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Comment: Re:Does the math work out? (Score 1) 153

by ShanghaiBill (#46799981) Attached to: Why Tesla Really Needs a Gigafactory

Doesn't something like a Honda Civic cost a dealer 13-14k factory and the sell around 19k retail?

Only a dufus pays the sticker price. You can find dozens of crowd sourced websites that will tell you exactly what the "real" price is.

Many people but at the lowest priced dealer and don't come back to be upsold on other stuff.

They don't have to make money on every customer. They just have to make money on average. I bought a new mini-van last summer. I negotiated hard and got them to accept a low ball offer. Then my wife started adding on custom floor mats, a sun roof, in-dash GPS, backup camera, etc. The salesperson's smile just got wider and wider.

Comment: Re:Does the math work out? (Score 3, Insightful) 153

by ShanghaiBill (#46799911) Attached to: Why Tesla Really Needs a Gigafactory

Your savings will amount to the supplier's profit margin

You also avoid transaction costs, and guarantee availability.

There's a reason most bakers don't grow their own wheat and mill their own flour.

Wheat and flour and widely available commodities. Car batteries are not (yet) commodities, and are often sole sourced. If all the wheat in the world was grown by a single giant ag-corp, then it might make sense for a baker to grown his own.

Comment: Re:Just another facet of post 'Citizens United' US (Score 5, Insightful) 183

by ShanghaiBill (#46799855) Attached to: Google and Facebook: Unelected Superpowers?

Some of thse billionaires lean right, like the Koch brothers, and some don't like Google's owners.

Google's owners lean right, but talk left. Like many other tech companies, they donate to liberal advocacy groups, while using tax shelters to shift their profits overseas. They are all for big liberal government programs as long as some else pays for them. The only difference between Google's owners and the Koch brothers, is that with Google you get an extra layer of hypocrisy.

Comment: Re:Not at all (Score 4, Informative) 159

by ShanghaiBill (#46799043) Attached to: Obama Delays Decision On Keystone Pipeline Yet Again

Every action that increases the cost of gasoline decreases the consumption.

Oil has a very flat demand curve. When the price doubled from $2 to $4 per gallon, demand went down about 3%. In the long run, people will buy more efficient cars and change their commuting patterns, but in the short run most people have no choice but to just suck it up and pay.

America produces most, but not all, of the oil it consumes. The oil companies make WAY more profit on domestically produced oil, because foreign governments capture most of the profit on their oil exports. If demand drops due to higher prices, the oil companies import less foreign oil (the least profitable) and make a windfall on domestic oil.

Comment: Re:Irrelevant... (Score 3, Interesting) 159

by ShanghaiBill (#46798995) Attached to: Obama Delays Decision On Keystone Pipeline Yet Again

What the anti oil people have failed to grasp is that they're making the oil companies rich at everyone else's expense.

This is not about facts. It is about a litmus test of ideological purity. Like spotted owls and SDI, it has taken on so much symbolic importance as a political dog fight that the underlying facts no longer matter at all.

Comment: Re:Why do these people always have something to hi (Score 4, Insightful) 339

by ShanghaiBill (#46790053) Attached to: VA Supreme Court: Michael Mann Needn't Turn Over All His Email

Odd to see someone arguing on Slashdot in favor of publicly funded academic research being kept from the public.

Nobody is arguing for that. His private emails are not "publicly funded academic research". Publicly funded researchers should be required to publish their data and research results. They should not have to give up their private lives.

Comment: Re:Ummm... (Score 1) 149

by ShanghaiBill (#46789731) Attached to: Investors Value Yahoo's Core Business At Less Than $0

And this is why we don't call this math... but rather "making shit up" to get money out of people.

These prices are determined in a free market for equities (anyone can buy and sell, and transaction costs are minimal). If you think you are "smarter than the market", then you are free to buy leveraged options and monetize your vastly superior intellect. After you have done so, please come back and post a picture of your new yacht.

Comment: Re:Cheap cooling (Score 2) 328

by ShanghaiBill (#46789523) Attached to: Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

People will go where the work is, whether they like it or not.

Tech unemployment is below 4%. We can afford to be choosy. I live in San Jose, CA, which has the best schools and the lowest crime of any big city in America. Today it is 72F, with clear blue skies, and tomorrow will be the same. I wouldn't move to Detroit if you tripled my salary.

Comment: Re:FLYOVER (Score 5, Funny) 328

by ShanghaiBill (#46789399) Attached to: Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

Just wait till the next shoe drops on California and your water bill hits $600 a month

Get rid of your lawn, and you can cut that by 90%. I replaced my lawn with a cactus garden.

unless of course you are poor and then they subside that so no one dies of thirst.

Water subsidies go to rich farmers, not poor people.

Now get off my cacti.

Comment: Re:Ummm... (Score 4, Informative) 149

by ShanghaiBill (#46788327) Attached to: Investors Value Yahoo's Core Business At Less Than $0

they rely don't think there is such a premium.

Or the board members are more interested in keeping their jobs than in representing the interests of the shareholders. Right now, Mayer is considered a genius for doubling Yahoo's stock price. But if she spun off the holdings, it would be much more obvious that the price run-up was due to factors beyond her control, and that the core business, that she does control, has plummeted in value. It is in her interest to keep the merry-go-round spinning.

I am not surprised that the core business has lost value. I used to use several Yahoo services, but now use none. They all got so bad, they were no longer usable. Here are some specific examples:

1. movies.yahoo.com - I used to be able to go to this page, type in my zip-code, and see play times for theaters near my house. Then they changed the algorithm. Now it takes the zip-code, uses it to locate the center of the nearest large city, and shows the play times for the theaters closest to that point. I have no idea why they made this change, or what idiot thought it was a good idea.
2. news.yahoo.com - I had this configured to show news articles that I was interested in. Then they changed the interface so that all my custom configurations are gone, and instead I see articles about Kim Kardasian and Justin Beiber.
3. mail.yahoo.com - The mail interface has always been horrible, but it has worsened. They have always lacked sub-folders, and still do. So I can have a folder for "Friends", but cannot create sub-folders inside for each friend. So I can either have hundreds of folders at the top level, or file semi-related emails together. When Yahoo mail first started, I emailed them and asked about this. They replied that lots of people asked for sub-folders, and it was a "top priority". Now, 15 years and 14 thousand employees later, still no sub-folders. But at least I used to be able to narrow the "Search Mail" feature to a particular folder. That no longer works. It will now search ALL of my mail, mixing the needle I am looking for with plenty of unrelated hay.

Comment: Re:Ummm... (Score 5, Informative) 149

by ShanghaiBill (#46787479) Attached to: Investors Value Yahoo's Core Business At Less Than $0

9 + 40 = 13? Since when?

Let me explain the math: Yahoo has a market cap of about $40B. Yahoo's stakes in Alibaba and Yahoo-Japan are worth a combined $53B. So the $-13B is the value of Yahoo's core business. If they liquidate or spin off the holdings, that would generate $53B in cash, which could be returned to shareholders. Then, even if the stock price drops to zero (it cannot go lower), $13B in value has been created.

Disclaimer: I am aware that the numbers in the summary and the numbers in TFA don't actually match up.

Comment: Re:Shame this happened (Score 1) 136

by ShanghaiBill (#46787385) Attached to: Plant Breeders Release 'Open Source Seeds'

Just to clarify. The lawsuit that I'm aware of entailed a farmer using roundup on his field and discovering that some things didn't die.

The farmer was Percy Schmeiser. He intentionally isolated and reused Monsanto's "Roundup-Ready" seeds, over several years, and openly admitted doing so. There was a documentary about him, that got nearly all the facts completely wrong, thus leading to many misconceptions. It is funny that this guy turned into a poster child for the anti-GMO movement.

Soon this particular issue will be moot. Glyphosate, the herbicide in Roundup, is already off patent, and many of the "Roundup-Ready" seeds go off patent next year.

Comment: Re:Just one more reason (Score 3, Insightful) 256

by ShanghaiBill (#46785501) Attached to: Criminals Using Drones To Find Cannabis Farms and Steal Crops

... to legalize and regulate.

That is unlikely to happen in Britain. Politicians won't legalize it because there are too many special interest groups that want to keep the status quo of the endless "War on Drugs" and all the money that flows into it. In America, it has only been legalized in states with citizen referendums, so the politicians were bypassed.

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