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Judge Approves $450M Settlement For Apple's Ebook Price Fixing

gnupun Re:So good that the proxy battle is over (62 comments)

Agency pricing (so-called because the publisher sets the retail price and the retailer acts as an agent of the publisher, taking a fixed percentage of that as his profit) removes the ability of retailers to compete on price.

Does it? The retailer can still compete by lowering his profit percentage (30% is ridiculously high anyway and 50% for books over $10 is daylight robbery) of the final sales price. He can also negotiate a lower publisher price based on volume sold (just like traditional retailers). Amazon's $10 and lower price only for digital books is stupid, fascist and evil.

it's hard to see why you should pay $12.99 or $14.99 for the latest Stephen King or James Patterson from Apple when you could get exactly the same thing for $9.99 or less from Amazon.

That $9.99 is due to amazon's de facto monopoly, bullying publishers and authors. Amazon takes a whopping 65% cut for ebooks priced over $10 and only around 30% for books below $10. Distributors and retailers are mere channels between producer/manufacturer and users. They should have no right to set the base selling price of any item they sell, instead they should just add a markup percentage to whatever is their purchase price. We don't want another Apple appstore type pricing where everything is priced $1 to $2, because the quality of end product will really suffer.

2 days ago
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Mozilla's 2013 Report: Revenue Up 1% To $314M; 90% From Google

gnupun Re:How do you spend 1/3 a billion $ and get Firefo (161 comments)

Not sure if my answer helps but once an open source or free product becomes dominant in an area (like web browsers), there is little/no chance that a commercial product can even enter the market, let alone survive. That's true with the web browser market today, all dominant web browsers are free (IE, firefox, safari, chrome etc.).

These free browsers have a monopoly because the barrier to entry is huge (million$ to build a web browser from scratch) but little chance of recouping that investment by giving it away for free. With no competition, you're stuck with whatever quality there already exists in existing products.

Whatever its flaws, Firefox still commands 30% of the browser market and $314M translates to less than $10 advertising cost/user/year.

4 days ago
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It's Not Developers Slowing Things Down, It's the Process

gnupun Re:Untie the bonuses from the schedule... (185 comments)

Not my fault that they can't code in a timely fashion.

This statement always make me laugh. How can you plan how long something will take if it has never been done before? You can't, and in the case of software it has not been done before. The managers are applying the same planning process that is used in less creative processes like road-building, bridge-building, building construction etc., where each task has already been done for decades or hundreds of years so you know how long some task will take.

4 days ago
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Customers Creating Fake Amazon Pages To Get Cheap Electronics At Walmart

gnupun Re:wont last (284 comments)

Many sales deals are actually loss-leaders. IE, they get you in the store and hope that you buy enough other stuff to make up their loss.

This should be made illegal (like creating fake amazon sales pages), because if Wal-mart is selling item X for cost or at a loss, other retailers will be unable to make a profit by selling item X. Wal-mart, and other retailers, should be made to sell item X for at least y% (say 5-10%) profit margin.

That is, the govt should regulate a minimum profit margin for a product and the minimum margin should vary for different products.

5 days ago
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Blowing On Money To Tell If It Is Counterfeit

gnupun Re:Let me get it straight (112 comments)

When central banks create money by simply changing the numbers in the computer, it is called quantitative easy.

But is there a basis or limit for increasing the amount of currency in such a manner? If limits don't exist, the govt can simply print as much money it needs to function adequately. So, why does it feel the need to charge sales tax, income tax, property tax etc. when it can print that money instead?

about a week ago
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Do Good Programmers Need Agents?

gnupun Re:10x Productivity (215 comments)

what good does that do lard-ass? None. Bob's idea must be discussed in the next meeting. It *must* be refined and converted into an idea produced by the team

So? I thought on IP-hostile slashdot, ideas were worthless, only the execution of ideas count. So what's wrong if bob-rockstar does not get credit for a good idea?

about a week ago
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Elite: Dangerous Dumps Offline Single-Player

gnupun Re:Buyer Beware (472 comments)

It would be a donation if you pay and don't expect anything in return (eg: paying $100 for cancer or alzheimer's research and not getting anything new facts). But when you start complaining about what you're getting, it's no longer a donation.

I think a KS backer is a blend of a purchaser, investor (he/she provides capital but does not receive any equity), and a donor (many times the project does not result in a usable product).

about a week ago
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Do Good Programmers Need Agents?

gnupun Re:SHUT THE FUCK UP (215 comments)

there's no such thing as a god damn fucking "rock star" programmer. fuck off.

Okay, let's replace Linus with a good programmer from some corp. Let's also stop using C/Java (created by rockstar programmers) and use some a language created by yet another good programmer from some corp. Let's see how long your company survives without rockstar programmers.

about a week ago
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Elite: Dangerous Dumps Offline Single-Player

gnupun Re:Apparently "backers" don't understand the term (472 comments)

Kickstarter isn't capitalist, .

Okay, and the sky is not blue as well... Crowdfunding provides capital to entrepreneurs with much fewer strings attached (less consequences if you don't deliver the product, and no profit-sharing of with your so-called-investors). Crowd-funding IS capitalism.

... capitalists who give money to set up the business, do no work and (here's the crucial bit) skim off the profit

Wrong, providing capital is the work here. How many people will offer you tens-of-thousands or millions of dollars if you tell them there's a good chance they won't see a cent of that money again? They take a huge risk for which they demand a huge percentage of ownership of your company.

about a week ago
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Elite: Dangerous Dumps Offline Single-Player

gnupun Re:Buyer Beware (472 comments)

Good point. Kickstarter is billed as a micro-investment, but in reality it IS a donation.

If you're getting something in return, it's NOT a donation. In this case, it is prepayment for early access to a product. Of course, when you get nothing, or something below your expectations, it's more like a ripoff.

about a week ago
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MARS, Inc: We Are Running Out of Chocolate

gnupun Re: The Fix: Buy good Chocolate! (323 comments)

Money is only relevant as the temporary medium of exchange: a real step up from the inefficiency of barter. It's not wealth, and shouldn't be confused with wealth.

That's completely retarded and false. Money is used for virtual, fractional barter. The fractional part is useful because your sheep, you want to barter for sugar and salt, is worth more than both combined. So money helps you barter only 10% of the sheep's value for sugar and salt, instead of full sheep value. It does not seem valuable as it is only a pointer to the actual wealth.

about a week ago
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Italian Supreme Court Bans the 'Microsoft Tax'

gnupun Re:And so therefor it follows and I quote (353 comments)

Booting off Live CD or usb stick is not considered a normal mode of operation. It's only used occasionally by admins and power users, and almost never by normal consumers.

about 1 month ago
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Italian Supreme Court Bans the 'Microsoft Tax'

gnupun Re:And so therefor it follows and I quote (353 comments)

In many european countries there's laws against bundling two unrelated things together.

I think that statement is false. Without an OS, you can't even turn on your PC properly... The BIOS will error out saying "OS not found, press F1" or something like that, and that's broken from a consumer point of view. So an OS is not an unrelated part to the hardware, instead it's highly related and essential.

You can't sell a computer and an operating system bundled together without offering to sell the two separately.

If you want this option, you should build your own box. Normal customers want a computer with an OS installed but it doesn't have to be a Microsoft OS, just as the PC does not require just an Intel CPU or an NVidia graphics card.

about 1 month ago
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Italian Supreme Court Bans the 'Microsoft Tax'

gnupun Re:And so therefor it follows and I quote (353 comments)

It's like ordering a cheeseburger, and then demanding a refund for the cheese. Why didn't you just order a hamburger?

But you do have the right to choose a different type of cheese. You can choose microsoft cheese, bsd cheese, linux cheese.

I'm all for free software, but this reasoning sounds insane.

Even if linux/bsd are free, the company selling the linux/bsd PC will charge an OS bundling and testing charge. So the real question is, is the Italian Supreme court making it legal to sell hamburgers without the cheese?

about 1 month ago
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Italian Supreme Court Bans the 'Microsoft Tax'

gnupun Re:And so therefor it follows and I quote (353 comments)

Can I get a refund for my Mac OS too?

No, you can't. OS X was designed for Mac hardware and Mac hardware only. Also, what moron would throw away the best part (os x) of mac platform?

PC platforms are open architecture and not tied to Windows. You can run FreeBSD, Linux etc on these platforms. So, MS charging customers who use linux or BSD is fraud.

about 1 month ago
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Preferred smartphone screen size?

gnupun Re:iPhone 6 is too damn big (258 comments)

Why didn't they keep iphone 6 the same size as 5s as many people do prefer compact phones? They should keep iphone 6+ at 5.5".

about a month ago
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Employers Worried About Critical Thinking Skills

gnupun Re:Exactly who wants critical thinking skills? (553 comments)

What's the point of critical thinking if what your boss really wants to hear is whatever answer he thinks is going to benefit him (personally) best?

Isn't this an example of critical thinking?

about a month ago
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German Publishers Capitulate, Let Google Post News Snippets

gnupun Re:Free aggregation? A problem? (95 comments)

You pretend that Google displaying more than the headline and the link would keep people away from visiting the news site.

A Google news link has the same format as a slashdot story link. Google news shows the title of the story and a small snippet copied from a copyrighted article. Are you telling me there are no slashdotters who went to the comment section without RTFA? There are plenty, and so your statement is completely false. Google news snippets can and will prevent newspapers from getting the page hits.

2. The newspapers themselves often put the most essential bit of information in the headline.

Then why does google news also display a snippet. Remove the snippet.

3. Google sends MILLIONS of visitors per month to the newspapers.Even if it was true that displaying some of the content would stop some people from following the link, the net gain for the newspapers is still enormous.

No, it's quite debatable that there is a net gain for the news sites. After all, if I can get all the news stories from google news, why should I bother visiting any individual news site? I can just browse google news, scan the snippets, for which google is paying nothing, and only read certain cherry picked articles that interest me.

It's time google learnt to pay for copyrighted content instead of strong arming weaker entities into an unfair deal (you won't give us free content, we won't give you free traffic).

about a month ago
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German Publishers Capitulate, Let Google Post News Snippets

gnupun Re:Free aggregation? A problem? (95 comments)

It may be different in Germany, but otherwise I don't see how they are making money.

Well, they're still mulling how to make money off google news. Remember, google search and facebook also did not make any money for years after they were released. So, google news is not a non-profit, nor a charity.

I am far more likely to read more details (even with the 3-2 score type of thing you mention)

This is the heart of the matter... do you read every single article associated with a snippet you read? I highly doubt it. That's how many people read newspapers... they skim the articles (same as snippets) and only fully read certain very interesting articles. In this case, the copyright holder (newspaper) is not getting paid for the snippets consumed by the reader, instead the distributor (google) is getting paid (or will be paid once they have a revenue model). Google cannot and should not apply the same business model it applies to low-quality and/or free content it gets elsewhere from the web.

In fact, google owes the copyright holders a portion of its adsense revenue for displaying their content and profiting from it. Without that free content, adsense would be unable to make any money.

about a month ago
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German Publishers Capitulate, Let Google Post News Snippets

gnupun Re:Free aggregation? A problem? (95 comments)

They wanted Googles money and tried to exploit outdated laws written 100yrs ago to modern technology to try and extort that money.

The laws are not outdated. They allow papers to make money off their work. Google showing your slashdot comment or other non-professional content without permission is okay as you're gaining any income from your comment nor is it capable of generating much revenue.

There is a big difference between amateur and professional content. Google should try to reach an agreement with the papers about what to display and what to skip. For example, if the snippet states "Italy Beat Germany 3-2," along with many details, many readers might skip visiting the original site as they already have the information they want from the google snippet. In this case, the distributor (Google) makes money but the creator/copyright holder (News website) makes no money, which is not fair.

Nobody reads all the articles in a newspaper. Most read less than a dozen articles and only skim the headlines and the summary of the remaining articles. Are the newspapers going to be financially compensated for the revenue generated due to the snippets? That revenue is going 100% to google and that's not fair. It's very much like music distributors making all the money, while the music creators make nothing.

about a month ago

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