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Comment: Not that simple (Score 1) 148

by sjbe (#47953479) Attached to: Why a Chinese Company Is the Biggest IPO Ever In the US

First, scale. It moves more product than Amazon and Ebay COMBINED, and that's before even entering the US market. The network effect will dominate.

That doesn't mean a damn thing once a company leaves their home country. Alibaba dominating in China doesn't mean they are assured of any kind of success on the other side of the Pacific. There are innumerable examples of companies that dominate their home markets that struggle in new markets including Walmart, Google, eBay and others. Alibaba might be a great investment and dominate the Chinese market but it isn't remotely certain they will be anywhere near as successful outside of China.

Second the vast majority of what Amazon and (especially!) Ebay sells is made in factories in China anyway.

Demonstrably not true. Supply chains are a lot more complicated than "made in China" and people greatly overestimate the amount of stuff that is actually made in China. A lot of stuff is made in China but far more is not. China produces about 18-19% of the worlds exports by dollar value. Furthermore people greatly underestimate the amount of stuff that is manufactured domestically. The US also produces somewhere around 18% of the worlds exports.

Alibaba will allow cheaper prices for the same products without having to go through the middlemen and let Ama/Eba skim off profits in the middle.

You're presuming Amazon and Ebay provide no value. I buy a lot through Amazon because their delivery is second to none and their prices are generally reasonable. There is nothing wrong with buying through a middleman if they actually add value and many do. I buy electronic components through distributors on a daily basis for my day job and there is a huge amount of value in that. You buy toilet paper from your local grocery store because the convenience is worth the markup. The internet has flattened the supply chain somewhat but don't think for a moment that there is no need for middle men anymore.

If i can buy a part directly from the manufacturer in China for $3.99, I'm not going to pay $11.99 for Amazon to deliver it to me or even $5.99 for an Ebay reseller.

Sure you will because you want it TOMORROW. You want it from a source you trust. You want the ability to return it and be assured of a refund. You also are conveniently forgetting freight costs which are extremely NOT trivial. I run a manufacturing company that buys parts from around the globe. I buy a lot of stuff including a lot of parts that originate in China, Japan, Germany and other places. We deal with distributors all the time because they add value, shorten lead times, reduce risk and that has real value. Am I supposed to tell a customer that they will have to wait 12-16 weeks for a part (a very typical lead time from China) because I want to source it from some manufacturer I've never heard of in China? Better be buying a LOT of product and be willing to take a lot of inventory risk if you want to do that. It comes by boat unless you want to pay some outrageous markups on airfare.

Comment: Our hands aren't clean either (Score 1) 148

by sjbe (#47953359) Attached to: Why a Chinese Company Is the Biggest IPO Ever In the US

China could easily become an aggressor much the same way Russia is with the Ukraine.

Or the way the US is/was with Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, Vietnam, Panama, Cuba (Bay of Pigs), etc. Furthermore have you forgotten how the US was founded? (Hint, it wasn't populated with white people 200 years ago.) Have you forgotten the number of dictators that the US has installed and supported including but not limited to Saddam Hussein, Francisco Franco, Hosni Mubarak, Augusto Pinochet and many many more.

Let's not pretend the US has been some paragon of virtue over the years, shall we?

If China were to get in a war with Japan over Japan's northern islands, the share value of these companies could evaporate overnight.

If that happens, the value of a few companies should frankly be the least of your concerns. I'd be a lot more concerned about WWIII starting.

As much as investing in BRICs is tempting, it can not be forgotten that most of these places are not democracies.

Precisely half of the BRIC countries are democracies, specifically Brazil and India. Russia ostensibly is a democracy though in reality not so much these days. China is the only one that is not a democracy. Some people include Indonesia (BRIIC) which is among the most populous countries in the world (currently #4) and it too is a democracy.

Comment: WTF? (Score 2) 78

by Arker (#47953189) Attached to: KDE's UI To Bend Toward Simplicity
"KDE Software is often criticized for being too complicated for an average user to use. "

By whom? Since when?

"Try setting up Kmail and you would know what I mean. "

Havent used it lately but I dont remember it being much different from more common GUI email apps. What are you getting at?

"The KDE developers are aware of it and now they are working on making KDE UI simpler. "

Thinking of GNOME, which was once somewhat useful and useable before the developers started talking like this, a shiver runs down my spine.

"KDE usability team lead Thomas Pfeiffer Thomas prefers a layered feature exposure so that users can enjoy certain advanced features at a later stage after they get accustomed to the basic functionality of the application. He quotes the earlier (pre-Plasma era) vision of KDE 4 â€" "Anything that makes Linux interesting for technical users (shells, compilation, drivers, minute user settings) will be available; not as the default way of doing things, but at the user's discretion."

Ugh. *Minute user settings* are actually very important to many non-technical users. This does sound like GNOME, unfortunately.

Comment: Re:Is there a single field that doesn't? (Score 1) 416

by Cederic (#47952743) Attached to: Science Has a Sexual Assault Problem

I've had that too - getting abuse for holding a door open for a woman.

Clearly she felt that she was a precious snowflake and that I was making an unwanted advance to her.

Curiously the other 17 men and women I held a door open for that day welcomed my advance, mostly going as far as to actually thank me for it. I guess they appreciated the simple courtesy of holding a door open for them.

Comment: Re:Is there a single field that doesn't? (Score 1) 416

by Cederic (#47952731) Attached to: Science Has a Sexual Assault Problem

Hint, pressing your body up against an unwilling partner is unwanted sexual contact.

Greeting someone with a hug is not sexual contact, unwanted or otherwise.

How the fuck is someone meant to know when you do and don't hug anyway.

It may be a social faux-pas, but trust me, it's equally fucking awkward when you have Aspergers and people actually expect a hug.

Or are you telling me that all those women I know are actually making sexual overtures when they expect me to hug them?

So sorry but I give no fucking credibility to a study that treats greeting hugs as 'sexual assault'.

Comment: Re:Is there a single field that doesn't? (Score 1) 416

by Cederic (#47952719) Attached to: Science Has a Sexual Assault Problem

At a recent professional meeting, a woman made suggestive sexual remarks to me about a computer program

I'm sorry, I don't know how to break this to you gently over the internet, but.. you've been sexually abused. You're a victim of harassment. You should seek support to help you recover.

Oh hang on - are you a man? No, go fuck yourself.

Comment: Re:The over-65's swung it for No (Score 1) 426

by Cederic (#47952641) Attached to: Scotland Votes No To Independence

The militant yes voters physically attacking no campaigners are a figment of your imagination

See, you've just demonstrated perfectly why the 'yes' campaign failed: A personal attack on someone because they made a statement you disagreed with, while pretending the evidence that proves them correct doesn't exist -

Comment: Re:The over-65's swung it for No (Score 1) 426

by Cederic (#47952611) Attached to: Scotland Votes No To Independence

There were plenty of experts who supported the SNP's position on EU membership and currency.

The BBC reported both positions on EU membership and currency That includes the lawyers and politicians that said Scotland would be fine joining the EU and the senior politicians in multiple countries and in EU positions that said that membership would not be smooth sailing.

On currency the 'yes' campaign kept bleating that they could have currency union. Is it really journalistic bias to explore whether that's really the case, given the number of people that said "no, you can't". Currency was a major issue in the referendum and it was continually in the news in an anti-'yes campaign' tone because the yes campaign had no fucking answers.

Sorry but I get bored of the continual "the BBC is biased" bullshit. Yes, at times it is, but far too fucking often "the BBC is biased" is actually whining that "the BBC didn't show an obvious bias to my point of view" or "how fucking dare the BBC let someone else have an opinion". Guess where I'd place you.

On the referendum I see the constant stream of stories about Salmond and relative lack of challenge to his continual bluster, bullshit and rhetoric as pretty fucking clear evidence that there was not a bias.

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.