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Comment: Re:Adobe (Score 2) 204

by Dogtanian (#48919371) Attached to: YouTube Ditches Flash For HTML5 Video By Default

Adobe never made money off Flash Player - they made money from popular content creation tools which can now export to HTML5

Mainly correct, and worth pointing out. That said, I'm sure they made quite a few quid through their tie-up with McAfee, weaselling their trial crapware onto people's systems with that oh-so-generous prechecked "yes" box on the Flash Player installer.

Comment: Re:We still have (Score 1) 65

by Dogtanian (#48895755) Attached to: Smartphones, Tablets and EBay Send SkyMall To Chapter 11

Sharper Image went bankrupt in 2008, and it's now just a licensed brand name, same as Kodak and Polaroid.

Unlike Polaroid, Kodak is still (the original) Kodak. They might be relying more and more on whoring their name out, but it's still the same company, and they're still (e.g.) making film et al. I already posted a more detailed response on this subject to someone who said almost exactly the same thing.

Comment: Re:Or: (Score 1) 65

by Dogtanian (#48895721) Attached to: Smartphones, Tablets and EBay Send SkyMall To Chapter 11

What is not being widely reported is that Xhibit Corp sold the customer loyalty fulfillment part of the business last year for around $20 million. This was the unit that apparently generated the vast majority of the revenue and probably all the profit. Why would a firm who expected to stay solvent sell of the unit that generated most of the revenue, a unit with guaranteed sales?

It really seems like a scam to create liquidity of the profitable assets and then screw the creditors.

Hmm. Where have I heard *that* countless times before?

(Opens Wikipedia article on the company, does text search for "private equity"...)

In 2012, SkyMall was purchased by Najafi Companies, the largest private equity firm in Arizona. In January 2015 the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

What a surprise.

Comment: Re:WHO forced them? (Score 1) 141

by demachina (#48854029) Attached to: Iran Forced To Cancel Its Space Program

Iâ(TM)m not exactly sure why Saudi Arabia would want to harm Islamic State. ISIS is Sunni, fundamentalist and they are tearing apart the Alawite and Shia pro Iranian states in Syria and Iraq. You would almost figure some Saudiâ(TM)s are funding ISIS under the table.

ISIS is undoing some of the damage George W. did to Sunni interests by toppling Saddam and unleashing a wave of Shia ascendence in Iraq.

Comment: Re:WHO forced them? (Score 4, Interesting) 141

by demachina (#48850069) Attached to: Iran Forced To Cancel Its Space Program

More probably plunging oil prices have wiped out the Iranian governments revenue stream. There is speculation that one of the reasons Saudi Arabia is continuing to pump oil and crater oil prices is to cripple Iran, a bitter Shia enemy, and defund programs like uranium enrichment, missile development, their miliary in general and their support for other anti Sunni groups in the Middle East.

The other speculations for continued Saudi efforts to crash oil prices are to wipe out frackers in the U.S. so they can regain more political control over the U.S., to wipe out expensive offshore and artic oil exploration, to punish Russia at the behest of the U.S. or because Russia is a key benefactor of Iran.

Comment: Re:Surprised it didn't happen sooner (Score 1) 314

by Dogtanian (#48837887) Attached to: Radio Shack Reported To Be Ready for Bankruptcy Filing
First off, that wasn't an apology for Radio Shack's problems, nor an attempt to say that they were blameless. From what I've read (*), the company quite clearly *has* been obviously mismanaged and directionless for a long time now, and would probably have gone under on that basis.

What I'm criticising with respect to Radio Shack- or rather with the market's use of it- is a problem with derivatives in general. It's the fact that they've become detached from the business processes that they were meant to relate to (and serve), and have become the driving force in their own right, a massively overgrown tail wagging a tiny (and irrelevant) dog.

The point is that the people on either side aren't interested in Radio Shack per se, they're interested in exploiting and using insurance policies- in effect, derivatives here- taken out against Radio Shack, bundled up, passed around and abstracted away from the business itself. And, on the opposite side, the interests of the insurance company (e.g.) in insuring against a payout, in effect a derivative in itself.

Radio Shack is still "important" in the way that the ball is important in a football game.

None of this excuses Radio Shack's own failings, in fact it says nothing about that either way. What it *was* an attack on is the financial markets creating derivatives of derivatives of derivatives that are so far detached from their original purpose as to be irrelevant. Until- as in 2008- the "real life" issues (e.g. the housing market) hidden away hit the fan and cause masses more damage thanks to the multiplying effect of derivatives, or the other way around, i.e. the use of derivatives as a plaything causes damage to the real world entity.

(*) I live in the UK, where all the Tandy stores (i.e. Radio Shack) were sold off to a mobile phone retailer around 15 years ago.

Comment: Re:No insider trading there.... (Score 1) 314

by Dogtanian (#48823295) Attached to: Radio Shack Reported To Be Ready for Bankruptcy Filing

No insider trading there.... It was a coincidence that the stock price tanked...

I already commented elsewhere that Tandy had become little more than the football in a game of derivatives, credit default swaps, et al.

It's clear that no-one involved on either side of that cares about the business itself, beyond it being a means to an end. Nor would they have any qualms about tanking it if they were on the side that stood to benefit from such a move. Whether this would result from what would technically be called "insider trading" is relevant only in a legal sense; it's clear that a market which operates in such a way is inherently rotten, regardless.

Comment: Re:Surprised it didn't happen sooner (Score 2) 314

by Dogtanian (#48822673) Attached to: Radio Shack Reported To Be Ready for Bankruptcy Filing
Another article which basically explains that Radio Shack's primary function is now ultimately as little more than the ball itself in a game of derivatives and credit default swaps that- as often happens- has veered far from any legitimate use of them, or having much to do with the company per se, and into borderline legalised gambling of the type that hit the fan in 2008.

As I said, Radio Shack is the ball in this; nominally the raison d'etre, but really just a means to an end of little importance in itself, like a £50 football being used in a game between Manchester United and Chelsea, players costing millions competing on behalf of clubs worth the better part of a billion each.

Comment: Re:Will the training really matter? No. (Score 1) 388

by garcia (#48805845) Attached to: UK Computing Teachers Concerned That Pupils Know More Than Them

I'm preaching to the 4-digit choir here, I know. Let me issue the disclaimer that I am not a teacher but a bunch of my friends are, and my job does depend on staying up to date.

I am not sure what my ability to remember the login information for an account I created in 1997 has anything to do w/the discussion; however, EVERYONE's job depends on them staying up-to-date, it's just that most people choose not to and fall behind.

Comment: Will the training really matter? No. (Score 4, Insightful) 388

by garcia (#48804057) Attached to: UK Computing Teachers Concerned That Pupils Know More Than Them

Technology funding in school districts (in my area these are tax levies) is already insanely high; mostly because we're pushing for tablet devices in schools driven, behind the scenes, by extremely lucrative vendor deals.

Without adequate training, the related curricula are severely limited and thus the added benefits when compared to related cost are low, if at all positive.

Now, this research, as well as the districts, are rightly saying the teachers need more training in order to leverage the technology effectively; however, what really needs to be understood is just how much training is really necessary and whether the tech gap between teachers and their students can really be mitigated.

It is my unfounded opinion that it will never be mitigated enough as teachers are not usually well enough equipped at their own subject matter, let alone keeping up with the taxing knowledge demands of technology.

What we need to do is take a step back and ensure that these additional tax investments in technology are actually doing anything to further student development and because they aren't, think about what we can do to actually concentrate on doing that instead of buying the new and shiny and letting it, effectively, collect dust in the corner while levy after levy is passed to support it.

Comment: Kitty Litter Nuclear Explosion (Score 4, Insightful) 166

by Dogtanian (#48788803) Attached to: Nuclear Waste Accident Costs Los Alamos Contractor $57 Million
Haven't read all the linked articles through yet, but it's been mentioned in the past- and again in the articles- that one of the reasons for the explosion may have been the use of organic-based kitty litter(!) reacting badly with the materials being disposed of, and that the inorganic version should have been used.

One version I heard was that they changed the kitty litter formulation; this version suggests that they bought organic instead of inorganic kitty litter because of a typo.

Now, there's nothing wrong with using what amounts to kitty litter to do whatever it was being used for. If that does the job, fine.

But whichever of the cases described was true, a problem is that if the stuff they're buying is intended and sold as kitty litter, it's quite possible that the makers may feel at liberty to change the formulation in a way that doesn't effect its use as kitty litter, but massive alters its safety as a "nuclear waste disposal material".

If having organic matter in your kitty litter could inadvertantly turn the nuclear material into a form of radioactive explosive, then you should be damn sure that you're getting the inorganic formulation from a supplier that can guarantee that this is what you're getting. It won't be called "kitty litter" even if that's what- in effect- it is, and it'll probably cost a lot more, but the supplier will (or should be) in the s*** if they supply the wrong type, whereas are Los Alamos going to sue "Pets R Us" for causing a nuclear explosion even if they *did* inadvertantly put organic in an inorganic bag, or change the formulation with insufficient notice (or whatever)?

So this is why (e.g.) the military (for example) might pay a lot more for a given item than you or I might pay over the counter. That, and the fact that they're probably diverting the money to some dubious black ops...!

Comment: Re:How dare you talk down about Reagan like that! (Score 1) 160

by demachina (#48764683) Attached to: What's Wrong With the Manhattan Project National Park

Much of that inflation dates back to massive spending and debt from the Vietnam War and the creation of OPEC spiking oil prices, neither of which Jimmy Carter have much to do with. LBJ and Nixon are the ones to blame, if you were alive then you would remember the failed attemps at wage and price controls under a Republican administration, Nixon. Carterâ(TM)s presidency was doomed before it started because of the mess he inherited, and there was very little he could do about it.

Interest rates were 20% because Paul Volcker and the Fed set them to 20% in 1979 to break the back of an inflationary spiral, which he did, and that is not something Reagan can take any credit for. Carter can only take credit for having appointed Volcker to the Fed. Volcker was one of the very few great Fed Chairmen.

The legacy most working people can thank Reagan for is jacking payroll taxes up to to an inescapable 12.5% on all working people, while he was cutting taxes on the rich.

A key reason we have income inequality today is working people pay an inescapable 12.5% in taxes on their wages not counting sales, propery, state and federal income taxes. Rich people pay 15% on capital gains, and those taxes are incredibly easy to dodge.

The gent who wakes up and finds himself a success hasn't been asleep.