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Comment Re:More like... (Score 5, Insightful) 210

Isn't more like if the grocery store sells you a plan that lets you consume up to 10 cookies a day. Then after you've eaten 30 cookies over a week's time they say "Whoa, no more cookies for you, you've eaten up your quota for the month" - you'll have to pay us more money if you want to eat more, or sign up for our 20 cookie a day plan where you can eat 50 cookies before we cut you off.

I forgot to add the best part:

Then the grocery store goes to Oreo and says 'Hey, your unlimited cookie plans are becoming very popular with our customers who are paying us to distribute the cookies. In fact, many of our customers are buying our service just because of your cookie plans. So, we think *you* ought to be paying us too. Otherwise we might start dropping cookies while distributing and your customers are going to blame you for the poor quality cookies. We don't care that you deliver the cookies to our loading dock by the truck-load and all we have to do is unpack them and hand them out, or that our customers are already paying us for this service, you better pay us too or suffer the consequences - we'll make your cookies so bad that your customers will come to us for our inferior cookies.

Comment More like... (Score 5, Insightful) 210

Isn't more like if the grocery store sells you a plan that lets you consume up to 10 cookies a day. Then after you've eaten 30 cookies over a week's time they say "Whoa, no more cookies for you, you've eaten up your quota for the month" - you'll have to pay us more money if you want to eat more, or sign up for our 20 cookie a day plan where you can eat 50 cookies before we cut you off.

Comment Re:Just like google glass (Score 1) 92

What will fade away is dinosaurs like you who fear technology. This tech will come to pass, make no mistake. What are you going to do when the cameras are so small that you can't tell them apart from any other pair of glasses?

I wear contact lens because I don't *want* to wear glasses, not because I 'fear technology' and even if I did wear glasses, I don't want a 1cm in diameter camera lens bulging out of the glasses. But even if the camera was invisible, the glasses are not. While I could just put the glasses on when I want to video something, I could also just hold up my phone, which will have a lot better camera than some 1mm pinhole camera built invisibly into glasses.

You can't sell bad technology by blaming people for being luddites when they recognize that bad technology is bad technology. I don't wear a "smart watch" for the same reason, not because I'm afraid to wear one.

Perhaps some day ubiquitous cameras will come to pass, that day is not today - and they won't be built into glasses.

Comment Re:these new companies trying to get around old la (Score 1) 257

How are the standards to be enforced then? Right now dealerships must renew their license on a yearly basis, all at the same time, greatly simplifying oversight. A standard without enforcement is useless.

By making corporate owned showrooms also renew their licenses on a yearly bases, all at the same time? Though if all dealerships renew their licenses at the same time, I don't see how there can be any effective oversight, they should be staggered throughout the year so the government inspectors have time to actually enforce their standards. Assuming, of course, that they do any standards enforcement at all.

Musk needs to acknowledge the need to sell vehicles through dealerships because that is how real people find cars. If he ever wants to be an actual production model not a media hype story that is, but maybe he only wants the hype not business success after all the tax rebates end. Right now his model is that of the for-profit universities selling sub-par offerings because the US Federal government is funding part of it and has inadequate review.

You can make arguments about whether or not his business model will succeed, but that's a different argument than "The government should force Tesla to use franchised dealer networks".

Comment Re:these new companies trying to get around old la (Score 1) 257

taking into account all of the dealer incentives

The dealer "incentives" or "bonuses" are a result of dealers negotiating a lower price with the manufacturers.

The manufacturer can refuse to negotiate, and then the dealer can refuse to sell their product, and thus lock out their access to those customers.

So the existence of dealers does affect the price of the product; HOWEVER, in the real world, all the incentives are just more profit for the middleman.
The dealers aren't negotiating with the manufacturers for end customers' benefit.

By prohibiting direct sales, not only do the states protect the dealers' business, they give them a very powerful negotiating tool against manufacturers to increase their own profits even more.

Don't the customers have that same power? If they don't think the Chevette is worth $50K, then they won't buy it. Ford's highest margin vehicle is the F-150, yet that's sold through a dealer network, why haven't the dealers clawed back that high margin? Because they can't - Ford wants the money and consumers are willing to pay.

Similarly, I might want a Mercedes, but it's not worth the price premium to me (even though it's sold through a dealer network). For that matter, the Tesla isn't worth the price to me either. I'll probably go with a Toyota or Honda, though am also considering Hyundai.

It's not a dealer network that keeps manufacturers from making unending price increases, it's competition. If GM raises the price of a car beyond what consumers are willing to pay, then there are a half dozen other manufacturers that will be happy to take those customers.

Comment Re:these new companies trying to get around old la (Score 2) 257

Ignorant geeks with at best 1-2 "econ" courses under their belt, combined with the common but still rabid libertarian rabble will deny the validity of your comments. However, imagined conspiracy and "upstart" philosophy doesn't change the reality of how things actually work. See here for information. The law is entirely designed to enforce standards. This lawsuit is just Musk pouting that his "upstart" position doesn't already work everywhere, and wanting to sell in MI subjects him to some regulations on the state of vehicles being sold.

The law can set standards for performance without dictating the business model used to meet those standards.

Comment Re:these new companies trying to get around old la (Score 1) 257

these old laws were in place for a reason. having a new hip company come back at the expense of old slow legislation doesn't fix the problem that skipping the dealer allows the manufacturer to set the price. and they would never fix the price with a defacto monopoly, right? that epipen company is a perfect example of raising prices for reasons of costs. i'm sure tesla would never do such a thing.

-dk

I don't see how having a franchised dealer network changes the situation at all? If GM wants the Chevette to cost $50K, then that's the price they can sell it to the dealer (taking into account all of the dealer incentives), no dealer can sell cars below their cost (for long).

Comment Re:Verizon are BIG FAT LIARS (Score 1) 222

They also said you don't need contracts anymore, but anyone who's twisted the arm of a Verizon rep knows the loyalty program for customers of 10 years+ are eligible for 2 year contracts at heavily discounted prices with enough data for the average user. 65 bucks for me with 5gb monthly.

If only it wasn't Verizon... because the way they've dicked with my bills over the years and required numerous angry calls to keep them in line has gotten pretty exhausting. They are one of the most dishonest companies I've ever dealt with besides Comcast and if it wasn't for the loyalty discount I would be done with Verizon by now.

Their prepaid 5GB plan is only $60/month, so I'm not sure you're getting a heavy discount on your $65 plan. Oh and you get 1GB "free" if you set up auto pay so it's $60/month for 6GB.

Comment Re:Asinine. (Score 2) 430

How about keeping them out of the hands of convicted felons who lost the right to have a firearm? Will the weak controls in place, anything is an improvement.

With the weak controls in place and millions of black market guns out there, restricting 3D gun models will have *no* effect. The felon that wants a gun will just buy one from an acquaintance. The only risk he faces is being found in possession of one, and a 3D printed gun carries the same risk.

Comment Re:so then use the speaker (Score 1) 117

Why use the battery icon anyway? Seems to me that I'm less likely to be looking at that icon when the phone is in my pocket, which just so happens to be the time that really want it to not explode. If there were a loud siren when it started getting to hot, or whatever signals the icon reacts to, that'd be much better. Or maybe just turn the thing off? But an ICON???

It's not meant to be a warning that the battery is actively failing, it's to indicate whether or not your device has the faulty battery so you know if you need to get it replaced -- or keep it out of your pocket.

Comment The worst problems have already been solved (Score 3, Interesting) 537

Technology has already solved most of the world's worse problems - sanitation, water purification, food production, vaccines, health care, birth control, basic education, etc are all "solved" problems, but the implementation is not a technological problem, it's a social and political one. It's not even a case where it just takes more money since more money largely ends up being misdirected.

Comment Re:Apple (Score 2, Insightful) 170

I know you're only trying to be funny but Elon builds fast cars and rockets, while Steve built a telephone that was slightly better than the existing telephones of the day (until the competition caught up and made even better telephones).

I'll leave it the reader to decide which is cooler.

I'm no Apple fan, but the iPhone was far beyond the other phones of its day (the Blackberry and Treo were state of the art at the time), the first Android wasn't released until a year later and was not nearly as usable. Nokia's Symbian line and Psion had some good phones at the time, but lacked the broad appeal of the iPhone (and a few years later, the broad appeal of Android)

While the iPhone may have lost the edge that make it better than all competitors, when it launched it was much more than "slightly better" that existing phones.

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