Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Expensive is the New Cheap!

Al Gore claims that increasing the cost of energy will reduce the costs to American citizens. How does this work out. It’s very simple by his “logic”, if that’s what you call it.

Gore defended the science that warns of a potential climate crisis later this century and insisted the blueprint outlined by House Democrats would address the problem without soaring prices for Americans.
"I think the cost of energy will come down when we make this transition to renewable energy," said Gore, who predicted economic costs would be much greater if global warming is not reined in by a shift from the use of fossil fuels. Democrats argued that the development of renewable and energy efficient technologies will produce jobs and mitigate cost increases.

Basically Gore believes that if they make it too expensive for the average person to live at their current standard of living because of increased energy prices, we can then save money by switching to cheaper, alternative energy sources. Why don’t we just switch to those cheaper, alternative sources of energy today? Because they’re too expensive and unreliable today. So his goal is to get Congress to implement restrictions that will increase the costs of most forms of energy generation so high that we will clamor for the ones that are too expensive today.

What will this mean for most Americans if implemented? We’d likely see gas prices so expensive that some people may quit their jobs in order to find a slightly lower paying job closer to home in order to save money on transportation. Others might decide that it would be more effective to try to move closer to their current job location and hope they still have a job to justify the move. Some might have to make the choice between heating their homes or cooking a meal. Those of us who aren’t paid tens of millions of dollars to fly around the world and preach about how evil it is to consume more than the bare minimum of energy will be priced right out of our current standard of living.

Electricity costs would skyrocket in most of the country. If we are forced to get most of our electricity from sources such as wind and solar, we’re going to be screwed on a calm, cloudy day, and pretty much every night. If we are forced to use subsidized corn to make ethanol, food prices will increase, fuel prices will increase, fuel economy will decrease, and our cars will wear out faster.

Here's the article I found.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Foxtrot Comic

I saw this and laughed. Click for larger image.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I Hate HP & Best Buy

I had to send my laptop into Best Buy to get fixed, since it has issues. I sent it in on the 19th of March, and picked it up today. I had issues with the screen resizing itself, the keyboard occasionally not registering the keys I typed, and the whole computer just crashing randomly. I know that an entire generation of HP laptops contains bad chips made by nVidia. HP has acknowledged that some of its laptops are severely messed up and has extended the warranties on a few dozen models because of those issues.

My machine counts as one of the ones that are messed up, but not enough of them are messed enough for HP to extend the warranty on them. I contacted HP and they told me to take it to Best Buy, since they do warranty repairs for HP. Three weeks later (the day after I was supposed to get my laptop back) I get a call from the HP service center in California saying that they need my authorization to do a hard drive replacement. They said that they didn’t find any of the problems that I have been experiencing for the last few months, but they said that my hard drive failed and that they needed my authorization to replace it at a cost of $236 for parts and labor. I asked them why it wouldn’t be covered under the warranty, so the guy asked the HP representative there about it. The HP guy said that since I bought the laptop on eBay, they wouldn’t honor the 12 month warranty and thus I would have to pay for any and all repairs. (I’ve dealt with HP before about a hard drive issue, and they replaced it for me for free a few months ago, because that was under warranty, they didn’t care that I bought it from eBay, all they cared was that it was less than a year old, and was therefore covered under warranty.) I said I was not willing to pay that much for a hard drive replacement, so they shipped it back to me without actually doing anything to it, other than it coming back to me with dirt and dust in it that wasn’t there when I gave it to them.

The hard drive I have in my laptop sells for $50 and you need to remove a single screw to take it out of the computer. I really need to find a job where I can get paid $186 to remove a screw and put it back a minute later. If anyone can find me such a job, I would really appreciate it. I ran my own detailed diagnostic on the drive when I got it back and found nothing wrong with it.

HP sent me a survey about my recent experience with them, and I said I was very dissatisfied and explained why. They said they may contact me for follow-up information, and I hope they do.

The people at HP and Best Buy need to actually communicate with each other. Everyone I talked to said they’d make sure the problem was taken care of, except for the guy at the service center. Everyone I talked to at HP and Best Buy said my machine was under warranty, except the guy actually in charge of doing the work. If the HP people, and the Best Buy people I interacted with a month ago had told me that my machine would not be fixed for free, I wouldn’t have been parted from my laptop for almost a month with the hopes of getting it back in full working order. The lady at Best Buy was going to charge me $34 for the labor of looking at my computer, but since I pointed out that her sheet says my computer is still under parts and labor warranty, she didn’t charge me.

I now have no idea if my computer is under warranty or not. One guy at Best Buy said that an HP person told him it wasn’t under warranty, yet everyone else I’ve dealt with at both HP ad Best Buy believed it was under warranty. Everyone needs to be on the same page. Either my machine is under warranty and I want it fixed, or it’s not under warranty and I’ll open it up and try to work something out myself, without the fear of voiding the warranty. And yes,

I wish my experience with Best Buy and HP was more like my experience with Logitech. My wireless headphones broke, and there was a known defect in the plastic used that caused them to break. Not only did Logitech let me know that there was defective plastic used in my headphones, they sent me a pair of the newer, better headphones as a replacement because they would not replace a defective part with a part that would probably fail in the same way. Although I wish that I didn't have to deal with broken headphones, I appreciate that they took the time to ensure that I was satisfied with their product. Here's my post about that situation. And yes, after 15 months, I am very happy with my replacement headphones and they still work great!