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Comment: Re:Better than the Worst? (Score 1) 158

by bengoerz (#49775165) Attached to: Charter Strikes $56B Deal For Time Warner Cable
The worst case is that Time Warner continues to gouge consumers and offer worse and worse service. A merger may be better than that.

For reference, current business pricing is:
$501.95/mo for 100/5 from Time Warner in Dallas
$199/mo for 100/20 from Comcast (not in DFW)
$99/mo for 100/7 from Charter in Ft Worth

You can't have less competition in broadband unless you start with some.

Comment: Better than the Worst? (Score 2) 158

by bengoerz (#49774711) Attached to: Charter Strikes $56B Deal For Time Warner Cable
According to ASCI's 2014 poll of Internet Service Providers (see coverage by Ars), Time Warner had the lowest satisfaction of all broadband companies (54% and dropping faster than any other company). Comcast was 2nd-worst (57% and dropping 2nd-fastest), and Charter was 3rd-worst (and dropping 3rd fastest). So, this may lessen Time Warner's decline.

Personally, I have used both companies for coax services in the DFW area, and I prefer Charter. Business services are similar, but Charter is much cheaper (currently $40/mo promo for 60M/4M versus Time Warner at over $300/mo for 50M/5M). Time Warner's aging infrastructure in Dallas definitely does not warrant the premium. Plus, Charter service is no-contract.

Comment: Re:Wow $100 Million (Score 1) 143

Companies are allowed to value donations are fair market value for tax purposes.

Regulations 1.170A-1(c)(2) and (3) states:
"The fair market value is the price at which the property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or sell and both having reasonable knowledge of the relevant facts. If the contribution is made in property of a type which the taxpayer sells in the course of his business, the fair market value is the price which the taxpayer would have received if he had sold the contributed property and, in the case of a contribution of goods in quantity, in the quantity contributed. The usual market of a manufacturer or other producer consists of the wholesalers or other distributors to or through whom he customarily sells, but if he sells only at retail, the usual market consists of his retail customers."

Comment: Re:Wow $100 Million (Score 1) 143

It should be possible for Apple to actually make money from these donations.

In 2013, IHS estimateed Apple's costs to produce an iPad were between $274 and $361. Current retail price on an iPad Air w/ cellular is $829. Add in high-margin accessories and software, and it is quite possible that Apple could write-off a donation of around $1000 per device against $350 in cost. This $650 reduction in taxable income could save Apple about $227.50 in taxes... if they actually paid a typical 35% corporate tax rate.

Comment: Following in Lexington's Footsteps (Score 3, Informative) 232

by bengoerz (#48155819) Attached to: Worcester Mass. City Council Votes To Keep Comcast From Entering the Area
This is on the heels of the City Council in Lexington, KY voting recently to oppose the Comcast/Time Warner merger.

Story on Ars:

Comment: Re:Perception of Necessity (Score 1) 265

by bengoerz (#47433301) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Unattended Maintenance Windows?
My point is not that you should never automate things. Rather, when you automate things, you should make sure your managers know (1) that you were smart enough to improve processes and are therefore valuable to future projects and (2) that the things you automate could one day break (process changes, etc.).

At very least, the poster should be able to articulate a better reason for automation than "I wanted to sleep in".

Comment: What is the value? (Score 3, Interesting) 53

Other than the sentimentality, what are the real benefit of bringing ISEE-3 home? If the benefit is the data, what is the evidence that the "data that ISEE-3 could generate would have real value"? If the benefit is educational, which institutions have committed to taking part?

"For the man who has everything... Penicillin." -- F. Borquin