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Comment Summary (Score 2) 106

1. so there WAS internet to begin with (in the gov't building)
2. he installed a pringles can type directional wifi antenna, like my father and thousands elsewhere
3. he worked out some network for further sharing
4. pirating, etc. source known?
5. somehow fiber optics then just appered and later on some T1? How is this *not* being served by telecom, and who absorbs network usage costs?

Comment Interesting from another aspect (Score 2) 56

The news is interesting not so much for its contents, but for its illumination of a gap in my knowledge. I'm nowhere near astronomy, so I didn't know that in the past we were _not_ aware of the presence of asymmetric molecules in space. If someone asked, I'd have responded, "sure there are probably asymmetric molecules in space, why not" so in some sense, I might have given a more correct answer than someone who knew more about space. The downside is that when you not only learn from a piece of news, but it highlights a gap in your understanding before, then it's quite humbling. It's a bit like waking up in Vegas, and you're told you divorced while you were drunk, yet you aren't aware of getting married in the first place.

Comment Re:Accounting for shrinkage (no not that kind...) (Score 1) 120

> It's annoying to people like me that come from an engineering/physics background where terms tend to be more standardized.

Having done financial risk management etc. with eng and accounting degrees myself, I can see the pompousness and arbitrariness of much terminology in finance, esp. where consumers need to be misled or peacocking status can be gained by throwing around 'financology' terms. I'm with Paul Wilmott on the arrogance aspect. I can also see a lot of normal things in life as complex financial derivatives that can be deconstructed and recombined with one another, still balked at this notion of self-insurance for the reason you mention. It qualifies as "acceptable risk" and is a modest, fairly constant factor in business rather than rare, high-loss events that warrant for risk pooling, so more similar to material expenses or payroll (some if not most theft is by employees). Supply chain issues and lawsuits on the other hand...

Comment Re:Self insurance (Score 1) 120

> Probably true but one has to account for all the possible outcomes.

Sure. On the basis of prior probabilities or actual events (assuming Apple Stores register buying intention that evaporates due to lack of stock at the moment). I.e. we apparently agree that it's not correct to just blindly calculate with the retail value.

> Yes Apple is self insured [wikipedia]

These links do little to further the claim that these represent self-insurance. I thought it's something more specific - as your wikipedia link seems to suggest too. With your quite broad definition of self-insurance, everyone is self-insuring left and right. For example, if I'm planning a vacation, but don't immediately reserve my flight, then I run the risk of a price hike. If I still don't act on it (by reserving, or by somehow insuring against the possibility of this loss, incurring some hedging cost in the process) then I could say, with your definition, that I self-insure myself, where my assets, future income or cancellation of flight plans act as backup options. Also, when I skip breakfast and am optimistic that I can go out for lunch at noon, I'm self-insuring myself against starvation by means of calorie reserves.

So I think it's quite meaningless to use this term unless there's wing to wing handling for specifically this risk category , e.g. AAPL formally managing a risk process with components such as FMEA, earmarking and pooling funds, making provisions that alter their periodic P&L, using periodic accruals/deferrals (to account for planned vs materialized losses), and incorporate it into their profitability analysis, profit center accounting or funds transfer pricing, all in the framework of comprehensive internal policies and accounting rules governing it. While all these are feasible, and I have no doubt AAPL does have risk management for diverse events, the link you provided is a wiki page that also talks of self-insurance as a specific concept (as opposed to an informal, uncontrolled way of absorbing residual risks) rather than an explanation on why it could be properly called self-insurance. I don't give a flying rat's ass but interested in learning, as I might be wrong on this, it's just I appreciate tangible backup. I think it's conceivable that with their very high gross margin they don't worry about store stealth to the extent a grocery chain would have to, and I believe most of their risk management priorities rarer and more impactful risks, mostly relating to their supply chain, and perhaps forex losses.

Comment Re:The downside of this (Score 1) 189

Even if it was a lone wolf operation, it makes no difference at all. Islam is antagonistic toward Western style freedom (girls education, women's rights, and especially gays and Jewish people) and followers of Islam systematically act on this (we call it islamic extremism, they call it the proper way of interpreting the Koran and living a worthy life), and I couldn't care less about which fucking organizational badge or process they operate under, ISIS, mujahedeen, Al Quaeda, intifada, terrorist, lone wolf, disgruntled 3rd generation disintegrated immigrant, shia, sunni, Wahhabists, Salafism etc. etc. it's just various flairs on the same piece of cloth.

Comment Re: The downside of this (Score 2) 189

Haha Putin props up anything that may destabilize the less barbaric part of Europe, from financing extreme right wing parties to maintaining East European countries on the short leash via energy exports, shooting Syrian rebels instead of ISIS and when they have some free time, invade and annex some parts of real European (rather than Eurasian) countries, shoot down passenger planes and then act surpised when Nato plants some more defenses on its own territory. The only nice thing so far is the freeing of Palmyra, too bad they (and the Western World) let it fall in the first place.

Comment Re:The nuanced answer (Score 1) 120

Given that the current iPhone has been around for almost a year, stocks are aplenty and those who go to an Apple store to buy an iPhone are more likely to go to another one or come back the next day than to buy an Android phone, I'd be very surprised if this event actually lead to a significant number of irrevocably lost sales, if any.

Also, no accounting for that, but most anything making into the news is in effect advertisement, and even an incredibly tiny additional curiosity etc. on consumers' part compensates the loss many times around. To the extent that it's not inconceivable for a scrappy company (probably not AAPL) to pull off such a publicity stunt, to increase the perception of value or get free press coverage or going 'viral'.

Also, I think it's not quite accurate to call apple "self-insured" - sure they may not have contracted with an insurance company for such events (I don't know), and sure they have a lot of cash that insulates them from measurable consequences, but these do not a self-insurance make. I think it's simply insurable risk that Apple may have decided to bear, assuming it was even an explicit decision other than just the default way of operating.

Comment Re:Yes $16000 (Score 1) 120

Unless supplies are tight and loss of sales is irrecuperable, it's the cost rather than lost sales that matter, so with about 65% gross margin, the loss is around 5k value. However:

1. The thiefs may successfully sell their stash. This may lead to some people not buying from a store as they bought it from the fence. This pushes the actual loss a bit higher (but most likely not to full retail).
2. Such a heist is mildly interesting and entertaining, not to mention newsworthy or even 'viral'. A 0.001% increase of US sales over a single day probably more than offsets the losses.

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