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Comment internal memo from Satya Nadella... (Score 1) 208

My friend works as a developer within Microsoft and he just texted me saying he and his coworkers have all received a memo from the CEO using a metaphor of being on a 'burning platform' and asking if anyone knows of another company that can buy Microsoft and then after spending more billions of dollars just close the whole thing down out of frustration.

Any ideas?

Comment Re:Best attempted on Earth first! (Score 1) 215

I think automated mining is more viable than remote-controlled mining.

Terrastrial mining incorporates humans to optimize the energy / yield ratio. Since the target materials are not very valuable, energy efficiency is critical to the equation- earth mining operations can't afford to process a million cubic yards of material to extract a couple pounds of gold.

In a space / Mars mining operation, the input energy will have to be solar. The target materials will be as valuable as the cost of sending them from Earth to Mars, so very valuable- an ounce of water on Mars is far more valuable than an ounce of gold on Earth. These target materials (elements like iron or molecules like water) will likely also be easier to efficiently process out of the surrounding material. These dynamics make automated mining an attractive proposition in space (or on Mars).

Comment fellow F150 Lariat Owner Here... (Score 1) 292

I'm enjoying a used 2007 F150 Lariat I bought a few months ago. I intentionally shopped trucks without a touchscreen because I didn't want to haggle with a seller asking higher prices because of 'premium audio.'

I installed an Alpine ILX-007 bought off eBay for $480 along with a Camera Source backup camera purchased directly from the manufacturer for $268.

The Alpine is a CarPlay head unit that works great. It's a wired connection - NO BLUETOOTH. You can still do hands-free phonecalls. I have had several problems with bluetooth unexpectedly stealing my phone calls when my wife shows up with one of our cars in the driveway. So far, I am very happy with the Alpine CarPlay experience in the F150.

We also own a 2013 Ford Flex w/ the myTouch and I have literally punched that screen a few times. Consumer Reports initially gave the 2013 Flex a very enthusiastic review, then later retracted it due to the flawed myTouch system. I hope Ford gets a kick in the nuts over this garbage head unit.

Comment more and more consolidation (Score 1) 136

There are as many, if not more, businesses than there have ever been before.

I would like to see your source for that observation. Not as a challenge, but because it would provide a welcomed counterbalance to the consolidation I'm seeing in finance as of the past few decades.

Look at Gibson Guitar Corporation. Per this wikipedia article, the global sales of guitars began to decline, so they marshalled their resources and diversified by acquiring a bunch of other companies.

Gibson purchased Garrison Guitars in 2007.[21] In mid 2009 Gibson reduced its work force to adjust for a decline in guitar industry sales in the United States.[22] In 2011, Gibson acquired the Stanton Group, including Cerwin Vega, KRK Systems and Stanton DJ. Gibson then formed a new division, Gibson Pro Audio, which will deliver professional grade audio items, including headphones, loudspeakers and DJ equipment.[23] Gibson announced a partnership with the Japanese-based Onkyo Corporation in 2012. Onkyo, known for audio equipment and home theater systems, became part of the Gibson Pro Audio division.[24]

Every year, I see fewer and fewer independent companies out there. Especially in auto manufacturers. Other than Tesla, not a lot of new companies bringing cars to market. Instead, all the smaller companies are bought out by bigger companies. Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of Fiat / Chrysler, which owns a bunch of smaller car brands, is always trying to get more consolidation going in the auto industry.

Another example happened back in the late 2000s when Porsche attempted a hostile buyout of VW, and got too strung out in debt in the attempt and then VW turned around and ate Porsche.

Comment Re:So a guy that runs a ride sharing company. (Score 1) 274

....maybe it is time to get the "public" out of transportation.

Cost competitive with public buses? This weekend I dropped my truck off at a stereo shop in the south end of town (Austin, TX). Paid $2.50 for an all-day bus pass and came home. Did chores all day and rode the bus back down to the stereo shop to pick up my truck. That would've cost me over $20 with a ride hailing company.

Looking around at the other passengers on the bus with me, I got a sense many weren't really positioned financially for becoming ride hailing customers. At least one was in a wheelchair that required a lift that wouldn't be equipped on many privately-owned vehicles. Advocating for ride hailing to replace mass transit does not consider the needs of those for whom the bus is the only transportation 'option'.

Additionally, if a ride hailing car travelled to my house (empty) took me to the stereo shop, then returned to the driver's house (empty), that would add two unoccupied trips on the public street that wouldn't have occurred had I ridden the bus or driven myself. If you multiply those empty trips times the number of people on the bus, suddenly there would be a lot more cars on the street not carrying passengers and slowing everyone else down with greater congestion.

Comment Re:So a guy that runs a ride sharing company. (Score 1) 274

Taxi availability thus far has been constrained by city regulations designed to protect the commons from congestion. The philosophy behind limiting the number of taxis on the road at any given time is also intended to motivate people to use mass transit instead of inefficient taxi services.

Ride hailing companies have successfully flaunted these regulations due to widespread political support among people who are only thinking of their own convenience over the bigger picture. Ride hailing puts more cars on the road performing empty trips creating congestion and pollution. Instead of voting in support of bond elections to implement planned mass transit systems, people are placated by "I want it now. Me!" provided by ride hailing.

Comment Is Fiscal 2016 over with already? (Score 0) 100

Per the statement released by HP about SGI--

The company has approximately 1,100 employees worldwide, and had revenues of $533 million in fiscal 2016.

Have they already closed the books on 2016 earnings? Heck yeah they need to get bought. The hardware running their accounting software is literally more than a month faster than anything I've seen in the industry.

Comment Poison Pill embedded intentionally (Score 4, Insightful) 144

Marrissa Mayer knew what she was doing. If this agreement actually exists, it was intentionally engineered to help resist a hostile takeover or shareholders forcing a liquidation of assets. Mayer took this job knowing that if either of those scenarios played out, she would be dumped without the track record to get another job of similar scale. Setting up this contract with Mozilla is one way she has been able to retain her control thus far.

Poison Pill

Comment mess with robot == create more jobs for humans! (Score 1) 263

Though the purpose of this technology is to reduce workforce headcount, as humans, we can ensure a certain number of us remain employed in this space.

Every visit, bring a few lengths of old garden hose. Lay them out in the routes the robot takes. From my experience with our Roomba, I would expect this will prevent the security robot from completing its appointed rounds. A human will be dispatched to remove the garden hose from the path. That human will grumble about how someone keeps messing with the robot by leaving this gardenhose laying about, while not realizing this is a gift of charity to the human who is paid to remove the hose-- job security for the security job.

Comment Re:So it replaces a security guard (Score 1) 263

But it'll eventually get there, and we (as a society) really need to be discussing how we're going to handle that new world where most jobs have been automated.

Challenge accepted!

Automation is about pushing more wealth to the ruling class and minimizing unavoidable costs. Every time a job like this gets automated, displaced workers head to another employment pool. As those pools get crowded, the salaries go down.

"Plumbers will always make a good living."

"Until the displaced security guards get minimal training by a contracting firm and there is a flood of certified plumbers."

Comment Re:I'm sure this will be just great. (Score 1) 337

The more claimed victims, the more improbable it becomes that they did not inform the authorities and seek prosecution for that activity.

Or, perhaps it means the perpetrator developed a well-refined method of getting dirt on victims, perpetrating the assault, then blackmailing them into silence.

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