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Comment Re:Waste of the shareholders money. (Score 1) 119

The original Apple campus is really six separate office buildings that happened to be arranged in a circle with a central courtyard; the new Apple campus is essentially eight separate office buildings that happen to be physically adjacent so as to look like one big round building. There are literally hundreds (possibly thousands?) of firms in Silicon Valley that could profitably use either one of those 1/8th wedges or a single floor of a 1/8th wedge = 1/32nd of the total space).

The new campus has roughly the same square footage as the empire state building but a hell of a lot more parking and better physical plant. It's a mere 12 miles from the Googleplex in Mountain View. Among current firms, Google could easily make use of the entire thing, as could Oracle. (Though subdivision really seems more likely)

Regarding distance to SF, it's almost exactly as convenient to SF as Google's headquarters and slightly more convenient to San Jose.

BTW...have you worked in Silicon Valley? Companies rent pieces of fancy buildings other companies built first all the time. Google's current headquarters were built by Silicon Graphics. When I was at General Magic we had a couple floors in somebody else's office building in Santa Clara - a firm that had to shrink down so they moved out of the parts they weren't using and leased the rest. And so on...

Comment Re:Waste of the shareholders money. (Score 1) 119

It is a gigantic waste of shareholder money...$4.5 billion could have been used to fund an 80-cent-per-share dividend

Think of it as a clever tax dodge. Apple has made a lot of money overseas that they would like to bring back home, but if it were brought back home as money they'd have to pay a 35% US corporate income tax on it. So instead they spend their profits on expensive one-of-a-kind glass panels and concrete slabs fabricated outside the US then shipped and used here.

And sure, those glass panels and concrete slabs are overpriced compared to the value Apple gets from them. But are they more than 35% overpriced? If not, it's a bargain!

Comment Re:Waste of the shareholders money. (Score 2) 119

if Apple needs to sell, the only kinds of companies who could afford to buy this thing would rather build one, so that leaves oil sheiks and China.

It'll be nice office space. If and when Apple shrinks enough that they don't need it anymore, it could easily be subdivided into wedges that are rented out to whatever other firms are growing at the time. No need to allocate the entire thing at once. What you're saying is like complaining that few people can afford to buy the entire Empire State Building so it's a bad idea to build it.

Comment The underground levels are for parking (Score 1) 119

my condolences to those who get to report to work in the awesomest building on the planet....then slip beneath the earth's surface to their dank, windowless, crappy offices.

The original plans were to have two below ground basement levels...but they are for underground parking. I'm not sure whether the claim of there being three floors now means they added another such level or the reporter is confused.

Here is the original blueprint which clearly shows Basement 1 and Basement 2 as levels containing 2300ish parking spaces each plus ramps, tunnel access and a loading dock/storage area.

That said, I'm sure there will be some windowless crappy offices in interior parts of some of the aboveground levels. (There certainly were in the original Apple Campus!)

Comment Re:...and...?? (Score 1) 460

> He admitted it publicly?

Not really, no.

The question was posed by username "bleemboy", whose profile has been made private. The allegedly associated truename "Marco Marsala" is kind of generic. (there are three on LinkedIn, none claiming to be in the hosting business. Not to mention, if there WERE a "Marco Marsala" in the hosting business wouldn't you expect him to have registered his own name?)

I find it deeply suspicious that none of the alleged "more or less 1535 customers" nor anybody USING any of the sites run by those customers has piped up in the comments at reddit or here or anywhere else to say "So THAT is what happened to my favorite site and the company hosting it!"

Comment He's a lukewarmist, not a denier (Score 2) 286

How can anybody call him a "denier" when he acknowledged global warming in the first twenty seconds of the cited video?

He is more of a lukewarmist, meaning that he agrees that the climate is changing, is not certain that's a bad thing, and reserves judgment on controlling emissions until there is more data to confirm the models' predictions.

Comment The "Jesus Paper" again? (Score 1) 639

it turns out instead of "proving" that the hockey stick wasn't real, they proved that they couldn't follow the documented procedures.

Wahl & Amman's results were consistent with McIntyre & McKitrick's work and essentially confirmed a few of the M&M criticisms of the hockey stick. The story of how this played out is amusingly recounted by Bishop Hill in Caspar and the Jesus Paper.

Comment Re:Any experienced teacher already deals with this (Score 1) 388

Why would you expect a high school math teacher to know any "masters-level mathematics"? They probably got an undergrad degree in "Education", not math. You're lucky if your math instructor even knows math at the undergrad level. I suspect a lot of us have had the experience of figuring out something in math (or physics, or what-have-you) to a level that the teacher didn't understand.

Comment Some anti-CO2 efforts CAUSE starvation (Score 2) 695

A fair amount of starvation has actually been caused by the effort to FIGHT global warming. In particular, the US biofuels mandate was justified as a way to combat global warming - biofuels are alleged to be a carbon-neutral form of energy. But diverting cropland from growing food to growing fuel makes food more expensive. That creates starvation and causes riots and war and refugees. In short, the effort to fight global warming has itself CREATED some of the very problem it claims to be attempting to fight.

Comment Re:My two cents (Score 1) 695

The worst case scenario is actually pretty terrible. You could "create a better world" at the cost of a lot of pain and suffering and starvation. The fundamental problem is that spending resources on climate means *not* spending them on every other current or potential threat to humanity. Even a tiny hit to world GDP growth might over many years make the difference between saving the world and not being able to do so when some unanticipated new threat comes along. (Like a comet aimed at the earth or a plague or, heck, the next phase of global cooling.)

Comment "Good news for X industry" often bad for consumers (Score 2) 88

If China's prices undercut our own train makers, that is great news for our *consumers* - companies that run trains or use trains for transport and individuals who use trains for transport. Contrariwise if China raises the price of trains that almost certainly hurts more Americans than it helps, just like most other price increases.

Comment Re:This is silly (Score 1) 720

> Never mind that states with higher minimum wage have higher job growth.

Yeah, not so much. There were 13 states whose minimum wage was counted as having increased. 4 of those were deliberate increases due to new legislation (the four: Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island) but the other 9 were insignificant cost-of-living inflation adjustments. If your theory is that minimum wage increases lead to job growth you ought to be able to scatter-plot the two variables and find a positive relationship. We should expect to see that MORE minimum wage increase leads to MORE job growth. Right?

But we don't see that at all in the data.

In fact, the four states that made a substantial deliberate increase in the minimum wage collectively did WORSE than average at job growth. The biggest percentage increases in minwage led to the LEAST job growth.

Of the four aforementioned states New Jersey did the worst, managing to combine its hefty minimum wage increase with literally the WORST job LOSSES of any state in the union. Connecticut's job growth was anemic/flat. New York's was well below average. Of the four states, only Rhode Island did okay (not stellar, but a decent upper-middle-of-the-pack showing).

From these stats we should actually conclude that noticeably raising minimum wage does NOT increase job growth.

(The chart showing the various states and their job growth is here: )

Comment Re:Polygraph (Score 2) 580

> President Bush (41) scored a 98 [...]

You've been fooled by at least one hoax. Somebody invented a collection of "presidential IQs" in order to claim Democrats are smarter than Republicans. There is no evidence for several of the values you give, including specifically that score of 98. Here's the debunk:

Comment Re:No one needs a motivation to invent (Score 1) 234

" my point was that the only reason for a society to grant patents is to provide a viable alternative to the former system (closely held trade secrets) without the risk of the secret dying with the inventor?"

I guess my question would be WHY you see ONLY this reason, and refuse to acknowledge the others. I mentioned at least one of them. But you have rejected it without any real argument or refutation, and simply repeated your original statement again. The fact that inventions were created before the motivation of patents existed, is not evidence that patents do not create motivation. The real question, which you have refused to even acknowledge so far, is: which is BETTER? A system with no patents, or a system with patents.

Actually, you're changing the argument here. This part of the discussion was about why patent laws were enacted in the first place (was it to motivate people to invent, or to motivate them to disclose the details of their invention?). It was never about whether patents do or don't motivate people to invent thing, only about whether the supposition that they do was behind the creation of the patent system.

You argued that this was "obvious" from the constitution by imposing a modern perspective--shoe horning a Randian perspective on a document written a century and a half before that view gained currency--and a bit of selective reading. I countered that given the prevailing circumstance (e.g. trade secrets as a prevalent practice) and the clear written statement (e.g. the law itself, which I cited above) a much more probable explanation was that the intent was to motivate disclosure of existing inventions rather than (as you would have it) invention per se.

This may seem odd to modern sensibilities, in a world where "the profit motive" is taken for granted (and condoned) and we have more information at our fingertips than we could possibly digest, a world where cases such as starlite (which may well be a fraud in any event) seem like musty relics of pre-Victorian era, but I think it's safe to say the founders of our nation would have had as hard a time seeing things from our perspective as we have seeing it from theirs.

Likewise, as for your question about my phrase "the only reason for a society to grant patents" I think you are confusing motivations of the two parties (society and the inventor). There are many things that might motivate an inventor (dreams of wealth, fame, glory, desire to scratch an itch, prove a point, discomfit a rival, etc.) but society as a whole is largely indifferent to these. If we are to be strictly randian (as seems to be the tenor here, at least in so far as the constraints of historical accuracy permit) the only thing that works as a societal motivation is something that benefits people in general, imposing a cost on (in an ideal case at least) no one but the inventor. The most salient of the possibly candidates is clearly disclosure--we all gain information, and the inventor is out one secret.

I will, though, admit that "only" was too strong and there are indeed other (far less plausible) candidates. Perhaps we all love a Horatio Alger tale enough to want to foster them, or can't help but indulge our schadenfreude habit when a mustachio twirling industry is turned on its head by a plucky upstart. But I haven't been able to turn up any contemporaneous support for these theories.

By your argument, I could claim that firearms are not effective for hunting because animals were killed long before firearms came along. I don't buy it. It's not black and white, it's a matter of degree.

Again, I believe you are getting yourself tangled. You started this line of discussion by making the contrary black and white claim:

You: The idea (which history supports) being that when you don't allow people to profit from their own efforts, things don't get invented.

Me: That would make sense if there was a shred of evidence that people only invent things because they hope to patent them.

You: Well then, it makes sense, because we have far more than a shred. We have at least 300 years of historical evidence, continuing into modern times.

...and I objected, pointing out that history very clearly show that things were invented before patents, and that patents are not, as you seemed to be arguing, the only (or even the best) reason or people to invent things.


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