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Comment: Re:Why can't it be both? (Score 4, Insightful) 362

by Fulminata (#47020615) Attached to: Should Tesla Make Batteries Instead of Electric Cars?
I actually understand his point. If Tesla just makes batteries for other companies, then they don't see Tesla as competition. If Tesla's also producing cars, then they are far less likely to do business with them regardless of how good their batteries are.

It's still a terrible idea. For the most part, the other car companies won't innovate unless they have competition. Tesla is far more likely to create real change by existing as a car company than they are by existing as a parts company.

Comment: Re:Customers may benefit... maybe (Score 5, Interesting) 455

by Fulminata (#46601625) Attached to: Wal-Mart Sues Visa For $5 Billion For Rigging Card Swipe Fees
Wal-Mart competes primarily on the illusion of price through loss leaders on a minority of items. The majority of their stock is actually the same or more expensive than many of their competitors. The company's actual strengths are logistics and marketing.

Comment: Re:ObamaCare is a Horrific Debacle (Score 0) 162

by Fulminata (#46524779) Attached to: Ex-Head of Troubled Health Insurance Site May Sue, Citing 'Cover-Up'
Whatever the validity, or lack thereof, of the rest of the post, I have to love the beauty of this self-fulfilling Catch 22 statement:

"As far as I can tell, ObamaCare has not a single defender outside the ranks of Obama's defenders and the Democratic Party."

Let me guess, how can you tell if someone is an "Obama defender?": they defend "ObamaCare!"

Comment: Re:Journalists Cannot Cover Tech (Score 2) 117

by Fulminata (#45964197) Attached to: Khosla, Romm Fire Back At '60 Minutes' Cleantech Exposé
It's not just tech. TV journalism in general, and 60 Minutes in particular, gets it wrong all the time. 60 Minutes is notorious for going into every story knowing what their conclusion is going to be from the beginning and then framing and editing every second of their coverage to support that pre-determined conclusion.

This isn't something new. Before I got into the tech industry I worked in insurance for a major US retailer back in the 90s. While there, 60 Minutes did an "expose" on the dangers of shopping carts. Lots of discussion of people and children hurt around shopping carts, but not one word about now 99%+ of those accidents are a result of people stupidly using carts in ways they weren't intended to be used. Pointing that out would have gone against the narrative they were trying to construct about how inherently dangerous shopping carts were.

The truly amazing thing to me is that so many people can see journalists routinely get things wrong about subjects those people are personally knowledgeable on, yet still trust those same journalists on any other topic they cover.

Comment: Re:IF..... (Score 3, Interesting) 243

by Fulminata (#42998631) Attached to: Napster: the Day the Music Was Set Free
The one time I don't have mod points...

This was similar to my experience. I bought about an album a month before Napster, while Napster was around I bought at least an album a week, and after it went away I dropped back to about two albums a year. I'm now back to buying the equivalent of about an album every other month through iTunes.

So, a decade later and I'm still spending a lot less money with them than I was when Napster was around. Multiply that by everyone else who acted in similar ways, and it's not so hard to determine the real reason for their declining income.

Comment: Re:Tyranny of the majority (Score 4, Insightful) 642

by Fulminata (#42929621) Attached to: The US Redrawn As 50 Equally Populated States
It was not designed to produce a two-party state. There's a great deal of evidence (for example, Federalist Paper #10) that many of the designers of the Constitution were, in fact, trying to create a non-partisan system. Unfortunately, with few real-world examples to take lessons from, they did not see how the system they were designing would inevitably lead to a two-party state.

It's no accident that most democracies to be founded after the United States have chosen not to directly copy its system of government.

Comment: Re:Too bad (Score 2) 70

by Fulminata (#42876573) Attached to: Philippine Cybercrime Law Put On Indefinite Hold
Most of the sex cam sites house nothing but women trying to make a living. Some of them do indeed claim more hardship than they actually have in order to entice western men to send them even more money than they already paid for the sex show (usually around $1 a minute, of which the women get 25 to 50 cents at most).

Western men who get "scammed" this way are usually out a couple hundred bucks at the very most. Women legitimately looking for a husband who get scammed by western men just looking for sex often find themselves having lost their virginity in a Catholic country where that is still incredibly important.

The alternative to sex cam sites for these women is often actual prostitution. A far more dangerous occupation. It's telling that the penalties under this law were an order of magnitude higher for sex cam work than they are for prostitution. Makes you wonder what the real agenda for the law's backers was?

"sometimes they want shows in Skype, you pay by Paypal etc but the show you get will not be what you paid for"

Really? Let me guess, you paid for the girl to have sex with her underage sister, and all she did was show you her tits? Cry me a river. Most of these women are from the poorest families in a poor country. Making their quota on cam can determine whether or not they eat that day. If you're so worried about getting your money's worth, then just stick to the main sites rather than setting up private shows on Skype.

I'd like to see these women have better alternatives to working the cam sites, not forced to go into even more degrading work because the law created outrageous penalties.

Comment: Re:GO UNIONS! (Score 4, Informative) 674

by Fulminata (#42004295) Attached to: Hostess To Close; No More Twinkies
They were probably thinking about previous concessions they'd made only to see that money go to executive bonuses and attorney's fees instead of the capital improvements that the money was supposed to be spent on.

They were probably also thinking of the 300% pay raise that the CEO gave himself while preparing for bankruptcy, along with the lesser raises other executives got at the same time.

I'm still not convinced this was a smart move on the part of the Union, but I can certainly understand what they were thinking!

Comment: Re:Cybersex? (Score 3, Interesting) 103

by Fulminata (#41551397) Attached to: Philippines' Cybercrime Law Makes SOPA Look Reasonable
The Philippines is one of the last countries in the world where the Catholic Church has a dominant voice in politics, so laws attempting to enforce morality are a fairly common thing. For example, it's one of the only countries in the world where divorce is illegal. As a result, many couples today either don't get married in the first place, or else are in a long term live-in relationship with someone while still being married to someone else.

Cybersex in the Philippines was already legally considered to be a form of prostitution before this law was passed. Now it would appear that the punishment for getting naked on a webcam will be harsher than that for having actual sex for pay, which will only serve to drive women away from the relatively safe jobs involving cybersex and into the more dangerous work of actual prostitution.

Just how much more severe is the punishment for cybersex? The fine for prostitution is 200 to 2,000 pesos. The fine for cybersex is 200,000 to 1,000,000 pesos. Average annual family income in the Philippines is 206,000 pesos as of 2009.

"An open mind has but one disadvantage: it collects dirt." -- a saying at RPI