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Comment: Re:... Driverless cars? (Score 1) 299

Well, it certainly worked out well for all those unions that just rolled over for management. Your anecdote just shows how good some people are at creating a narrative to justify their actions.

Do you honestly believe that the labor/management collaboration is a zero sum game, and that there is no possible win-win scenario, and the only choices are "labor loses" OR "management loses"?

Because if you do, I'd like to know what business you are in so that I can take the margin on a "win-win" to turn one of the "wins" into a "lose", and you will happily just eat it, because you believe that's how things have to be in what is actually, essentially, a positive sum game.

Comment: Re:... Driverless cars? (Score 1) 299

Yeah, no shit. If an entrepreneur rakes in the cash on a technology with a set end date, he is, "leveraging the current needs of the market". If a working stiff does it, they are, "being shortsighted".

I believe Karmashock's point is that the end date on Teamster labor, unlike the end date on, say, a patent, is *NOT* set.

You would be right, if the company had an extremely long term contract with the Teamsters, and could provide them with work, due to having an extremely long term contract with Yahoo, et. al., but those contracts are generally not on the order of 20 years because the companies contracting their transportation services are not stupid.

Comment: Re:In related news... (Score 1) 299

Well if I worked for any of those companies and utilized these buses, I'd want to make sure that the guys at the wheel were at least satisfied with what they were doing and not ill nor overworked; especially if I had to put my life in their hands.

Obviously, they should not be ill.

One of their primary complaints is that they are *underworked*, not *overworked*; specifically, they only have work in the morning and evening.

If *the rest of us* don't get to be satisfied, why should *they* get to be satisfied?

Comment: Re:Being disconnected might be good... (Score 1) 53

by tlambert (#49144807) Attached to: Facebook's Colonies

If voting moves entirely online

Begging the question, huh?

Online voting has been performed in both Arizona, U.S., and in Estonia

Both privately owned gated communities and government housing projects are also in a position to prevent you from getting outside the gate on the day of the poll — does this mean, it is better to be homeless than to live in such a place?

This type of thing has actually occurred before, disenfranchising both Women and African Americans by preventing them, en masse, from getting to the polls. It's why it's felony voter fraud to do that, in most jurisdictions. Florida is famous for having, in a number of cases, sent busses to pick up African Americans, nominally to take them to vote, but in reality, to take them far away from their registered polling places until the polls closed.

Meanwhile the loving government can punish an entire town with make-work road repairs — would you accept that as an argument against government-maintained roads?

No, but I might accept it as an argument against some governments and government officials...

Comment: Re:Being disconnected might be good... (Score 1) 53

by tlambert (#49141461) Attached to: Facebook's Colonies

Despite already well-known in his times mega-corporations (like Standard Oil), Orwell was not particularly concerned with them. Probably, because a corporation, however big, can not compel you to do anything at the point of a weapon.

If voting moves entirely online, it's possible to disenfranchise you and take away your right to vote.

Frankly, I'd rather have the weapons pointed at us.

Comment: Re:Low margin vs. High demand (Score 2) 187

by tlambert (#49099775) Attached to: Why Sony Should Ditch Everything But the PlayStation

Yes, because VCs are so impressed by a good-looking laptop. I mean, forget the numbers on the spreadsheet, this candidate has an ugly Thinkpad.

VCs tend to be impressed by polish.

Typically, if you take an idea to a VC, unless you have some IP tied up, or there is significant work entailed to get to a first mover advantage, they are already thinking about one of their go-to teams that can take your idea and run with it. Frankly, ideas are a dime a dozen, and beyond that, the only thing that matters is an ability to execute, and that means they are not investing in your product, per se, they are investing in your market segment and the team.

Usually, they will prefer their team to the team that you have put together because they are familiar with their team. Their team has a track record, and they have an existing relationship with the teams they typically work with on new projects. It's one of the reasons there are so many serial entrepreneurs, and so few new entrepreneurs that make it past the friends-and-family or angel funding stage of their startup into series A financing.

If you are a new entrepreneur, or someone with a proven technical track record, who has never been on "The VP Gravy Train", unless you are already profitable (and are therefore trying to give away a very large chunk of your company and control of your board of directors, in exchange for capital to bring your venture to scale), you need every advantage going into the meeting that you can lay your grubby little hands on.

Packaging of yourself is therefore almost as important as the content of the presentation itself.

So yeah, they're "impressed by a good looking laptop", if that's part of the overall package impression that convinces them that your team is the right team, and that they won't need to replace you, the founder, with one of their go-to CEOs, or one of their VPs they've been cultivating to take a CEO position at some point in the future, and "Gee, I think it's time we gave Frank a shot at a CEO position; what do you think, other managing partners of this large venture fund?".

If you are a technical person, you will be lucky to last in the C suite much beyond (mostly) losing control of your board of directors, which is going to happen some time between closing Series A and closing Series B. Typically, your series B will be contingent on you losing control to the point that they can replace you at any point their confidence falters, and they decide "It's time to bring in adult supervision".

PS: One of the reasons there are so few women in higher up positions is that the women haven't taken their paydays from being an early employee, and acted as their own angel investor in a new company that has been successful. You kind of have to be a gambling addict to get to that point in the game, so that you are a known quantity. That said, technical companies in the Fortune 500 have done 2X as well asall of the other Fortune 500 companies, in terms of percentages, so tech is about 2X as egalitarian as any other industry in that regard.

Comment: Low margin vs. High demand (Score 3, Insightful) 187

by tlambert (#49098489) Attached to: Why Sony Should Ditch Everything But the PlayStation

Electronics is low margin because of commodity parts and consumer demand for interoperability. Think, microwaves and computers. You don't need a special brand of microwave to heat Packaged Dinner Product.

Low margin vs. High demand

There's room for both low margin, and there's high demand items in consumer electronics.

When I needed a Windows laptop, before Bootcamp existed so that Windows could run on Apple hardware, I bought a Sony Vaio: it was the most beautiful non-Apple laptop on the market at the time, and when you are going into a VC to pitch your idea to them, you want to dress to impress, and that includes the machine on which you are giving your powerpoint on your business plan.

Vaio's were a high demand item because they had very good esthetics. A lot of other Sony products were higher margin than their competitors as well, because they were aimed at the high esthetic market.

The PlayStation is really a terrible product, comparatively speaking; the XBox is a much better product, based on Microsoft being able to leverage it to get game onto their desktop platforms as well (at some point), and potentially onto Windows Phones, as well (at some point), because the underlying platform technology is Windows on all three.

I think the person writing the article is a gamer who has drank the PlayStation Kool Aid, and wants Sony to concentrate on it, even though Sony is one PSN hack away from losing out on a holiday season, as they did previously. A single product company is just too vulnerable to single point of failure due to externalities.

It's a dumb idea because it would be a bad business decision on their part.

Comment: Re:Seems ripe for abuse (Score 4, Insightful) 112

by tlambert (#49091893) Attached to: AT&T Patents System To "Fast-Lane" File-Sharing Traffic

Once the data leaves your network and makes its way onto theirs, its no longer your own traffic. Why people feel like they are entitled to abuse the system that the rest of us rely on is beyond me. This country has really gone downhill.

Probably because we don't feel that it's abuse; once we've paid for a certain diameter of pipe to the rest of the Internet, it's their job to let us send or receive whatever we want over that pipe, without editorializing.

Of course, if they really want to editorialize, and demonstrate a technical ability to do so, I'm going to hold them legally responsible any time my 13 year old son is successful in accessing porn over this pipe that they are supposedly capable of exercising content control on, since by *not* exercising control on that particular content, they are responsible for the porn.

"You know, we've won awards for this crap." -- David Letterman