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Comment: Translation (Score 5, Funny) 107

I took a few Khan academy courses on MBA stuff, so I can translate it from corporate speak to straight talk:

1. Long range outlook: batteries or fuel cells?

Answer: I have no freaking clue bro.

2. Charging at gas stations?

Answer: Not gonna happen.

3. The volt has poor aesthetics, will the GM skateboard's swappable chassis concept become real?

Answer: Some people are buying ugly, so we'll continue to sell it. I am going to ignore your question about the GM skateboard and swappable chassis (which are never gonna happen btw) and talk about fuel cells instead. Fuel cells -- I know nothing about them.

4. Will I be able to buy a Spark EV in Georgia?

Answer: No, we don't sell to hicks. We would only consider selling you guys a car that isn't ever going to be made.

5. What is Chevy's plans to extend the Voltec system into other models such as the Trax and/or the Equinox?

Answer: Never gonna happen. We still want your money though, so why don't you buy one of our cars that use the same floor mat as a Volt?

6. Why don't you guys advertise the Volt?

Answer: Have you seen the documentary "Who killed the electric car?" starring the EV1? Well, we are setting up the Volt to star in the sequel.

7. Will you guys make hybrid pickups again?

Answer: No, we rather sell you the gas guzzlers and get the oil company kickbacks.

8. Are you guys benefitting from Tesla's open patents?

Answer: Yes, but we'll never admit it. Btw, did you know that GM's vagina is much deeper than anyone else's?

9. Would you guys ever use ultracapacitors?

Answer: What's an ultracapacitor? I am going to have to google that one.

10. Would you make the charging go faster?

Answer: No. Deal with it.

11. How is the upcoming Chevy Bolt going to get 200 miles per charge with a base price of $30,000?

Answer: It is impossible.

Comment: Re:Stupid reasoning. (Score 1) 1079

by JesseMcDonald (#49736241) Attached to: Los Angeles Raises Minimum Wage To $15 an Hour

For an individual business, you're right: you always set your prices to maximize revenues, regardless of costs. For the market as a whole, however, costs obviously do play a part in determining prices. It's an indirect effect; increasing costs drive the marginal producers out of business, which decreases the supply. A decreased supply and no change in effective demand results in higher prices (or shortages). The change in price does not necessarily match the change in cost, however; the extra cost is split between higher prices and decreased profitability for the remaining suppliers, with the ratio depending on price elasticity.

Comment: Re: Compelling? (Score 1) 243

by backslashdot (#49731765) Attached to: Why Apple Ditched Its Plan To Build a Television

I lol at everyone thinking there is no way to break into and dominate the supposedly saturated TV market. First off, as long as there are people who have money, even the market for pet rocks is not saturated as long as you can put some lipstick on it. Is the market for luxury anything saturated? As long as the human need to show off oneself as superior exists the market will never die. You diamond dust the carbon fiber bezel and make it expensive enough someone will want it. Second, current TV interfaces are horrible and unusable. Using a TV should be as easy as walking into your living room and saying "TV, ESPN" then when you see that ESPN is boring you should be able to say "TV, recommend some popular action movies I haven't seen" .. And then a list of choices should pop up. We ALREADY have the voice recognition ability to make this possible. Google Now and Siri work fine with a TV full volume in the background so you can't tell me a TV can't cancel out its own sound. Why is it that Samsung smart tv voice recognition is worse than on a Galaxy phone?? And Samsung smart tv has no natural language query interpretation ability. It can't even identify its own channels!!
So basically it's very simple for a company like Apple to make a compelling TV product if they invest resources in it. And that's even assuming they don't buy or create their own Netflix and offer on demand streaming content for subscription. Mind you they have the $$ capital and heavyweight to offer much better content than Netflix. So yeah a compelling and differentiated TV is certainly possible and plausible in spite of the naysayers. Samsung and Google would never be able to deliver on it, only Apple can.

Comment: Re:Buttfucking disabled people for money (Score 1) 123

by JesseMcDonald (#49719185) Attached to: Prenda's Old Copyright Trolls Are Suing People Again

Now the company no longer has to fix the ADA violation and can't get sued for it again?

I'm no lawyer, but I don't see how they could prevent anyone else from suing over the same issue so long as the company remains non-compliant. If you take an action which harms a group of people, you can't make up for it by settling with just one of them; the rest would retain the right to sue for their own portions of the damages. I imagine the same applies to violations of the ADA, even though there is no actual damage on which to base a legitimate lawsuit.

Comment: Re:Voting is a responsibility (Score 1) 258

by JesseMcDonald (#49692479) Attached to: Online Voting Should Be Verifiable -- But It's a Hard Problem

I don't want people who aren't invested enough* to go to a poll to decide policies that affect my life.

I (especially!) don't want the people who are personally invested enough to go to a poll to decide policies that affect my life. The only one with the right to make those decisions is me. The only "voting" system with any moral authority to speak of is Unanimous Consent: every single individual whose person or property is impacted by an action has the right to veto that action.

Comment: Re:Corrects multipath problem. (Score 1) 63

by JesseMcDonald (#49649157) Attached to: Centimeter-Resolution GPS For Smartphones, VR, Drones

Most smartphones do have "real" GPS receivers in addition to Assisted GPS. How long it takes to get an initial GPS fix depends, in part, on how well the device can predict your location, as well as up-to-date knowledge of the satellite orbits; A-GPS takes advantage of cell tower data to provide an approximate starting point for the GPS and a faster way to download the orbital information and thus get a quicker fix. A GPS receiver is still necessary for a precise location, and my Nexus 5, to pick one example, can be set to enable A-GPS or to rely exclusively on the phone's internal GPS.

Comment: Re:Warrant after probable cause established? (Score 1) 270

by JesseMcDonald (#49494449) Attached to: FBI Accuses Researcher of Hacking Plane, Seizes Equipment

They need a warrant to perform any search or seizure—the warrant is the authorization to perform the search or seizure; you can't have one without the other. It isn't "either the search is 'reasonable' or you have a warrant", applying for a warrant is how you document that the search was reasonable in the first place, by providing probable cause supported by oath or affirmation. A blanket authorization for so-called 'reasonable' searches and/or seizures is just another way of issuing an unconstitutionally broad warrant which fails to document the probable cause or to particularly describe the place to be searched or the persons or things to be seized.

However, you are correct that they probably wouldn't have any trouble getting a warrant after his comments. If you make a credible threat, even if your intent was humorous or sarcastic, you shouldn't act surprised when people take you seriously.

Comment: Re:Just get rid of democracy instead (Score 1) 327

by JesseMcDonald (#49489481) Attached to: Gyro-Copter Lands On West Lawn of US Capitol, Pilot Arrested

Perhaps, just get rid of districts. If someone from across my state represents me better than someone local, then perhaps my appointment should not be limited by borders drawn for an election system that would no longer be in place.

Why even restrict the choice of representative to someone in your state? I'd just let anyone interest in the job apply to serve as a representative, provided they could meet some minimum number of votes nation-wide—perhaps 0.1% of the eligible voting population, so there could be at most 1,000 representatives. In practice it would probably be much less than 1,000, with a few individuals representing the major factions but plenty of room for minority positions. Each eligible voter gets three votes, and thus up to three representatives, which they are given the opportunity to change at regular intervals (e.g. quarterly, or when one of their representatives steps down). The votes are persistent until changed, and can be concentrated or spread out according to the voter's preference. A representative's influence in the House is determined by how many votes he or she currently holds.

This would, of course, be separate from the states' representatives in the Senate, to be appointed by the state legislatures. Popular representation is all well and good, but someone has to look out for the long term. Under my system the House would be able to approve any short-term (discretionary) expenditures unilaterally out of existing savings, but a 2/3 super-majority in the Senate would be required for anything requiring new debt (to include any increase in the money supply), speculation on future revenues, or a commitment of more than a few years. Finally, all laws would be required to maintain the approval of a simple majority in both the House and the Senate or face immediate repeal following a call for a vote.

Comment: Re:People are tribal even when they don't realize (Score 1) 247

by JesseMcDonald (#49481931) Attached to: EU To Hit Google With Antitrust Charges

But then, (democratic) countries are the commonal property of their citizens, whose interests are represented by the Government.

Several problem with this. First, the claim to communal ownership of the entire country is extremely suspect. Was it homesteaded from unowned land or purchased? If purchased, did the seller have the right to it? Governments generally move in to a country by conquest, i.e. theft on a grand scale. They don't homestead the land they rule, or purchase it from the rightful owners (though sometimes they do purchase territory from another government). Second, unlike shareholders in a company, citizens can't cash out if they happen to disagree with the direction taken by the board of directors. Citizenship is non-transferable, and even abandoning it is very heavily penalized. Citizens are opted-in involuntarily at birth and aren't allowed to opt out in any practical sense—being forced to give up everything you've earned, move to another country, and never see your family again doesn't count. (And even then the U.S. will try to keep claiming you owe taxes.)

Comment: Re:A first: We should follow Germany's lead (Score 1) 700

by JesseMcDonald (#49481841) Attached to: 'We the People' Petition To Revoke Scientology's Tax Exempt Status

Right. You don't have to be a charity to be a non-profit. Anyone can form a non-profit so long as the organization itself isn't intended to make a profit (i.e. to enrich the owners/shareholders or pay dividends—paying employees is fine, but they do get charged income tax on that pay). You do need to be a charity to allow your donors to write off their donations as charitable expenses on their taxes, but that's all that's really at stake here.

Comment: Re:A first: We should follow Germany's lead (Score 1) 700

by JesseMcDonald (#49481813) Attached to: 'We the People' Petition To Revoke Scientology's Tax Exempt Status

The whole point of the tax exempt status is to advantage groups that are beneficial to society.

That's not entirely correct. While there are some minor differences between non-profit charities and other non-profit organizations, the real point of having tax-exempt non-profit organizations is to avoid double-taxing the income of organizations which aren't structured as profit centers—in other words, those which don't accumulate market value for their owners or shareholders, and don't pay dividends. There are plenty of non-profits which have nothing to do with charity and are only intended to benefit their members, e.g. industry organizations like the RIAA or MPAA. This is not a loophole; the system is working as intended. It's all a matter of simplifying the paperwork, really: if the associations were forced to file as for-profit organizations they would still pay little or no income taxes, because—by design—they have no net profit. They may keep some savings on hand to facilitate cash flow, but everything else they receive is channeled directly into expenses related to their charter.

The significant advantage charitable non-profits have is that their donations can be written off on their donor's taxes as charitable expenses. If you donate or pay dues to a non-charitable organization you're still on the hook for income taxes on that money, unless you can classify it as a business expense.

Comment: Re:Should be micro kernel (Score 1) 209

by JesseMcDonald (#49475399) Attached to: Linux Getting Extensive x86 Assembly Code Refresh

In a monolithic kernel, none of these problems exist. Every application request that enters the filesystem layer automatically continues in its own independent thread. When it hits an area that requires synchronisation, it briefly acquires a lock (usually without contention), does the work, and releases the lock. This is a much simpler design, with higher performance.

Any particular reason you couldn't do the same thing in a microkernel? I'm envisioning some form of IPC primitive that automatically spawns a lightweight thread to handle each incoming message, which isn't too different from the monolithic kernel approach apart from not having a fixed 1:1 correspondence between the client and server contexts. You would be able to use your shared data structures and locks just as you would in a monolithic kernel, at least within the filesystem code. For anything else, of course, you'd need to use IPC.