160 posts • joined Thursday 20th August 2009 14:06 GMT
I was reading The Register. Is the denialist panel off on holiday?
(Actually, congrats on publishing findings that go against your bias.)
"Now look ear"
Shouldn't that be a camera, then?
Just what I'd expect from those greedy f$¢!s... I haven't bought Exxon gas (and later, Mobil) since the Valdez disaster. Do you know that despite adjudication they still haven't paid reparations?
When I hear 'flexible display'
I think of the "phones" designed for Earth:Final Conflict, and it's cousins.
You think that's fun...try this!
[Reposted from CrooksandLiars.com]
March 28, 2013 07:00 AM
Walmart Wants You To Deliver Their Packages -- For Free
By Susie Madrak
Jesus, it's just too early in the day for this kind of insanity. Yes, you would <http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/28/us-retail-walmart-delivery-idUSBRE92R03820130328>"share" your car with Walmart's packages and they would give you a small discount to cover the cost of gas, but they wouldn't "share" your insurance costs if you get into an accident on the way, and you certainly wouldn't get paid for your time. In other words, you get to work FOR FREE! Feel the oligarchy!
(Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc is considering a radical plan to have store customers deliver packages to online buyers, a new twist on speedier delivery services that the company hopes will enable it to better compete with Amazon.com Inc.
Tapping customers to deliver goods would put the world's largest retailer squarely in middle of a new phenomenon sometimes known as "crowd-sourcing," or the "sharing economy."
Wal-Mart is making a big push to ship online orders directly from stores, hoping to cut transportation costs and gain an edge over Amazon and other online retailers, which have no physical store locations. Wal-Mart does this at 25 stores currently, but plans to double that to 50 this year and could expand the program to hundreds of stores in the future.
Wal-Mart currently uses carriers like FedEx Corp for delivery from stores - or, in the case of a same-day delivery service called Walmart To Go that is being tested in five metro areas, its own delivery trucks.
"I see a path to where this is crowd-sourced," Joel Anderson, chief executive of Walmart.com in the United States, said in a recent interview with Reuters.
[...] Wal-Mart has millions of customers visiting its stores each week. Some of these shoppers could tell the retailer where they live and sign up to drop off packages for online customers who live on their route back home, Anderson explained.
Wal-Mart would offer a discount on the customers' shopping bill, effectively covering the cost of their gas in return for the delivery of packages, he added.
Wow. I really didn't think Walmart could stoop any lower, but I see I underestimated them.
This is a company that has already "crowd sourced" their low wages by having the rest of us subsidize their food stamps. They also "crowd sourced" employee health insurance by holding workshops telling employees how to apply for Medicaid.
This, from a company that's owned by the <http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/1034216/american_dynasty%3A_wal-mart%27s_walton_family_has_the_wealth_of_48.8_million_families_combined>wealthiest family in America.
Why is this news?
Back in high school chemistry (!), we discussed how light passing through various mediums (OK, pedants: media — but no jokes about the press or TV, please) has different speeds. (This was in relation to Cherenkov radiation). Therefore, if vacuums are not truly vacuums nor consistently adulterated, it follows that the speed of light will similarly vary.
Hmmm...warmer in ancient Egypt?
Seems to me I remember hearing something about Atlantis...
Mine's the wetsuit
Well, of course...
being a Yank, I haven't seen said show, and cannot comment. I do remember, however, some years ago, a dig that showed there was a wooden Stonehenge twin (Woodhenge?) a short distance away.
But what do I know? I wasn't there...
A voice from the cheap seats...
Here in the States, Amazon Prime is quite a bargain. Selection and delivery are usually quite good — on time, with only one item damaged (it had been opened, damaged, returned and shipped out again as new) in a year — and that problem was reasonably swiftly taken care of. I used to use the Google Shopping page to compare prices, but since they've decided to feature those who pay them and ignore many others, I've stopped that. Will the Google service be tied into Google Shopping? That would be bad news for them, an extra day of delivery notwithstanding.
Into the bargain, Prime provides free Amazon video, which has a pretty large catalog. Is Google going to offer something to compete with THAT?
P.S. If more and more speed is your thing, check out James Gleick's "Faster" http://fasterbook.com/reviewpw.shtml
Factors not considered
I don't believe ANYONE has suggested that wind power can or should be the prime source of power. It must, of course, come in with other sources. Locally, it can be extremely useful. Recently, in New Mexico, the cost of wind powered electricity sank below that created with fossil fuels. Worldwide, we are approaching 1 TW output, with new generation rising (for the past few years, at least) at approximately 30%/yr.
Personally, I favor distributed power generation. Not everyone is equal, but (for instance) were I to install solar panels on my roof (in New Hampshire!), I would generate more electricity than I use. Of course, it would (at current prices — though those are falling) take 17 years to pay back the installation. If prices come down, and traditional costs go up (and this goes for all alternatives) that shortens the payback period. Some will do better with solar, some with wind, some with geothermal, etc. New building standards can help, too...
Around 1980 (!), Buckminster Fuller proposed linking the power grid globally, so that power generation on the night side could be used on the day side, with concomitant load balancing. Of course, that would require global cooperation. [stop laughing].
Amory Lovins (of the Rocky Mountain Institute) has been saying for years that the cheapest power is the power we don't use, which he terms 'negabarrels.' It's simply reducing the need. After all, when the world ran on whale oil, you would have been considered a freaking fruitcake if you said we could power the world on fossil petroleum. Even then, the Dutch had harnessed wind...
All in all, I suspect though cannot prove, that with adoption of these measures, we can created a sustainable energy environment, that meets our needs.
Only in America (maybe not...) can a corp make a huge profit and then get the government to pay them for it! This has been going on for decades. What's new is that there is no 'product.'
that perhaps the greatest inciter of these rumors is a speculative/suggestion-filled blog by Bruce Tognazzi, one-time design maven for Apple. That can be found at http://asktog.com/atc/apple-iwatch/
What worries me (as a shareholder) is what if all this foofaraw comes to naught?
I must defend American coffee drinkers
(Some of them, anyway...) Commercial American coffee is often (usually?) crap, whether it's the weak, old brews found in gas stations and offices everywhere or the burnt, overpriced stuff they sell at ubiquitous Starbucks. Please note: there are plenty of artisanal roasters, and ordinary folk with proper prep equipment. (drip or press pot for preference).
Beware of that big brush you're painting us with!
Obviously, I'm in the minority
Of course, as a Yankee (true New England variety), I can be forgiven (or accused), but...
Tea is, in some ways, like wine. No one would dare say that any particular vintage is THE perfect wine — it's a matter of what you like and what suits the occasion.
Therefore, I drink a variety of teas with a variety of methods. In any event, I always prefer my tea strong and without additives. If I really want to get into it, I prefer loose African tea (Kenyan or Tanzanian, for preference), in a warmed pot, 1 tsp/cup plus one for the pot (unless I'm using my 1.5 cup pot — then two will do). Water should be on the brink of boiling, but not rolling, as boiling deoxygenates the water (though that's a moot point). Steep four minutes.
If I don't have the time or inclination, I'll use a bag in a mug and have even microwaved the water. Steep four minutes. Among the bag teas I favor: Tetley's British Blend, Twining's Lady Grey, Bigelow's Constant Comment (this last is good with brandy, if you're feeling poorly...)
The Shape of Things to Come?
Imagine a world where everyone is 'on' all the time. (Get a hold of Asimov's "Buy Jupiter" or go see "Minority Report" again.) It might be nice to have a small spot where one could just be…
Re: Free Markets Reduce Emissions
Yes, nuclear fusion is the power of the future — and always will be!
Time is the fourth dimension. It was explained to me this way:
Take a line — that is the first dimension. Take another line at right angles to the first — that's the second dimension. Take a third line at right angles to both the first two — that's the third dimension. Now take a line at right angles to those three...
Re: How the Kessel Run was run
As long as we're being theoretical here, I've always believed that anything that could travel at the speed of light WAS light, so the problem is not so much achieving that speed, but slowing down and reconstituting yourself.
Someone told me a story once about how many advanced civilizations were able to achieve light speed, but could not return from it. That's why, when we have difficult tasks to perform, we turn a light on it — to bathe in their advanced intelligence!
Re: What really happens
A book I remember from the last century (called, I think, "Economics: What Went Wrong and Why, and Some Things to Do About It" <http://www.amazon.com/Economics-What-Wrong-Things-About/dp/0060390379/ref=sr_1_16?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1357949830&sr=1-16&keywords=what+went+wrong+economics>) described very well the argument you make, but in terms of asbestos: first, asbestos is mined — people make money and the GDP is raised, then it is installed — people make money and the GDP is raised, then when it is discovered to be carcinogenic, it is removed — people make money and the GDP is raised, workers get treated by medical personnel — people make money and the GDP is raised, then there are lawsuits — people make money and the GDP is raised. None of this takes into account the harms done, to workers, to ordinary people, to corporations like JohnsManville; none of which is good for people or "the economy," but great for GDP and those who profit. Those who think money and its constructs are more important than life, people and nature itself are suffering, IMHO, from a mental disorder — and we are much the worse for it, because it is considered laudatory and normal!
What really happens
Despite whatever truth lies in this article, it is rather an ivory tower (or should I say, corner office) approach to the problem. I point you to T.W.'s statement:
'…the people who usually lose the most are the shareholders of the acquiring company.'
Here are the steps in the usual merger/acquisition:
1) Acquiring Co. announces merger, citing 'synergy' or some such other BS.
2) Acquiring Co. tells the employees of Acquired Co. that nothing will change, except some consolidation at the top, to eliminate duplication of effort and increase efficiency.
3) Acquiring Co. and Acquired Co. officers receive (usually massive) bonuses.
4) Acquiring Co. begins layoffs, sometimes resulting in (temporary) share price rise
5) Promised synergy and efficiency fail to appear.
6) (optional but frequent) Acquiring Co. sells off Acquired Co. assets at a loss.
Whether this is "good for the economy" depends, I guess, on how you define economy. For the workers who are laid off, it certainly isn't good for their economy, nor for that of the towns where they live, when they can no longer shop happily. This, of course, has a knock-on effect. These are the ones who lose most.
The share-owning class, depending on their acumen, may well do better (or worse), but that's the game. The acquirers of the debased assets do well, but for instance, in the case of Rubbermaid being acquired by Newell (a rather typical transaction of this kind), those assets went to China.
Re: Right and wrong at the same time
@ Chris Lively
I agree, but the rise in CEO pay exceeds any reasonable factor, such as company size, and far exceeds historical norms. More to be said, but I'll leave it at that...
Re: Right and wrong at the same time
Sorry, I don't buy it. Family sizes have not changed so drastically from the fifties on, and even if I accept your caveat, the disparity in the numbers is too great to be accounted for by them.
I just heard today (from Howard Friedman, statistician for the UN — though I'm sure that's the kiss of death for you) that the combined wealth of the TWO richest PEOPLE in the US (Bill Gates and Warren Buffet) exceeds the wealth of the bottom 40% of the population. Among his findings: income inequality is one of America's greatest challenges.
Re: Left out...
and Space Precinct
Right and wrong at the same time
DISCLAIMER: I am writing from the US and my specific knowledge of UK finances is sorely lacking.
From that vantage, this seems like a straw man argument to me. It matters not a whit what the "share" is: what matters is facts on the ground. Here in the US, real wages for workers have not risen since the 70's, yet CEO pay (as of the turn of the century) had risen 535%. At the same time, the S&P 500 had risen 297%, corporate profits 116%, and worker pay 32.3% less inflation of 27.5%. While the minimum wage did rise in 2007, the disparity has only increased, and been exacerbated by offshoring and the economic debacle of recent years. Since many were tempted to use their homes as bank accounts (with the concomitant bubble) a huge number are now actually behind.
For comparison, from 1949—79, family income by quintile rose 116% for the bottom 20%, 100%, 111%, 114% and 99% for the top 20%, with the top 5% rising a 'mere' 86%. But from 1979—2001, the same figures are 3% for the bottom 20%, 11%, 17%, 26% and 53% for the top 20%, with the top 5% gaining 81%. (The source for this is the US Census Bureau).
Taxes, however, are currently at their lowest level since the Eisenhower administration. Despite the scapegoating of many on the right (with particular attention to Governors like Scott Walker of Wisconsin and their funders, like the Koch brothers) even the "generous" salaries and benefits of public sector workers pale — they can lead a decent lifestyle (and we can't have that, can we? If you are suffering, the right thing to do is pull down the person on the rung right above you. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.)
There is a group here (probably little known in the UK) callled ALEC (the American Legislative Exchange Council), though which the Koch brothers and their ilk write 'model laws' which have been passed word for word (excepting 'insert state name here') by many state legislatures. These are the source of the anti-union movement in this country — unions which had been declining for years anyway, not least because of their own shenanigans and abuse (I'm looking at you Teamsters).
I could go on for pages. (In fact, I have. I've written a book about these and other related matters, which you can find at http://www.lulu.com/product/hardcover/the-root-of-all-evil/6525037, should you be so inclined).
Just for fun
Re: Not enforcable anyway?
My understanding is that a contract is a meeting of the minds. Any so-called agreement that you cannot negotiate but must accept as-is is an adhesion contract and is thus unenforceable. That said, IANAL.
Further, it seems to me that these EULAs can be summarized as 'we have all the rights, you have all the liabilities' (and any draws go to the dealer...)
"Assembled in USA" or not, Apple's latest all-in-one-desktop is certainly not designed to be disassembled in USA – or anywhere else, for that matter – except by one of Apple's own repair techs."
In my experience, even they don't repair 'em— just give you a refurb (and who does that, and where?)
Re: Meanwhile, in the other camp...
Yea, verily! Under the even-handed journalism of el Reg [where? I can't find it], we will find every bit of data calling climate change into question, even if it has to be twisted into shape, and none of the many studies (including the one cited above) that show empirically what is happening before our eyes. On this score, O Reg, if we want truth or even unbiased inquiry, we must look elsewhere.
Gee, I wonder...
what the good people of the American midwest would make of this debate after this last year.
I have long held that the global climate is too complex a system to be accurately modeled and that 'climate is what you expect and weather is what you get,' so I prefer to be more empirical.
I've been saying this for years!
But I ascribe it to pollution — though that's an untested hypothesis...
Re: Hitler would be proud.
Don't know who said it, but "Never argue with the stupid. They'll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience."
Re: Was the vulture logo created by a jiffics artist on jiff paper?
When I was teaching this stuff, I told my students it could be pronounced either way, depending on whether you thought GIF stood for Graphic Interchange Format or General Interchange Format.
Conspiracy theorists' delight!
Wait! There's more!
Check out: Petraeus, Rove, and Paula Broadwell: I Smell A Rat
I just heard this morning
that Turkey imprisons by far more journalists and bloggers than any other country, including Iran and China, under its terrorism laws. Among other things, interviewing security personnel can put you on the midnight express...
Good Golly, Miss Molly!
I thought no one could beat the joke found here:
Perhaps these people have English anxiety
...or are merely buzzword-deficient. 'The Short Math Anxiety Rating-Scale (SMARS)?" Couldn't they have called it the Short Math Anxiety Rating-Tabulation (SMART)?
BTW, since this was an American study, the use of 'math' would be how they termed the activity. Do we really need to translate from English to English for Brits?
I think I see the problem here...
Time is running backwards in Redmond:
"Microsoft is giving away free upgrades to the Media Center Pack for free to customers who buy Windows 8 Pro between 26 October and 31 January, 2012."
a small world, after all!
The term 'SEP' was copyrighted by Douglas Adams — Somebody Else's Problem...
If you're collecting them...
consider Oklahoma G.O.P. Senate candidate Ian M. Hurt. Here, I quote an article from The Moderate Voice
Senate Candidate Claims Legitimate Rape Responsible for Global Warming
Oct 8, 2012 by <http://themoderatevoice.com/author/robert-a-levine/>ROBERT A. LEVINE, TMV Guest Voice Columnist
Oklahoma G.O.P. Senate candidate Ian M. Hurt caused an uproar last night when he asserted that legitimate rape is responsible for global warming and not fossil fuels…
According to Hurt, recent research at the Climatology Institute of America in Oklahoma City by Professor James Wright, has shown unequivocally that global warming is the result of forcible rape rather than from the burning of fossil fuels. (Wright’s research at the Institute has been funded by the Koch brothers.)
When a woman struggles against a rapist, the temperature in the immediate vicinity rises due to the generation of body heat. One rape alone has a minimal effect on global temperatures. However, multiple rapes throughout America and around the world have elevated atmospheric temperatures by two degrees Celsius over the last century, a much greater increase than would have normally been expected. It is believed that the temperature increase from rape may be even greater in the future. Wright asserts that the blame placed on fossil fuels by a number of climatologists for the temperature rise has been off base, propagated by radical environmentalists. …
Hurt has not yet responded to his opponent. In a written statement he has declared that if global warming is to be controlled, it is imperative that women not struggle when being forcibly raped but accept penetration passively. In this way, heat generation will be reduced and the climatic temperatures will slowly revert to normal over time.
…He realizes that liberal and moderates who are convinced that fossil fuel is the culprit in global warming will do a slow burn over his suggestions, but says he must speak his mind about his beliefs.
Hurt emphasizes that his refusal to drop out of the Senate race is based on his conviction that he was correct in his comments regarding climate change and rape. He sees no reason to apologize since the facts are the facts. …
Though Hurt says he understands that rape is not a pleasant experience for most women, they should think of the big picture while it is taking place, such as the melting ice caps, the rise of the sea level, the flooding of low lying islands, and the destruction of coastal cities with global warming. Thus, when they are being attacked, for the good of all mankind they should not resist the rapist and try to enjoy it. Of course, their consciences should guide them, but if the mindset of no resistance becomes generally accepted by women, climate change could be controlled within the next decade.
Women should also remember that, fortunately, they are capable of preventing any pregnancies that might result from the rapes, as has been medically proven by reputable investigators according to candidates Akin and Hurt. This has solidified their opposition to abortion even in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother, in line with the Republican platform. Now, given the potential that exists for catastrophic changes from global warming, Hurt and Akin believe that the concept of non-resistant rape should be put on the front burner and would like to see it added to the Republican platform. However, their new initiative thus far remains up in the air.
I despair for America and the world, or (as the religiosos might say) Jesus wept...
All You Can Eat...
Who says that's all you can eat? *I* said that's all you can eat!
attributed to Monsanto
"Of course it's natural! What do you think it is? Supernatural?"
Re: Studied contents of food, not effect on humans
Huzzah! Finally! It took 4 pages (and not Lewis) to get to this. Add in that many of the base studies in the metastudy were not at all rigorous. The most rigorous study I know of — a hundred-year study that we're about 10-15 years into — is only about one crop on one plot of land.
While it's been pointed at in this forum, there are also the business aspects. The organic label, especially here in the States, has often been taken (especially by corporate entities) as merely a way to jack up prices. Other corporations (I'm looking at you, Monsanto) really don't care about anything but their own bottom line. They foster a monoculture, which is dangerous in the event of some kind of blight, sue farmers who keep seed (assuming a given crop even has any) and even those whose fields are contaminated by blown-in pollen, and while increasing yield and nutrition (for instance, golden rice) in the short run, have no care for the long run. One such corporation even tried to patent basmati rice (even though you could say there's ample evidence —centuries!— of prior 'art').
There may be little or no *nutritional* difference, but as for taste, environmental sanity and chemical load, there *is* a difference.
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