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Comment: Re:Yep, how the music industry was killed... (Score 4, Insightful) 191

by alexander_686 (#47490571) Attached to: Amazon Isn't Killing Writing, the Market Is

And even those are not earning much money.

In a interview a few years ago with Ani DiFranco, the report was gushing on how much higher her margins, as a independent artist, than The Dave Mathew Band. Which made DiFranco laugh because The Dave Mathew Band was making so much more money. DiFranco pointed out that going independent was about freedom of control not about the money.

It is not about margins it is about market structure. Piracy has trained consumers that music should be cheap.

Comment: Re:About half of Apple's employees are in retail (Score 1) 271

by alexander_686 (#47483561) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Many Employees Does Microsoft Really Need?

oh, it gets worse than this. After MSFT fire everybody their headcount will still be higher than it was last year.

AMZN has lots of people in the warehouses. Redhat is more focused. FaceBook is more focused and has outsourced (depending on you define outsourcing) a lot of its processes. Etc. all are lousy companions.

Comment: Re:New potential battleground? (Score 1) 114

by alexander_686 (#47483523) Attached to: Preparing For Satellite Defense

Your premise is based on the belief that no matter how hard the U.S. gets hit, it would refuse to retaliate in equal or greater strike(s).

No, I am not making that assumption. You are right the opponents seek to exploit their opponent's weaknesses, and just because one has a relative strength in one area does not mean you have an absolute advantage. I just think that in this area we have a large potential weakness that would be hard to shore up against China.

Comment: Re:LMAO (Score 2) 91

by alexander_686 (#47471087) Attached to: Apple Agrees To $450 Million Ebook Antitrust Settlement

Is there any evidence that Apple cared about the price?

No, but that misses the point. Apple wanted into the book market. The publishers wanted to break Amazon's hold on the market so they could jack the prices up. Thus the collusion began. Apple was a knowing participant in this collusion – that was their price of entry into the online book market.

Amazon using its market power to set prices is no a market failure......

I will point out that it was the publishers, not Amazon, which set the wholesale prices. When Amazon lowered its retail price below the wholesale price Amazon had to eat that loss. Which leads us too.

In what way is illegal price fixing worse than an illegal monopoly?

When customers get a better deal. Let's strike the illegal part. In America monopolies are illegal if they hurt the customer. There is nothing illegal in running a business with zero to no profits to grab market share, which is what Amazon was doing. If they were screwing around with their competitors or their customers - whole different story. (Needless to say this get subtle and complicated fast, dealing which market structure, etc.)

Comment: Re:Freedom of Expression... (Score 1) 423

by alexander_686 (#47470097) Attached to: French Blogger Fined For Negative Restaurant Review

On fines verses damages – o.k. you got me there. Technically it is damages.

But it also goes to illustrate my point. I poked around a little, and while I could not find the exact language but it seems to fall squarely in the realm of opinion and satire. From a factual sense it was more correct than my post with the error on "fines".

Should we live in a society where we must always mind our Ps and Qs? A society where we need to consult lawyers constantly? At best we reduce conversation from a vibrant free flow of ideas into the lowest common denominator of bland and inoffensive language and ideas.

Comment: Re:Make it $4.99 and epub, not mobi (Score 1) 87

by alexander_686 (#47467839) Attached to: Amazon Is Testing a $10-Per-Month Ebook Service

Question – how would a lending library work without DRM? Subscribe for one month, download a thousand books, cancel, and keep the books? Anything better than the honor system? (Note, this is only a limited argument for DRM in context of lending or a all you can eat streaming buffet.)

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 1) 138

by alexander_686 (#47455779) Attached to: Three-Year Deal Nets Hulu Exclusive Rights To South Park

It is not about opportunity costs, it is about economic surplus.

Consumer surplus is trimmed because consumers now have to pay more - either directly or indirectly.

Supplier surplus is increased as they shift their profits up.

In theory this could might increase total surplus or even total consumer surplus. With increased profits suppliers would supply more shows. Look at the shows that Netflix and Amazon are putting out. Would these shows have been made with these exclusive deals?

Comment: Re:A lot of them will be returned (Score 2) 126

It is not retailers that take returns per se.

What the OP is saying is that many novice people will wander by the display, think it is cool, and buy it on an impulse. They will then take it home, struggle with it, figure out it is not as cool as they though, and return it.

Think of all those IBM PC jr and Colecovision collecting dust that people bought in the 80s thinking this would be the thing to solve all of their issue. Now, I know a good subset that put these things to good use or used them as a springboard but many where purchased with only vague ideas on how they would be used.

Comment: Re:I hate to imagine it (Score -1) 126

You are missing the point. The reason why this was news was that the baby had disappeared and stopped taking the drugs.
1. Baby has HIV, is given massive amount of drugs.
2. Baby disappears for 18 months, stops taking drugs.
3. Baby reappears after 18 months, we can't find HIV in the baby.
Ergo the early treatment with drugs cured the baby. Or that is what we thought. HIV is very good at hiding in odd parts of the body and popping out when nobody is looking.

Neutrinos are into physicists.