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Comment Re:Overturn States' Rights? (Score 2) 137

Unlike the right to be secure in your effects, there is no constitutional right to buy a car with any particular characteristic, including a high level of emissions. Therefore the Feds have an important say in the encryption debate, but in car emissions, much less so.

Since the answer about CARB compliance isn't found in the bill of rights, it is just up to legislators to decide how they want to run their states. And from a practical standpoint, one can argue that non-CARB compliant cars cause bigger problems in large and dense cities. As a result, states with large and dense cities might conclude that the difficulties of making and distributing different versions of cars are more than offset by the benefits of lower emissions, while states without big cities (or lots of car manufacturers) might balance the scale in the other direction and allow higher emissions.

But even though you made a bad analogy, at least you made a *car* analogy and for that you should be commended.

Comment Re:Boring... (Score 1) 91

Do you really not understand or do you just not approve and want to appear superior? On the off chance that you aren't just being a jerk, the fact of the matter is that many human beings like to experience non safe things. Whether it is merely the feeling of being not safe (e.g. roller coaster), or living vicariously through someone else doing something unsafe (e.g. NASCAR, UFC bouts, daredevils), people enjoy the adrenaline rush. Of course, I find it bizarre that I have to explain this to someone whose handle is "Opportunist."

I don't particularly like NASCAR but I don't think we should s4!7 all over somebody else's preferred form of entertainment. People who live in glass houses...

Comment Re:Think? (Score 1) 522

I'm not sure why you think it isn't fair. If someone buys a house in one location (out of town) instead of another (in town), then things are going to be different. You might have a longer commute, you might have to drive to get to a store, but you might get more room for your money. And you might have to pay more for utilities. The mere existence of a trade-off doesn't make a situation "unfair".

But I am assuming that you believe that it is unfair for someone to pay $126/mo to get 25/5 speeds. If so, what is the "fair" price for someone to pay for their 25/5 connection? Furthermore, what is the "fair" price that someone should pay for someone else's 25/5 connection? Because that is what we are talking about here. If you aren't willing to pay to get your own improved speed, why should someone else pay for you?

Comment Re:I'm Clueless, But... (Score 1) 53

Not necessarily, for 2 reasons. First, math is math, and most of the building blocks of machine learning are pretty well known. What is valuable is how the building blocks are assembled and set up for a given problem. Second, without large amounts of collected data, even knowing the exact setup of somebody's model isn't particularly valuable. So a company can open source a lot of good general optimizers and other functions without giving away any "secret sauce."

Comment Re:Don't buy new. (Score 1) 111

In general, cars are not sold 10 minutes after being bought from a dealership. So when one is, it is reasonable to think that there is something very wrong with the car, or else why would somebody get rid of it so quickly? Therefore the potential buyer demands a huge discount from getting a perfectly new and clean one from the dealership.

This is why "certified pre-owned" cars are more expensive than used cars that aren't. In theory, there is much less of a chance of something wrong with the car, so the discount is "only" the actual depreciation that the first owner used up.

Comment Re:Not that I like Trump, but... (Score 1) 875

Lots of fundamental misconceptions in this comment.

If the iPhone was made here, then lots of jobs have to be created here.

Apple couldn't get many Americans to build iPhones at the wages that they (technically that their suppliers) pay in China (if it were even legal to do so - which it isn't). American workers are very productive, and it is likely that the most economical way to build iPhones in the US is to hire a small number of highly skilled employees to run a modern, highly automated, American manufacturing plant.

Lots of money gets pumped into the US economy rather than China's economy.

China cannot make American dollars (counterfeiting jokes aside) so for every U.S. Dollar that gets "pumped" into China's economy from buying iPhones, there *must* be a US Dollar getting "pumped" back into the US from China. The difference is that Americans get cool toys in exchange for our dollars, while China gets IOU's in exchange for their dollars. Unless one believes that China is stashing away mountains of hundred dollar bills (wasting away due to inflation), then money pumped out == money pumped in

Henry Ford was right about one thing... if your employees can't afford to buy your product, you might have a problem.

Henry Ford paid higher wages than his competitors because it was difficult to keep workers working on the new assembly line. The work was tough and monotonous, and it took some time to train a new employee how to do his job right. So he paid more than other companies to keep them working for him, not because he wanted to build a market for his cars made up of his own employees. That is how multi-level marketing firms (don't) work, not real businesses.

Comment Re:Not that I like Trump, but... (Score 5, Insightful) 875

While I agree with your analysis about the fact that companies will find ways to legally avoid the tax ("loopholes"), it is unlikely that the cost of the iPhone will go up as a result. Non-commodity firms like Apple charge the highest price they can get away with in the marketplace, regardless of their costs. If they thought the same number of people would pay $50 extra for an iPhone, that is what the price tag would be already. When costs go up, in the short run, Apple just becomes less profitable because of the higher costs. In the medium run, the next generations of iPhones will tend to have a focus on cost cutting because competitors will have to lessen features to remain profitable under the new regulations, so Apple can afford to cut costs and still look better than the competition by comparison. In the long run, the decision to mass produce the next iWhatever will have to incorporate these extra costs in the evaluation of whether the total costs of R&D + production + regulatory costs are sufficiently less than the revenue they will get for it. If the costs are too great to produce the profit their investors demand, they will not produce the iWhatever.

True, apple will claim that this (or any) new government mandate will "require" them to increase prices by $x, but that is just lip service to try to avoid the policy from going into effect. And if it does go into effect anyways, then whatever extra they add onto the price is only done because they now believe that people will pay more (possibly because other manufacturers will reduce their product selection, and with decreased competition, Apple can increase prices).

Comment Re: There's a reason those Republicans... (Score 5, Insightful) 169

The IRS didn't audit a single millionaire last year.

They didn't audit a single millionaire because they audited tens of thousands of millionaires. Unless of course you are referring to marital status. Unfortunately I can't find out whether they audited a single millionaire or if they were all married.

Comment Re:Ugh... no thanks. (Score 1) 216

GP's point about these "little baubles" is spot on. My weekly visits to my elderly grandmother were spent taking a peek in the fridge, cleaning out some garbage, mowing the lawn, shoveling the sidewalk, etc., etc.. Visiting the elderly so that you can do errands sucks.

I'd have much rather have had robots to do that while we stayed inside and played Scrabble (and I'm sure she would have too).

Comment Re: Liberals and willful ignorance (Score 1) 247

they have been recognized as mass goods that benefit everyone in the area

This shows a terrible misreading of history at best and complete ignorance of history at worst. Throughout almost all of history, armies and courts/tribunals have been the tools of far flung rulers rather than "recognized as mass goods that benefit everyone in the area." If the Assyrian Empire's troops were in your city, you were not a happy camper. Likewise with the Northern European tribes with respect to Roman Legions. All the way up to North Vietnamese troops taking Saigon or ISIS troops in Mosul. But even courts are hardly welcome a "benefiting everyone." One of the major points of the Magna Carta was to change the unfairness of the courts of the day.

And one needs only look at the major stories of the year to see how much police forces are welcomed into communities, even in American cities. Just because the ruler might speak the same language as you doesn't mean that his armies, police officers, or courts are looking out for you, or that you are happy under their rule.

Comment Re:Pardon Me, but... (Score 1) 78

The difference is that "Eureka!" marks the completion of an answer, which, while significant, is not as exciting (to a scientist) as *beginning* a journey of discovery. "That's funny" means something that we thought we know maybe isn't so, and therefore it is the start of a quest for more knowledge. To a scientist, that is when the excitement happens.

Having said that, this seems to be tying up loose ends more than asking new questions, so I'm not sure how many scientists are saying "that's funny" to this discovery.

Comment Re:Grammar please (Score 2) 148

Or the classic comma joke:

A panda walks into a restaurant, sits down and orders a sandwich. After he finishes eating the sandwich, the panda pulls out a gun and shoots the waiter, and then stands up to go. "Hey!" shouts the manager. "Where are you going? You just shot my waiter and you didn't pay for your sandwich!"

The panda yells back at the manager, "Hey man, I am a PANDA! Look it up!"

The manager opens his dictionary and sees the following definition for panda: "A tree-dwelling marsupial of Asian origin, characterised by distinct black and white colouring. Eats shoots and leaves."

Oblig. xkcd

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