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Culberson As Chair of NASA Fundng Subcommittee Makes Europa Mission More Likely

jratcliffe Re:Noooooooo! (56 comments)

Hey, a deal's a deal. We didn't get Sun 2, the aliens don't get Europa as their private playground.

yesterday
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Customers Creating Fake Amazon Pages To Get Cheap Electronics At Walmart

jratcliffe Re:wont last (266 comments)

Walmart's cost of goods sold (i.e. the % of revenue that gets spent on the products they sell, doesn't include cost of labor, rent, light, etc.) is 75%, slightly above Amazon's 73%. So, WalMart is, on average, charging a SMALLER markup than Amazon.

yesterday
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Customers Creating Fake Amazon Pages To Get Cheap Electronics At Walmart

jratcliffe Re:wont last (266 comments)

Quite a number of states (Cali and Wisconsin come to mind) have laws prohibiting loss leaders, usually only if they're viewed as predatory pricing (i.e. trying to drive competitors out of business).

Wisconsin has a law that sets a minimum margin for gasoline. Idea is to prevent large operators with other revenue streams (i.e. a supermarket with a couple of gas pumps) from selling below cost to bring in shoppers, thereby driving out small operators

yesterday
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Customers Creating Fake Amazon Pages To Get Cheap Electronics At Walmart

jratcliffe Re:Genius. (266 comments)

"they talk about people with amazon seller accounts creating sales in order to have them matched"

No, they're not creating "sales." They're creating sales pages they have no intention of actually delivering. Unless you think that the people pulling this scam would have happily shipped out hundreds of PS4s at $80 each, when the orders came in.

yesterday
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Customers Creating Fake Amazon Pages To Get Cheap Electronics At Walmart

jratcliffe Re:Oh, boy! (266 comments)

The underlying data (through 2012) is here. Minimum wage (in 2012 $) peaked in 1968 at $10.34, has averaged (from 1938-2012) $7.09/hour in 2012 $.

In inflation-adjusted terms, the minimum wage was lower than current levels until 1956, above current levels from 1956 to 1984, and then mostly below current levels again since 1984 (with the exception of 1997-1998).

yesterday
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Customers Creating Fake Amazon Pages To Get Cheap Electronics At Walmart

jratcliffe Re:Genius. (266 comments)

There's "gaming the system" and there's fraud. This isn't clipping Home Depot coupons and taking advantage of Lowe's willingness to accept competitor coupons. This is forging your own Home Depot coupons on your computer, printing them out, and using them at Lowe's, since you know that Home Depot won't accept the forgeries.

2 days ago
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US Marshals Auctioning $20M Worth of Silk Road's Bitcoins

jratcliffe Re:How much more screw up can our government get? (119 comments)

They're not selling them on the exchanges precisely BECAUSE they want to avoid sharply pushing down the price of Bitcoin. $20M is about five days worth of volume on the USD/BTC exchanges. If you tried to dump that much volume into the exchanges, it would crush the price of Bitcoins vs. the US$.

4 days ago
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US Marshals Auctioning $20M Worth of Silk Road's Bitcoins

jratcliffe Re:But the case hasn't even started! (119 comments)

Ignore my post, I've got this completely wrong. Oh, for an edit or delete button.

4 days ago
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US Marshals Auctioning $20M Worth of Silk Road's Bitcoins

jratcliffe Re:Anonymous (119 comments)

Who says the money isn't "real?" Bitcoin clearly do have value.

4 days ago
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US Marshals Auctioning $20M Worth of Silk Road's Bitcoins

jratcliffe Re:I bid $10 (119 comments)

Essentially, they're just converting currencies. If they had seized a large pile of Yen, they could just convert it to US$, since there are highly liquid markets to do that. With Bitcoin, there isn't the liquidity to run a transaction of this size through any of the exchanges, so they're auctioning them off. Investors do similar things with stocks every day - if you're a mutual fund, and you want to sell 10k shares of AAPL (which trades about 50 million shares a day), you just sell it through an exchange. If you want to sell 10 MILLION shares, you probably negotiate a price with a major bank, since trying to dump that much stock on the open market will crush the price.

4 days ago
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US Marshals Auctioning $20M Worth of Silk Road's Bitcoins

jratcliffe Re:But the case hasn't even started! (119 comments)

They're auctioning them off because Ulbricht has explicitly denied that they're his. He's in a tough position - if he claims them as his own, he's acknowledging that he was running Silk Road.

4 days ago
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Machine-Learning Algorithm Ranks the World's Most Notable Authors

jratcliffe Some really weird results (55 comments)

So, based on this algorithm, the #1 priority author would be Sherrilyn Kenyon (who writes paranormal romance), followed by Al Sarrantonio (who writes horror, and puts together a bunch of anthologies), and Muammar Gaddafi (yes, that Muammar Gaddafi). Number six is Gardner Dozois, who's also (like Sarrantonio) an anthologist.

If this is designed to be popularity-based (e.g. designed to determine what people most want to see get scanned/uploaded/entered/produced by something like Gutenberg, rather than an assessment of the aesthetic/historical value of the works), an algorithm that puts these folks at the top, and puts massively popular authors like Stephen King (867) and Tom Clancy (1883) far down the list, is more that a bit suspect

4 days ago
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No, You Can't Seize Country TLDs, US Court Rules

jratcliffe Re:Any info on the original court case? (118 comments)

The case was brought by a number of parties, who have separate claims against Iran, North Korea, and Syria. All have gotten judgments, now they are trying to collect on them. For the North Korea judgment, the claim results from a 1972 terrorist attack in Israel. The attackers were actually Japanese, part of a Japanese terrorist group called the Japanese Red Army, loosely linked (if I remember correctly) to the German Red Army Faction, and backed by a Palestinian terrorist group (offshoot of the PFLP), the same folks who hijacked the plane to Uganda, resulting in the "Raid on Entebbe." The court ruled that the terrorists' training had been funded at least in part by North Korea.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

about two weeks ago
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European Parliament Considers Sharing Passenger Information By Default

jratcliffe Re:This data is collected at hotel checkin already (58 comments)

Have had to in Italy, Germany, the UK, Netherlands, Austria, probably several more.

As to the ID and credit card thing in the US, that's the hotel's doing - they want to make sure they get paid, and that the person using John Smith's credit card actually is John Smith, and not some guy who's going to raid the minibar and walk out with the towels and the TV.

about two weeks ago
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Google's Lease of NASA Airfield Criticized By Consumer Group

jratcliffe Consumer Watchdog (138 comments)

The group clearly has a bee in their bonnet about Google. Pretty much every month, they put out a big press release attacking something the company does.

http://insidegoogle.com/

about two weeks ago
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U.S. and China Make Landmark Climate Deal

jratcliffe Re:Quite the poker player (285 comments)

Note that if AGW is NOT an existential threat, it's probably not important to bother with landmark agreements that won't accomplish anything meaningful anyway.

So, we should never have any international treaties about anything that's not an existential threat? Got it. Let's dump that pesky Geneva Convention, the human race will survive whether or not prisoners are tortured. Let's also drop those treaties around the use of space - if we end up with satellites in the same orbital slot, interfering with each other's signals, it won't result in the end of the human race.

Ever consider that something that's not absolutely perfect in every possible way could still be an improvement over the status quo? A car doesn't get you from point A to point B instantly, does that mean we should just walk everywhere? Of course not.

about two weeks ago
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U.S. and China Make Landmark Climate Deal

jratcliffe Re:Quite the poker player (285 comments)

China's producing 7.2 tons per person. The US is producing 16.5 tons per person.
http://www.bbc.com/news/scienc...

The US is committing to cutting its emissions to 14.1 tons per person (down 27% from 19.3 in 2005). That's still 2x China's current level. Why on earth would China agree to forever have half the emissions per capita of the US?

about two weeks ago
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GNOME Project Seeks Donations For Trademark Battle With Groupon

jratcliffe Re:Let lawyers do it free, in exchange for % damag (268 comments)

How come in the USA with its huge surplus of lawyers, they aren't some willing to take the case for free, in exchange for a percentage of damages against a publicly traded company like GroupOn?

Because, if GNOME prevails, there wouldn't be damages, just the rejection of Groupon's trademark applications.

about two weeks ago

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