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Comment Re:Expected /. response (Score 1) 322

I think the larger problem is people are just sick of everything having telemetry in it, even if it's generally benign and possibly even beneficial.

My main beef with Windows 10 is how willing Microsoft is to re-install sample app store apps after I've already "uninstalled" them (which I don't even think actually uninstalls them but just kind of removes them from my profile). There's a perniciousness to push their marketing angle in my user profile configuration that kind of bugs me.

Comment Re:Defies the purpose of competition (Score 3, Interesting) 115

The powers that be will not allow chaos to happen. them.

Powers-that-be the world over seem extremely content to live and move between high security walled compounds and let huge amounts of chaos to happen around them so long as it doesn't happen to them.

The min/max calculation they make is what is the minimum number of peers do they have to suffer to maximize their personal wealth and safety, and as a group, what is the minimum number marginally empowered flunkies (security forces, admins and service flunkies) do they have to pay for to maximize that same wealth and safety.

I just don't believe in any "democratizing AI" -- it will be like any other information technology. Its adoption is always at the top of the pyramid first and used to gain as much advantage over those below in the pyramid. I just don't see an AI good enough to imperil the powers that be being available to the average citizen. It will either be unobtainium or stripped down enough so that its only value is making the remaining cogs in the machine more efficient.

The smart play for those sitting at the top is to get over their moralistic impulses and figure out what kind of designer drugs they can dream up in order to pacify the masses long-term. Basic Income alone won't cut it and the available toxic soup the masses use to tune out just raises their security costs.

Comment Re:Why is that useful? (Score 4, Interesting) 166

You said it yourself -- "large organizations".

They're aiming for some kind of economies of scale in purchasing, application deployment and security that go way beyond the single-digit percentage of user base that developers represent.

They could just hand over the hardware and let the developers run their own machines, but this has all kinds of security implications and often bleed developer productivity in desktop maintenance overhead.

Running dev machines natively in Linux makes some sense, but may cut them off from other Windows-only applications they need to be part of the larger organization. as well as lack of visibility in enterprise management software. Running it in a VM has the same problems plus the added complexity of two environments.

I doubt Microsoft's solution is designed principally as a developer solution, either, but probably a long-term gambit to make it a more universal platform to retain users when the year of Linux on the Desktop rolls around. They must see some future in their crystal ball where enough Linux desktops exist that *not* being able to run some application is an existential risk to Windows.

Comment Re:I get this... (Score 1) 371

I've only been to Vegas 4 times. The first time was the Bellagio after it was built, and I thought our room was quite nice. I don't know what "luxurious" means to everybody else, but in terms of size, materials and decorative finish it was much nicer than a random hotel oriented towards business travel. The Venetian was about the same, even though we had a room with a dull interior courtyard view. When we stayed at the Hilton, we got a recently remodeled room which was smaller but equivalent in finish. Caesar's was good sized but the room was about 75% through its useful life and felt like it was starting to wear a bit and appear somewhat dated. Nice view though.

My trips spanned about 10 years and my sense was that gaming was losing ground. Still a lot of it, but over the course of my visits I noticed that prices for things unrelated to gaming had gotten a lot more expensive. I think Vegas has stopped being about gambling and "cheap stuff" to attract gambling and had shifted their revenue generation to charging high prices for non-gaming related things like drinks and meals.

I liked Vegas the first few times -- we ate at some fabulous restaurants, the people watching at the pool was fun and even the casino gaming was kind of a novelty (for the $100 I was willing to spend), and the whole thing was such a spectacle it was fun to see. But on my last visit I felt like it was getting really expensive for the experience it delivered and I'd be better off in Miami.

Comment Re:Why can't there be an open phone? (Score 1) 459

Blame the carriers, at least in the US?

The carriers insisted on shoveling their shitware onto even the pre-smartphone feature phones, weather applets, ringtones, and their prominent branding and it carried right through to actual smartphones. Their shitty bloat was unremovable, too.

And then there was the carriers skittishness about an open device with access to their network. I suppose this was a real worry at some point, but with modern smartphones the baseband processing is almost a separate component and the ability to do any real damage probably mitigated by the baseband processor acting as a gateway to the cell network itself.

I sometimes wonder if Apple's app store wasn't just a way for Apple to skim every dollar sold against the platform, but also a way for Apple to keep the carriers off their platform. Apple wouldn't allow carrier crapware into the base system and with end-user choice thanks to the app store it killed the carriers' ability to reasonably be players in that market.

Comment Re:Well Trump has one thing right (Score 3, Insightful) 523

MY brother works for a successful company which I won't name. It is fortune 250. HE goes to India because he too can't find anyone qualified. THe salaries he uses from HR are from his local Department of Labor. No he DOES NOT CHEAP out. He can't find anyone willing to work at least 25% over the market average in his area. He has no choice

If your brother has data that says the market average wage is X and he finds that he is unable to hire anyone for less than X+25%, doesn't that mean that your brother's data is incorrect, and that the actual market wage IS X+25%? Isn't the most accurate market pricing what you would actually have to pay into the market to obtain the goods or services you're looking for? Any "data" which suggests otherwise is out of date or inaccurate.

What I see in this situation is businesses using data to insist on a wage ceiling, probably because they have a business model designed to function only below a specific and arbitrary wage ceiling. The larger problem is probably a total compensation number, including executive compensation, that can't grow to accommodate market wage demands without influencing product pricing in a way that hurts sales.

I would suggest that the real problem is excessive executive compensation and that reducing executive compensation to pay actual market wages for necessary labor to keep total compensation in line with the product pricing is the best solution. Meeting market wage demands will in theory bring more labor into the market, increasing its supply and ultimately slowing or even reducing wage growth.

I also think there are powerful class dynamics at work here as well, where certain labor positions are seen as inherently less worthy than others and regardless of actual market prices, firms want to impose compensation caps on certain types of labor because it disrupts the class dynamics. Some classes of workers are seen as inherently more valuable than others and should *always* be paid more than others. When the market prices suggest that these lower classed workers need to be paid more to attract and retain them, you have the higher classed workers attempting to cap wages for the lower classes, because the alternatives are paying the market wages and losing their class status.

What's interesting is that nobody suggests that the paying the lower class of labor a higher wage than the higher class of worker doesn't have to mean that the higher class of worker (ie, managers) also loses their power and authority, only that they are paid less. Even average professional athletes make more money than most coaching staff, but this doesn't diminish the power of the coaching staff to control the players and regulate their labor activities.

Comment Re:Well Trump has one thing right (Score 1) 523

It's a paradox, because without a government strong enough to limit capitalism, you end up with monopoly capitalism and oligarchy. But without sufficient economic liberty, you lack a check on the power of government and you end up with tyranny.

Ideally, democracy would be the mediating factor, ensuring that government limited capitalism to the extent that such limits benefited the majority of people, resisting both the tyranny of government and the tyranny of monopoly capitalism and oligarchy.

The glitch seems to be that we operate at a level just below a level of monopoly capitalism that government influence would be prone to disrupt, yet at a level of influence where capitalism is able to corrupt this regulatory power to in effect further monopoly capitalism.

Thus you end up with neither truly free markets and a government powerful enough legally to regulate them but democratically corrupted enough to be unable to do so.

Lost in all this is a market capitalism that is beneficial to individual citizens or a democratic government responsive to the needs of individual citizens.

Comment Muni Fiber doesn't mean Muni ISP (Score 1) 194

Municipal fiber shouldn't mean "municipal ISP".

IMHO, the municipality should charter a municipal corporation and use the municipality's bonding authority to fund the network buildout. Obviously the relevant experts should be hired from the utility and telecoms environment so that it's built to whatever the current standard is in such a network, with an eye towards long-term viability and maximum flexibility.

Once built, the fiber network is only that -- a fiber network. Part of the network buildout should include a data center, where network operators who want to offer services on the network may colocate their equipment and buy into the network. These will be the ISP(s) that you choose your services from. It should be wide open, so that anyone who wants to become an ISP of some kind can rent access at the data center and offer services.

The municipality has statutory authority and ownership of the fiber corporation, but doesn't "run it" -- The Municipal Fiber Corporation should have its own management that knows how to run the network, and operates it on a non-profit basis, charging connected users and network operators/ISPs whatever amount is necessary to maintain the physical plant. This also keeps the city council, police department and other nosy political entities out of the network as well -- it shouldn't be a city department.

The MFC doesn't and isn't allowed to offer services on the network -- that keeps it from competing with private businesses. Schools and other government entities can use their own budgetary dollars to buy into the network as ISPs at some government rate, but not for free.

This way you end up with a professional managed network, run as a non-profit, but offering for-profit business access to a huge subscriber base on a state of the art infrastructure that they pay to access, but don't own.

Comment Re:Walled Garden under fire? (Score 1) 121

I'd like to hope it does damage the walled garden.

Apple's app store is rife with crappy apps that don't work, are abandoned by their developers, or just provide a poor value. And hackish apps which can cause problems have slipped into the app store on more than one occasion. That being said, is it better than the Googe equivalent in terms of security, maybe, but I think this has less to do with Apple's screening than the built-in safeguards of the underlying operating system running on the phone.

Let's say that long-term, the courts rule that the "walled garden" is an anti-trust violation and Apple is made to support side-loading of apps. I don't see how this would hurt anyone but Apple's bean counters.

Users who want the presumed safety and value that the walled garden provides could keep using Apple's app store and continue to gain those benefits. I would suspect that most users would keep doing that out of inertia if anything else.

But I would also expect a significant minority of users to side-load apps, especially those that Apple keeps out of their store for dubious reasons (interpreters, apps that compete with built-in apps, etc). I think the mere ability to side load apps would force Apple to further harden their operating system against the risks associated with them, if only to maintain the perception of the platform's security.

I think Apple's control over their platform and need to get a cut of anyone, anywhere, who figures out how to make money extending the platform is part of their innovation problem. They might even find out that the platform becomes more popular (and improves sales) if they let other people innovate on their platform in ways that they don't control.

Comment Re:What lesson is that? (Score 1) 370

It wouldn't surprise me if Mylan hadn't already modeled pricing pretty extensively and what they could get away with. They had worked pretty extensively to get mandates for stocking Epipens implemented, thus also forcibly expanding the market of who had to buy them as well.

I'm guessing that for many large insurance plans they were willing to negotiate away most of the price increases, too. Drug "list" prices are about as meaningful as most list prices, fantasy numbers that nobody with any negotiating power actually pays.

I wonder if the problem wasn't the price, really, but that since Martin Shkreli created a public awareness of off-patent drug price increases the press and public was primed to squeal about any significant price increase in the same broad category of drugs. Mylan just happened to hit the bad PR trifecta.

How many other generic drugs now have a single supplier and high prices unrelated to Shrkreli or Mylan, but we just haven't heard about them because they haven't hit critical mass?

Comment Re:It IS hipsterism (if that's a word) (Score 1) 562

The Maxell XLIIs were always the go-to brand. I remember 10 for $20 in the mid 80s being a pretty good deal, and always making sure I had a 10 pack around.

I even wrote a program in high school for my Apple ][ that printed perfect cassette inserts for them, shifting the Epson MX-80 into condensed mode to fit the type into the narrow space.

I still used a lot of cassettes up until the late 1990s. In the early 1990s, LPs had cratered for CDs and it was often trivial to go to a local used record store and buy nearly an entire artists' catalog on nearly mint LPs for like $2-4 per record.

So rather than buying the back catalog stuff I was into at the time on CD, I just bought LPs and dubbed them onto good old XLIIs.

Comment Economics and ego, not social justice (Score 2) 130

Netflix recently remade "One Day at a Time" with a Latino family.

For Hollywood, reselling the same crap in a new box has always been a ticket to profit, or at least less loss. And the egos in Hollywood like to believe that their shows somehow contain a kernel of universal truth.

So I'm pretty sure the thinking is along the lines of "there's a whole bunch of Latinos who probably never saw One Day at a Time. If we remake it with a Latino cast, we can recycle 9 years of scripts for the cost of writing 2 years of an original program, and ODaaT was successful because of its timeless and placeless insights into the human condition, so of course Latinos will lap it up with a Latino cast. We'll make millions."

It's really no different than the recycling of Japanese horror movies into American horror movies, or, really, these modern versions of Shakespeare plays that get turned out once in a while, or even "The Office".

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