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Amazon's eBook Math

Z34107 Re:Equally suspect (306 comments)

John Scalzi isn't selling iPhones; he's selling e-books. Those actually do earn more profit--for everyone involved--when they don't cost more than a hardcover.

about 2 months ago
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Amazon's eBook Math

Z34107 Re:Equally suspect (306 comments)

Unlike price elasticity, autorectogenesis is entirely responsible for that tortured non-expression and the verbification of "pence." Idea was that there hasn't been that much shilling since before decimalization.

about 2 months ago
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Amazon's eBook Math

Z34107 Re:Equally suspect (306 comments)

Exactly! Or from seeing Valve's success with their Steam sales, or Apple's success with lower iTunes prices, or from any other number of things obvious to you and I and everyone but John Scalzi.

about 2 months ago
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Amazon's eBook Math

Z34107 Re:Corporate lies! (306 comments)

It's almost like Amazon is aware of that:

While we believe 35% should go to the author and 35% to Hachette, the way this would actually work is that we would send 70% of the total revenue to Hachette, and they would decide how much to share with the author. We believe Hachette is sharing too small a portion with the author today, but ultimately that is not our call.

about 2 months ago
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Amazon's eBook Math

Z34107 Equally suspect (306 comments)

Even if you don't have a background in economics, nothing in Amazon's statement should be particularly controversial. Price elasticity isn't something they pulled out of their ass, and the idea that lowering prices could make you more money (by selling even more units) is something the thinking slashdotter should be able to intuit form first principles. "Books aren't perfectly interchangeable units of entertainment" is a nice straw man, but it doesn't change the fact that entertainment spending is highly discretionary, or that his $20 e-book has an entire universe of competing alternatives vying for your attention.

Yes, publishers and middlemen have all kinds of rationalizations for trying to kill e-books, but calling any of them "legitimate" is shilling so hard you could pence a crown.

about 2 months ago
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Who controls the HVAC at work?

Z34107 Me! (216 comments)

Our thermostat lives on an intranet page, and keeps a public log of everyone who's fiddled with it. The older buildings have a handful of climate zones per floor, but the newer ones have independent thermostats in every office.

about 4 months ago
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Reason Suggests DoJ Closing Porn Stars' Bank Accounts

Z34107 BTC (548 comments)

For all the Ponzi-this, tulips-that that gets posted every time Bitcoin makes the news, this is one of the problems they're trying to solve. A prude at Chase or the DoJ can't close your bank accounts if you have no need of a bank in the first place.

about 5 months ago
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WRT54G Successor Falls Flat On Promises

Z34107 Firmware (113 comments)

So, Linksys' OpenWRT router ships without OpenWRT firmware, apparently because there is no such firmware. You could compile such a firmware yourself, if not for Linksys withholding the wireless drivers.

I can't even begin to imagine a chain of events that resulted in shipping an OpenWRT router without any OpenWRT support.

about 5 months ago
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San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

Z34107 Re:BS (359 comments)

But if the Luddites start-off by demanding building restrictions before others can move-in

That's apparently not how it's working out, though. Those moving in have money, and it costs $500,000 to build a single 800 square foot unit. Guess who gets the unit?

about 5 months ago
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San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

Z34107 Re:BS (359 comments)

Because, as TFA points out, the problems San Francisco has are entirely self-inflicted. It's amusing to see karma on such a large scale.

about 5 months ago
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San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

Z34107 Re:BS (359 comments)

There's that rational, open-minded tolerance San Francisco's known for.

about 5 months ago
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Isolated Tribes Die Shortly After We Meet Them

Z34107 Correlation != Causation (351 comments)

Correlation is not causation. It's entirely possible that dying natives cause visiting Europeans. I'll admit I'm unsure as to the mechanism, but maybe Hernan Cortes was a misunderstood doctors-without-borders kind of guy.

It's also possible that a third confounding factor causes both dying natives and Europeans. Perhaps they both generate spontaneously from gold and oil, or perhaps from tectonic action within countries with hats.

about 5 months ago
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UK To Finally Legalize Ripping CDs and DVDs

Z34107 Re:What about copy protection. (92 comments)

You should stop giving them money. Besides the inherent silliness in paying for a product you know to be broken, you're also financing the next ACTA or TPP.

Buying DVDs is donating to the Taliban of copyright law.

about 6 months ago
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Recent news events re: Bitcoin ...

Z34107 Re:US dollar (192 comments)

Why does the US dollar have value?

Same reason anything has value: supply and demand. The supply of dollars is essentially determined by the Fed, and demand is driven by its ability to buy things (think: why do you want money?). At the intersection of supply and demand, you have the "price" of a dollar, found just like the price of a bushel of corn or a neglected Beanie Baby.

So, how does a Bitcoin come to bear the price it does? Supply and demand again--except supply is controlled by an algorithm instead of the Fed, and demand is driven mostly by speculation and its utility in sending money without having it all stolen by PayPal. Increasingly, you can also buy things with it.

about 6 months ago
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Hackers Allege Mt. Gox Still Controls "Stolen" Bitcoins

Z34107 Re:Anonymous cryptocurrency, who to trust? (228 comments)

who can you possibly trust with something that can be so easily disappeared

No one, which is why you don't. There's no reason to keep your bitcoins in an "online wallet," or maintain a balance in an exchange, just like there's no reason to keep your life savings in PayPal.

about 6 months ago
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You Might Rent Features & Options On Cars In the Future

Z34107 Re:Economics (437 comments)

Well, that's what makes it interesting. Nobody objects to selling a high-end model for a high price, and a low-end model for a low price. Under highly idealized circumstances, feature-keying would let us sell both models for less due to savings in manufacturing and supply chain complexity. Isn't that cost reduction a healthy sign, even if both cars are the same underneath and we've converted tangible, physical differences into pure price discrimination?

But, like you said, feature-keying implies it's still profitable to sell the high-end model at low-end prices, since the high-end model is the low-end model now. And, as you also said, we'd expect the price of the high-end model to fall if the auto industry is the least bit competitive.

However, if it now costs the same to manufacture the high- and low-end models, why manufacture the low-end model at all? Now, we've lost consumer choice: Before, if you were price sensitive, you could pick a lower-end model to save money. Now, there is no lower-end option, even if the higher-end is no longer as expensive as it once was. Sounds unhealthy, doesn't it?

To wit, the only company that made this work was IBM, and they definitely weren't charging market prices for hardware.

about 8 months ago
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Who Makes the Best Hard Disk Drives?

Z34107 Re:Sad to hear (444 comments)

You mean the MTBF and AFR published by every hard drive manufacturer since the dawn of time?

about 8 months ago
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You Might Rent Features & Options On Cars In the Future

Z34107 Re:Economics (437 comments)

...MINUS the cost of having n-many manufacturing lines and trim options. Which, like I said, would have to be significant to make the "in theory" option believable.

about 8 months ago
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Who Makes the Best Hard Disk Drives?

Z34107 Re:Sad to hear (444 comments)

I must have missed the part in your political non-sequitur where you had a point. s/libertard/libtard/g, and you'd fit right in with the bastion of intellectuals that comment on Fox News articles.

about 8 months ago
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You Might Rent Features & Options On Cars In the Future

Z34107 Economics (437 comments)

This could, in theory, work out if producing a single model with all the features saves money over manufacturing every permutation of radio/seats/trim/etc. The high-end would cost less, while still allowing more spartan options for those who want to save money.

In practice, I suspect it's a way to jack up the cost of new vehicles and turn every "sale" into a rental. Not sure if this will help or hurt dealerships--if all the options are already in the car, how will the middlemen get their cut of the value-adds?

about 8 months ago

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