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Comment Re:Be careful how hard you squeeze (Score 1) 296

. It also makes him a huge liability if they run into financial difficulty

History proves you wrong. Fords model worked, your bullshit is just that.

Considering that i device sales have flatlined or in some cases decreased,

And Apple is still insanely profitable, so your point is what, exactly?

Not many people gives a shit where it's made - they just want it cheap.

That is my point. Because it's been drilled into our heads that profit aka "buy cheap" is the only margin of success, the only thing important. My mother still bought her meat and vegetables at farms whenever she could, because knowing where it comes from and being able to trust its quality was another important value. Having an actual business relation used to be important, now we just use some price comparison website to save ten cents. But when you buy the same stuff from the same guy all the time, things become possible that Amazon won't do for you. That has value.

There are a few areas left where more than profit thinking is alive. Many people go to the same restaurants again and again, even if they're not the cheapest, but they're the best (in food quality, taste, atmosphere, whatever is important to you). I've had restaurants where I can sit down, say hi to the owner and order "the usual", and I don't care if there's another restaurant nearby where the food is ten cents cheaper.

Yes, not many people care. But maybe they should. Maybe we should pay the real price of global trade. Just putting a price on the ecological damage of these container ships (have you seen them? What comes out of your cars exhaust pipe is refreshing clean air compared to theirs) would instantly make local manufacturing economically interesting again.

People don't yet make the connection between the social systems downfall and the increase in global trade. Or that them buying cheap shit on Amazon is the reason their uncle is out of a job. Or that there is an inherent contradiction in the shouts of politicians who a) want you to earn less money and b) want you to spend more on consumption.

If you put people out of a job because you outsourced the factory to a low-income country, there are less people left to buy whatever your factory makes. It really is that simple.

Comment Re:Be careful how hard you squeeze (Score 1) 296

Really? Your house is chinese, your gasoline japanese and your food korean? I mean, not by taste but manufactured there? That's amazing.

You might spend 90% of your disposable income on some electronics from Asia, but for the average household, that is about 20% or so of the total income. The rest goes for rent (or mortgage), food, taxes, insurances and other stuff that is part of the local economy.

Comment Re:Be careful how hard you squeeze (Score 1) 296

You don't want to get rid of that. You don't want to slow down the economy by making goods more expensive. What you *want* is to allow companies to make tons of profit, *tax* that profit and use that money to pay people who were unemployed due to jobs moving away.

Have you thought that through?

So in the end, you will make everything abroad, only companies earn money, and everyone lives from the taxes? I don't think that is a sustainable economic model.

What you want is a balance between a strong local economy and beneficial trade. You want to import cars from Germany because they just make the best cars, and movies from Hollywood because they make the best movies (bear with me, it's only an example) and iPhones from China because they make the best electronics. But you want to grow your food locally because shipping it halway around the world doesn't improve its quality, and everything where it doesn't matter where it is made you want to make locally because global shipping is a major contributor to climate change and it's just crazy.

You do not want people permanently on unemployment benefits. There is no imaginable scenario where that is beneficial to anyone. You want unemployment to be a transition phase, for people between jobs.

There is more to the system then just who makes profits. There is also the psychological damage of unemployment, there is the fact that you become dependent on your suppliers, there is the fact that you don't want to lose the capability of manufacturing, even if outsourcing somewhere else would be cheaper, there is the whole insanity of global trade which would be prohibitively expensive in its current form if most of the cost (especially the environmental one) wouldn't be externalized.

There are reasons beyond profit that should guide an economy. The pure quarterly-profit perspective is the main damage the financial industry has done to the world. We now all think the way that stock brokers do, without realizing how narrow and limited their perspective is.

Comment Re:Warranty Support? (Score 1) 164

Obviously, but Pebble will still have assets and can thus satisfy their contractual commitments to their customers. It seems like FitBit is only acquiring patents (I thought the Pebble ecosystem was promised to be open source at some point) so Pebble as a company will continue to exist until it has settled all debts and claims. If there is an office building, or hell, a desk chair, the company will have 'assets' so it can liquidate those.

Comment as it begins, so it ends (Score 1) 164

I'm not going to blame Fitbit. But they didn't earn any positive karma, either.

Nor am I surprised that the real reason came out of the blue, after it was too late to inform my decision (I would have bought one for spare, while supplies lasted).

Emphasis with Kickstarter is "start". Then it quickly morphs (usually) into the same old close-to-the-vest business wisdom, and you end up with half of the advantage you wished for, and a quarter as much stability as a going concern.

I have zero interest in any other smart watch.

Sigh. It's a sad thing.

Transportation

Paris Makes All Public Transportation Free In Battle Against 'Worst Air Pollution For 10 Years' (independent.co.uk) 68

Paris has barred some cars from its streets and has made public transportation free as it suffers from the worst and most prolonged winter pollution for at least 10 years, the Airparif agency said on Wednesday. The Independent reports: Authorities have said only drivers with odd-numbered registration plates can drive in the capital region on Wednesday. Drivers of even-numbered cars were given the same opportunity on Tuesday, but could now be fined up to 35 EUR if they are caught behind the wheel. More than 1,700 motorists were fined for violations on Tuesday. Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo said images of smog blanketing the capital were proof of the need to reduce vehicle use in the city center. The air pollution peak is due to the combination of emissions from vehicles and from domestic wood fires as well as near windless conditions which means pollutants have not been dispersed, the Airparif agency said. "This is a record period (of pollution) for the last 10 years," Karine Leger of AirParif told AFP by telephone. For more than a week, Airparif has published readings of PM10 at more than 80 micrograms per cubic meter of air particles, triggering the pollution alert. Along with odd-numbered cars, hybrid or electric vehicles as well as those carrying three or more people will be allowed to roam the roads. Foreign and emergency vehicles will be unaffected.

Comment three large screens (Score 1) 60

Carousels can suck it.

I've whipped up CSS Userscripts to remove them from web pages more than once, lest I click on one in a moment of weakness (which I always regret 3 s later).

Old motto: there's another fish in the sea. This maxim is true, also, regarding web content. But it often helps to enforce this programmatically.

Comment ctrl-v strikes again (Score 1) 60

Google's main product is advertising and user info (to better target advertising), not search.

And this tired observation moves the discussion forward how exactly?

I've seen this helpful ctrl-v "eyeballs are the product" contribution more than a 100 and probably less than a 1000 times since I joined Slashdot.

Add some useful context? Ah, fuck it. ctrl-v has miles to go before it sleeps.

Comment Re: Now we have investment spam as news (Score 1) 227

Very, very brave. It was a gamble, nothing more or less. He made at least $2M on the deal. He's still got plenty left. He's a firm believer in the underlying tech and the blockchain as a source of value in itself, but given the buying prices he faced, he had at least 5000 bitcoins. I've bought a few from him here and there for my own amusement, in cash. I paid a lot more than 25 cents, though. Still, they've held their value. It's not a life-changingly-good gamble anymore, but I'm not worried about them going to nothing any time soon. I'll probably get as much out as I put in.

But it paid for his house, his entertainment room remodel, and his Tesla.

Comment Re:More holes than swiss cheese (Score 3, Informative) 48

>How can *one* piece of software have so many fucking critical vulnerabilities over the years?

Because it's spaghetti code. It's so bad that the single Linux maintainer flipped his shit years ago and wrote an angry blog post about it. I tried looking for the article, but that is too much of a needle/haystack problem.

Apparently it's been a fucking mess from the beginning.

--
BMO

Movies

Apple Is In Talks With Hollywood For Early Access To Movies On iTunes: Bloomberg (bloomberg.com) 23

Apple is talking with Hollywood studios to try and get iTunes rentals of movies that are still playing on the big screen. According to a report from Bloomberg, "some studio executives have been pushing to allow home rentals as early as two weeks after theatrical debuts and are considering a deal with iTunes as one option." Bloomberg reports: The most recent talks are part of longer-running efforts by Cupertino, California-based Apple to get new movies sooner, two of the people said. Such an arrangement could help iTunes stand out in a crowded online market for movies, TV shows and music. While the iTunes store helped Apple build a dominant role in music retailing, the company hasn't carved out a similar role in music and video streaming. Hollywood studios typically give theaters exclusive rights to new movies for 90 days or more before issuing them on DVD or making them available for online purchase. One of the concerns about iTunes is whether it will be a secure platform for delivering movies that are still in theaters, the people said. While Apple encrypts iTunes video files so they can't easily be duplicated, it's possible to use a camera to record a movie playing on a TV screen. A leak of picture that's still in theaters would jeopardize returns for the studios and cinema owners.

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