I think Google's just beginning to coalesce its many projects into one service... phone and/or netbook with andriod/chromeOS running chrome and accessing gmail, google calendar, google docs, google maps with GPS-like capabilities, etc. etc. Microsoft is slowly but surely spreading its empire as well. I never would've dreamed they'd be so successful with the XBOX. They have plans for a multimedia set-top box as well. Perhaps we simply don't know the 5 to 10 year plans these companies are reaching for and their releases simply seem fragmented b/c we don't know the long term plans.
As for dividends, I'm not sure why you prize them so highly. You spend money to buy stock b/c you believe it to be a better investment than actual money in a savings or money market account, yet you'd rather get money in the form of dividends from the company stock than have the stock rise in value? Every publicly traded company has a duty to "maximize shareholder wealth." By giving out a dividend, a company is basically admitting that you could invest that money better than they could, so they're giving it to you. It's insane... especially since they assume that company stock is a good investment and you should turn around and spend that money on buying more stock... so why incur fees buying more stock instead of simply allowing your stock price to rise to reflect the cash/investments/whatever within the company? If you believe the stock isn't a better investment than you could find elsewhere, then why not simply sell your stock and collect the money from the sale?!?! Dividends often lead to trouble down the road b/c once you start paying one, people expect you to continue and will see a halt or lowering of dividends as a bad sign, thus lowering the value of the stock... so once a company begins paying them out, they have to continue forever -- through good times and bad... even when it hurts their bottom lines.
I really don't understand why you would want a dividend.... if you want a return on investment in the form of a check, then perhaps a money market fund would be better. The point of owning a stock is to own a piece of a company in the hopes that it will be successful and make your shares worth more for when you finally decide to cash out. Typically, one should invest with an intent not to sell the stock for at least 5 to 10 years -- perhaps many decades for retirement. (day traders should be shot imho) With this in mind, one would want a good company to re-invest its profits within itself to grow bigger and even more profitable over that time. If one doesn't have faith in an individual company, then probably an index fund would be best... but I digress.
Point being... a company's profits are the shareholders' profits... whether they are re-invested or distributed as dividends. If a company holds on to the money in the form of cash or equivalents, then the stock price will rise to reflect that... in which case, if you wanted cash, you could sell the stock at a higher price instead of getting a dividend... however, the company should invest the money into R&D or expansion, or some other strategy to yield even more profit down the road. You're really better off choosing to either keep the stock without the dividend or selling the stock and putting your money elsewhere where you believe you'll make money.
So, typically what happens is people cut calories, watch a few pounds drop off over the course of a week, then get discouraged when the pounds don't keep coming off at that rate... thinking they lost fat when it was really just water weight
Perhaps this myth comes from the look of loose skin on people that don't replace muscle with fat.
I'm not sure exactly what your point is, but your statement is a bit misleading. As such, I'm not sure why it's +5 Informative. If you are trying to say that cutting calories alone could lead to a slower metabolism causing lethargy and thus lead one to exercise less and therefore lose muscle mass due to atrophy, then yes... that's a possibility, but it's not a common occurrence and would depend on how extreme the calorie reduction was (and it would depend on how far their calorie intake was below the number of calories required for an individual to maintain their current weight given age, gender, muscle mass, fat percentage, activity level, etc).
You're quite right that the body isn't a simple machine. It's extremely complex and still mysterious in many ways, but it does conform to the laws of physics. In this case, energy in (Calories) - energy burned (Calories) = energy gained or lost in the form of fat (Calories).
"Resting metabolism" may change somewhat initially as one's body switches from predominantly burning sugars to burning a mixture of sugars and fats, but as a percentage of daily calories burned, it's very minor. An individual may feel more lethargic, but it still takes about the same number of calories for them to walk, talk, eat, breathe, heat their bodies to 98.6 degrees, maintain bodily functions and provide fuel to all their cells, etc. Unless one takes in such few sugar calories that their brains cannot function properly (the brain requires sugar to function.... fats don't cross the blood/brain barrier), this is really more of a mood issue than a change in how well one can burn calories. As one loses weight, resting calories burned (not overall metabolism) always drops unless muscle is gained. Less mass, less energy required to support the body.
You say that "how much you eat impacts how much you use..." I'm not sure what you mean by this. Olympic athletes easily eat 3 to 10 times the number of calories of your average person, but so do morbidly obese individuals. Their use is entirely different. Granted, you didn't say there was a significant correlation, simply that there's an impact... but as long as one takes in more than 30% less than their daily caloric needs, there really isn't much impact assuming they have fat reserves to burn.
Now about metabolizing muscle... Again, if you mean to say that muscle will atrophy if it isn't used, then yes, that is absolutely correct... but "metabolized" usually refers to breaking something down for a purpose -- like for fuel. The body will NOT cannibalize muscle or proteins for energy until all sugar and fat reserves are depleted.
So, to break things down if I take your post literally and not for what I assume you might mean:
Your body is not a simple machine. Yes, it's a complicated machine
How much you eat impacts how much you use Not really, except in extreme cases
; simply cutting calorie intake will just cause your resting metabolism to drop. No, not really.... it's not significant
Worse, you might start metabolizing muscle. No, you'd have to be extremely malnourished with zero body fat for this to happen
Normally I don't reply to trolls, but I found your post spectacularly wrong in so many ways, yet peppered with enough economic and statistical jargon that you might actually convince some people of your false logic should they read it.
First, you fail at economics. Clearly you've taken an undergrad course and heard a few terms. I encourage you to go back and take a few masters level courses so that you understand them a bit better. You also fail at psychology if you truly believe there will be rioting and assassination attempts over the tripling of the price of anything which has substitutes in the marketplace. Just as an example, gasoline has extremely inelastic demand and has quadrupled in price over a few years without any rioting in the streets. Sure, there have been congressional hearings about gas prices because speculators have manipulated the pricing more than OPEC ever has of late, but there are no riots over congresses inaction in passing legislation to encourage the price of gasoline to go down (lower fed. tax rate, drill for more oil, give tax breaks to build a new gasoline refinery, make it illegal to hold futures contracts without a location to store the oil, etc. etc.).
"Meat" includes many products which will be affected differently by any price increase because they will have different elasticities of demand... however, since you've mentioned steak, I thought I'd point out that most economics professors would indeed classify a "standard steak" as a luxury good. It's not as much of a luxury good as say... lobster, but it's up there. Bologna would not be considered a luxury good, but it is a meat product. If a pack of bologna were to triple in cost from $1 to $3, demand would likely drop somewhat and shift to other cheaper sources of protein like soy products. If steak were to also triple from $12 per serving to $36 per serving, demand would likely fall more drastically and shift to other cheaper sources of protein... perhaps even bologna, hot dogs, and hamburgers instead of steak.
You make a LOT of assumptions. I have no idea what sort of tax would have to be imposed on meat products to include the full cost to society and environmental damage, but you assume it would triple the cost of meat in general (wild assumption... could be only a 10% increase which would have little economic impact.) You also assume surpluses and shortages and prices rising or falling, but don't state time frames. In economics, short term, long term, and extreme long term results for shifts can be very different, so your post is vague and sounds a bit like gibberish when you discuss these things. You assume that meat substitute prices will skyrocket without any facts to back up that hypothesis, then go on to say that they may become scarce with a shortage so some people will be forced to buy meat at high prices (another assumption). Do you realize that soy products are cheap and could easily provide a meat substitute even if demand for soy skyrocketed at a very reasonable price? even in the short-term? Have you even heard of price elasticity of demand? Did they not teach you that term in undergrad econ?
On a personal note, I am definitely a fan of meat... but I'm also a fan of taxing the hell out of things that have hidden environmental costs. You'd be surprised at how quickly businesses change their processes to produce less waste when they actually have to pay to clean up that waste. There are economical ways for all businesses to clean up their environmental waste and have a reduced impact on the environment (Note that 100% cleanup would likely cost an infinite amount of money because it is difficult to have exactly zero waste, but perhaps an 85 to 95% reduction might be feasible for some businesses). Yes, prices might rise on goods as companies pass along environmental cleanup costs, but I have no idea how much -- and nor do you unless you've done an environmental impact study on the matter.
Frankly, when you remove the gibberish and wild speculation from your post, it simply reads as "Waaahhhh... I love my meat and I don't want to have to pay more for it!" As you've posted as an anonymous coward, perhaps you already know this is the case.
This is exactly what I use tabs for -- loading a lot of pages like comics at once, then I read and close each one out one by one.
I also read articles and open links that look interesting in new tabs while I continue reading the page I am currently reading. This allows me to continue my reading enjoyment while loading other pages that might interest me.
At any given time, I have 4 or more windows of firefox open each with 20 or more tabs in a related subject. (window with 20 comic strips open in tabs, another window with social networking sites like facebook in tabs, yet another window with work-related info in 30 tabs, and another with news aggregators with articles open in 50 or more tabs).
I often browse FARK and right-click to open interesting articles in new windows while I scroll down the links for the day. Sometimes I'll have 100 or more tabs open from FARK links.
Why is the firefox team looking to reinvent the wheel again? I already change the default behavior of closing each tab with an X to having an X at the END of all tabs (like they used to have as default) to make my browsing faster and more sane. (off topic, but why on earth do we need an X on every single tab? Why doesn't one X for closing the current tab work better? *shrugs*)
Tabs are fantastic... if they change the behavior without an option to revert back, I hope someone forks the code. There's a reason firefox, opera, IE, and others have tabs and while I welcome innovation in this area, the user should have the option of using whatever method works best for them. Please don't remove my awesome tabs guys!
It's just an incentive program. Perfectly legal. Also, discriminatory pricing is completely legal in most cases as well (think movie theaters... one price for kids, another for adults, yet another for seniors... and other discounts for college kids and military)
It's not anti-competitive. It's actually aggressively competitive. Sun could match the discounts for new equipment or even raise them. Some companies do this for old products... return your old one for a certain percent or flat rate off the next purchase.
Not only is it legal and clearly NOT anti-competitive, but IBM is also not a monopoly. This is a strategic move by IBM to claim market share... which is what companies do. Like survival of the fittest in nature, there is no mercy for the weak in business. IBM is taking advantage of a competitor's weakness and using their own strengths to gain new customers. That's how capitalism works.
This bit on the Boston Tea Party simply isn't true. While the British did reduce taxes on the East India Trading Co. in Britain to help reduce losses due to the smuggling of tax-free tea from the Dutch, the Tea Party was actually in response to multiple factors including the Townshend Acts which levied NEW taxes on the colonies (including one on tea) by the British Empire.
The Boston Tea Party had little to do with smugglers and more to do with a tax imposed on the colonies by an empire in which they had no representation and the fact that the taxes were used to pay local officials (which made colonials question their loyalty b/c they were paid in part by the crown) and the monopoly on tea held by the East India Trading Co.
For further evidence, there were protests over the Stamp Act and other similar laws imposed on the colonials by the empire. To imply that the Tea Party was a response by smugglers over losing profits instead of the culmination of years of anger by protesters over taxation rights is a gross misrepresentation of history. I suppose next you'll blame cause of the American war for independence on the opium trade.
Really, most MBAs would tell you that providing a dividend is the exact opposite.
Company management generally assumes that people invest in company stock for the long term in the hopes that the stock price will rise. This is known as "increasing shareholder value" which is the optimum theoretical prime motivation for every business decision. Also, the idea is that shareholders are investing in the stock because they believe that's the best place to put their money to earn the greatest return on that money (in addition to other stocks they own to create a balanced portfolio that eliminates unsystematic risk).
So now, given that... why would providing a shareholder with a dividend make any sense? The dividend is money that would have gone towards a re-investment in the company (an acquisition, an upgrade, or even a high-interest bearing account) which would increase the shareholder's wealth as much or more as the dividend amount. (It still belongs to the individual shareholders even if it's in a no-interest checking account... so the value of the stock in that case would go up by almost exactly the amount of the dividend).
So, instead of re-investing in the company tax-free, you think it's a better call to pay taxes on a dividend, then pay fees for purchasing more stock with the money you get than just allowing your stock value to go up without any fees or taxes and selling it at a much higher price in the future? I could understand how someone on a fixed income might want a dividend paycheck to supplement other funds and not want to hassle with selling stock for cash, but really... dividends make very little business sense or much sense to an investor.
If you want to invest, buy stock or bonds... if you want a 3% return, get a money market account... not this hybrid crippling dividend bit.
Take Microsoft for example. They went for decades without a dividend and their stock prices soared. They weren't "not taking care of their shareholders" by not providing dividends. The only reason they started offering dividends is because they were throwing money into R&D projects left and right that didn't pan out and they had a HUGE stockpile of cash that wasn't doing anything for the company. People complained that if Microsoft wasn't going to use the money for reasonable investments, then they should give some of the money back to investors, which I completely agree with.
AMD can barely survive as it is without a dividend... and if it provided one, it would die b/c it's already losing money every quarter! Also, AMD does not care if you buy their stock unless they're issuing NEW shares. The stock floating around right now was bought long ago and AMD doesn't see a penny for any trades going on unless they're actually the ones selling the stock.
Hot and cold are both relative terms. Absolute zero is a theoretical temperature at which there is a complete lack of heat. (I say theoretical because it may not be possible to even reach absolute zero in our universe.) While that would likely be described as cold compared to any other temperature, it is not the definition of "cold." If two objects were at absolute zero, then one would not be cold compared to the other. If there is a maximum theoretical temperature, that would also not be the definition of "hot."
Cold, warm, and hot are adjectives used to describe the heat of something in relative terms. Absolute terms would be exact temperatures.
To turn your argument on it's head, cold is not only not absolute, it doesn't even exist. It is a relative term describing a lack of heat. Heat exists and cold is merely a description of the lack of it relative to some other amount of heat. Heat in terms of temperature is absolute.
Imagination is more important than knowledge. -- Albert Einstein