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Comment more and more consolidation (Score 1) 136

There are as many, if not more, businesses than there have ever been before.

I would like to see your source for that observation. Not as a challenge, but because it would provide a welcomed counterbalance to the consolidation I'm seeing in finance as of the past few decades.

Look at Gibson Guitar Corporation. Per this wikipedia article, the global sales of guitars began to decline, so they marshalled their resources and diversified by acquiring a bunch of other companies.

Gibson purchased Garrison Guitars in 2007.[21] In mid 2009 Gibson reduced its work force to adjust for a decline in guitar industry sales in the United States.[22] In 2011, Gibson acquired the Stanton Group, including Cerwin Vega, KRK Systems and Stanton DJ. Gibson then formed a new division, Gibson Pro Audio, which will deliver professional grade audio items, including headphones, loudspeakers and DJ equipment.[23] Gibson announced a partnership with the Japanese-based Onkyo Corporation in 2012. Onkyo, known for audio equipment and home theater systems, became part of the Gibson Pro Audio division.[24]

Every year, I see fewer and fewer independent companies out there. Especially in auto manufacturers. Other than Tesla, not a lot of new companies bringing cars to market. Instead, all the smaller companies are bought out by bigger companies. Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of Fiat / Chrysler, which owns a bunch of smaller car brands, is always trying to get more consolidation going in the auto industry.

Another example happened back in the late 2000s when Porsche attempted a hostile buyout of VW, and got too strung out in debt in the attempt and then VW turned around and ate Porsche.

Comment Re:So a guy that runs a ride sharing company. (Score 1) 274

....maybe it is time to get the "public" out of transportation.

Cost competitive with public buses? This weekend I dropped my truck off at a stereo shop in the south end of town (Austin, TX). Paid $2.50 for an all-day bus pass and came home. Did chores all day and rode the bus back down to the stereo shop to pick up my truck. That would've cost me over $20 with a ride hailing company.

Looking around at the other passengers on the bus with me, I got a sense many weren't really positioned financially for becoming ride hailing customers. At least one was in a wheelchair that required a lift that wouldn't be equipped on many privately-owned vehicles. Advocating for ride hailing to replace mass transit does not consider the needs of those for whom the bus is the only transportation 'option'.

Additionally, if a ride hailing car travelled to my house (empty) took me to the stereo shop, then returned to the driver's house (empty), that would add two unoccupied trips on the public street that wouldn't have occurred had I ridden the bus or driven myself. If you multiply those empty trips times the number of people on the bus, suddenly there would be a lot more cars on the street not carrying passengers and slowing everyone else down with greater congestion.

Comment Re:So a guy that runs a ride sharing company. (Score 1) 274

Taxi availability thus far has been constrained by city regulations designed to protect the commons from congestion. The philosophy behind limiting the number of taxis on the road at any given time is also intended to motivate people to use mass transit instead of inefficient taxi services.

Ride hailing companies have successfully flaunted these regulations due to widespread political support among people who are only thinking of their own convenience over the bigger picture. Ride hailing puts more cars on the road performing empty trips creating congestion and pollution. Instead of voting in support of bond elections to implement planned mass transit systems, people are placated by "I want it now. Me!" provided by ride hailing.

Comment Is Fiscal 2016 over with already? (Score 0) 100

Per the statement released by HP about SGI--

The company has approximately 1,100 employees worldwide, and had revenues of $533 million in fiscal 2016.

Have they already closed the books on 2016 earnings? Heck yeah they need to get bought. The hardware running their accounting software is literally more than a month faster than anything I've seen in the industry.

Comment Poison Pill embedded intentionally (Score 4, Insightful) 144

Marrissa Mayer knew what she was doing. If this agreement actually exists, it was intentionally engineered to help resist a hostile takeover or shareholders forcing a liquidation of assets. Mayer took this job knowing that if either of those scenarios played out, she would be dumped without the track record to get another job of similar scale. Setting up this contract with Mozilla is one way she has been able to retain her control thus far.

Poison Pill

Comment mess with robot == create more jobs for humans! (Score 1) 263

Though the purpose of this technology is to reduce workforce headcount, as humans, we can ensure a certain number of us remain employed in this space.

Every visit, bring a few lengths of old garden hose. Lay them out in the routes the robot takes. From my experience with our Roomba, I would expect this will prevent the security robot from completing its appointed rounds. A human will be dispatched to remove the garden hose from the path. That human will grumble about how someone keeps messing with the robot by leaving this gardenhose laying about, while not realizing this is a gift of charity to the human who is paid to remove the hose-- job security for the security job.

Comment Re:So it replaces a security guard (Score 1) 263

But it'll eventually get there, and we (as a society) really need to be discussing how we're going to handle that new world where most jobs have been automated.

Challenge accepted!

Automation is about pushing more wealth to the ruling class and minimizing unavoidable costs. Every time a job like this gets automated, displaced workers head to another employment pool. As those pools get crowded, the salaries go down.

"Plumbers will always make a good living."

"Until the displaced security guards get minimal training by a contracting firm and there is a flood of certified plumbers."

Comment Re:I'm sure this will be just great. (Score 1) 337

The more claimed victims, the more improbable it becomes that they did not inform the authorities and seek prosecution for that activity.

Or, perhaps it means the perpetrator developed a well-refined method of getting dirt on victims, perpetrating the assault, then blackmailing them into silence.

Comment Re:How to retaliate. (Score 2) 152

Uber management did NOT think this through.

I think you're right and they've adopted the ego of a 900-lb-gorilla monopolist a bit prematurely in their lifecycle.

As a further example, was the game-of-chicken Uber played with the City of Austin. As an example set to frighten other cities that might try to stand up to the bully, they left Austin. But they left a community fertile with tech startups that have jumped at the opportunity to fill their vacuum. These are people / companies that NEVER would have gotten funded to compete against Uber prior to its departure. They left the factory in place, so to speak. The message to other cities looks to be that there is life without Uber.

Comment Re: Bomb or missile (Score 1) 410

I have to support Stealth Finger on this.

Additionally, if these moral judgements are to be dismissed as appropriate for then, but not now, then I think that dismissal should be applied across the entire moral judgements / teachings of the person. Having to apply this filter to everything Mohammed said leaves us in a situation where there is this giant spectrum of interpretation with many reasonable followers and different niche sects of lunatics who are justifying whatever they want to do by their interpretation of Islam.

Comment Re:Fury Road (Score 1) 231

For me the order is Mad Max II (Road Warrior) and then Mad Max, then Thunderdome, and sadly, lastly, Fury Road.

This is incorrect. The proper order widely acknowledged by Mad Max scholars is:

  1. Mad Max
  2. Mad Max 2
  3. Mad Max: Fury Road

I don't have the time to get into the hows and whys of omitting this Thunderdome distraction from the list. Suffice to say you are reading an authoritative voice on the matter.

I would like to note that the Nebula award winners list is heavily dominated by female writers. This is a moment to celebrate evolution within the SF industry.

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