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Comment: Re:Even better, reflect true cost of cell phones (Score 1) 43

by fermion (#47536175) Attached to: Compromise Struck On Cellphone Unlocking Bill
Right now you best deal on a contract phone is buy a new phone when the contract runs out. Otherwise you are paying the fees for a phone that is already paid for. If you sign a new contract, and get a new phone, the amount of money you pay is constant. There is no wasted money. If she was paying for a plan that was out of contract that was a waste of money. Paying $100 is wasted if she was out of contract. Paying $100 in contract would not necessarily be a waste, but it is likely a wash. The value of an iPhone 5S is about $650. If you buy the phone and use something like Cricket it will be $2000 over two years, but there is no lockin. If you get the subsidized phone, and use something like verizon, you are paying a few hundred dollars more over the two year period, with lockin. Most people aren't set up to lay down a few hundred dollars for a phone at time of purchase. Getting a phone for free and paying for a couple years makes more sense. The lockin comes from this extended payment. My fear is that this current climate is leading to higher prices. On verizon, if you use their early upgrade plan you pay about $150 extra over the two years, in addition to the $300 premium.

Comment: Re:Range is not the issue. Cost is. (Score 1) 115

From the Tesla Motors website: "As we at Tesla reach for our goal of producing a mass market electric car in approximately three years, we have an opportunity to leverage our projected demand for lithium ion batteries to reduce their cost faster than previously thought possible.... By the end of the first year of volume production of our mass market vehicle, we expect the Gigafactory will have driven down the per kWh cost of our battery pack by more than 30 percent."

Comment: Re:23% revenue growth! (Score 2) 161

by timeOday (#47532503) Attached to: Amazon's Ambitious Bets Pile Up, and Its Losses Swell
I would like to understand this. The article says that losses for the next quarter are expected to be larger: "Mr. Szkutak listed some of the reasons: Amazon Web Services is in a price-cutting war with Google and others. Six new warehouses have opened. And the company will spend $100 million on new content to put on those phones and Kindles."

The warehouses, at least, are quintessential infrastructure investment. You are saying Szkutak is incorrect in asserting they cut into short-term profits?

Comment: Re:I'm confused (Score 1) 167

States Rights has always been nothing more than a tool used by people who want something. Usually what they want is to take something from other people. They would just as easily use religion, economics, erroneous statistics, philosophy, or any other intellectual tool they could find.

IMHO, ultimately states don't have rights any more than corporations do. PEOPLE have rights. The PEOPLE should have the right to freely associate and provide broadband. If they want to do that through their city government, fine. There's no need to appeal to "states rights" which has quite a checkered past.

Comment: Re: Bullshit (Score 1) 167

Even the District of Columbia DMV was pretty good, and DC is not known for efficiency. When I got rid of my car, it didn't take very long to hand the plate to the guy, who marked it invalid. That was that. Comcast? I got charged after disconnecting, and the dispute is unresolved after two months.

In other words, "disconnecting" from the DC DMV was easier than disconnecting from Comcast.

Comment: 23% revenue growth! (Score 5, Informative) 161

by timeOday (#47531051) Attached to: Amazon's Ambitious Bets Pile Up, and Its Losses Swell
Amazon's revenue grew 23% over the same quarter last year. If the company were not growing AND not profiting, that would be bad. But as large as Amazon's revenues now are, to still be growing that fast is very impressive, and proves they could start taking profits at any moment simply by pocketing more revenue instead of re-investing.

Comment: Most of Cal's water is for farms, not homes (Score 1) 348

by billstewart (#47529071) Attached to: Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

Residential rates matter a bit if you're trying to get people to install low-flow toilets or drought-tolerant non-grass landscaping, but if you live near the Niagara river, you can afford a lot more land than almost anybody in LA (except the folks on unstable hilltops.)

But that's not where California's water goes. 80% is for agriculture, and about half of that is for feeding cattle. It's at subsidized prices one or two orders of magnitude cheaper than residential water. There's also a good chunk of it going to industry.

Comment: Lawns, Veggies, other ground cover (Score 1) 348

by billstewart (#47529057) Attached to: Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

Most vegetables are seasonal, not perennials, and in most climates you'd want year-round ground cover. It's ok if that's grasses that go dormant in the summer or winter, as long as they still prevent erosion and mud, but growing zucchini not only won't do the job, but you won't be able to find enough grocery bags to leave it all on your neighbors' doorsteps. Most of the SF Bay Area isn't quite right for desert-style xeroscaping (even though prickly pear cactus grows really well here), but there's a lot of low-water native vegetation that does ok.

HOAs would have a fit. But boomers were the hippie generation - we approved of healthy food, organically grown veggies, all that stuff. (As long as somebody else does the hard work :-) In my case, I don't have ground-level dirt of my own, just pots on a balcony, and the squirrels have already stolen both tomatoes, but I liked doing extensive gardening back when I had a yard. And with a yard full of zucchini, I wouldn't have to tell you kids to get off my lawn.

Comment: Re:Bugs... (Score 3, Informative) 176

by timeOday (#47527513) Attached to: "Magic Helmet" For F-35 Ready For Delivery

I'm told that the F35 is the largest, heaviest fighter with an airframe that produces the most drag, that the US has ever produced...

And where did you hear it? According to wikipedia:

F35: 35'
F14: 64' / 38' (swept)
F15: 42'
F16: 32'
F18 C/D: 40'

Empty Weight
F35: 29,000 lb
F14: 43,700 lb
F15: 28,000 lb
F16: 18,900 lb
F18: 23,000 lb

Combat radius (internal stores)
F35: 600 nm
F14: 500 nm
F15: 1000 nm
F16: 340 nm
F18: 400 nm

Of what can be verified, none of what you heard is correct...

"There are things that are so serious that you can only joke about them" - Heisenberg