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Comment: Re:Great (Score 1) 34

by all_the_names_are_ta (#28875515) Attached to: AMD Spin-Off GlobalFoundries Gets First Non-AMD Customer

So what was the point in spinning off a foundry into a separate company?

(Same reason any company ever spawns other companies: To create positions for more CXOs and fuck around with the accounting books. AMD isn't doing well, even though I wish it were.)

I know being cynical sounds good "Just more fat cats lining their own pockets, heh", but there are legitimate reasons to restructure companies.

In this case, foundries keep getting more expensive and AMD won't be able to compete with Intel if it keeps manufacturing in house. If it spins them off (while still retaining ~ 30% of the stock in the new company) they can achieve economies of scale by fabbing chips for other companies. This means that AMD will have a better shot at competing since they will no longer be hobbled by archaic process technology.

Comment: Re:how do you test it? (Score 2, Interesting) 329

by all_the_names_are_ta (#28568745) Attached to: HIV/AIDS Vaccine To Begin Phase I Human Trials
This is a bad idea not only because trialing things on death row inmates seems to be a cruel and unusual punishment but also because it creates a perverse incentive. Specifically, suppose that testing on prisoners provides a noteworthy improvement in development speed for this vaccine. There will then be the motivation to use this model again in the future (surely we should use these death row inmates to speed the development of a malaria vaccine, etc). If this keeps providing benefits there will then be a demand for death row inmates to provide a source of test candidates. If this seems far fetched, consider the example of China which (at least until recently) has likely been selling the organs of prisoners http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/5386720.stm and has an unusually broad number of crimes for which the death sentence applies.

Comment: Re:Can Futurama unjump the shark? (Score 4, Informative) 259

by all_the_names_are_ta (#28279859) Attached to: Comedy Central Confirms 26 New Futurama Episodes

Series four gave us The Farnsworth Parabox, The Sting, 300 Big Boys and The Devils Hands are Idle Playthings, all of which were awesome.

Also, more importantly, which writers dropped off the show in seasons three and four that you think were funny and sharp? Given the writers credits in Wikipedia suggest that almost all contributors in the first two seasons wrote episodes in three and four I'm not really sure who you're referring to:

List of Futurama episodes with writers

Comment: Re:He's right (Score 1) 483

by all_the_names_are_ta (#27237091) Attached to: Harlan Ellison Sues For "Star Trek" Episode

It's not an attractive way to raise the issue, but it's true: artists should be rewarded for their work. Look at how the studios screwed the Gilligan's Island people, who languished in poverty after the networks ran episodes for decades.

No, they shouldn't. In case you haven't noticed, we have a vast oversupply of artists even at their current low levels of remuneration.

On the other hand, we have a shortage of capital available to produce/support the production of art.

Looking further at your example of the Gilligan's island actors - they didn't finance the show, they didn't screen it, they provided none of the infrastructure. If they'd told the networks to fuck off and tried to make something in their basement they'd have failed utterly. The networks could have found other people to star easily. I have no idea why we should care that readily replaceable actors languish in poverty after they've finished doing the work they were paid for.

Finally, paying artists for work they've long since finished provides little encouragement for them to produce new work (and in fact may discourage them since they can keep food on the table without producing anything new).

Too much is not enough.

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