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Amazon's Ambitious Bets Pile Up, and Its Losses Swell

Typical Slashdotter Re:23% revenue growth! (168 comments)

I'm not sure why the article claims that opening new warehouses will contribute to operating losses. The price war certainly makes sense, since selling your product for less directly translates to lower profits. My best explanation is to note that what you quote is the writer paraphrasing Mr. Szkutak, rather than a direct quote from Mr. Szkutak. I'd guess that the article writer is slightly confused as to what exactly Mr. Skutak was saying when he mentioned the new warehouses, since he is a tech writer and not a finance writer.

4 days ago
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Amazon's Ambitious Bets Pile Up, and Its Losses Swell

Typical Slashdotter Re:23% revenue growth! (168 comments)

Accounting statements are based around three types of accounts: assets, liabilities, and equity. Broadly, assets are things of value the company owns, liabilities are things they owe others, and equity is what's left over, i.e. the net value of the company. The profit and loss statement explains why equity changed in a given time period. Many people confuse this with a cash flow statement, which explains why the amount of cash a company owns changed. When a company makes an investment, they are exchanging cash (a type of asset) for whatever they bought (another asset). Since the equity doesn't change, the purchase itself doesn't show up in a profit and loss statement. It will show up eventually over time, however, as the asset is depreciated: as the investment is used and moves toward the end of its lifespan, it loses value. This loss is a decrease in the value of the asset, and corresponds with a decrease in equity (so it is an expense).

4 days ago
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Amazon's Ambitious Bets Pile Up, and Its Losses Swell

Typical Slashdotter Re:23% revenue growth! (168 comments)

You are correct; investments show up when they are depcreciated over the course of their use. A good investment, however, will generate more revenue than its depreciation expense, so such an investment should not have a net negative effect on any profit and loss statement.

4 days ago
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Amazon's Ambitious Bets Pile Up, and Its Losses Swell

Typical Slashdotter Re:23% revenue growth! (168 comments)

...they could start taking profits at any moment simply by pocketing more revenue instead of re-investing.

Accounting tip: infrastructure investment doesn't show up in a profit and loss statement. It is only relevant for cash flow, and I don't think anyone accuses Amazon of managing cash poorly. Amazon isn't profitable because their sale prices are so close to the costs of the goods they sell. They can't stop any of these losses because they can't sell anything without first buying it from someone else. The only ways for them to increase profitability of their retail business are to raise prices (which they can maybe do) or to cut their costs for each item (which are probably pretty close to as low as possible already).

4 days ago
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Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

Typical Slashdotter US Gov has a point (749 comments)

It is very important to note that this particular stance is about evidence outside of the United States, not investigations of activities occurring outside the United States. It is routine for a court to compel people and companies to produce evidence related to an investigation. Since these companies have operations in the US, the court has the means to enforce such a compulsion; where the evidence happens to be seems irrelevant to me.

about two weeks ago
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Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

Typical Slashdotter Cashless is okay if not proprietary (753 comments)

I'm alright with a cashless future, so long as it's done right. One thing it can't be is the current propriety charge card system implemented by and for rent-seeking middlemen. It is the government's job to develop modern, usable currency (electronic or otherwise), and they have been lax in this responsibility.

about two weeks ago
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US Marshals Seize Police Stingray Records To Keep Them From the ACLU

Typical Slashdotter Re:"Physically restricted"? Get real. (272 comments)

How do you know what the revolutionary army capable of defeating the US federal government will do when it seizes control? How is that any better? How is it not, in fact, far less predictable?

about 2 months ago
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US Marshals Seize Police Stingray Records To Keep Them From the ACLU

Typical Slashdotter "Physically restricted"? Get real. (272 comments)

It will continue until they are physically restricted from doing these things.

Get real. Putting the Green or Libertarian parties in charge of the presidency and both houses of congress, with an overwhelming mandate to fix these issues, would be much, much easier and more successful than waging a successful war of violence on the federal government. "Grab your rifles and rise up" only works when you have the public at large passionately on your side. When that is the case in a modern republic, there are better tools available.

about 2 months ago
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Pirate Bay Co-Founder Peter Sunde Arrested In Sweden

Typical Slashdotter Re:That's not true and you know it. (221 comments)

Of course that's all bullshit since irrational numbers don't exist in our quantum Universe.

I was soclose to modding you up for an otherwise good technical explanation, until I got to this ridiculous last sentence. Oh well.

about 2 months ago
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Amazon Wants To Run Your High-Performance Databases

Typical Slashdotter Needless editorializing (142 comments)

Needless, inane, editorializing in the summary, as usual. So sad. Especially when the article itself is concise, factual, and free of such nonsense.

about a month ago
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DARPA Unveils Hack-Resistant Drone

Typical Slashdotter Seriously people? (107 comments)

I admit that the article doesn't go into any technical details, but the number of comments here that are completely ignorant of what formal verification is and reject that it is even possible is...disturbing. (See CompCert for a real-world example of this practice.) Since the article was so bad, I don't know what the team actually did, but "mathematically proven to be invulnerable to large classes of attack" is exactly the sort of prudent statement I would expect from someone who has done good work making a hardened system.

about 2 months ago
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Programming Education Making A Comeback In Primary Schools

Typical Slashdotter Re:Homeschooling is a crime (138 comments)

Is that a complete list of countries where homeschooling is a crime? If so, it's not a very big list.

For comparison, Wikipedia lists the following counties where alcohol is illegal: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, India (some parts), Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Mauritania, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen, Qatar, United Arab Emirates. Not quite as many, but within a factor of two.

about 3 months ago
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The Koch Brothers Attack On Solar Energy

Typical Slashdotter Re:Can we not have this political bullshit on /. ? (769 comments)

This piece is by the New York Times editorial board, not a politician. Would you propose no one talk about the power of money in politics, just because it affects both parties? I, for one, would prefer that people talk about the corrupting influence of money on the political process whenever it occurs, so that, maybe some day, enough people will be fed up with it to do something about it.

That doesn't mean I support a politician with big money backers using the fact that his opponent accepts campaign contributions as a cheap ad hominem, however, but that's not what this is.

about 3 months ago
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ARIN Is Down To the Last /8 of IPv4 Addresses

Typical Slashdotter Re:Lesson here folks (306 comments)

I don't think that is a good technical solution. First of all, after everyone decides how best to change to protocol to use extended addresses, you still have the same problem of having to upgrade existing equipment. You say that is is just a "trivial mod," but it's not like implementing IPv6 is particularly difficult---rolling out any modification whatsoever will be about as hard as switching to IPv6. However, with your suggestion, the situation is must less predicatable for users during the transition phase. As it stands, if two hosts have routed IPv6 addresses, they can talk to each other over IPv6, assuming someone hasn't made a serious error. With the "extended address" scheme you propose, if I have an extended address and I try to talk to another host, how do I know if I should be able to? Does the other host support extended addresses? Does every piece of routing equipment between me and them support extended addresses? How would I know these things, and what's to stop the routing table from changing and breaking a previously working path?

about 3 months ago
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The Science Behind Powdered Alcohol

Typical Slashdotter Re:Boozer backpackers (176 comments)

This is not suitable for water safety, since you can't just drink alcohol to hydrate...

about 3 months ago
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Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

Typical Slashdotter Re:A million is easy (467 comments)

You are wrong. The Vanguard S&P 500 Index Fund, for example, which is a very basic fund that does nothing but track the S&P 500 index, has had an average return of 11% since its inception in 1976.

about 3 months ago
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Whatever Happened To the IPv4 Address Crisis?

Typical Slashdotter Re:The real crisis is the routing table size probl (574 comments)

IPv6 is designed with such a large address space specifically to make BGP tables smaller. One of the factors causing IPv4 tables to grow is that, since addresses are scarce, people are getting clever with how they allocate blocks, divvying things up very finely so as not to waste. Since BGP entries are by block, this creates many blocks that need routing. The IPv6 designers went with 128 bits of address not because they think they need room for 2^128 hosts, but because there will be enough room to divide blocks hierarchically and logically, "wasting" addresses all along the way. This will allow global routing tables to more accurately reflect the structure there is between ISPs, shrinking their size.

about 5 months ago
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FSF's Richard Stallman Calls LLVM a 'Terrible Setback'

Typical Slashdotter Re:...but if you want free software to improve... (1098 comments)

The GPL was a major model for software licensing long before the App Store existed. The burden is on Apply to ensure compatibility, but they clearly don't have any interest in doing so.

about 6 months ago
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NSA Says It Foiled Plot To Destroy US Economy Through Malware

Typical Slashdotter Re:NSA failed to halt subprime lending, though. (698 comments)

Per Article 3, Section 3 of the US Constitution,

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.

Let's not dilute the word by using it for other bad things.

about 7 months ago

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