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Comment: Re:But do you want it? (Score 1) 46

by lucm (#46796077) Attached to: Bookies Predict the Future of Tech

Before "clarifying" something, make sure you understand it. "Shorting" is not a financial instrument. It simply means selling shares that you do not own. A financial instrument is something one can trade.

Options are a financial instrument because once you buy the right to buy or sell a share at a specific price (i.e an option) you can trade that right depending on how the share price fluctuates.

I'm not sure which operation is more "dangerous" (short selling a stock or buying put options). Options provide a bigger leverage but have no value past the strike time; the loss is however limited to whatever premium was paid to buy the option is one chooses not to exercise it. The risk in short selling is that you may end up having to buy the stock at a price that is much higher than you anticipated, so the worst case scenario is that you may have to keep that stock for a long time hoping that the price will go up again, or sell at a loss. In either case you need to have a good bankroll because most trading companies will require additional funds (or credit) to secure the position when the price of the underlying asset fluctuates wildly in a direction that does not favor you (otherwise they will liquidate).

Comment: Re:But do you want it? (Score 3, Informative) 46

by lucm (#46793067) Attached to: Bookies Predict the Future of Tech

You can short the loser side and get an immensely bigger payout if you are right. Options are pennies on the dollar compared to a bet or actual shares.

And in any event, unless you buy in at the IPO, you don't "help" a company or technology by buying their stock since the said stock is owned by some other dude and the sale does not bring a single more dollar to the company; if anything there is administrative overhead for them. The only marginal impact you may have is that by buying or selling you have a tiny influence over the stock price, which may please or displease other shareholders, who can reward or punish executives accordingly.

Comment: A penny saved is not a penny earned (Score 1) 232

by lucm (#46791505) Attached to: Bug Bounties Don't Help If Bugs Never Run Out

The dude says: "A stranger approaches a company like Microsoft holding two envelopes, one containing $1,000 cash, and the other containing an IE security vulnerability which hasn't yet been discovered in the wild, and asks Microsoft to pick one envelope. It would sound short-sighted and irresponsible for Microsoft to pick the envelope containing the cash — but when Microsoft declines to offer a $1,000 cash prize for vulnerabilities, it's exactly like choosing the envelope with the $1,000".

That's wrong. To have access to $1,000, Microsoft has to earn maybe $1,350 on account of the federal, state and local taxes. But that's not enough because they also need to pay their staff (and their office space), plus the lawyers and accountants who process quarterly for the earnings reports, plus banking fees, and lots of other stuff.

So paying a $1,000 bounty requires them to forfeit a $1,500 income, while getting a $1,000 cash payment means a $750 profit. Even if the bug is a big one (which rarely happens), what is going to happen? People flocking to OSX and Linux? If you ask the shareholders, taking the cash is a no-brainer.

This being said, I still don't understand why Microsoft bothers with IE. What do they have to gain? They should take a small chunk of their IE budget and fund Firefox.

Comment: Re:Yes, because of your selection bias (Score 1) 266

by lucm (#46741293) Attached to: Apple's Spotty Record of Giving Back To the Tech Industry

Microsoft will do this for a while then try to exert pressure in various ways to get their way. Due to the structure of ASF, it's probably hard for them to get anywhere because there are so many different projects lead by so many different people. They will most certainly try however.

Citation needed

Comment: Re:see where your taxes go (Score 1) 322

by lucm (#46737695) Attached to: IRS Misses XP Deadline, Pays Microsoft Millions For Patches

Also the amount, 12 millions, is retail price. With the large number of computers they have, the IRS probably gets the Public Sector Discount, which means at least 3x the retail price (plus mysterious fees), and to make things easier they probably rounded up the number to an even 200,000 licenses.

At the moment the GAO can't even give a ballpark figure for the money wasted by the IRS. Therefore, the amount of money wasted on XP does not matter, at least it goes back to an American company so they can stash it in Ireland or Benelux.

Comment: Re:This is very bad for OSS (Score 4, Insightful) 43

by lucm (#46635013) Attached to: New Apache Allura Project For Project Development Hosting

People who want to store their own projects on their own servers instead of having Crapware bundled with their downloads on SourceForge or who don't like the tedious process of publishing on Github can use this thing and SEO or twitter their way to the mainstream search engines - or maybe they just want to use it internally and don't care about people knowing about their stuff.

As for a federated register, if we look at the existing models (Wikipedia, Apple App Store, Google Play Store) then THAT is the end of OSS. When a small clique decides what is acceptable and what is not then the outcome looks good but that's just because the people or projects that are crushed are lost in the background noise.

Comment: Re:(plus one InformatiDve) (Score 1) 43

by lucm (#46634867) Attached to: New Apache Allura Project For Project Development Hosting

Those links are posted by the Praetorians and hide a secret portal leading to a mysterious backdoor. Thanks to CyberBob, I know how it works: hold the left shift key on your keyboard then click directly in the middle of the top loop of the "8". If you do it correctly, you will get to the backdoor and it will be wide open.

Be careful.

"Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward" -- William E. Davidsen