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Comment Re:I Wouldn't. (Score 1) 281

That doesn't make sense. That's like saying Donald Knuth is as stupid as I am because I can understand quite a few things he's famous for. Or it's like saying Roald Dahl is a terrible writer because 6 year olds understand his novels.

Einstein pulled a lot of information and theories together to form insights into the workings of the universe that a 9 year old (probably) couldn't do. But that doesn't mean those insights can't be explained.

Comment Re:Emulator (Score 3, Informative) 143

Yup. For those who didn't grow up with this stuff: as an example, back in the 1980s, there were a lot of programs marketed as CP/M emulators, which worked with chips like the V30, a 8086 compatible chip that also could natively run 8080 software. The emulators emulated the CP/M API (BIOS and BDOS), not the CPU, allowing software for CP/M 2.x to run under MS DOS (and access the MS DOS file system.)

The misnomer that you can only use the term emulator for CPU emulation, and not API emulation, seems to be relatively new, I'm almost inclined to stay it started in this millennium.

Comment Re:Not what I expected (Score 2) 252

There are good technical reasons why encouraging people to stream 6Gb video streams on modern cellular systems is not a good idea. I'm inclined though to suggest that if someone wants more than 1.5Mbps for continuous, non-bursty, bandwidth, the cellular companies should find a way to provide it, but charge that minority that needs it accordingly.

I suspect that most people, faced with a choice between $60/month wired, $60/cellular but with some applications reasonably throttled, and $200/mobile unthrottled, will prefer the two former choices. But sure, they should provide you with the $200 (probably more, just a ballpark figure) option.

Comment Re:Yep, almost as if supply and demand were a thin (Score 2) 274


The answer is in General Equilibrium, rather than limiting one's approach to Demand Side (i.e., Keynesian) or Supply Side thinking.

In competition, firms keep producing while marginal cost (the cost o making the next unit) is less than the marginal revenue (increased revenue from another unit [which is price in a purely competitive market, and somewhat less than price]).

Tax is one of the costs of production, as it is based on accounting profits. Produce and sell another unit, and it's a bit more tax.

If you decrease the "price" of any "input", including tax, the marginal cost of the next unit decreases by that amount--and suddenly it makes sense to produce more.

"Making sense to produce more" can be translated as "demand for all other inputs increases". The firm now wants more capital, and more labor.

This increased demand will increase both the price (i.e., wage) *and* the quantity demanded (number of workers or hours used) .

It has nothing to do with "corporations having more money". It all comes down to the changed costs of production. That is, it's not the total tax payed by the company, but rather what happens in producing the next unit that matters.

If a company simply received a lump sum grant of the same amount as its taxes go down, the behavior would be quite different, and production would not change, and therefore wages and hours would not change, etc.

All the interesting stuff in Economics happens at the margin :)

doc hawk

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 274

I'm a displaced Economics professor, not a corporate finance type, but, yes, there's a well known explanation: the "Efficiency Wage Hypothesis".

This hypothesis suggests that even in a fully competitive market, it could make sense to pay employees above the market wage, as this would

a) essentially give first pick of the better workers to that company

b) increase the cost to an employee of getting fired for "shirking", and improve output by the increased effort,

and, possibly most important at the moment,

c) reduce turnover and the training costs involved.

Unemployment has certainly dropped significantly, and by more than the "official" rate. (the regular rate doesn't make a lot of sense, anyway, if structural changes are happening, as it ignores those who have given up. Use U-4 or U-6 instead).

At the same time, we are seeing "normal" economic growth of 3% for the first time in a decade.

Put these together, and it means more workers being hired--including hiring them away. So a bonus, especially if repeated, makes staying put instead of jumping jobs make sense--and the bonus costs the company less than training new workers.

Adding fuel to this fire, the reduced tax rate is a reduced cost of doing business, meaning that the optimal level of production increases for a firm--meaning even more hiring/labor demand.

Whether firms like it or not, all of these factors mean the cost of labor *will* go up, and those that don't pay higher wages are going to lose workers (and therefore production).

Bonuses and raises *before* losing workers makes sense, and cost less than finding and training new workers.

It doesn't take any benevolent motive or political alignment to explain the firm behavior, just the old profit motive (aka "greed")

doc hawk

Comment China ; Commercial interests (Score 1) 188

1. It's China.

2. If cheating is a problem, Tencent won't be selling as many units as they would like. It would mean commercial problems, loss of revenue. They need to do whatever they can to maintain (or in this case: guarantee future) profits (and this being China, they can actually a lot).
So one guy in the giant multi-million corporation goes to talk to his neighbours' friend who happens to be a high ranking official. Some kick-backs are exchanged. New laws and policies are written.
Tencent guy sees it as a good investment of money to secure profit. Gov guy sees it as nice side revenue to his gov job. The rest of the world pretends to be appalled to how much politicis is fucked up (even if nearly every one is doing it, though at a smaller scale and a lot less in the open, in their own home countries).

Comment Fast reaction (Score 2) 146

You would think that all three would be required to send out an emergency alert message.

Then in case of an actual emergency (say, when category 9 hurricane 'Zorro' hits Hawai in a couple of months), you'd be complaining that the alert wasn't sent because it relied on a complex validation procedure that required perfectly coordinated simultaneous action by 5 person, one of which was sick on that day, and the other lost his keyfob 12 months ago when his dog ate it.

That's the complex problem with emergency procedures, they need both at the same time be quick enough to execute in case of actual emergency, but have enough confirmation step to not be triggered by incident.

Comment Germany, EU (Score 1) 105

and a Russian, German, British, German, or Chinese company be more trustworthy?

At least, in the specific case of Germany (and to a lesser extent, other European countries - more often in the central-nordic. Switzerland is another such example. On the other hand France's controversial State of Emergency is a counter example), the laws happens to currently still be on your side.
There are strong law regarding protection of customer privacy.

I'm not saying that none of these countries' secret services will never ever attempt to spy on their own population. (e.g.: Swiss secret sevices notoriously kept files on their own population)

I'm just saying that if a German company ends up in the same situation as Lavabit - i.e.: on the receiving end of a government order to hand out their customer case's private informations - and decides to take it to the court, they have a very high chance to actually win the case.

(And some countries like Switzerland are even more extreme, on ground of being a direct democracy : to reduce such customer protection law, it would take a significant chunk of the population to vote for a law against their own interests. The government cannot pass something like the patriot act unchecked. Lobbying is nearly useless in direct democracies. Though that doesn't prevent the population to be massively stupid every once in a while ...cough... minaret construction ...cough.. ).

Comment Re:People are jumping to other Crypto (Score 1) 155

Like they did when Bitcoin went from $1,000 to a $100 in a few days, after the Mt Gox implosion?

Nope. BTC continues to be unusable as a currency because when it's not dramatically increasing in value, it's plummeting in value. It has no stability. It'll continue to damage the crypto-currency sector for the foreseeable future, until it loses mindshare and relevance.

Comment Re:Other networks give more GB's at full speed som (Score 1) 60

I'm sure this is useful to you, but given how rarely most of us leave the US, and given T-Mobile (for example) has perfectly reasonable data roaming offerings (unlimited 128kbps), I suspect the number of people who find Project Fi's roaming compelling is minuscule.

I'm not knocking supporting minority uses, I just question whether this is the kind of thing that'll make Project Fi take off. Most of us can think of features they could add to Android phones or Chromebooks that would make it compelling to us, but we know full well nobody else would care. This feels like that, with Fi having a nice roaming feature, but being a phenomenally expensive alternative to more ordinary plans for more traditional uses.

Comment Adaptive cruise control, forward collision avoidan (Score 1) 208

but brakes are still mechanical and will continue to be so for the forseeable future due to FMVSS requirements. {...} Yes, I am aware there are cars with electric brakes that can stop themselves... just wanted to clear up that "most" is more "a special few".

And due to the high popularity of adaptive cruise control (ACC) and forward collision avoidance systems (FCAS), the "special few" is becoming "quite a big percentage of the cars present on today's street".

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