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Comment: Re:Why isn't the U.S. doing things like this? (Score 1) 155

by jbmartin6 (#47490247) Attached to: Japan To Offer $20,000 Subsidy For Fuel-Cell Cars
Or if you like, Coke v. Pepsi is not a good analogy because those products are substitutes for each other. A hydrogen fuel cell car is not a substitute for a gas car, people will not simply switch from one to the other due to price concerns. There are a lot of other factors, such as availability of fueling stations, proximity to qualified service providers, and so on. So the people who will buy the fuel cell car are going to buy one regardless. all this handout will do is add the $20k to the price for the manufacturer to profit. Now if the supporting infrastructure for both types of cars were identical, the analogy might be more apt. But in that case there would be no supposed need for the handout would there? Perhaps the money might be better spent building out fuel stations instead of just effectively handing it out to a politically favored car manufacturer.

Comment: Re:Why isn't the U.S. doing things like this? (Score 1) 155

by jbmartin6 (#47490223) Attached to: Japan To Offer $20,000 Subsidy For Fuel-Cell Cars
An excellent point. But what do you think the business will do when someone else is handing out money to buy their new product? At the very least, any incentive they have to control costs or reduce prices just went out the window. The Coke analogy isn't quite right since that price is long established by market competition, and coupons are typically backed by the manufacturer or the reseller, i.e. someone in the sales chain, as opposed to some third party whose only involvement is handing out money. In other words, the coupon is in business terms indistinguishable from a price cut. Whereas the $20k handout is simply more profit to be made from customers who would have bought it for $50k but can now 'afford' to pay $70k

Comment: Just Another Layer of TCP (Score 2) 124

by jbmartin6 (#47488345) Attached to: FTC To Trap Robocallers With Open Source Software
It used to be the "handshake" on phones was: Hello (SYN) Hello (SYN/ACK) What's up? (ACK). Now, thanks to human nature it is: Leave message and call back number = SYN, Call back and leave message (SYN/ACK), return call again and person answers since number is known (ACK). I understand this isn't always possible thanks to business needs and circumstance, but most people I know will simply never answer an unknown number on their phones, instead they let the caller leave a message to determine who the number really is. Any legitimate call will leave a message (and a few non-legits) and all the others can go to hell.

Comment: Re:How many employees does Slashdot need? (Score 1) 271

by jbmartin6 (#47484575) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Many Employees Does Microsoft Really Need?
A good point about the WARN act and similar statutes. I do not agree that my point was backwards, though, in fact you made my point for me. The WARN act and its sisters are a much safer situation since it is well defined. If the company lays off people in dribs and drabs, they are leaving themselves open to all sorts of wrongful dismissal and discrimination lawsuits case by case. I understand the "at will" employee, but by no means is any company free to fire anyone at anytime without cause. I've seen plenty of cases where someone was fired with a whole heck of a lot of cause and the fired person STILL sued. They must have known there was a huge pile of documentation. Anyway, that is one of the barriers to simply firing people piecemeal since you need to document everything six ways from Sunday to defend against the lawsuits. If you are making a global decision to lay off some percentage, it is a lot easier.

Comment: More hysteria (Score 1) 76

by jbmartin6 (#47481435) Attached to: The Hacking of NASDAQ
If you review the details, the attackers were on one specific non-trading application owned by Nasdaq and had some access to their internal network. There is no evidence that they had any access to the exchange's systems, which are on a segregated network. In other words "the exchange" was not hacked at all.

Comment: Re:Reminds me of a Tom Clancy novel (Score 1) 76

by jbmartin6 (#47481413) Attached to: The Hacking of NASDAQ
Yes, and also after quite a few similar smaller incidents. Remember the scene from the recent Batman movie where Bane stole all of Bruce Wayne's money by forcing him to put his finger on the scanner? A crock. The financial institutions would just undo the whole transaction as soon as Bane left. This is one reason why there is surprisingly little security in certain aspects of the financial system. it isn't like Bitcoin where if someone steals your key file done is done and there is no going back. In the financial world, a whole slew of transactions can simply be reversed and often are. Why spend the money and effort on security when the potential impact is relatively low?

No amount of careful planning will ever replace dumb luck.