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Comment Re:"Shows Why We Can't Have Nice Things For Cheap" (Score 4, Insightful) 234

Given the utter crap that's been given patents combined with the mechanical complexity of a golf ball, from club strike to landing, how likely are existing golf ball patents to be really bogus claims and drawings of dimples?

In any given 2-3 year time span, there's like what, maybe a dozen professional golfers so skilled that they are able to hit the ball on a predictable basis? The remaining pros vary wildly and the amateurs are all over the map, so assessing the claims and technology of golf balls is pretty difficult.

And the amateurs will do/buy anything to improve their game. I do some work at a country club and the schlock on sale to golfers makes global warming skeptics look like Einstein.

And it also wouldn't surprise me if the markup on golf balls was stratospheric, representing the general affluence of many golfers, so there's lots of profit being protected here.

Comment Re:Thanks for the ad, I guess, but you missed some (Score 2) 109

I think we're *eventually* going to wind up with a unified memory technology that flattens the memory space, but I don't think Optane is it.

When this was first a thing, the Optane access times were a couple of orders of magnitude off RAM. It really read like a newer/better/faster version of existing flash storage media. Of course the critical thing is "Can you make it price competitive with existing NAND?"

If they can't, it's going to be a tough sell. Existing NAND storage has gotten to be fast, durable, cheap and is growing in capacity. While you *can* use faster storage in front of slower capacity storage as a cache, existing NAND is so cheap now that everything is migrating to flash.

Caching works, but it's complex and has overhead penalties, which is one reason why all flash storage has grown in popularity. The consumer wants one drive, not two, and even the enterprise wants speed and simplicity.

I'm curious what Intel's problem is. Is it just an early production capacity problem or are their yield problems? Or did they drink their own kool-aide and think that people wanted to step back to multi-tier storage for their new cache chips?

Comment In other words, regression to the mean (Score 2, Interesting) 158

In aggregate, Indian engineers begin to mirror the differences between the India and the US/Europe generally.

India isn't just US or Europe with a sanitation problem, it's a civilization with its own inherent problems that have kept it that way. You can give people degrees, but that doesn't immediately resolve the other externalities that prevent them from being parts-interchangeable with their Western counterparts.

Maybe at some very elite level (very wealthy, educated abroad, etc) some small subset of Indians are interchangeable, but at the bulk level they tend to be on par with the rest of India at the same level.

If they were the same as Westerners, then India would be much more like the West and they would be employed at home in their own globally competitive industries and not clamoring for visas to work in the US.

Comment Re:Long Game (Score 2) 97

I think you're right, but the missing element here is getting the entire ecosystem binary compatible between desktop and mobile. If you can do that and support docking the phone to KVM, you could potentially use desktop market dominance to subvert the mobile market.

I've been a long-time iPhone user and see no reason to switch platforms, but I have been less compelled to upgrade from 6+ to newer hardware because of less than compelling hardware improvements, the headphone jack, etc.

However, I have a Windows laptop and if MS could come out with a phone that could be docked to work like a laptop and be a phone, I might be swayed to switch mobile platforms.

I think the stumbling block is probably the mobile SoCs not having enough horsepower to run x86 binaries in emulation and the feels-impossible nature of switching the desktop ecosystem to ARM to get binary compatibility. And convincing the hardware ecosystem to support a docking standard that makes docking a phone something less than an octopus of dongles.

The ticking time bomb, IMHO, is the generational wave of kids who have literally all their life experience tied into iOS or Android. In about 10 years everyone under 30 will sociologically tied into those mobile platforms that almost no magic Microsoft can offer will change.

Comment Re:Hit Job on Google? (Score 3, Interesting) 291

No, News Corp has been doing this for years. The reason is Murdoch thinks Google and Google News specifically is killing the news industry, and that the iPad will save it (or at least he thought that a few years ago). It's pure inter-corporate warfare being played out through manipulation of public opinion. The WSJ in particular are experts at it.

Comment Re:Not hard to fix... (Score 3, Insightful) 534

Pricing is the right approach, although using percentages to alter pricing is risky because you run the risk of "A10" workers being paid even less in nominal terms so that they're still cheaper WITH the added taxation.

I think with a lot of the outsourcing mills that are foreign-owned, you might end up seeing complex compensation systems that involve fractional payment deferred or paid into accounts overseas so that the nominal wage remains competitive even with additional marginal taxes.

I would tweak your plan slightly:

1) H1B workers must be paid 125% of the job's regional maximum

2) H1B workers must be employed and paid directly for the business who is the end beneficiary of their work -- they may not perform any contractual labor

3) H1B workers are fee to switch employers during the term of their visa

4) Violation of these terms is a crime. Employers are subject to a fine of 3x the employee's annual salary and a 5 year ban on hiring any H1B workers. H1B workers are subject to immediate detention and deportation for violating these rules. Employers who violate these terms for more than 1 employee concurrently are subject to criminal prosecution.

(1) Insures they are no longer cheap labor and business-critical innovation geniuses will make this kind of salary anyway.

(2) Prevents them from being used in labor mills or enabling foreign-owned firms from side-channel payments. They must be direct hires.

(3) No indentured servitude. This prevents businesses willing to accept higher salaries but who set extreme working conditions to cost-average their output to local salary levels ($/hr).

(4) Puts teeth into enforcement.

Comment Common goals (Score 2) 534

Business negotiations often involve motivated parties with shared goals (sell/buy land, widgets, etc). They differ on the terms of the transaction, not the transaction itself.

In politics, you have to compromise on the transaction and its terms and there is often no agreement on the goal in question.

With healthcare, the Republicans couldn't agree on a goal so negotiating terms was much more difficult.

Comment Re:Note to self (Score 1) 227

It's a great idea, but why isn't anyone doing it? I would argue that such a superior printer wouldn't be price competitive with Lexmark/HP/et al because of the way those vendors have skewed the market.

They've all but gutted their printers to what amounts to glorified paper feeders. Rasterization moved to the driver, greatly reducing the amount of compute needed inside the printer. Networking has been modularized to a $5 ethernet SoC. A lot of the other parts that used to be in the printer are tacked onto consumables.

The bottom line is that the printer itself is only about 1/3 of what constitutes a "printer" and the rest is software and "cartridges". This lets them set the price of the "printer" at about cost and then make up profit on the cartridges.

Your idea does the sensible thing and makes the printer more of a printer, but with more parts and complexity it can't compete on purchase price even if cost of ownership is less.

Comment Gated telecommunications (Score 1) 76

I wonder how long until we have deliberately gated telecommunications, where you pay extra and your phone number is "protected" -- no incoming calls from poor countries, poor neighborhoods, hell, they could probably reference some kind of database profile that estimates the socio-economic status of the caller and if it falls below your preference threshold, they get blocked.

Comment Re:What if RoboCall industry creates jobs? (Score 1) 76

I've long suspected that the fact that we're where we are now with rampant robocalls, spam and (still!) huge volumes of junk paper mail that literally nobodylikes is because business interests want it that way.

Further, I think it's somehow ingrained in the hucksterism of American culture, this notion that all you really need is a good sales pitch and anyone who gets in the way of delivering one is somehow anti-business.

Comment Re:If self driving cars take off (Score 1) 207

I would expect RVs to be the first with self-drive capability considering the amount of highway miles they operate. Even some of the more advanced self-park features cars have now would be useful for RVs when parking them in complex locations.

Hell, some of that self-park functionality could be useful for the GPs questions about launching a boat. Backing up a trailer is easy once you know how to do it, but why not apply AI to it and make it easier?

Comment Re:Rotten Tomatoes is getting self-important (Score 1) 395

It's the "list of critics" that I kind of have problems with. You see a RT score, but which set of critics does it account for?

When I've looked at the site (which I only have a few times), the "critics" are a laundry list of names and often web-based publications I've never heard of. I don't doubt that many may have interesting critical viewpoints, but I'd kind of like some sort of filtering mechanism to tell me who's a valid critic and who's just a crank like me with opinions.

Comment Re:Let's put tons of ammo together in a massive pi (Score 1) 102

I would expect any significant ammo storage facility to consist of a series of bermed bunkers with enough concrete or earthworks to contain or redirect blast forces up, far enough away from the next bunker that any fire wouldn't easily spread to the next one.

At a minimum this could be hand-dug trenches lined with sandbags and sheet metal roofs and at maximum concrete bunkers.

Comment Re:Maybe not (Score 1) 233

Well, if you start with the premise that you're engaging in an unsanctioned protest with violent elements you're already risking a lot of legal exposure. You can be charged in Federal court with felony riot, so if you want to avoid exposure to non-ideal justice then maybe the best advice is stay home and rant on social media.

Obviously coordinating a disinformation campaign targeted at undermining and misleading Federal police agencies is dicey business to put it mildly. That being said, planting useless information on burner cell phones is a kind of passive resistance. You're not being *asked* for this information, it's being taken and they will be interpreting it under their own discretion.

Comment Re:Conflict of interest (Score 2) 258

I think you'll always have police groups lobbying for increased funding based on citation amounts generated, no matter where the money goes. If you put it into the general fund, they'll claim that increased spending on police budgets is net-zero budgeting because the spending is balanced by the citation payments. Even returned to the tax payer they will assume that the same amount as increased spending is offset by tax credits and not an additional tax burden.

I think the only sane solution is that fines and citations should be earmarked for the Public Defender's office. They're chronically underfunded anyway and it seems to me that a balance is created when increased enforcement winds up increasing the resources of criminal defense.

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