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Comment Re:What the hell? $600K? (Score 1) 52

Just the accounting you'd need to sell the thing to the government would cost you $100K. Oh, and you'd have to pay yourself or someone else to take part in the bidding process or apply for the granted, and that has to be recouped as part of the sale cost. Er... you were planning on paying yourself for your time, weren't you?

Also, there's a big difference between building a prototype from junk you scrounged and building a reproducible product. When you build a product the second copy should be exactly the same as the first but cost less. Duplicating a one-off prototype exactly usually costs more. Why? Proof of concept prototypes are cheap because you make them with surplus stuff you have lying around or can buy for fractions of a penny on the dollar. You can be opportunistic. The problem is any particular set of opportunities (e..g the $10,000 assembly you picked up at auction for $50) aren't reproducible.

I had a colleague whose first job out of school was writing up a detailed specification for a prototype midget submarine a defense research lab built for the Navy. The Navy was pleased at the low cost and so they wanted to be able to build a second one just like it. Well it turned out that a second one would have cost a hundred times as much they'd have had to pay manufacturers to reverse engineer stuff or start up production lines. It was one of the pointless, futile tasks you dump on newbie engineers before you know you can trust their work.

Comment Re:Basic Journalism... (Score 3, Insightful) 82

That's an asinine argument. Other people who should do it don't do it, so I won't do it either.

Wikileaks won't do it because Assange is a chaos-monger posing as a crusader. Wikileaks should do curate its leaks because when you possess information you act responsibly with it, e.g., don't expose people it is about to identity fraud.

Comment Re:Pants on fire (Score 1) 52

Forcing countries like Japan and South Korea to build nuclear weapons because his resolve to continue US's longstanding defense of its allies is not going to make a better world. The last time the United States retreated behind its borders and let its Allies fend for themselves, we ended up with the most destructive conflict in history, and the costs dwarfed what it would have cost to keep a proper military presence in potential trouble spots.

Comment Re:My compendium (Score 1) 153

No, you interpret what he said as sarcasm. But with Trump, it's virtually impossible without applying a filter, either in his favor, or biased against him, to sort out much of what he means. To have a man who wants to be the leader of the Free World speaking in a rantish and often incoherent fashion, and then constantly being informed by his followers as to what he really meant doesn't inspire confidence.

Comment Re: Cue the idiots (Score -1, Troll) 153

He only said that if you don't listen to what he actually said, but instead replace his treasonous and idiotic statement with what you wish he had said.

Just how much more wishful thinking can Trump supporters apply to this man? Clinton ain't no perfect candidate, but she's right about one thing, he's not fit to be President. For fuck's sakes, it's pretty clear now he's not really even fit to a run a fucking business.

Comment Re:Amazon fire is more locked down (Score 1) 105

Which is IMHO actually a great selling point of the Fire line, they are the best devices for young children going, especially as they now sport a microSD slot so you can load them up with video content.

I'd just go for Kodi to my NAS... which is what I actually do. Runs great on the Fire TV Stick so far. AFAICT the Fire TV stick is the cheapest reliable platform for Kodi which comes with a halfway decent remote, and I do mean it's only about halfway decent. Still, it has enough buttons to drive the interface.

Comment Re:Why encourage them? (Score 1) 175

why is anyone entitled to anything others produce?

Why are you entitled to go on breathing if you have something I want and you're standing in my way? What makes you think you have the right to life, liberty, or personal property?

because I do. you can personally try and take any of those from me, but you will pay with your life.

You are such a trite and tedious brand of moron. First, let's just say you're right, and I can't possibly take any of those from you even those I have a scoped rifle in a high power caliber. (This is explicitly not a threat; we are discussing capabilities. I have no intention of killing anyone for any reason. ObDisclaimerWhee!) I and a few of my buddies clearly could do so.

which is why you cowards group together and have government do all your dirty work for you and think it's ok, "because democracy".

That's not how it works at all. In practice, you really can not keep any of your stuff without the system of law, or some other system of law. You would be forced to group up (like a coward, apparently) with other people who have stuff in order to protect all your stuff, both because you have to sleep sometime and because you are not invulnerable even when awake, whatever your personal Rambo fantasies might look like. And that's why others are entitled to a share of what "you" earn; they're helping you keep it.

If you don't like the entitlement argument, you can consider this alternative one, which I also consider to be valid: If you don't share your wealth with them, they will share their poverty with you. People with nothing to lose have no motivation not to take your stuff. You can help them better themselves, you can give them stuff, or you can watch them take everything you have because they have no other recourse and they have every bit as much right to life as you do. What's right doesn't even enter into it. This is basic biology. It's how the world works. You can put your hands over your ears and shout right up until the world shows up at your doorstep and eats your fingers.

we are a nation of laws,

HA HA HA HA HA

and Apple is doing nothing illegal or immoral.

Apple may or may not be doing anything illegal, but what they are doing is certainly immoral. Even if you don't care about the moral aspect, it's also unsustainable.

no one is obligated to pay the maximum taxes possible. avoidance is not the same as evasion.

And legality has never equaled morality.

Comment Re:it's amazing what you can accomplish (Score 2) 46

That is because Burning Man treats the land like it is theirs and theirs alone.

It's a fucking desert. One does need to clean up, but they have cleanup crews for that. That's where most of the non-permit money apparently goes.

Now it's just a way for 20-30 somethings to burn through mad amounts of cash, all while feeling like they're somehow counter cultural.

When was it anything else? The ratio of cool shit on fire to people just getting wasted may have changed. But I know many longtime burners. They went for entertainment, not to make a statement. Some of them have deluded themselves since about it, but it's bullshit.

When the event is over the land looks and smells like human waste and takes an insane amount of resources to reclaim, clean, and restore it to some remote resemblance of what state it use to be in.

Which helps explain why payroll is the single largest expenditure at burning man.

Comment Re:Time IS on Apple's Side (Score 1) 105

Actors are on the way out because of course as computers increase in capability so virtual acting bots become possible and they live forever

I was with you until you took a left turn into sheer fantasy. The most compelling stories are about humans (or analogies), after all, so I have a hard time believing we'll be discarding the human element entirely from story-driven entertainment.

Actually, I think he's right. I don't think they'll go away completely; it's really cheap to make a movie which mostly consists of some people doing mundane things. You can shoot on location (getting easier and easier as gear gets smaller) so you don't have to build sets. Your only big cost is talent. On the other hand, I think we'll see action movies without real humans in them eventually.

I also think we'll see more and more video games, and they will have digital actors. More and more of the public plays games now, and every time I watch an action movie any more I think "this would be better as a video game." Er, granted it was any good to begin with, but most of them would make great FPSes.

Comment Re:it's amazing what you can accomplish (Score 1) 46

It seems to me like this is what deserts are for. We should be trying to reclaim as much of them as possible, but we ought to use them while we have them.

Which reminds me... Not that I've ever gone or will go, but it's tragic what burning man has to pay for permits now, especially when it takes place on land that supposedly belongs to all of us.

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