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Is Alibaba Comparable To a US Company?

perpenso NYSE:BABA Cayman Islands variable-interest entity (74 comments)

Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE: BABA) is a publicly traded Hangzhou-based group of Internet-based e-commerce businesses, including business-to-business online web portals, online retail and payment services, a shopping search engine and data-centric cloud computing services.

That business is **not** what is traded on the NYSE under BABA. What is actually traded is a Cayman Islands "variable-interest entity". It seems that foreigners are not allowed to own shares in the business you describe.
http://www.marketwatch.com/sto...

4 hours ago
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Is Alibaba Comparable To a US Company?

perpenso US investors don't have shares in Alibaba ... (74 comments)

You seem to be speaking of Alibaba the Chinese retailer, so you are off on a tangent since that is not what US investors are putting their money into.

What US investors are buying is interest in a Cayman Island “variable-interest entity”. Stockholders won't have the usual influence on corporate governance or management, such as it is. My understanding is that Chinese law doesn't allow foreigners to own a Chinese strategic asset. So this Cayman Island entity was created.

http://www.marketwatch.com/sto...

4 hours ago
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Why a Chinese Company Is the Biggest IPO Ever In the US

perpenso US investors don't own Alibaba the retailer ... (186 comments)

On the other hand who owns Alibaba's 120 billion? Americans now.

US investors don't own Alibaba, the Chinese retail giant. Chinese law doesn't allow foreigners to own a Chinese strategic asset. What US investors are buying is interest in a Cayman Island “variable-interest entity”. Stockholders won't have the usual influence on corporate governance or management.
http://www.marketwatch.com/sto...

yesterday
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Study: Chimpanzees Have Evolved To Kill Each Other

perpenso Re: Known for a long time (216 comments)

There speaks a Fox News fan!

No, a "Real Time with Bill Maher" on HBO fan. Its a great show, the guests/debate often interesting, but fact filled when Bill is speaking -- not quite.

2 days ago
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Study: Chimpanzees Have Evolved To Kill Each Other

perpenso Re:Not just Chimps and Humans (216 comments)

Wolves will kill members of other packs that trespass on their pack's hunting range. Within a pack killing is extremely rare. The fighting within a pack is dominance and discipline related, it will almost always stop short of serious injury or death.

2 days ago
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Apple's "Warrant Canary" Has Died

perpenso Re:There is no "almost impossible" (229 comments)

No. It's impossible to add 2+2 and get 5. It's almost impossible to convince a pedant they're wrong.

You are wrong about 2+2=5 being impossible. Any C++ programmer can accomplish that. :-)

2 days ago
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Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

perpenso Was Blackberry ever secure ? (501 comments)

Blackberry used to be secure until they wanted to sell phones in India and the Indian government demanded a backdoor in order for them to sell phones there.

Was Blackberry ever secure? I thought that they always had the user's encryption key. No backdoors or changes necessary. It was simply that the government demanded that they turn over the user keys that they already possessed.

2 days ago
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Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

perpenso Or your fingerprint ... (501 comments)

So everything is protected by a 4 digit passcode?

Or your fingerprint, and where would the police get your fingerprint?

2 days ago
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Snowden's Leaks Didn't Help Terrorists

perpenso Two groups saying two different things ... (182 comments)

No matter how conclusively this is proven, these idiot officials will continue to use Snowden as their scapegoat.

Is there a conclusion? The two groups seem to be saying two very different things.

".. a new independent analysis of Edward Snowden's revelations on NSA surveillance that examined the frequency of releases and updates of encryption software by jihadi groups has found no correlation in either measure to Snowden's leaks about the NSA's surveillance techniques ..."

"... changed communications practices and patterns of terrorist groups ..."

Communications practices and patterns seems much broader than encryption software releases and updates, the encryption software being one of many possible things. Plus what about downloads and usage, wouldn't that be a better metric than a software release/update schedule? Its not clear that the independent analysis contradicts the NSA.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

perpenso Re:Ya, but... (391 comments)

Can you back that up with data?

http://joshblackman.com/blog/2013/10/28/which-undergraduate-majors-score-the-highest-on-lsat/

The best post-undergrad standardized test for critical thinking skills is the LSAT. Looking at the scores broken down by major, more STEM degrees appear in the upper half, but some, like Computer Science, don't fare too well, getting beaten by many non-STEM fields.

Go find a STEM major to explain selection bias and other related systematic errors in field of statistics. ;-)

4 days ago
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Why Apple Should Open-Source Swift -- But Won't

perpenso Re:The FSF overreached with GPL v3 ... (182 comments)

They clearly want to be free to f*ck you over later.

Quite the opposite. As an AC reminds us LLVM/clang is modular and better integrates into Integrated Development Environments and other development tools. Its quite the technical win in that respect.

Gcc intentionally thwarts such integration to avoid exposing various internals and creating a possible path around the GPL. I.e. politics is limiting the engineering, integration and usability of gcc.

So there are technical motivations to move to LLVM as well.

4 days ago
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Why Apple Should Open-Source Swift -- But Won't

perpenso Re:The FSF overreached with GPL v3 ... (182 comments)

> Apple, and others, stopped using the "truly free" gcc because GPL v3 became quite restrictive.

There's nothing in there that should scare off anyone.

GPL v3 includes language to thwart anti-circumvention efforts, anti-tivo'ization requiring installation information like signing keys, etc.

I believe Linus has spoken against the anti-tivoazation clause in the GPL v3.

If someone is bothered by the GPL3 in a project like C++ compiler, then you should be very suspicious of their motives. They clearly aren't interested in playing nice or being a good citizen.

They played nice and were good citizens with GPL v2 for many years.

Plus Apple was a good citizen by supporting many FOSS projects and releasing various internal projects as FOSS.

http://www.opensource.apple.co...

They clearly aren't interested in playing nice or being a good citizen. They clearly want to be free to f*ck you over later.

I'm suspicious of people who see things so "clearly". :-)

4 days ago
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Why Apple Should Open-Source Swift -- But Won't

perpenso The FSF overreached with GPL v3 ... (182 comments)

Yeah, but as I recall wasn't the whole reason for clang that they wanted to stop using GCC, as it's truly free software? Perhaps my recollection is incorrect.

Or perhaps you are viewing things through political filters.

Apple, and others, stopped using the "truly free" gcc because GPL v3 became quite restrictive.

The FSF overreached with GPL v3, they tried to be too forceful, they overestimated their importance and irreplaceability. The market responded by moving towards LLVM, a less restrictive option.

4 days ago
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Paypal Jumps Into Bitcoin With Both Feet

perpenso Re:Taxed when you spend, not just when you sell (134 comments)

You can object to the notion all you want, but as far as your tax return goes, that's exactly how you have to treat transactions in Bitcoins, as if you sold the Bitcoins for dollars at the moment of purchase.

Denominating the value of your trade in dollars does not change the fact that the coins are sold by someone else. And it does not change the fact that this someone else pays the merchant a different value than what they received from the sale, i.e. the merchant is paid the exact dollar amount specified at the beginning of the transaction regardless of the actual proceeds from the sale. There are three transactions reported to the IRS here and only one is a sale of bitcoins.

5 days ago
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California Declares Carpooling Via Ride-Share Services Illegal

perpenso Re: Can we please cann these companies what they a (288 comments)

You can't argue about the sovereign rights of individuals and ignore the sovereign rights of the state. Regulating and taxing commercial behavior is among those rights of the state, and if you are accepting money rather than generously offering hospitality then you are acting in a commercial manner.

about a week ago
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California Declares Carpooling Via Ride-Share Services Illegal

perpenso Commercial vs private is a solved problem ... (288 comments)

What does "... for profit" mean? If you consume $6 in gas and you friend gives you $5, paying $2 more than their share, is that "for profit"?

If you have someone over for dinner and they pay more than their share or the groceries that go into the meal, are you running a restaurant for profit?

Really? Don't act like this is black and white.

Actually it is pretty black and white if we look at precedent. In particular general aviation.

To greatly simplify FAA rules, taking money beyond the other person's share of the fuel cost OR allowing the other person influence over when and where the plane goes, makes the flight commercial rather private and requires the pilot to have a commercial license rather than a private license.

So according to precedent, receiving $2 beyond the other person's share of fuel would make the drive commercial not private.

Think about it, if it is truly just sharing a ride then the driver's fuel cost is $3, but the driver received $5. The driver did come out $2 ahead, that would be the private sharing perspective. Arguing that the driver is $1 short of actual fuel costs is an absolutely commercial perspective, as if the driver wasn't going to make that drive anyway.

about a week ago
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Publishers Gave Away 123 Million Books During World War Two

perpenso Re:You make the other side's point ... (121 comments)

That dehumanization of the enemy and the lofty patriotic goals that you refer to, the combat vets I've know have said that was all just Hollywood. That's for the civilians at home and that the guys at the front generally knew that such things were BS. That they fought to protect themselves and the guys next to them. That quote from earlier, "don't confuse the people who fight wars with the people who start wars", that vet was referring to both sides. Other vets expressed the same sentiment to me. The only ones that they truly wanted to kill were the leaders in Berlin and Tokyo, and possibly the closely held political troops of the leadership like the SS. As for the regular forces it was regrettable that they got between them and the leadership, a necessary evil. Similar story today. It being regrettable that some Afghan farmer decided to pick up a rifle and get between them and Al Queda or Taliban leadership, a necessary evil.

about a week ago
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Publishers Gave Away 123 Million Books During World War Two

perpenso Re:Not all contributions / sacrifice are equivalen (121 comments)

I've known numerous combat vets from various wars and several vets who served during peacetime. None ever had any intention of dying for their country. I trust your just "being smart ass" again. :-)

As for joining the military to learn some trade or earn money for college, that absolutely happens. However even in peacetime these people are making a voluntary choice to risk life and limb and to forfeit personal liberties for an extended period of time. I know a Navy Corpsman who is saving up money for college, plans to go to med school, and then plans on returning to the Navy to pay for med school. In fairly recent times he was part of a humanitarian medical mission to Africa. Some really hairy stuff happens that never makes it to the news. By hairy I mean the corpsman has exited the Humvee with his M4 out as the driver speaks with the AK-47 toting locals blocking the road with their Toyota. When you enlist such stuff may be an unlikely remote possibility but you have basically agreed to take such risks at the discretion of your superiors.

about a week ago
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Publishers Gave Away 123 Million Books During World War Two

perpenso Re:You make the other side's point ... (121 comments)

"for others" in my original statement is a euphemism for one's fellow citizens. So no, the mercenary is not doing the same thing.

And truthfully, neither is the soldier. The military hasn't been acting for benefit the general public in a long time, if ever.

Here is a second bit of wisdom that the WW2 paratrooper taught me as a child: "Don't confuse the people who fight wars with the people who start wars. They are not the same people. Soldiers don't get to choose what wars they will fight, what Presidents they will trust."

Plus the mercenary can break their contract and leave if they do not like the mission or lose faith in their leadership/mangagement

Ignoring for a second that you are saying soldiers are better because they can't turn back when they realize that they are actually committing horrific crimes, ...

One of the few privileges that a U.S. soldier has is to refuse to commit a horrific crime. Save the hyperbole for political rants.

... I'm not sure that a mercenary quitting would be a great idea for their well being, since whoever hired you would have access to other mercenaries.

Other mercenaries who probably also lack confidence in the mission and/or the leadership and after re-calculating the risk/reward see breaking the contract as the best outcome.

about a week ago

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