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Comment: Re:Overkill much... (Score 1) 207

by Just Some Guy (#47893929) Attached to: SanDisk Releases 512GB SD Card

I guess there's a niche for this since they made it, but I kinda fail to see the target market, unless it's the "give me the biggest and best you got" crowd.

I can imagine plenty of uses for this in automated systems such as video system or other data gatherer. And even if it's to be used to record manually-triggered output, there's much to be said for the concept of "so much freaking storage that I can pay for this once and never have to think about it again over the lifetime of the equipment I'm using it with".

Comment: Re:Fahrenheit? WTHolyF? (Score 2) 207

by Just Some Guy (#47893877) Attached to: SanDisk Releases 512GB SD Card

Were you dropped on your head as a child? Quoth the wiki:

In 1848 Lord Kelvin (William Thomson), wrote in his paper, On an Absolute Thermometric Scale, of the need for a scale whereby "infinite cold" (absolute zero) was the scale's null point, and which used the degree Celsius for its unit increment.

Celsius degrees came before Kelvin units.

Comment: Re:Double-edged sword (Score 2) 108

by Just Some Guy (#47893529) Attached to: Software Patents Are Crumbling, Thanks To the Supreme Court

That would be true if you could come up with good ideas (not bad or average ones) easily and cheaply, but you can't. You can work as hard as you want, but there's no guarantee you will come up with a good idea.

Pfft - I came up with seven mind-blowingly awesome ideas before breakfast. The problem is that each would take several programmer-years to implement, so there's an enormously high risk:reward ratio for each.

People don't copy other ideas because it's too hard to come up with their own good ones. They copy ideas because those ideas have already been vetted and proven viable in the marketplace (whether of ideas or of cash revenue).

Comment: You are the vendor, not the product (Score 1) 287

by sjbe (#47889015) Attached to: German Court: Google Must Stop Ignoring Customer E-mails

You're not the customer. You're the product.

That's not correct either logically or from an accounting perspective. The opposite of customer is not product. The opposite of customer is vendor. Every transaction has two and only two parties. If you aren't the customer then you are the vendor for that transaction. Unless you plan to go into slavery the product isn't you. The product is data about you. What that makes you is the vendor of the product. Google "buys" this data in exchange for IT services and they then sell the data to advertising customers. In that transaction chain Google buys from you and that is how you appear on Google's financial statements - as a supplier, not a customer.

Comment: Vendor not Customer (Score 1) 287

by sjbe (#47888975) Attached to: German Court: Google Must Stop Ignoring Customer E-mails

The user's relationship with Gmail does involve payment in the form of consideration, and they are customers.

That doesn't make them necessarily a customer for that transaction. As far as Google is concerned they are vendors because Google "pays" users via an in-kind exchange of services for data which they then sell to their customers for cash. In that transaction chain the user is properly considered a vendor to Google and that is how they would show up on Google's financial statements. In that transaction Google would be your customer rather than the other way around.

Comment: You are a vendor in that transaction (Score 1) 287

by sjbe (#47888957) Attached to: German Court: Google Must Stop Ignoring Customer E-mails

Sure they are customers. They are paying with their personal data, which Google hords and then sells to third parties.

That makes you a vendor/supplier rather than a customer. Google "buys" your data with an in-kind exchange for IT services and then they sell it to advertisers. You aren't a customer, you are a vendor in that transaction chain.

Comment: You are a vendor to slashdot (Score 4, Informative) 287

by sjbe (#47888939) Attached to: German Court: Google Must Stop Ignoring Customer E-mails

Of course I'm one of slashdot's customers. Slashdot would be out of business if we (the customers) stopped coming to their website.

I'm an accountant.

Unless you are sending cash to slashdot, your relationship to them is most accurately described as that of a vendor or a supplier if you prefer that term. You provide data to slashdot in exchange for entertainment which is a form of in-kind exchange. Slashdot then uses that data to sell advertising to their paying customers. From an accounting perspective by providing this forum to you, you would be on slashdot's books as either Cost of Goods Sold or more likely some kind of Operating Expense. This effectively makes you a vendor to them, not a customer because they don't sell you anything.

It can get a little murkier if you have a paid subscription but they still advertise to you because then you become both a customer and a vendor. Which you are depends on the transaction in question. Logically it would make sense to have the subscription be treated as a contra-expense because then you don't have to have this dual relationship. But it's more likely that they would book it as income and have the user on the books as both a customer and (indirectly) as a vendor.

Comment: Users are generally vendors not customers (Score 2) 287

by sjbe (#47888829) Attached to: German Court: Google Must Stop Ignoring Customer E-mails

A customer is someone who receives a service from a company, even if the (monetary) price for that service is zero.

That doesn't make you a customer. That makes you a charity recipient.

In any case the general relationship between Google users (as opposed to paying advertising clients) is that the user is properly thought of as a vendor or supplier. We supply data to Google in exchange for in-kind services (email, search etc) which Google then turns into a product which they sell to their paying customers. Customers are people who pay you and vendors are people you pay. Google "pays" users for their data with online services which is a sort of barter really. They then process that data into a product they can sell to their customers which generally are advertisers.

What sometimes confuses people is that Google also sells IT services (like data storage or corporate email) but what that simply means is that someone can be both a vendor and a customer depending on the specific transaction. This is perfectly normal. It's not at all uncommon for companies to sell stuff to each other and have both a vendor relationship and a customer relationship but they can be only one or the other for a given transaction. The key distinction to determine whether they are the vendor or customer is (generally) the direction of the cash flow for the particular transaction in question. In cases in-kind exchanges its a little fuzzier so you have to look at what they do with the item received.

Comment: Microsoft vs Apple (Score 4, Insightful) 351

by Just Some Guy (#47884627) Attached to: Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows

Microsoft decides that it's in their best interest for all customers to use identical UIs, so they make Metro the standard interface on phones, video game systems, tablets, desktops, and servers. Apple decides that it's in their customers' best interest for products to have similar but individualized UIs, so they create tailored interfaces for tiny, small, and large displays.

That, in a nutshell, is the difference between the two companies (and why Apple is eating Microsoft's lunch in every category where they directly compete).

Comment: Comparing eras (Score 1) 290

by sjbe (#47884543) Attached to: Link Between Salt and High Blood Pressure 'Overstated'

All we need are dissection records or dissection of well-preserved corpses from the era, so as to examine the state of organs.

The few remaining corpses of people 100+ years dead will most likely not give you the information you seek. There simply is not enough material remaining even among that which is well preserved to make authoritative claims regarding entire populations. At best we might get some hints and get some limited insight but there will be pretty sharp limits on making serious comparisons. Furthermore, I don't know how much time you've spend working with medical records but I've spent a lot of time with them in my professional life. Even modern medical records can be pretty bad. Medical records from 100+ years ago are very difficult to glean useful information from in a lot of cases. Not saying it can't be done but our understanding of medicine has advanced rather a lot since then.

Finding the source material is difficult.

That's putting it mildly. It's an interesting project you propose but you seem to be making it sound much easier than it is. That is a very challenging study.

Comment: That is why we test hypothesis (Score 1) 290

by sjbe (#47884251) Attached to: Link Between Salt and High Blood Pressure 'Overstated'

But it does help with water retention, right? And you would imagine that as the body retained more water it would become generally more pressurised?

That doesn't automatically mean that it affects mortality or patient outcomes. The human body is complicated. Just because it seems logical doesn't mean it actually is a problem.

Comment: Misinterpreted correlations and fads (Score 1) 290

by sjbe (#47884203) Attached to: Link Between Salt and High Blood Pressure 'Overstated'

That has given us margarine (plastic for your body), high carbohydrate diets loaded with wheat gluten, and the result is massive obesity - and all the concomitant health issues.

There is no causal link known between gluten and the obesity epidemic. Gluten sensitivity appear to be merely the latest in a long string of fads jumped on by people who are hypochondriacs as the demand for gluten free products has hugely exceeded known affected population. While there are a relatively small number of people with coeliac disease and other sensitivities, there is no (credible) published evidence that avoiding gluten has any benefit for most people or that it is a primary driver in the current obesity epidemic.

You NEED a good amount of cholesterol for a healthy nervous system, and avoiding eggs and cholesterol containing foods in general is thought to be responsible for the increase in Alzheimer's disease, among other issues.

That is little more than a hypothesis. We do not know with any certainty what causes Alzheimer's disease. Anyone who claims we do is selling something or confused. We are learning lots about it but we do not fully understand the disease process. There may be a correlation regarding eggs and cholesterol but the studies simply haven't been done to establish any sort of causal link in the disease process.

Furthermore you might consider linking to the source material you cite rather than an editorial in a random non-peer reviewed website that refers negatively to statin drugs as "mainstream medicine". That is not what I would consider an unbiased or credible source and it casts your argument in a worse light than it probably deserves.

When you are working hard, get up and retch every so often.