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Comment Reality check (Score 1) 358

Pssst. The Senate does NOT rule the US. All legislation has to pass the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the President before becoming effective. This thing hasn't passed the House yet, and it hasn't reached the President's desk yet. I'm not telling you either the House or the President will likely derail it, but they might.

Comment Re:goodbye jiffy lube hello $60-$100 dealer oil ch (Score 3, Informative) 242

Ever heard of the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act? Per federal statute, if you provide a full warranty at all, you are not allowed to require servicing only at dealer facilities. If the warrantor disclaims coverage due to alleged improper parts or servicing, even self servicing, he must prove that the outside servicing actually caused damage.

Comment Re: Good on Mr. Branson (Score 2) 77

The Challenger's crew died in the explosion while in the earth's atmosphere.

Almost certainly not. The crew cabin remained in one piece, essentially structurally intact and quite possibly pressure-intact, until it struck the water with a 200 g impact. The crew were killed either by depressurization (perhaps) or by the impact with the water (at the latest). During disintegration of the flimsy main vehicle in the air, the crew were subjected to no more than 20 g, unlikely to have mechanically killed, or even severely injured them.

By the way, the big white cloud you saw on breakup was mostly fuel and oxygen vapor, not explosion.

Comment Re:I am Jack's total lack of surprise. (Score 5, Insightful) 249

There's no law against selling shitty products

An electric meter is not a "product" anybody buys. An electric meter is an asset belonging to the electric utility company which they use to determine how much actual product (electricity) you buy. For most things you buy, the quantity is obvious at the point/time of sale. The closest thing I can think of to an electric meter is the flow measurement device in a motor fuel pump. You better believe those are regulated. The state calibrates and checks them periodically. They have stickers attesting to their accuracy as certified by the state authority. The weight scales at your grocer are regulated and certified as to accuracy.

The electric utilities are getting a pass on these meters because it would be very difficult and expensive to test each one individually at its point of installation. And it stinks. Random testing should be done, and huge penalties should be assessed where it mismeasurement found.

P.S. - there ARE laws against overbilling where wrongdoing or gross negligence can be shown.

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