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Comment Re:Allo? FB Messenger? (Score 1) 142

The competing product from Google and Facebook are both available on iOS and Android. Add to that the fact that Android owns so much more of the smart phone market than Apple.

Yes, however iMessage covers not only the iPhone, but every iPad, every iWatch, and every Mac as well. That's a pretty damn big ecosystem.


Comment Re:I'd guess it's the licensing fees (Score 2) 93

But that's just a guess. Of course that being said, Netflix is cutting back their shipping hubs. Those fuckers axed the one that was next day away from me and I have to use one a state over that takes 2 to 3 days each way.

It's worth noting that outside the US, Netflix doesn't run (and AFAIK has never run) any DVD shipping service. It's been streaming only. So in theory that shut weigh in Netflix US's favour somewhat.


Comment Re:Not happy at all for a "Pro" laptop from Apple. (Score 2) 315

Go shop for a new inkjet printer and tell me how many have USB-C connections on them vs. traditional USB right now.

I think you chose a poor example. Most printers that I'm aware of feature a USB Type-B connector on them, and don't come with any sort of cable.

USB Type-C is just a new USB connector. It's still signal compatible with existing USB devices. As virtually all inkjet printers don't come with a cable, you just ensure you buy a USB Type C to USB Type B cable to go with your printer, the same way you'd need to buy a USB Type C to USB Type A cable.


Comment Re:Hilarious (Score 1) 187

The problems that have been announced almost invariably revolve around the connectivity provided in the stadium, rather than the tablets themselves. This is an NFL problem.. iPad, Surface, Galaxy Tab, whatever.. not going to be different until the NFL forces teams and stadiums to provide adequate connectivity.

This is the NFL. They aren't exactly poor, so the simple solution would seem to be to use 4G enabled tablets. I can't imagine that cell service is so terrible from within stadiums (indeed, I'd expect cell companies to target stadiums for better reception. Nothing worse for your brand than having a venue that supports 40 000+ people who can't use their devices to tweet pics of themselves wearing a foam finger because your service sucks in a (typically) downtown stadium.


Comment Re:Anita Sarkeesian: Destroyer of Shareholder Valu (Score 1) 313

That's an interesting way of looking at it... But keep in mind that GP's argument about destroying shareholder value isn't just about a lower stock price due to a damaged brand, the actual value (assets) of the company may have decreased by a similar amount at the same time. Instead of paying $100 for an $80 item, you're now paying $50 for a $40 item. The price may be lower but it's still a crap buy.

But the numbers don't bear this out. These things are reported publicly, and can be easily looked up.

Like a lot of virtual services, Twitter doesn't have a ton of real value to start with. They don't have significant real estate holdings -- their latest earnings report lists $758 837 of "Property and Equipment, net", which is up from $699 502 YoY, and at an all-time high. So the hypothesis doesn't stand in light of the facts.

Twitter's whole value is in their Monthly Active Users (MAU), and that was up 1% during the last reported quarter. Twitters problem is that they don't have much of any real value (as mentioned above, they only have about 3/4 of a million in property and equipment), there isn't much growth potential, and advertising revenue is stagnant.

Making up stuff about SJWs being the reason why Twitter's valuation is down is just mental masturbation, and an attempt to paint "SJW's" as a societal ill. But Twitter's problems have nothing to do with Anita Sarkeesian, or five Conservative (in)Justice Warriors who have had their accounts banned for being abusing dicks. Hell, advertisers generally don't want to be associated with such people anyway -- it devalues their brand. The numbers -- which are publicly available -- bear this out.

The GP was being disingenuous, plain and simple.


Comment Re:Anita Sarkeesian: Destroyer of Shareholder Valu (Score 4, Insightful) 313

And after having damaged their brand and destroyed billions worth of shareholder value, lo and behold, no one wants to buy them! Gee, turns out that alienating half your user base at the behest of a tiny cadre of radical feminists is a lousy business strategy...

Yeah, except that's not the reality of the situation.

As of Twitter's latest earnings report, its user base grew more than expected, up to 313 million active monthly users. Their problem has been a softening of advertiser demand, which has reduced revenues below expectations.

Indeed, all of the companies interested in buying Twitter have only been interested because of the reduced shareholder value. Twitter isn't a good buy-out candidate when its stock value is worth more than the real value of its assets; it's only when its market value is at or below the value of its assets and expected revenues that it suddenly becomes something everyone could be interested in buying out. As such, the "destroyed billions worth of shareholder value" is actually a good thing for a company looking to buy them out -- you buy low, not high.

So congrats -- you've invented an argument by working backward form a premise, while ignoring basic math and economics. Because if your argument had any real merit, any big company could buy Twitter, fire Ms. Sarkeesian, re-instate five accounts, and suddenly they'd be able to increase the value of the company by billions. But here's a hint -- the advertisers don't care who is visiting Twitter, or what their politics are. The fact that they gained over 3 million monthly visitors in the last reported quarter (to 313 million) is all they are going to care about -- and advertising is virtually all of Twitter's revenue. But advertisers are going elsewhere -- and its certainly not because there are some butt-hurt Conservative Justice Warriors who can't handle people calling them out for being complete douchbags. These companies have looked at Twitter's fundamentals, and it appears they come up wanting. Perhaps after they lose a few hundred million more in value someone will snap them up.


Comment Re:I want to buy Twitter. (Score 1) 313

That's cute and everything, but when you buy a company you take on its liabilities[1]. I suspect that's why so companies are looking under the veil and walking away from the altar.

That's what I suspect as well. Their liabilities are probably well beyond their real estate, securities, and physical holdings, such that they aren't even worth buying as a fire sale.

Still, if I were to incorporate and pay myself some crazy amount to dismantle the company, that $5 + bag of doughnuts investment could pay off nicely...



Interviews: Ask Martin Shkreli a Question 410

Martin Shkreli has agreed to answer your questions. Shkreli is the co-founder of the hedge fund MSMB Capital Management, the co-founder and former chief executive officer (CEO) of the biotechnology firm Retrophin, and the founder and former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals. Shkreli has been active on Twitter about a wide range of topics, including the 2016 presidential election. Most recently, he expressed interest in buying 4chan.

Ask him your questions here, and we'll post the full interview with Shkreli's answers in the near future.

Apple's Use Of 'Sapphire' in iPhone Camera Lens Questioned in New Tests (theverge.com) 111

An anonymous reader writes: Apple has been using sapphire on its iPhone camera lenses for a few years now since the launch of the iPhone 5S, but it might not be as scratch resistant as you'd expect. A new video raises questions over Apple's use of sapphire in its iPhone camera lens, and includes scratch tests to rate its durability. While Apple claims it uses sapphire crystal in its iPhone lens, tests by YouTuber JerryRigEverything show that Apple could be using a more cost effective sapphire laminate on top of regular glass. JerryRigEverything tested Apple's iPhone lens with an XRF machine and electron microscope, and concluded that Apple doesn't use pure sapphire in its lenses. The underside of the lens contains less sapphire than the exposed part, and a scratching comparison with a Tissot sapphire watch showed that the lens cover will scratch at a level 6 on Mohs Scale of Hardness, compared to level 8 for the Tissot watch.

Comment Re:Any third party (Score 1) 117

The source code only has to be available to the people you ship binaries to.

Consider the following excerpts from the GNU General Public License, versions 2 and 3:

(From GPLv2) b) Accompany it with a written offer, valid for at least three years, to give any third party, for a charge no more than your cost of physically performing source distribution, a complete machine-readable copy of the corresponding source code, to be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange

This offer must be available to "any third party".

Good job at selectively quoting the GPL to fit your narrative, but you're still wrong.

The section of the GPL v2 you quoted above is section 3b. The main text for Section 3 just above it reads (with emphasis added):

3. You may copy and distribute the Program (or a work based on it, under Section 2) in object code or executable form under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above provided that you also do one of the following:

...followed by three options, one of which is the one you quoted. There are two other options that be be selected instead, keeping you in compliance with the GPL, neither of which requires you give source to third parties.


Comment Re:False Analogy (Score 1) 531

That's certainly true. But the point was that you as a programmer are better equipped to find bugs in your own code than in its dependencies, and that the runtime is basically a giant black box to most programmers, whereas libraries are more likely to get compiled from source (though not necessarily, of course).

Unless you're writing embedded code directly against the hardware, however, you already rely on a pile of giant black boxes. The Operating System is a giant black box. Your compiler is probably a giant black box. The standard libraries for your language is probably a giant black box. Even if they're OSS, how many developers really take the time to audit their entire toolchain and OS? And even if you have and audit the source, how often do developers go as far as to audit the compiled code? They're still giant boxes that you build atop, with lots of opportunity for things to go wrong..


Comment Re:Don't discard the lower-level compiler though (Score 1) 531

But these methods to establish the lack of a Thompson trojan in a compiler will not work if the only publicly available implementation of a language is written in that same language.

Thanks for adding this -- it is certainly an interesting area of research.

However, I'm having a hard time finding much in the way of practical use of Wheeler Diverse Double Compiling technique. I found a single reference that GCC has a build switch that can do this, but that's about it. I haven't been able to find any details as to any other compilers that actually use DDC in practice. After all, the thrust of Thompson's talk was that at some point you have to have some level of trust in the software you run.

Besides which, I was responding to the claim that "most compilers are written in C". DDC doesn't specify any specific language for either of the compilers used in the initial pass; Wirth (for example) is quoted as saying the initial Pascal compiler was written in FORTRAN (Pascal is now self-hosting in most implementations, although Wikipedia notes that GCC Pascal is an exception, being written entirely in C and not self-hosting, which leads me to assume they don't use DDC at all, and the compiler can't compile itself). DDC is thus not an argument for "most compilers are written in C", as firstly it pre-supposes that the initial compiler was written in C (which is debatable with many counter-examples), and secondly that even when DDC is conceivably used, the end result is a self-hosted compiler, and that is what is shipped to users (i.e.: DDC is only used as a verification step, and doesn't determine or affect the shipping compilers compiler). I suppose the only logical caveat to that would be a self-hosting C compiler, which, by virtue of being self-hosting, would indeed be compiled in C.


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