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Comment Re: Minefield (Score 1) 548

Is employee diversity really irrelevant as you claim? Or does it have a beneficial effect on the bottom line? Or a negative one?

It looks to me like the research is mixed, but it does have possibility to affect commercial success (particularly in companies which do most of their work in one country but sell worldwide).

So a business would be IRRESPONSIBLE not to look at diversity.

Comment Re:.NET programmers have been waiting years (Score 5, Interesting) 118

I've been having a blast. I work at Microsoft on C#. But now that it's all open-source, I did things completely differently...

I had an idea for a new C# language feature (more efficient async, saves up to 90% allocation in some benchmarks). I discussed it first on github with the public. Then I forked the official C# repository into my personal github account, did all the coding live on Once it was finished I took it to the official C# Language Design Team, who approved it. And it'll be in C#7!

Comment Re:Who would have guessed? Tragedy of the commons (Score 1) 140

Who would have guessed that a free service would be abused? It's almost like there should be a word or saying for that. Oh yea, there is: Tragedy of the Commons

Tragedy of the Commons isn't about this case. Tragedy of the Commons when there's a common resource, and individual self-interest results in that resource being depleted even though that's contrary to the collective group-interest.

This doesn't apply at all in this case. The only plausible resource is "time on the tablet". It's not being depleted at any faster rate by one person using it exclusively then it would be if everyone shared time more equally.

Comment Re:Civilized (Score 1) 180

Oh capital idea. Free wi0fi, 1gig speeds, unlimited rice pudding!

      It is quite astonishing that erstwhile intelligent people still believe in the concept of "free". You will pay and pay heavily, because the government has no reason or motivation to control the overhead.

Yes, it's like that with the National Health Service in the UK.

Oh, sorry, my bad -- the UK government does a VASTLY better job controlling the overhead than does the US free market.

Comment Re:Neener neener (Score 1) 111

Is that copyrighted too? Seriously, though, why did it need to get to the court level? Why didn't the copyright flunkies say, "Sorry, prior art. Tough noogies."?

Either you've made a deliberately subtle joke by misusing three unrelated parts of Intellectual Property law (like talking about a film called "Trek Wars") or you've misunderstood all of it...

  • Copyright is for an original creative work, e.g. a book, a song, a creative way to order or layout existing non-copyrightable facts like a recipe. The concept of "prior art" is meaningless.
  • Patent is for original inventions that are non-obvious to a notional worker who's skilled in the field but has zero originality. The concept of "prior art" applies here.
  • Trademark is for a distinctive sign/logo/sound as used in a particular line of business. So although Nike trademarked "just do it" with the swish for their business, folk can still say "just do it" in other contexts.

Comment Re: Human Imperialism (Score 1) 231

Q1. I think there are good reasons to think we can detect life even with simple probes. James Lovelock explained this well with his daisyworld thought experiment. Figured that the one characteristic of life is homeostasis, and widespread life would do that to the planet itself.

Comment Re:Because Lead is a fertilizer.. (Score 3, Informative) 226

Along with lots and lots of primarily lead acid batteries for storage.
You want to know where a good proportion of that lead ends up when batteries reach end of life?
You want to know what lead does to the environment? The Wildlife? The People?

Ah, but no, its all pure shiny pretty warn nice solar power! Ignore the realities.

Did you ignore the link in thread you were replying to? Here it is again:

"The plant consists of five big industrial windmills and two lakes. On windy days — and there are plenty — the windmills harness the Canary Islands' Atlantic gusts. When production exceeds demand, such as at night, excess energy is used to pump water from a sea-level lake up into a natural volcanic crater half a mile uphill. When the wind dies down, the water is released down through a pipe connecting the two lakes. On its way, it passes through turbines, which generate hydro-power. Everything is connected with sensors so that within five seconds of the wind dying down, the hydro portion of the plant kicks in. For island residents, the lights don't even flicker."

I don't think the lake is made out of lead acid batteries...

Comment Ad money comes from somewhere (Score 1) 28

This allows consumers to get a discounted Android phone in exchange for seeing ads on the lock screen. It is a great way for shoppers to save money, while Amazon makes money from the ads -- win/win

Ad spending in the US was $200billion in 2016, for a US labor force of 160mil. That's basically an annual $1200 tax on everyone for the privilege of having ads shoved in their faces.

Win / win / lose.

It's "Win" for Amazon, "Win" for consumers who get a subsidized phone, and "Lose" for consumers who pay money for advertising that gets siphoned off into the advertising middle-men and a small fraction of it trickles back down to consumers.

And hey, as tagged advertising gets better and better, reaching its final form where it only hits people who make a purchase, then each consumer will get the joy of subsidizing their own phone as well as the ad industry execs who piggy-back on top!

Comment Re:Cry me a river (Score 3, Informative) 410

If Apple didn't know this they should sack their lawyers.

Right. That's the thing that gets me. Folks say that "Apple was just following the tax laws" -- or more accurately, that Apple's highly paid team of tax lawyers had figured out detailed and sophisticated ways to leverage the precise letter of the law to their advantage. Except apparently they hadn't researched the precise letter of the law carefully enough.

Ireland had on its books one set of laws which resulted in favorable tax regime for Apple. Meanwhile the same books have another set of laws relating to EU harmonization, which supersede the first, which didn't result in favorable tax regime for Apple:
The European Communities Act 1972, as amended, provides that treaties of the European Union are part of Irish law, along with directly effective measures adopted under those treaties.

Did Apple's tax lawyers simply not know about the EU treaties applicable to their tax liabilities? Did they not know that the favorable tax regimes they planned together with Ireland were in violation of the EU treaties? Or did they know about them, keep mum, and let the Irish government (hopefully not also taxpayer) take the blame if ever they got found out?

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