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Comment Re:too much segmentation (Score 1) 121

The fragmentation is intentional, on the part of the content owners. Believe me, everyone knows that a lot of people want a single streaming service with all content. It's just not what copyright owners and ISPs want.

Let's say Netflix suddenly had the rights to stream all movies, TV shows, and live events, and became the service that pretty much everyone used. Even if they raised prices quite a lot, people would still sign up for it. However, a company like Comcast would then be relegated to being a "dumb pipe". People would still pay them for Internet access, but they'd lose most of their revenue for cable TV or streaming services of their own. It's actually in Comcast's interest to keep streaming services insufficient to replace cable, so that people will continue paying for cable.

A company like HBO wouldn't like it, either. They could continue to make money by licensing their original shows, but that's not the only way that they make money. Even for their streaming services, they make money by bundling a bunch of content and charging more per month than you would probably pay for their original shows. However, a decent chunk of income comes from deals with cable providers, which would dry up quickly once everyone had moved to Netflix.

Even the networks and production companies that produce shows probably wouldn't like it, for the most part. Right now, they can license the same show or movie to Amazon, HBO, iTunes, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and any other services they like. You're forced to pay for a bunch of different services, and they get a small cut of each of those services' incomes. If the number of services were cut, they might also make less money from that one service than the aggregate of all of the other many services you're paying for. After all, you may be subscribing to some of those services for only one or two shows (because a fair amount of the content on each is available on the others), but the extra money still gets split among content owners.

And all of that still hasn't touched on the fear of one company controlling the whole market of video distributions. If Netflix were to get access to all content before the other streaming services, then they could become a de facto monopoly, and control distribution for all the different content owners. Even if all of the streaming services suddenly had access to all content, they would lose most of their marketing leverage. They would only be able to compete on things like the quality of their apps, the quality and bandwidth usage of their streams, or price. You and I might think that sounds great, but it's not really what the industry wants.

Comment Re:China's Trump is named Xi (Score 1) 206

Well, I don't think anyone thinks many non-Chinese speaking Americans are going to move there. I think this is targeted at the top tier of immigrant talent, particularly people who may have come from China to the US for school and stayed. For them the equation is more complicated than the one you present, particularly if they feel unsafe, or even unwelcome in the US.

Just to put some perspective on this, as I write this there are 328,547 current graduate students in the US from China. Ten years ago nearly all of these people would have remained in the US -- and these are valuable people to have. Today far fewer do because it's become harder to get a green card, and opportunities.

Likewise there are 166K Indian graduate students in the US, many of whom China would like to lure away when they graduate. It would be better for us that they stay here, but China would very much like to obtain the services of these bright young people with shiny new graduate degrees from American universities.

I'm not talking about the cheap contract labor your IT consultant uses to run your Exchange server; I'm talking about the intellectual elites who create technologies, companies, and jobs. China may be a police state, but that doesn't make them stupid; they value these people. America... not so much. In fact there are places in this country where being an educated white American makes you the object of suspicion.

Comment Re:Michael Flynn Jr believes it (Score 1) 651

The great virtue of Democracy is not in ensuring good government, it's in getting rid of bad governments.

The fact that Congress is so reviled yet stable indicates we're no longer a functioning democracy. We're a plutocracy, where elections are determined by overwhelming advantages in fundraising.

Comment Re:Mandate reporting when antibiotics are prescrib (Score 1) 68

Yes. But we need to be aware that man is not the only source of antibiotics. They naturally occur. We get a good lot of them from plants and bacteria, starting of course with penicilin which we got from mold, and which was already present on salted food and damp environments. What we did was to make antibiotics present in organisms other than their natural sources.

Comment Re:Tempests and Teapots (Score 4, Insightful) 213

US kids don't need more computer science, US companies are already (still) offshoring tech jobs as fast as they can.

Well, it's not so simple as that. Let me illustrate.

The average salary of a software engineer in San Jose is $110,000. The average salary for a software engineer in Omaha NE is $77,629/year. So why aren't software companies setting up shop in Omaha? Possibly, they should. But the size of the talent pool around San Jose is immensely larger, making it more likely you can find exactly what you need if you're an employer. The market says that's worth paying a 42% salary premium.

Software is almost unique in its ability for workers to create the need for even more workers. If you are producing washing machines, the demand curve for washing machines doesn't shift because you make more of them. But the demand for software as a whole can. Software isn't like washing machines, because it isn't just one thing that addresses a single need. It's many things, some of which create new needs. The 130,000 people working for Oracle create many times that number of tech jobs -- for good and bad reasons. Who knows how many jobs the 700 people working for Canonical create, both users, app developers, and even developers of derivative distros.

I happen to agree that US kids don't need computer science, but for different reasons. You can't really learn much computer science until you've had at least high school math, so what they're really talking about is vocational training for programmers. That's an utter waste of time. Employers want at least *some* college, if not a degree, and if you're talking about middle school kids the training you give them is likely to be obsolete by the time they enter the workforce.

Which doesn't mean I think teaching kids to program in Python or (depending on their age) Logo isn't a good idea. A little programming is a useful skill across many professions. But there are only so many class hours in a child's education, and you have to look very sharply for anything resembling diminishing returns. In my state Kindergartners are being assigned homework, believe it or not, because of the curriculum pressure in higher grades. Kindergarten is covering material that used to be covered in first grade, and day care providers (even small operations run out of the provider's home) are expected to take early childhood education classes and do what used to be done in kindergarten.

There's just no room to put more stuff in unless it's extremely useful.

Comment Everything Old is New Again (Score 2) 68

The Andromeda Strain was published in 1969.

The United States has some disease reporting, it started at least 75 years ago before the antibiotic bubble. This CDC Report summarizes the present state of disease reporting, in two pages. We need higher standards of reporting and legal penalties for failure to report.

Comment Re:Why air gaps? (Score 3, Insightful) 255

Double glazed windows have a vacuum (or sometimes a noble gas) between the panes.

Or dry air. There's no need to use anything other than air to avoid condensation. You just need to make sure the air is dry and the windows are sealed so humid air can't get in. I doubt many windows are vacuum-filled; that's just begging for trouble, and would also limit the size of panes. 15 pounds per square inch adds up to a lot of pressure very quickly.

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