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Comment Re:Steve Jobs (Score 1) 161

While it's not on the scale of either of those events in terms of real world impact, the departure of Rob Malda is clearly one of the most significant stories of the year in terms of Slashdot itself. I don't think it feels the same here without him.

Comment Re:Profit as a Ratio, and as an Absolute value (Score 2) 320

Correct - capital is overly abundant in China because the government has essentially been printing money to fuel economic growth. The problem is that this encourages massive amounts of malinvestment - Chinese companies doing things that are ultimately unprofitable simply to grow for its own sake. Well not just for its own sake - really, to generate more jobs, which gives the executives clout with the local party/government officials, allows them to extract political favors and raise their own pay because of the sheer scale of their businesses. I have seen this first hand, with companies competing head-to-head against Chinese competition (even though they are also manufacturing in China) being unable to match prices because the Chinese companies are pricing well under cost, simply to grow their topline, financing it all with government-underwritten bank debt, without a care as to the losses piling up, as long as they are within what their banking relationships permit.

So yeah, it clearly optimizes on different things than we optimize on in a more capitalist economic system. Growing your business unprofitably here in the US would not make you more popular with your banks and capital providers unless you are quickly building scale in order to make yourself massively more profitable in a few years.

Comment Re:What do they expect? (Score 4, Interesting) 353

The company that had split their factories 50/50 would already be out of business, because their competitors have a more efficient supply chain, are in a single facility, and thus have been undercutting *them* for the last dozen years. The geographic concentration problem of hard drive manufacturers is a result of cutthroat competition, not something that happened in spite of it.

In any manufacturing business where margins are incredibly tight (probably 2-3% net margins on average for hard drives and other pure commodity manufacturers of that sort), you can't spend a bit more than the next guy to buck the trend or you will get undercut for Dell's/HP's/etc. business, lose 20% of your gross sales one night, and find you can no longer cover your overhead and suddenly you're out of business.

Comment Re:It's not really scox, it's Microsoft (Score 2) 208

BayStar took money from Microsoft, BayStar did a PIPE (Private Investment in Public Equity) in SCO.




also see below at that page under "Microsoft funding of SCO controversy".

Which leads to:

So that's pretty much as much evidence as I can imagine needing.

Comment Re:Why not just wave your arm in the air... (Score 1) 402

So far the one useful feature everybody seems to tout that Siri has that Voice Actions doesn't is that it can set timed notifications and alarms on the iPhone. I mean, that's cool and all, but really? That's not a killer feature and it could be added to Voice Actions in probably a matter of hours.

Comment Re:....and it still is useless. (Score 1) 402

I don't understand the hype - Android had awesome voice actions before iPhone did. So Siri has one-upped that by being a bit more general purpose. Okay, but what are the use cases where Siri does something that Android voice actions doesn't? I use voice actions to do quick searches and text and email people regularly, especially when I'm in the car. It works great.

Comment Re:Bitcoin (Score 1) 709

That's all nice and true, but the reason people hold dollars is because they can predict with extremely high confidence that it won't buy half as much stuff in 2 days. That confidence is developed by governments over the course of decades, or even centuries. Bitcoin, on the other hand, has no such track record, nor pledges behind it, and it has demonstrated extreme volatility, and an exponential explosion in value (which is almost always the sign of a speculative bubble, to be followed by a crash).

Comment Re:It is not a store. We are not Google's customer (Score 1) 172

Sure, except for the part where it's true. Hell, it's even in their 10-K filing. Go ahead, read it. You can find it online.

The problem with Google opening retail stores is that Google is trying to drastically change their business model from one where advertisers are their customers to one where the dude walking down the street is the customer. Right now the dude walking down the street is a *user* - he recognizes the Google brand name because he uses it, but he's never drooled at the mouth over a Google product. He's drooled at the mouth over Apple's Macbooks and iPads, he's drooled at the mouth over Coach leather wallets, or Sony's Grand Wega TVs, his wife drools over Prada and Chanel bags, these are products they aspire to own, brands they want to show off to their friends and to other people walking down the street. Aspirational brands.

Google was only aspirational in the early years when only the cool, in-the-know people used Google and the riff-raff used Altavista or Yahoo. Google is now just a utility that everybody uses. Everyone knows the name, like Microsoft, but nobody wants to pay for the privilege of getting more use of a utility. Especially one that makes their bucks out of shoving advertising down your throat.

Google's mistake is that they need to be following a multi-brand strategy. Google is the search engine/utility brand. They should acquire a nice aspirational technology brand that they can use to market consumer products. Far smaller companies in other market segments follow this strategy with much success when there is an inherent incompatibility between their primary's brand's meaning and identity and their objectives with part of their business.

A company like Roku that offered a somewhat sexy, consumer electronics brand would have been a good acquisition target for Google, for example, rather than their miserably failed Google TV strategy. Roku would have to have been even more sexied-up to work out properly though. Maybe even better - a perpendicular brand like Lamborghini from the automobile space that already licenses well in non-automotive products and could be extended into a full-fledged, full-line consumer electronics brand of aspirational products.

If you want to play in a space, you got to do it right. There's no excuse for dicking around when you have the kind of resources Google has.

Comment Re:Meh... (Score 1) 172

As the other reply indicated, Google, a company staffed by nerds like you, thought the same thing with the Nexus One. Though it was the best phone of its time, it failed as a business miserably. Because the vast majority of people out there don't shop the way you and I and the people who work at Google do. Because they aren't nerds like us.

Comment Re:Media Hype(rcane) (Score 1) 426

I just spent 8 hours driving through New Jersey to get back to my evacuated area of downtown Manhattan. The flooding there is still awful. I saw rescue teams in action still. Tons of flooded roads, and flooded houses. This was a bad storm. It was just lucky that it mostly hit the suburbs and the storm surge in NYC wasn't about 2-3 feet more than what it was or it would have been a nasty scene here.

Comment Re:Revenue stream (Score 1) 262

You don't live in NYC, do you? There's generally nowhere to park to make deliveries except an "illegal" spot. It's all about the revenue generation, not about safety or even free flow of traffic - they do this in front of my building on River Terrace, one of the quietest streets in downtown Manhattan. There is no way to legally move furniture in and out of the building, so a moving truck is always going to get ticketed - just another tax for living in NYC. I'd call it all a scam, yeah.

Comment Web.py is great (Score 1) 111

Web.py is great for developing web services. Really, really quick and easy to learn. The documentation is probably about a 7 though, I agree with that. However, I'd give it 9s on everything else.

Web.py+mimerender is pretty sweet. Check out the example code here:


I find this infinitely more comprehensible, pythonic, and nice to work with than the other Python web frameworks I've seen. I've never really used Django, but the examples I've seen look pukey to me.

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