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Comment Re:Nope (Score 1) 58

if it was $5 billion, the manufacturers of private jets would be unable to do any new aircraft.

Boeing accounts the development cost of the 787, a sub-sonic widebody of the sort they've been building for 47 years, as $29 billion as of 2011. The Irkut MC-21, a conventional narrow body sub-sonic 737 competitor being developed in Russia (one built so far) has a program cost of $4.6 billion to date.

For $33 million you might get as far as testing a credible wind tunnel model. $33 million to test fly a "Boom Supersonic" built aircraft next year (!) is pure fantasy. Marketing bunk. Full stop.

There is a lot of VC sloshing around right now and some of it will unavoidably slop over the side and disappear down the drain.

Comment Re:Not hard to fix... (Score 2) 444

Pricing is the right approach, although using percentages to alter pricing is risky because you run the risk of "A10" workers being paid even less in nominal terms so that they're still cheaper WITH the added taxation.

I think with a lot of the outsourcing mills that are foreign-owned, you might end up seeing complex compensation systems that involve fractional payment deferred or paid into accounts overseas so that the nominal wage remains competitive even with additional marginal taxes.

I would tweak your plan slightly:

1) H1B workers must be paid 125% of the job's regional maximum

2) H1B workers must be employed and paid directly for the business who is the end beneficiary of their work -- they may not perform any contractual labor

3) H1B workers are fee to switch employers during the term of their visa

4) Violation of these terms is a crime. Employers are subject to a fine of 3x the employee's annual salary and a 5 year ban on hiring any H1B workers. H1B workers are subject to immediate detention and deportation for violating these rules. Employers who violate these terms for more than 1 employee concurrently are subject to criminal prosecution.

(1) Insures they are no longer cheap labor and business-critical innovation geniuses will make this kind of salary anyway.

(2) Prevents them from being used in labor mills or enabling foreign-owned firms from side-channel payments. They must be direct hires.

(3) No indentured servitude. This prevents businesses willing to accept higher salaries but who set extreme working conditions to cost-average their output to local salary levels ($/hr).

(4) Puts teeth into enforcement.

Comment Common goals (Score 2) 444

Business negotiations often involve motivated parties with shared goals (sell/buy land, widgets, etc). They differ on the terms of the transaction, not the transaction itself.

In politics, you have to compromise on the transaction and its terms and there is often no agreement on the goal in question.

With healthcare, the Republicans couldn't agree on a goal so negotiating terms was much more difficult.

Comment Re:Note to self (Score 1) 215

It's a great idea, but why isn't anyone doing it? I would argue that such a superior printer wouldn't be price competitive with Lexmark/HP/et al because of the way those vendors have skewed the market.

They've all but gutted their printers to what amounts to glorified paper feeders. Rasterization moved to the driver, greatly reducing the amount of compute needed inside the printer. Networking has been modularized to a $5 ethernet SoC. A lot of the other parts that used to be in the printer are tacked onto consumables.

The bottom line is that the printer itself is only about 1/3 of what constitutes a "printer" and the rest is software and "cartridges". This lets them set the price of the "printer" at about cost and then make up profit on the cartridges.

Your idea does the sensible thing and makes the printer more of a printer, but with more parts and complexity it can't compete on purchase price even if cost of ownership is less.

Comment Gated telecommunications (Score 1) 76

I wonder how long until we have deliberately gated telecommunications, where you pay extra and your phone number is "protected" -- no incoming calls from poor countries, poor neighborhoods, hell, they could probably reference some kind of database profile that estimates the socio-economic status of the caller and if it falls below your preference threshold, they get blocked.

Comment Re:What if RoboCall industry creates jobs? (Score 1) 76

I've long suspected that the fact that we're where we are now with rampant robocalls, spam and (still!) huge volumes of junk paper mail that literally nobodylikes is because business interests want it that way.

Further, I think it's somehow ingrained in the hucksterism of American culture, this notion that all you really need is a good sales pitch and anyone who gets in the way of delivering one is somehow anti-business.

Comment Re:If self driving cars take off (Score 1) 200

I would expect RVs to be the first with self-drive capability considering the amount of highway miles they operate. Even some of the more advanced self-park features cars have now would be useful for RVs when parking them in complex locations.

Hell, some of that self-park functionality could be useful for the GPs questions about launching a boat. Backing up a trailer is easy once you know how to do it, but why not apply AI to it and make it easier?

Comment Re:Rotten Tomatoes is getting self-important (Score 1) 387

It's the "list of critics" that I kind of have problems with. You see a RT score, but which set of critics does it account for?

When I've looked at the site (which I only have a few times), the "critics" are a laundry list of names and often web-based publications I've never heard of. I don't doubt that many may have interesting critical viewpoints, but I'd kind of like some sort of filtering mechanism to tell me who's a valid critic and who's just a crank like me with opinions.

Comment Where is the countersuit? (Score 1) 387

I would expect that RottenTomatoes has also *increased* the viewing of many movies as well. I know that I have often gone there and looked at the highest rated movies when looking for something to add to my Netflix DVD queue. I like looking at the critics vs reviewers rating as well. Many a good movie (to me) has been panned by critics. Likewise, many critically acclaimed movies don't always get good reviews.

It's just information though, the choice of what to watch is still mine.

And I knew Batman vs Superman was poorly rated.... and I still added it to my queue. I didn't make it through it though, shut it off after about 1/4 of the way in. Just terrible.

Comment Re:Let's put tons of ammo together in a massive pi (Score 1) 102

I would expect any significant ammo storage facility to consist of a series of bermed bunkers with enough concrete or earthworks to contain or redirect blast forces up, far enough away from the next bunker that any fire wouldn't easily spread to the next one.

At a minimum this could be hand-dug trenches lined with sandbags and sheet metal roofs and at maximum concrete bunkers.

Comment Re:Maybe not (Score 1) 226

Well, if you start with the premise that you're engaging in an unsanctioned protest with violent elements you're already risking a lot of legal exposure. You can be charged in Federal court with felony riot, so if you want to avoid exposure to non-ideal justice then maybe the best advice is stay home and rant on social media.

Obviously coordinating a disinformation campaign targeted at undermining and misleading Federal police agencies is dicey business to put it mildly. That being said, planting useless information on burner cell phones is a kind of passive resistance. You're not being *asked* for this information, it's being taken and they will be interpreting it under their own discretion.

Comment Re:Conflict of interest (Score 2) 254

I think you'll always have police groups lobbying for increased funding based on citation amounts generated, no matter where the money goes. If you put it into the general fund, they'll claim that increased spending on police budgets is net-zero budgeting because the spending is balanced by the citation payments. Even returned to the tax payer they will assume that the same amount as increased spending is offset by tax credits and not an additional tax burden.

I think the only sane solution is that fines and citations should be earmarked for the Public Defender's office. They're chronically underfunded anyway and it seems to me that a balance is created when increased enforcement winds up increasing the resources of criminal defense.

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