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Comment Delusions (Score 3, Insightful) 50

Except that I know a guy (well.. have talked to him a few times in the past) that swears his skin starts crawling if someone has a phone in their pocket when they come talk to him. Of course, the last time I talked to him was before cellphones were common...

I just see it as another manifestation of whatever causes people to have delusional parasitosis. It's probably the same class of mental illness we find in people who (wrongly) think they have MSG or gluten sensitivities too.

I figure who am I to say what bothers a person.

I don't doubt that their brain is doing evil things to them. I worry about the ones that can't wrap their heads around the fact that it's almost certainly all in their head. I think they have a real illness and need real help, just not the with the disease they think they need help with.

Comment Not about reliability (Score 1) 114

Actually, a Tesla should be in the same boat as a Toyota: it is a daily driver.

Doesn't matter. It isn't. That's not how people perceive it currently and it isn't how Tesla market's their cars. People don't worry about Tesla reliability either positively or negatively currently.

Now, it you tell me you bought a Tesla for the badge and to boast to your friends that you have a Tesla in your garage or to bring it to a track on the weekend*, that maybe a viable reason for you, but I don't think that's how Tesla positions themselves. Don't they want to bring EV to the masses?

I didn't say people bought the Tesla for the badge though I'm sure some do. I just said they didn't buy it for the reliability. In no particular order people buy Tesla's for battery power (no gas), appearance, performance (fast as hell in a straight line and not bad in the curves), luxury (very nice interior), geekiness, and fanboi-ism. Which of those matter most depends on the buyer. Reliability isn't really much of a consideration for the vast majority of buyers.

* not the best idea, I'd rather drive the Ferrari

I've driven both a Ferrari and a Tesla in years gone by. Both have their charms. Tesla is FAR more pleasant to drive under normal conditions and faster than most Ferrari's in a straight line. But Ferarri's have their good points too depending on which model you are talking about. I really can't imagine myself buying a Ferrari but I could imagine myself owning a Tesla.

Comment No justification of stock price (Score 1) 114

Like you say the short term growth potential doesn't support their stock price.

Neither does the long term potential unless you have a time horizon of decades.

The high price of Tesla stock reflects that a lot of fund managers think they have a decent chance of huge long term growth.

Not true. Tesla is being held by fund managers because it is a stock people want to own. A realistic appraisal of Tesla's growth prospects doesn't even come close to justifying a $30Billion valuation. A super profitable car company makes something like a 10% margin. Even if Tesla magically sold 1/10th the cars that GM does tomorrow (GM sold 9.8 million vehicles in 2015) and we double their margin to 20% which is far beyond any car company that has ever existed they would take decades to generate enough free cash flow to justify that valuation. No, the ONLY reason Tesla's stock remains high is because people are playing a game of "who's the greater fool" buying high in the hopes it will go higher.

Tesla stock is an expensive gamble but it still has a clearer path to long term growth and profitability than companies like Twitter and Facebook.

Twitter maybe but Facebook is already hugely profitable. You might try actually looking at their financials before posting next time.

Comment Depends on what you do (Score 2) 170

No. You don't. Because that isn't possible to do.

That depends entirely on what you plan to do with it. There absolutely are some people who can replace a PC with a smartphone or a tablet because the smartphone/tablet competently does everything they did with the PC. While it isn't true for me personally I have family members that have ditched the PC completely because their tablet does everything they needed from a PC and it's easier to use for them. Even for me a smartphone has replaced a lot of what I used to do primarily on a PC.

The fact that this guy even said that means he is clueless about mobile. He needs to be replaced.

"Clueless"? Ummm... no. Far be it from me to defend Microsoft or their CEO but clueless is not a word I'd use in regards to them. I'm pretty sure he has more of a clue about the mobile market than you do.

Comment Claims vs reality (Score 1) 114

Your wrong here though. I remember this coming up with BMW in the 90s. If you asked BMW owners they would rate their cars as some of the most reliable on the roads. Objectively they were crap in reliability though. It's all people justifying things.

Nobody bought a BMW because of their reliability no matter what they claimed unless they were a fanboi who couldn't be bothered to actually look at the data. This is true of most luxury car brands with a few notable exceptions. Furthermore your argument is nonsense because CR rates reliability based on surveys to actual owners of those cars. Sure you might find a braggart who is delusional or honestly hasn't had any problems with their BMW but those are the exception rather than the rule. Similarly nobody buys a Tesla because of its reliability no matter what they are claiming.

Cars that are bought for reliability market that fact front and center. BMW markets their cars as the ultimate driver's cars. Tesla doesn't ma

The Ferrari is a red herring, anybody even remotely familiar with any of the super cars knows they're god awful for reliability, but that's not what you're buying it for and nobody will argue for their reliability

Incorrect. It's an extreme example of my point but you are confirming what I'm saying. People don't buy Tesla vehicles with reliability as a primary concern. I'm sure it's on the list somewhere but it's not the main consideration. Consumer Reports however they regard reliability as a top concern even when the buyers of the vehicle in question do not.

Yet objectively they're somewhere between average reliability and crap reliability.

Objectively the average reliability of cars today is actually extremely good. So someone who says their car is reliable when the data says it is average probably isn't lying. The difference between top and mid-tier reliability these days is really not a big difference. This is quite a change from 20 years ago when there were rather substantial differences in reliability between brands.

Comment Different measuring stick (Score 4, Interesting) 114

If people are emotionally invested in a poor decision, then they will retroactively justify it in a lot of ways.

One person's poor decision is another person's awesome decision. Let's use a different car company - Ferrari. Nobody buys a Ferrari because of the reliability ratings in Consumer Reports. They buy it because of the looks, the performance, the badge, or other reasons. The decision tree and evaluation of satisfaction about the purchase simply won't be based on whether it is as reliable as a Toyota Camry. Tesla is somewhat in the same boat. Reliability is pretty far down the list of reasons why someone buys a Tesla in most cases.

Remember that Consumer Reports has a particular view point on their evaluation of cars. They apply the same ratings to all vehicles regardless of whether those ratings actually are relevant to the buyers of those cars. This isn't a case of post-hoc justification of satisfaction. It's that the measuring stick for satisfaction is a lot more complicated than how reliable Consumer Reports thinks the car is. Consumer Reports provides useful data but you have to understand that it is data from a very specific view point which may or may not be relevant.

Comment Cost of repair (Score 0) 114

There's another useful metric - cost of repair.

It is useful but not publicly available. Tesla isn't going to break this number out on their financial statements and Consumer Reports doesn't have access to the real number. One might be able to make an educated guess at it but there would be some very substantial error bars on that calculation.

They're about $7 billion in the hole and still a year, at least, before their mass market car ships.

Which is why their stock valuation is astonishing. I think Tesla is a pretty good company doing very interesting things. But their market capitalization is bat shit crazy. It is completely unjustifiable given the size and any reasonable analysis of the near term prospects of the company. It doesn't make sense that an unprofitable company selling 50,000 vehicles a year has a market cap half the size of General Motors market cap. Tesla simply isn't going to be big enough or profitable enough any time soon to justify that valuation.

Comment Beauty in the eye... (Score 1) 114

Besides, I personally think the model X is one of the least attractive cars you can buy.

That's a matter of opinion. My sister agrees with you but I think the Model X looks fine - at least compared with any other crossover SUV. I don't think it's as pretty as the Model S but it doesn't offend me visually. Different strokes for different folks. Personally I think the Nissan Leaf is FAR uglier than the Model X as well as far less practical if we ignore the vastly different price points. I don't really get why Telsa is the only company that has wrapped their head around the idea that an ugly hatchback with a 100 mile range isn't anything to get excited about.

It seems like something designed only for hipsters.

Ahh, I get it. You don't like it so it must be something designed for your designated generic ill-defined douche bags - aka "hipsters". You don't have to like the vehicle and I get it if it doesn't suit your needs. But I know several people personally who own a Model X and "hipster" doesn't remotely begin to describe any of them. Most of them are people who simply are techies who like the geek factor and performance that comes with a Tesla. A few are greenies who also happen to be car enthusiasts. Reliable or not the cars Tesla makes are among the most interesting vehicles you can buy today regardless of price point.

Comment Not unusual for the luxury car market (Score 1) 114

Most people expected those to take time to get right.

There is more to quality than taking your time. I've worked as a quality engineer in the auto industry. The hard part is installing a company culture that values quality while still being able to manage costs effectively.

But the issues with poor build quality was simply horrendous and would have been unacceptable for cars costing well below the Model X base price.

I guess you've never dealt with cars in that price range much before. Nobody buys a car with a six figure price tag because of its reliability. Super cars are notoriously unreliable. Nobody buys a Lambo or a Ferrari or even a Land Rover for its reliability. People buy them for their features, looks, and brand but almost never because they don't expect to see the inside of a repair shop. Part of this is because high priced cars tend to have the latest gizmos as well as a lot of them so there simply are more places for things to break. Given how much they are pushing the envelope on car design and features I'm not really surprised there are some quality problems with some Tesla cars. But when compared to the cars they are currently competing against their quality seems to be roughly par for the course compared to their nearest competition like BMWs or Mercedes. Toyota/Lexus is probably the exception that proves the rule as they tend to lead the pack on quality though their cars also tend to be rather conservative and boring me-too designs.

Now that's not really an excuse for poor quality but if you are going to compare apples to apples Tesla isn't really out of the ordinary in the market they are selling to. And to their credit Tesla seems to take dealing with problems that arise in their vehicles seriously and proactively. It indicates that the Model S is now roughly average build quality which these days is actually pretty darn good. If you want to argue that Tesla should be better I won't disagree. Personally if something costs that much money I don't think it's unreasonable to expect it to be well designed and well built.

Comment Analogies and missing the point (Score 1) 210

Hawaii is a really nice place for humans to live: the weather is perfect, it's lush and beautiful, there's all kinds of fun things to do like swimming, surfing, scuba diving, exploring rain forests, etc.

Way to miss the point. We explore Antarctica too for lots of very good reasons and it is anything but hospitable. Mars is very similar but with the degree of difficulty turned up to 11. There are plenty of good reasons to go there in person. Learn to understand what an analogy is and stop thinking so literally and being so short sighted.

Comment Engage your brain (Score 1) 210

So the only reason to go to Mars would be tourism? That's not a compelling case.

Holy missing the point Batman! Of course there are more reasons to go to Mars than tourism. Science research, preservation of our species, joy of exploration, financial gain, engineering, military dominance, and the list goes on and on. Use your brain and think of a few more. It's not hard. The point is that relatively little of this is possible by just sending robots just like there is a difference between knowing that it is 85F and sunny in Hawaii and actually being there yourself.

Comment Figurehead (Score 1) 114

What I always find somewhat funny about that is that Bush was suppose to be the dumbest fucking person on the planet yet all these people in congress were fooled multiple times by him which should be fairly telling about the quality of the people in the house and senate.

It wasn't Bush doing the fooling. He was effectively little more than a figurehead who could get elected. The real movers and shakers were people like Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and the rest. They were the tail that wagged the dog. Bush wasn't a strong enough leader to dominate the room when they were in it. Furthermore when the CIA, NSA and the rest of our "intelligence" agencies were feeding bad information it becomes hard to make a properly informed decision even at the best of times.

That said, a lot of congress isn't terribly bright or capable. Certainly not our best and brightest except maybe for purposes of looking out for their own interests.

Comment Re:Fickle as the wind (Score 1) 114

BS. Most of the politicians voted for it because the war was very popular with their constituents at the time.

The war was NEVER popular with many/most constituents. What the politicians were worried about was being vulnerable to the (bogus) argument that voting against the war meant they were "soft on terrorism and getting voted out of office as a result. While there was a portion of the population that was very hawkish just like with any conflict, most people were not at any time in favor of starting a war with Iraq. There was no evidence that Iraq was involved in the 9/11 attacks and the case against Iraq was obviously shown to be a fabrication. No, congress voted to support the military action (there never was a declaration of war) out of political expediency and based on what turned out to be false information.

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