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Comment Re:VW needs a bankruptcy "fix" ready (Score 1) 45

Clearly you are confusing VW with Toyota, who are still the world's biggest automaker.

They are neck and neck, and VW employs more people due to all the marques they own.

I can't comment on the rest of your manifesto, other than to say I have no idea why you are so interested in how the Phaeton was destined to be a phailure from the beginning.

It's interesting because it's Ferdinand's fault, like everything else wrong with VW today. Germans love a hardass, though, and that's how they got him in the big chair. And what else is interesting about it is just how spectacularly stupid it was when they already had a car in that space. But what's relevant about it is that they have money to burn.

Comment Re:Emissions fix? Call me skeptical... (Score 1) 45

I just opened the comments thinking, do I even want this "fix" on my car? If I lose MPG or power then; it aint no fix in my book. MPG and power were factors I considered when buying my car. I paid a lot of money based on the MPG and power the car had when I bought it. I have no interest in seeing either reduced.

If I can, I will probably avoid this "fix"

Comment Re: reports are it's no fix (Score 1) 45

Comparable VW petrol engines, in terms of power and very close torque, produce less co2, mostly because a petrol engine can be lower displacement.

What? Who told you that? That is literally the opposite of the truth. For about the same level of driving experience (less power, more torque, make it less immediate but more relentless) you have a much smaller engine. OR, and this is a bit hilarious, you build a gasoline engine with all the drawbacks of a diesel (AKA direct injected gasoline) but without the benefit of being able to run on diesel fuel.

Once you no longer ignore the carbon in the diesel soot, diesel stops looking good,

False, ignoramus. In fact, once you no longer ignore the almost-entirely-PM2.5-and-thus-most-carcinogenic gasoline soot, gasoline stops looking good. When you consider the additional unburned HC released during a typical gasoline drive cycle (not just at startup, but also at WOT) which is the most harmful automotive emission, gasoline starts to look positively pathetic.

and the higher power/displacement of petrol shows advantages at part load.

It does no such thing. Look at any vehicle offered as both a gasser and a turbo diesel. They always have a smaller engine as a diesel, literally always. You have this completely backwards. And Subaru's diesel engine isn't even heavy, so they don't even have to be that!

Comment Re:Applications? (Score 2) 72

Well I wouldn't be that certain about that. But it's certainly stupid to knife the OS development arm, which was the only thing they had which was unique, for application development which is crowded with competition from everyone and their dog.

Let's go around in circles, though: What made their OS development arm unique was their apps, that were designed not to work with AOSP like a well-designed app would. Meanwhile, AOKP and SOKP are supporting more devices between them than Cyanogenmod, so what do they actually have to offer other than their apps? Conclusion, stick with the apps.

Comment Re:Hater's Gonna Hate... (Score 1) 158

It's totally worthwhile to give tax breaks to the rich, but only as an inducement to spending. Any other kind harms everyone, even them in the long term.

Many investments are just spending, one level removed.

Yes, and the problem is that many rich people are putting their gains in offshore tax havens where the only "work" it does is money laundering — instead of spending it by investing it, at which point theoretically it gets spent on making things happen.

Comment Re:If my grandmother had wheels she'd be a wagon (Score 1) 28

Now you can't take (for example) a v8 off an Audi in a scrapyard and drop it into your Ford without first getting all the electronics correct (missing gearbox, wheels sensors, etc).

Well, that's true and untrue. For $150 I can get my PCM hacked to be properly reflashable and it will come with a stock 6MT tune from a rare euro V8. You don't need any wheel sensors for that. The antique Bosch ME5 which comes with the 32V V8s can be written with an MPPS cable, but it cannot be read without modification. You can still tune without a hack, but you need a dump before you can start. You can also remove the immobilizer via software. Apparently the ME7 PCM which comes with the 40V is much easier to deal with, and you can read and write it with MPPS without any hacking.

I think that in a few years a car manufacturer advertising "This car will take any engine, any gearbox, any braking system, from any other car" will get more than a few takers.

The number of people qualified to do anything with such is vanishingly small, as in, small and getting smaller. As it is, though, there are a number of options for people willing to build their own car. You can start with a kit and do as much or as little of the work as you like.

Comment Re:the CO2 improvements are minor at best (Score 1) 45

Diesel engines emit 15-20% more CO2 per unit volume (liter/gallon) of fuel burned because the fuel contains more energy/carbon.

Irrelevant; they emit less CO2 per mile traveled because of the efficiency improvements.

And once the companies stop cheating, the fuel economy of the Diesel just isn't all that much better than a turbo gas engine.

False. This fix does not substantially affect mileage.

Why put up with extra NOx

Worth it

and particulates (depending on the car you compare to)

Bullshit. Gassers make just as much particulate, but it's of the most hazardous type, which means their particulate emissions are actually worse than diesel. They also emit more HC than diesels, and unburned hydrocarbons are bar none the most harmful automotive emission. Gasoline also has to be refined more than diesel, which means more energy input and more polluting output. Gasoline engines are shit for the environment.

to save such a small amount of CO2?

Diesels emit less of everything but soot (theirs is less harmful) and NOx (worth the trade).

Just get a gas hybrid and do better all around.

You know that battery electrolyte isn't recycled, right? It's just disposed of and then replaced. A small diesel engine won't give the same performance, but that's fine; it will give adequate or even quite good performance these days. It will give superior mileage, and without involving a battery.

Or a plug-in hybrid like the Volt where you can do most of your driving burning no liquid fuel at all?

Plug-in hybrids at least have a reason to exist, unlike non-plug-in hybrids. But I live in the boonies, so I would still have to do most of my driving on liquid fuel. And they are also quite expensive, to boot.

Since I do very little driving I don't give a shit anyway; I bought an old and cheap Audi A8 Quattro and am restoring it to good-enough condition. (Next: AC compressor.) It doesn't get particularly good mileage or have particularly great emissions, but it did cost thousands and thousands of dollars less than a new car, and it is dramatically better to drive than any econo shitbox. With the money I save not buying a Volt, I could buy an S8 (let alone the A8) and drive it everywhere with a lead foot for years. Sorry, environment! I seriously don't go out much, though. My prior car was a 300SD, which was a bit better on mileage and which ran on a more environmentally-friendly fuel. But frankly, it's cheaper to buy a whole new car than to upgrade the turbo and more expensively upgrade the injection pump on that diesel, so that's what I did. German luxobarge forever. I'm two meters tall, I'm over clown cars.

Comment Re:So they are being obtuse on purpose, right? (Score 1) 34

People want cheaper service... They think ala carte will do that, but if it doesn't end up being cheaper, then they really DON'T want it.

Prepaid cellular service was a big factor in getting prices down. Fees couldn't be hidden remotely as easily, and people could switch from one service to another at any time without concern about 2-year contracts.

It's possible that prepaid TV service will start to reform the cable industry in the same ways. It certainly can't hurt, as they're under attack by Netflix and others.

Personally, I advise just about everyone to put up a good old TV antenna. The vast majority of the country has hundreds of channels (including sub-channels) of very high-quality TV broadcasts over the air, which you can receive for as little as $30 in equipment, one-time charge.

Comment Re:Maggie Griffin Approved Idea (Score 1) 228

Or, how about we just sell milk in bag-in-boxes like they do in other countries. They can sit on the shelf for up to 6 months as long as they're not opened.

You're talking about UHT (ultra-high temperature pasteurization) milk. It's widely available, but not even slightly popular because it just tastes HORRID. I can buy a quart of UHT at my nearby dollar store. Would you like to guess why I NEVER do that? Because it simply tastes HORRIBLE.

Cans of evaporated or condensed milk have even longer shelf-lives. Ditto for powered milk. But all of them taste little to nothing like fresh milk.

The big news with this low-temperature treatment, is that they claim it can extend the shelf life WITHOUT changing the taste at all. Not at all true for UHT.

Comment Re:unpasteurised milk is way better (Score 1) 228

Your conspiracy theory fails on numerous counts:

It's fact, not propaganda that "Raw milk causes more than half of all milk-related foodborne illnesses in the United States, even though only about 3.5 percent of Americans drink raw milk".

Your grand conspiracy doesn't involve just the FDA, but instead a multitude of research institutes, like Johns Hopkins, whose scientific findings, across the board, shows significant dangers from drinking raw milk:

Here's just a few pages of references you can read through:


The dairy council doesn't pay out any money to the CDC, and they're the ones who are warning the public about the dangers of raw milk:

The Dairy Council is a piss-poor choice as a Bond-villain... It isn't remotely as big, rich, and powerful as the many other organizations and industries that public health authorities have put the kibosh on. Think "Big Tobacco" in comparison to "Big Milk". Except milk is trivial to render safe, while tobacco is not.

The Dairy Council could make just as much money from raw milk as it does from pasteurized, so there's little or no motivation for them to launch an expensive grand conspiracy.

In short, you're just like any other run-of-the-mill nut-job. Instead of UFOs, vaccinations, fluoridation, or HAARP, your preferred pseudo-scientific nonsense based around raw milk.

Feel free to do your own searches and give me a list of studies which have shown health benefits from raw milk, and NO additional danger from it's consumption, unlike EVERYTHING I just linked you to... I'll be waiting for your pages and pages of citations in response.

Comment Re:Simple Reforms Needed (Score 2) 163

in one particularly egregious instance, a McD's franchisee was also acting as the landlord for his TFWs in a house he owned and would "helpfully" pre-deduct rent and utilities from their paycheques.

There's actually a legit reason for doing this. When a company provides living quarters, that technically counts as additional income (at least to the IRS - I assume the same is true for CRA). You're supposed to pay taxes on it. Sometimes the employee doesn't report that income on their taxes. When the company reports it to the government, the employee ends up being audited and having to pay "additional" taxes they didn't know they owed.

Having the company deduct it from the employee's paycheck makes the numbers balance in the company's books, the government's books, and the employee's books. This is particularly important if the company is giving the employee the room at below-market rates. Without the company backing up the employee on how much they're charging, the IRS can get finicky and declare that the value of the room is the market rate for rent in the area, and force the employee to pay taxes on that higher amount. That's why I know about this. When I worked at a hotel, we would always get a few high school grads working for us temporarily as part of their "go out and travel the world" phase (so they had no place to live). We'd let them shack up in some of the more worn out rooms (renovation scheduled in a year or two) and charge them a token amount like $100/mo, pre-deducted from their paycheck just to keep the IRS happy.

Not saying this was what was going on in the case you cite, but just pointing out that the act of pre-deducting rent is not in itself evidence of malfeasance, and may in fact be evidence that the company is trying to do the employee a favor. We didn't require these employees to live there, they just did because it was cheaper (and more convenient) than anything else they could find nearby.

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