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Comment: Amazon isn't out of expansion area (Score 1) 166

by Animats (#47533631) Attached to: Amazon's Ambitious Bets Pile Up, and Its Losses Swell

Amazon isn't out of expansion area. Their target is all of retail, and there's still a lot of non-Amazon retail. Most other big US companies with lots of cash have hit their natural limits.

Trying to go beyond those limits is tough. Google has not been successful in expanding beyond ads. (Android only makes money as an ad platform; Google's phone revenue is small.) Apple has a lot of cash, but can't find any way to use it that will yield the kind of margins Apple is used to. Facebook is still growing, but again, it's all ads.

There's only so much ad spending in the world, and the ad-based companies are all fighting over the same pot. There's more room to grow when your business model is "sell everything".

Comment: There is a definition (Score 1) 3

by smitty_one_each (#47529585) Attached to: niwdoG
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law

"As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1"— that is, if an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Hitler or Nazism.

I think calling someone a Nazi lands somewhere between lame and tasteless.
Help me out: how does pointing out that a symbol is an acronym comprised of other symbols, e.g. . . .

. . .constitute labeling comparing you to anything? The only thing you were encouraged to own (that is, acknowledge) was the literal presence of the symbol "Socialism" in the acronyms of both a political party and a country. Milady, thou dost protest too much, methinks. But that, at least, is in character.

Comment: Re:I by no means missed the point (Score 1) 30

by smitty_one_each (#47529567) Attached to: Funniest /. article in a while
If you did not writer this reply below on the page, at least take this as constructive feedback:

Well, every time you (and not just you, but a lot of conservative Christians) protest against the Left or Progressives or wish somebody go after Obama or Congress or the Feds for all the illegal shit they do (and I'm not saying they aren't doing it), you are not following the Lord's word to turn the other cheek.

Some principles of Biblical analysis are:
(a) take the whole counsel of God, that is, every principle you draw should be in harmony with the rest of it, and you shouldn't be cherry-picking lone bits, merely because they seem to make a convenient point,
(b) take every utterance in context, the full who/what/where/when/why/how.
And so (you) make a good point that running around being vengeful is not in keeping with much of any of the positive message of the Word.
Also not in keeping: being a doormat, or tolerating injustice.
Is your opinion of the Bible and its teachings so simplistic and bloody-minded that you think, as a logical consequence, it should render human beings as doormats?

Comment: Re:Best Wishes ! (Score 1) 318

by mrchaotica (#47526937) Attached to: Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

MSDOS also worked perfectly adequately as the centerpiece of Windows 95 and 98.

On the contrary, Win9x crashed all the damn time (and mostly due to the reasons I mentioned: lack of memory protection, etc.) and caught viruses more easily than an immune-compromised crack whore. NT was much better, if you were lucky enough that all your software and hardware was compatible with it.

Oddly enough Microsoft's stock price stopped rising about the time that NT started to replace Windows 9. And the rather widespread dislike of Microsoft started about that time. Just coincidence, I'm sure

Yeah, actually, it was! The stock quit rising and everybody started to hate Microsoft because of everything they did except Windows NT:

  • Instead of targeting Windows 2000 to home users as well as business users, they released the buggy, terrible abortion that was "Windows ME" (the last DOS-based, non-NT Windows version)
  • They were fucking up the entire Internet by forcing Internet Explorer on everyone (this was when the only other choice was Netscape -- Mozilla was barely starting and Firefox didn't exist yet). It was so egregious that even the US government investigated them for anti-trust violations, for crying out loud!
  • They were diversifying into a whole bunch of unprofitable new areas, notably Xbox and assorted failed web stuff.

Even at the time, Windows 2000 was considered to be the greatest thing (or at least, least-terrible thing) Microsoft had ever made. If you ask people today, they'd say XP is best, mostly because fewer people used 2000 (because it didn't get marketed to home users) and because people started appreciating XP more once they had Vista to compare it to.

You're the only person I've ever heard of who liked DOS-based Windows better than NT.

Comment: Re:Best Wishes ! (Score 1) 318

by mrchaotica (#47525853) Attached to: Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

All other things being equal, I would probably go with NT. But all other things don't seem to be so equal. MSDOS was simple and ran well on minimal hardware. NT isn't simple and doesn't seem to run all that well on slow CPUs.

MSDOS certainly was simple: it was 16-bit, it lacked preemptive multitasking, and each program was limited to 64kB of memory (that other processes were not prevented from overwriting)!

We have a couple of EEE PCs around the house running XT and Windows 7. They are both terminally slow.

Before, you were talking about the mid-90s (i.e., NT vs Windows 3.1 or 95). Other than compatibility with legacy DOS stuff, it's hard to argue that 3.1 or 95 was better than NT 3.5 or 4.0 in any way whatsoever.

Your problems with Windows XP or 7 on EEE PCs is not due to the NT architecture, but rather all the shit Microsoft piled on top of it. If Windows 2000 had the drivers, your EEE PCs would do better with it.

Comment: Re:Advantages? (Score 2) 134

by mrchaotica (#47525715) Attached to: Comcast Carrying 1Tbit/s of IPv6 Internet Traffic

Do you really expect the average user to know about IPs, ports, TCP/UDP etc.? That's not very realistic.

No, I expect users who want to run services that listen on ports (which makes them not "average!") to know about those things.

I don't agree that a safe alternative is impossible - there's no magic power that packets have to hack a computer. Any failings are due to poorly written software.

It's even less realistic to expect software -- especially the crap software the "average user" uses by default -- to become any less poorly written in the near future.

Comment: Re:Advantages? (Score 1) 134

by mrchaotica (#47524961) Attached to: Comcast Carrying 1Tbit/s of IPv6 Internet Traffic

The problem with that is how many home users know how to configure the firewall? There are legitimate reasons to have incoming connections.

And if your use case includes one of those legitimate reasons, then it's your responsibility to know enough about security to configure the firewall. It is fundamentally impossible for there to be a safe alternative to this!

Comment: Re:STEM is the new liberal arts degree (Score 1) 169

by mrchaotica (#47524099) Attached to: For Half, Degrees In Computing, Math, Or Stats Lead To Other Jobs

Even as (currently) a business web app programmer, the more mathematical/theoretical parts of my CS education come in handy from time to time for things like understanding why our decimal and/or floating-point calculations were coming out wrong or rounding funny when such things mystified my much more experienced coworkers.

Comment: Re:Windows key (Score 1) 318

by mrchaotica (#47523587) Attached to: Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

Okay, I'll concede that if you have an old keyboard (like a Model M) it's possible that it could be good and not have a Windows(ish) key. However, even new Model M reproductions have one these days.

I work in a Windows-based shop where it's an important rule to lock your computer whenever you walk away from your desk, so I've gotten into the habit of using winkey + L to do it... otherwise, I only tend to hit that key on accident.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"

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