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New Jersey Auto Dealers Don't Want to Face Tesla

drtsystems Re:Why dealerships get a free ride (342 comments)

Anyone who does their own work on their car generally acknowledges dealerships as a complete ripoff and somewhere no one who cares at all about their wallet should ever step foot in (besides, I guess, to buy a car). The colloquialism on car forums is "stealership."

NAPA, AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts, O'Reilly, etc etc provide a distribution network for parts. In fact, for an older car, you are generally more likely to find the part in stock at your local autozone than your local dealership parts counter. And, usually, for less than half the price. The free market has already provided a solution to the problem. You can get a suspension part at any price point from "cheap Chinese crap" up to "better quality than original."

And often times even "OEM" parts, which are parts produced by the manufacturer who made the original piece that went on the car. You didn't really think Honda made the parts that go in that car did you? No, they designed the specs and companies like Bosch, Moog, Luk, AC Delco developed parts to fit those specs. And are happy to sell you the identical product (sometimes with just the Honda label scratched off) for half the price Honda would charge you.

If you are the internet shopping type (which, since you are on /. seems likely), you can even get replacement parts shipped directly to your doorstep from places like RockAuto for even cheaper than you would find them at your local AutoZone (which, remember, is already probably half the price of the dealer).

You take your car to any independent mechanic and it is damn near impossible that they will get their parts from the dealer. NAPA even delivers parts to shops within hours.

Basically, if you get your Accord serviced at the stealership... er dealership, you are getting ripped off. Google ANY Honda forum and ask them to see what they say, but prepare to be flamed. If you ask nicely, they will probably even recommend good local independent mechanics for you!

Parent quoted for those using awful beta who can't click the "parent" link ;)

thought I'd chime in on why dealerships are getting a free ride before the thread is choked with constitutionalists :P.

Dealers stock parts and provide a distribution network for said parts. This is why my '94 Honda Accord still runs (and why my Volvo 240 DL would have been running if that $#%@! hadn't rear ended me).

If we remove the dealer who is going to stock parts, deliver them, and install them? I'm sure you can come up with a thousand free market answers, but the fact is running that sort of business is _expensive_. Most of the obvious solutions become races to the bottom. Eventually either you stop getting parts and service for cars after 5 years or your start getting gouged in ways you can only imagine.

So yeah, it's a bit more complex an issue then just: Dealers Bad! Tesla Good!....

about 6 months ago

Apple's Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) Now Open Source

drtsystems Re:Why not... (526 comments)

You are forgetting the fact that the dock connector dates back to the 3rd gen iPod released in 2003. Mico-USB (the EU's standard for charging) came out around 2007. The dock connector was ubiquitous before anybody dreamed of having HDMI output on phones. And originally it carried firewire and usb data, you really think apple would have tried to fit that plus analog audio into a mini-USB port? Especially since mini-USB has proven to be not up to the task (replaced by micro-usb because mini didn't support enough plug-unplug cycles for a traditional cell phone etc.)

more than 2 years ago

The Cost Of Broadband In Every Rural Home

drtsystems Re:Then live in the city??? (381 comments)

Depends on your state. People in New York State get fucked with higher taxes and it all goes to NYC. California is similar (you think the people living out in the middle of the desert are really getting their money's worth in insanely high state taxes?)

Honestly I think this country needs a government run cell phone network like the post office. It doesn't have to be the latest and greatest (you can go private and pay more for that if you wish). But coverage to everyone, everywhere, for a reasonable fee. Internet is far more necessary than postal service anymore these days anyways.

more than 3 years ago

The Cost Of Broadband In Every Rural Home

drtsystems Re:Is this a part of... (381 comments)

Its the opposite. If you have health insurance your health insurance is charged LESS than someone would pay out of pocket. This is because the health insurance companies organize bulk deals with the hospitals.

The people who screw you over are the people without insurance who go to the emergency room when they are having a heart attack etc. The emergency room must treat those individuals even if they can't pay (assuming it is an actual emergency). Basically they can't let someone die who is sitting in the waiting room but can't pay. Unless you suggest that happen it actually would be CHEAPER for you if you subsidized those people's health insurance so they would get preventative checkups and not wait until they are about to die to go to the emergency room.

more than 3 years ago

Developers Defecting From BlackBerry

drtsystems Re:Wait a second, (163 comments)

And that would be because all Blackberry apps suck. On an iPhone (I'll use this as my example because I have one so I have experience with it) you have plenty of quality apps to choose from. And don't let the word apps distract you, because yes I know it has become a word that applies to all those stupid fart apps as well.

But things like Skype, Netflix, Pandora, Grooveshark, TomTom, Dropbox, facebook, weather channel, google voice, simplenote, WatchESPN, MLB AtBat, etc. etc. etc.

If you think you have no interest in these apps then you really are just too senile for a smartphone or haven't given it a chance.

more than 3 years ago

Ask Slashdot: CS Degree Without Gen-Ed Requirements?

drtsystems Trade School (913 comments)

Then go to a trade school. GEC's (General Education Courses) are an inherent part of a B.S. And really, they are quite interesting. Yea, there are a few that I didn't like (like British Literature) but you have choices and I found I enjoy Economics so I took my writing class as an Economics writing class where we studied the 2008 crash. If you find you are interested in something different then you can take GEC's in that.

My school offeres a Computer Science Engineering degree. That replaces some of the more fluffy requirements with Electrical Engineering and even a few Mechanical Engineering classes. You may be interested in something like that if you are more into math-type classes.

Oh, and this deserves to be repeated. Don't expect Computer Science classes to be programming classes. They are NOT. Yes a few of them are Software Engineering classes where programming is a big aspect. But there are also a good number of algorithms classes which feel like math classes, that kind of thing.

more than 3 years ago

Georgia Tech's ShaperProbe Detects ISP Traffic Manipulation

drtsystems ADVERTISED FEATURE of Time Warner and Comcast (113 comments)

This is said (although almost in passing) in the article. But I will repeat it because i know how few of us RTFA. Time Warner advertises its PowerBoost feature (and Comcast has something similar) where you get like double your usual bandwidth limit for "burst" downloads and then you get throttled back to your limit after the burst is complete. This is a FEATURE they advertise, not something bad. It allows you to (for example) get 15mbit when download a web page or small file on your 7mbit plan. Notice its a 7 mbit plan, they are not throttling you below your plan's rated speed. They are giving you faster downloads for a quick burst. There is plenty wrong with Time Warner, but this isn't one of the the problems.

more than 3 years ago

Apple To Distribute OS X Lion via the Mac App Store

drtsystems Re:Macs will be a closed platform in the end (517 comments)

This. I see the MacBook Pro models sticking around but the MacBook somehow combining with the iPad. Its not in the near future as the iPad still needs a computer and there are still many limitations it has.

In the end, I honestly don't see this as nearly as bad of a thing as everyone claims. There is a common theme among non-technies that computers are a pain to deal. Even people who use computers proficiently often do not have a good understanding of things like how the filesystem is laid out which can cause confusion if something doesn't get saved in the exact location that it normally does.

The bottom line is that someone like my mom, who uses the computer for pictures, internet browsing, and music really doesn't need much more than an iPad. No, its not quite there yet, but when the day comes that she can get something similar to an iPad and not call me in confusion when things aren't working, I will not complain.

Yes, I will still buy a computer with a full on OS. But I am also a CS major. Not everyone needs/wants a 2-ton truck or a Porsche 911. Some people can get by with a Toyota Yaris perfectly fine.

more than 3 years ago

Google Allows Carriers To Ban Tethering Apps

drtsystems Re:It's simply math (328 comments)

But 0 AND 1 is 0!

more than 3 years ago

Google Allows Carriers To Ban Tethering Apps

drtsystems Re:Then you argue they are the same (328 comments)

In the case of the original iOS 4 jailbreak, it actually improved system security. The jailbreak was performed using a remote code execution vulnerability in Apple's PDF viewer. Once jailbroken, a patch was available to be installed that closed this vulnerability.

more than 3 years ago

Google Allows Carriers To Ban Tethering Apps

drtsystems Re:This is good. (328 comments)

In the carriers defense, unlike in the wired internet world, the solution isn't just lay more fiber. The carriers will always be underprovisioning in a sense because the users a mobile. Of course verizon isn't going to make every tower on their network able to handle all 100 million customers at the same time.

Plus bandwidth is a finite resource. And many municipalities have the NIMBY attitude towards cell phone towers (I WANT MY CELL PHONE SERVICE BUT NO WAY YOUR PUTTING A CELL PHONE TOWERS WITH ALL ITS EVIL RADIATION IN MY CITY!!).

So sure, a lot of this could be solved by more investment by the carriers. But it also make sense that users should have respect for the fact that cell networks don't have the same total bandwidth available as wired connections and wait until they are on WiFi to torrent 5TB of Blueray rips. Er I mean linux ISO's.

more than 3 years ago

iMac Gets Thunderbolt I/O, Quad-core

drtsystems Re:What use for a BD-ROM or BD-R drive? (437 comments)

Except thats simply not true anymore. Blue-rays ARE the geeky platform. I know way more non-geeks who regularly use netflix than those who play blue-rays. Now I'm sure part of it is that I'm in college so watching TV/movies on a computer screen is a lot more common. Plus pretty much everyone has a wii, xbox, or ps3 so getting netflix onto the TV is not a challange like it may be for the more senile crowd of non-geeks.

more than 3 years ago

Speed Tickets Challenged Based On Timestamped Photos

drtsystems Re:Interesting bit from the article (566 comments)

Its because installing these systems in expensive. The companies give an option, pay (making up these numbers) $800,000 to install a camera or pay 0 and give us 40% of the profits. Poor city governments are going to be far more likely to take the free plan.

more than 3 years ago

Speed Tickets Challenged Based On Timestamped Photos

drtsystems Re:Glad someone is challenging this (566 comments)

This entirely depends on the city and state. I know we have a reckless driving ticket but its optional. The cop can give it for 20+ mph over in addition to the speeding ticket but usually they don't unless your pissing them off.

more than 3 years ago

Google's Driverless Car and the Logic of Safety

drtsystems Cars are the epitome of American freedom (510 comments)

Which is why it will take a long long long time to ever have a driverless car in America. Your car is a part of your personality. I remember the day I got my license when I turned 16, it was my first taste of real freedom.

In a world with driverless cars will there be sports cars? Why would they even exist. Think of the classic american idea of the open road, driving down the PCH with the top down on a convertible. There is so much more to driving than the everyday commute.

There seems to be a geek tendency to hate driving that I see on slashdot all the time. Not sure where it comes from. But a lot of people love it.

Of course driverless cars do make a whole lot of sense. Even I will admit that, and I am someone who loves cars even more than I love computers (which is a lot). The way I see the transition happening is things like dedicated computer operated highways. You drive to the onramp, get into a queue, and the computer will take over control. It dumps you off at an offramp, stops the car, and you can regain control.

more than 3 years ago

AT&T Cracking Down On Unofficial iPhone Tethering

drtsystems Re:Even More Plus by T-Mobile (513 comments)

T-Mobile sucks. I hate when people say "oh well sprint does this" or "t-mobile has this plan." Some of us venture outside of major city centers and need coverage. T-mobile is hit or miss even in big cities a lot of times due to its use of the 1900mhz frequency which has more trouble penetrating walls than the 850/900 mhz that Verizon and AT&T (in some places) use.

more than 3 years ago

Apple Moves To Stop Kids Racking Up iTunes Bills

drtsystems Re:Not really a parenting issue... (232 comments)

Except keep in mind there is probably similar prompts in the games like "do you really want to spend these fake shrute bucks on the sword?" Yea, sure, to a tech geek its clear that the apple push notification dialog is a specific thing and not part of the app. But can you really expect a 10 year old to? There is absolutely nothing wrong with requiring a password. Even if you want to give your kid the password and say hey, anytime you enter it your spending money, so don't do it.

The candy store analogy someone made earlier is not similar at all. It would be like going into a candy store with free samples. But having another counter, looking very similar to the free samples, that are not free. And you would owe them money as soon as you ate something. And they would barely warn you first. Yea, sure you need to look out for that kind of stuff. But its predatory selling and not fair and we should not be yelling about the bad parenting involved but instead supporting companies who don't do this.

more than 3 years ago

Apple Moves To Stop Kids Racking Up iTunes Bills

drtsystems Re:Not really a parenting issue... (232 comments)

This is good for everyone. I remember back in the non smartphone days everyone always being scared of the phone because it might charge you for doing something. The people who wouldn't read text messages because they thought it would cost them money (when in fact it already had just due to the fact that you received it), not wanting to change a ringtone, etc. etc. And the thing was, it was based in truth. You press the center button on a non AT&T smartphone and boom your on the internet. Racking up per kilobyte data charges. Want to shut off internet? Well it also shuts off your ability to send MMS messages.

Apple getting away from this is a GOOD thing. You used to have to enter a credit card number every time you purchased something. It is not good for anyone to be able to do it with a single click. It is just too easy and to be spending money. A password is a great way of saying "hold on and think about what your about to do."

Yes, good parenting is teaching kids about how to watch out for scams, etc. It is not giving your 5 year old your checkbook and then sending them out on the street and yelling at them when someone takes advantage of them and they get ripped off. Which is basically what iTunes was doing.

more than 3 years ago

Apple Handcuffs Web Apps On iPhone Home Screen

drtsystems Re:Uh. (298 comments)

But if they "catch" you, which they can because the SIM reports what device you are using, they will automatically enable the data plan. Not sure how long it takes for them to catch you though. I think it probably helps that you only occasionally have it on the network. They probably have a batch script that runs once a month or something looking for any smart phones registered without a data plan. Could be that it only looks for iPhones and android phones too since blackberry's have a lot more options for data plans so they may not bother.

more than 3 years ago


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