Category Archives: Business

Airlines push for mandatory covid-19 tests before flight

Costs likely to be $50 to $100 before flight (I have seen prices of $125 or more as well), per person, each direction.

Source: Hard hit by virus, airlines push for tests over quarantines

Many U.S. states have mandatory 14-day quarantine requirements for inbound visitors (such as Vermont) but with an optional exit via getting a negative Covid-19 test. The joke in Vermont is that you arrive in the state, it takes 4 days to schedule a Covid-19 test and then up to 10 days to get your results (really). So you can quarantine for 14 days or optionally spend money on tests and quarantine for 14 days. Perhaps with Rapid Tests (which are not that accurate), the turn around will be same day.

  • Hawaii and Alaska both offer the covid-19 test exit strategy. Will this become a routine part of travel between states in the U.S.? You must be tested?
  • What impact will this have on personal health privacy as required by HIPAA?
  • Will these tests be used by governments to track your travels? Yes, obviously, as needed to enforce their quarantine rules.

Concerning: Garbage bags with unopened ballots found along roadway

There have been reports like this in other areas of the country too:

SAMMAMISH, Wash. – Sammamish Police are investigating potential mail theft after two garbage bags of mail, which included ballots, were found on the side of the road and several unopened ballots were found in incorrect mail boxes.

Source: Sammamish Police: Garbage bags of mail found on side of road included unopened ballots | KATU

Bigger deal than realized: Boeing may sell its 215 acre Commercial Airplanes HQ

Boeing sees the advent of the “mobile executive” and most engineering, marketing, finance work no longer need be done in a corporate office complex. Time to sell the corporate real estate.

When companies no longer have a large physical infrastructure in a community, they need no longer remain there and staff can leave communities in an instant.

This is a huge deal – and it is not just Boeing. Many big companies may pull back and let staff move elsewhere. This is a bombshell on local economies.

Continue reading Bigger deal than realized: Boeing may sell its 215 acre Commercial Airplanes HQ

Putting in a plug for Best Buy

In the past we did not like shopping at Best Buy. Upon entering the store you were assaulted by blue shirted sales people.

Once you were ready to buy something, they’d try to upsell accessories and extra charge warranties. It was not a fun place to shop.

Our last 4 or 5 interactions have been way better. We’ve had Geek Squad techs service a broken dishwasher (they were the only ones who serviced the brand that was in our house). The tech was very knowledgeable and passionate about doing solid repair work, done right.

During the pandemic, as mail order service like Amazon devolved into random delivery dates and 4 week lead times, we ordered from Best Buy. We opted to have one large item delivered – which turned out to be free, from the local store, the very next day, with excellent communication about when they expected to arrive.

Today I used their curbside delivery service – ordered online, drove to the store about an hour later and was greeted by an employee who brought my item out within minutes.

I am impressed by this because Best Buy did not used to be a friendly place to shop. In the midst of the pandemic, they have quickly adapted their services – with competitive prices – and friendly and helpful staff.

No one paid me to write this – I just wanted to call out a business that has made great improvements and is now, obviously, getting my repeat business.

Drone deliveries: The end of quiet neighborhoods

Here is a video clip of a Walmart-based drone delivery of items to residential home. You may have to fast forward past the half way point to get to the drone delivery.

What I noticed is how incredibly loud these drone deliveries are. These are not small consumer quadcopters but very large, heavy and loud drones.

They will be criss crossing our neighborhoods and the process of the actual package delivery can take a minute or more as the drone hovers in place.

Drone dropping my covid-19 test to my door! #droneup #walmart #quest

Posted by Brent Morgan on Wednesday, September 23, 2020

“Nikola issues copyright takedowns against critics who use rolling-truck clip “

Nikola has admitted the truck used in their promotional video did not work and had been towed to the top of a incline and then coasted downhill. The camera angle was adjusted to hide the incline.

Nikola is now issuing copyright take downs to anyone who has posted the video clip on Youtube, as part of commentary and news.

Nikola video of truck that didn’t work is at center of YouTube copyright battle.

Source: Nikola issues copyright takedowns against critics who use rolling-truck clip | Ars Technica

The Chairman and Founder of Nikola has since resigned. The company is also said to have bought the truck design from a 3rd party, contrary to their claims it was developed in house, by the founder.

California to ban sale of new gas-powered cars in 2035 

California will ban the sale of new gasoline-powered cars to combat climate change starting in 2035, a move that could help reshape the nation’s automobile market and its output of greenhouse gases.

Source: California to ban sale of new gas-powered cars in 2035 under Newsom order – SFChronicle.com

The State that is currently unable to provide sufficient electricity to its people, will require that all new vehicles sold after 2035 be – basically – electric. Will be interesting to see how they solve the infrastructure challenge in just 14+ years. The State is presently building just half of a high speed rail system over a period of 25 years.

Related: I do not understand the full concept of Executive Orders. The report notes this mandate is done via Executive Order in order to bypass the Legislature and public input. That is not a democracy in action – that is an authoritarian and undemocratic government.

Separately, the SF Bay area Metropolitan Transportation Commission has voted to mandate that 60% of all workers must work from home – with exemptions for work that cannot be done from home.

Issues have been raised as to how this creates social isolation, difficulties for many people who do not have homes suitable for work, and wipes out large numbers of businesses and jobs that support workers downtown. It also treats those who already walk or take public transport to work the same as everyone else – they too would be required to work at home.

Continue reading California to ban sale of new gas-powered cars in 2035 

CDC bans rental evictions through Dec 31, 2020

What expertise does the CDC have in this matter?

To be eligible for protection, renters will need to provide proof of their inability to pay rent because of the pandemic.

Source: Renters in U.S. cannot be evicted through the end of the year due to coronavirus, CDC order states – MarketWatch

The CDC has no expertise what so ever in making real estate, financial and economic orders – but is now asserting that the powers of public health are unlimited. Lawyers, writing on social media, say the legal basis for the CDC regulating housing is quite a stretch.

In an election year, this action seems to be based on politics – and not much else.

Public health has asserted itself as a politicized totalitarian regime.  I no longer  believe a word from any one in public health. Remember, protesting is now more important than fighting a virus, they said. That virus that was the reason we shut down everything, put 40 million people out of work and close our schools.

Stay Home, Save Lives, Don’t Kill Grandma gave way to “Protest! Kill Grandma!”

The above was not supportable by any evidence – that, like the CDC asserting evictions bans, is based on politics and not science. Public health appears to be a fake science at this point.

Update: My state extended its “state of emergency” through November 3rd (the national election date). As of November 4th, the pandemic emergency is apparently over with. Talk about politicizing.

Heh – subscription fatigue

Walmart announces an annual subscription called Walmart Plus, similar to Amazon Prime. But this:

He added that Walmart will face an uphill battle against “subscription fatigue,” as shoppers have already budgeted for Prime, Costco, Spotify, Netflix and plenty of other services.

Source: Walmart Plus takes on Amazon Prime with $98-a-year membership fee – CNET

Good point – it is hard to keep track of which subscriptions one has, which ones are actually used, and when they “auto renew”, even if you no longer use them.

I am a bit shy of signing up for subscription services because of this problem.