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Comment Re:Or fuel requirements (Score 1) 231

That calculation isn't as simple as you might think. Airlines buy fuel futures to be able to predict their costs and often over-buy incase they add more routes. They then trade these. If the fuel cost goes up a lot, then selling the futures can be quite profitable, and in a few cases completely cover their cost of buying fuel, so that 15% may include the cost of fuel minus a big profit when they sold some futures to another airline.

Comment Re:Want my business? Give me ad-free a-la-cart sho (Score 1) 77

Your business model is dying. The sooner you become an IPTV on-demand gateway for content distributors, the better. Otherwise, the Roku boxes of the world will do it for you.

Well they could, but what value would they add? Of course the streaming platform has to actually work, but other than that it's not music where you have playlists and sharing and artists hoping to be discovered on Spotify. If I want to see a 30+ minute show I can be arsed to log in to whatever service has it, whether it's Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, HBO or their own portal. The production companies and movie studios are no small fish either, they're perfectly capable of doing it on their own. There's not much money in being the middleman if you got plenty competition.

Comment Re:multiple & burner phones, multiple partitio (Score 1) 366

You're assuming everybody starts out like some super-secret agent. If you're trying to recruit people to join your cause, you need feelers out there to find possible sympathizers. Even if you do the real talking offline, you've probably been in contact via phone or chat before that if nothing else then just to agree where and when to meet. It's metadata about who you have talked to. You make people afraid to say the wrong things. You make people afraid to agree with those who say it. You make the process slow and tedious. You make any act of rebellion be a small spark that'll fizzle. The Chinese government is too big to care about one lone wolf here and one wolf there. They just don't want anything big and organized and this is to pour sand in the machinery.

Comment Re:Not a risk anyway (Score 3, Insightful) 140

Quite aside from the price of the extra equipment. India is still the place that wants and needs to build sub-$6000 vehicles. There's not a lot of room in that budget for servos and sensors.

And the labor costs are very low, so the savings are small. They're basically last in line and talking as if it was coming any day now.

Comment Re:FFS, Move Bits Not Atoms (Score 1) 231

High speed rail require a much higher population than an airport and the terrain can drive the costs nuts. Here in Norway there's 42 official commercial airports, one high speed rail line and it's only from the capital to the capital's airport. They did a survey to see what it would take to hook up our four biggest cities and it was a ridiculous number of billions, lots of tunnels and bridges get the curvature required, securing everything from landslides, floods and avalanches not to mention the maintenance cost. And even if we got a HSR line to the capital, it would remove exactly one flight route, granted a popular one but the nice thing about airports that once they're in place to sustain a route it only needs enough passengers for that airplane, unlike rail where every new route is a massive cost.

Comment Re:This is unfortunate (Score 4, Interesting) 83

Intel's problem is that they have already cut their losses and ran from the invasion of phone/tablet products. It's the 11th straight quarter of declining PC shipments. Meanwhile smartphone sales are up again now outselling PCs at a rate well over 5:1. Tablet sales are also down (Q1 numbers) so you might say Microsoft has managed to shore up the convertible/laptop market with the Surface line, but WinTel is completely on the sidelines in the global smartphone revolution. According to the platform statistics 53% of all Internet access is now mobile, 42% PC, 5% tablets.

Intel is not in trouble, they have the server market and so far AMD's offering is basically a return to competition, it's a long way to go until Intel is on the ropes fighting for survival. But they and Microsoft completely failed to bring out a good x86 smartphone leveraging the tons of existing win32 code, I don't know why. I mean all the alarm bells should have gone off when the iPhone became a success in 2007, even with 3-4 years development time they should be ready to kick ass around 2011 but instead we got the Nokia flop. Considering the power of phones relative to typical office applications I'm kinda waiting for the phone with a cheap dock that gives you charging, display, keyboard, mouse, a chromebook-like UI and a bluetooth headset in case you need to answer the phone while docked. Like if you already have a phone and a TV, add these accessories and you won't need a laptop.

Comment Re: They miss the point. (Score 1) 240

Agree. There many environments where one cannot install apps from the Windows Store even if it is free. I use Windows Paint quite regularly for work.

On the bright side, maybe this will make organizations include something better than MS Paint in the default desktop image. Together with Powerpoint (or Visio if available) I can usually abuse it to do what I want, but for some things something like Paint.NET would be much better. I don't expect Photoshop on every desktop but it's so extremely rudimentary, I think the only things it does well is:

1. Crop screenshots
2. Add filled black boxes to censor sensitive data
3. Add red boxes to point to the error/discrepancy
4. Add simple paint-by-numbers, click here then here

Even drawing an arrow from somewhere to somewhere is crap, I usually just do it crayon-style like a 5yo. And it's always destructive editing, no layers you can flatten when you're happy with it or keep for later adjustments. So it's for simple internal one-offs only, I feel like I'm back in the stone age with hammer and chisel when I use it.

Comment Re: We have laws for this already (Score 2, Insightful) 327

Capitalism has raised more people out of poverty & starvation, has raised the average standard of living higher and faster for more people, done more to advance science and technology, done more to empower the poorest and provide a way out of poverty, and has provided more charitable assistance worldwide than any other system yet devised by Man. And that's just a partial listing. As the saying goes, capitalism is a deeply flawed system but it beats anything else that's been tried.

Pure capitalism is an extremely ruthless and egoistic system and far from the "best we've tried". We've chained the beast in a ton of laws for it to treat the consumers decently, the workers decently, the competitors decently, the environment decently, pay their share of taxes for public education, infrastructure and so on but it's a slippery eel when it comes to anything that affects the bottom line. A few philanthropists who've accumulated so much wealth they'd like to create a legacy, allegedly for charity but I suspect just as much for vanity doesn't make up for the fact that to most capitalists you're only worth anything as long as you're useful. Pretty much every concession for the weakest in the form of consumer rights, worker's rights and so on have been fought long and hard using the most heavily marketed lie in capitalism, that the invisible hand of the market will fix it.

The "invisible hand" wants to get rid of troublesome people as cheaply as possible, because usually you're not in a position to create a big enough stink to matter. As in, it's cheaper to put you on a support line with a heavily accented Indian reading a script until you give up than to actually fix the problem. You're an economic problem to be solved, solving it to your satisfaction is not necessarily the plan. That's why you have terms of service that are absolutely horrible and nobody reads or cares because usually you get the service you want. If you make any kind of "trouble" though the terms are effectively a kill switch. The gig economy is perfect for this, if you drive for a taxi company you call in sick. If you drive for Uber you don't get paid. It's the capitalist dream, a sick worker is a useless worker so why should he get paid? It's back to the old days of working in the coal mines until you got sick/injured, then you pick the next in line...

Comment Re:That's no app (Score 4, Informative) 240

Even though app seems like it's short for application it is rather short for "Mobile Application".

Bullshit. People have been shortening application to app for decades. NeXTSTEP, OPENSTEP, and Mac OS X all used .app as the file extension for applications, used NSApp as the global variable that holds a pointer to the current application object, and used App in their marketing terminology since the '80s. iOS apps were called apps because that's the same term that Apple has used on the desktop since it was a company called NeXT, trying to redefine the term to only mean mobile apps is nonsense.

Comment Re:We have laws for this already (Score 1) 327

The founders of the USA created a system of checks and balances to restrain the government. This included splitting powers between the state and federal governments and splitting the power of the federal government between the legislature, executive, and judiciary, all of which were appointed by different mechanisms.

They didn't feel the need to provide similar checks and balances on the power of rich people or corporations, because neither was particularly powerful in the US at the time of founding (if they'd looked at the East India Company a bit more closely, they might have done things differently).

Comment Re:United Airlines at it again (Score 1) 107

A few years ago, United was about the only US carrier to make a profit. Unfortunately, all of them made a loss on the business of actually flying planes. They all buy fuel futures to let them plan their operating costs in advance and United made a fairly hefty profit selling some of theirs when prices spiked. I don't know if they've managed to make a profit operating planes since then, but the economics of operating an airline is deeply strange. RyanAir, for example, gets sufficient subsidies from a lot of the small airports that they fly to that they can make a profit even if the plane is empty, the passengers are just there to justify the subsidies (they won't be renewed if they don't deliver a sufficiently large total number of passengers). Anything that they take from their passengers is pure profit.

Over the last two or three decades, there's been such a race to the bottom for airlines that they're basically having to sell their tickets at below cost and make money elsewhere. They're not the only business to hit this. Some of the supermarkets in the UK got bad press about five years ago for paying farmers below cost for milk. Milk goes off sufficiently quickly that unless you have a second customer lined up, if they supermarket refuses to pay your production costs you either make a small loss selling to them or make a large loss disposing of the milk. In the long term, this isn't sustainable, because it just pushes farms out of the milk business. The same seems to be happening with airlines.

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