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Comment Re:Read again - reality is fixed for transfer (Score 1) 175

If I make a widget, and I know I can get people to pay $400 for it, I don't go "Well, it costs me 100 to make, so 150+tax = 180 is what I'll charge". I say "It costs 100 to make, people will pay 400, so my profit is 400-(tax+100). That's how I make the most profit. If tax goes up, people will still only pay 400 for it, so my profits may go down. If they go up high enough, it may make sense for me to charge more and sell fewer widgets, but the base price is set by what I know I can sell the item for.

No no no no no no. If it costs you 100 to make a widget then, at most, it costs your competitor 150 to make. In modern hardware a 1.5x comparative cost advantage is absolutely enormous actually -- real advantages are a few percentage points here and there.

So we'll be generous and assume you've got a huge head start on tooling, process -- you've got the whole supply chain set up and the QA working and everything. That buys you maybe 6 months, maybe a year, in which you can charge $400 (or whatever the market will bear) before your competitor undercuts at $200. You enjoy the good times immensely, you're making 400% margin, everything is peachy. But eventually it ends and you have to match the competitor's pricing or move on to the next thing.

Comment Re:Nope. This involves active sharing and consent. (Score 1) 115

Not a bad example. And likewise, if I wanted to send someone to the bank to retrieve or add to the contents of the safety deposit box, that would be my prerogative.

I agree and I don't agree. You have the power delegate authority to add or remove items from the box. That is surely your prerogative. So if you fall ill or move to another country, surely you can delegate your rights over the box itself to Bob.

The part where I don't agree is the idea that your authorization to Bob in any way impacts whether he is allows to use the bank lobby to access the box. Under no feasible reading of the safe-deposit-box-owner-protocol did you ever possess any authority over the bank lobby. As a consequence of not possessing those rights, you cannot delegate them to anyone.

For instance, if Bob was previously a nuisance at the bank lobby (say, he leafleted customers with Hare Krishna materials) and they served him official trespass notice, then he cannot set foot in the bank again. You can delegate to him rights over the box all you want, he still can't use the lobby.

Where the law varies significantly from people's expectations is where conflict arises, and the law is usually wrong or ultimately unenforceable, because society en masse simply ignores the law.

Really? I'm wondering how this could be true. Most people expect cantilever bridges to be stronger than suspension bridges because they intuitively (and incorrectly) believe that materials are stronger under shear than under tension. But surely material science is not something that society has the right to "simply ignore" because it violates their expectations.

If we let social expectations dictate bridge design (or medical practice, or ....), people would die. Instead, we have democratically accountable leaders that delegate technical decision making to people with subject domain expertise.

Comment Re:Year of the... (Score 1) 521

Yeah, and what are they gonna do about it? File a complaint? bwahahaha

If they are smart, they will talk to their local representatives and say "Not only is Microsoft not paying its fair share of local taxes, they are being anti-competitive."

Many countries make the practice of only offering some products to a limited number of large companies illegal. If those products can provide an economic advantage, the discrimination against smaller companies is illegal and subject to heavy fines.

Comment Re:Fuck Everything (Score 1) 12

Anyway, when are they going to enable add-ons for mobile Chrome? It badly needs uBlock Origin and Privacy Badger. I guess they need to come up with a UI but it doesn't seem to be getting any attention.

So, you want Google, a company whose revenue comes mainly from online advertising, and who released Android in order to ensure Apple will not cut it out of the lucrative online mobile advertising business, to enable the ability for users to impact its revenue stream? uBlock to kill ads, and Privacy Badger to satop the data collection...

No, its not a UI problem - Apple has done it. It's closer to a fundamental business decision.

Comment Re:Translation: More H-1Bs (Score 2) 118

That's a large part of it. Upper management listens to the offshore companies telling them how much experience their people have in the area. Labor rates are cheap and there are tax advantages to contractors vs. employees. But when the contractors show up and start asking questions which make it obvious that they have no experience at all it's too late. I've seen it happen multiple times.

And you know why? The people who are good get hired.

Our company has hired a number of Indians the past couple of years - all very competent people. Thing is, we didn't hire them under the Canadian equivalent of the H-1B program (Temporary Foreign Worker). We hired them under standard work permits for eventual immigration into Canada as a full Canadian citizen (we're sponsoring them).

Yes, they can technically leave and find another job, but then they lose our sponsorship and will need to find a new sponsor (and restart the immigration process - it takes a few years).

They're all very competent people - and it's not like we aren't trying to hire people (everyone we hired came through internal employee referrals, and we still have listings online for jobs).

So we're effectively skimming the best of the best out of India - which makes you wonder what we're leaving behind. We're not advertising jobs in India (only within Canada seeking Canadians first), but the people we hire are people who know each other and are extremely knowledgeable, intelligent, smart, and competent. And yes, we have to pay regular Canadian salary because they are living here and thus have to pay regular housing costs.

So yeah. We've been hiring the best away. Which leaves the question of who's left. If you offshore, you realize that other companies have hired away and are retaining the best.

Comment Show off their craft? (Score 1) 328

The movies I enjoy in a real theater tend to be very bad movies. I sometimes go to the Astor in Melbourne and their current calendar has Mothra, The Thing, and Videodrome. They are running a double feature with Wrath of Kahn and Beyond where I expect the audience will be more interesting than what is on the screen. They also do good movies but I'm less likely to go to them but their screening of the Shine might be interesting since there will be a Q&A session with the producer, director and screen writer. The place sells beer and has strict no talking policies for most movies. They also do sing alongs like Meaning of Life and Rocky Horror.

Comment Re:It depends. (Score 1) 426

Yes, first-past-the-post is a bad bad system, because it inevitably leads to situations like this. The sensible response, however, is not to pretend we don't have first-past-the-post, because we do!

The sensible thing to do, from a game-theoretic viewpoint, is to vote strategically (because that's provably the best thing to do with FPTP), and, in the mean time, try to get other voting systems accepted. My city uses instant runoff (IRV) instead of FPTP. If more cities used IRV or Single Transferable Vote (STV) or similar, then we'd be able to talk about getting the state to do the same, and if enough states switch, then maybe we could get the country to switch. Then you could vote for your favorite candidate without worrying that you'll case the worser of two evils to triumph. In the meantime, however, vote using your brain, not your gut. You're supposedly a nerd, unless you're on the wrong site, so that shouldn't be a difficult concept.

(And again, "vote strategically" does not necessarily mean "vote for the lesser of two evils". That's simply one possible--albeit frequently useful--strategy of many.)

Comment Re:Who cares..?? (Score 1) 692

It would be nice to have Gary Johnson and Jill Stein included in the debate, and it would probably help to defeat Trump.

But the dynamics I am referring to are much more fundamental and pre-date modern media. Throughout the history of the US the system always gravitated back to two parties in power under oligarchical control. Howard Zinn's "A People's History Of The United States" is quite an eye opener in that regard.

If another party manages to establish itself it will face the same kind of pressures, and if it survives one of the old ones will be replaced.

Comment Re:Lockouts have you heard of them? (Score 1) 152

Some OSHA regulations

Not one OSHA regulation applies. this isn't America. We have standards which I- having worked with a number of American safety-responsible personnel - think are generally tighter. Those standards are designed by the Health And Safety Executuve and are enforced with the power of the criminal law. Directors of companies do get jailed for breaches on occasion, and HSE inspectors who achieve that are very happy to have achieved it.

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