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Comment Re:sell movie theatre stock now (Score 1) 125

I think the intersection of people who don't plan to see the movie at the theatre, want to see the movie ahead of the otherwise public home-release date, and will spend $30 to stream something once, is small.

As a parent, I doubt it is that small. I like talking about recent movies with friends and coworkers, but don't like spending $100 on a babysitter. So $30 to watch the latest Marvel movie at home would be golden.

Comment Re:It's not about the screen size, it's field of v (Score 1) 125

How much did you spend on your much better sound, amortized over the number of movies you watch?

I'm not sure what he spent, but lets say it is a very high quality $4k sound system. If he is a typical American he is watching around 1400 hours of TV per year, but lets say only 500 of that is TV where you would appreciate the sound system (the rest is news and talk shows I guess). So if he keeps the sound system for 10 years, it has cost him about $1.50 per two hours of movie / sports / high budget TV content where he is enjoying the extra sound quality.

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

It doesn't work that way. The reality is that students are used to being in school from about 8 to 3. They tend to resist taking classes much past that time, and by college, they tend to resist taking classes before 10 as well.

The tendency to not treat college students like adults and accommodate for this behavior with more wasteful behavior by the schools is yet another factor which attributes to higher costs. If that same student started working instead of going to college, their boss would not care that they are used to working 8-3. Colleges shouldn't care either.

And it isn't just momentum, either. Lots of students commute to their university, which means early and late classes don't work. Parents (both college students and faculty) have to pick their kids up from school. Students have part-time jobs to pay the bills. And so on.

Everything you said here is the same for a working adult, so no extra accommodation is necessary for an adult student.

Finally, it isn't practical to just say, "We're going to spread classes evenly throughout the day", because students need time to actually work on their homework. And that time needs to be during the day so that they can use campus facilities such as computer labs, tutoring centers, etc.

Spreading classes evenly throughout the day is not the same as saying every student has classes from 8-5. Students with 15 credit hours will still only spend about 15 hours per week in class, leaving plenty of time to hit the library or computer labs.

Comment Re:Alternative competitiveness (Score 1) 73

By your logic, the only database systems in the world should be Oracle and MSSQL. Just because all the "big" players are currently absurdly over-complicated and expensive doesn't mean there isn't or shouldn't be a desire for something more reasonable. Hell I'm sure there's already more than one open source CRM out there. Just a question of one of them getting enough features and enough public awareness to become "big" in the same kind of context that Postgres or MySQL are well-known and well-used alternatives to Oracle and MSSQL. Sure they still require some knowledge but its not like you have to hire a $300/hr consultant to get a Postgres database running well enough for small to mid-sized projects.

When a CRM implementation is unsuccessful, it is almost certainly not because they didn't pay enough in software licensing. It is more likely because they didn't put enough human resources into implementing them successfully. And the cost to hire quality staff to implement proprietary vs open source solutions is not significantly different. There are cheap MSSQL consultants and cheap Postgres consultants, but quality resources for either are just as expensive.

So by my logic it really doesn't matter if you choose Salesforce or Sugar CRM, skimping on implementation costs will sink any CRM initiative.

Comment Re:Alternative competitiveness (Score 1) 73

And while you're at it, can anyone build a CRM that doesn't require signing off souls to all three Hells to make it work? I've only got one and Satan, Cthulhu and Kali all require exclusive rights to it.

To reflect your own callousness, oh boo-hoo to management who think they can try to do things on the cheap and still have a quality solution at the end. And yes, sometimes spending millions of dollars can still be on the cheap for large projects. There are plenty of competent CRM professionals and consultants who can set up any of the major CRM platforms for you which will work very well for any company with reasonable expectations.

All of the major players have deficiencies, but none of those cannot be fixed with quality implementation partners. Just get your head out of your ass and try to do something right for a change.

Comment Re:Much cheaper than the iPhone (Score 2) 103

My point of view is that if you don't have $700 for a phone, you can't afford a $700 phone, period, even if you finance it on two years.

While I agree it isn't wise to have a $700 phone if you don't have $700 available in your checking account, it is also unwise to pay for the phone up front if you can get 0% financing.

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

So you're saying that universities would rather go bankrupt than reduce prices to a level people can afford without loans?

It isn't like they would have a choice. The number of universities we have now was first dependent on large government subsidies, and as they slowly deteriorated the schools became dependent on government backed loans. Without either of these there wouldn't be enough students who could afford a Bachelor's level of education. You may see more community college and trade school level schools prop up, but I could easily see at least half of all universities failing with the overall level of education lowering.

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

And the topic is lowering costs, right? Not improving access?

You lower costs to improve access. They are a linked problem. If rising costs weren't limiting access to college, it wouldn't be much of an emergency.

And yet numerous countries don't use private bank loans to fund tuition and somehow have just as good access to higher education.

Only if they have more publicly funded education. I agree that if college was as subsidized as the rest of the industrialized world then student loans would not be necessary.

While that data would be great to have it won't actually do anything. People already take out loans to do college degrees that are obviously not worth it in terms of ROI (they may well be worth it by other metrics of course). Since the loans are almost impossible to discharge banks are still going to make those loans for degrees that won't have a positive ROI for the student - they still get their paid after all and get a bailout if somehow they don't.

Insinuating there is no incentive to pick a good major because your loans may be eventually discharged is disingenuous. In most cases you need to be having financial hardship for decades to discharge your loans. That certainly isn't a great situation to be in.

Comment Re:I am curious if people think this is good or ba (Score 1) 164

I do not think the state is the correct level at which this should be taken care of. It is not hypocritical to say that the town or HOA level is the more appropriate level. Why is it overreach for a town through its elected representatives to decide that they don't want something the majority of the residents perceive to be a nuisance source?

I don't think it is overreach for a town to do this, but then again I don't think it is overreach for the state to do it either. Neither a state nor town is a single homogeneous group. My township has poor areas, wealthy areas, decent schools, great schools, areas with loose regulations, and areas with heavy regulations. I have very little in common with people from many of the neighborhoods in my town, just as I have very little in common with people from many towns in my state.

As I said it is perfectly acceptable to just not like the law. But claiming overreach is not a strong argument as it will always be arbitrary. The same argument which can be made that the state representatives don't fully represent the whole state could be made for whether the township representatives represent the whole town.

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

When do you expect the janitors to clean up the classrooms? From the campuses I've been on, 3PM to 5PM is when the janitors are cleaning up the classrooms.

Time for janitors to clean was not part of the original argument, so it wasn't part of my comment. Having every classroom empty for cleaning for one hour between 7am-9pm would not be very difficult or wasteful.

Classrooms or classes? I don't expect many administrators are eager to take a bulldozer to reduce classrooms.

Of course they aren't eager to reduce classrooms, and without any price controls they don't have to do anything uncomfortable now. That is what needs to change. Classrooms may not be demolished, but construction of new classrooms could be reduced.

Classes are dependent on enrollments and each class requires a minimum of 20 students to qualify for state funding in California. When healthcare became the new money major after the dot com bust, I couldn't take some programming courses because I was the only one who showed up. The last three classes I needed for graduation were taken as independent studies classes

When this happens there are too many colleges with too many majors. Another sign of waste which could be addressed. There will be exceptional circumstances from time to time, such as suddenly reduced enrollment in majors during an upheaval in that industry, but improvements can still be made.

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

Just get rid of student loans.

This would do the exact opposite of improving access to higher education, which is the primary reason these higher costs are a problem in the first place.

The rising cost of education is little different than the rising cost of health care, and one problem they both share is a lack of transparent information. The federal government has the ability to track the ROI for every college degree from every university. They could give a salary histogram for each university for each major. They could allow prospective students to see how A student do in the workplace vs C students. They could see how students from a $200k+ household perform vs students from a poorer household. Armed with a true ROI, students could actually price shop for colleges.

Potentially more importantly, banks armed with this information could set interests rates more appropriately. Interest rates for engineering majors would likely be different than for philosophy majors. The government could subsidize certain majors if they felt it was in the public's best interests, but once again it would be transparent.

The idea that the market can be efficient without a decent level of public information is just silly.

Comment Re:The social effects are much worse. (Score 2) 374

Fun fact: You can get out of college debt free or with very limited debt by WORKING while you go to college, get your undergrad done at community college and spread your 4-year degree over about 8 years. You then get to start your life maybe 4 years later but without a decade or two of crushing debt.

While true, this is an overly conservative approach which is unlikely to benefit you in the long run (other than the community college part). Missing out on four years of earning college level wages, and losing four additional years of experience in your industry, is far more damaging financially than student loans.

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

That's fairly typically for most schools. If night classes are taught, classes are between 6PM and 10PM. The time between 3PM and 5PM is when most teachers and administrators are having meetings.

Isn't that exactly the type of wasteful behavior which attributes to higher costs? If for instance classrooms were at 50% utilization for two hours between 8-5, just because everyone is doing meetings at the same time, you could reduce the number of classrooms by 10% if you simply spread meetings throughout the day.

Comment Re:I am curious if people think this is good or ba (Score 2) 164

As much as you claim that, I suspect you'd complain if your neighbors opened up a hog farm.

I am a fan of HOAs, and I also prefer strong governments at every level, so you are certainly correct that I would complain if my neighbors tried putting a hog farm on their 8775 sq ft plots. I don't personally have an HOA, but chose a village with laws I prefer (and am active in local politics, including our planning and zoning commission). But then again I never said how I feel about government overreach, I was merely pointing out the hypocrisy in complaining about state overreach while thinking it is fine for city governments to restrict land owner rights.

In almost all cases, whenever someone complains about government overreach they only do so when they dislike the law itself. When the law benefits them, they are silent.

Comment Re:The end? (Score 1) 200

First, if programmers had had enough guts to unionize, they wouldn't have been in the position of having to train their H1B or offshore replacements. But no, unions are for blue-collar workers (blue collar jobs) and pink collar jobs only - white collar workers are too good for that.

What do you think you are getting out of unionizing software developing jobs? Do you think unionized plants are never closed and moved overseas?

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