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Comment Re:How can you (Score 1) 171

The pre-payment was likely for tooling setup costs, and when the tested material did not beat gorilla glass (as it was likely promised it would), the deal unwound and the reimbursement schedule activated. Now you have this company that had multi-billion dollars in future revenue contracts suddenly losing those contracts and in fact having a half billion dollar liability and not enough revenue to keep the lights on and people paid.

That's a great recipe for disaster, or in this case bankruptcy.

Comment Brillian (Score 1) 832

This is brilliant. Intel's current processors (and those in the foreseeable future) beat the snot out of AMD offerings in performance.

They can further get the low end by offering upgradeable CPUs for bargain prices (to Dell, HP, etc) further putting pressure on AMD's margins, then recoup even higher profits by offering users a upgrade path that directly pays intel.

Intel's yields are ridiculous right now, few of their procs are disabled due to defects, but to offer different market segments options.

Comment Re:Yes, but... (Score 1) 545

Stayed in a 500+ year old hotel in Florence, Italy, that had 4 or 5 different phone systems that they never got rid of to maintain historic value (showing the technology progression).

The story at the time was that you needed 2 different systems to call different people/numbers back in the 70s.

Submission + - MIT Chemical Engineer or Phoenix Suns Dancer? (

An anonymous reader writes: This is a purely selfish request, but can /. help an avid lurker and fellow nerd by voting for Rachel P on the Phoenix Suns Dancers website?

Rachel is a recent MIT grad who has worked on several alternative energy projects while an undergrad, and was working for a tech startup in Phoenix on metal-air batteries while cheering for the Phoenix Suns. She quit her job a few weeks ago to practice to try to make the main team this year and is already the second oldest person in auditions.

She's made it to the final cut this year, and we have until tuesday to vote for her. There is no greater force in the world when it comes to online polls than /., and I am hoping that support for a nerd can be the final push needed to help her make the team.

Comment be pedantic... (Score 1) 296

All commonwealths are states, not all states are commonwealths.

It is a term very much grounded in political ideology, and used by separatist states after they gain independence. It's like declaring that your new state is of the people and not of the state or monarchy or oligarchy (let's not debate that last one).

It makes less sense for American states, but a lot more for former British/Russian states.

Comment You Don't (Score 1) 366

Short term professional services in any developing countries are pretty much worthless.

Whatever you implement will be undone within days to weeks of leaving. You can't possibly teach the basics of whatever your professional abilities are in less than 6 months, otherwise a local expert could have been found.

If your services can be of use within a short-term stay you are just taking jobs away from locals and not helping the country at all.

If you want to help, some very basic things can be great for seriously impoverished areas. Project H (was on Colbert on monday) makes these long-distance water wheelbarrow things.

Buy a bunch of those and bring them to far-reaching villages. No villager will forget how to carry 2-5 times the water more easily than they ever did before.

Search and Rescue opportunities for recently destroyed Haiti, might have promise. But only if you can stomach turning up rocks to find 5 month old corpses.

Really basic and intermediate books are welcome at schools, orphanages, etc. Take a trip to Ghana, bring a bunch of books and enjoy the surf and beaches.

Comment Re:Fairness? (Score 4, Insightful) 319

Uhh. There is no free-market in the US for just about anything. Cellphone companies license spectrum that no one else can use and become defacto monopolies.

I have traveled a bit and only one country that I have been to had a free-market of any kind. Ghana, West Africa.

Ghana has between 4 and 6 cell phone providers that compete with one and another.

Ghana would not give exclusive rights to any cellular company when they first approached the country before there was cellular technology in the country.

Instead Ghana started it's own government-run cell company because no major provider would agree to anything but a monopoly position.

Strangely enough... 6 competing companies are there now making money hand over fist, and the Ghanaian government just sold their old government phone/internet company to Vodacomm.

Privatization does work, in a real free market. We live in a completely socialized state that pretends it is a free-market driven economy.

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Logic doesn't apply to the real world. -- Marvin Minsky