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Comment Re:Different from the Social Security benefits? (Score 3, Interesting) 630

Actually you might see pressure to raise wages for low skill work now that people can choose to drop out of the labor force (without the bureaucratic issues and social stigma of being on Welfare) if the wages offered are not attractive enough. If someone just wants to make some pocket money its probably more attractive to participate in the "at-will gig" economy instead of accepting the constraints of a traditional job. Of course higher wages also means more automation resulting in fewer jobs which would pressure wages lower. I All we can be sure of at this point is that this is going to be a very interesting experiment

Comment I wonder if it qualifies for a Energy Star rating (Score 1) 178

They mounted a very large tablet on a Refrigarator. The really crazy part is that because of "innovative features " like ice dispensers and water chillers the 1940's refrigerators were actually more energy efficent then the modern ones. Putting a power hungry giant screen on it is one way to continue driving down energy efficency

Comment Re:see what the Union free work place get's you! (Score 5, Interesting) 297

Where independent unions are banned.

Basically when China and Russia gave up on socialism, they created a version of capitalism in the image of what they imagined capitalism to be; not the kind of liberal society you find in advanced Western democracies with their regulated market economies and worker's rights guarantees.

Actually the Chineese Capitalist system looks remarkably similar to the American "Gilded Age." The horrible exploitation of labor during this period is what gave rise to Unions and the "Progressive Era." How things are going to play out with China's single party system is anybody's guess but so far the Ruling party has shown little tolerance for Organized labor. Russia is a very different story, their economy is based largely on exploitation of natural resources, mostly oil. As John McCain put it "Russia is a gas station masquerading as a country". They have little on the way of private Capital investment, the linchpin of a Capitalist system

Comment Re:No, but... (Score 1, Informative) 323

It would be nice if the conservatives started admitting that birth control is effective birth control.

That will never happen: for too many of them, birth control is merely an excuse for their real motive: control of the bodies of young people. The real goal is not to prevent birth, but to prevent sex taking place.

Actually it is about control over morality. The Religious Conservatives view sex outside marriage as Sin and unwanted pregnancies as a (Gods) punishing consequence for immorality. The also see the sacrifices required to raise that child as the path to Salvation and God's good graces. They very much fear that sexual immorality leads not only to the degradation of society, but to the physical destruction of the U.S at the hands of GOD ala "Sodom and Gomorrah."

Comment Re:5%? (Score 1) 81

Stock prices don't affect the bottom line (other than on a IPO of course)

Please, don't do any investments in stocks: you clearly don't understand this well enough.

The question you have to ask is: why did the stock price go down? The answer to which is that investors in the stock market expect that future profits (the bottom line) will be lower. In other words, no, stock prices don't affect the bottom line (but see note), instead, the expected future of the bottom line affects the stock price.

Pray do tell how Investors "expecting" lower earnings actually affect earnings.

Note: a high stock price can improve a company's ability to raise capital for investment, so in this way a high stock price can affect the bottom line.

Agreed that in the an embattled company would have more difficulties (at least have to pay higher rates) getting loans or selling bonds. However this is a function of the Company facing uncertainties about its future rather the "stock price" per se. A private company in a similar situation would face the same difficulties raising captial

Comment Re:5%? (Score 1) 81

Lots of stocks go down 5% in one day, especially medical stocks. Hardly steep.

Yes, it's a shame it didn't go down more. Until lack of security affects the bottom line, companies won't make secure devices.

Stock prices don't affect the bottom line (other than on a IPO of course) however a bunch of pissed off investors looking at their portfolio charts shooting straight-down would likely demand the heads of the CEO and the CTO. If the Board of Trustees doesn't deliver you might see a direct share-holder vote being called. That's when you would see some real change in the Industry. Nothing greases the wheels quite like the blood of executives

Comment Re:5%? (Score 1) 81

How would you prove it? Would it require assistance from the company to show that that was what happened?

If the Coroner found the device not functioning during the autopsy and implicate it as the cause of death he could rule the death suspicious (if he were smart) and start the boll rolling for the device to end up at FBI crimes lab directly. Otherwise he would (hopefully) file a report with the FDA or the Manufacturer (which is required to report it to the FDA). Eventually a FDA inspector would get around to reading the report and hopefully be alarmed enough to ask the company to check on the cause of the malfunction. If the company experts found the device is functioning properly and it simply had been turned off somehow or that device's firmware checksum doesn't match the deployed image, the Case would be reopened and the device would end up at FBI labs. It is unlikely that the Company experts would lie to the FDA, for one they would have to explain to them what went wrong which means making up some other defect on the device and second they would be committing multiple felonies and infractions. PS: This scenario assumes a not very sophisticated hacker (which would still be quite capable of penetrating the pathetic security on most medical devices). Someone dedicated to the craft would probably write a in-runtime-memory only exploit that after the deed would restore the device to proper function and wipe itself off without leaving any traces

Comment Re:5%? (Score 3, Insightful) 81

A voluntary or a FDA ordered full recall one are unlikely or you would have seen the stock price come crashing down and trading halted . Device security is just not taken seriously in the industry. Practically the only invulnerable devices are the ones with network-stack implementations so broken as to render networking functions pretty usless. The Industry benefits from there not being any cases of harm to patients. Few people outside of research would target medical devices given the risk of causing physical harm to innocent people. Of course this could change in an instant were someone to off their rich-uncle for the inheritance by hacking into his pacemaker. The scandal would cause a tsunami that would come crashing down on the Biotech industry

Comment The lack of competition (Score 5, Insightful) 204

Most people are so used to Internet Service being the Monopoly of the Cable provider that they are not aware of alternaties in the few areas where Fiber is available. Not to mention that Cable actually does compete in those few areas where there is legitimate competition from Fiber

Comment Re: call an ambulance (Score 1) 153

$900 is very high. Do they enjoy a government monopoly? Private fire is supposed to allow pricing pressure. Are there very few people in your town?

When the barrier of entry to a market is very high because of the need for large up-front investments (like buying a fire engine and a ladder engine) or because there is long regulatory hurdles (like getting permits to dig in order to lay cable) you don't need a Government enforced monopoly, you enjoy what economists call a "Natural Monopoly"

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