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Comment Re:Because it is profitable to do so (Score 1) 575

Until 1983, airlines prices were regulated by government with short flights receiving subsidies from long flights and Uncle Sam picking up the tab for unsold seats. Deregulation and the search for the ever-cheaper ticket price allowed companies to compete on price, and many companies chose to become more cost competitive by lowering their overall quality of service.

Comment Re:having kids is dumb (Score 2) 491

There are only 7 states that recongize common law marriage ( If you don't live in:
New Hampshire
South Carolina
then you might want to have a contract in place if you plan to take advantage of the benefits of marriage, and there are quite a few. Even if you do live in those states, many of them only recognize common law marriage if you actively advertise your relationship status as married.

Comment Re:Accounting isn't what you think it is (Score 1) 370

"A lot of people think so but they and you are actually completely wrong. There is a tremendous amount of judgement that goes into accounting and much of it is anything but rigid. Surprisingly few people actually realize how arbitrary many of the choices that go into accounting actually are."

I do work in the finance department of my company, and what are you saying is mostly true, to an extent. Basically, when a product or service is introduced, there are some relatively arbitrary choices that are made up front. The company can decide what methods they will use to account for specific expenses (inventories counted as first in, first out; first in, last out; or cost averaging, for example). Once you have a basic framework, each individual item has to follow the rules that you set up for yourself.

This can cause a few headaches for a company, because how they decided they will account for expenses often doesn't turn out to match how the realities of the business function. So you end up creating conversion tables, ETL processes to move transactional data from an operations perspective to a financial perspective, shadow IT tools to help people navigate these arbitrary complexities, etc. It is very difficult to change the underlying assumptions, so as the business changes, the rules become increasingly more aribitrary-seeming.

It would be nice if our accountants were actually software people and could update rules and definitions or restructure a complex system as necessary, but that isn't the world we live in. So in the mean time, people like me exist to sit down and talk to the accountants and write the rules that allow us to comply with SEC requirements, etc. Could that work be automated? Maybe. With current commonly available tools? Unlikely.

Comment Re:Chowdry's a liar though (Score 1) 284

If Twitter was rigorous about collecting and curating the data transferred over their platform, in the same general way that SAP HANA attempts to use sentiment analysis, combined with location data and a few other interesting metrics, they could sell the aggregated data to companies as pre-packaged market research without needing to display advertisements themselves or selling user data directly.

Comment Re:Average is not median (Score 1) 158

a number expressing the central or typical value in a set of data, in particular the mode, median, or (most commonly) the mean, which is calculated by dividing the sum of the values in the set by their number.
"the housing prices there are twice the national average"
synonyms: mean, median, mode; More

You might be thinking of the arithmetic average, which literally just translates to mean.

Comment Re:Bot vs. bot (Score 1) 62

Having worked in a call center (for AT&T, though I don't know if that's relevent here), I noticed that some employees were more than happy to bother understanding the products, services, policies, etc and use that information to genuinely help customers. Management would then set policies requiring that only scripted information be given to customers for "Quality Assurance" purposes (consistent experience between reps, discourage customers from calling in multiple times until they got a rep that knew what they were doing).

Comment Re:Do you see what happens? (Score 1) 499

States are given a number of electoral college seats based on the number of representatives they have in Congress (both houses). The 2 per state for the Senate gives smaller states a more significant impact per person than larger states. This is intentional, designed to help curb mob-rule from more populated cities and ensure that the voices of the middle of America (flyover states) and the North East / New England states can have a voice heard and that all elections are determined exclusively by Texas, New York, and California. This has nothing to do with gerrymandering, which is a real problem that affects local governments. I agree with the idea that it would be better if states split up their electoral votes based on percentage of their population voting, but for that to be effective, every state would need to enact such rules. Otherwise, the states that do this give up a significant fraction of their ability to influence national politics compared to those states that do not. I don't think the number of votes per state is the issue.

Comment Re:He'll Do Nothing (Score 1) 117

It seems to me like it would be more helpful to wait for specific proposals, and direct obstructionist behavior toward specifically the actions that you find objectionable. We've seen what happens when legislative bodies assume that everything someone spouts is garbage for the past 4 years, and I, for one, wasn't particularly fond of the result. How about we engage in less poisoning of the well and more constructive, rational behaviors?

Comment Re: Impressive? (Score 2, Informative) 136

Cash flow does not indicate profit. Profit is revenue minus expenses and short term liabilities. Accepting cash for services you are promising in the future will increase your cash flow, it will increase your revenue, but it will also add a new short term liability called "unearned income" (revenue for which you have a future obligation) and your profit will not be impacted by the transaction. Once you start purchasing the materials to satisfy the unearned income, you add expenses (negative cash flow) but remove an equivalent portion of the unearned income until you eventually satisfy the liability and can then report the remainder as profit.

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