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Comment Re:AVG constantly upselling (Score 1) 104

AVG used to work fine, even when it became somewhat bloated. I recommended it quite a few times over other products and was generally thanked for my suggestion. I stopped using or recommending it last year when they changed their privacy policy and stated they'd sell whatever data they can gather from AVG anti virus installs. Back then, I thought that this wasn't just a bad move, but that they also might get swallowed up by a competitor pretty soon. Go figure.

Comment Re:How do you define robot or how many displacemen (Score 1) 262

I guess you are raising quite a few valid questions, but IMHO "requires rethinking everything from taxation to legal liability" seems like a reasonable approach, while the actual outcome is by no means fixed. What's wrong with rethinking, reconsidering and trying to find a way to deal with the repercussions of Industry 4.0, which is, I guess, what they're trying to do? I wish this was discussed more widely throughout the world, as it's one of the major challenges of mankind, but we mostly get the "let's build the wall and compel others to pay for it" kinda politics.

Comment Re:Insurance (Score 1) 299

What you say is true in the aggregate, but an insurer's book of business spans across many risk pools. Some are cash cows, and they subsidize losers. The insurers don't want the worst risks to forego insurance, they want these people paying as high a premium as can reasonably be collected, while the difference is allocated to other risk pools. To do otherwise is to invite the government to step in and offer to insure the worst risks, with the long-term effect of government taking over the insurance market altogether.

Remember also that the ratio of premiums to claims is artificially kept as close to 1:1 as possible, for a variety of reasons. This is easily accomplished by manipulating loss reserves. It comes in handy when it's time to hide profits from the IRS or to convince state insurance regulators that premiums need to increase because the insurers will go bankrupt otherwise.

Comment Re:One of many feedback mechanisms (Score 2) 170

Also, there is a limit to the amount of additional CO2 that is beneficial to plant growth, and it's a complex matter: CO2 enhanced plants will need extra water. Too high a concentration of CO2 causes a reduction of photosynthesis in certain of plants. Plants with exhorbitant (sic) supplies of CO2 run up against limited availability of other nutrients. Increasing CO2 will increase temperatures throughout the Earth. This will make deserts and other types of dry land grow. Et cetera, et cetera. Talk about simple ... .

Comment Just circumvent the deadline ... (Score 1) 982

For those who want to keep Win7/8 but want to make sure they won't have to pay for WinX after the end of July, just grab a fresh HD/SSD and perform a WinX clean install instead of an upgrade of your existing system. Remove the HD/SSD and replug your old Win7/8 drive and keep the WinX install until January 14, 2020.

Comment Short selling (Score 4, Interesting) 111

Years ago, I developed a system to analyze stock option prices in real time for the purpose of automated trading. The algorithm was designed to detect overbought and oversold options, and trade ahead of the inevitable market correction.

Although the system worked, it occasionally lost scary amounts of (simulated) money. It seems that some people traded high volumes against the market, buying into options that were already overbought, selling even when the option was oversold. It seemed as if these traders knew something that everyone else didn't. Sure enough, the company would report something surprising, and the market would move in favor of the people who traded ahead of the news.

Ultimately, I abandoned the notition of automated options trading, but not before discovering how well the system could detect insider trading. The options market is subject to all sorts of shenanigans, but it's a pretty good advance indicator of the underlying stock. The more insider trading a company has, the better the algorithm works.

If these Anonymous people are conducting research and detecting public reporting anomalies, the path of maximum profit is to short sell the stock, knowing that the price will fall when the truth finally emerges. Using this method, you instruct your broker to " short sell" 1000 shares of XYZ Corp. The broker "borrows" the shares from someone else's account and sells them. You get the cash and the obligation to return the shares (cover the position) at a some future time. If all goes well, you can keep the position open as long as you like, wait for the stock to fall, and then cover (buy back and return) the borrowed shares at a lower price.

Looks like the hackers found a few cash cows. Good for them!

Comment Immersion works (Score 1) 369

Infants learn language by immersion -- listening to adults. At first, they have no comprehension. After a while, they understand a little. After a year, they understand quite a bit. Pretty soon, they start using the language. Learning by immersion works so well that the CIA uses it to train people in new languages.

People improve their reading and writing by PRACTICING reading and writing. Coding works the same way. Immersion works well for beginners. They can start with simple algorithms; critical thinking and analysis can wait. Until they have a language to work with, they don't have a foundation to build on. People just have to remember that learning syntax is not the end of the journey, it's the beginning.

Comment Re: A cyberattack that kills people can obviously (Score 1) 47

Due to the nature of IP packets they are inherently unsuitable as a casus belli. This is common sense and whoever says otherwise wants to make sure to be able to construct grounds for war whenever necessary. If your scenario originated in Russia and the Russians made it look like the attack came from China, or from Norway, New Guinea or the Philippines, who'd you attack? Besides, where's the "I am part of a state sponsored cyberattack" flag inside the packet and why would I as an attacker set it? You've been lied to about Iraq's WMD, so why wouldn't they lie to you about the origin of TCP packets (the source of which can be spoofed)? Etc. etc. If you think of it, the whole "a cyberattack that kills people can obviously be grounds for war" nonsense is just that -- nonsense. Don't let them brainwash you into believing it's not.

Comment Re:"Wendy's profit, revenue beats expectations" (Score 1) 921

I was just trying to add some actual numbers to the discussion. I wouldn't call a preliminary profit of $85.9 million "breaking even", but never mind me. 31 cents a share compared with 6 cents a share the previous year probably means that the announced automation is not a "response to the rising minimum wage", but another measure of shareholder value and profit maximization. IOW, rising minimum wages might cause a share return below 31 cents, but not the end (of profitability) of Wendy's or their franchisees. There's no "need" to lay off people and replace them by "ordering kiosks", it's just, well, more profitable.

Comment "Wendy's profit, revenue beats expectations" (Score 1) 921

Some numbers

Over all, Wendy's posted a preliminary profit of $85.9 million, or 31 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $23.3 million, or 6 cents a share. Excluding certain items, earnings from continuing operations were 12 cents a share, up from 8 cents a year ago.

Analysts, on average, had expected 11 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters.

Revenue slipped 4.7% to $464.4 million, largely due to the ownership of 363 fewer company-operated restaurants in the period. Analysts had forecast $456 million in revenue.

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