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Comment conflicted (Score 1) 248

The 15 year old in me says "these greedy corporate bastards are trying to extract every last cent out of us!" My modern day self that has studied lots of economics says "This is actually expected and perhaps even desired behavior from a highly efficient marketplace"

It used to be, companies would use things like mail-in-rebates. Sell the device for $100 dollars, but offer a $20 dollar rebate. With this pricing scheme you are basically marketing the product to the low-income consumers at $80 since cash-strapped consumers are more likely to take the time to mail in a rebate, but more affluent folks might not bother and just pay $100. This lets companies have flexible prices for different market demographics but is pretty inefficient. The mailing of the rebate, processing on the companies side, and then mailing a check back to the consumer all wastes time and money. Presumably Amazon could just tell if you were in the lower income bracket and offer you the $80 price and Mr. I-just-bought-an-expensive-VR-gaming-headset can be shown the $100 price point.

Comment Re:The biggest lie americans believe (Score 1) 122

No actually, i was raised socialist, went to college dedicated to read everything i could on the subject in order to determine "Why communism failed" and how we could get it to work in the new century.

Several years later, and i realized socialism/communism is inherently flawed and is computationally impossible. Read up on the economic calculation problem https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... Which as a computer scientist i found to be objective logical proof that socialism/communism is impossible, its basically trying to solve an NP-Complete problem, there is no know solution, we can't determine if the problem can even be solved, and we already have a heuristic which may not be perfect, but has been proven over 100s of years to work (Its called 'freedom' or 'free markets' or 'capitalism' or 'lack of people with shiny badges beating you up for trying to make something')

Comment Re:The biggest lie americans believe (Score 1) 122

i think we disagree on what the words 'mythical' and 'free market' mean. It was only because i had the FREEDOM to stop renting movies from blockbuster and choose to rent from netflix that blockbuster went out of business. If i where FORCED to rent movies from blockbuster and only blockbuster that would NOT be a free market (you see situations like this in communist countries) alternatively, if there where a 'renting regulations' that prevented netflix from ever letting people rent discs through the mail, and therefore i didn't have the freedom to rent from netflix (or netflix didn't have the freedom to do business with me) then blockbuster would never have died (you see this type of situation all the time in socialist countries).

so if we didn't have at least some freedom in our markets blockbuster would still be around today. "Markets" definitely exist and are not mythical. There is a question of how free a market has to be before it can be called a 'free market'. There are certainly some markets that are freer than others (compare N. Korea with S. Korea) so based on that observation alone i would say free markets are definitely not 'mythical'

Comment Re: The biggest lie americans believe (Score 1) 122

sure, if you believe the JPMorgan-Sponsored version of history. The monopolies of the 18th century where regional monopolies enforced by city and state regulations, thus the feds had to come in with 'trust-busting' schemes instead of using the interstate commerce clause to abolish the state regulations that gave these industrialists so much power in the first place.

As for labor conflicts during the era, yeah those where bad. Inspired by economists of the time who thought it was best for companies to prioritize profits at all costs, even if it hurt other stakeholders such as labor, distributing partners, or even customers. Fortunately the prevailing economic thought has evolved over the years, the book 'conscious capitalism' written by the CEO of whole foods is a great example of how the business practices of old that punished stakeholders eventually causes less profits, therefore by 'doing the right thing' for all stakeholder including labor AND customers, a company is much better off financially.

Comment As a programmer (Score 1) 344

I think those who write mobile apps need to deal with the fact that, laws be damned, someone is going to use this app whilst driving. Therefore you DO HAVE some moral responsibility to make sure your app is as easy as possible to use in as few clicks as possible and that you NEVER EVER (especially for GPS enabled mapping programs) deliver an unexpected popup to the user that could potentially distract the user.

Some apps I can manipulate without looking at the screen, because i know in advance where the buttons will be and where i have to touch to get it to the point where the voice is telling me the info i need or the screen has the exact info i need in large print that can be safely read while reading. When such an app that i am used to suddenly changes their entire UI layout, or delivers unexpected popups that i have to read, locate the 'close' button and then click AND HOPE THE BUTTON IS LARGE ENOUGH THAT MY FINGERS ONLY HAVE TO PRESS ONCE that app is putting me in danger of crashing. I find popups that say 'please don't use this app while driving' to be paternalistic, and its like the developers are trying to 'wash their hands' when they clearly have some moral responsibility to make sure their UI is as user friendly as possible

Comment The biggest lie americans believe (Score 4, Insightful) 122

Is that big corporations want a free market so they can 'run roughshod' over the people. Nothing could be further from the truth. Big corporations want Big Government regulators that they can influence and control with their money and political connections. This gives them an unfair advantage in the marketplace. Some refer to this as 'regulatory capture' as if it sometimes happens by accident, when in reality these bureaucracies are designed from the very beginning to be 'captured'

Big corporations are scared shitless of the Free Market. The Free Market is what allowed a small upstart company like netflix to destroy a juggernaut fortune-500 company that was blockbuster. The free market was what (almost) put kodak out of business. They refused to invest in the burgeoning digital camera market, trying to prevent it from happening and doubling down on film cameras. Thats not what the market wanted and they got put in their place.

If you fear the immense corporate power that exists in the world, do the one smart thing. Advocate for the abolishment of as many national regulations as possible, and try to remember there is a difference between a regulatory LAW - written, debated, and passed by your elected representatives and signed by an elected executive, and "regulator agencies" run by unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats which get to write their own "laws" (regulatory codes), enforce them, and sometimes even adjudicate them.

Comment What about the stars? (Score 1) 134

Maybe I'm getting my uber and lyfts confused, but i was under the impression that if you have less than 4 stars, you can't drive for the company. Uber driver intoxicated? Give him zero stars. A driver should only be able to weather about 3 zero stars before they can't drive anymore.

Are riders not giving their drunk drivers zero stars? Or is the state of California just complaining that this system to remove drivers isn't fast ENOUGH?

Comment Whatever (Score 1) 30

The FDA has killed more people than St. Jude ever did. These are the people who brought us the Food Pyramid. The FOOD PYRAMID which was obviously constructed to favor the big agro industries and had nothing to do with health. Also, when it comes to medical devices, these shitty things are over-pattented, over-protected, and pieces of crap. My fiance is diabetic and has a pump that costs $300 to buy but is using technology older than the TI-85. Pretty sure it costs them $10 to make it. Oh and one time she had a pump that when given your blood sugar level, could not tell you how much insulin to administer because another company had a patent on that feature.

i hate the FDA with every bone in my body and want them abolished. A panel of unelected, unaccountable, unconstitutional bureaucrats often lobbied by the very industry that they pretend to regulate does not safety make. Get rid of them entirely and replace it with a simple law: "Sell unsafe food/drugs/medical devices that kill people? There is no cap on how much you can be sued and a jury will get 100% discretion in deciding whether your behavior was negligent and 100% discretion to decide how much you owe the families that where hurt"

That single, easy-to-read constitutional law would do more good than the FDA ever did. Sorry, i get really really emotionally charged when talking about these murderers, probably because my fiance is diabetic and I am a libertarian

Comment Because nintendo hates money (Score 1) 104

This is baffling a lot of consumers and nintendo fans. Here are the possible reasons why nintendo discontinued production, culled from various sources online and conversations in my office
  • Production Costs - perhaps nintendo was not making money on the mini-console. This sounds implausible, due to nintendos track record of always making money off of hardware. More plausible is that at a $60 price point they weren't making ENOUGH money on the mini-console to justify increasing production
  • Production Capacity - nintendo stopped producing mini-nes' because they wanted to switch those production lines over to increasing switch production. we know that nintendo is trying to double switch production this year from this article : https://arstechnica.com/gaming...
  • Marketing Strategy - the mini-nes was only intended to gin up exposure to the 'nintendo brand' so consumers would be aware and excited when the new switch platform came out, unfortunately the mini-nes was a huge success and getting in the way of the switch marketing strategy
  • Licensing issue - the mini-nes had 30 games on it and not all where from nintendo. You would think nintendo would get a rock-solid licensing contract for the mini-console games, but maybe something went wrong with a licensee and they had to suddenly pull the product
  • licensing costs - similar to production cost and "licensing issue" perhaps the costs of licensing those third party titles was higher than nintendo was comfortable with, but shipped the mini-nes anyways thinking it would not be a big release. Now that it is ridiculously popular, the licensing costs where perhaps not worth continuing production
  • cannibalization of upcoming product - why would a consumer pay $5 a game to play these classics on the $300 nintendo switch when they could just buy the mini-nes for $60? Currently you can't play any of these classic games (legally) on the switch but it is expected that nintendo will release a virtual console for the switch enabling this functionality in the future. The timing of this announcement would line up with a possible virtual console announcement in E3, the trade show coming up in a few months

Full disclosure: I work in the video gaming industry

Comment Just so you know (Score 1) 141

This isn't government regulation of the internet, since the internet registry Afrinic of botswana is a private non-profit organization. which is exactly what myself and other libertarians think should be in control of naming registry. It seems they have the incentives in the right place to guarantee unrestricted and uncensored internet access for all

Comment Still playing catch up (Score 2, Interesting) 15

Once again, Microsoft is two years behind Steam. Funny thing is Valve originally came to Microsoft and said 'this is what we want from an online service' and microsoft looked at them like they where aliens and said 'This is light years ahead of anything people are talking about' So valve went and made Steam.

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