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Comment Re:That's what Nokia, Moto, and Microsoft said (Score 1) 535

There are no car foundries or car part vendors that Apple can impose one-sided manufacturing or sourcing agreements with.

Uhh, GM, Ford, BMW, etc. already do and have far less cash on hand than Apple does to throw around. There are literally hundreds of parts suppliers in the world that would bend over backwards for Apple money!

GM, Ford et al. are lucky to reach 20% gross margins. Apple would struggle to equal those margins because it can't guarantee volumes similar to the incumbents. Phone suppliers sell their souls to Apple because of the volumes and because there are no viable alternatives. Apple will have neither of those advantages in the auto world.

Comment Re:That's what Nokia, Moto, and Microsoft said (Score 1) 535

There are no car foundries or car part vendors

There are tens of thousands of them actually, from everything from the screws to the thermostats, to the wiring harnesses, brakes, tires, seats, radios, speakers, steering wheels. How many parts do you think GM/Ford actually MAKES vs just assembles?

Actually, my full, unedited statement was "There are no car foundries or car part vendors that Apple can impose one-sided manufacturing or sourcing agreements with." That is a completely true statement. A huge component of Apple's financial success is the ability (ala Walmart, Costco, etc.) to squeeze vendor margins in order to gain an advantage relative to competitors. This will not be possible with cars.

Comment Re:That's what Nokia, Moto, and Microsoft said (Score 4, Insightful) 535

Apple specializes in selling to the hipster market, so their hipstermobile will probably have more in common with a Smart Car than a traditional automobile. Basically a golf cart with doors. It will cost $4,500 to manufacture, be marketed as saving the world, cost $19,999 at retail, and sell like hotcakes to a certain demographic.

Yes, but manufacturing a car with 75% gross margins will be a bit tricky, since typical auto gross margins are less than 20% with large volume.

And the $4500 manufacturing cost will be equally challenging. There are no car foundries or car part vendors that Apple can impose one-sided manufacturing or sourcing agreements with.

And Apple would have to contend with the same logistic and legal distribution hurdles that Tesla is facing.

Comment Re:Meh - I don't see a problem (Score 1) 371

Tolerant means we strive to not offend anyone.

This is an incorrect use of the English word. Tolerance is a quality describing the observer, not the speaker. Being tolerant means that one strives not to be offended. For example, a drought-tolerant plant is able to exist in drought conditions; it makes no sense to talk about the weather's responsibilities with respect to drought tolerance.

This is PC-talk trying to use newspeak. The idea of trying not to offend others is laudable. However, tolerance is the wrong word for that.

Comment Re:I agree with Microsoft here. (Score 1) 195

Yes, Microsoft et al. should be allowed to shelter not only their hard earned money overseas but also the data describing that hard earned money.

Of course, Microsoft et al. should really investigate the idea of collecting money from individual citizens and sheltering that money abroad. The profits from that venture would probably be greater than their current efforts. Why can't we also share in the tax shelters? If corporations can be people, why can't people be corporations?

But, I'm glad we all support the right of Microsoft et al. to fight US government oppression. We support it here on slashdot with comments, and we support it with the extra taxes that we gladly and patriotically pay to offset the missing tax revenue from our esteemed corporations. Money well spent.

Comment Re: Still too low for victims and too high for law (Score 1) 117

You sound pretty stupid and have apparently never heard of the smell test.

Tell me does your idea that our salaries would be e.g. $30k higher now if only these companies had actively poached back then pass the smell test? No. It does not.

Ahh, yes, the smell test, that bastion of truth. Why don't we use the smell test to settle arguments more often? Well, proponents of this technique implicitly mean only their noses are accurate.

Well, my inaccurate nose says that contrary to your wishes, the ghosts of Adam Smith and his pesky supply and demand ideas resulted in lost wages for the affected plaintiffs. That Jobs et al. may have actually cared more about avoiding turnover in their organizations and about the thrill of pulling marionette strings doesn't diminish the economic losses of the plaintiffs.

Of course, there is also the pesky inconvenience of trial testimony (e.g., the story of Mr. Hullot's team that never was and whose potential members suffered measurable economic damages), but certainly noses trump trial testimony.

Comment Re:Market share != $$ (Score 3, Interesting) 209

This reminds me of a reported conversation between Clayton Christensen (Innovator's Dilemma) and Morris Chang (of TSMC):

“You Americans measure profitability by a ratio. There’s a problem with that. No banks accept deposits denominated in ratios. The way we measure profitability is in ‘tons of money’. You use the return on assets ratio if cash is scarce. But if there is actually a lot of cash, then that is causing you to economize on something that is abundant.”

So, Samsung's 15% of worldwide profits is still around $6 billion, and Xiaomi's 1% is still $500 million. This is only a problem for MBAs and shareholders but not for the longevity of the a company's operations.

Comment Re:Still too low for victims and too high for lawy (Score 2) 117

Not only is this a slap on the wrist, it's actually encouragement for continuing the practice. A company can pay $5000/employee to save many times that amount. The ROI on this practice must have the CFOs drooling.

Also, I wonder if the $41 million not going to the lawyers ends up with the plaintiffs or the companies.

Of course, this entire decision is a laughable farce. The judge considered $4000/person unfair but $5000/person fair. I never went to law school, but that type of judgment is baffling to me.

So, to sum up, legally the companies lost, the lawyers won/lost, and the plaintiffs won, but in the real world, the companies won, the lawyers won, and the plaintiffs lost.

Comment Work-life balance (Score 3, Insightful) 474

Things that are high on my work satisfaction list:
Work-life balance
Work-life balance
Work-life balance (did I mention work-life balance?)
Good working relationship with my boss
Good working relationship with my coworkers
Non-stressful commute

Things that don't matter:
Work satisfaction (it's work; I get my enjoyment from the part away from work; hence the supreme importance of work-life balance)
How well the company is doing financially (unless I'm going to be laid off soon or I own a huge amount of company stock)
Lunch or snacks (free or otherwise)
Promotion and titles (unless they come with financial compensation and I'm not yet adequately compensated)

Things that sort of matter:
Financial compensation (but only up to the point where it meets my needs, some wants, and savings requirements for retirement; past that it doesn't matter)
An office (cubicles and open space are horrible; I would trade an office for lowered financial compensation)

Even companies that have good reputations emphasize the lunches, cubicles, money, and work satisfaction but never mention work-life balance unless it's redefined to mean the exact opposite. Even here on slashdot, none of the moderated comments mention work-life balance.

Comment Shared communal behaviors and anticipation (Score 1) 451

I have visited Taiwan a few times, and each time I am scared when I ride in a car. Drivers swerve out of their lanes or pull out suddenly into traffic. Scooters weave all over the place. Crossing busy intersections is very different from American modes of driving. If I were to drive in Taiwan, I'm sure I would get into a daily accident. However, the locals seem to be able to manage what I see as chaos because they anticipate these driving behaviors and compensate by driving more slowly and continually looking out for actions that are not necessarily base on written law.

On the other hand, a Taiwanese driver may have difficulty driving in the US due to higher speeds and more than occasional intransigence at protecting one's legal right of way even at the cost of safety.

The idea I'm trying to convey is that the driving system seems to work if all drivers follow the same philosophy, and anticipation of other drivers' behavior matches reality. This is one of the problems with self-driving cars. They may be "perfect" at following the law and "common sense", but if their "common sense" conflicts with that of surrounding drivers, there's a potential problem, even if others are not technically following the law. Take for example the car driving at the speed limit on a highway where everyone else is driving 10-15 mph faster. The slow car is the only one technically following the law, but the speed differential from that one car potentially causes problems.

Comment Re:Not bad in principle (Score 1) 146

Yes. Quite a few of them actually. Reputation management is something we all do to some degree. I don't know how you would exist in a complex society without some amount of effort directed towards maintaining your reputation in the community.

Yes, but most of us do our "reputation management" by, you know, behaving properly rather than going around trying to erase any record of our misdeeds.

Behaving properly? Is that necessarily with a right to be forgotten? Isn't Wikipedia reputation optimization just the European model of reputation management, just with a bit more of a proactive bent?

Comment Re:Fans' Vote Was No Award (Score 1) 1044

Wow, I didn't realize that you could buy your own vote. Of course, that also means that you can pick up friends or strangers and buy their votes, too. Of all voting systems, this seems to me to be one of the easiest to manipulate.

In this case, "groundswell" could very easily be interpreted as vote buying.

Comment Re:As much as possible (Score 4, Informative) 350

The raw error rate for DRAM tends to correlate with DRAM chips. Raw, non-ECC soft error rates are in the neighborhood of 10 FIT/chip or say 160 FIT/DIMM for a DIMM with 16 chips. Let's consider a system with 4 DIMMs, which has 640 FIT. That's equivalent to a soft error every 178 years. Hard errors are additional, but for the typical amounts of DRAM in a PC, soft errors (and usually also hard errors) are inconsequential.

Also, field studies (see Sridharan, SC12) show that around half of all soft errors are not correctable with SECDED ECC.

Comment Re: invalid data (Score 1) 337

Racism is not the problem. The problem is inequality of opportunities and resources, which happens to correlate somewhat with race and which has some causes characterized by racial history.

Refusing to recognize the existence of race or race-based historical causes of inequality would have the effect of freezing in place the current situation of inequality. This is a good thing for those who currently benefit and a bad thing for those at a disadvantage.

BTW, there appears to be several definitions of "racism" assumed by the various viewpoints on this topic. To some, it means any acknowledgement of the existence of race. To other, it means actions that put a particular race at a disadvantage. It seems to me that the underlying definitions are manipulated to support antithetical viewpoints.

That's why it's critical to focus on the inequalities rather than the malleable concept of racism. Of course, if we don't care about addressing the inequalities, then this entire discussion is fruitless and simply devolves into a rhetorical exercise in the semantics of a fuzzy term.

Comment Re:invalid data (Score 1) 337

Race is the most meaningless metric of all when it comes to evaluating an ideal workforce. The last thing minority activists want is for competence to become the deciding factor when determining who to hire.

There are competing goals at play here. Some might want an ideally efficient workforce, whatever that means. I think the proponents of releasing the racial data are aiming for something else, i.e., for equal opportunity across races. I think both goals are arguably desirable. One of the great complications in evaluating equity is the complexity in evaluating competence and how that competence was attained. The argument behind race-based considerations is that competence is relative, and the disadvantaged level of competence for certain minority races is to some extent the result of past injustices that would today be considered not only illegal but crimes against humanity.

Yes, we weren't around when these injustices were carried out, but we reap the relative benefits. A few reap the direct benefit of direct financial inheritance from those injustices. However, many more reap the relative benefit of having a large portion of potential competitors relegated to less competent status due directly to the those injustices.

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