-typing was a good idea

Comment Re:Don't hold your breath (Score 2) 214

But hasn't BMW a long track record of relatively more advanced engineering in their cars which has more or less always accounted for some of their price premium? Do you think the relative-to-other-cars increases in sophisticated engineering has increased or stayed constant?

I also wonder if BMW pricing (especially for higher-end models like the 6 series) hasn't increased merely to defend its position as a status item? If their market demographic has seen an increase in income, BMW raises their price to both extract more of that income from its customers as well as maintain its status position and exclusivity.

Comment Re:But intel... (Score 0) 135

But intel keeps telling us we only need 4 cores for games?!

They're right. A quad-core intel chip beats the pants off an eight-core AMD chip... for twice the money. The maximum frame rates are only maybe 5% higher, but the minimums are almost 50% higher. If it's worth the money to you to keep your minimum frame rates up, which really can make the difference between killing and being killed in an online match mind you, then you buy the Intel chip.

To me, saving a hundred bucks (and almost another hundred on the motherboard, which was also cheaper) was more important. But to each their own.

Comment Re:Not on the list: time for getting new client (Score 2) 142

In my experience, flat-rate projects succeed or fail by the contract terms. The deliverables have to be fixed and the project completion has to be extremely well-defined so you can declare it complete when the deliverables are complete. Scheduling should also be part of the contract so that client delays can't sap momentum and drag the project out. All change orders should be time and materials at a rate significantly higher than the flat rate average to discourage scope creep.

I usually see the problem with flat rates as being lack of client acceptance (using troubleshooting or whatever as an excuse) and delays as the main problem and vague deliverables contributing to both.

Overall, you have to be hard negotiator AND willing to tell the client "the deliverables are completed as specified, I'm not working anymore". Few businesses are willing to do this and even fewer individuals, which is why T&M is always the safer play.

Comment Re:How much of "college" is really necessary? (Score 1) 223

The student housing is pretty astonishing anymore.

When I was in college (in the 80s), even the new dorms were spartan -- small, box rooms with a desk, a closet and a bed. I thought I scored huge when I snagged a room in a somewhat renovated dorm that had carpet and hotel-style HVAC units (which only let you control the airflow; the heat and A/C were steam-derived, so the system did heat until they switched the loop over to cooling, which always seemed to happen about two weeks too late).

At the University I attended, I'm pretty private dorms now outstrip the University dorms by at least 3:1 -- I don't even recognize the near-campus neighborhood anymore because of the vast student housing blocks. My guess is that Universities are taking an MBA-style view of their housing and figuring that they need $X/sq ft revenue from their dorm buildings to justify the land use and are trying to compete with the private dorms just off campus, which means they need the kinds of amenities the off campus units have.

I'm actually surprised the older dorms haven't been razed and replaced, since structurally they can't accommodate the en-suite bathrooms or private bedrooms of double rooms.

My sense is that as tuition has increased, student loan borrowing has increased, leading students to a sense of false affluence, causing them to increase their living standards. My guess is that the tuition increases are the main driver and if tuition had risen only at the rate of inflation there would be less student loan borrowing overall and less borrowing available for luxury accommodations.

Comment Re:15 years old? (Score 2) 430

have you seen the demands? they dont even make sense

one of them was along the lines of. "have a group for black sudents... and if there already is one give it more money"

now... i dont know about you, but if you dont know if there is a group or not... how can you even make demands when you have no clue what you are talking about?

Comment Re:U+1F36B Chocolate Bar (Score 1) 259

I would not choose to eat something disgusting unless I was starving.

It is for that reason that I keep a bag of chocolate-covered kale in a cabinet at work. It is a perfect choice for a last-ditch absolute emergency chocolate fix, because I know that no one in their right mind would raid the cabinet and eat it if there was any chocolate anywhere else in the facility. Or, likely, in the entire city.

1000 pains = 1 Megahertz