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Comment no frills vehicles are uneconomic (Score 1) 652

Actually I suspect that there would be healthy sales of such a vehicle, it's just that the financials work out poorly. There is just a certain minimum cost for the design and manufacture of a vehicle, and the price of such a vehicle gets too close to larger better equipped vehicles. (The TATA Nano has this problem in India--for just a bit more you get a much better car.) In the US the Nissan Versa is the cheapest car but for a bit more you can get a lot more car.

It's a slice of the market that automakers rather just leave alone.

Comment Re:News to me (Score 1) 672

GM continually sank money into it

And at the same time, they also didn't. They didn't put enough money into designing new models, so in a relatively short period of time the cars were outclassed by rivals. And then GM did the GM thing of going the cheap route, rebadging other GM cars as Saturns. (Some of which were ok, others which you note were crap, but all of which destroyed the brand.)

Comment Re:ask a mechanic (Score 1) 672

First generation of the Odyssey was a terrible POS.

But Mercedes? Really? I know they have improved from the craptastic vehicles they put together in the 2000s, but from the horror stories of new ones I read I'd be terrified to own one.

Keep in mind it's all relative of course. I am a Saab guy and I have found them inexpensive to own and repair, though it requires knowing the right people and where to get parts from.

Comment Re:Bad summary: the airline, not the government (Score 1) 624

it's a Canadian official, not a US official, that checks your passport. The passport is to help you get permission from the Canadians to enter their country, not to get permission from the US to leave.

This is actually a rather complex example, and your statement requires revision.

The United States unilaterally decided that a passport would be required for land crossings. Canada did not and doesn't give a damn. They'd be happy to let you in with a birth certificate. However because the US now requires a passport to enter the US, Canada has to ensure you have one so that you don't get stuck in Canada for an extended period of time.

Comment Re:Bad summary: the airline, not the government (Score 1) 624

A driving license is a privilege and can be taken away. ...Ish. The best and truest example of a state privilege is something like a license for a company to mine in a particular area. The state could revoke that willy-nilly.

The state is much more limited on the revocation of a driver's license. They couldn't deny you a license simply because you're fat, or black, or a woman, or because you've had an abortion. Because of that, there is indeed some type of limited right to apply for and hold a license.

Comment Re:Great concept except for .... (Score 1) 488

either Japan nor any Japanese company has the financial solvency to undertake such an effort

Japan is a weird country financially. Government debt is high, however many large companies are sitting on cash and the people of Japan have ridiculously large piles of the stuff even if it's not earning any interest.

Japan probably has $3-4 trillion which needs a home.

Comment Re:Some Context from a Redditor (Score 1) 722

This reminds me of the show Californication. (I'm at the end of season 1.)

During season 1, we see the main character have sex with a girl (whom we can see naked on top of him) and is later revealed to be 16.

The main character is shocked and while he is a womanizer he says that sleeping with a 16 year old is wrong. It's an exercise to the reader if he really believes that or just chooses not to (the show is at best indifferent--because we got to see a "sixteen year old's" breasts bouncing up and down as they were having sex.) We later encounter another character who truly is bad--he takes underaged students to his house and drugs them up (though it appears that they do so voluntarily.)

The point here is that context I guess is important. But moreover, the show is hypocritical if it's trying to make us dislike the guy who drugs up underaged girls for sex, if it's also trying to titillate us with sex with 16 year olds anyway.

Comment Re:Lax attitudes toward child pornography (Score 1) 722

Rather than seeing themselves as what they actually are--just nerds running computers--they like to perceive themselves as freedom fighters battling all forms of censorship in the world.

That's an interesting sentence. The issue is that there is no way that they can just be "nerds running computers." Any position they take regarding the content on the servers means they are making a policy choice, regardless if that policy choice is passive or active (which is your preference.) If they are censoring content they take on a law enforcement like position, even if the content they are censoring is universally censored.

The truth is that they are policy makers, and in some way they are quite powerful in that position. I find your sentence here belittling to people whom you disagree with.

Comment Re:And to the public... (Score 1) 337

I think the worst thing about this is that the public in general will see his drug use as being worse

I hope that isn't the case anymore. Actually I was wondering if FBI background checks are as obsessed with drug use as they once were. It seems quite old fashioned to me. (In the same way that figuring out who is a communist is also pretty old fashioned too.)

Comment anecdotal experience with terrible tests (Score 2) 143

I seem to recall that some of these tests are strange or written badly, to my expense. I remember taking such tests to assess my knowledge of, for instance, MS Office, but the software specifically required that I accomplish a task in one way and one way only. If I knew a perfectly valid way of accomplishing the task, but it wasn't the (presumably more common) way that the software wanted I got the question wrong. (Worse yet, they did this in a simulated MS Office environment...the only way to get the question right was to choose all the correct menus the first time. If the correct answer was to do something with File:Properties but I went for the Edit menu first, it was wrong immediately.)

In 2008 or so I was at a temp agency and they tested my abilities to do PC break/fix work. They asked the question which IRQ # is associated with COM1. I was furious to know that I was being graded on my knowledge of things that I hadn't had to worry about in at least 10 years.

Comment Re:Safe for a while (Score 2) 294

looking back I think I would have missed out on a lot of social interaction that was probably really important.

And that's true. Putting it in more stark terms, a lot of higher education is really just a lifestyle for 19 year olds. That's not a bad thing, hell, I've lived that life far longer than one human should.

But colleges make this lifestyle absurdly expensive, when all you really need to do is set aside a neighborhood for 19 year olds.

Comment Re:It's the market (Score 1) 348

do you know how much more expensive prepaid is?

I do. I pay $38/month for unlimited texting and calling. I use H20 wireless which piggybacks on the AT&T network. In fact, you don't even have to unlock your phone to use it it it were already and ATT phone. Just stick the H20 sim card in (which I did on my iPhone.)

That's basically half the cost I was paying when I had ATT. I couldn't be happier.

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