India's Gay Marriage Ban

Hilarious...

Obama The Moral

Today, Obama highlighted the plight of those Americans who have been out of work for over six months. The recession was hard, no way around that. But his response? Straight out of Atlas Shrugged.

Instead of trying to lead the nation by reducing regulation, improving employment opportunities with a free market, or increasing international trade... he tells us the Federal Government will "no longer evaluate candidates based on their employment history" and that it is our duty to do the same. Yup, exactly those words. Incredible.

Honestly, I think his speech writers might have just copied and pasted from Atlas Shrugged. Why should we grow by placing a fair price on the value of hard work when we can instead insist that it is everyone's mural duty to ignore other people's failings? Why, after all, is it fair for one man to earn so much when another man has had all bad luck?

Clearly, the answer to America's woes is to morally demand that employers no longer consider employment history when evaluating candidates.

Honestly, just read his fucking sentence. Are you kidding me? Obama literally stood up today and said that. Said we have a moral obligation to ignore a candidate's employment history. It's so stupid I don't even have to make fun of it.

http://techcrunch.com/2014/01/25/dashs-smart-driving-app-a-fitbit-for-cars-arrives-on-android/

The Top 10 Things Mechanics don't Want You to Know

Mechanics are generally a shady bunch. It is an industry that thrives in the dark. Very few mechanics actually promote open and transparent interaction with their customers. Think of how often you go into a shop and the price they originally quoted goes up by... $100? $200? 200%? Sound familiar? It is.

Americans waste 2 billion days and $90 billion dollars a year on car repair. That is equal to over 3 million years of savings for the average American. 3 MILLION YEARS - every year. It is a colossal waste of money.

So how do you avoid wasting your savings on car repair?

Here are the top 10 things that mechanics don't want you to know:

10) You can request parts back from the mechanic. They get around this because most parts have a core charge - in which case they don't have to give them back. However, you can still request to see the old part and to have them show you where/how it is broken.

9) You can always get your car towed out of a shop. Even if the work has started - it can often be cheaper to get competing quotes and pay the $65 (AAA will not typically tow from one shop to another) for towing than it is to get the repair done at a shop which overcharges you.

8) ASE Certification is on an individual basis. It is the closest thing the industry has to being accredited, but anyone (and I mean anyone) can call themselves a mechanic and work on your car. ASE tests are given in different subject matters - so someone can be "ASE Certified" but only for brakes... and he's telling you he's a transmission expert. See where I'm going with this?

7) It's not just mechanics either, shops are generally also not certified. Shops are generally meant to be licensed with the state, but a large percentage of them are not. You should ask to see their state certification if you are not sure.

6) They drive your car, a lot. Mechanics test drive all the time, but the less reputable shops this means you are getting charge "hours of labor" for going and picking up the groceries, getting a beer, or just driving fast around the neighborhood.

5) Most parts are available same day - usually within hours. If a mechanic is telling you that they are just waiting on the part - there is a 95% chance that they are lying to you. These days, you can order a part and get it delivered typically within a few hours. Even something very rare and dealer only you can usually get within one day. If your car is sitting for over a week while your mechanic is "waiting for parts" you are being had.

4) You can find out what parts cost! Most shops use either Advanced Auto Parts or Auto Zone for most of their parts. Take about 30-50% off retail pricing and you should have what the shop would pay for parts. Try to avoid paying more part than the retail price from one of these shops.

3) You can get competing quotes for your repair. Openbay.com is a new service which lets you get multiple quotes for a repair from pre-screened service providers.

2) There are websites which give you full estimates for the repair. The biggest of these are AutoMD and RepairPal - beware the estimates though. Sometimes they are significantly different from what the actual repair calls for, or they fail to include the price of parts etc.

1) Prices are always negotiable. And more than that, you can hire a negotiator! A new service called CarFixd lets you hire an ASE Certified mechanic to negotiate car repair for you. Otherwise you can always bring in someone you know and trust and you feel has a good handle on car repair (or maybe just a good negotiator).

NH Says Nullification is Normal

Could be one of the largest changes in the American judiciary system in decades.

Disagree with a law, even if someone is guilty, you can acquit.

The implications are huge, because everyone now gets to vote on not just whether the accused is guilty, but the mortality and benefit of the law the first place.

Obviously, this will hardly affect things like violent crime, and if we're honest, white collar crime too (for a capitalist nation we have some strange beliefs, courtesy Hollywood, stupidity, and a liberal press), but the big one will probably be marijuana. With the right jury, those laws don't stand a chance.

Interesting.

New Hampshire weighs proposal to alert juries of 'nullification' law http://cir.ca/s/Eiu

The Driveway Doctors

So - the main reason that I have been writing so much less on this site is because I have been working full time on launching my first company, The Driveway Doctors. We are trying to build the first software-centric car repair company. In addition to that, we offer on-site or mobile mechanic / mobile car repair services to our customers.

A lot of our customers ask "can you really do that on site?" The answer is generally yes. What most repair shops and dealerships don't want you to know is that the majority of repairs are actually quite simple. We have been open for almost two years now and we do about 75% of repairs can be done on site. Common issues such as brakes, check engine lights, and tune ups can all be done from the comfort of your home.

The benefits are that you never have to leave home or work (always nice), but more than that, you don't lose your car. When you drop your car off at a traditional repair shop they have complete control over it. They will often tell you that parts are taking days or weeks to shop up: they aren't. Parts are almost always delivered within hours. I can get parts for a 1974 Alpha Romeo Spyder delivered withing two hours to my shop. If a shop is telling you that parts are taking days or weeks to show up - they are lying to you. They are using that as an excuse for not fixing you car yet. The difference with us is that we come to you. You never lose your car, you can see us working on it, and if it does need parts, we want to get them to you as soon as possible. It's a different kind of car repair.

The other reason we are so different is because we don't pay mechanics "flat rate." Flat rate is the industry standard way of paying their mechanics. There is a book (website these days) which says exactly how many hours each job "takes." This is almost always significantly higher than the actual hours it would take a good mechanic to get the work done. When a shop tells you they worked on your car for six hours, they didn't. The book said it was a six hour job. They probably spent 2-3 working on your car. However, the mechanic who worked on your car gets paid for those six hours. And that is all they get paid. If they book 5 hours of work in a day, they get paid for 5 hours. If they book 15, they get paid for 15.

In other words, mechanics get paid based on the number of hours the job rates. The higher hours the job, the more they get paid. Naturally, they want to try and sell you on higher hour jobs. You show up for one thing, and all of a sudden you have a $2,000 estimate. Sound familiar? It's common because the mechanics are trying to make as much as they can off each job. You can't really blame them either: if the shop is slow and they are not booking work, they get paid nothing. Their income is traditionally really variable: in a good week they can "work" 100+ hours (while only actually working 50), but in a bad week, they might only book 20 (while actually working 50).

The Driveway Doctors is different. Our senior mechanics get paid salary with bonuses based on customer feedback. Our junior mechanics get paid hourly (real hourly) so they don't make anything more or less depending on what they sell to the customer. It is such a radically different model that we were told by many in the industry that it just was not possible. They would ask "how can you keep your guys motivated? How can you make sure you make money if you are paying them like that?" We keep our guys motivated by finding the best guys and giving them the opportunity to join a growing company, and getting a piece of that growth for themselves. And it is the company's job to show profitability, just like it is for any major company. It should not be up to the mechanics to sell unnecessary work in order to make payroll that week. It is a different kind of car company, and a different kind of service.

Thank You
Alexander Tallett
Founder of The Driveway Doctors

Planetary Resources gets.. crowd funded?

A bunch of the richest guys on the planet just got the general public to find their asteroid prospecting telescope. Damn rich and damn smart.

Though... for $25.. a picture in space is a really cool idea.

null http://cir.ca/s/26W

Tylenol. Not good.

FDA urges doctors to avoid prescribing high-dose acetaminophen http://cir.ca/s/uyt