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Comment They can "lose" money to keep a customer loyal (Score 1) 116

> I'd be very surprised if Amazon profited off of literally every
> Prime subscription vs. users just getting the same stuff a la carte. They have to offer Prime to those people as an opportunity cost to get Prime to others.

They can, and perhaps do, "lose" money in that most customers, prime gets them less than what ala carte shipping would get them for the same items. Prime isn't, and shouldn't be, valued that way by Amazon.

The point, I think, is that ala carte customers will buy a few items from Amazon, a few from Walmart, some from eBay, few from Tiger Direct, some from Crutchfield ... Ala carte customers can easily drift away from using Amazon at all. Once people pay $99 for Prime, they are likely to go to Amazon first for almost all online purchases. That, I think, is the point of Amazon Prime. The main value for Amazon isn't getting the $99, it's havimg a customer committed to Amazon.

Comment The blogger complied with Zillow's demand (Score 1, Informative) 118

Zillow demanded that the blogger stop cribbing images from Zillow, citing agreements Zillow has with the photographers who own the copyrights. The blogger agreed to do so. Thus the dispute ends.

The headline here is click bait. A perfectly accurate headline would be "blogger agrees to stop unlawfully using copyrighted images without license".

Comment 1998. only x user, running y program, can do z (Score 1) 219

Yes, if you can express any such security rule in English, you can do it with Selinux.

Only this role (group of users) can access this set of files, and only by running these programs, and only has read/write/execute permission. There are other attributes you can use as well.

SELinux was released it in 1998.

It's particularly well suited to servers. You can say exactly what your mail server software, or Apache web server, has access to, under exactly what conditions.

Comment Both size and profit. Lenovo 1.4%, Mac 19% (Score 1) 205

Yes the SIZE of a company is it's market cap, period. Revenue is revenue, profit is profit, and size is size - capitalization.

If you want to compare to Lenovo, first yes tablet computers are computers; they are the computers that everyone is buying. And Apple sells more of them than anyone. You want to pretend a tablet computer isn't a computer? You want to look only at old-fashioned desktops? Okay, Lenovo makes 1.4% on each desktop they sell. Apple makes 19%. So Apple makes more money selling desktops than Lenovo does.

Comment Mac is 1,000 times the size of the hobby market (Score 2, Informative) 205

> Apple needs to get back to it's roots for PC, computers as a hobby.

Apple could do that if somehow their products completely failed and they were in survival mode. Apple is currently the largest computer company in the world and the ninth largest company in the world. They sell 17 MILLION Macs every year, for 23 BILLION dollars in Mac sales.

The entire "computers as a hobby" market is maybe a 23 million dollars each year, one tenth of one percent of Mac sales. They would literally give up 99.9% of their sales by focusing on people who want to tinker with their computers. To make it worse, they'd lose most of their margin. Hobbyists aren't going to buy Apple-branded RAM for $300 if they can get similarly speced RAM from Kingston for $200.

Comment Keep your core competencies in house (Score 2) 262

What definitely needs to be done in-house is whatever your company is supposed to be good at. Ford designs and assembles cars - they shouldn't outsource the design and assembly of cars because that's what they DO - if they stop making cars, they are no longer doing anything and have no reason to exist. Ford is not in the business of making cleaning products, so they probably shouldn't make the cleaning products they use. They should outsource that, buying cleaning products from SC Johnson or someone. Ford is not in the business of cleaning carpets, so that's also a candidate for outsourcing.

Once you have a list of items that can be outsourced because they aren't your "core competencies", they "make or buy" decision becomes mostly a matter of arithmetic. For the same budget cost, will you get it done better by hiring people to do it, or by hiring a conpany to do it? Equivalently, for the same level of quality, does it cost less to pay in-house people to do it or to an outside source? Probably, you'll find that it's better to get an operating system from an outside source, not make your own.

  While there is no hard and fast rule, a rule of thumb is to consider the company next door. If you could easily buy the same product or service from the same vendor that the company next door uses, and it would serve your purpose, you should probably do so. General purpose things like office supplies office cleaning, and payroll services should be purchased, not manufactured in house, because there is no competitive advantage to be gained from having better office supplies than the other company.

Comment Chinese censors *religious*?!?! Are you stoned? (Score 1) 170

> religious conservatives who are employing censorship to "protect public morals" (or whatever they imagine themselves doing)

Are you by chance stoned out of your mind right now? The great firewall of China is there to block international religious text ideas and other ideas which are at odds with the dictum of the ATHEIST Communist party of China. Exactly the opposite of what you seem to think.

Preaching in China can get you a jail sentence, though in recent decades they've started allowing Buddhist and Taoist centers under government control.

Comment My example finding a bug in the kernel (Score 4, Insightful) 83

The words Linus used at the time to clarify the debugging process were:
"Somebody finds the problem, and somebody else understands it."

Here's my own personal example. I discovered that there was a bug in the storage stack, which caused writes to eventually fail under certain conditions. I had no idea where in the code the problem might be; didn't know which source file to start looking in. I posted the problem to the appropriate mailing list (LVM-DEVEL). Somebody on that list immediately recognised that a different group, a different mailing list actually owned the problem, md-devel.

I posted the problem on md-devel. Somebody quickly replied that the problem would most likely to be found in a certain source file, and told me how to start debugging it. I did as he suggested and an hour later got to the end of my ability again, so I posted the results. Neil Brown, Linux RAID maintainer, looked at my results and knew exactly what must have caused it. He emailed me a fix for the within a few minutes. After I tested the fix, Neil committed it to the kernel repo.

It would have been impossible for me to fully characterise the problem myself, much less fix it. Neil Brown knew the code inside and out but never saw the bug until I pointed it out. With three or four sets of eyes on it from different perspectives, we found and fixed a tricly bug without any of us spending days trying to figure things out. What I found made the issue transparent to Neil, though it was totally opaque to me.

Comment Autocorrect fail: Sentence, not syntax (Score 1) 83

My phone wants to say "syntax" everywhere. That should be "sentence". As I recall, in the original text one had to quote just the first four words of the sentence in order to pretend it's not about what happens after a bug is discovered. And ignore the first two words "all bugs" (clearly saying there ARE bugs), plus ignore "are shallow" (the bugs are shallow to fix, not non-existent). So you'd have to a) pull four words out of context and b) ignore the plain meaning of those four words.

Comment Until you have any idea what he's talking about (Score 2, Interesting) 83

That's the biggest and possibly stupidest straw man on the internet. Read the syntax before after to have a clue about context, or even look up the difference between deep and shallow problems. He didn't say "given enough eyeballs, there are no bugs". In fact, he said there ARE bugs, and he talked about methods of fixing the bugs that are found. Again, he didn't say "given enough eyeballs, there are no bugs". He said the bug would be shallow to someone.

Traditionally the proprietary model is that one programmer owns a module. The same same programmer who wrote the module (and the bug) is supposed to find and fix his own mistake. That model assumes that the person who misunderstood the effects of the ode when he wrote it will magically understand it correctly later. The person who didn't get it right the first time is expected to find their own mistake and magically know the best thing to do instead, the best way to fix it.
  Which *is* kinda stupid.

The difference with Linux development model was, Linus said "Somebody finds the problem, and somebody else understands it". Nobody needs to bang their head against the wall for two days trying to figure out a deep bug, to understand why it's wrong, then how it should be rewritten to make it right.

Instead, when shellshock was discovered hundreds of developers looked at the code. Some saw part of the problem, and suggested partial solutions. Florian Mueller's eyes were also on it and he immediately saw what needed to be done. Within 24 hours the community had discussed it and agreed on Florian's solution. Compare Microsoft IE bugs like the vary header bug which was known for 10 years before it was fixed properly; a half-ass bandaid came out seven years after Microsoft publicly ackowledged the bug, but the programmer it was assigned to didn't see a good way to fix it.

Here's the full quote from ESR in context:
[Linux avoided] f any serious bug proved intractable. Linus was behaving as though he believed something like this:
8. Given a large enough beta-tester and co-developer base, almost every problem will be characterized quickly and the fix obvious to someone.
Or, less formally, "Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.'' I dub this: "Linus's Law''.
My original formulation was that every problem "will be transparent to somebody''. Linus demurred that the person who understands and fixes the problem is not necessarily or even usually the person who first characterizes it. "Somebody finds the problem,'' he says, "and somebody else understands it."

Comment I just paid for college and a house, no govt (Score 1) 594

I have a few months of college left and rather than graduating with debt, I'll graduate with more money in the bank than when I started school. While in school, I bought a new house worth twice as much as the one I bought before I went to college.

You *can* go into a bunch of debt and get a useless degree in Gender Studies. A degree in snowflake studies at UCLA and then whining about it is an option.

Another option is a degree in an IT field from WGU, which costs $4,500 / year after the current $1,500 tax credit, and while you're in school you'll be getting certifications such as Cisco CCNA, which increases your salary while you're still in school.

Your parents and grandparents *also* had the option to do dumb shit. Most of them didn't.

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