The jury found that Hytera had stolen trade secrets and infringed Motorola’s copyrights.
The jury found that Hytera had stolen trade secrets and infringed Motorola’s copyrights.
It’s also unknown if anyone will be willing to fly on a Boeing 737 MAX:
Regarding the additional 385 MAXs that were delivered to customers but have been grounded for almost a year and are parked at airfields around the world, company spokesman Bernard Choi said Boeing is recommending inspections for those airplanes that have been in storage for more than a year. “It’s still undecided if we will inspect the rest” of the delivered MAX fleet, he added. “Obviously, we’ll do what’s right for safety.”
No idea what someone was thinking with that last quote – “it’s still undecided if we will inspect the rest“. When you are in a hole, stop digging. That decision ought to be obvious.
Satirist JP Sears takes a whack at the Tesla culture with his humorous commentary.
JP has hundreds of spot on satire videos poking fun at our popular culture. In many cases, he’s poking fun at himself and the culture he and his peers (and perhaps many of us!) live within.
This is a though provoking video: Economics theory is based on the idea that wants (demand) exceeds supply. Stated another way, we tend to want more than we can afford – we do not have the resources to acquire everything we may desire. But today we are, for a great many, and for many of life’s necessities, living in a post scarcity world. Once we have fulfilled our basic “wants” we have the luxury of being tricked by marketing into wanting even more (basically, a fake want designed to increase demand).
Maslov’s Hierarchy of Needs tries to explain human motivation in terms of fulfilling the basics, like food and water, first, at the bottom of his pyramid. Above that we seek shelter and safety, then peer support, self esteem and finally self actualization.
The reality of life today is that life is actually quite good – compared to the past. (Poverty is at a global low point, for example. Literacy is at a historical high point, and so on, in spite of the daily dose of fear mongering news media.) In effect, for most people, the goods and services of daily life are not scarce. We enter a world of post-scarcity economics for much of our daily needs.
Most people (yes, there are definitely exceptions) in modern economies have fulfilled the bottom 3 tiers of the Hierarchy of Needs. At this point, our wants become warped. Few people need digital watches (to quote Douglas Adam’s comments about the 1970s) – or for that matter smart phones or any number of other goods and services.
Since we do not really need a lot of “stuff”, marketing tricks us in to wanting things we don’t need. So we acquire more. Because many of our basic wants are satisfied, we create new “wants”. Some “wants” are not goods or services – we have the luxury of time so we build ourselves up (top of the pyramid) by running marathons and ultramarathons or spending time at the gym or the hair salon to look good.
At some point, many people are persuaded to want things they cannot afford today – so lenders step into loan money to acquire stuff (you probably don’t really need). This can be loans for cars, homes, or consumer loans for vacations and home improvement, or accumulation of credit card debt to acquire “stuff” we believe improves our self-esteem (catching up or exceeding those in our peer group). As satirist JP Sears says, “Tesla – pretend to save the environment while looking rich” 🙂
Eventually, our loan payments cause us to cut back on spending on other things. As collective debt loads become too high, economic activity slows down and we enter a recession.
A combination of post scarcity economics means we have the means to be persuaded (by marketing) to acquire stuff we probably don’t need and a ready supply of lenders to enable us to buy it today (versus saving our money).
A small observation: When we choose to purchase an item X, it is not so much a decision to buy X as it is a decision that we are not going to buy Y (and A, B and C too!) Few people ever think of purchase decisions this way though. But we should be asking ourselves, if I buy X, what product Y am I choosing not to buy? If we did this, we’d balance our spending – and wants – a lot better.
We also see this effect at work in government spending. Legislators are constantly being asked to spend more money on government programs (let’s call them X). But seldom is anyone simultaneously suggesting what projects (call them Y) we should not be funding in order to fund X.
Keep this in mind the next time you “want” something (X) and ask yourself, what will I give up (Y) to buy X? Most people never ask this question and buy stuff they probably cannot really afford. Spending decisions are about choosing between things X and Y, but most people view spending decisions as deciding whether to buy X1, X2 or X3.
 Getting tricked in to wanting and buying more is a growing threat made possible by intense surveillance of our lives both on and offline. As Walmart says
“[W]e have a lot of data and we can gather even more data. [I]f you win their most frequently purchased items, you get the opportunity to serve impulse items online and in-store, and our focus is in driving that sweet spot,” he said.https://www.marketwatch.com/story/walmart-could-run-into-privacy-issues-in-its-efforts-to-get-personal-with-consumers-analysts-say-2020-02-19?mod=home-page
Businesses are using multiple tricks to manipulate you in to wanting more than you need.
SpaceX may launch 30,000 more low altitude satellites added to the 12,000 it already plans to launch. OneWeb is launching 900 satellites and Amazon is planning over 3,000 satellites. There are predictions that any given moment, over 100 satellites will be visible crossing overhead, no matter where you may live.
Utility companies want to be able to make the demand go up and down just as much as the supply fluctuates.
This concept works with “smart” thermostats. When electricity demand is high, such as during a hot summer day, the utility can remotely adjust your thermostat’s air conditioning settings to raise the interior temperature setting by a degree or two – thereby reducing power demand.
Individuals can still reset it back down, if they wish.
The power utility has also experimented with a voluntary system where consumers without smart thermostats subscribe to email or text alerts asking them to adjust their electricity usage.
Electricity has to be created, in real time, as it is demanded by customers. Traditionally, this meant coal and natural gas fired production plants which can ramp up and down quickly (hydro dams are not adjustable in real time). In the new model, the power companies are looking at altering the demand – not just the supply – in real time.
The vast difference in EPA figures didn’t amount to much in the real world.
When the Porsche Taycan‘s first EPA range figure exposed itself to the public, the outcry was swift and decisive. Even those not strong in math might realize that a paltry 192-mile rating for the Taycan Turbo S is a huge miss compared with the 326- or 348-mile figures that the Tesla Model S Performance gets.
But in a real world test, the two vehicles range measure are almost identical. Hmmmm.
Should Tesla be allowed to remove features from a vehicle that’s bought secondhand?
This is a troubling issue where we rely on software for every feature of consumer products. Software that can be updated to add features can also be downgraded to remove features.
Years ago, Amazon deleted e-book copies of George Orwell’s novel, 1984. Apparently Amazon did not have the distribution rights signed up correctly and customers who had bought the e-book addition discovered Amazon remotely deleted their copy of the book. (Amazon did refund the purchase price). That this was a giant corporation removing, of all things, 1984, was a bit of a shock to many.
Meanwhile, the FAA has proposed a massive, Rube Goldberg-like regulatory scheme for small unmanned aerial systems (SUAS), also known as remote control model aircraft. The FAA envisions a world where all model aircraft regulations are enforced by software, logging their position with government designated Internet databases, once every second during flight – rather than the traditional trust and enforcement mechanisms of all other laws. There are multiple issues with the FAA’s proposal, but one side effect of their attempt to enforce the law via software is they’ve managed to eliminate essentially all indoor flight by model airplanes and quadcopter – because a one-size fits all rule does not work. They’ve also created a monster that would enable automated drone fleets – and consumer drones – to be enlisted by foreign adversaries in international espionage, permitting – indeed, encouraging – all drones to collect aerial imagery and other data as they fly over our homes and cities.
My state, Oregon, introduced state fees for fuel efficient vehicles, beginning January 1, 2020. These fees are added to existing annual license fees. Oregon issues vehicle licenses for a 2 year period, not one, so the fee paid when renewing is twice the value shown:
a) For vehicles that have a rating of 0-19 MPG, $18.
(b) For vehicles that have a rating of 20-39 MPG, $23.
(c) For vehicles that have a rating of 40 MPG or greater, $33.
(d) For electric vehicles, $110.
The reason they charge for 2 years is it enables the state to increase the effective rate. On average, people will sell their car with one year of their license remaining. However, when sold, there is no refund. And presumably you buy a new vehicle and pay a new license fee. Same thing if you move out of state – you lose the unused portion of the fee. Now they offer a 4-year pre-paid option – don’t go there!
Oregon has also introduced a “pay per mile” license tax and says that some people may pay less fees under this scheme. When I checked the numbers for my Honda Fit, I would pay more under their pay-per-mile scheme – and I only drive about 7,000 miles per year. Sure, that pay–per-mile fee makes sense – not!
The state increased the regular vehicle license fee by 30% in 2017, and increased the state’s gasoline sales tax, which will increase every other year through 2024. The State also increased the title records fee and added a per-vehicle-sold tax on car dealers, and added a $15 tax on new bicycle purchases.
The proposed Federal tax – amount unknown – would be in addition to State license fees.
Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Andy Levin (D-Mich.) on Thursday outlined a bill that seeks to establish a nationwide electric vehicle charging network within five years.
They admit they have no idea what it would cost taxpayers, where charging stations would be located, and would have the government establish charging standards (versus industry standards) … they have no details on anything because details don’t matter. They do not even have a reason as to why the government needs to run this – apparently they have not heard of PlugShare.
How did we get by without a government run network of gas stations and restaurants along the Interstates? Boggles the mind. Worse, when the government runs the EV network and decides where EV charging stations will be located – watch out for graft and corruption as politically favored communities get this infrastructure and less favored communities are cut off.
This bill will go nowhere (pun intended).