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Comment Net effects (Score 1) 89

The fact that you can just buy your power from a so called renewable resource power company doesn't mean that you're not still pulling power from the same coal fire power plants that are the BACK BONE of the US power infrastructure. They're not 'bottling up' that electrics and shipping it to the Google.

Calm down. We all know that. You don't seem to grasp that it doesn't matter on a net basis whether Google consumes the power themselves or not. Google needs X joules of power and they pay for X joules to be generated from renewable sources. Whether they use it themselves or not has EXACTLY the same effect on the ecosystem overall.

You're just buying more expensive power so you can feel like you're doing something.

They are doing something. They are subsidizing the development of renewable energy. Early adopters always pay more. It's a good thing that they are doing and with the amount of power they use it makes a measurable difference.

Comment Still nothing but a minor problem (Score 2) 89

Domestic cats don't kill eagles and other typical endangered species of bird.

Domestic cats most certainly do kill endangered species of birds. They may not kill eagles but the certainly kill other threatened species in substantial numbers. Cats are an invasive species and a poorly controlled one at that.

Let us not also forget about bats,

Same deal as with birds. Windmills are simply not a significant threat to their populations.

and the fact that renewable provide a tiny amount of energy today.

You think 10% of US energy consumption is a tiny number? I think you don't understand the definition of the word "tiny".

Comment Minor problem (Score 2) 89

So much for "green" power. I'm all for it, really, but let us not be deceived that "green" means at no cost. There is a real cost to everything. Tens of millions of birds (and bats) are killed the world over annually the world over.

The number of birds killed by windmills is several orders of magnitude smaller than the number killed by domestic cats. Heck FAR more birds are killed in collisions with cell phone towers than by windmills - roughly an order of magnitude more.. Bird deaths are a very minor issue especially compared with the number of deaths that will occur if we don't do anything about climate change. You're focusing on the little problem when it is the big one you should be worrying about.

Comment Subsidies and marketing (Score 1) 89

Which tells you that no government incentives or actions are needed: if this is a reasonable accounting of costs, companies will switch to renewables all by themselves.

I'm afraid not. First off the competing fossil fuels receive substantial subsidies from the government. Worse, fossil fuels do not have to pay for a large portion of the pollution (including carbon) that they create so their prices are artificially low. Second, while renewables are becoming cheaper they aren't the lowest cost option just yet outside of some corner cases. Getting them to be the lowest cost option likely will require some amount of financial and/or regulatory support for a while longer. Not forever but just until cost parity is approximately reached.

Once the economic incentives are in place the switch will take place like osmosis but I don't think we are quite there yet. Only rich companies like Google can do it today and they do it as a marketing expense more than anything else.

Comment Value for money (Score 1) 121

the movie catalog is shrinking, and the quality of the movies aren't that great anymore.

I've had a Netflix subscription twice and I've cancelled it twice. Why? Glad you asked. Reason #1 was that I wasn't getting adequate value for the money. No it wasn't hugely expensive but the catalog of shows was mostly older movies, B movies, or stuff that I had little to no interest in. Their original programming simply didn't hold my interest. Reason #2 was that it was a pain in the ass to find anything interesting to watch. Their navigation system was annoying and clumsy at best. It took WAY too long to find something interesting to watch and their suggestions were usually not very good even after a lot of training about what I liked and didn't. When you add Reason #1 into the mix with Reason #2 you have a pretty irritating needle-in-a-haystack problem. Just not worth the bother.

I like the idea of Netflix but it just wasn't worth the price to me given its current state. Maybe in time that will change.

Comment Good luck with that (Score 1) 183

If said companies overstep their bounds customers are free to form rival websites that are not run by over zealous individuals.

Ok go ahead and start a company that will supplant Google. Good luck with that. Back here in the real world we understand that market forces do not solve every problem and in fact it market forces are the source of many of them. You are being very glib with a non-solution to a very real problem.

Comment Econ 101 (Score 1) 124

They are way overpriced, just because you are a member of their cult doesn't change that simple truth.

Actually I couldn't care less about Apple and my argument would be the same for any other company. Just because YOU think their products are overpriced is irrelevant except for your own decision to buy them or not. There is a clear mathematical way to determine whether a product is overpriced. It happens when profits fall when you raise the price further. (Specifically when marginal revenue becomes less than marginal cost) This is economics 101 stuff. A product being overpriced is a market decision not personal one.

You get a vote on whether it is overpriced but so does everyone else. It's the outcome of all those votes that determines whether it is overpriced. To use a different example I don't like Budweiser beer and even though it is quite inexpensive, to me the price is still too high. But millions of cans are sold every year to enthusiastic buyers so my (un)willingness to pay for the product does not make it overpriced even though I wouldn't buy it at the price offered.

Comment Willingness to pay varies by person (Score 1) 124

Not overpriced. Man, that'll keep me chuckling all day.

Laugh all you want but what I said is correct. You are conflating YOUR willingness to pay for what Apple offers with what OTHERS are willing to pay for it. To you it might seem overpriced but to others just the opposite is true. And BOTH of you are right. But until Apple starts losing profits when they raise the price further it is by definition not overpriced. It is meaningless to say something is overpriced unless you are considering the entire market for that product.

Basically you are arguing that Apple products are overpriced because you think they are overpriced. That is circular reasoning and not applicable to anyone but yourself. Essentially the market votes on whether something is overpriced and you get a vote but you don't determine the outcome with your opinion alone.

I'm not arguing one way or the other whether Apple's products are good value for money. Merely observing whether others have found them to be good value and clearly many have. Whether they could have gotten better value elsewhere is a separate question. You could substitute Samsung for Apple in the above argument and the argument would be identical and equally correct.

Comment Tautology (Score 1) 124

Definition of overpriced, for those of us who aren't long winded blowhards. "Anything that costs more than I as an individual think it's worth."

That definition is a tautology. "It's overpriced because I think it's overpriced" is the very definition of meaningless.

Comment Multiple use technology (Score 2) 183

I'm sure many of you have had the same thought but there is no way in hell this would be used merely for "extremist" content.

First off good luck consistently defining extremist. Sometimes it's obvious but sometimes it's a matter of perspective. There is no bright line test.

Second, sometime "extreme" viewpoints are merely sane ones being suppressed by another group. Fifty years ago people arguing peacefully for civil rights for minorities were considered "extremist" by our own government.

Third, you know for a fact that what this will actually be used for is cross site protection of copyrighted material that has nothing to do with any extreme viewpoints because the technology has more than one use. But it's easy to develop it to ostensibly combat "extremism" and then quietly use it for other purposes.

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