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Comment Re:So much for Apple's "better design" (Score 4, Informative) 199

"you're soldering it wrong"

isn't that what nvidia said?

these bga's really scare me. so fragile and so unworkable from a tech POV. I can rework square flat packs but I can't do bga's. I hate them since they are just not really repair-friendly, not to mention its not inspection-friendly.

flat packs with leads flex and bend. bga's are a fucking abortion, especially if they are at all big, in chip size.

Comment Re:Nope, no wealth inequality here (Score 1) 170

I think you missed my point.

Yes, there were standards without Microsoft. There were a lot of them, usually competing and incompatible. Sure, they were open, but vendors still usually picked one based on their own technical preferences, leaving a lot of work to actually achieve interoperability between systems who chose competing standards. Lots of jobs for the programmers writing interface layers, but utter crap for actually making progress.

Microsoft's monopoly forced everyone's hand. Microsoft's way was rarely (if ever) the best way, but it was a clear and well-trodden path, and anyone doing things Microsoft's way could have a reasonable chance that others would follow suit.

Comment Re:Is convenience really worth that much for last (Score 1) 117

I presume that's in USD as well, so paying $180 US ($240CDN) per year to *not* own any games vs me picking up a used PS3 on Craigslist for $100CDN and then buying used games at $5-$15 per game, I just don't see the value proposition here.

Can't disagree with you there, but I do think you're underestimating the target audience's laziness.

Comment Re:What Envirmental Wacko caused it? (Score 3, Insightful) 309

The system itself worked correctly, as the containment system properly contained the leak. The problem is that the "seemingly harmless" substitution wouldn't have appeared harmless to an engineer who knew what was going on, but the person who made the substitution didn't understand the requirements for the part he was substituting.

When I worked on government computers, I often saw similar problems. The developers would specify certain hardware requirements, but over the life of a program, as equipment went obsolete, other people would make substitutions based on the specs of the old part. After a few years, the same software was running on high-end components, at only about 1% utilization. Nobody ever wanted to be the guy who made the system less capable, even though the lower-end hardware would have cost far less.

Comment Re:Nope, no wealth inequality here (Score 1) 170

He might very well have created Microsoft, then abandoned it when the maximum he could get from it was approaching $10 billion.

Without Microsoft having continued so far, computing would be very different today. If Microsoft had stagnated (Anti-Microsoft jokes elsewhere, please) with Windows 95, and left computing to newer upstarts, I expect we wouldn't have anywhere near the compatibility and interoperability we have today. Even among non-Microsoft OSes, interoperability is a mandatory feature. In contrast, I'm reminded of the pre-Windows days where particular software was written for a particular system, and that was it. Now, we have OpenOffice, Wine, and Samba, all from different projects united in the goal of slaying the Microsoft beast.

Microsoft is certainly no longer the only option, but computing environments are all still affected by Microsoft's legacy. I detest Microsoft's monopoly as much as anybody, but I think the cohesion that came out of it is a good thing, overall.

Back to the point, that's one of the philosophies of capitalism: The more people work (economically, meaning an investment of labor, capital, or advice), the more they should make. Artificially limiting the return on investment disincentivizes the amount of work they will do, which in turn reduces the efficiency of the economy. Limiting Gates' return on his Microsoft investment would very likely have also limited how much he invested in Microsoft, and in effect also limited what Microsoft could contribute to the economy. Sure, Gates would be less wealthy... but so would most others who have been employed by the company.

This assumes, of course, that Gates wouldn't have just continued investing anyway. He seems like he's trying to be a nice guy, outside of business, so perhaps he would have just let Microsoft keep growing, regardless of its return. That's a fundamental difference between capitalism and communism: Communism assumes that all people are good-hearted helpful folks contributing to the welfare of society, and capitalism assumes that everyone is a greedy selfish individual who won't do anything without getting paid. Neither assumption is wholly correct, which is why thought experiments like this one are rather useless at predicting a person's behavior.

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