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Comment Google Rejoices! (Score 1) 605

I can imagine some people at Google have a smile on their face. As Microsoft tries to get people to move to MS platforms by making Skype MS only, the competitors in that arena will be able to move in and grab the market. I think Google is well positioned to take on that business.

I'm wondering how much of that $8.5 billion price is simply the customer base and not the technology? Does Skype even have any technology (or patents maybe) that couldn't be quickly replicated? Customers can be lost practically overnight, and Microsoft is notorious for dropping support to 'focus' on the Microsoft only components.

Comment Re:Making a profit (Score 1) 209

Groupon is a good idea, but you have to make a profit for each sale including the coupon. If you don't do that then you shouldn't be doing the promotion. Lost leaders help no one.

You apparently don't own a retail business. Advertising is very expensive and sometimes it's necessary to run a business at a loss in order to get people to notice your business and give it a try. It does help, and can lead to a very profitable business in the long run. Loss leaders can pay off big if done right.

Comment What about general absolution? (Score 1) 323

The Catholic church has general absolution masses that substitute for the confessional. You just have to show up, think about your sins, pray, and you're done. No speaking to a priest is required, and he wipes clean everyone's sins at the same time. Is this any different than doing it by iPhone? The priest can just wave his hands once in a while and wipe out the sins of everyone using the app.

Comment Re:iPhone (Score 2, Insightful) 305

Is Verizon advertising a guaranteed bandwidth? I haven't seen one. They're not cutting off service, but throttling it to a lower speed. It's still unlimited. This is exactly what Telefonica in Spain does and I think it's a good idea. Instead of charging you some huge rate past a certain limit that you may not know you passed, they just reduce the speed. It still works at the slower speed (although streaming video might not work so well), and it only affects those customers that are streaming audio or video very often.

Comment Expedia wants to set rates. (Score 2) 279

Expedia has been trying hard for several years to become a travel retailer that determines the pricing themselves, and they want travel companies (hotels, airlines, and rental cars) to give them wholesale pricing. Right now, like any travel agent, they get a percentage of the rate that is normally determined by the travel company, but they would like to be able to set whatever rate they think they can get and give the hotel/airline/car company a flat wholesale rate. This would give Expedia a lot of control over rates, and they could make a lot more profit because they could take everything above the negotiated rate, instead of the fixed percentage. Luckily the travel companies see that this model would destroy their own business and have resisted.

Naturally the travel companies would prefer that people book through their own websites, because they don't have to pay the commission, which is typically around 10% of the price.

Comment Re:Color me Stupid (Score 2, Interesting) 853

The election went the way it did because Obama never puts up a fight over anything.

Unfortunately he doesn't realize that fact and thinks it's because he is fighting too much, so expect him to compromise on everything now and cave in to the demands of Republicans. He thinks making them happy will make everyone happy.

Comment Stop the nonsense "security" (Score 1) 890

The TSA seems to care more about the appearance of doing something than actual effective security.

I wish they would stop and think about each of their security checks and ask themselves what is it really going to prevent. That careful inspection of your boarding pass before the screening. What does that accomplish? I print it on my computer!!! Do they not realize how absolutely trivial it would be for anyone to put anything they want on it? There is no check with any database to see if you are actually booked on the flight. Would a terrorist not think to put the same name as on their id, fake or not? And that stupid little security stamp they put on it. What does that do? I know they don't check it when you board the plane because I have used different boarding passes for security and boarding.

The other thing is hidden explosives. Can an explosive hidden in the space between a woman's breasts really bring down a plane? Could a bomb sniffing dog find explosives more effectively? If it's weapons they are looking for - what could someone do with a sharp knife or even a gun? They keep the cockpits locked now. Before 9/11 cockpits were wide open during flight. If someone pulls out a gun and starts shooting, the pilot can divert to the nearest airport and land. If these things could only end up killing a few people, it's not going to be something a terrorist is going to be too interested in, and it's not worth trying to prevent. They can be just as effective going out in the street and shooting people, and it will be much easier.

Comment Re:I'm sitting this one out (Score 4, Interesting) 836

You should at least turn in your ballot. There might be *something* to vote for among all the positions/issues. You don't have to vote for each one. Skip any that don't have a candidate you like. Even if it means you don't vote for anything, at least you are recorded as voting. Then when the results come out the total of votes between all the candidates will be less than the number of people voting, and it becomes more apparent that they weren't liked too well. It won't change who wins, but not voting won't either.

Comment IBM CEO Chair recommends IT overhaul? (Score 5, Insightful) 311

Should we be suspicious when the IBM CEO thinks the U.S. needs a massive IT overhaul? I guess you could say he is qualified to know whether it can be done or not, but it would no doubt steer a lot of money to large IT corporations, such as IBM, that are large enough to handle such a large undertaking.

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