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Comment: Fatal flaw: China can't adapt (Score 4, Insightful) 115

by misosoup7 (#47618427) Attached to: China Bans iPad, MacBook Pro, Other Apple Products For Government Use

China has always been controlled from the center. In past eras, China has had technological and exploration advantages over the West that were wiped out by intrusion and isolation commanded from China's locus of concentrated power - whether via emperors, or the current regime.

Long run (maybe, even near-long-term) this does not bode well for China's prospects, because when one is sealed off from outside ideas and innovation, one will ultimately fall behind and adapt only in suboptimal ways. What results is a waste of social and intellectual capital.

That makes no sense. China just banned its government from using Apple products, not Apple products in general. It hasn't sealed itself from outside ideas and innovations at all. Chinese citizens can still buy iPads and iPhones so Chinese smartphone manufactures still has to compete.

Another reason why this may have happened that most people probably wouldn't think about is that this might be a move to fight corruption. iPads and iPhones have been vastly popular as "gifts" within the government. Banning the government from purchasing them as gifts would help to fight some of the corruption problem they're having.

Comment: It is constitutional (Score 1) 723

by misosoup7 (#46726905) Attached to: Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?
1. PPACA sets up a tax liability for all and a tax credit for those who gets health insurance.
2. Congress has the power to levy taxes (Article I, Section 8, Clause 1 and amongst other places in Article I, Section 8 as well as the 16th Amendment)
3. Constitution does not forbid congress to pass legislation that enables citizens to receive tax credits. And the congress did that by the creation of an agency to help people get health insurance. "Federal and State Exchanges"
4. Therefore, PPACA is well within the power of congress according to the constitution.

The Supreme Court found this to be the case so if you think it's unconstitutional, you'll have to take it up with the Supreme Court. Although, they are highly unlikely to want to hear the case again.

You may think Obamacare is bad, in reality, insurance premiums are high because hospitals have to make up for its huge amounts of bad debt from treating people without insurance and can't play for their treatment. And since hospitals can't refuse emergency room patients, they take a huge loss. Not to mention, it clogs up the Emergency Room so that someone who absolutely needs Emergency Care may not receive it in time. To make up for that, the hospitals charge insurers a huge amount and provides really bad service. The wait time at certain hospital ERs are 4 to 6 hours. To fix the problem. you need to keep people out of the ER, make hospitals charge less.

The PPACA attempts to do that by: 1. Encouraging people to get insurance. It's ok if you don't, you'll just have to pay some more taxes.
2. If you have insurance, you go get seen by a doctor before you have to go to the ER. This reduces the stress on ER and ensures that the hospital's bad debt is reduced.
3. Hospitals are put on a new plan to get paid. Instead of a set fee for providing a service, they are now paid to manage the health of an individual. Before the incentive was to do as many tests and treatments with the patient as possible since the government paid up for each one. Now the hospital is paid a set fee to provide care towards 1 patient per month at a certain standard of care. If they do too many tests, that will eat into their margins. If they do too few tests and the patient gets really sick, then they fail the quality of care test and they get penalized on the payment. Either way, the hospitals will be incentivized to provide good quality of care without going overboard. And this will reduce the cost of care overall, which will in turn reduce healthcare insurance premiums.

Full disclosure: I work for a major pharmaceutical company on the impact of PPACA on their ability to access physicians and sell their products.

Comment: Re:Master Password (Thuderbird+Firefox) (Score 1) 482

by misosoup7 (#44511275) Attached to: Chrome's Insane Password Security Strategy
Your child needs better "friends."

Security is when you don't store your password in any browser in the first place. Consider your child's "friend" again. When your child is in the restroom, that "friend" can easily compromise your child's account by simply visiting the site (they're already logged in thanks to saved passwords).

Comment: Re:Focus all you want... (Score 5, Interesting) 207

by misosoup7 (#43488671) Attached to: Kobo CEO Says Not Selling Washing Machines Key To Overtaking Amazon

Except that's just not how the market work. Focusing might sound good on the surface, but in reality it's not going to be the most successful. It might even be better for the customers that it has, but it's not going to make more money. First off, if you can buy everything from one place then you are used to and comfortable with buying stuff from that place, so a vast majority of people will buy stuff from that store. Who do you think sells more dog food in America, Petco or WalMart? Secondly, if you're a company with more revenue streams, you have more resources to develop new products, and you have more resources to hold yourself up between the time you release those products and the time you actually start making a profit off of them.

You can argue that Kobo's focusing could lead to better results in terms of user experience, but they aren't going to beat Amazon in terms of market share unless they really come up with something consumers think is unique and amazing.

I'm just going to point out a few minor flaws in your argument. In Petco vs Walmart example, WalMart is still only in one industry, retail. This is considered relatively focused as far as the market is concerned. The issue with Amazon is that they've actually diversified outside of retailing such as Video Streaming, Cloud Vending, Logistics (third party sellers and Amazon then distributes), and other smaller segments. So Amazon is not focused. But on the other hand, Kobo is too focused. They only do one thing. But I totally agree with you that they need something amazing to beat Amazon since Amazon has such a head start on Kobo in the market.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is that there is a spectrum of focus. 1. Ultra-focused: Petco and Kobo, 2. Focused: Walmart, 3. Not Focused: Amazon, 4. Conglomerates: 3M, Time Warner.

Corporate Finance basically tells that Ultra-focused companies usually end up in niche positions. Companies like Walmart generally do very well. Amazon will still do OK, because their "diversified" businesses come from core capabilities required to succeed at their core business, ie logistics and excess server power. And then conglomerates generally trade at a discount in the stock market because generally the disadvantages of diversification outweighs the advantages, and individual investors can diversify themselves as opposed to having to invest in diversified companies.

That being said, I don't think Kobo will be able to beat Amazon anytime soon. After all there aren't that many David vs Goliath stories unless there is mismanagement or the "Goliath" is resting on its laurels.

Comment: Re:Qui Bono? (Score 1) 434

by misosoup7 (#41346723) Attached to: Intel Says Clover Trail Atom CPU Won't Work With Linux

I can't see what possible benefit it is to Intel to deliberately limit the market for their processors. Unless they are doing this for Microsoft's benefit, in which case, surely, there are anti-trust implications?

I don't think they are doing this for MS's benefit. Microsoft already have such a large network effect, this will do almost nothing for MS. The network effect is how Microsoft and Intel became giants in the first place. Wintel machines of the late 80's and early 90's allowed them to quickly erase Apple market share. You can have a shitty product but the value proposition increased as the installed user base increased, so you'd still have to buy it. I think every agrees Win Vista was horrible. MS spent 1 billion dollars developing it and then broke even on Vista 2 month after release by moving 20 million units a month at $50-60 per unit net. Compare that to the original OSX, also about 1 billion to develop. $50/60 per unit (less for the newer kitties), but Apple only moved 19 million per year. It took Apple 2 years to break even. The advantage is already there, this will do very little for MS.

I think the issue that Intel is try to address for themselves is that supporting Linux/Android is painfully expensive because the Linux/Android space is very fragmented with many different versions of kernels, drivers, etc Supporting Win8 which is fairly uniform will reduce the cost of support.

Sure not limiting it to Win8 will potentially reduce revenue, but you also reduce costs. If the reduction in cost is greater than the reduce in revenue, you have positive increase in profitability.

Comment: Disproving what? (Score 1) 936

by misosoup7 (#40454797) Attached to: Fundamentalist Schools Using "Nessie" To Disprove Evolution
Existence of Nessie doesn't disprove evolution. Unfortunately evolution doesn't say Nessie can't exist, just very unlikely. Anyway, if anything evolution tells us dinosaurs still roam the earth today. Or at least their descendants, the birds. So the "OMG Dinosaurs disprove evolution" is a bunch of non-sense..

Comment: Re:That's *it* for me and Blizzard, man!! (Score 1) 540

by misosoup7 (#40312807) Attached to: <em>Diablo 3</em> Banhammer Dropped Just Before RMAH Goes Live
I think the DRM arising from being online is secondary. The biggest reason why the game has to be online all the time is the real money auction house (RMAH). If you allow RMAH and a off-line single player mode then you can hack your save games to get unique items. Then hop online to sell in the RMAH. Blizzard wouldn't want that.

Comment: I doubt it's the vaccine (Score 5, Insightful) 293

by misosoup7 (#39734331) Attached to: In Calif. Study, Most Kids With Whooping Cough Were Fully Vaccinated
Let's put it this way. When you have a vaccine that works 95% of the time, and 99% of the kids are vaccinated. You'll have ~5% of the population contracting the disease despite being vaccinated. And the 1% of the population will contract the disease because they weren't vaccinated. You end with way more students that are vaccinated with the disease than those who are not vaccinated (absolute number wise). But it also ignored the fact that 94% of the population was protected against the disease.

+ - Dutch build the mother of all Rube Goldberg machines->

Submitted by
vikingpower writes "A Rube Goldberg machine is a deliberately over-engineered device or contraption, that performs a simple task in as complicated a way as possible. Dutch design office HeyHeyHeyalready built a fascinating one, that occupies an entire school gym. But now they have one in two suitcases ( text in Dutch, but do go there for the videos !! ), that stamps a postcard in 38 utterly useless but o so poetic steps:: Melvin the Machine. Enjoy, you'll be baffled by the complexity of... well, Melvin !"
Link to Original Source

+ - Bill Gates Reduces Grants to 'Stand Your Ground' Group

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "NPR reports that since a coalition of liberal and civil rights groups went public with a campaign to undermine the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council, which has advocated controversial legislation—including voter suppression efforts and “stand-your-ground” self-defense laws like the one that drew national attention after an unarmed black teenager was shot to death in Florida — Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Mars, Kraft Foods, McDonalds, Wendy's and the software maker Intuit — say they have dropped their memberships in ALEC and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation says it will not make future grants to ALEC although liberal activists want the foundation to go further and stop payment on a 22-month grant for $376,635 that it awarded to the council in November to educate lawmakers about school finance and teacher effectiveness. “The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation cannot claim to be socially responsible while cutting checks to a voter-suppression and union-busting group like ALEC for the next 17 months,” says the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. Chris Williams, a foundation spokesman, defended the grant in a blog post in December. “We feel strongly that we can’t just engage one political party or type of organization in order to improve America’s schools." However, Williams says that the foundation has now decided not to provide the council another grant because “it’s tough to do good work with an organization that’s under the kind of fire that they’re under.” Williams says the present award is “narrowly focused” on the education issues and had “nothing to do with ALEC’s other agenda, which is not something we’re interested in and we don’t support.”"

"Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core." -- Hannah Arendt.