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Comment: Re:Book value of assets (Score 1) 335

Any accountant will tell you (and I am one) that there is no book value for assets like that unless they get sold

I'm confused. Coca-Cola bought it over time. And I thought you just told me book value was that paid for an asset. I know a giant loophole (at least in the 90's) was companies accounting for all their advertising (or international advertising maybe) as purchasing a depreciating asset (goodwill? brand? noteriety??) and then taking advantage of tax rebates that encouraged investment in assets. Then, writing off the cost over years.

Comment: Re:Something hilarious (Score 1) 335

I'm not saying psychic powers exist. I'm saying the Randi challenge is dumb.

Also, your response is dumb.

  1. You're assuming there are not stable populations that are psychic, possibly with taboos against breeding outside the group. (See, some rumors about gypsies)
  2. You assumed that this hypothetical psychic ability is genetic.
  3. You assume that this survival trait would lead to more children. In reality, it would lead to fewer unwanted pregnancies. Further, with the ability to avoid pregnancies lethal to the mother/child and the ability to avoid dangers, you would need far fewer children to ensure X reach adulthood.
  4. You assume that a competitive advantage would not reach equilibrium. See how lefthandness conveys and advantage in a right-handed world, and yet remains consistent at 10%
  5. You assume that people want to reproduce.
  6. You assume that psychic ability doesn't channel ectoplasm through your genitals and sterilize you.

It's not suggestive at all.

That said, I don't think it exists. You know, because of how physics seems to work.

Comment: Re:Something hilarious (Score 1) 335

The lottery uses balls that flip around willy-nilly. Telekineses would be really helpful.

But all the Randi challenge proves is that some abilities with low alternate value don't exist. But I don't even know what those abilities would be. For instance, buying land with water rights in the desert, and then reselling it (or oil, if that's what you can dowse for), would be extraordinarily profitable. But if everyone knew, you would never be able to buy anything.

Comment: Re:Price to book? (Score 1) 335

Book value is the amount the company could expect to sell its assets for, assuming odd things like "goodwill" being something you can auction off. Other subcategories of book value eliminate the non-transferable or intangible.

Q is based on how much it would cost to replace a company if you had to start from scratch.

These are different. In art, for instance, the cost a specific Picasso was determined at auction to be 180 million. That's its book value. I have no idea how it's replacement value is determined. Is it the few grand it would take to hire an accomplished painter to recreate it pretty well? The 55 grand it takes to use that machine reproduction thing some museums have experimented with? Or the cost of buying and holding a sufficient number of paintings such that in 75 years you had a seminal work of a major artist (minus the liquidation value of the rest of the works)?

Comment: Re:Something hilarious (Score 1) 335

Just like I've never met a psychic who won the lottery.

That's why Randi's contest always seemed like BS. I could make way more than a million dollars if I was psychic... but probably not if everyone knew I was. Maybe, if my descendants were non-psychic, I would admit it on my deathbed.

Comment: Re:Economics is a science! (Score 1) 335

Always looking backwards, always telling us *why* something happened, never making future predictions.

That's just false. Stagflation in the 70's was predicted by some theories but not others. The theories that did not predict stagflation were scrapped or modified. The fact that it takes 10+ years of watching to decide between two competing models is annoying, but does not mean that predictions are not made. You just cannot show it in a classroom, like with fruit flies that breed once a day to show genetics/adverse selection.

Comment: Re:Does not understand the market, obviously. (Score 1) 335

Should we expect something like the Coca-Cola company, which has had a strong business for over a hundred years consisting of a brand name known worldwide, a worldwide distribution system, and of course its famous "secret formuler" to sell for just the price of its property, plant, and equipment?

Well, that's a pretty bad example. Coca-Cola famously sold off all it's bottling plants, etc. The fact that it has a monopoly on supplying syrup to a second company makes it harder to do this kind of comparison.

But secondly, book value includes intangibles, such as goodwill, brand name, distribution chain, etc.

Comment: Re:Fuck you. (Score 1) 616

should Slashdot exist?

I am spending time here, so obviously I would prefer if it did. But then again, it's 99.99% user generated content, so I don't see the high costs. I mean, correct me where I'm wrong, but the cost of maintaining Slashdot seems to be where hobbists can throw up a competing site with spare change and can maintain it for a hosting plan covering, what, maybe $50/mo?? I'm really unsure of the costs of a scaled solution, so would love some actual numbers.

But if I can get Buzzfeed to die in a fire, I'll be quite happy.

You know what ACTUAL theft is? Consuming someone's product (ie. visiting an ad-supported web site) and then refusing to pay (ie. allow the ads to be shown).

Well, I'll grant that I'm consuming resources on their server. I leave the whole semantic "can you steal informational content man" thing aside. But, there was no agreement that I would load their page to the entire degree they wanted. I mean, is it bad wrong if I use a translation service? If I use a screenreader to read the words outloud? If I decide I want every page to render in a fixed width font of at least a certain size?

Comment: Re:Fuck you. (Score 1) 616

Physical violence is not a requisite for coercion. You can be coerced by the threat of a lawsuit, for one example.

That said, GP went stupid. Ads may be manipulative, but they are rarely coercive. Although, some have implied that you will never know the love of a [preferred gender] again unless you purchase. Which, if they could follow through on it, would be coercive.

Comment: Re:Make better language, not better coders. (Score 1) 148

by Actually, I do RTFA (#49712007) Attached to: Rust 1.0 Released

Why you wouldn't want those standards enforced by the compiler I have no idea.

This reeks of strawman. GP never said or implied any such thing.

It certainly is implied that he is against creating languages that enforce certain standards. Note, almost all standards include "Thou shall not"'s for some language features. You practically have to in C++. I mean, I don't know any (modern) standard that would let you pass and cast tons of void*'s around as the standard case.

.

So instead of training better coders in C and C++, just make a language that removes those abilities all together.

Personally, I prefer my programming language to be willing and powerful enough to do whatever I want it to do.

Comment: Re:An Old Story (Score 1) 386

Cool, a CS student!

In the real world, there are edge case reasons where it makes sense, often for performance reasons. When your leaky abstractions fail you, you have to deal.

As I said, an immutable object may need to be duplicated because it is far more efficient to read contiguous memory or to prevent trashing.

Comment: Re:It was an app on a WORK-Issued Phone! (Score 1) 776

So you're claiming that firing someone is a breach of contract??

It's likely that you'd have to be under the business relationship part of tortious interference, not the contractual part. Termination of an employee for many different reasons is not a breach of the a contract (see the penultimate item.) And truth seems to be a defense against the business relationship variant. See, all negative reviews, etc.

Comment: Re:Vaccines can cause harm FYI, no personal choice (Score 1) 544

by Actually, I do RTFA (#49703157) Attached to: California Senate Approves School Vaccine Bill

You may be right, now that 99% of the world has the vaccine. But before polio was eradicated it was a pretty horrible thing. If mass vaccinations stop, then it will make a comeback.

Look, if only one person doesn't vaccinate, it is indisputably good for them. A vaccine has a low chance of hurting them, but if the literal rest of the planet is vaccinated then they won't get the disease. The problem is, when a bunch of people think like that, measles, which was almost wiped out, starts having fucking epidemics again.

How come financial advisors never seem to be as wealthy as they claim they'll make you?

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