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Comment Apple problem mostl or platform-independent issue? (Score 1) 113

That fake chargers cut corners that lead to unsafe designs is not a surprise. However, I wonder if Android devices suffer from a similar problem. Is there something inherent about the Apple design that leads to a higher probability of unsafe knock-offs, or is the current focus on Apple chargers simply a matter of more media attention devoted to Apple at the moment?

Comment Re:Great for China! (Score 1) 600

Difficulty: China considers Taiwan part of China and is trading with itself

Besides direct economic considerations, trade with China carries significant consequences for international relations. Almost half of Taiwan's exports are to China, and 1 million Taiwanese businesspeople live in China. This type of economic dependence has succeeded in exerting hegemonic influence with greater success than the 1500 missiles targeted at Taiwan.

Comment Re:So what? (Score 1) 472

When so many corporations get around their taxes completely, what can cuts do.

A lot. One of the reasons that corporate tax payments are so low is because the rates are so high, so corporations have a big incentive to lobby for loopholes, and pay accountants to exploit them. If they pay an accountant $80k, and he finds $81k of tax reduction, then it is worth it to the corporation to employ that accountant, but it is an $80k dead loss to society.

There is truth to this idea. Unfortunately, unless the tax rate is close to zero, i.e., less than the cost of a few accountants, the tax dodge will always be worthwhile. I.e., the motivation is not that the tax rates are so high. Rather, it's that they are above $0.

Comment Re:No beeping please (Score 1) 361

So in the first instance if you are using traffic noise as a proxy for determining whether it is safe to step out into the road your are a complete sociopath in my view and frankly if an EV runs you down serves you right.

No, not as a proxy but as an added sense. And furthermore, as an added sense that subconsciously triggers added vigilance. I teach this to my young kids when we come to an intersection, that they need to listen with their ears as a trigger to look for cars in a particular direction.

Comment Re:Customers vs. cattle (Score 1) 75

You're only seeing part of the picture.

Android isn't the product Google sells. Google search isn't the product. Gmail, Youtube, and all the other services Google provides are not the products that Google sells.

YOU are the product Google sells. The reason Google search is so awesome is so that YOU will use it, and Google can then sell your viewing of their page to advertisers. Same with Android, Youtube, Gmail, Drive, all of it.

I see this and completely agree. We are the cattle, to be fattened, slaughtered, and sold.

Comment Customers vs. cattle (Score 1) 75

"We never compromised the quality or relevance of the information we received. On the contrary, we improved it. That isn't 'favoring' -- that's listening to our customers."

Google is stating the truth. It's just that we have to keep in mind who Google's customers are. The vast majority of Google service users are cattle and not customers. We don't pay Google any money, and in return Google doesn't consider the impact of their actions on the general public. There are cases where Google interests coincidentally align with general public interests, but that's just coincidental. The drivers of Google actions are Google customers. I certainly wouldn't blame Google for fulfilling their fiduciary responsibilities to their stockholders, but at the same time, it would be disingenuous of Google to claim that they aren't willfully harming the interests of their customers' competitors.

Of course, all of this is really tangential to the legal question at hand, which is whether Google is abusing it's dominant market position.

Comment Re: Sociopaths gonna sociopath. What's new? (Score 1) 259

1. The amount of data collected is microscopic and therefore of zero statistical value.

The study included over 400 people. That is more than enough to be statistically valid.

I don't have access to the actual paper, but it's not clear how many people are included in each of the categories. Past studies have suggested that people have a tendency to self-identify as middle-class, moderate, etc. So, I would expect that the bulk of the 400 people were in the middle-class category. If the "rich" people were intended to represent the "1%", then I would expect about 4 rich people if the people were randomly selected. If more than 1% of the 400 self-identified as rich, then perhaps, the definition of "rich" is sufficiently vague to be not be useful as a categorization.

Perhaps it would have been more interesting for the researchers to have gathered income and/or asset data from the study participants along with self-identification.

Comment Re: Sociopaths gonna sociopath. What's new? (Score 1) 259

No, but the intent of the article and this 'research' is clear: to imply that being rich somehow implies less humanity.

"Rich" implies the possession of either large assets or high incomes. However, this study didn't ask for asset or income information. Rather, the labeling of rich people was based solely on self-identification. Thus, the more appropriate conclusion is that people think they are rich have the indicated behavior.

Comment Re:Um, no. (Score 1) 212

The analyst cited in the article has a pretty good repuation (Google him). Doesn't seem prudent to outright reject his projections because you disagree with them.

Ming-Chi Kuo has an amazing reputation predicting future Apple products. There is zero history of predictions about sales and consumer preferences, which are completely different. No Apple insider or supply chain source can help shed light on that.

Comment Re:Simple reason.... (Score 1) 310

There are pros and cons for built-in vs. phone navigation. I personally always use the built-in navigation because
-- The screen is bigger and easier to read.
-- Directions are always at the right volume and easier to understand.
-- The system works when network connectivity drops out.
-- The system never needs to be charged or plugged in.
-- The manual controls are much safer to use when driving compared to a touchscreen.
-- The screen is in a natural position relative to the driver and never gets knocked over.

There are some cons, such as
-- Lack of navigation that considers traffic conditions.
-- Old maps, since I don't want to pay $99 for a map upgrade.
-- The need to manually enter in new destinations.

However, for me, the pros are more important, and my phone is used as backup most of the time.

Comment Re:Proof her perf evaluations weren't fair (Score 1) 566

Basically, in this election the GOP proved that it's incompetent at getting their establishment pick selected, and the DNC proved that they're masters of it.

The Democrats were decent at getting their anointed one past the annoyances of the election system, but they can only aspire to achieve the efficiency of United Russia.

Should the current election-cycle un-democratic manifestations of the purportedly Democratic Party actually be celebrated? Seriously?

Comment Re:When did "The Matrix" become a religion? (Score 1) 1042

The argument is of course not Musk's, but Nick Boström's:

ABSTRACT. This paper argues that at least one of the following propositions is true: (1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage; (2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof); (3) we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation. It follows that the belief that there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans who run ancestor-simulations is false, unless we are currently living in a simulation. A number of other consequences of this result are also discussed.


I cannot find any flaws in the statistics. I thus agree we're _likely_ living in a simulation.

The hiccup is not in the statistics but the assumption that the seemingly increasing and never-ending improvement in technology will result in such a simulation capability in the future. Is this assumption true? We need far more than a system that passes the Turing test. We are already hitting the limits of technology scaling, and we have barely progressed beyond ELIZA.

Comment Re:Down the rabbit hole (Score 2) 311

It isn't being forced on them. They have the alternative of not accepting CC transactions, which is something many businesses do.

They also have the choice continuing to use the old equipment, but they then accept responsibility for fraudulent transactions that could have been prevented by using chip cards. Hell, as far as I know, they still have the option of imprinting paper slips and depositing them at the bank like checks, but the costs all end up on the merchant, as they should.

At some point we need to have progress, and magstripes need to die. Many technical standards have deadlines where old features stop being supported.

All of this is true and still tangential to the anti-trust case. Anti-trust collusion that forces actions that are in the interests of society are still illegal. The ends do not justify the means. The key point is that the change was indeed forced upon the retailers because they were denied the right to choose a competing supplier, a right that was illegally removed through collusion.

Comment Re:?No comprendo? (Score 4, Informative) 266

Fact is, more than 6,000 kids died in the eight years before lawn darts were banned.

Numbers like those would have raised much greater societal outrage, not to mention media coverage. Googling for the real numbers shows that 6100 people of all ages went to the hospital due to lawn dart injuries during those eight years. About three-quarters of those people were kids, and of those there were 3 deaths. That's still a huge concern, but nowhere near thousands of deaths.

Comment Re:Google shopping doesn't seem to show amazon (Score 1) 141

Within the last 5 years, Google Shopping changed the requirements to be listed. Number one requirement: Pay to be listed.

There's a reason that even Google search often points to the Amazon listing near the top of search results. The reviews on Amazon are better than anywhere else, if due to nothing besides sheer volume. It's hard to achieve quality reviews without quantity reviews, which is why Yelp is still relevant.

How important is Amazon as an aggregator of reviews? Many Amazon reviews specifically state that they bought the product elsewhere but still chose to post their review on Amazon. Why? Because that's where the eyeballs are going to be.

Meanwhile, Google Shopping continues to degrade in the usefulness of its listings. I rarely find the best prices there anymore. So I just don't even bother looking there in the first place.

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