Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Compare cell phone plans using Wirefly's innovative plan comparison tool ×

Comment Re:There's a reason for that. He's the only racist (Score 2) 531

I have to admit that the clearly racist part of his base is

Well, part of the problem is that population of people has been called racist so many times for their personal beliefs over the last decade, they're starting to not care and the word doesn't mean anything anymore.

If anyone on the Democrat side ever wants to bring these voters over, they'd try and do their best to understand that wanting to protect one's culture, even if you're white, doesn't amount to racism.

Comment Re:tax the rich (Score 1) 1145

You make it sound like rich people have bank accounts within hundreds of millions or billions of dollars, just sitting there, and if we only take a bit or a chunk of it we'll solve our problems. The vast majority of rich people do not have high personal incomes - their wealth comes from the capital they have ownership and control of. And in most cases, they can deploy that capital most efficiently as evidenced by their becoming wealthy in the first place.

Imagine they took a billion $ from Warren Buffet, and gave $10k to everyone here. Do you think we'd make wiser choices as to how to reinvest that money into the economy? That we'd buy better stocks? You may laugh and say the poor won't be buying stocks, but quickly enoough they'll just aggregate those funds to business owners buying groceries/whatever, and those business owners will be back investing it.

Comment Re:Finally wakey wakey time for Alberta? (Score 1) 327

I don't know what you two are advocating for here - how is it the failure of the government to diversify the economy? Private companies make investments, and they are going to go where the greatest return is. Doesn't it make sense to milk that cow for what it's worth while you can, if economics is the argument road you're going to take? Look at how much massively higher the GDP per capita in Alberta is than the other provinces (by 100% in some cases). Are you saying people should have invested into something that made them poorer through that? Even if the industry totally fell apart, they'd still be in a better position, with money and no almost zero debt, to begin investing in something new.

And if you didn't know, Alberta is already home to a pretty big movie industry. In fact, most of the movie which won the most oscars this year was filmed in Alberta.

Comment Re:Disruptive technologies and the S curve. (Score 1) 327

It is not economical even at the current price.

You are living in the past. Technology makes it cheaper and during downturns the companies have shown capable of cutting costs below production cost. That $60/barrel (or whatever number you heard) accounts for current costs during boom times where spending is high. That cost can quickly be shaved down by prudent management as has been done.

Second, keep in mind these are Canadian companies which report earnings in Canadian dollars. At the same time that oil went down, the dollar retreated to about 75c (well today it's 76). When oil was high the Canadian dollar was much higher (at times worth most than USD). So these companies are making an extra 30% or so on their barrels (which the oil price you see is in USD).

Simply put, that statement isn't, has never, and never will be true, unless oil drops to the $15 or so per barrel rate. Please stop repeating it.

Comment Re:Disruptive technologies and the S curve. (Score 1) 327

Just how realistic does that sound? Remember, you can find a journalist or analyst who takes ANY position out there.

Electric-only (and to some degree hybrid) vehicles currently sell at pitiful rates compared to ICE vehicles. There are arguably some pretty good commuter-type electric vehicles out there now. I live in Canada and see plug in parking spots in all downtowns and new shopping centers, even in "hippy" places like Victoria and Vancouver - and none of them are ever in use.

Better yet, we can see the market reacting now to the low oil prices that set in almost a year ago.. people flock back to big trucks and SUVs. Look by how wide of a margin trucks outsell cars in North America. It's shocking. People want bigger, more powerful, and long range - until it becomes cost prohibitive people will not willingly accept less and have shown this market behaviour AGAIN and AGAIN (same thing happened in 2008/09). And until something radical changes, batteries have a long way to go to match the convenience and the cost of running an ICE isn't anywhere near prohibitive.

Good luck. I'll keep investing in big gas guzzlers. Let's see who does better by 2030.

Comment Re:Nice editing (Score 1) 327

They've all rebranded as energy companies anyway. They'll go wherever the return is and their interest is in the long term sustainability of the company in the interest of shareholders (most of whom are large pension/retirement/union funds). It only makes sense to diversify for all possible futures. Are you crazy enough to think any board nowadays would say "we're 100% all in in the oil industry forever!"?

You can guarantee this is about someone looking for money for their pet cause/business, regardless of which one listed it is. To think anything else is incredibly naive.

Comment Re:The kryptonite of slashdot groupthink (Score 1) 707

I've seen lots of these outsourcing arrangements. It's highly unlikely these were actual H1B workers, that's just kind of a label people have grown to attach to foreign workers.

Usually what happens is they fly a few of their "key" staff or "experts" over to America to learn face-to-face (who are usually average to below-average skillsets compared to North American workers). They are then flown back home to India (etc.) afterwards to train another larger amount of staff. They are temporary work visas, and those are easy to get. Why would they keep the person in the US anyway when that just means higher wages? Send them back home, you can pay them a third (also worth noting that will probably buy them the same or better quality of life).

Comment Re:Being an analyst means... (Score 1) 428

Price to Earnings is just a number, a qualitative look at the situation helps. Although it's a ratio which helps in the comparison to other companies, with someone like Apple it's foolish to discount the actual magnitude of the actual magnitude of their numbers as they're massive. Apple still needs to sell HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS to recoup the investment cost (the "price" of the company as measured by it's stock). Sure, again it's a ratio so that PE of 10 means Apple is already making a tenth of that in a year, but that still implies ten more years of massive, massive sales of a single product.

A vast majority (as you point out) of their revenue comes from the iPhone. A good portion of that "non-core" revenue comes from software and services around that same product. The revenue stream needs more diversity to be worth more.

Comment Re:Damn those... (Score 1) 507

When most any plant gets over about 100 degrees, it "shuts down"; its stoma close, for example, which renders it unable to respirate. You know nothing about plants.

...and I would say you know nothing about "Life". Life on this planet, especially flora, has evolved to handle greater changes in even shorter periods of time. I always laugh at the environmentalists who assume all life on this planet will just remain the same and die out when something changes.

Comment Anecdote (Score 1) 729

I had to tell this story, because I see it regularly. I've had some interesting observations on the work culture to two sides of a border, Canada and the US.

I happen to work at a company with subsidiaries on both sides of the border, though it's a Canadian company and head office is in Canada. We have some large offices in southern US, too. I never thought of us (I'm on the Canadian side) as particular hard workers. We get lots of paid vacation, free days off galore, and pretty damn good pay to boot. On a Friday afternoon the office is dead, we do lots of "fun" events, people read newspapers in the morning, and mood is generally pretty relaxed. (though we do have people on call for critical IT support). In other words, there's a good amount of slack and if we have a reason not to be in the office we'll take it.

I would almost say we're pretty lazy - until I see us relative to our US counterparts. There is a just a pervasive culture there of not getting things done. Here, we expect expediency and resolution to problems.. when things were passed to our US offices, it was almost impossible to get them to commit to any dates, which was just standard practice here. Here, there was pressure to have things done quickly, and it is self-created too, this just doesn't exist in the US. Any or no reason at all to avoid a task or simply not following up on things.

I do however consider this might be a southern attitude towards work as well, as most of my interaction is with offices based in the US south (Texas to Florida).

Comment Re:A bit disappointing (Score 1) 358

But there are ALWAYS ways to improve products. You can't blame the fact that some development teams pick items that don't actually improve things. Even with your example, tires, I'm sure there are regular advancements in tire and rubber technology. Your tires might do the job, but newer tires will do it for longer, be more puncture resistant, and quieter on the highway as well.

I always think for software, if there aren't any obvious/good UI or feature additions, then focus on performance/stability. You can ALWAYS get better at those, and thus every piece of software has the ability to regularly release "something new".

Comment Re:Fucking copyright vultures (Score 1) 349

I hate copyright laws as much as anyone here, but I spent a bit of time trying to see the issue from the other side. Perhaps there is a better compromise solution that will make both sides happy.

Very few creative works are made outside of the employment/assistance of a company (corporation) - think about anything you create for your employer, such as software. This is just naturally seen as the company's property, and rightly so. So the whole "after death" thing doesn't really make sense. Why then after some arbitrary length of time would a company be forced to give up an asset? A better example I can think of is Mickey Mouse; he's an active part of the Disney brand. What benefit could we possibly get from a commercial Mickey Mouse competitor?

What I propose is to totally break up commercial and non-commercial copying distinctions (as I thought were originally intended). Allow a company to continue perpetual ownership of commercial copy rights and uses, by say, paying a license fee every year. For works that are distributed among the public (music, movies, etc.), allow for the same limited but arbitrary grace period (14 years or shorter), after which all non-commercial copying is 100% unrestricted.

Note this would still make torrent sites illegal, since they are often obtaining revenue through visits/ad displays (a commercial use) driven by use of copyrighted content. Your neighbor copying a DVD, no commercial exchange involved? Totally unrestricted.

Comment Re:Refers to Observable Universe Only (Score 1) 194

I read a book once with a good thought experiment to think about the size and shape of the universe. It helps to first imagine a 2d space with similar qualities...

What 2d space is "infinite" and what does it look like? Well, look no further than the earth - the surface of our planet is two dimensional, though if you were to point yourself in any direction and start walking, you would eventually end up where you started. If you had no other frame of reference (eg could go into space and look at the planet), the space would appear "infinite". Thus, if you take a 2d space and lay it onto a sphere shape, you create a continuous, infinite universe even though the amount of 2d space is definitely finite.

The question then becomes, onto what shape do you map a 3d space to get the same effect (eg our universe)?

Slashdot Top Deals

To stay youthful, stay useful.