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Comment Both good and bad (Score 2) 177

In a way this is bad for employee morale because nobody likes to see people fired and nobody likes to be ranked. Then again, the stories (and lack of new great products) out of Yahoo seems to indicate that employees are demotivated. I hate that it takes firings to motivate some employees, but Yahoo seems like a company that needs a "shock the system" moment and this steps combines with the work from home ban to send the message to some employees who may have been drifting along just cashing paychecks for the past few years. Hopefully they will only have to do a year or two of firings or no bonus/raises before the demotivated employees step up and the program can be scraped.

Comment Fukushima or naturally occurring (Score 5, Insightful) 164

'"It is difficult to have this debate unless we know for sure whether this radiation is from Fukushima or whether it is naturally occurring background radiation" -Pieter Franken. I always find this sentiment a little odd. People care too much about if the radiation is measurably above background radiation or what the source of the radiation is. What they should care about is if the radiation is at a dangerous level. We have gotten better at measuring this stuff, so just because we can measure (very small) increases in radiation from Fukushima doesn't mean we should change our lives around it. Anything that is on the same magnitude as background radiation is pretty much safe. For example, you get increased radiation from flying in a plane because the atmosphere is much thinner. Also, natural radiation is much higher near the poles than near the equator, but nobody gets upset about this because it is "natural" like kale.

Comment Re:natural gas doesn't make CO2? (Score 4, Interesting) 245

A big part of this is the advantage of modern natural gas power plants is the combined-cycle nature of their operation vs. the single cycle of coal plants. In a coal plant, burning coal heats water which turns to steam which drives a turbine that is connected to the generator. In a combined cycle gas plant, instead of just burning the gas for heat, they use the gas to power a turbine similar to one that you would find in a military jet engine. The turbine produces mechanical energy on its output shaft which drives a generator directly in addition to the hot output gas is also used to power a heat exchangers which boil water and makes more electricity in using the traditional method.

Comment Re:I wonder how well it handled agressive passing (Score 1, Insightful) 148

If you don't see open road ahead of the car in front of you when you pull into the lane for opposing traffic, you are being an aggressive driver. If you are behind a line of traffic, you should not pass. Allowing passing in oncoming traffic lanes is intended for passing individual slow moving vehicles.

Comment Re:the enthusiasm bubble could burst (Score 1) 192

The only people who'll get bit by Kickstarter are the ones who don't do enough due dilligence on the projects they're backing;

I hate when people say this about Kickstarter. I am a banker by profession who reviews credit quality for potential project finance loans. Due diligence requires a project to show budgets, timelines, balance sheets and a ledger balancing sources & uses of cash. No Kickstarter that I have seen has shown anything like this. If you think concept art is enough due diligence to know if a project is going to succeed, then you have never run a business. "Due diligence" on Kickstarter is a joke.

Comment Re:No bubble. (Score 1) 192

You should tell the 23 people who pledge $10,000 each to get a "mega distributor pack" of 100 pebble watches that Kickstarter isn't an investment. I bet they will be mighty disappointed if the watches never show. Just because it doesn't trade like a stock doesn't make it an investment, and plenty of people are expecting returns from their Kickstarter even if they aren't monetary.

Comment Re:Traditional Publisher (Score 1) 117

Google the phrase 'Chinese reverse merger' to see why this is the case, this was a scheme for companies to avoid securities laws by being registered in China and avoiding a traditional IPO. While paternalistic, regulations force companies which sell to the investing public to register their securities and provide certain information relating to the companies assets, cash flows and earnings on a quarterly basis. Likewise, representatives who broker the sale of securities are required to be registered by FINRA (was NASD). Before these laws (roughly before 1933) these was a ton of fraud. People would sell investments they didn't own, companies would lie about what assets they had, people would sell stock in companies which didn't exist, brokers would disappear as soon as the check cleared, or companies would sell 20 different people 10% stakes.

Comment Re:I like Ballmer (Score 1) 521

But he has a terrible attitude. He says "Windows are in the Windows era that is where we are, we were and always will be" because in Ballmer's own words "that is what we are paid to do" and by 'do' he means 'say' of course. I wish that he had more vision and wasn't just trying to milk the Windows cow. For example he killed the courier tablet because of infighting between the office team and the courier team. He needs to have a vision, and from his world he can't see anything but Windows, Windows Server and Office. With its huge stash and incredible access to talented people, Microsoft could be doing more independent development and less 'me too' products which usually are second best - Zune (iPod), Bing (Google), Games for Windows Live (Steam), Windows Phone (Android), Office 365 (Google Docs), MSN (AOL), MSNBC (CNN).

Comment Re:There's no excuse for a 15 min Q&A (Score 1) 521

Microsoft and most companies limit the length of the call because many financial professionals need to be on dozens of these calls over the course of a month. If all of the meetings were all day affairs a lot of the meetings would lose attendance because the financial professionals need to do other work. Therefore they include the important bits in the 30 min - 1 hour call. Berkshire Hathaway is the exception to this rule, but it tends not to be that widely held by professional investors as they can directly invest in the same companies as Berkshire does.

Comment Re:Why is this that shocking? The cell chip is 5 (Score 1) 217

Quake III was released in 1999. Quake III was ported to windows mobile in 2005. So mobile games are still about 7 years behind. When Quake III came out it was the best game ever, however now the bar has moved and it isn't good enough. By the time this chip comes out we will have next gen consoles that will do shader based antialiasing and horizon based ambient occulsion in most games. PS3 graphics will be noticeably dated (just look at how many PS3 games use no anti-alaising or texture filtering and run at less than 720P).

Comment Re:Clarification of how stock agreements work (Score 1) 554

Sorry but, you don't know what your talking about. Even if unvested, options have very real value that can be extrapolated from the strike price of the option and the current valuation of the company (which is possibly around $10 bn given current IPO rumors). The board can grant new options, but once you are granted options, they cannot rescind them any more than they can ask for your pay back. My guess here is that management was surprised how high their IPO valuation is and there best bet now would be to dilute the company under the table than ask the employees for their options back.

Comment Re:Spectrum sale by Market (Score 1) 131

Not a feasible solution. If spectrum is sold by market, devices wouldn't be able to roam nation wide and a wireless router that you buy in one state would be jamming cell phone signals (or worse air traffic controll) when you move to another. I think the real answer is going to be localized networks with small cube transmitters on top of telephone poles transmitting at about 2-5 times the power of a Wifi hotspot.

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