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Comment Re:Employers already know the loophole (Score 1) 600

Things like this are always maddening to me since they have such a simple solution: instead of having a hard boundary (40 hours/week) just pro-rate things. So if for a full-time employee the company pays 50% of the insurance cost and the employee pays 50%, then make the employer of the 20 hour/week employee pay 25% and the employee 75%. (And do this at a per-hour resolution, not a full time/half-time resolution). This would give employers much less of an incentive to cut hours to get below some magic number.

(Of course why we still allow insurance to be tied to employment is a whole other kettle of crazy fish.)

Comment Re:Oh, look! Just what the economy needs! (Score 1) 600

You are conflating public and private spending. If you are an 'average' american, you would 'only' spend about $4200/year on healthcare - but part of the problem with the costs in the USA is that the government is also spending on average $4000/year. So our total per-person costs are about $8,200 per person/per year. In comparison, the total public & private costs are about $3400/year.

This means if we were able to wave a magic wand and instantly implement the NHS for the USA, we could both give everyone free healthcare and lower taxes.

(Numbers are all 2010 figures from:

Comment Re:Does that include their manufacturing plants? (Score 1) 262

I was referring to how nobody *will* read TFA I linked to ;-)

(Also the original article links to Apple's environment page, which has a link right at the top of the page for "Our Footprint", so for all of the people complaining about what 'Apple' is/isn't including in their calculation - a trivial amount of effort from the TFA would have gotten people to a page with the answer, though clearly that is much less fun than speculating and shooting down straw men.)

Comment Re:Does that include their manufacturing plants? (Score 5, Informative) 262

Don't blame Apple for the submitter's terrible headline. What Apple actually claims is on their website, and they have a clear breakdown of what they view their footprint to be is here:

(Broken down b/c nobody actually RTFA)
61% Manufacturing
5% Transportation
30% Product Use
2% Recycling
2% Facilities

Comment Re:Because Apple charges enough to be made in Amer (Score 1) 744

1. You are forgetting that Gross Margin != Profit. Given that Apple's profit margin is usually about 40%, the costs for everything besides manufacturing costs (such as salaries for Apple's 60,000+ US employees) would be roughly 15%, so using the figure above, an iPad would actually cost roughly $668 (618 + 50), leaving an 8.5% profit margin, not 15%.

2. Apple hires plenty of US workers who are paid well.

3. Apple used to manufacture in the US, most recently iMacs, and couldn't compete. NeXT also manufactured in the US, and nobody wanted to pay the price premium.

Comment Re:I'm the target for this, and I won't be using i (Score 1) 416

The article sloppily refers to the iBook Store as 'iBooks', so what that sentence is actually saying is: books that are published in the iBook Store must be exclusive to the iBook Store. Which has nothing to do with what you can do with books you write using the iBooks Author software (it is your work, of course you can do whatever you want with it, the same as you can a Word document).

Comment Re:It's not all the Textbook publshers' fault (Score 1) 396

I've read the breakdowns, but I don't buy it. For example, I once ended up with the bangladeshi copy of a $150 physics textbook for $50. It was paperback, printed on newsprint (which is actually less glossy and therefore easier to read under bright lights), black-and-white, and page-for-page identical with the US edition (and from the same company as the original textbook, so not a pirated copy).

I'm sure many students in the US would gladly opt for a much cheaper "economy" edition if it were offered instead of the delux quality hardback, multi-color, super-glossy textbooks that we get to choose from. (Sure, some subjects benefit from color, but for most, especially math and programming, it is an unnecessary luxury. )

Even if no outright price gouging exists, it is much more lucrative to sell luxury textbooks than bare-bones ones (a fixed percentage of $150 is more than the same percentage of $50): this decision may be good for publishers, but it is bad for students.

Comment Re:Free market? (Score 5, Insightful) 266

Most of america is also car-illiterate, financially-illiterate, woodworking-illiterate, sewing-illiterate, hunting-illiterate, gardening-illiterate and cooking-illiterate.

I don't think we should ever celebrate ignorance, but there is a big difference between this and acknowledging that people only have so much time/energy/capacity to learn about how the world works and would rather spend their time living their lives.

Basic gardening is also super-easy and is beneficial both financially and health-wise, but most people don't bother with it, the same way most people don't bother spending time understanding their computer.

As we look at how to improve our society, I think concerns about cooking/food-illiteracy and financial-illiteracy are far more pressing than bemoaning that people don't bother to learn how to navigate a directory structure. It is better to discuss making "open" computing simple, easy and relevant rather than berating people for wanting to get on with their lives.

Comment Re:open source, patent encumbered (Score 1) 526

Speculative: They *only* released it because they had to.
Fact: They had to release it.

Fact: Apple has benefited greatly by the proliferation of WebKit. No longer is the Mac a second-class citizen of the internet due to not having IE6.

Speculation: I don't think it is unreasonable to believe that they chose to start with an open-source project partly because it saved development time and also partly because using a widely-adopted engine as a basis for the browser is good for Mac users, which is a goal furthered by releasing the engine as open-source. I think if Konqueror didn't exist, or wasn't used as the basis of the project, Apple may have (I'd say 50/50 chance) still released WebKit as open-source. (It is also quite reasonable to argue they didn't care about the open-source part and just wanted to ship quickly - unless the people who made those decisions state them publicly, it is all speculation).

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