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Comment Re:If voting ever changed anything (Score 5, Informative) 659

Maybe those in power really do know what they're doing.

In this case, I don't think they did. Cameron gambled that he could appease his Eurosceptic Tories with this referendum, not really believing that it would ever pass. It was a major miscalculation.

Comment Re:Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. (Score 1) 239

You're better off using random colored zip ties to secure your luggage, then at least you know when it has been opened. Easier on some bags than others of course, but you can always use a bag strap secured with a zip tie or something. And don't put anything you can't afford to lose in there.

Comment Re:Stranger Danger! (Score 1) 211

Sure, everyone is born into different circumstances, and that affects your wealth. But it's also the fact that distorting an otherwise free market generally leads to inefficiencies. I don't think that anyone has more of a right to live somewhere than anyone else; you make your choices based on your personal circumstances. Do you think that the entire housing market should be subject to price controls?
Anecdote - I had a friend who "inherited" her grandfather's rent controlled apartment in NYC; he had moved out but his name was still on the lease. I don't think that it's a social good that she pays less than what anyone else would for the same apartment, even though it was great for her.

Comment Re:Rent is a problem in the first place (Score 1) 211

Investors buy rental properties to generate a passive income (i.e. get money in exchange for nothing), by exploiting an advantaged capital position (i.e. just by having more money to begin with).

Have you ever been a landlord? I have, and I guarantee that it was not a passive income. I had to arrange the financing in the first place, arrange for initial repairs and ongoing maintenance, find and coordinate with renters etc. And in my case, my renters actually were earning more than I did, they just weren't ready to buy yet. For them they got a nice place with no long term worries or commitments, at a fair price. And most importantly, they had a place to live.

That ability to benefit financially from housing you don't need for, you know, actually housing yourself, attracts people with money to spare into buying up more investment housing, increasing the demand and thus market price for housing.

Aside from the fact that a lot of people don't want to actually own their home at a given time for a variety of reasons, I don't buy this argument. A landlord can only benefit financially to the extent that people are able and willing to pay their rents - if you have a house sitting empty for a couple of months you are going to be losing money that year. In crunch markets, what people really are unhappy about is that they want to live somewhere where lots of other people want to also, and that means that prices are going to go up unless the housing stock can expand. In SF & NYC, that's not really the case, so you have rising prices. This is going to happen regardless of investors, because that's just how the market works. Investors don't cause the demand, though they may see it and hope to profit from it. See all the "investors" who got burned in Las Vegas when the bubble burst.

Comment Re:Stranger Danger! (Score 1) 211

In New York City, the city, state and federal government at various times have built or financed public housing projects, most of which have been very successful and have long waiting lists.

So, there are a lot of people who would like to live in New York, if it wasn't so expensive. But it is, because a lot of people want to live there. So if you subsidize a segment of housing, of course you're going to get a waiting list. The question is, is it better to let the market set the price, so that only people who really want to live there will pay the price, or is it better to have a semi random mix of people who might not otherwise live there? If I could get an apartment if NYC for free, I'd take it; is some sort of lottery like that really the best way to allocate housing?

Comment Re:Stranger Danger! (Score 2) 211

Luxury housing is the only thing new construction is interested in, precisely because they can charge a lot because LUXURY.

This is only true in certain markets like NYC & SF, where the housing supply is so tightly constrained that prices are high and only the wealthy can afford to buy. I guarantee you that there are lots of areas where affordable housing is being built. The problem is that many people want to live in NYC and SF, and they are not willing/able to build more housing on the scale of that demand.

Comment Pandora/Spotify/Sonos (Score 1) 312

I went with a Sonos system a couple of years ago, and we use Pandora (paid) and more recently Spotify (also paid) even more than our library of CDs I so painstakingly ripped to FLAC and then to mp3s. I may ditch the paid Pandora at some point. If I'm buying mp3s I usually use Amazon, though often I can get a CD for less than the download so I'll just rip the CD myself.
Despite (or maybe because of) having a universe of music available at the click of a button, my teenager just got me to dig out a turntable; my rants about what a PITA vinyl is had no effect. Kids today!

Comment Actually... (Score 4, Insightful) 236

I think this is incorrect:

Most internal combustion engine cars are sunk in water when the exhaust becomes flooded, which is why serious off-roaders have big exhaust scoops leading to the roof.

I think the snorkels are intakes, not exhaust - you don't want to suck water into your intake manifold.

Comment Tesla has issued a statement (Score 4, Informative) 271

I noticed this article this morning:

Seems Tesla disagrees with the Daily Kanban's report:

"With respect to the car that is discussed in the blog post that led to yesterday's newsthe suspension ball joint experienced very abnormal rust. We haven't seen this on any other car, suggesting a very unusual use case. The car had over 70,000 miles on it and its owner lives down such a long dirt road that it required two tow trucks to retrieve the car. (One to get the car to the highway and one to get it from the highway to the service center.) When we got the car, it was caked in dirt."

Secondly, Tesla said that the NHTSA had not opened any investigation and hadn't even started a so-called "preliminary evaluation", which is the "lowest form of formal investigatory work it does". The car maker said on April 20 the regulator asked about its suspension as part of a "routine screening" and on April 30, Tesla complied.

"NHTSA has since told us that we have cooperated fully and that no further information is needed. Neither before nor after this information was provided has NHTSA identified any safety issue with Tesla's suspensions. This can be confirmed with NHTSA," Tesla said.

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