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Comment: Re:It's sad (Score 2) 413

by vux984 (#48022011) Attached to: Google To Require As Many As 20 of Its Apps Preinstalled On Android Devices

In this instance, the more Google succeeds, the better the products are.

Hardly. I like Android. But I'm not such a big fan of Google.

The play store being installed is fine, and I'd actively like maps installed.

I readily accept that the phone should come with email and a browser but I prefer other browsers to chrome and actively despise the gmail app. So I'd like to be able to easily remove both once I've got something else in place.

I also have no use for hangouts, or google+, play newstand, and I'm not even sure what the other 10+ bloatware apps I've failed to think of entirely would be.

Plus I prefer the samsung calendar app to the google one. So the "bloatware" isn't all bloatware. And if google forces google apps including specifying their placement then that kills oems ability to innovate and differentiate.

For example, I don't want to say "ok google" for voice. The phrase itself irritates me -- but above that I don't want to talk to google. I want to talk to my phone, and I don't want my voice requests to be sent to google as a matter of course. So I'm in the market for alternative voice option that run locally, don't need to talk to google, and won't talk to google unless i specifically ask it to find something in google maps or to do a google search.

So no, the more google succeeds the more like an iphone the products are. If I wanted an iphone, I'd have bought one.

Comment: Re:It doesn't take a genius (Score 2) 113

by vux984 (#48016091) Attached to: Mystery Gamer Makes Millions Moving Markets In Japan

You guys make it sound like making millions in the stock market is dead simple. All your posts are missing is a link to an ebook that tell you all the secrets.

Its not dead simple at all I know this, and there aren't really any real secrets either. The point stands that if someone beats the market by a lot its probably more luck than brains.

Its like blackjack or poker. The people who 'win' are generally good players, understand the game, are disciplined, etc. I'm sure this guy is all of these things. But winning big? Its just luck. Every trade is a calculated risk -- and probability theory dictates that if you have a bunch of traders all doing this, some will break even, some will lose it all, and some will win big... even if they all play EXACTLY as well as each other. Its just math.

In fact, day trading as a profession is a fanscinating selection bias -- as some of them lose they stop trading so the ones that are still doing it are the ones who haven't lost yet so any survey of the field at any time is mostly people who are "doing ok or better". (Because anyone doing poorly has had to dropped out.)

Of course some are better at it than others, and the ones who aren't good at it are more likely to lose and be forced to drop. So the ones still doing it are at least 'good at it'. And as I said, I don't doubt that this person is good at it. But spectacular success is as much luck as anything.

To put it another way...

Lets say I put an opportunity in front of you and you correctly determine the risk as being 1% chance to quadruple your money, 20% chance of doubling your money, 20% chance to triple it, 49% chance of breaking just above even, 9% chance of losing 50%, 1% chance of losing it all.

Clearly this is a very good bet. 90% of the outcomes are positive, and overall its very net positive. It would be smart to take this bet. So if I present this to a few hundred traders... what happens?

A couple quadruple their money. Are they any smarter or more insightful than the few who lost it all? Why? They all correctly gauged the risk and made the best decision.

I've found that people fundamentally do NOT understand "risk". Whether its the stock market, gambling, their own health care, or IT related risks.

This guy is good at analyzing risk and making smart bets, and he's had good winning streak, but being right about the risk and making the best decisions based on it, doesn't mean the risk isn't there. That he didn't lose is just luck.

Poker is the same way. You can be smart, play well, know all the odds, make all the right calls, and still lose badly.

Even best advisors from open hedge and mutual funds average around 25%.

Hell no they don't. Lots of studies have shown that the top hedge funds don't even consistently beat index funds. And after the management expenses the investor usually ends up behind. Look it up.

Comment: Re: Umm no (Score 1) 446

by vux984 (#48015253) Attached to: The Physics of Space Battles

Detecting things in it is hard, unless they've giving off light or radiation that you can detect more easily

If they aren't thrusting towards you they aren't much threat.No way they'll ever hit you as long as you are continually changing course.

Once they turn on thrusters to home in they'll be easy to spot and could quite conceivably be taken down with lasers at that point (no atmosphere to cope with either). I'm doubtful they'd get anywhere near 10 to 20 seconds of you without thrust. You'd probably still have minutes or hours to shoot them down.

Comment: Re:I would use this almost never (Score 1) 63

by vux984 (#48015151) Attached to: Nixie Wearable Drone Camera Flies Off Your Wrist

Yeah, I mountain-bike, and a drone following would be pretty amazing. Helmet mounted cams generally produce poor video -- lots of vibration, and it doesn't really capture what you are doing at all, air, drops, gap jumps, the incline ... none of it is really discernible.

Plus you can't see yourself or your bike.

Best a normal person can hope for right now is to have a friend following reasonably closely filming you with their helmet cam. But its still full of vibration, and still isn't terribly compelling video.

A drone camera might be a lot better.

Comment: Re:It doesn't take a genius (Score 5, Interesting) 113

by vux984 (#48015111) Attached to: Mystery Gamer Makes Millions Moving Markets In Japan

Nevermind the selection bias.

I mean, maybe its like interviewing lottery winners and asking them what their secret is. Maybe the secret is simply "I played", and "somebody has to win".

I'm not saying the guy isn't smart or disciplined or has the right mindset to be a trader, but that doesn't mean he's really an "exceptionally" genius at it.

Literally millions of day traders out there doing technical analysis and picking stocks. Its a bit like monkeys and typewriters in a way. Does the monkey that produces something legible really have any truly special talent?

Comment: Re:Just what we need. More compliance! (Score 1) 208

by vux984 (#48000831) Attached to: Drones Reveal Widespread Tax Evasion In Argentina

If a foot of street costs $10 per year to maintain, then how much does 500 feet of street cost per year to maintain? I'm saying it's $5,000, but you're saying it's less than that. Is this some kind of new math?

The new math is the cost of bridges and commerical thoroughfares vastly dwarfs residential side roads.

Does it really matter if its $0.01 per foot per household or or $0.50 when the bridges and main roads cost $100 per household per year. The residential side streets are just low level noise.

So strictly speaking my contribution should be $101.00 per year... and a highrise dwellers should be $100.02. That's the 'new math'.

Comment: Re:Broadcast rights (Score 1) 108

by vux984 (#48000753) Attached to: Not Just Netflix: Google Challenges Canada's Power To Regulate Online Video

With internet video streaming, I'm not limited to a certain number of sources

Sure you are. Due to regional rights issues, legitimate streaming sites each need the rights to stream to Canada (and any other country, so there is a very limited number of legit places to stream from).

That is the key difference.

If that's the key difference, then it may as well be no difference at all.

Comment: Re:Just what we need. More compliance! (Score 1) 208

by vux984 (#47999621) Attached to: Drones Reveal Widespread Tax Evasion In Argentina

For 500 single-family homes, you'll need 500 trash barrels. Which do you think is easier to service, 20 dumpsters or 500 barrels?

I don't dispute that the apartment may be easier to service. I'm just pointing out that its nowhere near 50x as difficult to serve the homes despite them having 50x time 'frontage'. Hauling 3 dumpters a day from one building or collecting garbage from 10 blocks... sure the individual cans is going to be more work... but not THAT much more. If you want to charge them more, fine... but not 50x more.

Despite all that, dense development is much more cost-effective in city services than single-family homes.

I don't really disagree with you here. But its a question of scale. Your frontage proposal puts the ratio at the home owner paying 50x as much, when the real differential is MUCH MUCH less.

Addtionally your link doesn't factor in the fact that the 'urban developments' were mixed use -- 6 million feet of commerical space in the gulch. commerical space tends to be far more expensive than residential. So while it makes a very good case for infill development vs a suburb its not really comparing apple to apples with respect to our debate.

So my question is, why should poor renters subsidize middle- and upper-class homeowners

They aren't. Poor renters, and poor owners are in the least expensive housing, and pay the lowest property taxes.

Comment: Re:Just what we need. More compliance! (Score 1) 208

by vux984 (#47998229) Attached to: Drones Reveal Widespread Tax Evasion In Argentina

The assessment for street maintenance on the property taxes for the 10 homes should each be 50 times that of an apartment unit.

Based on what? Most of the maintenance costs are for the bridges overpasses, main thoroughfares, and other shared items. Not the roads in front of my house.

Yes, it's easier to haul away trash from a single dumpster than from trash barrels serving the same number of homes.

Slightly easier sure, but the highrise produces 50x as much trash. So instead of 10 trashcans once a week they need to haul away 5 dumpsters worth every day.

Yes, water infrastructure costs less per unit in an apartment building than a single-family home.

Not really. The infrastructure is shared, but its much more complicated due to the volume needed, and maintenance is much more expensive. In the suburbs you can put up a couple pylons and just dig a hole to do what needs doing. Downtown you'll need flag people to help redirect traffic, you may need coordinate access to buildings, or involve other utilities etc. There's literally a lot more concrete everywere so its not nearly as simple. And it goes without saying that the highrise block uses 50x as much.

But this should be on everyone's trash collection fees, not their taxes.
[re sewer, water, garbage, recyling...]

Why? What's the point? Why split them them up if its not metered and its a service by the city? In some places I've lived they are part of the taxes, in others they are private companies and billed separately... in others they are on a separate 'utility bill' from the city. But if they aren't metered (which in most cases they are pro-rated by property value.

The idea being that... bigger more expensive homes with more people and more bathrooms will use more water. That breaks down a bit when you've got smaller units down town that cost more, but

These things are probably about the same cost for condos as for single-family homes.

Right. Along with policing, fire departments etc. Clearly placing the burden based on roadside frontage is far far more clumsy and inexact.

and it encourages urban sprawl when the property's burden on infrastructure isn't properly reflected in property taxes.

And your proposal using frontage is categorically worse.

Comment: Re:Just what we need. More compliance! (Score 2) 208

by vux984 (#47997543) Attached to: Drones Reveal Widespread Tax Evasion In Argentina

Stuff like street maintenance, right? Is a property's burden on the streets proportional to the property's value or the property's street frontage?

So if you highrise apartment block with 500 families occupying a 'city block' vs a 10 homes occupying another city block. The 10 families in the 10 homes should each pay 50x the property taxes as the high rise tenants?

Because the highrise properties burden on the towns resources is less?! Sure maybe for snow clearing on that particular street. But water? garbage removal? schools? Libraries? Recreation centers? Parks? Sewers? Why is the home owners share of all that 50x as much exactly?

Cities and towns usually get this answer wrong, and that causes a lot of problems such as those we saw in the real estate crash

I disagree completely.

Condo stratas tend to divide costs pro-rated by each units square footage. Cities tend to divide costs by an assessment of value. Within a strata that works out pretty close to being the same thing -- larger (more valuable) units pay slightly more... but across a city a penthouse downtown is woth 20x a home in the suburbs even if the home is larger.

Comment: Re:is this not true (Score 1) 173

by vux984 (#47996961) Attached to: Solar System's Water Is Older Than the Sun

Wouldn't it pretty much have to be?


The oil they dig up from the ground is clearly younger than the sun, even if the hydrogen and carbon atoms in it are older. Right?

Likewise, the hydrogen and oxygen atoms in water are clearly older than the sun, but its hardly a forgone conclusion that they've been bonded together as water the entire time. Quite the opposite even.

Odds are most of the water around us hasn't been water the entire time. A lot of the oxygen in the water around us may have spent some time as carbon dioxide or other oxides or compounds that are definitely "not water". Ditto for the hydrogen which may have spent some time as various hydrocarbons and so forth that are also "not water".

Here they have water that presumably has actually been water since before the sun lit up. That's a bit more interesting.

Comment: Re:Duh? (Score 1) 173

by vux984 (#47996117) Attached to: Solar System's Water Is Older Than the Sun

Shouldn't *all* water in the solar system be older than the Sun?

That was my first reading of it as well... a big "Duh!".

But upon reflection, I realize they aren't saying that the hydrogen and oxygen atoms that make up the water are older than the sun, but that some of it has been combined as 'water', since before the Sun, and they've found samples of some. And that actually *IS* interesting and potentially scientifically significant.

Your code should be more efficient!