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Comment Re: FINALLY! (Score 1) 270

The original AMD 8088 goes back to the days when it was routine for manufacturers of electronic products to insist on second sources being available. It was a true second source of Intel's chip, based on the same die design but made in different foundries. AMD's 80286 was also based on Intel's design. Intel then decided not to share later designs with AMD, so all their later x86 chips were at least partly designed by AMD.

AMD's first fully in-house design was the K5, but it and the follow-on K6 preserved pin compatibility with the original Pentium. The K7 (Athlon) was the first one to diverge farther from Intel's chips; it was not pin-compatible and required its own motherboard design. The K8 (Athlon 64) was the first chip with the x86-64 instruction set extension that was later also adopted by Intel.

Comment Re:Nice. (Score 1) 183

You're not getting to keep $3/box. The current price for sending Media Mail is $2.63 for retail packages, or $2.51 for commercial shipment of packages with basic presort. It comes down to $1.82 if you can do 5-digit presort but you have to be sending a LOT of packages to qualify for that rate. Books are a bit cheaper to ship commercially because they qualify for the bound printed matter rate, which varies from $1.40 to $1.75 depending on where it is going. (That's the presorted rate; carrier route is a bit cheaper but no bookseller is likely to be shipping enough books to qualify for that rate, it's pretty much just for magazines.)

Those numbers don't include packaging; they're just the amount you pay the Postal Service. To that you have to add the cost of the envelope or box, the cost of the address label and the tape, and pay yourself or somebody for their time.

Comment Re:Nice. (Score 1) 183

They do care if you are happy. Unhappy customers don't generate much repeat business.

Amazon is all about getting you to buy things from them regularly, even offering things like subscriptions to get regular shipments of household supplies and special electronic buttons that they give away to make it easier to order things. Yes, they charge you $4.99 for the button but it comes with a $4.99 credit that you get the first time you use it. And they sometimes have sales where they sell the buttons for $0.99... but you still get the $4.99 credit when you use it, which means they are PAYING you $4 to take the button.

Comment Re: Nice. (Score 1) 183

The key phrase is "fulfilled by Amazon". If you see that, Amazon isn't the company that is selling you the goods. Amazon's friendly return policies may not apply.

However, Amazon does have some buyer protections in place for anything that is bought through their site, even if it is actually sold by a third party. (The exact protections vary depending on the type of merchandise; they're weakest for software and digital goods.) That makes the site safer overall than eBay. eBay's buyer protection applies to fewer purchases and their protection policies are weaker than Amazon's.

Comment Re: Nice. (Score 1) 183

You can also get same day delivery of some things from Amazon if you live in or near one of the cities where they offer that service. It's only available in places where Amazon has its own delivery workers, not in places that only get deliveries from the USPS or the big private delivery companies.

When Amazon first started offering same day delivery here in Boston, there was controversy because the map of the areas where they offered it had a big hole in the middle of the city - that was Roxbury, which is a relatively poor neighborhood that is populated primarily by people of color. Amazon relented and offered the service city-wide, probably because of the bad publicity they were getting.

Comment Re:Nice. (Score 1) 183

Postal rates went up. So has the cost of packaging. It's true that the cost of sending a used book or disc is probably closer to $3 than $4 even after the increases, but there is also the weird phenomenon of selling things for $0.01 plus shipping. That would obviously be an unsustainable business model if the cost of shipping and packaging equaled the charge for those things. If Amazon were to lower the shipping rate on those items, the sellers would just have to increase their prices to compensate.

Comment Re:I'm not surprised. (Score 2) 900

I don't think I can agree with that. There are plenty of bad jobs held by both men and women.

Men predominate in the jobs that require extremes of physical labor, which isn't surprising because on average they are larger and stronger. Things like manual labor, trash collection, and any kind of working with heavy machinery are good examples. On the other hand, nursing and cleaning, two jobs where women predominate, can both be very physically demanding jobs in their own way; they don't require quite the same peaks of strength but they are unrelenting. And being waitstaff is equal opportunity awfulness - though it can be a good job if you do it in a restaurant that is good to work for.

Comment Re:Good grief. Idiot or Troll? (Score 1) 900

Women are not going into science and engineering. It is, however, difficult to tease out whether that is a true choice that reflects personal inclinations. Women are less likely to be encouraged to go into those fields from a young age. If they do, they often encounter a culture that is hostile to women.

It particularly saddens me that the culture of software development has become an unfriendly one for women. That was far less true in the early days of the field. The rise of brogrammer culture, so far as I can tell, started in the 90s; before that there was frequently indifference to the needs of women (especially about scheduling things like childcare responsibilities) but not the degree of active hostility that came later.

Comment Re:Astroturfing Trolls (Score 1) 900

There are indeed systemic biases both ways. Men are more likely to get promotions to management, and the salary and responsibilities that come with those promotions. Partly that's because women choose not to take on the necessary hours or are unable to do so because of childrearing responsibilities, but there is also discrimination against women who want those positions.

On the other hand, the bias against men in family court is well known and documented. All else being equal, women are more likely to get child custody than men are, even adjusting for the fact that men are less likely to ask for it. And men are more likely to be required to pay child support, even if the woman earns more money. A man getting sole custody? Forget about it unless the woman is grossly incompetent or criminal.

Both of these biases operate to maintain the status quo of gender role division. Women have a harder time getting jobs that would let them be the primary or sole income earner, while men have a harder time taking responsibility for children. Both get steered in the direction that society deems appropriate for them, and that's a real problem for the people who want to follow another path.

Comment Re:Astroturfing Trolls (Score 1) 900

Comparing men and women in the same job is not the end of the story. There is also the fact that fewer women are in the higher paying management jobs because those jobs aren't being offered to women. Men with the same amount of experience and talent move up the corporate ladder; women don't.

Comment Re:But this isn't sexism. (Score 2) 900

There are differences in the fit: on a women's jacket the waist will be smaller in relation to the shoulder size, the jacket will be shorter, and the arms will be shorter and thinner. The arm length is the most important issue; the arms on a male jacket that otherwise fits are likely to be too long for many women.

Oh yeah... the zipper will be on the other side. But women can generally deal with that.

No, they weren't offered men's jackets. They were told that they were not getting them at the last minute, after the order had been placed. Uber told them they could get jackets if they could find some at the same price as the bulk order... but at that point even getting the SAME jackets would no longer be the same price because they would not be part of the order. If management had dealt with the situation earlier they probably could have found a satisfactory solution; I think it's clear that they had no intention of doing anything of the sort.

Comment Re: FCC can't help ... (Score 1) 209

Your car has a high quality FM tuner and a decent antenna that is outside the car and you use it outdoors. Your cell phone does not have as good a receiver or antenna and you'll probably use it inside a building, so the range will be much smaller. Still better than nothing.

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