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Comment: Re:Nauseated. (Score 1) 164

by icejai (#49193161) Attached to: Developers Race To Develop VR Headsets That Won't Make Users Nauseous

These two meanings may have "appeared at the same time", but it was definitely more understood to mean "causing nausea" at the time. And it really is only through decades of misuse that the current definition of "affected with nausea" is accepted "at the present time".

For some careful English speakers, nauseous means causing nausea, and nauseated is the term for experiencing nausea. These are the traditional meanings (though nauseous initially meant inclined to nausea before gaining the sense we now consider traditional), and they’re still the ones put forth by some English reference books and usage authorities. In actual usage, though, nauseous has supplanted nauseated in the experiencing nausea sense, and nauseated is reserved for a few specific uses.

http://grammarist.com/usage/na...

https://books.google.com/ngram...

Comment: Re:Still a niche company (Score 1) 111

by icejai (#48331385) Attached to: Tesla Delays Launch of Model X Until Q3 2015

You're right. The volume of cars they produce is nowhere near as much as all of Toyota, or all of GM. However, the comparison mustn't be between "Tesla and BMW", the comparison must be made between "Model S and BMW 7-series", or "Model S and Audi A7", simply because the line that makes an A7 isn't the same line that makes the Q7.

This is why large automakers try to reduce costs by attempting to build other cars on top of already-existing production lines. For eg, Hummer once tried to save money by forcing the Hummer H2 to use the chassis of a Chevy Tahoe, because they wanted to eliminate an entire production line or two to save costs. And surprise surprise, this is what Tesla is also doing with their Model X. It shares the same battery pack, chassis, and electric motors as the Model S. Also, it's quite obvious now why the Model S now has the same 4-wheel drive and dual-motor system as the Model X.

So it appears that Tesla is scaling exactly the way any automaker would want to -- by sharing as much of the production line as they can with other models. But, their scaling will *still* be cheaper and faster, simply because they run their own production lines and design/manufacture much of the components themselves. Because of this, Tesla will *never* have this type of problem that other automakers have when scaling.

They will never have to fight their own factories for changes.

Comment: Re:Still a niche company (Score 3, Insightful) 111

by icejai (#48327791) Attached to: Tesla Delays Launch of Model X Until Q3 2015

A friend of mine who happens to be a senior engineer at a large Japanese automaker took me to a Tesla dealership some years ago to take a look at the Tesla. I asked him how much it would to produce a car like the Model S at this very large Japanese automaker. He said each car would end up costing in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. At first I didn't believe him, but as he proceeded to explain every single detail of R&D, prototyping, testing, dealing with suppliers, manufacturing, dealing with the factory (or many factories, being the more likely case), retooling, etc, and all the manpower, meetings, executive approvals, and other costs involved at a company as large as his... it was very obvious that he knew exactly what he was talking about.

There is a certain myth about scaling. Big companies know how to scale? Of course they know how to scale. But I'm sure many people here can imagine how starting fresh with a small team, and scaling *that*... is faster and cheaper than modifying a gigantic already-scaled process to output something completely different.

Larger scale *leads to* lower costs.
But big companies don't *scale up* at "lower cost".

Tesla has an absolutely *enormous* advantage by manufacturing many parts of the car themselves. The infotainment system, the battery packs, they stamp their own metal, etc. You might not believe me if I told you that automobile companies need to fight with their factories to implement changes to the production line, because the factories are separate companies that operate independently from the actual car company (Ford, GM, Honda, Toyota, etc). Any changes means less cars produced and less profit. Just because of this fact alone, Tesla can scale production MUCH cheaper and quicker than *any* large car company, American or not, just from the fact that they run their own factory.

Smaller companies are better at scaling. They can do it quicker and cheaper.
Large companies, especially car companies, not so much.

Comment: Re:Risk aversion (Score 1) 203

by icejai (#47964883) Attached to: Kickstarter Lays Down New Rules For When a Project Fails

There won't be anything to reclaim legally.

And this is the kicker. The only way contributers/funders can claim a stake/force a refund, is if the "contribution" is structured as a debt. ie. The funder is loaning the money to the company, in exchange for future delivery of the defined product (or collection of products, whichever the case may be for higher levels of funding). If the company goes bust or fails to deliver the product, contributors then become unsecured creditors, and then have a legal claim to whatever assets the group/company has.

The problem with this is the company will effectively be issuing a debt security, which is wrapped with so much securities regulation that it makes this possibility unfeasible. This also makes things going global much more difficult, because each country (or even province, as I live in Canada) has their own regulations regarding the issuance of debt/equity securities.

Not only that, but this means kickstarter must become a registered broker/dealer of said securities in each region they operate (and also in each region of every contributor) in order to operate legally.

Not only that, but each kickstarter project must submit the equivalent of an "offering memorandum", which contains business/operational details that kickstarter-contributors are now asking for.

For these reasons, funders will, and can only be, considered as customers with no legal claim to a bankrupt company that failed to deliver. Not even kickstarter can force a company to give refunds. Even if a company agreed that they would, they could get out of that contractual obligation simply by declaring bankruptcy. So in effect, it'd be an unenforceable policy without teeth.

All kickstarter can do is to improve on their screening process.

Either that, or become a registered broker/dealer in every state/province/region they wish to operate, and streamline the issuance of financial securities for each region of every single contributor... and in the process become subject to the financial securities regulations of each one of those regions.

This is the double-edged sword of financial regulation. They're there to protect the public from scams/incompetence like these (on a scale that's hundreds of times larger than your average kickstarter project), but coming into compliance is extremely tedious and case-specific.

Businesses

When Smart People Make Bad Employees 491

Posted by samzenpus
from the boss's-favorite dept.
theodp writes "Writing for Forbes, CS-grad-turned-big-time-VC Ben Horowitz gives three examples of how the smartest people in a company can also be the worst employees: 1. The Heretic, who convincingly builds a case that the company is hopeless and run by a bunch of morons; 2. The Flake, who is brilliant but totally unreliable; 3. The Jerk, who is so belligerent in his communication style that people just stop talking when he is in the room. So, can an employee who fits one of these poisonous descriptions, but nonetheless can make a massive positive contribution to a company, ever be tolerated? Quoting John Madden's take on Terrell Owens, Horowitz gives a cautious yes: 'If you hold the bus for everyone on the team, then you'll be so late that you'll miss the game, so you can't do that. The bus must leave on time. However, sometimes you'll have a player that's so good that you hold the bus for him, but only him.' Ever work with a person who's so good that he/she gets his/her own set of rules? Ever been that person yourself?"
Image

Anti-Speed Camera Activist Buys Police Department's Web Domain 680

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-bought-the-law dept.
Brian McCrary just bought a website to complain about a $90 speeding ticket he received from the Bluff City PD — the Bluff City Police Department site. The department let its domain expire and McCrary was quick to pick it up. From the article: "Brian McCrary found the perfect venue to gripe about a $90 speeding ticket when he went to the Bluff City Police Department's website, saw that its domain name was about to expire, and bought it right out from under the city's nose. Now that McCrary is the proud owner of the site, bluffcitypd.com, the Gray, Tenn., computer network designer has been using it to post links about speed cameras — like the one on US Highway 11E that caught him — and how people don't like them."

Comment: Re:I did the same for a while... (Score 2, Insightful) 1197

by icejai (#31232718) Attached to: Health Insurance When Leaving the Corporate World?

"As opposed to what? Somebody else trading 15 hours of THEIR life simply so YOU can live a healthy life?"
"Why should money I earn be taxed and used to pay for benefits for you?"

Uh, if you pay for your own insurance and file a claim, where do you think your insurance company acquires the money to pay for your claim? Do you honestly believe they simply pay you with the money you already gave them?

No matter what insurance you pay into, you *will* be paying for somebody else's benefit, as they will be paying for your benefit as well. That is the *very nature* of insurance.

If you *still* feel different, you should put your money where your mouth is and cancel all your health insurance policies and simply put those monthly payments into a self-guided investment account. ... and good luck with *that*.

Comment: Re:This is just a stupid arrangement (Score 1) 135

by icejai (#26888389) Attached to: Inside Factory China

Sure, Japan can try to sell the USD to buy back yen, but not that many countries hold that much yen. Tell me, who is going to sell yen back to Japan?

More than $4 trillion dollars worth of currency is traded every single business day. There is absolutely no problem finding someone to sell Yen, especially since Yen is the Carry Trade currency of choice, the only question is at what price. The fact that you made such a statement tells me that you really don't know how money, or foreign exchange markets operate.

They can't buy oil from Saudi Arabia in yen. So Saudi Arabia has very little yen to sell back to them.

Again, you're making the gross misunderstanding that the trade of commodities *settles* in the currency they're *priced* in, when most do not. They are almost always settled in the traders' native currency (on both sides of the deal).

I can't even respond to anything else you've written because it's painfully obvious that what you know of finance comes from news articles, not from studying it in depth, nor does it come from any real or meaningful experience. You think the article (about China) still upholds your position because you've simply picked and chosen what you've wanted to see in it, and simply ignored everything else in it and and everything else I've written because you simply repeat your *very* incorrect understanding of how financial markets work.

You keep asking me to point out where you're wrong, and when I do you simply ignore it and repeat yourself.

Reading your arguments is like... reading an alchemists reasoning how adding fire to earth and a dash of water should produce another elemental form.

Instead of picking and choosing what to see, ignoring everything else, and repeating yourself, (which works very well with religion but falls flat with science) you really need to pick up a book (the one I suggested is *very* good) and gain a level of understanding that's beyond what you've currently pieced together from what bits you've read online. Again, this is painfully obvious from the 3 or 4 posts that you've made (actually, fewer... because you simply repeated yourself).

I would go so far as to say that you're simply sticking to what you currently believe because you *really* don't like to be wrong. Scientists on the other hand, *LOVE* to be wrong. Why? Because scientists love to be right!

So seriously, buy that used text and study it. Ditch this financial alchemy and gain financial science.

Comment: Re:This is just a stupid arrangement (Score 1) 135

by icejai (#26857911) Attached to: Inside Factory China

Although commodities are *priced* in USD, their trade does not *only* involve USD. What you're saying would be true if USD were the *only* currency in the world.

The world is *not* Zimbabwe, because all the central banks in the world are NOT inflating their currencies at the printing press.

For you analogy to be comparable:

the *U.S.* is Zimbabwe,
the Fed is Mugabe,
U.S. citizens are "the rest of Zimbabwe",
the rest of the world is the rest of the world.

You're rational, but it's clear that there is some kind of misunderstanding of how international trade and finance operate.

- Devaluation of USD is *not* fine because although they are *priced* in USD they are produced and sold by foreigners who want to be paid in their *own currency*. This means the Japanese take the USD they received on the sale of their cars and Nintendo Wii's and sell them to take home Yen. The Koreans take the USD they received on the sale of their cell phones and LCD tv's and sell them to take home Won. The Vietnamese sell the USD they receive from the sale of their rice to take home Dong.

Although commodities are *priced* in USD, the trade ends with somebody selling their USD for their own native currency.

- World currencies do not inflate when USD inflates. Inflation of a currency is *directly* caused by the over-supply of that *particular* currency. If the USD inflates by the printing press, Thailand's Baht will rise in relation to USD, because the supply of Baht will be lower than USD on a relative scale.

- The world is not like Zimbabwe, because supply of world currencies are not being inflated by the printing press, as is being planned in the U.S. at the moment.

For a comprehensive peek at what China is actually thinking and saying *right now*:

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601080&sid=a_dsDz145J_A&refer=asia

Pay special attention to the second half of the article.

Also, google "fiscal policy", "monetary policy", and "bond pricing"... and learn how a bond's fair market value changes with interest rate increases and decreases.

For an even better source, one that clearly outlines and explains the links between currencies, government debt, international trade, government bonds, the Fed, interest rates, and commodity prices... buy a used copy of the Economics portion of the CFA Level 1 series of texts (no older than 2007) off ebay or craigslist. I think a guy like you will absorb the material in no time flat and gain a new level of understanding of how international trade and finance operates.

Comment: Re:This is just a stupid arrangement (Score 2, Interesting) 135

by icejai (#26854149) Attached to: Inside Factory China

I would say "you are fucked" because you (or rather, the U.S. government) depends on not only a) entities buying your treasury securities now, but also b) entities buying your treasury in the future. The first wave of baby boomers will be eligible for social security and medicare benefits in the next 16 to 24 months, there is no way in hell the U.S. will be able to fund these obligations in the state the U.S. economy is currently in. This means they'll have to borrow more money in the future.

If the U.S. behaves like they're still top dog and enact policies that devalues all the money they owe to everybody else in the world, guess what, nobody's going to be in line to buy those treasuries when the U.S. needs to sell them the most.

They'd be fucked even more because the U.S. simply has no manufacturing industry. Nobody in the U.S. would even be able to buy a single computer, television set, fax machine, cellphone, or even dog food because companies need to borrow money to buy from suppliers overseas. With savings rates in negative territory, there is no way in hell anybody would lend the U.S. any money whatsoever if they adopt this "it's my currency and I'll inflate it if I want to... you'll get screwed but not me" attitude.

Right now, the U.S. has to convince the world to buy $800B of U.S. government debt. They can't even do *that*, which is why they're selling 30-year bonds to the Fed, because the Fed is the only entity willing to buy them. This action by the Fed *will* inflate the USD, because they simply create the money out of thin air. If China doesn't want to be made an ass by the people who owe them billions, they simply have to sell. The U.S. government will then have to convince the world to buy... not $800B of government debt... but $1.5 trillion. This action alone will *flood* the market with USD and push it down to unbelievable levels. Sure, the value of government debt will decrease because of the massive inflation, but *everything* in America will increase in price.

Why? Because America doesn't make anything anymore. Everything needs to be imported, and importing means paying foreign suppliers in their own currency. So good luck convincing foreign suppliers to accept worthless USD as payment. Commodity prices will go through the roof because they're all price in USD and consumed everywhere else in the world.

In summary, decreasing the purchasing power of the USD is *not* the solution to any of the U.S.'s current problems. Pissing off the largest debtor by inflating the currency may save you a couple hundred billion at first, but you'll pay it all back later (and then some) when you're forced import everything you need... at now-higher prices.

And it's not just China. Do you think if a massive sell-off starts, central banks and investment institutions around the world will sit idly by and wait to be the last one holding depreciating bonds that nobody wants? No way. If you thought the price of oil dropped quickly, it'll be nothing compared to how quick and how far the USD will fall once the selling starts and traders begin short-selling treasuries and USD.

I don't believe for a second that you're stupid, because you fully understand all the immediate implications.

You just need to think ahead a couple steps more.

The first rule of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts. -- Paul Erlich

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