Site: Warren Meyer

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Warren Meyer: Well, I Got Another Threat and Takedown Demand Today

I received this email this morning, from a hotmail account no less Subject:  Unlawful Use of Name Hello, I am writing on behalf of [redacted], whose name you published on your blog citing the PBS article about harassment in the Forest Service. You do not have legal permission to publish his name. Please remove it

2018-05-23 17:16   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: More on The Poor State of Automobile Cockpit Interfaces

A while back I wrote that automobile dashboard design in modern cars sucks.  I drive many different cars as I am frequently renting cars on the road and I concluded: If car designers are getting rid of physical buttons in favor of multilayered menu systems because it saves them a bunch of money, fine.  Bad

2018-05-21 17:54   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: My Wife Is Ahead of Her Time

As "Stand By Me" is now teed-up to become the #1 wedding song in the English-speaking world, at least for a time, my wife actually chose it for our wedding almost 30 years ago.  It is really one of the great songs, and should be ranked well higher than the 122nd place Rolling Stone Magazine

2018-05-19 21:04   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Uber Drivers Just Killed All the Parts of the Job They Supposedly Liked the Most

At the behest of a group of Uber drivers, the California Supreme Court has ruled that Uber drivers are Uber employees, not independent contractors, under California law: In a ruling with potentially sweeping consequences for the so-called gig economy, the California Supreme Court on Monday made it much more difficult for companies to classify workers

2018-05-18 23:11   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: The Dangers of Trying To Reinvent An Industry, And A Few Notes on Tesla

I am often critical of Elon Musk and Tesla, and will be again later in this post, but I wanted to start by sympathizing with Tesla's plight.  As you may know, Tesla set out not only to produce a leading electric car (which it did) but also to reinvent automobile manufacturing (which it is struggling

2018-05-10 18:11   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: My New Favorite Attraction in LA and it NEVER Gets Any Publicity

A couple of weeks ago my wife and I were in Pasadena and we visited the Huntington.  I almost never see it on list of things to do in LA.  This list has 22 things including some odd choices but no mention of the Huntington. The Huntington is the mansion and grounds of one of

2018-04-30 18:09   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: My Apology to Art Students

For years (as an engineer) when I made fun of college students not doing any work or not studying anything of actual utility, I often used art students as an example.  Today I offer my apology. My daughter is an illustration major at a college called Art Center in Pasadena, CA.  I don't know if

2018-04-30 17:18   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: The Absolutely To-Be-Expected Outcome of Government Regulation of "Fake News" on Social Media

Regulations to limit "fake news" will inevitably be used to limit criticism of the government and individual politicians.  Here is the latest example, from the WSJ A foreign visitor became the first person convicted and sentenced to jail under a new law to punish those deemed to have published “fake news”after he criticized the police response

2018-04-30 15:55   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: This Simple Tesla Production Trick Could Cost Taxpayers An Additional Half Billion Dollars

@instapundit

2018-04-24 18:41   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Activist Government vs. Emergent, Bottom-Up Solutions

From Engadget, on rental scooters in SF: San Francisco is a city where companies frequently like to try out new ideas. Uber had its start here many years ago, as did success stories like Twitter and Airbnb. So it's no surprise that San Francisco happens to be one of many cities experiencing a new form

2018-04-23 20:30   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: US Trade Deficit: Foreigners Are Consuming US Goods, But Consuming Them in the US (So They Don't "Count" As An Export)

Via Don Boudreaux: Greg Ip writes that “The U.S. runs a trade deficit because it consumes more than it produces while its trading partners, collectively, do the opposite” (“How the Tax Cut President Trump Loves Will Deepen Trade Deficits He Hates,” April 19). Here is how I like to explain why this is wrong.  The

2018-04-23 19:48   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Why Branding Has Value

I have written about this before, but critics of all things capitalism are usually particularly critical of branding, arguing that building brands has no value except to somehow beguile customers into overpaying for things or buying things they do not need.  Now, I can be sympathetic to this when I see folks who have paid

2018-04-23 17:07   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: This Guy Should Be The Patron Saint of Coders

(source) “Once, in the last century, in the Cambria Iron Works at Johnstown, Pennsylvania, after working for months to build an unorthodox new machine for steel production, the engineer in charge, John Fritz, said at last, ‘All right boys, let’s start it up and see why it doesn’t work.’

2018-04-16 17:27   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Government Housing Policy: Restricting Supply and Subsidizing Demand

I am always amazed that folks, say those in government in places like San Francisco, consistently support restricting the supply of new housing while subsidizing home buyers and then are surprised when prices and rents keeps rising.  From the Market Urbanism Report via Walter Olson. But a look at the numbers shows that, on the

2018-04-16 17:01   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Mueller Is Revenge on Republicans for Bill Clinton Impeachment

When special prosecutor Ken Starr finally presented charges to Congress against Bill Clinton, it was for lying under oath about his sexual escapades with Monica Lewinsky.  Did someone really originally authorize Starr to look into this?  No, his original mission was to look into any criminal wrongdoing associated with the Clintons and the Whitewater Development

2018-04-13 17:38   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Our Double Standard on White Collar Fraud

Nobody really liked Jeff Skilling of Enron and he sits in jail for 20 years.  We think Elizabeth Holmes is attractive and cool so that despite the fact that she committed serial fraud in lying about her company's technology and financials (far more baldly and egregiously than Skilling) and actually put people at risk through

2018-04-13 17:09   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Thank God Arizona Not In The Running For Amazon (part 2)

Can you imagine the insult to Maryland businesses that $5 billion of their hard-earned money as they struggle to make their businesses work is going to be just handed over to another business because that business creates better press releases for politicians? In one of the most aggressive attempts to cajole Amazon into selecting their

2018-04-12 18:28   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: California Progressives Go Full Authoritarian

I almost titled this article "go full fascist" but the f-word is so used and abused in public discourse that I now try to avoid it.  Presented largely without comment because I would have assumed five years ago that any thinking person in this country would understand why this was a bad idea.  State law

2018-04-12 17:15   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Some Thoughts on Congressional Hearings

I have a small bit of experience with Congressional hearings (I have been a witness at two) so I wanted to answer a question asked at Engadget after the Facebook hearings: Throughout the hearings, Congressional leaders repeated questions that had already been asked. We heard them ask again and again whether the company would work

2018-04-12 17:07   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Business Lesson From the Vietnam War

I just finished watching the PBS series on the Vietnam War and found the experience powerful and educational.  My only disappointment was that every soldier they interviewed and followed through the war ended up in the anti-war movement (or in the case of one POW, his wife did).  I agree with their perspective, and see

2018-04-12 16:45   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: A Geographic Fact Many Find Surprising

One of my odd niche interests is that I am fascinated by the Panama Canal and its construction.  I probably have read 10 books on the topic.  My kids know never to ask anything remotely about it because they will get a 1-hour lecture. So here is your fun fact that all but other canal

2018-04-12 16:17   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Another Reason I like Phoenix -- With Some Advice for Tourists

Much of Phoenix is generally pretty flat but at the same time we have peaks rising from right in the middle of the city to as high as 1400 feet above the mean ground level of the surrounding city (we are also ringed my mountains around at least three sides of the city, which is

2018-04-02 21:17   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: The Electric Vehicle Mileage Fraud, Updated: Tesla Model 3 Energy Costs Higher than A Prius, Despite Crazy-High eMPG Rating

Nearly 8 years ago (can it be so long?) I wrote a series of articles about what I called the electric vehicle mileage fraud at the EPA.  Rather than adopt sensible rules for giving electric vehicles an equivalent mpg rating, they used a horrible unscientific methodology that inflated the metric by a factor of three

2018-04-02 17:31   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: The Number One Reason the Ivy League Schools Are Broken

Ivy League schools are broken, at least to the extent they are true to their word that they are trying to serve mankind and not simply their own prestige.  Consider this from the WSJ: Harvard hit a new low this year—in terms of its acceptance rate. The university admitted 4.6% of applicants, or 1,962 students

2018-03-29 22:38   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Why Modern Car Dashboards Suck

The WSJ has an article today about digital dashboards in cars, focusing on how software glitches are making cares undriveable, the motoring version of the blue screen of death.  I have no particular comment on the reliability issue, but the article reminds me that for a while I have wanted to post a rant about

2018-03-27 16:52   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Why Tesla Agreed to Pay Elon Musk So Much

Tesla agreed to give Elon Musk what is potentially the richest executive compensation package ever.  I will give my (*gasp*) cynical reason why I think they did this.  I can show you in one chart (Tesla Model 3 production, from Bloomberg): I would argue that Elon Musk is the only one in the world who can

2018-03-23 17:05   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Cinema Visual Effect Before CGI

I really love this blog about visual effects, particularly various forms of matte painting, in movies before CGI.

2018-03-22 18:11   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: This is Genius

A reader sent this to me:  Train enthusiasts' ashes put on tiny coal wagon so he can trundle around miniature railway he spent 40 years creating

2018-03-21 16:36   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: Things I May Have Been Wrong About

Ace of Spades writes, in response to a NYT article on the death of a homeless woman: In Sunday’s NYT there is a long article about a homeless woman who lived on a grate near Grand Central Terminal. She was seemingly intelligent, a Williams grad, and had a promising future snuffed out by mental illness....

2018-03-20 18:26   Click to comment

Warren Meyer: The Problem With Social Justice Today -- Dividing Rather than Unifying

This article about pronouns on campus embodies all that is wrong with social justice warriors today, but perhaps not for the reason you might guess. I personally have no particular problem if you want to identify as a male or a female or gender 6 or a zebra.  But here is the real problem:  When

2018-03-20 17:16   Click to comment


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