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Comment: Re:Good for him! (Score 1) 223

by snsh (#48379111) Attached to: Overbilled Customer Sues Time Warner Cable For False Advertising

I doubt anyone working at AT&T actually had a sinister plan to advertise a $200 promo and offer only $100.

At these big companies it's more likely due to corporate disorganization, with one department not knowing what the other department is doing. The promotions are developed by marketing geniuses, who tell the IT people to put them into the computer, then at point-of-sale they're supposed to be able to locate the promotion in the computer. That fails, so then you call customer-service where the people have even less clue what's going on so they refer you to go back the store where someone more knowledgeable can help you out.

It's also a problem of over-marketing as much as disorganization. Twenty years ago, you could open up a 1994 phone book and on the 3rd page would be a list of local telephone plans and prices. There were no time-limited promotions and codes to complicate things. Instead, all customers paid the same rates. Long distance was a totally different matter. People were switching carriers monthly hopping from one promotion to another. But local telephone had simple pricing. Today broadband needs to be more like that.

Comment: Re:Could they get any more special treatment? (Score 5, Informative) 242

by snsh (#48052367) Attached to: Senators Threaten To Rescind NFL Antitrust Exemption

Don't confuse "nonprofit" with "charity". While virtually all charities are nonprofits, not all nonprofits are charities.

The NFL being nonprofit is simply a reflection of how the league is organized and equity and earnings are allocated. In this case, most of the equity in the NFL is held by individual teams and the teams' billionaire owners, and all the earnings are targeted to those same teams. The league acts as just a vehicle for the teams to coordinate functions like marketing, scheduling, and league matters. So when the league gets $10 billion in TV contracts, all the profit is distributed to the teams, which then pay taxes on it. Being structured as a nonprofit, the NFL league has trustees and beneficiaries. It could reincorporate as a for-profit, in which case it would have owners and shareholders. In that case, each team owner could be granted one share. If that were to happen, Paul Allen instead of receiving one tax bill for $100 million for the Seahawks, would get two tax bills for $70 million (for the Seahawks) and $30 million (for the NFL share). From the taxman's point of view, it's pretty much the same.

There's nothing sneaky about the NFL being a nonprofit. It's just reflects how the league was originally set up.

Comment: Re:I feel like we are living in an 'outbreak' movi (Score 1, Insightful) 258

A lot of people are directing outrage at the healthcare worker who dropped the ball, but what about the patient? He reportedly didn't tell the nurse/doctor "I just came here from Liberia a few days ago and was recently in contact with people who died of Ebola." which is what any sane person would have done. I'm guessing he did the opposite, and downplayed it like "Have you been to Africa? / Yes I used to live in Africa."

Comment: Re:Someone's going to complain (Score 1) 208

by snsh (#47998777) Attached to: Drones Reveal Widespread Tax Evasion In Argentina

Since the 1990's cities have had their own street-view like platforms. Both the data-collection and the UI were not nearly as refined as street-view is today. Cities would pay to have vans photograph the streets every couple of years. The vans had only 1 or 2 cameras, and the Windows software was crude and hard to use, but still saved a lot of time compared to dispatching an inspector to check for things like newly installed decks, carports, and sheds.

Comment: Re:The backup-camera rule (Score 1) 261

by snsh (#47769715) Attached to: DoT Proposes Mandating Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications

"VERY FEW accidents involve a driver backing up and hitting cars/kids"

That should be "very few FATAL accidents involve a driver backing up and hitting cars/kids". I think the national total is around a dozen fatalities a year. On the other hand, scuffed and dented bumpers are probably a daily occurrence and many malls, parking garages, and city streets around the country. Heck, just look at the bumpers of your own car and count the dings.

Comment: The backup-camera rule (Score 1) 261

by snsh (#47768789) Attached to: DoT Proposes Mandating Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications

Is this the same DOT that for years defied US legislation mandating backup-cameras becoming standard equipment in vehicles?

In 2008, Congress passed a law (signed by GW Bush) requiring the DOT/NHTSA to put together rules requiring backup-cameras in cars. The law set a deadline of 2011 for the DOT. And 2011 was just a deadline, so they could have implemented the rule in 2009 if they wanted. Instead they put off the setting the rule until just about six months ago in 2014. It won't be finalized until 2015 and won't take effect until 2018.

The reason DOT dragged their feet? The stated reason was that they needed more time to calculate the cost-benefit ratio of prevented deaths caused by cars backing up. Never mind that Congress already decided that matter, and that most of the measurable benefit is not going to come from personal injury, but from property damage averted when you don't dent your car backing out a parking spot because you can see how much space is behind you in the video-monitor. The unstated reason is that mandatory backup cameras would cost PROFIT for Detroit auto manufacturers.

And keep in mind these are lousy backup cameras which are mature, uncontroversial, and easy-to-implement tech. This V2V tech is still under development.

So what's the deal with this rush to mandate V2V? Is this Obama trying to establish legacy?

There is nothing so easy but that it becomes difficult when you do it reluctantly. -- Publius Terentius Afer (Terence)