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Comment Re:Thank god for Trump! (Score 1) 328

But what happened to all the good Republican candidates? I'm a long way away from the US, but trying to make sense of it.

The short summary: The primaries are extremely dominated by special interest groups (SIGs), because if they can get a sympathetic candidate the actual election will be a coin flip of who people dislike the least. So what happens is that a lot of moderates get caught in no man's land because the SIGs support their hardline candidate and if you can't get any momentum out the gate the chances of recovering 5-10 states down the line as people realize their favorite won't make it is slim and none. It's hard to find a moderate that many people would be happy with, until it's clear they'd lose and would rather compromise.

Comment Re:I get the feeling that (Score 1) 133

I get the feeling that dark matter is today's epicycles

Well you're not the first one, there have been multiple attempts to modify gravity so that it gives the right answers without introducing additional matter. Unfortunately that tends to break other results that our current theory of gravity gets right and trying to "fix" that usually ends up in just as convoluted theories as dark matter/dark energy. Personally I think it's easy to feel like solid matter is a wall but we know radio transmissions pass through it like it was nothing. And neutrinos pass through the planet without even noticing. I don't find it particularly hard to imagine that there are particles that have even less interaction, given what we already know.

Comment Re:What is the appeal of these things? (Score 1, Interesting) 128

I think that they're a fad in the same way that 1990s smartphones were a fad: the technology to build good ones doesn't exist yet. A watch needs to have a battery that lasts long enough that I never accidentally forget to charge it and end up with it not working (my current one is on its second battery and the first one lasted about 5 years) and be light enough that I don't notice that I'm wearing it. I have both of those from a Skagen watch, but if I could keep those requirements then I'd find it very useful to have things like my day's calendar sync'd to the watch, to be able to use it with Bluetooth for two-factor authentication, to be able to use something like Apple Pay and leave my wallet at home, and so on. Make it a quarter the current thickness and make the battery last a week and I'll happily buy one, but that isn't possible yet.

The same thing was true of Smartphones. It was obvious before the iPhone that there were a lot of useful things that a Smartphone could do, but until LiIon batteries, low-power WiFi chipsets and screens improved to a certain point, the downsides outweight the benefits. The difference between the iPhone and the Apple Watch is that the iPhone was released at precisely the time when the technology made it possible to build the useful thing, whereas the Apple Watch appears to be 5-10 years too early.

Comment Re:Hell No (Score 4, Insightful) 334

1) Chances are that "counterfeit" was made in the same factory line as the "real" one.

There have been a lot of cases of third-party batteries being made to significantly lower standards. Often the counterfeit ones are the QA rejects from the real factory.

2) Nikon wouldn't know if you you were using the "real" one or not.

LiIon batteries must communicate with the charger, some communicate things like serial numbers so they can tell it's a fake. A common failure mode is for the battery to expand significantly, at which point it may be difficult to remove it from the camera without causing damage that was obviously not done by the battery and thereby invalidating your warranty.

3) Relying on corporations to be sympathetic is pretty comical. Nikon doesn't care about you.

He's not relying on their sympathy, he's relying on consumer protection laws (you do have those in your country?). If I buy a battery from manufacturer A and put it in a device from manufacturer A, and it destroys the device, then it's clearly the responsibility of manufacturer A. If you buy a battery from A and it destroys a device from B then you're likely to have a lot of effort proving responsibility, and that's assuming that A is not some fly-by-night operator and still exists when you hit the problems.

Comment Re:Cutting corners (Score 4, Insightful) 334

As I understand the term, it's only a knockoff if it's attempting to portray itself as a different company's brand. Supermarket own brand ketchup is not a Heinz knockoff, even if it's made in the same factory with the same ingredients, because it's got someone else's name on it and isn't trying to pretend to be Heinz ketchup.

If the shoes cost $20 to make and you can get shoes for the same quality as Nike and manage to sell them for $40, making $20 profit on each one, then you shouldn't worry about putting your own brand name on them. You'll get good reviews and the value of your brand increases. The problem is when you make an inferior product and put someone else's name on it, because then you get the benefit from their reputation and they pay the cost when their reputation suffers because of the substandard goods.

Comment Re:Result of brexit? (Score 1) 153

Intel doesn't sell SoCs that anyone else puts accelerators on. They tried, but no one wanted to join in. Intel doesn't sell anything comparable to an M or R-profile ARM core, which is well over half of all ARM cores sold. Actually, that's not true - they sell a load of M-profile ARM cores, but only inside other products.

Comment Re:Who? (Score 1) 153

Kinda make you wonder why Apple didn't do this first really.

Because if Apple bought ARM, then everyone else would start looking very closely at other CPU vendors. A lot of the value of ARM comes from their size: they're not big enough to be a threat to any of their partners, but they're big enough that they can act as independent mediators between their partners. The ARM ecosystem is valuable because a lot of people contribute to it but no one really controls it (ARM Holdings controls the ISA).

If Apple bought them, then they'd suddenly stop being independent. At that point, MIPS (owned by another UK company) would suddenly look very attractive to companies like Qualcomm, Broadcom, Samsung, and so on.

Comment Re:added benefits (Score 1) 1126

There have been a few studies recently (including one that was a /. front page) that link crime to perceptions of unfairness (which is not the same as inequality). People are far more likely to commit crimes against people that they feel have benefitted from an unfair situation that has harmed them.

Comment Re:Yes it is a straw man argument (Score 1) 1126

removing the minimum wage would significantly impact the costs of basic services. If my food, daycare, house/lawn care, haircuts, etc. dropped by just 10% that would save me $6000 per year so this would be a wash for me.

It's quite difficult to form accurate hypotheses about what would happen if you removed the minimum wage and introduced UBI. Some jobs that tend to be low paying but enjoyed by the people that do them (hair dresser seems like a good example here) might become cheaper, but anything menial would suddenly find the bargaining position between employer and employee dramatically changed. The person in the menial job is no longer going to be out on the street if they don't work, they'll simply have less money available for luxuries. I'd expect to see a lot of jobs see increases in salary as no one wants to do them. If no one needed a job to live, how much do you think you'd have to pay people to clean toilets?

Comment Re: The Republicans want to make everyone work (Score 1) 1126

Investing isn't just "doing nothing". You have to chose well and know what will take off and what won't.

Speculation is trying to pick the right horse. Investment can be just as much about trying to create a balanced portfolio that'll get you a reliable return. You tend to hear all about the spectacular successes and failures, but a vast number of companies produce the nuts and bolts, everyday objects that don't change much at all - not the production systems, not the demand, not the competition. But somebody owns it and somebody's getting a return on it. It's not very exciting to hear that they got 5% ROI while the stock market index 4% ROI though, so you don't read about it much.

What really matters is the value of labor vs capital, once we had artisans and master craftsmen whose work was highly valued. Then we had industrialization and it trended more towards capital, then it trended more towards knowledge workers and now with automation it's trending more towards capital again. If the rich accumulate wealth quicker through capital than people do through labor then the gap widens. The winner is the ones who can invest a billion in self-driving cars, the loser all the people who used to earn a living driving.

Sure, some people will gamble and bet on the right horse or the wrong horse and either join the capitalists or flunk out back to the working class. But they're just statistical noise when it comes to the rest question, how much of the wealth does the 0,1%, 1%, 10% control? It excludes the whole issue about who left and who joined, only how unequal wealth is distributed. And last I heard the differences were increasing, the rich are accelerating away. They don't have to be super good at investing, they just need to not be super dumb.

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