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Comment Why don't they create textbooks (Score 1) 57

College students are always complaining about the price of textbooks. Why can't Chan Zuckerberg pay some of the best textbook authors to publish their textbooks for free? They should pay authors based on distribution and some other metrics such that the incentive and competition to create really great textbooks remains.

They've got $45 billion. If they were willing to spend $100 million they could easily offer online textbooks for the top 50 college courses for free (and book versions for the printing cost). I don't think any of the top 50 textbooks were produced over $2 million each.

Comment Re:The war is over. Survival now matters (Score 5, Informative) 104

No, it won't leave America forever.

First off, as an aside, we aren't giving the Chinese money for nothing. They are giving us product in return. We keep the benefit of that product forever. Even if it's a toy that helps in child development. The lower cost screwdriver may allow you to live in a better house.

More importantly, the money isn't gone forever. You seem to believe that we will never be able to offer anything the Chinese would ever want. That's just basically false. They are buying stuff from us like airplanes, construction equipment, entertainment, and high tech stuff. Even though they have 1.3 billion people, they still cannot and never will be able to make *everything* they would ever want. It's basically defeatist to say the Chinese won't want anything we can make. How does Germany have a trade surplus with China? Germans buy nearly as much stuff per capita from China as Americans .. yet they are consistent with a trade surplus with China. That's because Germans have figured out what Chinese want to buy and they are selling to them. China gets a lot of its machinery from Germany. Germany doesn't have tariffs on China and it does robust trade two ways.

Comment Tradewar (Score 4, Insightful) 104

We are going to put tariffs on imports? That will not help the economy. It won't help anyone.

Products will get more expensive for people who have money and incomes today. If we forcefully bring manufacturing jobs back here, it means that workers and business owners have to pay extra for goods due to the salaries of the workers in those jobs.

I mean, we have 90 million people not working today of which only about 20 million can probably work -- maybe even less. The rest are either too young, students, disabled, or old.

So we are going to put that 20 million to work, by paying $10 for a screwdriver instead of $5? By paying $300 for a phone that may cost only $200 today?

From the perspective of an income earner isn't that worse than being taxed and having a portion of the tax go towards welfare for the unemployed?

The advantage of giving someone welfare over paying them to do unnecessary work is that the person on welfare would have time to learn new skills plus you lose the overhead costs. And yes if someone or something else can do my work more efficiently then my work is by definition unnecessary.

Comment Re: competition (Score 1) 96

Not everywhere. One civilized country omitted from the list is Japan.

$10/day would be great compared to how much it would cost otherwise - it costs at least that much to rent a phone with service on top of that.

Why?

Because of their "screw you gaijin" laws that prevent non-residents from buying prepaid SIM cards for voice and text. You can get data SIMs, but they noticed the VOIP loophole and the days for that are now likely numbered. Why not do it like the EU where a passport is good enough ID?

I wonder what they'll do for the Olympics in 2020 when people visiting realize their phones will only work on expensive international roaming plans ($45 for 100MB, 100 min calls, and 100 outbound texts).

Comment Re:The land of "Last one in is a rotten egg" (Score 2) 379

Any attempt at high-density housing is often met with hostility from environmental NIMBYs and hostile existing property owners unwilling to give any room to these efforts by filing complaints and grievances. The intense culture surrounding perpetual property value increases is baffling in one sense considering the supposed social conscience that is supposed to exist in the Bay Area.

Wait.. I've heard this before. It's called: "I've got mine, so fuck you!"

I never knew SF was such a bastion of Republican values... It seems like personal greed is universal despite political ideologies.

Comment Re: Security expert? (Score 5, Insightful) 361

This is precisely how the anti theft software for my Macs work. For it to be most effective, you should set the firmware password (to prevent booting off other media), encrypt the disk, set a password on your account, and leave the guest account active.

The whole idea is to get the thief to use it so it can phone home. If it is locked up too tight, they'll just be parted out or tossed.

That nifty law they passed for kill switches in cell phones means they no longer steal phones to resell and reactivate, now they just steal them for the the parts.

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