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Comment Re:No investment opportunities big enough (Score 1) 91

Apple : "We have so much money we literally don't know what to do with it anymore."

That's alright. Neither do Google or Microsoft and a few others. They simply can't find investment opportunities large enough and profitable enough to do anything with their piles of cash. So the pile keeps growing. Eventually I expect it to attract a dragon or something.

Really they should be paying it back as dividends if they can't figure out what to do with the money.

The reason they have large piles of cash isn't that they can't figure out what to do with it, it's that it's cash they generated overseas they can't move it to the US without giving 35% of it to the federal government. They can't pay it out as dividends without repatriating it, nor can they invest it in anything in the US. Since most of their operations are in the US, that means they spend a little on overseas operations and put the rest in high-liquidity overseas investments -- high-liquidity in case they get an opportunity to repatriate it cheaply, or have a sudden need that makes the big tax bite acceptable.

Bottom line: the reason they have big piles of cash is because the US has the highest corporate income tax rate in the developed world.

Comment Re:Maybe I'm more anal-retentive than most (Score 1) 159

Don't try that crap with Frontier, or you will 100% get screwed. They leave early on purpose so they can make people pay the re-ticketing fee.

If they close the door too early (not sure what the line is), they not only can't charge you, they have "involuntarily refused boarding", in FAA terms, and they are required to buy you a ticket on the next available flight (on any carrier) to your destination, and pay you a cash penalty ($500?). This actually happened to me once.

Comment Re:Maybe I'm more anal-retentive than most (Score 1) 159

Ah yes, pay the extortion fee to regain your rights back as a conditional privilege. Thanks for making our lives easier, Toilet Safety Administration!

Yep, it sucks. But as a practical matter, if you travel regularly it makes your life much easier. Most of the time. You don't always get TSA Pre, even after paying the extortion fee. But you get it 90+% of the time, and are happy you did, especially when lines are long and you are carrying a lot of crap.

TSA Pre has allowed me to return to my pre-9/11 habit of arriving at the airport 25-30 minutes prior to departure, so that by the time I reach the gate I can walk right on. BTW, I don't recommend this habit unless you can afford to miss the flight, because maybe one time in 30, you will. But the 29*0.5 = 14.5 hours you'll save by doing it are worth the two or three hours you lose when you miss your flight and have to catch the next one. When the flight I'm on is the last of the day, I make sure to arrive 60 minutes before.

Comment Re:Read the first volume (Score 1) 342

It's also well worth the effort (and it is a lot of effort) to read the third volume, Sorting and Searching. The second volume (Seminumerical Methods) may be useful if you do certain kinds of work, but Fundamental Algorithms and Sorting and Searching are worth almost any professional programmer's time.

I have to admit I haven't bought 4A yet.

I really hope that Knuth is grooming someone to take over the work of completing the full set when he dies, or becomes unable to continue.

Comment Re:Maybe I'm more anal-retentive than most (Score 2) 159

I'm always careful to grab mine, but with all the bullshit rules these days I have FOUR FUCKING BINS plus my bag to take through TSA.

It's complete fucking security theater. Stop requiring removal of all these devices that just slow down lines and lead to lost items. It's all bullshit.

If you travel much, pay the money ($100) and go through the process of getting your Global Entry card, which also gives you TSA Pre-check. It's well worth it for the hassle it saves. For a little less ($85) you can sign up for TSA Pre only, but if you ever leave the country the $15 extra for Global Entry will make re-entering the US much easier. I recommend Global Entry even if you just think you *might* travel internationally.

Comment Zuckerberg, really? (Score 4, Interesting) 118

I don't despise Mark Zuckerberg like many do, but I hardly think he qualifies as a tech leader. Facebook succeeded through luck, timing, hard work and good engineering. That's all laudable, but there wasn't much leadership or vision involved. Bezos' initial idea, an online bookstore, was hardly visionary or leading but subsequent decisions, especially the decision to standardize internal system interfaces that led to the idea, and ability, to create AWS absolutely was visionary. Google should have done that, but didn't have the vision. There's no debating the vision of Elon "Mars or bust in my solar-powered electric car" Musk. Musk has so much vision we'd call him a crackpot, except that he has a tendency to succeed. Steve Jobs was clearly a leader and a visionary with a focus on making technology simple and beautiful.

And there are other leaders around who I'd say are much worthier than Zuckerberg. Larry Page, for example, whose goal for his new startup was to "Organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful", an insanely ambitious mission which arguably is no longer ambitious enough to describe what Alphabet/Google is doing. Mark Shuttleworth, not so much for Thawte as for Canonical, where his vision hasn't really succeeded in displacing Windows but has gone much further than most of us considered possible. Though a bunch of CEOs probably wouldn't pick him, I'd put Richard Stallman high on the list, too. His vision of the importance of software freedom has been incredibly influential.

I could go on, but the point is... Zuckerberg? Really? For what? I suppose it was visionary to believe that you could build a billion-user interactive system with PHP.

Comment Re:Dumbass (Score 1) 325

If Wheat was the problem, the US would be dropping food bags on the populace instead of TONS OF WEAPONS. GUNS DO NOT GROW OR WATER CROPS YOU FUCKING MORON!

Let me get this straight. Your argument is that the crisis must not be driven by a non-political cause because if it were the US would have solved it? Or, to put it another way, your're arguing that the US government is so perfectly effective at always addressing the root causes of problems in a timely manner, that the government's failure to address this one means it's not the root cause?

Dude, you must know a different US government than I do. The one I know occasionally does the right thing at the right time, but it's mostly by accident.

Comment Re:Thoughtcrime (Score 1) 411

There is no evidence that viewing child porn causes the consumer to commit more child abuse, and some evidence that it is preventative.

I'll invite you to name your sources. In 2006 a documentary aired on the Dutch national television that made the case that viewers of childporn have a tendency to view worse and worse forms of it as well as try to create their own as well

I don't know one way or the other about the question of how viewing child porn affects pedophiles, but a documentary is not evidence. A documentary may be based on evidence, but the documentary itself is not, and I see nothing in the description that makes me think there was some solid data underlying the documentary's claims.

United States

US Economy Added 178,000 Jobs in November; Unemployment Rate Drops To 4.6 Percent ( 511

The U.S. economy added 178,000 jobs in November, while the unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent from 4.9 percent the previous month, according to new government data released (Editor's note: the link could be paywalled; alternate source) Friday morning. From a report on the Washington Post: Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had expected U.S. employers to create 180,000 new jobs last month -- roughly in line with the average number added in the first 11 months of the year. The first release after a contentious election in which the candidates disputed the health and direction of the economy, the data showed a job market that is continuing to steadily strengthen from the recession. The unemployment rate fell to levels not seen since August 2007, before a bubble in the U.S. housing market began to burst. The fall was driven partly by the creation of new jobs, and partly by people retiring and otherwise leaving the labor force. The labor force participation rate ticked down to 62.7 percent. Average hourly earnings declined by 3 cents to $25.89. The decrease pared back large gains seen in October, but over the year average hourly earnings are still up 2.5 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said.

Comment Re:Please (Score 1) 153

A's assertion was "Joe never kicked the dog therefore all Democrats are teh awesome"

Citation please? All I read was a comment about Wyden in particular.

Go back and read the initial post. Here, I'll quote it for you:

Bear this in mind: A Democrat tried to block the FBI from hacking any computer anywhere and a Republican tried to stop it.

And yes, Democratic Senator Ron Wyden has been opposing this snooping...

PopeRatzo was clearly trying to show that Democrats are teh awesome and Republicans are teh suck. In reality, both suck.

Comment Re:Please (Score 1) 153

A's assertion was "Joe never kicked the dog therefore all Democrats are teh awesome"

No, A's assertion was "Joe, who is a Democrat, never kicked the dog".

The "all Democrats are teh awesome" part is something that you made up. You made it up because you WANTED him to be saying it.

But he didn't, and you know it. This makes you a liar.

Go back and read the thread.

A said: Bear this in mind. A Democrat tried to save the dog! Democrat Joe tried to save the dog.
B said: Steve and Jill are Democrats and they not only kicked dogs they wrote up laws to have them euthanized.

Clearly, PopeRatzo was making a point about democrats, and used one (Wyden) as his example. When it was pointed out that other democrats suck on this issue, he tried to imply that that he was only talking about one of them, not trying to generalize. But his initial post was clearly attempting to generalize.

Comment Re:Here come the science deniers (Score 1) 560

I used to drive an F350. I'm no climate change denier.

"more likely to" != "are".

FWIW, I drive an F350 and a Nissan LEAF. I'd like to say it's just to confuse people who stereotype excessively, but the fact is that both vehicles make sense for me. The LEAF is pleasant to drive and cheap to operate when I'm running around town. The F350 tows and hauls stuff, like my Kubota L5030 and my Bayliner 215.

Comment Re:That's probably just fine for the drivers (Score 1) 304

Surge pricing is usually still cheaper than a cab or a limo.

I've never had an experience with Uber like you describe. I've used it a couple of dozen times and it's always been flawless. I have much better experience with Ubers than with cabs. Limo services are better than Uber but require pre-planning and cost more. Your mileage has varied, apparently.

Personally, I'd like to see an Uber competitor that doesn't set prices at all, but instead uses a real-time auction model. They'd have to set some nominal, baseline prices to kick it off, but from there drivers should be able to "bid" by specifying the multiplier that they'll accept (which can be greater or less than 1). Passengers should be shown a list of available cars, with driver ratings, prices (based on driver bid) and arrival time. The list should include drivers who are currently carrying a passenger but will be dropping off soon, with appropriate arrival times (dropoff ETA + a minute for dropoff + travel time to pickup). That would enable drivers who set particularly low bids to stay busy all the time with very few gaps.

In addition, riders should be able to make an offer for a specific trip if none of the nearby drivers is cheap enough for them. The offer would show up on the devices of all not-currently-driving drivers nearby, and the drivers could choose to accept or reject. If the driver accepted, the rider would then have the opportunity (based on driver rating and arrival time) to accept or reject.

Besides allowing prices to settle on the correct values in a market-driven way, this approach should eliminate questions about whether drivers are employees or independent. If they set their own prices as well as their own working hours and using their own equipment, they're clearly independent.

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