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Comment Re: The U.S. ain't perfect, but... (Score 1) 523

He doesn't appear to understand the meaning of the word free trade because support for free trade were words out of his mouth after talking about implementing tariffs, though

He understands it very well. What he means when he talks about free trade is not free movement of goods or labour (which benefit poor people), it's free movement of capital (which benefits rich people). He wants to clamp down on free movement of goods and labour but continue to allow free movement of capital, because that's good for him.

Comment Re:Neat! (Score 1) 161

Here's the problem: there is far more of a shortage of smart people than of money in medical research. That's okay though, because while $3bn sounds like a lot, it's actually a really tiny amount. I couldn't find the most recent figures, but in 2003 the US alone spent $94.3bn on medical research. That's around $123bn, adjusting for inflation. Even if Zuckerberg spent all of the pledged money in one year, he'd only be promising to increase this amount by just under 2.5%, for a single year. Can you think of a single large project where a 2.5% increase in funding for one year has made a large difference, ever? It sounds like he's actually spending the money over 10 years though, so that's a 0.25% increase in funding. I'm being generous there and only counting the US budget. The EU spends a similar amount, Russia and China both spend a lot, so in total it amounts to well under a 0.1% increase in funding for medical research over 10 years. How much more productive would you be if I offered to pay you 0.1% more over the next 10 years?

Comment Re:People tend to think others will behave as they (Score 3, Insightful) 133

Not necessarily. As the grandparent posted, and I've said many times before, creating is hard, copying is easy. You need a business model where people pay for the creation, not the copying. For example, you release a beta version of the game with most of the game world missing for free, then you ask for funding to finish it. Once you've received enough to cover your development and distribution costs and make a decent profit, you release the game for free. Then you start asking people to contribute to developing the next one.

This sounds weird, but it's actually exactly the business model that many TV shows use. They produce a pilot and send it to the networks for free. The networks watch it and if they like it then they fund the development of the first season. If the first season does well, they start asking the network for money for the second, and so on. The only difference is that you'd ask the customers directly, rather than having a middleman who wants to sell adverts.

Comment Re:Distorted justice (Score 4, Insightful) 133

You don't even have to go that far. If I go into a shop, steal a DVD, and give it to you, the penalty is lower than if I buy the DVD, make a copy, and give that to you. I suspect that part of the reason that people don't take the risk seriously is that it's hard for a moderately sane person to imagine that a court would uphold a penalty for copying an object that's greater than the cost of stealing it.

Comment Re:How to fix that? (Score 1) 185

While five years seems a bit long, that's so streaming and rebroadcast doesn't cut too deeply into the DVD/BluRay sales

Studios used to wait six months between cinema release and DVD sales because they were scared that DVD sales would cut into cinema ticket sales. Now they often do simultaneous releases because they learned that if you don't make content available in the format that people want then they'll pirate it (and now we have large statutory penalties because it's hard to argue actual damages when you're refusing to sell the thing that's been pirated). People won't buy the DVD if they can't stream it, they'll either go without or pirate.

Comment Re:You Really Want To Go Down This Road MS?? (Score 1) 467

Also, take a look at Google's Pixel device or Apple's Mac. Both of those are locked down in similar ways, possibly even more severely.

I'm not sure about the Pixel, but from what I've read it's expected to support dual boot out of the box. Apple Macs come with a tool called Boot Camp that will partition your disk and aid installing MS Windows (it provide drivers for various bits of hardware and installs the required BIOS compatibility optional bits in the UEFI partition for non-EFI-aware operating systems).

Comment Re:The Self Reward Syndrome (Score 1) 210

It is impossible to lose weight if you eat more than you burn, even if all of those calories are "healthy".

That's assuming that 'eat' and 'digest' are equivalent. They're not, and various things affect the efficiency of your digestive system. It's perfectly possible to eat a lot more calories than your body absorbs (though it's not possible to eat fewer unless you learn to photosynthesise).

Comment Re: I claim prior art (Score 2) 201

If you ever visit Apple, go to their cafeteria. Order a pizza. Look at the box: it comes in a custom Apple-designed cardboard box (actually, a very nice design that is smaller than a normal pizza box and stacks better). Look carefully, and you'll see the Apple patent number listed on it. I wanted to take a photograph, but apparently Apple is very strict about people not taking photos anywhere on their campus.

Comment Re:I've seen this before (Score 1) 79

Probably quite difficult. That said, miles probably don't mean what you think they mean. United has three categories of air miles:
  • Lifetime flight miles are the total number of miles that you've flown. These count towards your million mile status (when you get enough in this category, you get status for life).
  • Premiere qualifying miles. These are the number of miles that you've flow, with a few small tweaks, which count towards your premiere status for the next year (25K for silver, 50K for gold, and so on).
  • Award miles. These expire if you don't fly with them for a while (18 months, I think), accumulate roughly in proportion to the number of dollars you spend with them (with a multiplier for your premiere status) and can be used to buy flights, upgrades, and so on.

I believe that this person was given 15 million award miles. That doesn't mean that he can use them to fly a million miles. For example, a transatlantic flight (around 2.5-6K miles, depending on the route) booked with award miles costs either 30K or 60K (depending on whether you want a guaranteed flight or a chance to be bumped). And you still need to pay airport taxes for the trip (likely around $100-150). If you want to upgrade to business class, I think it's another 20K miles and a $500 fee.

That said, 15M award miles is probably enough that he'd never need to pay full price for a flight ever again. It's enough for 125 transatlantic round trips, which is a lot more than most people take in a lifetime (though some people obviously do: you can spend all of those miles without reaching million miler status).

Comment Re:Better gadget (Score 4, Informative) 210

Sometimes. Most people don't actually want to lose weight though, they want to lose fat. If you exercise a bit more, you'll likely lose some fat and put on some muscle. Muscle is denser than fat, so your weight may go up for a little while, and the scale will make you feel like it isn't working.

Comment Re:The Self Reward Syndrome (Score 2) 210

Successful weight loss almost always comes down to simple math; burn more calories than you consume.

Which is a really good way to make yourself very ill. Hint: If the only thing that you're tracking is calories, then you're likely to have too much of some and too little of other things that you need.

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