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Comment Re:smoke and mirrors... (Score 1) 238

I'd find it highly unlikely that a system would rely on ONE SINGLE laser. Not only do you have a point about mirrors, but what about if you're heading straight for a telephone pole? If you have only one laser and it's not actually pointed at that pole, it'll just give an all clear...

So unless they're stupid, there's more than one laser and error-correction between them.

Comment Re:Great! (Score 1) 365

That's not quite what I read into that post: "Google's goal is to commodify (reduce the marginal profit to zero) of everything that they don't make money on."

The reason for this is simple: every Google consumer must first have a PC and an Internet connection (ignoring Android for now). So, to have as many customers as possible, Google must first make sure as many people as possible have a PC and an Internet connection. The best way to achieve that is to make these items both as cheap and as attractive as possible.

Thus, it isn't about weakening competitors. Microsoft does NOT want to sell as many copies of Windows as possible, it wants to earn as much profit as possible. At some price point, reducing the price by 1% might only earn MS 0.5% more customers, so to them, going below this price is not a good move. But, every customer that Microsoft 'ignores' in this way is almost always also lost to Google (and every other software producer).

So, in order to maximize its own potential consumer base (= potential profits), Google must put pressure on Microsoft to allow even more people into the software marketplace. How? By changing the perceived value of OSes and office packages, also known as Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). If I can get an OS and an office suite for free, why would I buy MS stuff? Well, if the free office package can't read the dominant file format, that's a huge increase to my TCO. If the free package also has a bunch of useful elements not present in the other one, then that might balance things out.

Google's aim is to drive down the TCO of a typical computer setup, including OS and office tools and then make their profit on additional software.
Microsoft's aim is to drive down the TCO of a typical computer WITHOUT OS and office tools and then make their profit on those items.

So yes, Google is directly aiming at Microsoft, but that in and of itself is not their strategy, it's just a simple fact that they cannot both win in the current situation.

Comment Re:Shaking Down Their Milk Money (Score 1) 279

Quote from TFA:

The sentiment is of course wonderful -- no one is going to argue that point. What's even better, though, is that the laptops aren't truly "given away." An extra dollar or two might be a hardship for some families, but it won't likely break them -- and what's infinitely more important is the child pledging to try to make a difference, in front of family and friends -- and then being presented a powerful tool to make that happen.

If it's perfectly free, then every freeloader will line up for one, drowning out those who would gain most.

Comment Re:Expected (Score 1) 1654

Yes, Linux is not 'what people are used to'. That doesn't mean it's not 'idiot-friendly', you just need the right kind of idiot: a pure, fresh idiot, one who has *never* been behind a Windows box either.

Because, like you correctly stated, it's not what people are used to, it's different from Windows. You can't take an idiot that's been working on Windows for the past 5 years, drop them in front of Linux and then then expect them to display the same level of mediocrity. You wouldn't be able to do it the other way round either.

Comment Re:Compromise (Score 2, Interesting) 367

One person's freedom ends where another man's freedom begins.

So when a developer uses *his* freedom and develops in Flash, he ends up taking away everybody else's freedom because now they must use Flash as well if they want to see this site.

Installing and using Flash is *not* giving yourself more choice, it's taking back the choice that others took away from you. And that shouldn't happen.

Comment Re:Why not vote publicly? (Score 2, Informative) 164

What if your millionaire uncle tells you you're gonna vote for x, or you'll be out of his will?

What if your employer tells you you'd better vote for y or you'll be fired?

If your vote is public, all sorts of nasty stuff can happen because of your vote, and just knowing that it might will already influence your vote.

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