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Have Bad Cars Gone Extinct?

bshensky Re:News to me (672 comments)

That's funny, because the Sonic is a heavily treated global redux of the original Daewoo (South Korean) platform. It's worlds better than the crappy Aveo it replaces.

The recession has done LOADS to kick Detroit in the ass and make serious improvements to their product overall. I wouldn't have touched an Aveo with a ten-foot pole, no matter how foreign its heritage, but I wouldn't say that about the Sonic, even though the Fiesta is superior indeed.

No matter how middling the GMs are each in their respective category, none of them are the pungent duds of yesteryear. TFA is still spot on, IMO.

more than 2 years ago

Have Bad Cars Gone Extinct?

bshensky Re:News to me (672 comments)

You're clearly not from the Motor City. Badges have little meaning - nearly no meaning, really - as it's the *platforms* that are designed by the automakers, with the badges shared among them.

Pontiac was put to pasture because its offerings were redundant to those from Chevy, Buick and Saturn. Even then, Saturn got the axe for the same reason. The end result was a healthier portfolio of platforms upon which various GM makes could be engineered, tuned and packaged.

This, however, is the insight few folks realize: The automakers each have a cache of core engineers with talent and capabilities that vary wildly. The executives move their most talented engineers to the platforms that need success most, and their lesser engineers to the platforms that need it least. So, Ford F-150 and Chrysler minivan engineers are the best of their respective companies for a time, and fleet car platforms get the chaff. When the fleet car platforms suffer to the degree they need triage (Chrysler 200, Dodge Durango, Ford Focus), the best engineers are shifted here to perform some one-off miracles.

From here, it sounds like the trim engineers assigned to the aging GMs you had were running in "maintenance" or "cost reduction" mode. Shame for them to lose you, as it's clear to me the star teams were on call for the recent launch of the Cruze and Sonic.

Hard as it was for GM to eliminate and consolidate (trust me, I know, I lived off Pontiac's teat for the last decade), it was the right thing to do.

The new farts know what the old farts don't: Follow the star engineers' platforms for great reliability success!

more than 2 years ago

Why Freemium Doesn't Work

bshensky The wall (321 comments)

Freemium doesn't work? Better tell the music industry.

Joking aside...

No one has figured out yet that the viability of the freemium model is dependent on the "size" and "slope" of the "wall" between free and paid customers. That wall, folks, is *price*.

If you put up a simple, tall "wall" - an entry price point that is unusually high with no graduated options for consumer buy-in, then you will absolutely keep free users on their side of that "wall".

Zynga has shown that with small, repeated purchase opportunities - basically a *series* of tiny *walls* to step over - you can convert a freeloader into a paying customer (and in some cases the customer won't even realize what they've done).

Paying attention to my own behavior, I've noticed that the more reliable conversions to paid come from a low-grade but high-unit-cost pay-as-you-go option among a menu of options. See SimpleGEO and Zencoder for examples that apply to me specifically over this last month. Both have pricing plans that fit what I've described here.

about 3 years ago

Congress's Techno-Ignorance No Longer Funny

bshensky 404! (477 comments)

Maybe if we leverage all our 404, 405, 403 and 500 pages to "blame SOPA for the problem with this page", then maybe John Clueless will be enticed to call his congressman.

more than 3 years ago

Why PCs Trump iPads For User Innovation

bshensky Apple makes cloudy (523 comments)

Stop allowing Apple to cloud up the argument by making you think that the form factor and interface is bound by definition to the UI design and feature list of the OS it runs.

Argument 1: What if the iPad could run, say, Win7 or Linux or some other OS? It adds wide-open capability, and gives way to content creation. But the form factor and UI frustrate.
Argument 2: What if there were a PC out there with a huge 32" touchscreen display and gesture UI, and it ran iOS. Could a stockbroker be happy with it?
Argument 3: What if the same PC with touchscreen display and gesture UI, and it ran Win7 or Win8 or WebOS or Cyanogenmod? How would that stockbroker feel then?
Argument 4: What would be gained by mouse-enabling an iPad? Who uses an iPad with mouse to access a PC via Remote Desktop? How is that working out for you?

Point is, if the platform were open, we would readily consider these questions, and make inroads on the answers. But Apple packages the UI, OS and form factor so well, we don't budge. Pity.

more than 3 years ago

Windows 8 ARM Will Not Support Legacy Software

bshensky Re: I think the point here is that... (381 comments)

I always say: "There are no stupid questions, only stupid people."

Then I follow: "Stupid people are the ones that don't ask stupid questions."

more than 3 years ago

Is Process Killing the Software Industry?

bshensky Detroit: Where the weak are killed and eaten. (460 comments)

While all you process-laden geeks with your SCRUM teams and unit tests are getting the life sucked out of you in the Valley, we here in Automation Alley live by the seat of our pants, Montgomery-Scott-style, delivering barely-passable code on time, with the enhancements and 80/20 fixes to be pushed ahead of next year's model refresh, and a keen eye on the Bugzilla board, waiting for our user community to serve up the bug list. Thrilling, I tell ya.

Didn't yo mama ever tell you not to buy a first-year model?

more than 3 years ago

Google's Nexus S, A Look At Gingerbread

bshensky Android BREAKS audio AGAIN with 2.2-2.3 (129 comments)

Sure, 2.3 really is faster and more responsive than 2.2, with better battery life and a sexier interface to boot.

But WHY does the dev team INSIST on BREAKING streaming and AAC+ audio on EVERY release?


more than 3 years ago

Al Franken's Warning On Net Neutrality

bshensky Re:how many web 2.0 companies (564 comments)

Neither is electricity, natural gas or running water.

Some things deserve protection, even if it's not constitutional protection.

This isn't a First Amendment issue, it's an FTC issue. But it should be a BIG FUCKING FTC issue.

(And I'm a left leaning centrist, BTW...)

more than 4 years ago

Google's Nexus One, a Steal At $49 Unlocked?

bshensky Re:Oh god (311 comments)

So am I. That cheating whore.

more than 4 years ago

A Step Closer To Cheap Nuclear Fusion

bshensky Re:Fusion!? (404 comments)

Judeo-Christian nuclear abortion socialism!

I now await my Fox News story...

more than 5 years ago

(Near) Constant Internet While RV'ing?

bshensky Re:What? (438 comments)

a caravan is a piece of shit minivan made by Chry^H^H^H^HDaimlerChr^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^HFiat.

more than 5 years ago

iPhone 3GS Finally Hacked

bshensky Re:err, why? (376 comments)

it's got electrolytes!

more than 5 years ago

FDA Says Homeopathic Cure Can Cause Loss of Smell

bshensky Loss of smell is real (452 comments)

I am someone who lost prolly 75% of his sense of smell over the 90s. Why, I do not know.

I do find favor with extra spicy foods, as they stimulate me in ways other foods cannot.

My wife has a hyper sense of smell. I take out the garbage.

more than 5 years ago

You've Dropped Your Landline — Now What?

bshensky VoIP, baby! (635 comments)

I purchased a Grandstream VoIP unit and connected the POTS line to my house copper, the ethernet end to my switch.

I purchased inbound VoIP service with les.net for a mere $1.00 a month. Outbound is $0.01/min

So, for $12/yr, I still have house POTS service.

more than 5 years ago

CRTC Mulls Canadian Content On the Internet

bshensky Re:Net Neutrality in Action (269 comments)

Shame on you, CTRC. You ruined the most popular radio station in Windsor & Detroit, CKLW. We have never forgiven you. And we'll remain deeply suspicious of anything you plan to do on the Intertubes or elsewhere.

more than 5 years ago

In the next 12 months, the Middle East will be ...

bshensky Quote: The future (1067 comments)

The future is like the present, only more so.

about 6 years ago

Lego Loses Its Unique Right To Make Lego Blocks

bshensky Chinese Lego (576 comments)


Probably won't help with the pirates. Real pirates!

more than 6 years ago


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