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Are US Hybrid Sales Peaking Already?

HungWeiLo Re:Economics (377 comments)

The Corolla and the Prius aren't really comparable vehicles. While they are both certainly "penalty boxes" from a car enthusiast's standpoint, the Prius is definitely a step up in quality and comfort. It also has extra hauling capabilities as a hatchback versus the Corolla sedan.

about 6 months ago
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Are US Hybrid Sales Peaking Already?

HungWeiLo Re:Any realistic data on battery replacement? (377 comments)

Anecdotes say that NYC taxi drivers, with all their stop-and-go cyclings of the batteries, are going 350k-500k miles and some are just beginning to need replacements. Average consumers are seeing usually a minimum of 150k or so from online anecdotes, though most people don't keep cars that long anyhow.

And there are third party outfits that do replacements for $2000 now.

about 6 months ago
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Are US Hybrid Sales Peaking Already?

HungWeiLo Re:Lots of Miles, calculated (377 comments)

I'm seeing lots of 328d here now, which they sell as 320d across the pond. Probably because it's a $400/month lease now.

about 6 months ago
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Really, Why Are Smartphones Still Tied To Contracts?

HungWeiLo Re:Punch actual numbers into this calculator (482 comments)

But for people who enjoy driving Euro cars, leasing is really the financially responsible option.

A typical German lux sedan that gets leased is the 3-series/C-class/A4. They lease for around $300-$400/month. For a 3 year lease with a typical $3000 down, the cash outlay is about $13000. If you had bought the car outright, the depreciation during the same 3 year period would be greater than $13000.

The manufacturers subsidizes the leases, and you get to dump the cars before the warranty expires (keeping a Euro car past warranty can often be an expensive proposition).

about 8 months ago
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An MIT Dean's Defense of the Humanities

HungWeiLo Re:This is why (264 comments)

[Anecdote] One of my first jobs out of school was working with a bunch of self-taught developers of which none of them except one person had a STEM degree. Econ, environmental studies, theater, political science. The product they wrote ended up being very popular in that particular market niche and took a healthy slice from the dominant player in that market. I've never encountered another workplace setup like that ever again.

about 8 months ago
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Canada Halts Online Tax Returns In Wake of Heartbleed

HungWeiLo Re:Very sensible (50 comments)

Just because it's safe now doesn't mean they were safe a week ago. Presumably your data was there a week ago as well.

about 8 months ago
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Your Car Will Tell You How To Hit the Next Green Light

HungWeiLo Re:Traffic Calming (364 comments)

Same in downtown Portland. If you're able to maintain 25mph you're pretty much guaranteed to hit all greens when in the square grids.

about 9 months ago
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Department of Transportation Makes Rear View Cameras Mandatory

HungWeiLo Re:What society really needs to do (518 comments)

There's a perfectly good explanation for it. Most immigration (in the UK as well as many Western nations) will be from Asia and Africa. Most people in these countries do not own cars and use public transport as they are predominantly city dwellers. Coupled with the fact that most immigration occurs when the test taker is past the minimum age of getting a driver's license - it's understandable that test takers from Asia and Africa are at a disadvantage.

about 9 months ago
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Quebec Language Police Target Store Owner's Facebook Page

HungWeiLo Re: And in other news... (506 comments)

And those people typically live in English-speaking-only expat enclaves that they never venture out of - no different than those who claim to have visited Mexico by way of a visit to a Cancun all-inclusive resort.

about 10 months ago
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Quebec Language Police Target Store Owner's Facebook Page

HungWeiLo Re:France is obsolete today. (506 comments)

When in Montreal (or Paris or wherever), I learn just enough of the language to butcher it. Badly.

As their ears bleed from my pillaging of their respective beloved language like nails on a chalkboard, the admission of their excellent knowledge of English usually comes forth quickly.

about 10 months ago
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Quebec Language Police Target Store Owner's Facebook Page

HungWeiLo Re:Vancouver example... (506 comments)

Actually, isn't it cheaper do go bilingual anyways? With French/English and Spanish added to a product's packaging and manual, you are essentially able to sell your product to consumers in all of the Americas, Africa and much of Europe without much little or no repackaging of your product.

Recently, a thousand signatures were gathered to require English signs in Richmond (though it failed to pass in city council), so it shows that BC people are not immune to fears of language hegemony when it is perceived to threaten their own identity.

http://www.vancouverobserver.c...

about 10 months ago
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Quebec Language Police Target Store Owner's Facebook Page

HungWeiLo Re:much ado about nothing (506 comments)

Because it was the French that started the IOC. So French and English (and a 3rd host country language) would be made the official languages.

The Greek flag is always flown as the very first flag, despite them not making a showing in some of the winter games.

about 10 months ago
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New Study Shows One-Third of Americans Don't Believe In Evolution

HungWeiLo Re:I believe it (1010 comments)

I used to teach music lessons to primarily homeschooled kids, and the vast majority of them were never silent about their disdain for science.

I was a childhood friend of one of the sons of the pioneer of the Christian homeschooling movement, and their beliefs were also pretty far away from you and your parents'.

To a good chunk of these people, your family would neither be defined as "Christian" or "conservative". You're clearly an exceptional case.

about a year ago
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Online Car Retailer Launching Nation's First Car "Vending Machine"

HungWeiLo Re:My dad was a salesman (99 comments)

It's true that car dealers make quantitatively less from new car sales (used car sales are much higher margin), but it's not a bad income stream once you realize that they "own" all their cars via leverage.

When they sell a Camry, they don't really pay the full $25,000 invoice (or whatever it is) to have it sit on the lot. They essentially lease it from the manufacturer. So they may be leveraging $500 of their own money or something like that to have the car sit on the lot for, say, 60 days. When the car is sold, the "loan" is paid back with the proceeds from the sale. Let's say the dealer nets $1000 after paying back the loan and after subtracting all the business overhead, they're making $1000 on a $500 investment. That's a pretty decent return. Even if the dealer only nets $250 from the sale, it's still a 50% return.

Think about this next time you feel sorry about how the dealer's not making money off new car sales.

1 year,27 days
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Online Car Retailer Launching Nation's First Car "Vending Machine"

HungWeiLo Re:Cars are a commodity (99 comments)

I've always been a good car buyer and trying to buy "cream puffs" that are about 4-6 years old, so that the hardest hit of the depreciation has already been priced into the car.

However, that's getting harder these days as used car prices are through the roof. When I was shopping for my last car (~$35k), the market price I was seeing for a 3-year-old model with 30k miles was only $2000 less than a new one - even for a private party sale without the dealer markup. So it's making less and less sense to buy used, especially with the aggressive financing deals for new models.

1 year,27 days
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Alfred Poor Says HDTV Manufacturers are Hurting (Video)

HungWeiLo Re:Blame cable (307 comments)

How's that going? They've been talking about rolling that out "next year" since I was first hearing about it at school in the late 90s.

about a year ago
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Alfred Poor Says HDTV Manufacturers are Hurting (Video)

HungWeiLo Re:Blame cable (307 comments)

I think people like us would complain less if 1.) the DTA boxes were free for perpetuity, 2.) the DTA boxes did not downconvert the HD signal down to SD, and 3.) if it did not render existing PCTV/DVRs unusable.

But I'm the scum of Comcast subscribers, daring to only pay for the lowest package mandated by the cable franchisee agreement. Why would they care about me?

about a year ago
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Alfred Poor Says HDTV Manufacturers are Hurting (Video)

HungWeiLo Re:Blame cable (307 comments)

They just encrypted all the over-the-air channels on my cheapo Comcast limited basic cable package last week.

So I ordered a ChannelMaster antenna and I'm getting everything beautifully. Need to adjust a few more times to the optimum position but everything seems to be working despite the wintry weather.

Just called Comcast today to cut TV. I'm paying $16+tax per month for over-the-air TV right now, and now they'll add $10/month to my Internet bill. Still better than throwing away $6/month.

Not happy that Comcast bought off the FCC to encrypt over-the-air channels.

about a year ago

Submissions

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Creationist Bets $10k Against Challengers To Literal Interpretation of Genesis

HungWeiLo HungWeiLo writes  |  about a year and a half ago

HungWeiLo (250320) writes "A California man who believes the literal interpretation of the Bible is real is offering $10,000 to anyone who can successfully debunk claims made in the book of Genesis in front of a judge.

Joseph Mastropaolo, the man behind this challenge, is to put $10,000 of his own money into an escrow account. His debate opponent would be asked to do the same. They would then jointly agree on a judge based on a list of possible candidates. Mastropaolo said that any evidence presented in the trial must be “scientific, objective, valid, reliable and calibrated."

For his part, Mastropaolo has a Ph.D. in kinesiology and writes for the Creation Hall of Fame website, which is helping to organize the minitrial. It’s also not the first such trial he’s tried to arrange. A previous effort, known as the “Life Science Prize,” proposed a similar scenario. Mastropaolo includes a list of possible circuit court judges to oversee the trial and a list of those he challenged to take part on the evolutionary side of the debate.

Anyone up for winning $20,000?"

Link to Original Source
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Hong Kong Sex Video Raises Free-Speech Issues

HungWeiLo HungWeiLo writes  |  more than 6 years ago

HungWeiLo (250320) writes "This is a sex tape scandal that has shocked relatively prudish Hong Kong to the core. It has exposed (or promises to) the world to explicit pictures of at least 7 well-known actresses, including Maggie Q and Cecilia Cheung. There is an individual supposedly asking for ransom, but the Hong Kong police have arrested ordinary citizens for uploading these same pictures that have already been disseminated throughout the gossip forums. The article mentions protests by demonstrators who feel that the rights of their fellow netizens have been trampled at the beck and call of wealthy celebrities and their organized crime backers.

Some of the discussions of these pictures have even implicated the squeaky-clean Jackie Chan in these scandals. It has been speculated that Jackie Chan's upcoming PR role in the Beijing Olympics may have convinced the Hong Kong authorities to try to wrap this one up very neatly and quickly, disregarding any civil rights granted to the citizens of Hong Kong by their constitution."
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HungWeiLo HungWeiLo writes  |  more than 8 years ago

HungWeiLo (250320) writes "We're currently using a Debian-based distribution for an embedded device where we're placing our primary kernel and filesystem on a 1GB CompactFlash card. The kernel will be placed in a read-only partition, while the other partition will be used for logging actions in the system and hosting a flatfile database. The concern here is the need to journalize the data (Ext2 corrupts pretty badly since we power it on and off) and the need to minimize thrashing of the CompactFlash (we're using industrial-strength, million-write-cycle+ versions, but that can quickly get us into trouble if the filesystem constantly writes to the flash).

So does anyone have any experience using filesystems in this situation? Ext2? Ext3? Reiser? JFFS2? Which one should I look into?"

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