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Comment: I'd put a 'may' there (Score 4, Insightful) 33

by Trepidity (#49360371) Attached to: Taxpayer Subsidies To ULA To End

political pressure is now pushing them hard to open up bidding to multiple companies, which in turn will help lower cost and save the taxpayer money

That's certainly a possible outcome, and hopefully the one we will see, but I think it's a bit optimistic to say that it will do this. It may do that, but a new contract process may also be a total clusterfuck, depending on how it's structured and overseen. The Air Force might get twice as good things for half the price, or it might get something that doesn't work for half the price, or four things that sort of work for twice the price.

Comment: Re:homeowner fail (Score 3, Informative) 532

My realtor didn't like it because it was an "unusual" offer, but I said it was a contract and I could put any conditions in it I wanted - the seller just had to agree (and did).

Fwiw with real estate this is tricky; not every contract rider is allowed in every jurisdiction, and some may be allowed but cause complexities. Not saying this particular one wasn't allowed in yours, but you can't generally assume that you can write anything you want into a real-estate transaction and not end up with problems.

Comment: Re: Invisible hand (Score 1) 532

If the prices were set near cost, that might be a reasonable excuse, but Comcast prices have ballooned much faster than inflation. They also charge much more than is typical for broadband in other countries where the cables are municipally owned and rented out to ISPs. Yet they still can't make a profit even with their absurd $60+/mo packages?

Comment: Re:Buy american only. (Score 3, Insightful) 108

by Trepidity (#49325957) Attached to: IBM Will Share Tech With China To Help Build IT Industry There

I think IBM probably realizes that, but hopes to make money in the medium-term anyway. If a pro-China strategy gets them into the Chinese market for the next 10-15 years, they could profit significantly. If that results in their Chinese partners eventually taking over their business and nudging them out, well, in 10-15 years someone else will be CEO, and that's their problem.

A lot of petrochemical firms are doing similar things. When Dupont goes into a joint venture with a Chinese firm to build a plastics facility, there are not many illusions about is going to happen to the technology: the JV partner will stay with Dupont for a few facilities until they develop enough skill in the tech to do it on their own, then subsequently will start building its own plants without Dupont.

Comment: Re:And now why this can not be done in the USofA (Score 3, Insightful) 316

I think in the U.S.'s current situation it's hard to find things that even more moderate people would accept that are still big enough to produce a significant change in energy. A big hydro installation is really big, and typically requires flooding an absolutely massive area. China can pull off something like the Three Gorges project because it's heavily central planned and controls dissent, but I don't think you could get that to fly in the U.S., even if the major environmental groups disappeared tomorrow. Heck even something the size of the Hoover Dam is not that palatable to many people anymore.

Maybe if it were really in the middle of nowhere, like damming up a river in Alaska, than the average person would be fine with it, and you'd have only environmentalists opposing it. But energy transmission is expensive, so damming rivers in Alaska isn't very cost-effective.

Comment: Re:Running only Windows on a Mac (Score 5, Informative) 208

by Trepidity (#49311289) Attached to: For Boot Camp Users, New Macs Require Windows 8 Or Newer

The base $799 model also comes with less SSD space and a slower processor. That may or may not matter for you, but is worth looking at. For me 64GB of space (what the entry-level Surface Pro 3 has) is getting to be tight.

To get a rough spec equivalent to the MacBook Air, which comes with an i5 CPU, 128GB SSD, and a keyboard, you have to spend about $1100 on the Surface Pro 3, which is a bit pricier than the $899 MacBook Air.

The beer-cooled computer does not harm the ozone layer. -- John M. Ford, a.k.a. Dr. Mike

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