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Comment Re:This will work like youtube content flagging (Score 1) 40

I can't speak to marshalls specifically since i haven't seen their paperwork myself, but I wouldn't be surprised if we can specify storage conditions, it's not something that's unique to high end places. Still no guarantee that anyone does it, but it'll be right most of the time. A lot of discount retailers price returns into what they pay us, they just take 0.5% (or whatever is appropriate for the category) off the top and we don't don't have to handle it ourselves unless they go bankrupt or the product is flipped online and the customer reaches out to us instead of Amazon.

As for lot codes, we can (and do) put them on packaging but it isn't really feasible to put them on the product itself. We can track product where someone has an issue with something they bought 3 months ago from a specific store and can in most situations identify 1 or 2 possible production lots that it came from.

Some of our products have a lifetime warranty, Amazon surely aren't going to honor that for us on a gray market purchase.

Either you've got to mandate that all warranties apply no matter the supply chain (and presumably that'd have to be done in international law) or you'll have manufacturers/brands who can set their own warranty conditions to only apply when sold through authorized channels. Amazon can't really be complicit in passing off items as "New" that don't have a manufacturers warranty. If someone falls to their death because they bought a piece of climbing equipment from a lot that the manufacturer had recalled then Amazon don't want to be the one holding the ball - who can blame them.

Comment Re:In some areas (Score 4, Informative) 141

It's startling how differentiated their offers are when there's real competition in the market. My town has muni fiber so comcast offer 250Mbit service (which is pretty much 300Mbit because of how undersubscribed their network is) for $50/mo with no need to buy any other service.

Comment Re:This will work like youtube content flagging (Score 1) 40

While what you are doing is certainly not illegal or such, it does in some cases stretch the definition of what constitutes "new with warranty".

I work for a manufacturer and it's problematic when we get a product returned that came through a third party amazon or ebay seller because

a) we have to deal with the return, when normally that'd happen at the retailer that originally sold it
b) it's often hard to identify the production batch that the item came from. We can tell if we've shipped a product to Marshall's (or whatever) but if someone picks that up and flips it on Amazon and then the consumer returns it to us, we're at a loss for figuring out where it came from and if it shows a manufacturing defect then we can't know which batch it was from or which other retailers we have to notify.
c) for some classes of products, retailers and distributors maintain different levels of heat and humidity control. If you are selling a high end face cream then you'll have to ensure it's not spending excessive time in non-climate-controlled trailers. But there's nothing stopping someone who finds a case of it that's been sitting in a storage unit in arizona for a year from listing it as "New" on Amazon.

I suspect the right answer all round is for Amazon to do like Adorama does with camera equipment and sell "New", "Used" and "Gray Market". The latter category is stuff that's brand new but not coming through an authorized channel. In many cases consumers are just fine with that, but it also makes it clear that the seller might be the only point for warranty claims.

Comment Re:Yeah, the bubble will pop long before that (Score 1) 374

I'm not sure where "here" is for you.

Having lived in the US and the UK, I can tell you that there's a startling difference between the comforts of hospital care. I've never once seen a hospital ward in the US, every hospital i've been in here had a private room for every patient. The food, while not great, seems significantly better in the US hospitals that i've visited and the buildings themselves seem light, modern and generally well maintained.

There are plenty of hospital buildings in the UK that still date to the victorian era, they've certainly amortized their costs over a long period of time but i can imagine they are fairly bleak places to spend your day You can of course pay for a individual room or even for an entirely private hospital in the UK, but the government doesn't pay for that kind of nicety.

Comment Re:Yeah, the bubble will pop long before that (Score 1) 374

I know, but in many ways it's so much *more* fixable than housing bubbles or healthcare costs. This could be righted relatively easily and even in a true free market model. Just letting student loans be discharged in bankruptcy would be popular with the general public and would set enough market forces in motion to drive down the cost of tuition.

As a european living here it's astounding to me how badly people are failed by the government while at the same time having some weird irrational fear of what a "government of the people" is able to do.

Comment Re:Yeah, the bubble will pop long before that (Score 1) 374

Your comments about what dorm rooms were like when we were in college really shows a lot of parallel with the healthcare cost issue.

I really feel that hospitals have become a race to the top. There isn't any option round me where you can stay in anything other than a private room. Some places might not have a mountain view, but even those are hard to find.

Education is generally paid by parents or your future self and healthcare is usually paid by insurance. In either sense you aren't really paying for it in a way that you can make a rational decision about.

I feel like the government could deflate the bubble if they wanted to. Simply keeping limits on the amount of money you can borrow at a federal level and making private loans discharge during bankruptcy and they could probably reverse the growth in tuition rates.

Comment Re:Perhaps a better method... (Score 2) 1001

I had an interviewer (i think at Google even) ask me to write code to calculate the value of an index in the fibonacci sequence. I wrote it using a loop that simply cached the two previous values, when they were expecting me to write it using a recursive call. Since apparently it was a test on big-O I had to then think of the less efficient way to write the code so that they could make sure i understood the issues around algorithmic efficiency.

Comment Re:Why not just charge for FTTP? (Score 2) 108

The problem is that it depends hugely on where it is and how many other people have it.

Citywide our city is doing it for a little more than $2k/home. The parts of town on poles will be cheap and it'll cost more in other places where they need to trench, but because the penetration is so high, the cost is low. It also helps that our city run their own power and water so have a lot of existing poles, trenches, boxes and easements that they can leverage.

We ended up installing it at work in another city and it "cost" $23k to run fiber about 1500'. We ended up not actually paying that and I suspect that was marked up some, but it probably wasn't unreasonable for that kind of underground trench distance.

I'd probably pay $2k to get it at my house, but I'd have a hard time with $23k. And that's only for a 1500' run, it could easily be more than that. I've heard of people with homes in the mountains spending upwards of $200k to get power run to their properties.

Comment Re:Did its job in Nashville (Score 1) 108

Same in longmont, CO.

I don't have municipal fiber yet, but comcast are offering 300/30 cable for $50/mo and 2000/2000 fiber for $299/mo (and that's actually available). CenturyLink are supposed to be rolling out fiber and I see the trucks but don't know anyone that has it yet. Most likely i'll have the choice of 3 different fiber providers sometime this year (and apparently gigabit cable too).

Comment Re:EPB has 10Gb Fiber... Google is making excuses (Score 1) 108

How are the doing every run as dedicated at that price?

We're a bit behind you in longmont CO, but I was pretty sure that Chattanooga was using GPON for their 1gig service which is very much a shared bandwidth service (sharing 2.44Gbps down and 1.244 Gbps up iirc between either 16, 32 or 64 homes). Leads nicely to the 10g service since they can do XGPON2 over the same shared fiber using a different frequency.

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