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Comment Re:I'm shocked, SHOCKED! (Score 2) 190

I don't accept that at all. Electric cars need servicing, new tyres, brakes, repairs, body work and spare parts. They need firmware updates, diagnostics, battery changes too. And of course there are second hand sales. There is plenty of business for an aftermarket to provide. It may well be that Tesla has to sell / licence the training, tools and software to do some of this but that doesn't stop dealers from offering the service.

Speaking in an absolute sense, you are right. Even electric cars need servicing.

Be practical, though. We aren't talking about just a few degrees of difference between electric cars and old-fashioned cars. The difference will prove to be huge.

Imagine an gasoline car but then remove the piston rings, gaskets, timing chain, water pump, starter motor and alternator (both of which mysteriously often fail), fuel pump, carburetor or fuel injectors. Petroleum burning vehicles have a level of complexity that is an order of magnitude greater than electrical cars. Of course they are going to fail more and require more frequent servicing.

In the long run, this debate will be moot. People buy whatever is cheapest up front. In the end, the fewer moving parts a device has, the cheaper it is. Count the moving parts.

The reason some Americans are concerned about this situation is because there is the very real possibility that in 20- or 30-years we could be stuck with automotive distribution regulations that are comically and expensively out of kilter with reality. Here in the colonies, business and government are often the same thing.

Comment Re:what happens when the batters wears out? (Score 3, Insightful) 398

The overall maintenance schedule is ridiculously light. No $600/year checkup. No oil changes. It's pretty much just cabin air filters and brakes.

Which is why dealerships in the various U.S. states have been fighting Telsa so vigorously. The Leaf doesn't scare them... yet.

There's a lot of money to be lost in empty service bays.

Comment Re:Oh noes, I can't drive X miles (Score 2) 398

Everything is relative... In west Texas, pickup trucks with dual fuel tanks are not unheard of.

Urban drivers (most the the US population) would still be well-served by an electric vehicle.

Most people are more than willing to pay for more than they need, which explains a lot about cell phone data plans and such.

Comment Air-Condition Compressors (Score 1) 250

I know a couple people in Austin who've paid for air-conditioning techs to "fix" their AC. It turns out that a relays in the compressor boxes outside their homes are caked with dead ant bodies, creating an insulating layer. Kinda pisses people off that nothing is actually broken but the service bill is tendered, just the same. ...and, of course, it's 100-degrees outside so it does need to be dealt with promptly.

Comment Re:Did TWC see this coming? (Score 1) 72

You should have seen Charter drop prices from $75/m to $30/m within 3 days of another ISP announcing fiber. Too bad the naked 30Mb was only for new customers and for me to get the deal, I would have to bundle in a ton of extra channels and phone and a 2 year contract with a $300 cancellation fee.

Wonderful story, and EXACTLY why I avoid long-term contracts with all of the energy that I can muster. Long-term contracts are great for service providers but very bad for customers, regardless of the "discounts" that they are promising you get. Once you are in a contract, you are their bitch.

I want my service providers (not just ISPs but providers of all stripes) to wake up every morning, wondering what they will to do to keep my business -- I want to be a new, potential customer every day.


Comment Re:Smack the Incumbents! (Score 1) 72

It is good to point out the Austin has Grande Communications, which actually has pretty good service for the price. The problem is they have limited coverage.

Grande coverage is so limited that no one I know has it -- not a single person. Maybe someone in Round Rock gets Grande but I know only a couple people out there and they use TW.

No, effectively Austin has just two large ISPs providing service and controlling the market: TimeWarner and ATT. They both pretty much suck.

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