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Comment Re: Transparency (Score 1) 139

Well, I don't think anyone is likely to rebel against the US government -- not by force anyway, given that the latter is armed to the teeth. 1.6 billion bullets for DHS, was it?vBut not everybody is claiming that the possibility of armed rebellion (preposterous though it may be) makes for a valid argument in support of the second amendment.

Well, we could always quote someone from the previous administration:

"The cost of one bullet, if the [...] people take it on themselves, is substantially less than [the cost of a war]." -- White House press secretary Ari Fleischer 1 Oct 2002.

At the time they were talking about an overthrow of Iraq. It applies well to the US as well.

Comment Re: surpising (Score 5, Interesting) 168

How long do long term investors have to wait for consistent profitability?

Math time... $126M loss / $19B revenue = 0.66%, less than one percent loss for a quarter. The company is worth about $140B, so the quarter's drop is less than a tenth of a percent, meaning absorbing a the loss is a tiny decrease in a large bucket. In contrast, the skittish investors yesterday cost the company about $12B compared to the $126M business loss. The skittish investors who cause huge overnight drops like this create opportunities.

We're not talking about a company that is hemorrhaging money. It isn't a company plagued by mismanagement. It is a company that since their first day built a track record of tinkering with models. That is all Amazon has ever done. They have the resources to continue operating when they discover unprofitable ones. It takes money to make money, and many tests and changes cost time and money. Yes, some investors refuse to see the long term and demand a profit every single quarter. Other investors see this as an opportunity to buy or to hold.

Last night they took a 10% drop because short-term investors are skittish. Today you can buy it at a 10% discount; so thanks skittish investors!

Comment Re:Avoiding Amazon Web Services? (Score 2) 168

AWS started as a way to gain revenue from the spare capacity they had for cyber monday, but it's now ~200x the size of Amazon's actual needs and is its own revenue and profit center. If a new CEO wanted to at this point he could spin it off into a separate company with contracts to host services for Amazon. I'm honestly not sure what it would gain you other than access to a pile of capital to use elsewhere, but for the time being Amazon doesn't seem to be hurting for access to capital.

Comment Good (Score 4, Interesting) 225

That's probably a good thing since students shouldn't be static consumers of information and tablets are really subpar for most kinds of content creation. Add in the fact that a Chromebook costs half as much as even an ipad mini and overall the schools are probably making the rational choice.

Comment Re:I wonder how long it would've taken NASA? (Score 1) 49

Reducing cost through optimization of manufacturing can be more important than lots of original research, for instance the recent boom in photo-voltaic solar has much more to do with the plummeting $/W for panels made with decades old technology then it does with the constant stream of announcements that some group has eeked out .5% better efficiency out of cells made of unobtanium. I'm not saying that basic science research or materials science research should be halted, just that people who poo poo people making a better/cheaper widget just because it's not new and sparkly are missing the forest for the trees.

Comment Re:Why ODF? (Score 1) 164

ASCII is more than 30 years old, it's 51 years old, and I'd bet $10,000 that it will be readable by nearly every computer in another 51 years. UTF-8 and UTF-16 are also highly unlikely to be unreadable anytime during my lifetime since they've been in use for 21 years and are open standards with many real world implementations.

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