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Comment: Recording industry had brief monopoly. (Score 2) 339

by trout007 (#47947445) Attached to: U2 and Apple Collaborate On 'Non-Piratable, Interactive Format For Music'

Music has existed as a business since before history. It only became a huge industry when recording and cheap players became available to a mass market. We are now past this point. Previously recording music required huge amounts of capital in equipment and copying and distribution. But now copying and transmitting are essentially without cost and recording and editing equipment is on the same scale as the instruments. The huge music industry is dead. What will replace it is a return to the past. Paying for the experience of a live show.
Recordings will serve mearly as advertising.

It's nice when you have a natural monopoly buy enjoy it while it lasts.

Comment: Re: I never thought I'd say this... (Score 2, Insightful) 323

by trout007 (#47935487) Attached to: FCC Chairman: Americans Shouldn't Subsidize Internet Service Under 10Mbps

There are pros and cons to living anywhere. Cities have great access to all sorts of good and services but can be expensive. Rural areas are much cheaper but have difficult access. Suburban areas are a compromise.

Why tax those that live in high cost cities to pay to provide services to rural areas. Isn't the cheap cost of living in a rural area a natural subside?

Comment: What classes do you take? (Score 4, Interesting) 391

by trout007 (#47918893) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

What does a Liberal Arts Degree mean these days? There used to be a traditional Liberal Arts education that included theology, grammar, reasoning, rhetoric, philosophy, arithmetic,logic, geometry, music, astronomy, etc. I could see how taking these as formal courses would help someones critical thinking. But how many people with LA degrees have mastered these?

Comment: Re:Another building full of robots? (Score 1) 157

by trout007 (#47823769) Attached to: Reno Selected For Tesla Motors Battery Factory

This is a result of artificially low interest rates. Any time you build manufacturing capability you need to do a cost/benefit analysis of how much to automate. I've done this analysis in the past when I worked for an automation house. The main factors are the local cost of labor and the interest rates. In times where interest rates were high (I have lived long enough to see this) and there was high unemployment so people would accept a lower wage it always made sense to hire more people than machines. The reason is a person is productive on an assembly line after a relatively short training period where it takes a while to design, manufacture, test, and install production equipment. The equipment is also a large capital investment and when interest rates are high you can sometimes get a better return just sitting on the cash or not borrowing it in the first place.

When times are good and there is low unemployment and interest rates it makes sense to more fully automate.

If we would let the market set interest rates the pace of automation would be naturally limited.

Comment: What is safe? (Score 1) 200

by trout007 (#47823739) Attached to: Hitachi Developing Reactor That Burns Nuclear Waste

You are right. The ignorance of many people on the subject of radioactivity is amazing. I don't know why, maybe because nuclear seems magical. But the radiation produced by an isotope is inversely proportional to the half life. People complain about nuclear waste that will be radioactive for a million years. Sure but that stuff is pretty safe because of that long half life it doesn't produce much radiation. It's the short lived isotopes that are really dangerous because of the amount of radiation they put out. Luckily you don't have to keep them long until they decay to safe levels. It's the stuff right in the middle with half lives in the 10-100 year range. They are radioactive enough to be a health concern but also take a long enough time to decay. Of course the type and energy level of the radiation needs to be factored in as well.

Don't steal; thou'lt never thus compete successfully in business. Cheat. -- Ambrose Bierce