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Comment Re:Bullshit, Todd. (Score 1) 223

Look at sperm/egg donors, adoption, even pet lovers- doesn't even have to be the same species :)

First off, having a pet vs. having a kid is not the same thing. Not at all.

Semantics aside, one can provide the exact same love and joy for a child, regardless of genetics. Look at sperm/egg donors, adoption, even pet lovers- doesn't even have to be the same species :)

Semantics aside, one can have sex with any other human being on the planet. And yet somehow, we still make the distinction between consensual sex and rape.

Comment Re: But Windows surveillance (Score 1) 79

Microsoft makes their money in commercial software and services all other experiments notwithstanding. Google make some money advertising to people and building profiles and people to better Target than advertising all the other experiments notwithstanding. Can you see the difference?

Not really, no. Sorry.

Microsoft makes really complete profiles on individual persons.
Google makes really complete profiles in aggregate for demographic markets.

Microsoft makes business decisions based on profile data telling them how many people they can reach with a given product.
Google makes business decisions based on profile data telling them the size of each demographic their advertiser can reach with their product.

Microsoft makes a lot of products that fail, when they try to do something new.
Google makes a lot of software and services with the intent of delivering advertising that fail, when they try something new.

Microsoft makes a lot of money, when they stick to their core competencies (a small range of OS and office productivity products).
Google makes a lot of money when they stick to their core competencies (a small range of advertising services, search, and mail).

Microsoft loses money when they step outside their core competency, and try "charge for service" models.
Google loses money when they step outside their core competency, and try "charge for service" models.

Kinda not seeing the difference, Bruno...

Comment Re:Money stores value (Score 1) 119

The American Revolution is proof that you are wrong, as they won the war using only paper money.

Might want to brush up on your history a bit. They won despite the paper money, which was a major hindrance. Google for the phrase "not worth a continental". When the constitution was written, the memory of America's first hyperinflation was very fresh in their minds, which is why the gold and silver clause in the constitution forbids fiat currency.

-jcr

Comment Steve Case is high. (Score 2) 33

Steve Case is high.

The article starts out claiming AOL was there at the start of the Internet, and helped pave the way -- but really, "MeTooLand" (AOL) only connected itself to the Internet through a number of large VAX machines, in a last ditch attempt at to maintain relevance, in the face of educated kids asking their parents why they are paying so much money to AOL for what amounts to Internet access. AOL was the sugary cereal "adjacent to this complete breakfast".

He states that "innovation can happen anywhere" (it can) and that "we should be funding outside traditional central areas" (debatable).

And then his three examples are Sweetgreen, Framebridge, and OrderUp, which are all within one hour driving distance of each other in the DC/Baltimore metroplex.

In other words: he's funding outside of "traditional central areas" by declaring a new central area, and then claiming it's not central.

My interpretation of this, and the specific mention of these there portfolio companies for Revolution Growth, where Steve Case works, is that the VC is starting to see that a VC needs multiple VC's when it invests in a risk company, in order to spread the risk, and that no one is coming to their party.

Comment Re: How to copy? (Score 1) 167

In all seriousness though, removing the part about the CIA and the FSB, the top ski resorts in France do have giant advertisement billboards on top of mountains in the middle of nowhere (reminding that a particular cell phone network still works there).

And this is in no small part due to the fact that some CEOs will see some of these billboards and that some of those CEOs control companies with 10,000+ employees (all possibly requiring a company cell phone).

Comment Re:But Windows surveillance (Score 2) 79

This is a nice reminder of who and what the REAL threat is. Windows 10 data collection is not the problem. Microsoft doesn't define it's existence on profiling and targeting people, but Google does.

Microsoft doesn't do it because they can't make a cell phone that people want to buy, to save their lives.

It's not like they haven't tried, many times, including buying most of a company that was capable of making cell phones, only to have the parts drift through their fingers, like sand at a beach.

Microsoft would definitely do it if they could work it out, or buy a company that doesn't dissolve as a result of being bought by them.

Comment Re: The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 304

If you look in the FEMA site, they say that they provide gramts to perform repairs not covered by insurance. And no, they don't do a needs test. Now, the typical rich person does not let their insurance lapse just so that they can get a FEMA grant. Because such a grant is no sure thing. They also point out that SBA loans are the main source of assistance following a disaster. You get a break on interest, but you have to pay them back.

Comment Re: The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 304

I understand your point about view land being desirable even though it's a flood risk. I live a mile or so from the Hayward fault. But I have California's risk pool earthquake insurance. The government wouldn't be paying me except from a fund that I've already paid into. I imagine that the government does pay some rich people in similar situations, but as far as I'm aware disaster funds go to the States from the federal government and should not in general become a form of rich people's welfare. Maybe you can find some direct evidence to show me that would make the situation more clear.

Comment Re:The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 304

What you are observing is economics. As a city or town population grows, the best land becomes unavailable and those who arrive later or have less funds available must settle for less desirable land. Thus many cities have been extended using landfill which liquifies as the San Francisco Marina District did in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, or floods. Risks may not be disclosed by developers, or may be discounted by authorities as the risks of global warming are today.

Efforts to protect people who might otherwise buy such land or to mitigate the risks are often labeled as government over-reach or nanny state.

Comment Re: How to copy? (Score 1) 167

If chip and pin is slow in the US it's probably more to do with people being unfamiliar with the process, inconsistencies between different stores / banks, or people forgetting their pin etc.

Yes, it's some of that, but not only that.

I have experience using both kinds of cards, both in the US and in Europe, and in the US, the process of using a chipped US card with a pin is definitely a lot slower than using a US magnetic-only debit card with a pin. For one thing, the system won't even let you enter your pin for a chipped card in the US until the connection has already been made, so there is no kind of caching that is even allowed.

And I guarantee you that if you ever come to the US and tried an American chipped card yourself with a pin, you would notice the difference in speed yourself. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind about that. The only part that I'm fuzzy about is the European system these days, because it's been a few years since I've used it.

Comment Re: How to copy? (Score 1) 167

While Val Thorens is not the most expensive ski resort in Europe, it still ranks pretty high up there because of its altitude. If you're going to have the benefit of not needing artificial snow when other ski resorts do, then many of your customers during the late season are going to be top government officials and CEOs, and cell phone networks (not to mention the NSA and the Russian FSB) will do everything in their power to make sure those types of people have the illusion of perfect coverage and perfect service wherever they are.

Comment Re:The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 304

Oh, of course they were caused by misguided engineering efforts. Everything from the Army Corps of Engineers to Smoky Bear goes under that heading. The most basic problem is the fact that we locate cities next to resources and transportation, which means water, without realizing where the 400-year flood plane is. Etc. We have learned something since then.

Our problem, today, is fixing these things. Which is blocked by folks who don't believe in anthropogenic climate change, or even cause and effect at all. They don't, for the most part, register Democratic.

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