Theranos- medical lab testing

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Re: Theranos- medical lab testing

#51

Post by much ado » Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:03 pm

Carl von Ossietsky wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:52 pm
I pity them even more....
In the presence of Ms. Holmes, it seems "sophisticated" investors become less sophisticated.

The investors duped by the Theranos fraud never asked for one important thing



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Re: Theranos- medical lab testing

#52

Post by boots » Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:40 pm

Sam the Centipede wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:49 am
Boots: i think the criticisms of Uber are not about its service but rather about its financing model. It has been pumping huge amounts of money into opening up new markets and keeping prices low so that other competitors wanting a return on their investment cannot compete.

In fact, quality of the product (decent drivers, direct routes, low fares, etc.) are part of the attempt to be numero uno.

The Uber model of transport will survive. The question is whether Uber itself will be part of that structure or will it go under as its debts accumulate?
Well now that might have some merit. But I didn't see that in the post I responded to.

Personally, I think it's a viable idea, even if Uber is overleveraged.



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Re: Theranos- medical lab testing

#53

Post by JohnPCapitalist » Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:55 pm

boots wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:40 pm
Sam the Centipede wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:49 am
Boots: i think the criticisms of Uber are not about its service but rather about its financing model. It has been pumping huge amounts of money into opening up new markets and keeping prices low so that other competitors wanting a return on their investment cannot compete.

In fact, quality of the product (decent drivers, direct routes, low fares, etc.) are part of the attempt to be numero uno.

The Uber model of transport will survive. The question is whether Uber itself will be part of that structure or will it go under as its debts accumulate?
Well now that might have some merit. But I didn't see that in the post I responded to.

Personally, I think it's a viable idea, even if Uber is overleveraged.
The general commentary about Uber that I read is that the model at current price points is unsustainable economically. The only reason that drivers think they make money is that they underestimate repair and depreciation costs on their cars. Or they overestimate local demand. I've heard stories of people leasing luxury cars to be professional Uber drivers only to have trouble meeting payments when demand isn't as big as they expected, and Uber shares none of the risk of under-utilization with the driver.

I don't know what percentage of revenue comes from "surge pricing," but it seems to me that was the major attraction to recruit drivers -- the idea that they would get more per mile in terms of high demand. The problem is that this only happens when there are insufficient drivers available to meet current demand, such as after a baseball game, during a rainstorm, etc. Over time, as more drivers get recruited, the percentage of time that surge pricing is in effect drops, and the surge rate drops. The problem is that it's a lot easier for Uber to add new drivers than it is for cabs to add new medallions in a given city. So driver's wages are easily depressed as surge premiums are ironed out. But Uber doesn't care as it gets more cars on the street and captures more business versus cabs.

The fact that Uber is subsidizing rides out of its venture funds says that they can't raise prices to get to a profitable level. Driver and car quality is not going to drive enough growth in the business to make it profitable. The old joke about "we lose money on every fare but make it up in volume" is certainly appropriate here.

Theranos is one type of fraud: the product never worked, not even in prototypes. But the type of fraud that Uber and Tesla are engaged in is still a problem, even though morally it's less severe. The product mostly works, but the business cannot ever be profitable enough to grow into the valuation assigned it by the investors who have been misled about the viability of the model.



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Re: Theranos- medical lab testing

#54

Post by TollandRCR » Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:58 pm

I am still a patron of licensed taxis. There is a testing system that Uber does not have, but it is flawed. I once had a NYC taxi driver ask me for directions to Grand Central Terminal. OTOH, I feel that the City is now behind me in a way thst Uber misses. How about insurance?


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Re: Theranos- medical lab testing

#55

Post by boots » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:42 pm

TollandRCR wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:58 pm
I am still a patron of licensed taxis. There is a testing system that Uber does not have, but it is flawed. I once had a NYC taxi driver ask me for directions to Grand Central Terminal. OTOH, I feel that the City is now behind me in a way thst Uber misses. How about insurance?
I think they carry an umbrella and require their drivers to have insurance.



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Re: Theranos- medical lab testing

#56

Post by Sterngard Friegen » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:53 pm

Apps, websites and companies that promote peer to peer relationships do little more than to allow unregulated wild west deals. It's a further degradation of service industries that provide structure and insurance. And yet another way to avoid taxation.

I think they're all a bad idea, from Uber and Lyft, to Air BNB to the horrid Turo.



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Re: Theranos- medical lab testing

#57

Post by Dan1100 » Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:28 pm

JohnPCapitalist wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:55 pm
boots wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:40 pm
Sam the Centipede wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:49 am
Boots: i think the criticisms of Uber are not about its service but rather about its financing model. It has been pumping huge amounts of money into opening up new markets and keeping prices low so that other competitors wanting a return on their investment cannot compete.

In fact, quality of the product (decent drivers, direct routes, low fares, etc.) are part of the attempt to be numero uno.

The Uber model of transport will survive. The question is whether Uber itself will be part of that structure or will it go under as its debts accumulate?
Well now that might have some merit. But I didn't see that in the post I responded to.

Personally, I think it's a viable idea, even if Uber is overleveraged.
:snippity:
Theranos is one type of fraud: the product never worked, not even in prototypes. But the type of fraud that Uber and Tesla are engaged in is still a problem, even though morally it's less severe. The product mostly works, but the business cannot ever be profitable enough to grow into the valuation assigned it by the investors who have been misled about the viability of the model.
Tesla is different. It is fair to call it a gamble, maybe even a bad gamble, but it isn't a fraud.

It isn't about the cars, it is about the batteries. The cars are just a tool to get into the battery business, corner the production capacity and own the technology when batteries make their next leap.

Now if someone else makes the next innovation and the Chinese build the capacity, then Tesla is screwed and goes out of business. But, if Tesla can make that innovation and ends up owning both the production capacity and the technology, then there will be a Tesla battery in every home, every car, every office building, and probably a bunch of airplanes too.

Elon (and people who buy his stock) may have gone all in with having to draw to an inside straight, but that doesn't make it a fraud.


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Re: Theranos- medical lab testing

#58

Post by boots » Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:23 pm

Sterngard Friegen wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:53 pm
Apps, websites and companies that promote peer to peer relationships do little more than to allow unregulated wild west deals. It's a further degradation of service industries that provide structure and insurance. And yet another way to avoid taxation.

I think they're all a bad idea, from Uber and Lyft, to Air BNB to the horrid Turo.
Far be it from me to quibble with :geezer: but have you ever tried Uber?

Also, if the service is better, and the people who use it as an income source find it better than getting a job as a cab driver, I am not sure what the big to-do is. Both are likely independent contractors; the cab drivers I speak with have to lease their cars by the day from the cab companies (not that there isn't a good wage-and-hour case lurking there for some enterprising class action firm). Both seem to have plenty of insurance for any loss.



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Re: Theranos- medical lab testing

#59

Post by Sterngard Friegen » Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:34 pm

boots wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:23 pm
Sterngard Friegen wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:53 pm
Apps, websites and companies that promote peer to peer relationships do little more than to allow unregulated wild west deals. It's a further degradation of service industries that provide structure and insurance. And yet another way to avoid taxation.

I think they're all a bad idea, from Uber and Lyft, to Air BNB to the horrid Turo.
Far be it from me to quibble with :geezer: but have you ever tried Uber?

Also, if the service is better, and the people who use it as an income source find it better than getting a job as a cab driver, I am not sure what the big to-do is. Both are likely independent contractors; the cab drivers I speak with have to lease their cars by the day from the cab companies (not that there isn't a good wage-and-hour case lurking there for some enterprising class action firm). Both seem to have plenty of insurance for any loss.
When I was looking at colleges with my daughter 4 years ago I took Uber extensively in Boston. (We also visited W4 and W2, the highlight of that part of our trip except for the visit to Hastings Hall, which brought back a lot of memories for me.) Taxicabs suck, too, but they are more regulated and bring in revenue for taxing authorities.

As for Tesla and "the batteries," there are almost 7000 slightly larger than AA batteries in each car. I do not call that progress. The Tesla interior looks like someone just gave up. And the build quality is so poor between 70-90% of the cars have to be repaired after they come off the production line. Luckily Space-X is run by rocket scientists. Tesla is run by amateurs who don't know how to make anything larger than a computer. And Musk doesn't seem to care.



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Re: Theranos- medical lab testing

#60

Post by Notorial Dissent » Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:20 am

I think the Tesla line would be better served by amateurs rather than people who think they know what they are doing as appears to be the case. As a business model, unless you have a lot of your own money you want to throw away, or more specifically someone else's, it doesn't work very well, and doesn't do anything positive for your shareholders. I have to say I thought that battery technology was something different, but then too I've never much looked in to it.


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Re: Theranos- medical lab testing

#61

Post by Whatever4 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:47 am

Sterngard Friegen wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:34 pm

When I was looking at colleges with my daughter 4 years ago I took Uber extensively in Boston. (We also visited W4 and W2, the highlight of that part of our trip except for the visit to Hastings Hall, which brought back a lot of memories for me.)
That was 4 years ago?? Good lord. :shock:

Come visit in Portland. Cheaper hotels, better food.


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Re: Theranos- medical lab testing

#62

Post by boots » Sat Jul 21, 2018 4:44 pm

Took a cab last night. $40 or thereabouts. Decent service, but it was late. Took an Uber this morning. $16, slightly shorter route. Service comparable.

:confused:



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Re: Theranos- medical lab testing

#63

Post by Sugar Magnolia » Sat Jul 21, 2018 7:49 pm

Whatever4 wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:47 am
Sterngard Friegen wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:34 pm

When I was looking at colleges with my daughter 4 years ago I took Uber extensively in Boston. (We also visited W4 and W2, the highlight of that part of our trip except for the visit to Hastings Hall, which brought back a lot of memories for me.)
That was 4 years ago?? Good lord. :shock:

Come visit in Portland. Cheaper hotels, better food.
And weird cop cars.



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Re: Theranos- medical lab testing

#64

Post by woodworker » Sat Jul 21, 2018 8:08 pm

boots wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 4:44 pm
Took a cab last night. $40 or thereabouts. Decent service, but it was late. Took an Uber this morning. $16, slightly shorter route. Service comparable.

:confused:
That lower price is probably because Uber is subsidizing your ride in order to get market share. If I'm correct, then once Uber reaches a dominant market position, it should raise rates. The problem for Uber is that the barriers to entry in that market are incredibly low, especially when demand is high, e.g., special events, restaurant row, etc. And private drivers don't have to accept fares they don't want, so if you are an Uber driver and the fare that calls you, through the app, only wants to go a short distance, you need to take it. A private driver, aka a gypsy cab, can just say no. Common practice in New York, Chicago, Boston, etc. for many years.


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Re: Theranos- medical lab testing

#65

Post by boots » Sun Jul 22, 2018 5:03 pm

woodworker wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 8:08 pm
boots wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 4:44 pm
Took a cab last night. $40 or thereabouts. Decent service, but it was late. Took an Uber this morning. $16, slightly shorter route. Service comparable.

:confused:
That lower price is probably because Uber is subsidizing your ride in order to get market share. If I'm correct, then once Uber reaches a dominant market position, it should raise rates. The problem for Uber is that the barriers to entry in that market are incredibly low, especially when demand is high, e.g., special events, restaurant row, etc. And private drivers don't have to accept fares they don't want, so if you are an Uber driver and the fare that calls you, through the app, only wants to go a short distance, you need to take it. A private driver, aka a gypsy cab, can just say no. Common practice in New York, Chicago, Boston, etc. for many years.
I'm not sure about all this. Driver last night said he had been doing it for 3 years, it made him $60k a year. Had a nice Prius he drove for it. I understand Lyft is cheaper for the consumer, and pays more to the driver, but has a similar business model. Other than that Uber/Lyft alternatives have thoroughly kicked the butt of old taxi services, because they needed their butts to be kicked for providing outdated, slow, pricey service, I am not seeing what the big to-do is about Uber. I get it, it's "uncool" and a symbol of something and all that, but it just works. If the company is over leveraged, then it's over leveraged, but that doesn't mean the idea fails. The ideal is solid.



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Re: Theranos- medical lab testing

#66

Post by ZekeB » Sun Jul 22, 2018 5:33 pm

Thorough background checks, including references, and bonding drivers. I’d like to see Uber strengthen both.


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Re: Theranos- medical lab testing

#67

Post by boots » Sun Jul 22, 2018 5:35 pm

ZekeB wrote:
Sun Jul 22, 2018 5:33 pm
Thorough background checks, including references, and bonding drivers. I’d like to see Uber strengthen both.
When people say this, I keep coming back to the kind of questionable people I see driving cabs. Maybe the situation is reversed everywhere else. But where I live, the cabbies are sketchy, the Uber drivers are "okay".



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Re: Theranos- medical lab testing

#68

Post by tek » Sun Jul 22, 2018 6:14 pm

I only have a couple datapoints on this threadjack:
1: I have a very good friend Who lives in Needham MA (just outside of Boston). He relies on Uber. He is very happy with the service. Taxis were unreliable, they might show up or not.
2: Was in NYC for the Tribeca Film Festival, one of the "neighborhood kids" had a film premiering there.. We hailed a cab to get back to GCT to catch a metro-north back to our car in Stamford, and the (young - maybe about 25, non-white) cab driver gave us the best NYC cab ride I've ever had.. he was courteous both to us and other drivers, got us there in good time.. and got a good tip and specific feedback on the ride.

All this to say, painting with a broad brush (on the service side) is dicey.

But the potential exploitation of drivers is a big problem..

Just my $0.02


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Re: Theranos- medical lab testing

#69

Post by Whatever4 » Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:25 pm

boots wrote:
Sun Jul 22, 2018 5:35 pm
ZekeB wrote:
Sun Jul 22, 2018 5:33 pm
Thorough background checks, including references, and bonding drivers. I’d like to see Uber strengthen both.
When people say this, I keep coming back to the kind of questionable people I see driving cabs. Maybe the situation is reversed everywhere else. But where I live, the cabbies are sketchy, the Uber drivers are "okay".
We have a thread for Uber, but whatever.

In Boston, cab drivers are mostly poorer immigrants as the cost of entry for drivers is pretty low. (The owner paid huge bucks for the medallion.) Most live in the poorer neighborhoods and close suburbs. They work shifts assigned to them. The dispatchers can allocate the more lucrative airport runs to their favorites. The cabs are pieces of crap unless they are individually owned. (There is an independent dispatching group for them. They are usually at cab stands rather than dispatched though.) It’s hard to make a living. From this rider’s standpoint, dispatched cabs are a waste of time. Sometimes it took 45 minutes to arrive, sometimes they forgot about me. I would call every 15 minutes to check on them.

Uber and Lyft drivers are much more entrepreneurial. They work when and what neighborhoods they want to. They can return on the app for an hour if they want to. They own their own cars which must meet certain standards. They figure out where the customers are and hang around there. I’ve had Uber drivers who lived some 50 miles away and come to town for the day. (Boston, Portland, even Central PA all do this.) Some Portland drivers even go to Boston during big events. OTOH, one Portland driver didn’t like the rush hour traffic we were sitting in so she said after she dropped me off she’d be heading for a neighboring town. I’ve had Uber drivers who only work their lunch hour and 2 hours after work. I’ve never waited more than 8 minutes in Portland, or 5 minutes in Boston. I’ve also never had to stop an Uber and get out — not the case with cabs at all. (I don’t tolerate asshole drivers.)

Uber customers are also more well-off. You need a spart phone and a credit card to use one. Cabs you can use any phone like a borrowed phone, an Obama Phone, or a direct line phone like some social services and hospitals have, where you pick up their phone and it calls a cab.


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Re: Theranos- medical lab testing

#70

Post by Gregg » Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:22 pm

Notorial Dissent wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:20 am
I think the Tesla line would be better served by amateurs rather than people who think they know what they are doing as appears to be the case. As a business model, unless you have a lot of your own money you want to throw away, or more specifically someone else's, it doesn't work very well, and doesn't do anything positive for your shareholders. I have to say I thought that battery technology was something different, but then too I've never much looked in to it.
Tesla desperately needs someone who knows how to build cars, but to tell you the truth, the word is out and no one who does know how to build cars is gonna go near the place. I know of at least two suppliers who are just waiting to buy the battery operation at the bankruptcy auction, though.


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Re: Theranos- medical lab testing

#71

Post by much ado » Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:28 pm

Gregg wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:22 pm
Notorial Dissent wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:20 am
I think the Tesla line would be better served by amateurs rather than people who think they know what they are doing as appears to be the case. As a business model, unless you have a lot of your own money you want to throw away, or more specifically someone else's, it doesn't work very well, and doesn't do anything positive for your shareholders. I have to say I thought that battery technology was something different, but then too I've never much looked in to it.
Tesla desperately needs someone who knows how to build cars, but to tell you the truth, the word is out and no one who does know how to build cars is gonna go near the place. I know of at least two suppliers who are just waiting to buy the battery operation at the bankruptcy auction, though.
So I guess some money can be made shorting Tesla?



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Re: Theranos- medical lab testing

#72

Post by Gregg » Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:48 pm

I think so, but Tesla shareholders aren't investors, they're Elon fanboies and don't care, "Elon says we're all gonna be rich" and they believe it. Like Trump voters with electric cars.

He can't make money on a Model 3 unless he loads it up with all the transactional costs he offers, even were he to make money on the cars and build 10,0000 Model 3's a week, it doesn't give him enough profit to pay off his debt. And he can't build cars. Everyone goes nuts because using tricks I'd fire managers for even trying (parking parts to jump production numbers in a surge period, for example), pushing junk off the line and calling it doen even though it needs re-work he builds 5,000 cars in a few hours over a week (and to me, 5 hours after Saturday is more than a week, I measure capacity utilization to the minute). He lost money on every one of those 5,000 cars. During the same week, our KTP plant built 10,000 trucks that we made about $25,000 each profit on, Dearborn Truck and Kansas City Assembly between them built 21,000 F-150s and we put $19,000 in tha bank on those. All this and since we run 6x10x2 shifts, the lines actually get shut down and maintained every day.

Talk to a Tesla fan and all you hear is "they have 400,000 people on their waiting list!", so fucking what, we have twice that on our "sold and delivered" list just for Super Duties every year. What's he going to do when those 400k people have one, does he have plans for a model update? New styling or features? Its taken them 15 years to make one car that's as late being delivered as a real product life cycle actually is.

Ughh,,,don't get me started on ''Elon's Car Factory Playset, by Playschool''


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Re: Theranos- medical lab testing

#73

Post by Sugar Magnolia » Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:42 pm

Gregg wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:48 pm
Talk to a Tesla fan and all you hear is "they have 400,000 people on their waiting list!", so fucking what,
And the Redskins had 200,000 people on their waitlist for season tickets too.

Maybe not.



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Re: Theranos- medical lab testing

#74

Post by Dan1100 » Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:11 pm

Gregg wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:48 pm
I think so, but Tesla shareholders aren't investors, they're Elon fanboies and don't care, "Elon says we're all gonna be rich" and they believe it. Like Trump voters with electric cars.

:snippity:
Ughh,,,don't get me started on ''Elon's Car Factory Playset, by Playschool''
But don't hold back. Tell us how you really feel.


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Re: Theranos- medical lab testing

#75

Post by Gregg » Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:14 pm

I'm sorry, building cars (actually I build transmissions) is what I've pretty much devoted my life to, and if I do say so myself, I'm pretty damn good at it. I'm a little more than halfway into a project to lay down a new product manufacturing system overtop of an existing one without disrupting the first and with no excuses when a deadline comes up. I miss a deadline, I shut down a plant that makes money more efficiently than he Bureau of Engraving and Printing and if that were to happen, aside from my swift and sure professional death I'd be screwing up the lives of 10,000 or more people. Elon just gets cheers for how close he came.

The fact is, the Big 3 could do everything Tesla is doing or planning to do as far as building cars goes, but we don't because its not yet profitable to do it. When the technology matures, and when the market grows, you can bet your boots we'll start popping them out as efficiently as we build ICE cars now. Tesla has about 15 ''bet the company" bets laid on right now, you maybe can do that with a tech start-up but not a 115 year old company with 200,000 employees.

And like I said, Elon doesn't want people who know what we're doing, because he wants to show us all how much smarter he is. Which doesn't matter, because no one who knows how to do it well is going to go work for a hyperactive child with the attention span of a gnat who won't listen to advice.

When Tesla goes bankrupt, start looking at the cash positions of companies like Magna, Delphi, Johnson Controls, Bosch and Dupont. These are the companies that are going to buy what's left of Tesla and any good ideas they had will get integrated into all the major car companies, spreading the risk, reward and costs.


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