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Comment Farming subsidies for the loss (Score 0) 420

As a Californian, I would like to see the subsidies for farming stop in this state. Did you know we grow rice in California? Freaking rice, which requires copious amounts of water. Why?

Because the state government has subsidized farming irrigation so they only pay 1% of what the rest of us pay for water. If certain types of agriculture are water intensive they should be grown in regions of the country that is geared for that, not a state that is predominantly considered dry. The truth of the matter is that California farming consumes 80% of our water supply. ( It's the Pareto principle in full effect, to the detriment of the non-farming portions of the state.

The end result is that we have drought after drought and major calls to conserve. The funny thing is if the same government that was calling us to conserve wouldn't spend taxpayer dollars subsidizing types of agriculture that wouldn't naturally grow here anyway, then we wouldn't be in this mess to begin with. Le sigh.

Comment Disheartened Developer (Score 5, Insightful) 46

As a developer, it really disheartens me to think that any application I create that becomes popular is likely to be litigated against for patent violations. I've never searched for patents or seen one and thought "AHA! That's how I'll make this algorithm!" No, I just code and create logical solutions to problems that are presented.

No one should be able to claim ownership of the fact that 2 + 2 = 4 and force others to always use 3 and 1 to do addition for the next 20 years. God forbid, someone patents 3 + 1 = 4!!!

Comment Re:$1279 per hour (Score 3, Informative) 59

The article said each instance had 7GB of memory and 8 cores. That would translate to the High-CPU Extra Large Instance Type:

High-CPU Extra Large Instance 7 GB of memory, 20 EC2 Compute Units (8 virtual cores with 2.5 EC2 Compute Units each), 1690 GB of local instance storage, 64-bit platform

That instance type will run you $0.68/hour standard or $0.24/hour spot. (US-East Pricing) (Spot pricing allows you to take advantage of unused EC2 instances at a discount. Also worth noting is that spot pricing changes over time.)

30,000 cores equates to 3,750 instances across different regions. Here is the breakdown on hourly pricing for standard and spot. (Reality is it was probably a mixture of both and the pricing for different regions varies).

Standard US-East: $2,550/hour
Spot US-East: $900/hour

The exact mix of machines in each region wasn't specified but $1,279/hour sounds about right if there is a mix of standard vs spot across different regions.

Comment Re:Didn't raise the taxes enough (at all?) (Score 1) 788

Not only that, but whatever you owed was a FRACTION of your quarterly (yearly) income! So let's say you made $10,000 (gross) that quarter. At the end of it, after you paid for rent, food, utilities, HEALTH CARE, and other odds and ends, you're left with $4,000 (net = gross - 'costs'. I'm assuming going to the movies isn't included in costs). Uncle Sam then says "hey, I want 30% of the $4,000." You pay Sam $1,200 and go on with your life.

I'm sorry, but how else would it work? If you tax a corporation at 30% of gross you have many companies that won't exist. That's because many of them don't have a margin that high. In fact, the average corporate profit margin since 1947 is 6.05% ( If you are eager to tax on gross, a gross tax of 3% means a 50% profit tax across the board.

The other wrinkle, is what happens if your company loses money. If you tax on gross, then you have to pay taxes after you lost money! Talk to any startup in Silicon Valley about whether or not that is sustainable. Imagine being a small business owner and losing $100,000 for the year. You are probably deep in debt already and now Uncle Sam comes calling and asks for $30,000. Talk about kicking someone when their down. The problem is only exacerbated if you are in an industry, media buying for instance, in which you have huge gross revenues but minuscule profit percentages.

The only realistic and fair way to tax corporations is based on net profit.

Comment Re:Emergency Plan (Score 2) 247

Nail on the head here. We were affected today and while I have full offsite backups of everything we don't have a second datacenter to switch on because of cost and complexity. It's not too difficult to have webservers span different parts of the globe, but DB servers like MySQL are a whole different story and usually very crucial.

Comment Re:This won't work (Score 1) 370

Ok, I work with both as the CTO of an internet advertising firm. We spend in the 6 figures a month with both MSN/Bing/Binghoo/whatever and Google. I would rather work with Google any single day of the week. Dealing with MSN behind the scenes is like trying to teach Japanese to my dog. He may be able to respond to a few commands with immense repetition, but he never really gets the big picture of what I am trying to communicate. Don't even get me started on how painful it is to work with the MSN API vs Google's.

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