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Comment Re:Thanks, Trump! (Score 2) 164

Lick my balls, bro.

Buying "carbon credits" and the like don't mean that you're actually using sustainable energy. What happens when the wind plants and solar plants aren't producing? Covering average demand is ONLY covering average demand. Idiots.

Its an accounting trick. They are actually using energy produced by non-renewable generators much of the time. They are simply signing contracts and paying a bit more to say it comes from renewables. Meanwhile, every neighbor is using the exact same mix of power from the exact same generators. The only difference is the piece of paper..

No, there's a little more to it than that. The fact that they're paying more for renewable means that utilities can afford to invest in more renewable production. Buying renewable energy, even if it does get all mixed together with non-renewable in the grid, actually causes renewable energy production to be built out -- and eventually to replace non-renewable production.

Comment Re:No investment opportunities big enough (Score 1) 131

They can't pay it out as dividends without repatriating it, nor can they invest it in anything in the US.

So they bring it back and pay taxes on it, and pay the remainder as a dividend. Then they tell the shareholders they would have got more if not for those taxes and deflect the blame, easy peasy.

And their stock price would take a big hit as they reduced the assets on their balance sheet by a huge amount, to no benefit. Shareholders would be pissed, and the blame deflection would not work. At all.

Bottom line: the reason they have big piles of cash is because the US has the highest corporate income tax rate in the developed world.

No, it's because the US has a pathetic tax structure that makes it easy to dodge taxes.

You don't know what you're talking about. The taxes we're talking about here are taxes that companies in most countries wouldn't pay at all. The US is nearly unique in trying to tax overseas profits.

Comment Re:US tax policy is NOT the problem for Apple (Score 1) 131

They don't have to repatriate it to do useful things with it. Believe it or not you can actually do interesting things outside the USA. I know right? Who knew?

Lose the snark. They already do about as much as they can with their cash outside of the US. There are a lot of reasons they keep the bulk of their operations in the US, and in Silicon Valley.

Have you wondered why Apple has taken out loans in recent years despite having gobs of cash and no actual need for the money?

No, I haven't wondered because it's blindingly obvious, and it's not the reason you state. The reason they do it is because they can borrow against overseas capital and use it to obtain cash for operations and growth in the US. It's a way of partially working around exactly the problem I described.

Over 50% of Apple's business is outside the US.

Revenues, yes. Operations, no.

The effective tax rate in the US for corporations is actually below the world average.

Only because many corporations have big writeoffs available due to depreciation, losses, etc. Apple already uses all of those to reduce their tax liability for US revenues. They'd pay full rate on money they repatriated.

I won't bother rebutting the remainder point by point, because it's all predicated on your above errors.

Comment Re:Music industry != artists (Score 4, Interesting) 68

I think artists of the progressive rock genre are ones that suffer most from streaming

I think they are probably among those who suffer least.

Artists in most of the less mainstream forms of rock have basically never made any money from royalties. Their album sales have always served primarily to feed fan interest in their live shows, and they've made most of their their money from merchandising at the shows. I'd expect prog rock to be in this category. And for artists who make most of their money from touring, YouTube is a *good* thing because it does an even better job of feeding fan interest, enabling a lot more interaction with fans. YouTube does this so well it's enabled artists who would never have made it in the old world to make a decent living with their music. One of my favorite examples is Lindsay Stirling, the dancing pop violinist. She actually makes considerable money from YouTube streaming (because she doesn't go through a label), and sells out concerts in respectable venues worldwide.

The artists who in decades past made their money from royalties rather than touring are the ones who are most hurt by streaming, because their contracts generally pay them a pittance of streaming revenues. On the other hand, the artists in question, the ones to generate massive royalties on album sales, are the big pop acts who are rolling in cash in spite of being ripped off by their labels.

Please don't interpret this as a defense of the labels. I spent a while writing a royalty calculation system for a big label, and it's crazy how much crap they get away with and how badly they rip off the artists, with or without streaming. They suck, and I'm rooting for artists to exploit YouTube, iTMS, Google Play, etc., and social media to reach their fans directly and cut the bloodsucking leeches out completely.

Comment Re:Why air gaps? (Score 3, Insightful) 276

Double glazed windows have a vacuum (or sometimes a noble gas) between the panes.

Or dry air. There's no need to use anything other than air to avoid condensation. You just need to make sure the air is dry and the windows are sealed so humid air can't get in. I doubt many windows are vacuum-filled; that's just begging for trouble, and would also limit the size of panes. 15 pounds per square inch adds up to a lot of pressure very quickly.

Comment Re:No investment opportunities big enough (Score 1) 131

Apple : "We have so much money we literally don't know what to do with it anymore."

That's alright. Neither do Google or Microsoft and a few others. They simply can't find investment opportunities large enough and profitable enough to do anything with their piles of cash. So the pile keeps growing. Eventually I expect it to attract a dragon or something.

Really they should be paying it back as dividends if they can't figure out what to do with the money.

The reason they have large piles of cash isn't that they can't figure out what to do with it, it's that it's cash they generated overseas they can't move it to the US without giving 35% of it to the federal government. They can't pay it out as dividends without repatriating it, nor can they invest it in anything in the US. Since most of their operations are in the US, that means they spend a little on overseas operations and put the rest in high-liquidity overseas investments -- high-liquidity in case they get an opportunity to repatriate it cheaply, or have a sudden need that makes the big tax bite acceptable.

Bottom line: the reason they have big piles of cash is because the US has the highest corporate income tax rate in the developed world.

Comment Re:Maybe I'm more anal-retentive than most (Score 1) 168

Don't try that crap with Frontier, or you will 100% get screwed. They leave early on purpose so they can make people pay the re-ticketing fee.

If they close the door too early (not sure what the line is), they not only can't charge you, they have "involuntarily refused boarding", in FAA terms, and they are required to buy you a ticket on the next available flight (on any carrier) to your destination, and pay you a cash penalty ($500?). This actually happened to me once.

Comment Re:Maybe I'm more anal-retentive than most (Score 1) 168

Ah yes, pay the extortion fee to regain your rights back as a conditional privilege. Thanks for making our lives easier, Toilet Safety Administration!

Yep, it sucks. But as a practical matter, if you travel regularly it makes your life much easier. Most of the time. You don't always get TSA Pre, even after paying the extortion fee. But you get it 90+% of the time, and are happy you did, especially when lines are long and you are carrying a lot of crap.

TSA Pre has allowed me to return to my pre-9/11 habit of arriving at the airport 25-30 minutes prior to departure, so that by the time I reach the gate I can walk right on. BTW, I don't recommend this habit unless you can afford to miss the flight, because maybe one time in 30, you will. But the 29*0.5 = 14.5 hours you'll save by doing it are worth the two or three hours you lose when you miss your flight and have to catch the next one. When the flight I'm on is the last of the day, I make sure to arrive 60 minutes before.

Comment Re:Read the first volume (Score 1) 374

It's also well worth the effort (and it is a lot of effort) to read the third volume, Sorting and Searching. The second volume (Seminumerical Methods) may be useful if you do certain kinds of work, but Fundamental Algorithms and Sorting and Searching are worth almost any professional programmer's time.

I have to admit I haven't bought 4A yet.

I really hope that Knuth is grooming someone to take over the work of completing the full set when he dies, or becomes unable to continue.

Comment Re:Maybe I'm more anal-retentive than most (Score 2) 168

I'm always careful to grab mine, but with all the bullshit rules these days I have FOUR FUCKING BINS plus my bag to take through TSA.

It's complete fucking security theater. Stop requiring removal of all these devices that just slow down lines and lead to lost items. It's all bullshit.

If you travel much, pay the money ($100) and go through the process of getting your Global Entry card, which also gives you TSA Pre-check. It's well worth it for the hassle it saves. For a little less ($85) you can sign up for TSA Pre only, but if you ever leave the country the $15 extra for Global Entry will make re-entering the US much easier. I recommend Global Entry even if you just think you *might* travel internationally.

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