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Comment: Amazon as infrastructure (Score 1) 168

by sugar and acid (#47530889) Attached to: Amazon's Ambitious Bets Pile Up, and Its Losses Swell

Amazon is all about market share and building infrastructure to support that market share. So actually the main driver of amazon isn't it's store front/web presence. They sell stuff online, so do thousands of other people out of there garages. What they are driving for in the warehouse/delivery infrastructure to deliver anything, anywhere fast and at the lowest cost. By doing that they can simply offer the same things, faster and cheaper than anyone else.

But that involves building warehouses in strategic locations, and forming deals with delivery companies that lower costs and streamline the process the whole way. At the moment, this extends to delivering to local delivery company and post office depots directly and relying on those delivery services for the last mile delivery.

They have taken that same physical strategic warehouse, tied closely to key last mile delivery infrastructure model into cloud computing. Which is essentially large warehouse of servers, strategically placed for maximum efficiency of running costs and internet connectivity to large markets.

What it means is that they spend all their money that they actually make on razor thing margins, building more infrastructure, to service more customers that they have gotten by out competing everyone on price and delivery speed. All Amazon has to do to turn a profit is to pull back a bit on the growth plans.

The latest foray is into grocerys in some large west coast markets. This is traditionally a direct from store/warehouse last mile delivery service, and offered by a large number of supermarkets etc theses days. What Amazon hope to do isn't to make a lot of money on it, but develop and support a last mile delivery service. Thus completing the vertical integration within amazon of the whole order, pick, pack, ship and delivery process.

 

Comment: Re:Wrong priority! (Score 1) 503

by sugar and acid (#47492881) Attached to: Russia Prepares For Internet War Over Malaysian Jet

There were a number UK, canadian and Australians killed. Which would mean those countries will get all relevant signals intelligence from the US at least under the United Kingdom – United States of America Agreement. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UKUSA_Agreement.

Also when have the CIA ever kept there nose out of anything? :)

Comment: Re:Not really (Score 1) 228

by sugar and acid (#47173881) Attached to: AT&T To Use Phone Geolocation To Prevent Credit Card Fraud

"So what about those of us who refuse a smartphone for various reasons? I wouldn't mind having one but I'm not going to shell out another $20/month for internet on a device that I mainly use in a place where I already pay for the internet."

Simple, you will have access to only higher rate credit cards. The higher rate justified by the higher risk of fraud.

Comment: Re:This "nightmare" rigns a bell (Score 1) 240

by sugar and acid (#47150535) Attached to: The Coming IT Nightmare of Unpatchable Systems

The replacement date for cell phones is upfront and written into most contracts. It is a fundamental part of cell-phone contract marketing these days. So nobody is thinking 20 years unless they are deluded, and the phone companies are definitely not promoting that at all. The 2 year upgrade cycle is transparent, and well understood between customers and vendors. So what is your point?

Comment: Of course this was going to happen (Score 2) 341

by sugar and acid (#47036521) Attached to: UK May Kill the EU's Net Neutrality Law

The UK conservative government has an election next year. They are under a lot of pressure from the UKIP, a party that is for the UK being independent from the EU, so very anti EU. And it is about an issue that they can twist into being about them protecting children from the internet, which plays well in the tabloids. Of course they were going to do this no matter how good or bad the EU legislation actually is.

Comment: Re:I don't need a study.. (Score 1) 392

by sugar and acid (#46546979) Attached to: The Myth of the Science and Engineering Shortage

The article mentions this, and solves your problem. Move out of Silicon Valley to a lower cost of living place. Some good sized mid-western city will be optimal. This only works if you have an established product and good procedures. Now if your start-up and need funding from VC etc then yes base yourself in SF, NYC, Boston or Chicago....

Comment: Re:It's the *Pot & Kettle Show* (Score 1) 187

by sugar and acid (#46461853) Attached to: CIA Accused: Sen. Feinstein Sees Torture Probe Meddling

Iran Contra is a good example of what is the problem with the CIA. They believe they are a covert military force and diplomatic wing of government, and NOT an intelligence gathering service. Because of this, after Iran Contra, they just pulled out of everything including the basics of intelligence gathering that would generate actionable intelligence.

The vietnam war murky start was due to it growing out of CIA lead military actions. In many ways a more up front decision decision in government about if there should be any military action in Vietnam could have saved many lives, with either a fully committed profession US force being deployed earlier on or simply not engaging in the conflict at all and coming out at the same result it ended in anyway.

If the CIA concentrated on understanding what is going on in the world and feeding that back to the government. With military actions left to the military, and diplomatic manoeuvring left to the diplomatic corp, the US just wouldn't get into half the messes it does.

Comment: And so where is the archimedes (Score 4, Informative) 111

by sugar and acid (#46328475) Attached to: The Ever So Unlikely Tale of How ARM Came To Rule the World

The article skipped over the whole development of the arm processor. It wasn't developed for the newton, the original architecture was for the acorn archimedes risc based computers, launched in 1987.

The key difference that set Acorn apart from every desktop PC type computer manufacturer at the time, is they went down the road of actually designing their own processors for the PC market. This is instead of using one from Motorola or IBM

I think what set the ARM apart going forward was they used modern for the time CPU design principles, but they aimed for a lower end consumer grade market instead of the higher end mainframe/server/workstation/supercomputer market. Because of this they were all about getting the most performance from cheaper slightly older chip fab technologies. All of these ultimately meant that the design constraints imposed early on translated well to mobile applications.

Comment: Re:or stop hiding... (Score 5, Insightful) 377

by sugar and acid (#46236711) Attached to: Assange's Lawyers: Follow Swedish Law, Interrogate Him In the UK

Assange's resistance to extradition to Sweden is I think because he believes he is more vulnerable to extradition lock away in a Swedish Jail, not because the extradition process is easier from there to the US than the UK, just that he won't be able to skip bail and the country locked away in a jail. EAW extradition proceedings from the UK to Sweden were in motion, he was out on bail when he skipped off into the Ecudorian embassy. If he had been charged in Sweden for rape, combined with the obvious flight risk someone like Assange represents, bail would have been very very high or not available. Assange's thinking is it would be at that point that the US would start extradition proceedings.

An interesting point here is it is implicit that Assange will not stand and fight any extradition proceedings if he can skip the country. It is a strategy that has left him imprisoned in an embassy in London. Also it has effectively accomplished what the authorities of many countries wanted to achieve, he is trapped, with a progressively smaller political voice.

Comment: Black mirror (Score 1) 241

Charlie Brooker's excellent series "Black mirror". Had exactly this idea in the episode "Be right back".

A company that would take all the tweets, facebook etc as input and create a bot of the deceased personality that you would be able to text with. The story had a pregnant recent widow start talking to her "deceased" husband. To extend it to the logical conclusion the company had upgrades that went from texting, through to phone conversation if audio input was put in, to finally an android based on the person that was fully functional.

The theme was that this was a really bad idea. The imitation can only ever be a imitation, with massive parts of the more private hidden personality missing. And for the people that care the most about the person, something deep in the uncanny valley. All it could really do was draw out the grief process with false hope, and that can't be a healthy thing.

Comment: Of course (Score 1) 185

by sugar and acid (#45753483) Attached to: 90 Percent of Businesses Say IP Is "Not Important"

Lots of business are just in the business of selling stuff. So there is very little IP to be had.

Similarly there is very little IP to be protected in the vast majority of services businesses. That's everything from dog walkers to hotel chains, law firms and banks.

The building industry has very little IP as well apart on certain widgets used.

That pretty much leaves high tech manufacturing, software, and something that is probably best describes as "media".

Comment: Static application is stupid (Score 1) 176

The static application of this, automatic charging while parked over a mat in a garage is not that interesting really. But what if sections of a similar technology was installed in interstates that could charge a car on the move? Cars with a receiving system, and a way to verify and bill the driver for the electricity while moving. We would then have electric cars with potentially infinite range.

That application we could take a bit of inefficiency for the convenience added.

Comment: Unbalanced (Score 5, Insightful) 383

by sugar and acid (#45593207) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Convince Management To Hire More IT Staff?

I'll be honest, you seem to have a large IT department. You have 4 programmers, and that seems out of whack. Now you are a manufacturer are these programmers actually working on internal business systems (so truly IT), or are they actually involved in developing end user software firmware etc (product development).

If it product development they need to be moved into the development department with the engineers, though the IT manager would then come underneath the product development manager which maybe politically problematic but needs to be done.

If it is just for internal systems development and support, frankly your doing too much customization of your internal system. I think you'll find that the payback with a company the size your described , for automating and streamlining every process, by heavy modifications to the ERP are actually not there. Get the IT manager to fight against further scope creep of the ERP, sack a programmer or 2 and get in more true IT support staff.

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