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Comment Re:Ownership of Spectrum is simply wrong.. (Score 1) 80

Accounting is great, however it uses a few tricks that allow costs contributing to a product to be expensed when revenue is made. The most important thing is cash flows, because cash actually adds value to the firm.

The problem with your analysis is that it doesn't take into account the time value of money. A dollar today is worth more than a dollar in a year, simply because putting a dollar in the bank gives you more than a dollar in year. If the present value of the expected future benefits are greater than the present value of expected costs, as long as your cost of capital is correct the project WILL add value to the firm, regardless of how long it takes. this is called NPV analysis.

The payback period method on the other hand is not based on Economic theory, it doesnt take into account cash flows after the payback period, favors small projects and discriminates against large ones. There's no Economic method to calculate a proper payback period, and so the payback periods are arbitrary.

Many businesses have disregarded great projects that would have added value to the firm but simply had the wrong accept/reject criterion. Accounting methods are not quite appropriate here, since the main point of accounting is to match costs with revenues, and indeed the financial formulas to find a stock's price involve taking the accounting financial statements and working backwards to find the real cash flows again.

About perpetuity, imagine that buying the spectrum was equal to receiving a set number of dollarsfrom the government every year, let's say $1000/year forever. Assume a 6% cost of capital for the company. Now we can easily find out how much this is worth today. 1000/.06 = $16,666.67. (This is a limit simplified down, 1000/(1.06) + 1000/(1.06)^2 + 1000/(1.06)^3 + ...)

That would be the cost you need to pay today to get a perpetual annuity of $1000, kind of like buying rights to the spectrum.

Are you still baffled? It's really just Economics backed with maths.

Comment Re:FOI request. (Score 3, Informative) 80

It would cost a lot of money to publish every single document that could be requested. Plus, certain documents contain sensitive/personal information, so they may omit certain parts of the document depending on who requests it. You can request the information US Customs has on you. Entries, exits, etc.

Comment Re:User replaceable? why? (Score 1) 1118

I may be an anomaly, but every single AppleCare warranty I take out, it pays for itself and onwards.
1. Powerbook G4 - Two motherboard replacements, $600
2. Macbook Pro (2005?) - Two motherboard replacements, new Macbook Pro to replace(They let me get AppleCare on this one too, 3 years starts over) - $1000 plus cost of new Macbook Pro
3. Macbook Pro (Early 2008) (Free)- Now has a red line going down the screen...guess I'm getting a new laptop.

Comment Email your airline (Score 1) 647

I just emailed my airline expressing my concern of the scanners. If enough of their customers start telling them they don't want these, the airlines, who are in a relatively high position of authority to negotiate with the TSA, will try to change policy. People being annoyed, humiliated, and pissed off is not good for business, and the airlines know it will hurt their bottom line.

Comment Re:VPN (Score 1) 213

Also, with VPN, once someone is connected to the VPN, they're another peer, just like a wired peer. I fail to see how you get any benefit to your proposed solution to the problem.

The benefit of the VPN is that it encrypts your traffic so that someone using this exploit wouldn't be able to see and manipulate your traffic.

Comment Re:What the? (Score 5, Interesting) 272

There was a large group of people at the time (anti-federalists) that did not want a Federal Government that had too much power. Many states would not ratify the Constitution unless a Bill of Rights (First 10 Amendments) was added. It was a compromise. So to put it this way, if the Bill of Rights was never added to the Constitution, many states would not have ratified the Constitution and America really wouldn't be united as one country...Sounds pretty damn important to me.
The Internet

BT Blocks Access To Pirate Bay 360

Barence writes "BT and other mobile broadband providers are blocking access to The Pirate Bay as part of a 'self-regulation' scheme with the Internet Watch Foundation. BT Mobile Broadband users who attempt to access the notorious BitTorrent tracker site are met with a 'content blocked' message. The warning page states the page has been blocked in 'compliance with a new UK voluntary code.' 'This uses a barring and filtering mechanism to restrict access to all WAP and internet sites that are considered to have "over 18" status,' the warning states. It goes on to list a series of categories that are blocked, including adult/sexually explicit content, 'criminal skills,' and hacking. It's not stated which category The Pirate Bay breaches, although the site does host links to porn movies."
United States

Iowa Seeks To Remove Electoral College 1088

Zebano writes "Since changing the US constitution is too much work, the Iowa senate is considering a bill that would send all 7 of Iowa's electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote in a presidential election. This would only go into affect after enough states totaling 270 electoral votes (enough to elect a president) adopted similar resolutions."

What Restrictions Should Student Laptops Have? 1117

An anonymous reader writes "We're a school district in the beginning phases of a laptop program which has the eventual goal of putting a Macbook in the hands of every student from 6th to 12th grade. The students will essentially own the computers, are expected to take them home every night, and will be able to purchase the laptops for a nominal fee upon graduation. Here's the dilemma — how much freedom do you give to students? The state mandates web filtering on all machines. However, there is some flexibility on exactly what should be filtered. Are things like Facebook and Myspace a legitimate use of a school computer? What about games, forums, or blogs, all of which could be educational, distracting or obscene? We also have the ability to monitor any machine remotely, lock the machine down at certain hours, prevent the installation of any software by the user, and prevent the use of iChat. How far do we take this? While on one hand we need to avoid legal problems and irresponsible behavior, there's a danger of going so far to minimize liability that we make the tool nearly useless. Equally concerning is the message sent to the students. Will a perceived lack of trust cripple the effectiveness of the program?"

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