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Comment Re:Does your company lose 10% to IT failure? (Score 1) 242

I agree, but for a different reason. The problem is that IT does improve productivity, it's just that it isn't as much productivity as it maybe could be. This is not $6T that we ever had, it's $6T that we might get if we could perfect IT. But since IT involves people, it's never going to be perfect. Since we never had the $6T to begin with, it's not a loss.

Comment Re:Clogging the bandwidth (Score 1) 572

I was standing on top of a mountain

Standing on a high point tends to give you a clear path to cell towers quite some distance away. Flat land, like North Dakota gives great reception 30 miles from a cell tower as there are no obstructions. And even if it's populated like farm towns in the Midwest, and everybody has a phone - well most farmers spend most time working, not yakking and there aren't enough folks in a 30 mile circle to need that many cell towers.

And labor in Sikkim is probably cheaper than labor in the USA, so building that cell tower was cheaper.

You are right that the business model of locked-in phones is a pain, but your examples of better service are apples & oranges if you are comparing the sparse farmers of Sikkim to the densely packed IPhone users of Silcon Valley.

Comment Re:What took it all so long?? (Score 1) 269

I can't imagine why they don't use them.

A few possibilities:

  • Taxes based on mostly trucking use for diesel - higher than gasoline. I.e. we have slow-footed politicians.
  • Emission standards met only recently, combined with slow footed US car companies
  • Bad history with stupid diesel offers in the past - US car companies never seem to be able to do things right after a mistake. For all their PR money, they never seem to think they are good enough to actually change the consumer opinions about a car, but they do think they can fool them (i.e. After X-cars got a bad name, they just re-labled the cars and the platform).
  • Siberian weather in the midwest - A hard cold snap in the fall can jell summer weight diesel fuel. Getting stranded in the cold just once for such a reason would convinvce the strandee and all their friends and family to never try diesel.

Comment Re:What (Score 1) 1747

people are automatically doubting science. And that's quite another thing entirely.

It's more that people are automatically doubting scientists (not science), and that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's not like scientists are less human and more angelic than any other human who claims authority on a subject.

Comment Re:Education should be a national right and pride (Score 1) 1259

A civilized nation should provide free education to the highest level each person wishes to attain, because that's part of believing that the nation's most most important resource is its people.

Perma-students aren't much of a resource at all. Neither are political scientists, if the one in my family is representative of the average political science graduates.

People are an important resource only after they get done with their education and produce something useful in exchange for what they get from the rest of us. And the way we make sure that the education isn' t just a waste of time, is to expect most folks who get an education to pay for it. If you can't pay for it, it was probably a waste of your time and the bank's money.

Comment Re:Guess who's security software I won't be buying (Score 1) 537

We managed to freely exchange ideas long before the internet gave everyone an anonymous soapbox, kids.

Some places and some times, maybe. But even the Founding Fathers of the USA found it necessary to use psuedonyms.

The question is how stable is a system that does not allow for anonymity or private conversation? How easy is it for that kind of a system to be misused?

Maybe you should review this List of journalists killed in Russia for a list of folks who could have used the protection of anonymity.

Comment Re:global cooling (Score 1) 263

Better idea is to use geothermal heating to keep us all warm during an ice age

Right. Cool the core of the planet down by piping the heat to the surface and venting it to space. Makes a lot of sense to me. That's fossil heat you know, been there since the creation of the planet, not really renewable. Well, not unless you think the heats being created by slow nuclear reactions in the core. And if that's the case, why don't we just pile up some of that nuclear material and make some electricity for light too....

Comment Re:Microsoft Is the Epitome of Evil (Score 1) 681

Guess who pays for the construction costs? Hint: it's not Microsoft.

Of course not. Most road/bridge construction is paid from local, state and federal gas taxes. Whatever agency for designing the road system is responsible for putting the roads where the CITIZENS go. And amazingly enough, the workers at MS in WA are citizens of the state of WA and pay for the roads through their gas taxes.. This is not a special treat for Microsoft.

A 'license tax' seems strange. I doubt that there are that many businesses in WA that make huge amounts of money via licenses. It's possible that the 'license tax' originated as a rape-Microsoft tax in the first place. It seems like just a way to impose an income tax on companies that make a lot of money via licensing, without imposing an income tax in general.

Comment Re:Not surprised. (Score 1) 681

This is an issue of a giant company guzzling state services (fire, water, police, increased road traffic, etc. etc. etc.)

Really, are fire, water, police and local roads a state problem in WA? Mostly I thought that police, fire, and local roads were paid through local property tax, and that water was usually paid according to the metered usage.

Just because MS makes a huge profit margin compared to most WA business does not at all imply they guzzle WA resources any faster than the other businesses.

Brain drain? Some folks refuse to work in that rainy area, just because it's a rainy area. It wasn't that long ago that Research Triangle area of North Carolina started. It was created to start a brain drain elsewhere, which it did. There's no reason MS can't move there, or start their own research park elsewhere than WA. It's not like it's the climate that drew all those brains to WA. Santa Barbara I could believe, but not WA so much.

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