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Comment Re:Honda Diesel? (Score 1) 192

"According to AutoBlog, an anonymous source at FCA has confirmed that the next generation Jeep Wrangler will be available with a 3.0 liter V6 diesel engine coupled to an 8 speed automatic transmission. While the parent company offers this combination in the Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck and the Jeep Grand Cherokee, this is the first indication the powertrain will be offered in the Wrangler."

Comment Re:Honda Diesel? (Score 1) 192

I don't think he's saying they aren't relevant if you can't buy them in the US. He's just saying that for prospective buyers in the US, this isn't an answer.

I think that is changing though. Jeep is said to be introducing a diesel engine option for the Wrangler in the next few years, and there are rumors of Toyota expanding their availability. There are significant barriers to introducing a new diesel import to the US market, so there must be some significant demand showing.

Environmentalists don't like diesel engines normally because even though they save lots of fuel and last much longer, they aren't as clean. But they would be a wonderful option to provide fuel savings and long-lasting durable goods for consumers.There's no sense saying that we can't have this new thing unless it's perfect.

Comment Re:Maybe (Score 3, Insightful) 192

Obviously, it's important for a test to always be uniform. If you tried to test cars under "realistic" driving conditions the tests would all be different.

Realistic driving conditions are variations in temperature, terrain, traffic flow, etc.

Realistic driving conditions vary based on the habits of the driver.

Realistic driving conditions vary based on the condition of the car over time.

Maybe instead of ballyhooing these tests, we should apply common sense to them. Maybe we should see them as a group of data points and not a limits, guarantees, or absolutes?

Comment Re:What they really need (Score 1) 339

FASTER mass transit is the word you're looking for.

I work in downtown Seattle, we bought a house in Puyallup where they are still affordable. I use the Sounder commuter train, its a 45 minute trip. At a rough guess at least half of the Sounder riders travel further to Tacoma and maybe beyond - e.g. the train is still quite full when I get off at Puyallup on my way home.

Link Light Rail is being expanded, but Link is slow, has many stops, its ok for shorter distance trips.

It's that way in basically every major city outside of those with subways.

I live in a major city and would take public transit if I reasonably could, but I'm not willing to turn my 30-minutes-each-way commute into 90 minutes.

Comment Re:I don't think it will mean much (Score 2) 198

Volvo *seems* more trustworthy than most, and perhaps it would be your insurance company paying your claim, and then deciding to fight it out with Volvo themselves. However, what if they deny your claim? Are you going to be able to fight them? Will anyone?

Really, this gesture doesn't mean much. There will have to be a new structure devised for determining liability around self-driving cars. New laws, new types of insurance, etc. (I'm guessing it isn't going to be cheap to insure one of these)

None of that exists yet, but what Volvo is saying isn't much different from any other manufacturer's warranty, is it? They accept responsibility for accidents caused by design flaws and things that are "their fault" today in the form of recalls and whatnot in regular old meat-driven cars.

Comment Re:Just like Microsoft (Score 1) 318

Well, managers should be evaluated differently than rank and file employees. The team members are evaluated on their individual performances, and the manager should be evaluated based on their collective performances.

Their self-reviews will say "I did A, B, C." Mine would say "Together we did A, B, C."

My case for myself is that the proof is in the pudding. If I am creating an effective environment, then results are produced.

Comment Re:Just like Microsoft (Score 1) 318

with the best leaders, when the work is done the people say "we did it ourselves"

That's really a great quote. Bad managers think management is about "telling people what to do", but really, that's the failure mode of management. If your team has good people (and that's the job: making that happen), you need only present to business goals and any broader vision, and let your people do their jobs.

My favorite quote is "you have a good leader when the people are doing what they should. He might be telling them to do that, he might be telling them nothing, he might be telling them the opposite so they'll do it just to spite him, that's all implementation details." But really that's only half the picture: you job is to balance discipline (people doing what they should) with morale. Any idiot can make a trade-off between those two in either direction, but it's the product of both that's the long-term productivity of the team, and raising both at once is the real trick.

My philosophy on management is that I have to get/keep the right people in place, and then do whatever I can to put them in a position to succeed at their work.

I don't have to tell the right people what to do, they care and they know it and do it. If they don't, either I need to develop them or they aren't the right people. If micromanagement happens either I'm too far down in the details or I'm trying to fit a square employee into a round hole, IMO.

It sounds like Zappos had a bad management culture (or more likely, no defined or meaningful management culture) and elected to junk the car over the burned out headlamp.

I'm guessing this won't last too long, because managers really ARE important. They just have to know what is important and what isn't.

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.