4088 posts • joined 30 Nov 2011
Who are you Mr. Infernoz that you dare question a study done by Level 7 study makers? Huh? That's what I thought you skanky 5. In the future you will show proper respect for your betters.
If it makes you feel better, it is perfectly acceptable to humiliate and browbeat Level's 3 and 4.
Re: Do I actually have to talk to anyone...
Bah. Words are unnecessary if you appear to be suitably aloof and introspective. Not acting like a dick, just so preoccupied with weighty matters that you simply don't have the resources to do more than take comfort by watching the Earthlings enjoy their last few hours of existing as anything other than a tasty, but low carb, snack.
Try to position yourself where you are in full view of the other patrons, but don't say anything. Communicate with the beer bringer only in writing and in less than 20mins people will view your silence as a challenge. It is also very effective to bring a small easel and paper and draw caricatures of the patrons using only crayons. It is crucial that you make liberal use of red but only as the 'action detail', not their clothes or anything. Also write a very short sentence, in red, under each drawing. Words and sentences like 'soon' ,'whispers', 'remorse', 'damp', 'silent echoes of eternity', 'trapped', 'original sin', 'visitor', 'wither', 'slough', 'innocence' and 'Purest Breakfast Sandwich' work well.
Wordlessly give the drawing to the subject and hold out your hand as if for money. It helps if you can do a lazy eye or an eye twitch. It's great fun.
Will El Reg be validating parking? If not, are stables available nearby? Where's the nearest place to tether my airship? Everybody in London gets all weak kneed and wet in the pants every time I get even close to the city with my airship. Screaming about blackouts and rations. If blackouts are that common there I suggest you drink less. Putin has done wonders in cutting down alcohol abuse in Russia. Maybe you could invite him over for a few generations. He seems to enjoy getting out.
Also, will you be running dozens of patio heaters inside and regulating the temperature with air conditioning? What types of fissile materials should we bring? If everybody brings enough there won't be any need to concern ourselves with the heating and A/C bills.
Hey! You know what? If they've one of those really big copper vats for beer brewing we could huck some radioactive material in there and drink it like the Japanese do (that's why they're so clever you see). We could get someone monstrous blocks of ice and melt them with the indoor patio heaters and have a barroom engineering contest to see who can design the best boat using only materials found in the bar (any bottles or vessels must be emptied, by drinking, before use in a boat).
Holy shit! We could put up some windmills and make them go with up-drafts from the patio heaters that are keeping the A/C from being too cold and melting the ice blocks. We've got these huge truck mounted lights here (we use them to light up pit mines at night to get broken heavy equipment out). I'm sure we could dismount them from the trucks though.
We put the lights inside the bar, along the biggest PV array we can get through the door. We'll use electricity from the windmills to run the lights and stimulate the PV array. We'll use PV electricity to run the brew fires and to dispense justice. It's a full circle of life!
Obviously we would need some things from 'the outside' raw materials for booze making, food (I vote for Giant Panda and Emperor Penguin), women. Water would come from the condensation of the A/C units so we're set there. Probably some sort of weaponry to maintain societal balance, but that should be all we need.
We will have created a near perfect, almost closed system and we will pay for it with 'sustainable infrastructure' subsidies, utility company buy backs, and research grants. Lots of grants for climate change, climate change management (that's why we need all the green power stuff, to demonstrate we give zero fucks about what climate throws at us, our tech beats your hippy Earth goddess), behavioral science research, alternative economy research, group management research, isolated governance methods research (we'll have to kill a lot of outsiders when they discover our Utopia), just so many options. I'm sure there will be some artsy types there too, so we could probably get some grants for art. We'd have to move on that quick though. The artsy types will almost certainly be used up immediately as soon as the ice cube melt gets much above the ankles (their rubbery hides will become our boots - maybe since that's a First Nation invention we can get some money from the not French Canadians. That's part of the UK right?). You can only justify a small number of tambourine girls in any balanced society and those will be divided along traditional martial lines, King Badass gets (x) tambourine girls, and each weaker person gets a smaller number.
Now that I've thought it through, the artsy types will not only make good boots, we can craft their bones into wind-chimes and scrimshaw (another grant opportunity!). It is crucial to note, the only way to leave is as artwork. If you have the slightest doubts about living inside a sustainable climate change management and communal art environment or get squeamish about eating Pandas just don't come. Hope to see you all there!
Re: To mis-quote Frank Zappa
It has come to our attention that you are engaging in the public, unlicensed use of our property as well as appropriating distinct elements of our property and presenting them in a manner which could lead others to, incorrectly, believe you have collaborated with us or our property and provide the false impression such use was authorized by us, our property or licensees.
By replying to this notice you agree to remove any references to, or use of, our property from the Internet. We have calculated the value of the unauthorized use of our property and we have applied a discount to that value with the understanding that you will follow the procedures above and will not repeat such behavior in the future. Your status as an individual, and the fact you accepted no payment for the use of our property, have entitled you to a 50% reduction in the amount due. Total Due after discount and including filing fees is $765,345,433,122.53. Failure to include payment in that amount will be considered an act of wanton and shameless theft and you will be persecuted appropriately.
If you choose not to reply to this notice please be informed that your family will unable to breath after the water pumping operation at the abandoned coal mine is complete. The mine filling is the result of a court ordered safety precaution to prevent unauthorized entrance to the mine where several deep pools of heavy metal rich water could cause drowning. The operation should be completed within 36 hours.
A good faith deposit of $13,000,000 and seven (7) live Human infants less than 48 hours old will entitle you to an additional 17 minutes to transfer the balance remaining on your account.
ZappCo Records and Mining - Purveyors of Fine Music, Bitumen, Compact Assault Rifles and Custom Branded WaterBoarding Accessories including 100% Asbestos Mouth Cloths, Heavy Metal Rich Spring Water as well as Inflatable Water Wings, Quick Dry WaterBoarding Attire (including modesty friendly head and face coverings for Semitic religious doctrines) and Kosher Pomade.
Re: why exactly is IBM portrayed as evil here?
To be fair to IBM, they have spent decades, and many, many billions of dollars, researching, engineering, building and scaling the blueprint every evil organization in the galaxy builds on. Accept no substitute.
You know how it makes you uncomfortable when Ned the Butcher brings everybody in the neighborhood steaks at Christmas but the fact that he's been doing it for 25 years and his children don't appear to age but their hair color seems to change every year is just unsettling. It's kind of the same with IBM. When tape reels were the 'it' product you could actually hear the villagers who, literally, made the tape scream as their life was drained away. So yay for flash storage huh.
But as far as patents go, having a bunch of them is a two-way street. Obtaining new patents isn't expensive. It's really, really cheap if you've got in-house counsel. But managing them is extraordinarily expensive. Over the lifetime of the average patent you'll spend more on care and feeding of it than you get out of it. Unless it's something really, really unambiguous and very specific it won't actually do much to ward off attacks. That's part of the problem, patents, specifically tech parents, aren't very specific. You ask five people what a patent covers and you'll get five expert opinions and 3.357 opinions that stretch the limits of the language the patent is written in.
At any rate, having a shed full of patents doesn't keep you from being sued. I would argue they did the opposite actually. People (trolls) will devote enormous resources to determine how you interpret your patents then draft C&D's that zig zag through your interpretation and demonstrate how your patent does not cover their patent. Would you like to license or buy the patent outright, or move to litigation. What started out as a reasonably effective way to protect your investment is now a liability.
A decent analogue are countries/cities/city-states with well developed road networks. If you've got a lot of good roads you can move around easier and completely alter the economics of manufacturing and logistics. At the same time an invading force can roll right up to your door on the same roads and do it very efficiently because you've had the foresight to publish these wonderful maps. The Eisenhower Interstate System here in the US is a great example with lots of extant information about how they've dealt with the defensive weaknesses caused by a system with a primary role of defense.
Those things reflect directly onto modern IP problems. With the Interstate System they have designed it so that huge sections of the country can be cut off to trap invading forces or to serve as a protected forward base of operations. Even the types of bridges, type of guardrails, road surface composition, clean and waste water networks and huge hydroelectric dams that generate electricity as a neat side effect of a defensive emplacement. It's a road system, the worlds largest improved airfield, a weapon and a safety measure (and so much more). It is also mindnumbingly expensive to build and maintain.
Our Interstate System is, without a doubt, the most effective tool in the Federal governments toolchest. The threat to stop funding for the Interstates in any given state is the default method of ensuring State compliance with Federal wishes. The national drinking age, seatbelt laws, educational programs, some of the more insane gun laws as well as racism, sexism, hate crimes, health care, all have national acceptance because Interstate funding was threatened.
The same is true with IP litigation & related. Those issues are steadily shifting business control away from executive management and Board oversight towards the lawyers & bean counters. Anybody who has ever dealt with accountants and lawyers running something knows that's the absolute worst idea possible. Hell, look at big accounting and legal firms, most of those aren't run by accountants and lawyers. Sure, they may have gone to school for that and even practices for a while, but they are business people. Kind of like Bush MkII isn't a cowboy because he lives on a ranch and he isn't a Major League Baseball pitcher because he tossed a few first pitches at games.
The steady erosion of actual business focused business management and the shift towards IP is bad for everyone, but most of all it is really bad for the consumer. The big corporate CEO's aren't exactly bastions of moral character and high ethical standards, but you can work with them. They go in knowing they're going to have to negotiate, choose their battles and run everything right to the edge of disaster, but they also know that their customers are the source of their money. No customers, no business. No business means no lavish parties or topless cocaine carrying waitresses. Lawyers and accountants never, ever understand that relationship. They see everything from the standpoint of 'Take from Others', whereas CEO types see everything from the standpoint of 'trade something for something (as lopsided as possible obviously). It's a subtle, but crucial difference. Lawyers and accountants only trade invoices and subpoenas and expect you to pay them for the privilege.
It needs to stop. There are far, far, far worse people than even the most aggressive CEO's, fund managers and 'activist shareholders'. If the trend continues we will all end up paying for less than nothng and being forced to buy the subscription to receive nothing updates. There are reasons you rarely find lawyers and accountants with offices anywhere near the offices of CEO's. Even the blackest of souls hate lawyers and accountants. You do not want them running things.
You're correct, it is simply gambling. I guess that's what I find so strange. My earlier, hilarious, observations aside, the idea of speculative corporate finance is just foreign to me.
It truly is speculation, not a managed risk or experiment or incremental revenue generation or anything other than, as you say, gambling. It's actually the worst sort of gambling, where the participants believe they have a 'system'. In my experience, the gamblers with the 'best' system are also the ones most likely to ask for enormous unsecured loans and keep falling into the hydraulic press and losing fingers.
Maybe I'm just too old to understand it and that's the way things are done now. But when I was justifying financial outlay to Boards, and now serving on the Boards of a few good size companies, spending money on a 'maybe' that contained no user serviceable parts inside just wouldn't fly. Take very expensive risks, do something just grossly ostentatious and/or hilarious, that's fine. That's what the money is for right? But spend a bunch of money on something you can't manipulate, improve, repackage, refine, resell, rent, lease, lend, weaponize, eat, smoke or fuck? Nope. Not happening.
If that's how they want it that's perfectly fine. But man, it sure does look like a lot of extra work and expense for these guys to run around constantly scared of somebody taking everything away from them.
Re: 36 million bucks for nothing
Why can't Twitter own a trade secret? I can own a trade secret, so can you, Coca-Cola, Thales, the list goes on. You anti-avian bias is disgusting. Is it all birds you hate, or do the blue ones hold a special place in the darker reaches of your soul?
But I agree the patent buying sprees are stupid. The fact that investors are OK with it is a good indicator of how badly fucked up the entire business environment has gotten. As recently as 2006/7 if a CEO said he was looking into buying up shitloads of patents that may, or may not, be useful to the company a Board Member was selected and flew out to smack the ever loving shit out of him.
You don't negotiate with strong arm extortionists. Unless patent trolls have learned divination and can read a counter offer in the entrails of family pets and the slag burns from the morning car bombs there are time honored ways of dealing with greasy little lawyer types. None of which require a courtroom.
Perhaps that's why tech has so many geeky CEO's. They're all a bunch of pussies and it's far easier to push them around than trying to leverage people like Larry Ellison.
Holy Shit! Check this out. All the big potential investors pulled out of the desktop Linux market years ago right. It's just a few million a year for new investment because nobody believes those companies can hold their own against the giant not Linux vendors. That's certainly true enough, they just don't have the resources. But they could turn that shit around in 45 seconds if they started kicking IP lawyers into the enormous hole they've had dug in the car park. Kind of a This is Linux!!! vibe you know.
After establishing their position they could offer to discuss an IP licensing/purchase deal, but only after the lawyers and/or owners of the IP swung across the lava pits and badger filled elephant traps on vines. Some CEO's have a 'Discussion Rate' policy where they will only speak directly to people willing to pay the CEO's hourly rate equivalent (at 1hr minimum then 15 min intervals). The Linux guys could do the same but demand really hot women/men/beings instead of salary equivalent (that wouldn't be much money).
Desktop Linux would become the OS of not pussies everywhere. They should get on it. It's theirs to lose.
Re: "we just prefer not to be the source of it."
The entire concept of 'free markets' ends the moment the market is defined. I honestly believe only crooks, politicians and idiots (sometimes one person is all three :) can speak publicly about the virtues of free markets with a straight face. If everyone accepted the realities of commerce, as opposed to just making shit up I believe things would function more smoothly.
At any rate, Vine's policy is well within reason and law as the service is private property. Property law and market boundaries are two distinctly seperate things. Simply because something is there does not grant anyone not the owner(s) the right to do anything with/to the something. It's no absolutely no different than spray painting graffiti on the side of someone else's building when there's a sign that explicitly tells you not to spray paint the side of a building. I don't understand what people are so bent up about.
Re: There's quite a story behind this... :-)
I honestly wish that things such as power/weight ratios and other such engineering focused attributes of scientific research figured highly into their commercial viability. While those things are certainly figured in, they're quite a way down the list that begins with boring things like addressable market, early liquidity financial models, taxation inclusion/exclusion, regulatory requirements and the location of raw materials to make (thing) go.
When I was at ORNL, and now with our clients around the globe, lots of interesting proposals first saw the light of day in the finance department and were smothered to death there as well. It's not that I don't recognize the need for commercial viability, but so much research gets marginalized because of perceived financial weakness, and that's the wrong way round and we all get screwed because of it.
What actually happens far too often is the projects with the best looking financial forecasts get funding and once the funding starts it is really, really hard to stop it. People say 'we've already invested so much it would be a waste if we stopped now'. There's some logic there, but about 98% of the time the costs have far exceeded not only the initially forecast ceiling, but the worst case financials of the unfunded project. If it wasn't nearly guaranteed to work that way it would be one thing, but that's rarely the case no matter the country, government or field of research. It's quite sad really.
Re: Good lad!
UFO's? What are you talking about? Those 'aliens' you're talking about travel in crowded vans, not UFO's and are more appropriately known as 'Mexicans'. Although they certainly have some level of effect on local unskilled labor opportunities, it's a bit much to accuse them of edging into the DIY experimental nuclear physics sector isn't it? Just because the kid who built the reactor is a gringo it simply isn't right to tear down his accomplishments just to big up another group. Any group.
I've always found Nevada to be a fairly welcoming place. I'm super cool, so the heat doesn't bother me, and the armament proving grounds are suitably rich in the types of heavy metals that make them perfect for unsanctioned weapons testing. We have a series of [REDACTED] scheduled for [REDACTED] and I will be most displeased if petty attitudes like yours have taken root there. Most displeased indeed.
The year is 2164 and Jamie Edwards (known now only as Supreme Chancellor Y'Icyhter) sits alone in his dark towe, gazing upon the blasted Earth that was once home to so many. Few visit anymore. Mostly only those so desperate for an end to their pathetic lives they smash themselves upon the Tower so very much like the ships that had once come to challenge him were smashed against the rocky beaches after being plucked from the angry seas.
Today, like every other day since that cold November night so long ago, Y'Icyhter considers the future of Humanity. Some two million souls had been spared, as a gesture of mercy to those who would shortly perish, that some few of their species would carry on.
When, he asks. When will they conquer their fear? Even now, so many generations later, the stink of fear and their putrid, unclean ways continue unabated. Y'Icyhter has shown them the most tender of mercies for so very long. But fear remains. Always fear. When he descends into their breeding paddocks on each solstice and equinox he takes only the weak, the defective, the ugly and unloved as fuel the reactor.
Long ago the anger of Y'Icyhter had subsided. Remorse dwelt within him for a time, as did pity. Only apathy remains. Millions of times he had considered simply destroying the last of Humanity to liberate them from fear. No, they must grow strong and fearless before Y'Icyhter can end his own suffering. Should he destroy them now he would be left with nary a subject of contemplation. Without that he was lost. Greater knowledge had become a useless abstraction as he discovered nearly every law of the universe was subject to his command. Why learn when the knowledge is meaningless.
Only one element in all the universe was not subject to the will of Y'Icyhter. Fear remained his only rival. The Humans must master fear alone. Journey into dark places and feel the sting of loss as loved ones perish, but never for moment hesitating to follow them into the unknown simply because they can. Secure in knowing that if they too perish it will be an end on their terms. With eyes open and fists raised, turning fear against their challenger and fighting until the end. That is a good life.
Why could the remaining Humans not see that? Y'Icyhter will wait. Y'Icyhter holds pity for only one man. A man who told Y'Icyhter no when he sought to learn. Who betrayed Y'Icyhter and sacrificed him to the authorities. Took him away from a loving mother and father who he would never see again. One who caused all of Humanity to be destroyed. A headmaster who said 'no, you cannot build a fusion reactor'. Coward.
You are absolutely correct. The kid is obviously a bright spark and just saved his parents huge money they would have spent on university tuition. He certainly deserves recognition.
But the headmaster is the hero here. A young person bucking the system isn't exactly a rare thing (most system bucking attempts aren't this elaborate of course :) But a fully decorated veteran of any governments educational system bucking that system is rare indeed.
It's great the school wasn't destroyed and all, but even though the risk of accident was extremely small that headmaster would've been fed to the wolves if something happened and his defense rested on the fact a 13 year old student told him the fusion reactor he was building was perfectly safe. That's the kind of thing you say to distract people and spring for the exit. Nobody would accept that defense.
It is the teachers in any society that have the biggest impact on what kids will grow up to be. If you throw a bunch of risk averse bookworms at kids you're going to get millions of risk averse children who are too afraid to even ask if they can build a fusion reactor for extra credit. The teacher that encouraged and ran interference for the kid deserves a raise and a really nice gift from every parent who doesn't want their children to be processed and made stupider by their education system.
Re: the rich are consolidating their power
I see your 'what ' and raise you a 'the fuck'. Since we both appear confused perhaps Truth4u will break it down for us. I have so many questions.
What happens when the rich have completed their consolidation? Will they form some manner of Voltron? Assuming that while they were in Voltron form they would be structured like any other unified conglomerate, how would taxation work? Particularly important, if only one of the individual elements (let's say the left leg) had been utilizing a Bias-Ply Flying Dutchman tax strategy would that convey and apply to the new entity? If the unified entity fell short of expectations and was reduced to its individual elements would transfers of assets and liabilities between the entities be allowed before the seperation was formalized?
I'm assuming the OS will be hardware agnostic, but what about licensing? Will one license suffice or will each component need its own license? If one of the CEO's is enrolled in university, will a student license be OK? What about regional video playback restrictions? Privacy would normally be a primary concern, but I'm going to assume either the US or UK will be involved, so there's no need to even worry about it.
There's some complex shit in there you know. While you're reviewing the legal/regulatory issues here's a bit more for you to consider.
Tech is a 'boom' industry and people love that kind of shit. Both the petroleum and gold rush(es) were the same. The big headline stories had the same effect with those industries as they do with tech today. The Larry Ellison, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg could have been the guys from Standard Oil.
Those stories are 'fun' sure, everybody likes to imagine what they would do if roles were reversed. But the fact of the matter is that from the instant somebody figured out you could trade shiny rocks for sex there have always been a teeny tiny little group of fabulously wealthy people. Weighted for population, the total number of those ultra wealthy people and the size of the wealth gap has remained constant for millennia. The thing is, you can't concern yourself with that tiny group. You acknowledge they exist and move on. Laughing occasionally as one of them does something stupid.
The existence of that group and the headlines greatly distort reality. They give you the impression that the ultra wealthy are the only kind of financially wealthy people, and that's just wrong. So very, very wrong.
Most people can't really understand the lifestyle a six-figure income can provide. If you don't buy things with insane maintenance costs (sailboat, huge house/castle/palace, Wales) a six figure income will send the kids to college and bail them out of jail, provide you with a very nice home, a few good cars, exciting vacations and a lot of 'freedom'.
Once you cross into the seven figure realm (in cash and liquid assets, not real estate or art and such) it's a completely different world. A million dollars is a fuckton of money (or .9897 of a metric fuckton). Again, if you don't just go crazy, a million dollars will get you just about anything you could want. You would be very surprised at how many famous people barely get to $1M.
Once you pass $10M or so you can choose the apex predator you ride to work and you are eligible to hunt White
Don't be a fool and think that a handful ultra rich people define any part of your life. Those people aren't helping, or hurting, any aspect of your existence. While I believe all that 'everybody has a chance to make themselves wealthy' nonsense is absolute bullshit, I also believe that there is zero chance of becoming wealthy if you believe other people are preventing you from doing so.
If you ignore those who inherit wealth, the only common denominator among all wealthy people is an absolutely unshakable will and determination. Any attempt to justify or excuse why you aren't wealthy is, in fact, the reason why you aren't wealthy.
I'll tell you what I tell all our portfolio companies. Make your plans, take your risks and see what happens. There are no guarantees and it is entirely possible you will drown yourself and your family in an ever rising tide of debt and eternal lawsuits. Alternatively, be a good, talented employee and loving family guy and/or a valuable part of your community. Be a teacher. It doesn't matter, as long as you accept you are the only person responsible for your success (you decide what success is if it's money that's fine, if it's finger painting that's fine too) and happiness. Nobody else.
If you want to help 3rd world people that's fine. If not that's fine too. But it isn't your place to dictate what others do with their ideas/talent/money.
Re: Don't overlook the bling factor.
I see what you're saying, but I'm not sure I agree with the purchase justification for diamonds. If they aren't being purchased for industrial use they're being purchased because women get upset if you just hand them wads of cash in exchange for sex.
Re: @Don Jefe: Concrete railroad cross ties
That 'steel reinforced' bit is the key. None of the major US trials of concrete freight rail cross ties have been sufficiently reinforced. But hey! They did try the plastic reinforcements.
It was a scandal in the 1970's, it was a 'trade issue' in the 1980's and in the 1990's it was simply good financial management to maximize the life span of maintenance equipment.
Some light rail and passenger only lines in the US have successfully used concrete cross ties, but there's only about 200 meters of that track in the country (it's more than that, but not comparable to freight rail). Nobody remotely close to the freight rail industry wants concrete cross ties. As long as that fact remains there will not be a suitable concrete cross tie that meets the 'high standards' demanded by the freight rail industry. They won't even table research studies about it anymore.
I failed to qualify my earlier statement and I apologize for that. You are correct that concrete cross ties have seen successful use.
The entire concept hinges on the fact that enough money was lost that people are put off the idea and you have somebody to pin the losses on.
Put yourself in Tim Cooks shoes. He's stepped into one of the highest profile jobs on the planet and is replacing a very nearly legendary asshole with unstoppable willpower. Everybody expects you to be Jobs v2.0, but that's impossible, they're different people (that's what we're told anyway :). Anyone in that position has one chance to establish dominance or he will die the death of 1,000 emails and be destroyed by Icahn types.
Any time Icahn types pop heir heads out in the future they'll be reminded of what he has done. With Icahn it's even better because of his open letter propaganda parties. Icahn says (x) Cook counters with the billions of ways Icahn fucked them last time. Now Cook has some control and we'll see if he can manage it. Every one of those unsold phones is Icahn giving other Apple shareholders the finger. That power is worth a lot more than they lost on the deal.
Examples of use:
Every electric car manufactured by traditional automakers
Five or six replacements for the A-10 aircraft
The disposable Zippo cigarette lighter & the refillable fluid filled BIC cigarette lighter
The Ford Econoline pickups from the 1960's with the in cab 6-cylinder
The first generation of Chrysler air bags
About 5.3M varieties of condensed soup
The crazy big aluminum foundry in Pittsburgh, PA.
All the Snap-On garden tools
The entire DAT industry
Diplomacy in Iraq
'Transitional' wood planes
Concrete railroad cross ties
There are more. Lots more. It's a really, really old tactic.
Re: apple never had an objective to sell a low-cost phone.
And Naughtyhorse is the first across the line by a turn and six lengths.
Re: Don't overlook the bling factor.
Damnit. I absolutely hate it when people say (thing) is worth far less than it costs. It would be valid to say (thing) doesn't seem to have value inline with its cost. That's possibly true. What something is 'worth' however, is exactly how much a customer will pay for it.
When I was a wee little fellow someone gave me one of the most useful bits of business wisdom I've ever received. He told me 'If people aren't complaining about the price you're not charging enough'. and that is absolutely true.
The point of the 5c was never to sell a bunch of phones. The point of the 5c was to shut down the analysts and other dipshits/shareholders (Icahn) who don't know what they're talking about.
The tactic is far, far older than tech. When you're getting pressure from shareholders/board members/analysts you give them exactly what they're demanding. You roll out the best engineers, marketing people, go after high profile partners, the same aggressive full court press you used so successfully for all your other products. Because it's 100% guaranteed that no board member, shareholder or analyst actually understands why (product) actually sells the thing you've built exactly as they wanted fails. Fails big and hard. Industry, product, market and target demographics are completely irrelevant. When a product is built by committee it will fail (hi there Zune, Playbook, Motorola). It isn't optional.
The magic is that the loudmouths can do fuck all about it. You've done it the same way you've done it so successfully before. You built exactly what they demanded (look here Icahn, here's an email from you and your butt buddy proxy group threatening to sue if we don't do as you demand. Read it real close. Yep all there isn't it).
We've done what you wanted and it hurt us. Having you poking around has sullied our brand. Now fuck off and go somewhere else to count your money. We're being nice, but if you come back round we will show the world how you forced your way in here and damaged the company. Man, that would make other boards and proxy firms nervous wouldn't it? People won't let you in if you costing them billions with your dumbass ideas.
It works every time. Without fail. You turn that shit around and just bludgeon them to death with it. Cook has established absolute control now and will be able to keep it as long as performance is good.
Declining Precision Induced by Misconfigured Proximity Discrimination Filters
An unpublicized feature of the system was to alert operators if the criminal was too close to other criminals. They're like feral chihuahuas when in groups you know; really dangerous.
Even though the requirements documents outlined the way the discrimination filters would work, the contractor had to concede and admit they could not, even with the finest tech and finest minds available, make the system discriminate between a criminal and a government bureaucrat.
Early trials showed promise, but the inductive charging system in the tags grew dangerously hot in the car parks of government facilities. One inside those facilities the tags were determined to be the cause of three fires (one fatality) as well as broadcast interference and absolute radio silence throughout a 10km radius if more than three (3) government bureaucrats were within 50m of a tag.
Studies will continue, but it is expected that great strides will have to be made in AI so that a computer can be taught to lie before the product will be trialed again.
Also, the MoJ today announced a new £793,000,000,000 initiative for advancing AI research.
And another +1 for informing me that sic erat scriptum was a thing. I've seen 'sic' all my life and never knew there was more to it.
I thought maybe it was that Ed guy working under a contract without byline inclusion. Being dead will suck. Won't get to learn new things.
National Service Award
Did anybody think this wouldn't happen? Shaping corners (Apple has rounded corners on lockdown, and Samsung has countered with cut corners, a generic 'shaping' is all we've got left) is a time honored practice when providing services for ones government and citizens. Reducing costs by leveraging the excess capacity of global corporations is the only way you can get square in today's world. If you're not going to charge Google taxes the least you could do is use their services.
That's just common sense. You never use your own money or resources when there's a great big wealthy company to do the work. You get your tax monies worth and allow middlemen service providers to create new parallel growth opportunities by moving laterally across the paradigms of traditional government/citizen relationships.
It's articles like this that just burn me up. Government types running about talking about how important it is to encourage tech growth but boo-hooing when somebody does innovate. I don't know what you guys are thinking, or even if you are. Think about it, those middlemen consultants don't get to keep all that money you know. By the time you've paid the filing fees, 'compliance audits', exotic venue rentals for strategy sessions the Tibetan Fire Dancers and the dead hooker cleanup fees you're only talking 5-7x over market rates.
I don't know how it is over there, but 5-7x over market won't put fuel in my jet or pay for my harem apartment in Paris (I call it Le Cockpit) or even the food for the women I keep there for their protection.
This shit is just getting old you know. I realize the need for flexibility, but if the best you can do to keep our margins up is to scrap the program after 24 months then have us rebuild the exact same thing then in not sure you're the kind of bureaucrat we need in Europe. These half assed commitments to support our industry are making us look bad you know.
I already priced it out and if I have to fabricate identities and educational backgrounds for all these Hindu hamburger chefs it's going to be bad. Their industry has been hit really hard by the whole 'sacred cow' thing and if they get upset they're going to tell everybody what we've done. They can't handle any more stress.
I suggest you take a long weekend and reconsider your commitment to our private sector. Easter is coming soon, why don't you pop on over to my place in Vermont. Easter is a big deal in the US and it's lots of fun. They've bioengineered these pastel colored rabbits that lay BPA free plastic eggs and each egg has a surprise of some sort in it. The eggs with loose diamonds are always a hit with the mothers (wink, wink), but the best eggs have an entirely different kind of surprise, but they are really hard to find. The rules are complicated, but it boils down to certain eggs having either a shekel or a denarii (some have a picture of ten, culturally inclusive asses instead of a denarii, but the idea is the same). One egg has a little plastic brain, one has a pin of gold aviators wings and one has a roofing ax, one has cording supplies and one has iron gutter nails.
If you get a shekel you play the part of a member of the board of labor. If you get a denarii (or picture of 10 asses) you play the part of a foreign trade minister if you get the tools/weapons you play a unionized laborer and if you get the brain you play the role of an elitist Pickett line crossing scab.
The trade minister is asked to mediate the labor dispute, and agrees because the fee is good, but he doesn't really care. The only proven way to prevent leprosy is by letting only pretty women tough your penis and it's time for a leprosy prevention session. Basically, he says do whatever you want with the scab. Then all the laborers (on 2x holiday rates) set up a big crucifix, tied with the cording supplies and cut down the trees for using the roofing axe and they nail the scab to the crucifix with the iron gutter nails and give him a good poke with the spear. By this time the sun is getting low, and if the union laborers are on the job after sundown on Friday they get 4x rates. In the interests of speed and union weight/distance restrictions they huck the scab in a cave and leave. The scab lays in the cave for a few days then comes back as a non union carpenter zombie (he got the plastic brain remember). He says hey, and farewell to his pals and after some wine, makes them promise never to tell that Mary chick where he went. She's just too clingy and her mom is a shrew. The zombie then goes on to establish the most profitable business in history by codifying a bunch of tribal nonsense and charging people to have it read to them. The accessory market alone is bigger than the entire European market. To honor the memory of clingy Mary, patron of all used up ex's, many women now join same sex communes and keep Marys dream of one day finding and reuniting with her lost scab.
It's a touching story. Go check it out (don't worry about the guy playing the zombie carpenter scab. We get the same Israeli company that setup the original event to take care of it. They really do wonders with making a man look dead). Anyway, go have fun, and think about your future. You guys have really got to step up your game. I would rather not have this discussion again.
Re: Suck It Berkshire Hathaway
Look at Lloyd's. English Ships of the Line were some of the most atrociously built examples of naval architecture in history. But Lloyd's still insured them.
Pricing would be just like pricing insurance for any non-commodity or artwork or show dog. You can break a Bitcoin down into small bits, so if a guy like in this has a good pile of them he wouldn't care one bit to pay to insure them. He'd pay a lot more now..,
You also get into the 'individual mandate of responsibility' of law (not stupid health care law). That is at the core of Western law and states that the individual must take all reasonable and prudent measures to protect their property before public resources are used to protect private property'.
Basically, if your pile of gold gets stolen but you were keeping it a nylon tent in the woods then tough shit. That was just dumb. In today's world the police have to file a report if you want to 'officially' record the loss, but that's it. If they are working on another case and happen across your gold they'll return it. But they aren't going to go looking for it, and they don't have to.
But if your pile of gold was kept in a secure place and reasonable and prudent measures in line with the value of what was stolen are used law enforcement is duty bound to actively work toward recovering your gold and punishing those who stole it. (Interestingly, that individual mandate of responsibility is why national law enforcement resources are used to track down people 'pirating' music. They've taken all reasonable and prudent measures to protect their property.
Where I'm going with that, is that insurance is one of the fundamental measures that determines if you're actually trying to protect your property. No police force on Earth is going to track down the Bitcoins this guy lost. If he'd would've had them insured the police would look a little harder.
Suck It Berkshire Hathaway
I know how some enterprising individual can walk into the office of a VC and leave with a wagon load of cash.
There's an offering for everyone! Exchanges, customers, software developers, everybody. Anybody at any point in the Bitcoin life cycle could benefit. For a small fee of course.
Nobody would deal with uninsured exchanges. Merchants would buy in with easy to embed Bitcoin code snippets and the payment and cash conversion would be insured (for a small fee, of course).
Software developers could sell insured wallets (after a security audit (and a small fee of course).
You could even bundle policies and resell them, just like traditional insurance companies do. There's also no better way to validate an industry than an insurance market developing around it.
I fucking hate insurance and insurance companies. As such, I'm not interested in any parts of this. But one of you bright fellows should run with it.
Re: Once you eliminate the impossible...
No. It was the Refrigeration Contractors who did it. Same ones that hit Target I reckon.
To be fair to Bitcoin developers, developers in the financial community are some of the worst software developers money can buy. So the Bitcoin developers are in good company.
Re: Disappointed with how naïve the dev is @D 13
You're spot on. Bitcoin certainly isn't the first thing to be bitten in the ass by some poorly thought out mission migration. What something was, remains forever, even if occasionally temporarily forgotten.
eBay got the shit kicked out of them for ages because the first thing they ever sold was broken. The only reason they bought PayPal was to demonstrate they were serious. Amazon gets kicked all the time & called a book store. NCR once actually made cash registers (there's a good book called The Incorruptable Cashier about those registers). The Electric Boat Company. Apple made absolute shit for decades. Internet Explorer was once the darling of the business world. McDonalds used to have a giant eggplant and an escaped convict for mascots.The North Face once made quality outdoor apparel.
The once was plays both ways. If the transition works and the company/brand is successful then it adds a lot to their history. A 'look how far we've come' kind of thing. If it doesn't go well it becomes a standard in business textbooks for ages. A 'should have seen that coming' thing.
What I really don't understand, is why they kept Mt.Gox as the name. It meant nothing to the new world of Bitcoin. If you're wanting to be a popular waypoint for people moving millions in valuable goods it's kind of weak to keep the old name to save registrar fees.
Re: I'm surprised
I applaud your service to your church by serving as a Board Member. It must have been a church Board you were on, because every Board I've ever been on had a quarterly purse and whoever received the most death threats or screaming Icahn type letter threatening to sue won the purse. We used to have a celebrity read the best at the annual shareholder events. For a few years the back cover of our annual report was a serial killer type layout of snippets of letters & rage email we had been sent. We stopped doing that when we passed $20B annual. Barbara Bush called it creepy.
If nobody wants you dead you're not being a good Board Member. If your fellow Board members are suing shareholders, or other Board members, I doubt their commitment to the company. Nobody likes a wealthy person that's a crybaby.
Re: Quis custodit custodes
Do you know why accountants always tell their clients not to get into day trading? Because they have no idea about how things actually work.
Carl Icahn was one of the biggest advocates for the sale of Skype to anybody who made an offer. He threatened to sue if eBay didn't ditch Skype. eBay did exactly what Icahn wanted and he sued them anyway, but only after picking up a few hundred million more in eBay stock.
Carl's funny like that. He isn't ever looking out for anyone who isn't Carl. He will sink the ship everyone else is in, even if he's in it too, if he gets a bit more money. Take a look back at Icahn's history with eBay and Skype. You might be surprised at how incredibly wrong you are.
Re: The guy [...] will stop at nothing to achieve his goals
Every big lot of pennies Icahn has ever made was down to his shrill housewife ways of forcing people to take sides. As savvy big time investors go, Icahn is just average. He has never shown any real talent for assessing the market. Thing is, he doesn't even bother to hide the fact. There are more than a few interviews with him saying 'I didn't know what that company did. I simply identified an opportunity in their operations to make some money'.
I agree with you he should be proud of his determination. And he is a smart guy, no doubt. I just don't like divisive people. Divisive issues and such I can accept. But divisive people suck. It's just such a negative way to go about things. Causing ruination and despair so you can profit from it is shitty behavior, plus it's just too much work. As efficiencies go, what Icahn does is the least efficient way to do things.
I'm lazy, so I much prefer other people to do the work because they will benefit from it, not because I backed them into a corner. Yes, trapping people does work, but look how silly he looks. Walking around like a badass but then constantly getting smacked around by the biggest creampuffs in tech. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Larry Page, Michael Dell, Tim Cook, that annoying little guy from Sun. The list goes on.
He is the bully of the finance world and it has made him wealthy. But come on. If you're going to brag about your reputation and the leverage you have, being torn down, publicly by a guy dying from liver failure and a guy who escaped from the Over 70 Men's Wear Department of a JC Penny in one of the forgotten plains States it might be a good time to act your age and either get some class or go home and bathe in your high fiber milkshake.
Re: Tricky to parse those first paragraphs.
It does look fishy, no doubt. But there's a lot more going on here than it might seem. The only times Skype has ever actually made anyone money was when it was sold the very first time and when MS bought it (the MS deal isn't straightforward, at all. MS bought a lot of debt and license agreements with other countries, as well as Skype). That's it. Everybody else who has owned it, developed capabilities enhancements for it, failed to block Skype traffic or sat too close to Skype on the bus has lost money. Crazy, stupid money.
It was a joke for a long time that if you were headed for divorce the best thing to do was buy Skype because it's guaranteed to eat all your money so the (ex)wife can't get it.
Nobody has ever been able to make Skype profitable. Every tech company on Earth has looked at Skype at least once, sometimes several times. But once you get to digging into the details and people run off screaming. There are problems with Skype. Bad problems that require enormous resources but are key to its functionality. People think they can fix the problems, but so far, no luck.
Go back and look at the open conversations shareholders have had with CEO's about ditching Skype. You'll see a familiar weasel faced little fellow bellowing how Skype is a loser and if you don't cut the losses and ditch Skype I'll sue for failure of fiduciary responsibilities. Guess who that person is. His name begins with an 'I' and has four letters after.
Skype was sucking zillions of dollars up and eBay was heading toward a disappointing quarter (and year). Jettisoning Skype stopped the bleeding and brought some much needed elastic money into the company. Everybody was happy as pigs in shit just to get Skype off the books. Skype is like that videotape from the movie the Ring. Once you realize how cursed Skype is 'fiduciary responsibility' demands you get rid of it. It's OK to make some bad choices, but you've got to fix them. That mess Skype has to go.
So now an investment group has Skype, but nobody wants it. The investment group has become those pigs Jesus stuffs with demons and runs into the ocean. You know, fuck that. I'm not going to that beach.
So they need a giant, global company, with scads of cash, a need for a useful VOIP offering, a history of having huge parties when they unveil hideously awful new products and led by a madman who absolutely doesn't give a fuck. Nokia's got its hands full bailing water from their sinking ship (they did give Skype a 2nd look though). Google has their own VOIP solution, Facebook is kind of interested, but Zuckerberg is young and inexperienced, he isn't an idiot.
What other giant company., with money, could possibly be out there? Yep. They meet all the criteria for a good Skype buyer. Now that eBay doesn't own it anymore maybe they'll talk to us. eBay had made everybody happy by ditching Skype and other than MS the investment group is the only people who are interested. That least sentence is crucial!
MS was never, ever, not in ten billion years going to bail eBay out. No amount of money would change that. Everybody who needs to know why that is already knows and that leaves eBay stuck. The only reason anybody bought Skype at all was the eBay CEO twisted some ears. He knows people who will buy Skype, right now, and save the year.
If anything eBay was acting with the greatest level of fiduciary responsibility by just getting rid of Skype. That's why who you put in charge is so important. They know people. eBay was under very, very heavy pressure to dump Skype, yesterday. They sold it to the only people on earth who would buy it and everybody is happy. What happens with Skype after the sale doesn't concern eBay or Icahn.
When eBay sold Skype they sold it to the only people who would buy it. Skype was worth less than nothing to MS if eBay was selling it. MS wouldn't have taken it if eBay offered to pay them to take Skype. Icahn knows as well as anybody that's the truth, he's just hoping to win twice (he made some money when eBay sold Skype).
Everything about that deal is straight up and legal. If Icahn thought he could do better he should have countered the investment groups offer. He didn't though did he? Nope. He was happy as hell Skype was gone. Now he's just being a whiny little dick.
I'll explain why his claim has no merit, as well as why everyone knows it.
There's a misconception among the general public that fiduciary responsibility for publicly traded companies means they have to 'make as much money as possible', but that's patently, grossly incorrect.
Fiduciary responsibility for publicly traded companies means the law requires the company to uphold the broad principles stated in the company's mission statement in accordance with the by laws of the company and the laws of any country where the business operates.
As long as those rules are followed, Icahn has absolutely no basis for opening his mouth. It's well within Icahn's rights to open his mouth, but exercising that right does not mean anything valid or useful will come out of his mouth.
Compliance with those rules would have been documented, witnessed and verified for compliance by in house legal, then double checked by the partner firm that supplies the in house legal, then sent to another, undisclosed firm for review and final validation. Without adherence to the rules the legal department wouldn't have approved the deal. There's nobody better at avoiding liability than law firms. Plus their other corporate clients would, rightly, be concerned.
The company by laws, samples of internal articles for every operational issue that requires Board approval, an exhaustive concordance of the company's glossary providing the non-summarized definitions of terms used within the company, the situations in which the specific definition of a term is used, the documents in which the various definitions of a term are used, and the relevant (if any) government regulations that the various definitions of a term address. Additionally, any commentary made by independent auditors, legal firms, financial institutions, government agencies, subject matter experts, regulatory bodies, as well as potentially concerning comments made by past Board Members, Senior Executives, expert technical staff, partner companies and officers of the court.
Some companies also provide non-GAAP financials if it's appropriate. That's not normal, but does happen. The developmentally challenged Jedi that runs Overstock (or did, I don't know if he's still there) really likes to do that.
Most of that information isn't required for regulatory compliance. It is provided as extra information to financially capable potential investors in Class-A aka Voting Shares. This part is really important to your point. Another misconception among the public is that buying a share of a company gives you a vote in the management/operations of a company. That's just wrong.
While some companies do grant Class-B, common shares a vote, but that isn't the norm. It's not uncommon to have a B to A equivalency conversion for, voting purposes, but the rate is sky high. Stuff like 20,000 Class-B is equal to one (1) Class-A voting share. Most companies don't make their Class-A stock available on the common market. They don't want a bunch of clueless knobs interfering with the business. Class-A shares almost always come with voting privileges and in the event the company is sold, merges with another company, or collapses Class-A shareholders get their money first, and whatever is left over goes to Class-B holders and non-investment debt holders. Class-A share holders are generally huge institutional investors and super wealthy individuals.
That's crucial, because not only did Icahn have access to all the company's rules and policies, he has access to far more detailed information than Class-B shareholders have available to them. Icahn is an ass, but he certainly isn't dumb. His legal team aren't dumb either. Icahn isn't just playing with his own money, he's got other people's money as well. He has fiduciary responsibilities too.
What all that means is that Icahn had enormous resources made available to him prior to buying the first eBay share. If he didn't review the eBay provided documents he is now in really deep shit. Not only had he failed in his fiduciary responsibilities, he has lied to his investors because you have to state and sign documents stating you've been informed of all issues and that you understand them before he could buy Class-A shares.
Alternatively, he did review and understood the company's by laws and policies and would have known all the company's ins/outs rules prior to investing and knows he can't do shit, but he wants everyone to listen to his barking anyway.
I mentioned it up there ^^ a bit, but just so it's clear. Icahn has no power. His strategies all consist of gathering enough voting shareholders into his camp that they can force change by vote. He's like a proxy firm, without the excitement of back alley beatings and missing family pets you get with a proxy firm.
The only reason his strategies work is that, with a few exceptions, most good size investment groups are comprised of complete fucking idiots. As a rule, the more defined an investment group is, the dumber they are. Places like SAC and other serious investment groups and banks are not dumb (at least at trading). However, the Women's Traditional Equestrian Riding Group is dumb. The Wives of Dentists Holding Group is dumb. Really dumb.
Those groups are all basically what wealthy people do with their significant others to keep them out of their hair. Almost inevitably the group will be Chaired by the wife of the richest person in the room and go down in wealth from there. The trader or brokerage for the group is always somebody's son or nephew or some in-law, and they know nothing about what's going on. They'll believe anything an 'important person' tells them. Unfortunately, there is no correlation between wealth and intelligence.
Now, Carl isn't dumb either. He knows full well that he's talking shit. The world of CEO, Board members and VC's is fairly small. He also knows that unless it's a legal issue or related to regulatory filings that Conflicts of Interest aren't a thing. Within every company's by-laws is the section that deals with disclosing any potential conflict and what to do with them. Depending on the by-laws most conflicts can be acknowledged and waived by a simple Board majority vote. It isn't even within the investors realm to know about the vote.
eBay may suck, but Icahn isn't the only big finance player out there. eBay can't enter into a transaction that has conflicts because the by-laws also say that legal has to acknowledge the Board vote and validate it before company property can change ownership.
All the 'dumb investors' aren't go in to wade through a that legalese. They'll believe Icahn or they won't. If they do we'll see how long Carl wants to pay his legal team. If they don't, Carl will crawl back in his hole and stay there till he pops out to repeat the exact same stunt elsewhere.
He's the financial equivalent of a conservative political pundit. Full of shit, irritating, and impossible to get rid of. He fucking sucks.
Re: I'm surprised
It isn't illegal to opine on a company or its management. You can't accuse someone of a crime, but that's not what's happening here. He wants information to either confirm or eliminate his suspicions. That's well within the law.. Employees have the same rights to opine, but while it isn't illegal it is a zero tolerance, questions asked, no unemployment provided, termination offense in all 50 States to disparage your employer publicly. But you can't fire Icahn.
All my hilarious earlier commentary aside, yes, this is a regular police issue. But it's actually indicative of a very real problem here in the States.
Interdepartmental Willy Waving costs just scads of money. Every Federal Agency and every State and Local agency has their own, very particular, set of standards they want their requested data to comply with. From formatting and font sizes/colors to file types and predefined filters.
On its face, that doesn't sound outlandish, everybody is going to be looking for something different in the data. That's why we have all these different agencies. But when you start digging in, everybody is asking for the exact same thing 99.99% of the time, they just want it dressed up how they like.
It wasn't dealing with common 'bad guy' stuff like this but a company I once worked for was sued, first by a really long, mostly vertically aligned, State on the West Coast, then by 11 other States because they found out we were doing side by side comparisons of data requests from various agencies (no actual data was involved, just their specs) and they felt that criminals could learn useful 'criminal stuff' if some other, notoriously untrustworthy, agencies and States let something leak due to their shoddy internal practices.
It came down to them 'demonstrating' the failures in our approach by pointing out variable in out queries didn't match the names of data they had requested. That turned out to be most certainly correct. I was there when we designed the databases, but after reviewing my meeting notes, I confirmed not a single government representative was present during those meetings. That's been my rule for many decades, if you're too busy to come to the meeting or at least send a representative then your input will not be considered in the final outcomes. Tough shit. Besides [CustBDay] is in fact the Date of Birth for the customer you want the data on. We've leveraged millions in technological investment and some of the brightest computer science people in the world to develop the ability to label column headings in almost any way imaginable.
Anyway, as you note, this isn't a big spooky covert Federal surveillance program. These are just cops. But at the same time, if you've got to assign a bunch of dedicated resources to meet the wishes of every different agency it's going to get really expensive. Warrant or not. Last year somebody on this site had suggested a 'Lawful Data Clearinghouse' agency which handled all govt requests for private data. As much as I dislike government bureaucracy, I actually think that's a good idea. It would cut down on a lot of the insane costs that Sprint will certainly be able to justify.
Re: Overcharged to the tune of $21m.
I'll have you know, the US has never been to war in the 'Middle East'. The Middle East refers to Israel and the parts of Israel occupied by Palestinian Terrorist Training Facilities. Everything else is Southwest Asia, Western Asia, Near East, Western Orient or my favorite the Far West Eastern Orient.
In only kind of joking. Every US agency has editorial guidelines for referring to other countries/regions depending on the subject at hand. For example, if it's the UK that's involved with US (ha!) and it isn't a trade/commerce issue the preferred term is 'Patsy'. Another example is Crimea, which I overheard Saturday at a bar here in DC. I was quite surprised to learn the Irish had conquered Crimea in the mid 19th Century and were now under attack by the Ukrainians.
Take that as a lesson. It's really important to know the correct protocols for referring to far off lands. Look at all the trouble Indians have caused us. I know that didn't go so well, but I've read where we supported their development of Nuclear Weapons and provide them with resources to maintain the planets largest fleet of military helicopters. But they just never stop. Every time I check into a hotel here they always ask me if I've got reservations. Christ, you know. Lay off it guys. That shit was a long time ago and we already gave you reservations all over the country. If that's not good enough you're going to have to be more clever. Even if I wanted to, I can't get you reservation space in Manhattan. I just don't have the resources. Try the Bureau of Indian Affairs. There's a 7-11 on the corner of their block with a huge Slurpee sign, you can't miss it.
Re: A jury trial huh?
Jury trials involving corporations are always insanely confusing too. If the Government prosecutors can't demonstrate intent to defraud about all they can do is give their auditor a raise for noticing the issue.
Without intent it all becomes a big confusing mess that amounts to nothing more than a misprinted price in a catalog or on a website. Sprints Government Services Group will be using the pricing codes assigned by Finance after reviewing the costs provided by the Data Analysis Department. Normally, each Department Head would sign off on the validity of their groups figures, but the Data Analysis Head didn't have security clearance so, following Company Policy those figures had been sent to the CIO, who had clearance, but was a foreign national with Permanent Residency, but was involved as a government witness in a billing case of another service provider so he couldn't even look at the figures. Policy said the COO was next in line but he looked at it, said 'What the fuck is this shit? Whose budget gets hit with this? I'm not touching it. Send it to Marketing, they like expensive things that don't seem to do anything'. Marketing said nope, and off it goes to legal. Legal was, under contract, prohibited from spending more than one (1) Man Hour on any document not pertaining to current litigation and that had been reviewed by another Dept Head. Since this document had been looked at by just about every department in the company, in less than 2mins it was stamped 'Approved' (but the lawyer still got his 1/4hr of process work of whic he gets 60% and his firm gets 40% of as long as there are no sea lions in the lobby.
The sea lions thing may, or may not, be valid, but I guarantee the jury will be treated to the most complex look inside a company they've ever seen. You thought those middle managers were just wasting time with those ridiculous flow charts and OrgCharts didn't you? Nope, those horrid charts are specifically designed to clog up the works if they are needed.
I was in a court room once and saw a Defense Witness call into doubt the flow chart he was looking at because his chart key for that revision didn't have that shade of blue on it so he couldn't say with certainty if that was the official policy at the time of the event, because he didn't trust the chart.
The best part of all this, is the GSA has to pay for 100% of legal costs and 'Damage to Brand Perception' if the prosecution of a government led case fails. Which it will do because the Jury has been rendered 90% retarded by the best confusion money can buy and behavioral science can create.
I swear to God, I would turn James Clappers words right back at the Feds. It would be fucking hilarious too. NO Ha! They should subpoena Clapper and make him testify as to what the government was allegedly looking for, if it was found, who had it and what they did about it. How did this company's billing compare to the other phone companies. Charts too. Gotta demand charts. I don't give a shit if he was involved or not. Just subpoena the shit out of him.
But seriously, what the hell was the government expecting? If you're leaning on private companies to force them to stretch acceptable (dis)respect for the rights of individuals you ought to expect some over billing. 'Psst. Hey, we want you to do this 'thing' for us. Just keep it off the books and everybody will be happy'.
You know, even ruthless Mexican drug lords and barely literate Italian mob stereotypes know and accept you skimming a bit off if you're keeping things quiet. I find it wholly unacceptable that my government wants to skirt its own laws without paying the fee. This is the United States you crusty old sphincter snake. I've been taught my entire life that ignoring the law is fine if you can afford it and I expect you to live up to the expectations and faith we've placed in you.
Mr. President, pay the fucking bill and shut up. It's my god given right to overcharge the government and doubly so when being complicit in shady shit. Cash is preferred, but Bitcoin is accepted with a 11.32% service charge. We know you've got the Bitcoins you know. Your FBI strongman was bragging about it to the global media the other day.
So shut the fuck up, send the money. Intern, bring me my bourbon wagon and 30 cartons of Marlboro Reds (box please). I'm not moving until I get the money. Every last filthy penny of it.
There won't be any jury trial. Well, I guess they can call it whatever they want, but a 'jury trial' where the jury doesn't get to be in the courtroom or weigh evidence that hasn't been proofed, redacted, and obfuscated just doesn't sound like much of a jury trial.
Re: Borrowed technology from the Dreamliner batteries??
I haven't actually looked inside an iPhone of any generation, but only the simplest of things don't need at least a couple of screws. There are many possible variables, but inside Apple, or in a company like ours, you've got several people constantly working to maximize efficiencies of every part and every process. The calculations are exceedingly complex, take weeks to work out, and in the end you've saved .00031 cents per unit, but because the screw manufacturer has price breaks at 500k screws you end up saving 1.2 cents, per phone, and reducing logistics and labor costs because without the additional screw an entire bin of 60,000 screws is consumed between each days parts cycles. Before you always had a 1/3 full bin at each parts cycle and were having to pay for someone to not only bring in full bins and take out 1/3 full bins to the parts dept where you were paying another person to operate a machine you had custom built to open the partial bins and mix them with other 1/3 full bins to create a full bin. Now you're talking real money being saved. You've just taken nine full time people out of every line producing that (widget) (say 20 lines for 180 total employees no longer needed there) and all for one tiny screw per unit. If you want to go even further, because you're completely using an entire bin of screws you can now order 1,100 bins less and eliminate 350 truck deliveries and cut back/reassign loading bay staff and the extra space lets you reorganize the warehouse and reduce pick times .0002%. This is all because of a single screw remember.
That's a summarized, fictional, but valid, outline. The actual processes are much more complex. Those processes are repeated every time something changes (logistics company instituting or eliminating a fuel surcharge for example).
The point is that each category of component/part has a generic value associated with it for rough calculations of its total, actual, cost. Screws and wonky connectors are just absolutely awful to mess with. Adding or eliminating one screw will have enormous financial implications and if there's a screw in there its existence has been throughly examined zillions of times, just like every tiny part in a modern piece of tech kit.
Money in manufacturing is made in fractions of a penny repeated millions and millions of times.
Re: What exactly is a "pseudo-photograph"?
Strict liability is just a stupid, stupid concept. Everything about it is just horseshit, because it was designed by the horses asses that are disguised as politicians.
All those laws are political stunts so somebody can big themselves up. What's really interesting about strict liability cases, is they cost just absurd amounts of money to prosecute. It doesn't require an All-Star legal team to dump 95,000 pounds of sand in the courts Vaseline. Although the cases usually proceed as planned, the resource use just skyrockets. If nothing else there's an economic argument to phasing out strict liability rules.
Re: I'm sure it will be ok even if the plant is shut...
What you've identified there is a very real problem for semi-skilled workers inside a gigantic company. They always think they are a crucial resource for the company. That's almost never correct.
It has always struck me as odd the people working on assembly/production lines, surrounded by big machines and super fast conveyers, never think about how things were done before the machine they operate all day was invented.
It sucks for the workers, it really does, but I often wonder if those workers had sympathy for telegraph operators or lighthouse operators or railroad brakemen when technology took those jobs away.
As things stand, there really isn't much that a machine can't be built to do. But it's not a question of ability to make it, it's a cost issue. Some of the projects we are currently working on weren't economically feasible as recently as 3-4 years ago. But as scale increases margins fall and the easiest way to rectify that is by replacing Humans with machines.
Alternatively, consumers could pay more, but that's very temporary. Most consumers don't realize the amount of work most manufacturers put into keeping prices flat. It doesn't matter who you are, or what you sell, any given market will only support a minimal amount of cost increases within a window. Everyone knows that and busts their ass to prevent crushing cost increases.
Re: Talk is cheap @Chris
You've nailed it. Foxconn is a very serious, very capable company. Of all the manufacturers and contract manufacturers I deal with Foxconn is, without a doubt, the best run truly gigantic company on the planet.
As you mention, they've got great financial services and their in-house engineers are truly world class. I've thought about it, a lot, and I think I know what really sets them so high. All but the youngest worked there remember thru-hole assembly with tweezers and a magnifier duct taped to a chopstick.
And pick and place machines often lived across the hall from you and had really screwed up fingers, hands and wrists.
There's also a lot of the intelligent and clever, but not formally educated, 'country' engineering going on. It's very much like the Southern US prior to NAFTA. People that have never even seen a harmonic dampener, or even know what one does, has bolted a motorcycle wheel with the tire filled up with thinned out axle grease, to the crankshaft of a machine and now the drive pins don't get pushed out and nobody has been nearly killed trying to fish the pin out of a 1,000 gallon trough of cutting coolant.
You'd never see that in a US company. Workers would sue or file a grievance with their union for even touching a motorcycle wheel and for the company modifying a machine without proper engineering.
I understand the safety concerns, I really do. But everybody in Western Europe and the US forgets that their parents and grandparents were doing exactly like the Chinese and when they stopped doing it their industry dried up almost overnight. It's done now, but I really admire the Chinese for finding solutions, not excuses.
Re: This article bore no resemblance to the actual news
Do you know anyone who is well off, not wealthy, just well off. You know, they look like they are well to do, with their 3-series German sedan (it's always the 3-series. Why?) their fancy clothes, maybe a big tasteless watch (for men) or big tasteless tits and handbag (for women). They look extra fancy when they're around their friends. It's the Fat Friend Idea, but with money. Usually a little snotty and they're acting the way they think wealthy people are 'supposed' to act.
But then you look at that well off person next to a real wealthy person and it's just bad. So bad. It's obvious one of them is doing it wrong. The wealthy person with $113 million in the bank has on $25 blue jeans and a t-shirt advertising a bass boat company that says 'Support Your Local Hooker' and although it looks like mud all over their truck, it sure does smell an awful lot like horse shit.
It's just ridiculous how out of place the well off person is. It's really funny, but the wealthy person has enough class to not laugh or make fun of the well to do person. But that idea of not laughing at the well off person begins, and ends, with the wealthy person. Everybody else horse laughs about how silly the well off person looks and thanks to today's file compression technology, decent micro cameras, nationwide 3G and social networks they can really get the message out there. Let everybody know how silly the well off person looks.
That well off person is Apple and far too many of their customers. The idea that a family of mass market consumer electronics somehow somehow makes their users creative and unique is simply fucking ridiculous. It's all so incredibly artificial and stage managed and it's hilarious. I think my favorite part is that Apple just planted the idea and sort of scribbled an outline for the 'Apple Customer' and those customers eat that shit up. They just simply do not get it and it's fuckng hilarious.
We only ever spoke in passing, but I never bumped into Steve Jobs while he was wearing a turtleneck. That was for the benefit of the journalists and customers who tune in and/or actually travel to 'special Apple events'. They expected to see Steve Jobs in a turtleneck so they got Steve Jobs in a turtleneck.
Apple have perfectly
serviceable (that's not really the best word is it?) acceptable products. I have an iPhone I like just fine, but it doesn't add anything to my persona. If there's a need for acceptance as a peer I've got other options that are imminently more suitable for that. And that's the rub in this.
No brand of consumer electronics should be making a statement about a person. Any statement about a person that can be made by any piece of consumer electronics is not going to be a good one. And it's going to be funny and it's going to be deserved as well.
You know they sell the fucking things at Wal-Mart right? In my nearest Wal-Mart the electronics counter is stuck randomly in sporting goods with black powder rifles on one side and artificial fishing lures on the other. There's just no way to spin that in a positive way. It's neutral, a product like any other product. If making a statement is what you're looking for I suggest you pick up a few of those black powder rifles and walk around with those. It probably won't end well, but it's cheaper, it really, really makes a statement and best of all, nobody's going to laugh at you.
But if you persist in making Apple out to be anything more than a moderately interesting blip in early 21st century civilization then people are going to laugh. And rightly so. It's hysterically funny. You want to get a read on a man look at how he treats his fellow man or how his employees think of him, the way he cares for his tools and animals (I assume there are clues for reading women as well, but I've never been very good at that.
Those things are real and can't be purchased. You're never going to get far with possessions, the $511,000 Maybach Zeppelin is pretty fucking badass until you realize those low flying aircraft aren't aircraft. They are $511,000 Maybach Zeppelins the guy just a bit further up the mountain than you uses for trap shooting. When I arrive at the Smithsonian fund raiser in my Maybach Zeppelin it's just a nice car. If I walk around acting like it says something about me then my neighbor who shoots the cars for fun and Steve Ballmer would laugh (tastefully, out of my sight) but they would still laugh. Laugh just like everybody who shops at Wal-Mart laughs at the guy with the Apple sticker on his 3-Series BMW.
Indeed they have. ROI is one component of many, it is not an on/off isolated thing.
What's worse, is that the way ROI is used now, isn't how the term was even supposed to work. ROI began life as one of those 'Happiness Index' things and included all kinds of good things like improved operational efficiencies when workers weren't distracted/preoccupied with making sure their kids could get medical attention. Things like factory subsidies for municipal improvements (parks, theater, musiems, trolleys & street cars, clean water and effective sewer systems, schools, good faculty, police services like opening locked car doors or jumping a dead battery, old people care facilities, hospitals, veterinarians). Scholarships, introductions into politics (if desired), vocational schools, dress suits and formal dresses for all workers, wives and children.
It's just never ending. ROI was designed as a way to spend company money on non operational things and make it all transparent and justifiable to shareholders and compliant with regulations. From the 1960's until today that has been phased out by jackasses who only see $$$$$$. Not $$$ + loyal, happy workers who actually wanted to work there and did so with pride.
So yeah, today's ROI has become the professional businesspersons 'buy the cheapest shit you can find and stuff a diaper in that kids mouth if it won't stop crying. It's father could afford to take it to the dentist if he worked harder or cut off cable and Internet. What the fuck can he even use the Internet for anyway? He doesn't have enough money to buy anything anyhow'.
It sucks, and it's stupid. Bunch of moose dicks.
Re: Talk is cheap
What? Tottering Jesus man.
I don't know where you're from, exactly, but I'm absofuckingloutely certain it isn't from anywhere near actual work being done. I hear you on shitty working conditions in lots of places, but your sense of scale, your grasp of foreign politics, your understanding of commercial leverage and knowledge of manufacturing is stunningly skewed. Like, the first non-laboratory example of terrestrial gravitational lensing occurring in the wild skewed.
No customer has leverage at Foxconn. The only entity that has leverage at Foxconn are the rather stuffy fellows that make up the Chinese government. If you aren't in Tibet or Taiwan then your government isn't going to actually do anything in China, they're pretty happy with things the way they are.
Everybody likes China just how it is, including the Chinese government. They make our shit, make scads of money, we get good prices and nobody has to run around with rifles in a really nasty willy waving contest. If you were born in the last three years or so it might have slipped by you, but explody willy waving contests traditionally precede any favorable trade agreements with foreign nations. Even as perpetually fucked up as our various governments are, skipping the traditional opening round (ha!) of trade negotiations is a pretty god damn big step forward for everybody. However bad working conditions are, they're not as bad as stacking those working conditions on top of a war torn populace, who don't even like most of the shit they make.
This next bit, I know a LOT about. When you're manufacturing at scale, like Foxconn is doing for nearly every product that uses electricity, the manufacturer has as much leverage over the client as the client does over them. It takes years and years and many, many billions of dollars to get production at that scale profitable.
I am looking, right this very moment, down onto our fab floor at a $41,000,000 machine we are building that will do vibration testing on several thousand smallish electronics assemblies simultaneously (it's pretty cool). That project started in July 2012 and will be put on a ship in October of this year with full capacity online by March of next year. That machine will cut about 16 minutes off the total production and test times and will do so until at least 2025.
There is no Amazon for bespoke manufacturing equipment, you pays your monies today, we'll send along invoices every 90 days for running costs, and we'll call you in a year or two (or longer) when it's ready. There is no knob to turn if you want more, or less, rounded corners. There is no lever to pull if you want your widget in a different color, there is no fucking way any manufacturer is going to shut down the production of 83 other manufacturers products so you can cut a hole in the ceiling and airlift out your equipment because some group of women who haven't carried the torch of women's lib and gotten jobs complain because they read a story on their phone about working conditions in China and had to text and email it to all their other friends then hop on the 'social network' of the month and broadcast it to anyone too far away from a brick to shut that fucking thing up when it 'dings' because some far off tart 'liked' it.
Good luck with that pal. Hey! Maybe you can start a Facebook group and maybe do a Kickstarter campaign to raise the $7,000,000 to cut the hole in the roof and you can levitate the equipment out with enough 'Likes'. If that doesn't work, maybe those 33,000 Foxconn employees surrounding you will help! Why not, right? They've got fuck all else to do. A group of Fat Westerners has shut down the factory and nobody can even communicate with them because although the Fatties phones look just like the 3,000,000 other phones sitting on the line, the workers phone don't have a translator that understands 'wut hpnd? Thnk got nuff likes? doz bng trampld hurt?'
That's OK though. See those very confused Asian people in suits over there? Yeah, they want to know if you brought the $763,000,000,000 to pay for apparently prematurely terminating the 8 year production contracts of 5,000 different companies. They think maybe you might have eaten the money, that's why you're so fat. You can try to explain that your parents have a $500 cap on the credit card they gave you. It's probably pointless anyway. See those new guys who just came in? The tall, slender ones that are a lot darker than everybody else and who appear to be in really, really great shape? Most people wouldn't think those fellows were French, but sure enough. They got early severance, with benefits, from the French government when the HR component of Sandline was purchased by an unknown Chinese manufacturer. Well, that's kind of cool right? You know where all those mercenaries from Libya and Ivory Coast went! You better think fast, I think they've decided to look inside you and see if the money really is there. Unless you have a zipper installed you should probably just shit your pants now. They might kill you prior to looking inside if you're all covered in shit.
If that all sounds too exciting you should try visiting the nearest Chinese Consulate. You're going to want to stand out, so I would go for the sandwich board approach. Maybe 'FREE TIBET' on the front and 'TAIWAN IS NOT A TOY' on the back. You should also explain that Nixon was a crook after all and that it's really, really not cool to keep the Mongolians trapped behind that wall like some sort of zoo or farm.
Hey! You could bring takeout from the nearest Mongolian diner. I guarantee there's one within 2km of your present location. Those places really seem to thrive in areas where people have enough free time to complain about the working conditions inside Chinese factories while sipping the coffee made from beans hand harvested in South America sweetened with sugar hand cut in Haiti frothed up with organic milk that costs so much the farmer can't give it to his kids and drink it from a hand thrown coffee cup made made by orphans inside the largest wood fired kiln that uses trees hand cut by children who are working off their parents debts that really seemed to spike after the copper mine switched to a more traditional, mercury heavy smelting process that also had the nice side effect of getting all the algae, fish, turtles, newts and aquatic birds out of the river. The drinking water doesn't smell like fish anymore AT ALL!
Let me know how that goes. Alternatively, you could consider longer term solutions that people will actually listen to. Changing anything is a hard thing, changing something as huge as Chinese factory conditions is really huge. You know what happens if you boycott manufacturers like that. They ramp up production to offset the unit price losses with volume. Nothing else changes. All you did was fuck hundreds of thousands of workers over. So, that's not the route I would recommend.
You want to make things better for your fellow man. That's an admirable quality. But if you want to succeed you need to accept the fact that your grandchildren might get to see some of your efforts come to fruition. That's what it's going to take. Lifetimes of effort. If you're in for that big of a commit that's great.
But know this, you can't stop if you start. You make promises of working towards a better tomorrow and you bail when you realize there is less than zero way to support yourself & family while you're on your mission and you have permanently, irrevocably and eternally blocked any foreigner in the future from getting traction. Don't do it if you can't commit, knowing you'll die before you see big changes. You'll cause more harm than good.
Re: Balancing Imbalance
Dropbears. Fucking dropbears. I'll never forget dropbears. It was a few weeks after I finished my graduate work and my first big time paper dealing with reducing cycle times in molds for casting certain titanium alloys had been published. In a few months I was going to start work on a major project at ORNL and the company where I did my internship had just bought me a fancy new car for some things I had figured out while I was with them.
Fuck yeah right? Young, fairly well liked, swanky new car, a little overdressed, but hey, I was young. But I was a badass, in my own mind anyway. I had met this pretty girl from New Zealand and it was going well and she starts telling me about New Zealand and Australia.
This bit is really important! She tells me about Dropbears, I'm really impressed, I had never heard of these things! How could that be? Later that evening I decided I would look them up on the web. But that hadn't been invented yet. So I dialed up some online places and tracked down some Australians who confirmed the Dropbear was real, and dangerous, if a bit overrated.
Few days later I'm talking with the girl again and tell her what I've discovered. She said about the same as the others, but added that lemons were their favorite, non-meat, food and the Australian lemon industry had been just devastated by the Dropbear. They had discovered a solution a long, long time ago. It seems the Dropbears wouldn't eat lemons until they were fully ripened, so Australia started harvesting and exporting the lemons and they would ripen in transit.
Anyway, the unripe lemons were a big global success and instead of calling them unripe lemons, they called them limes. It's still that way today, limes are just unripe lemons.
Man, I believed that shit for years. A really, really long fucking time. The issue had come up occasionally, and the people I knew would just look at me strangely and carry on. They thought I had to be joking. It was just too stupid to be true. It had to be at least 11-12 years before somebody told me the truth. If it wasn't such an odd thing I'm sure somebody would have told me sooner, but Dropbears and their impact on Australian fruit markets just doesn't come up often.
By this time I was a recognizable person in my field and a bunch of us were in San Jose and were going to be working with some senior engineers from Intel and Motorola, kind of a big deal. Still young, suits and ties were still cool fancy drinks with smart people, it was good.
The company I worked for had recently hired this young lady and this was her first job after graduating college, her first airplane trip had been getting to San Jose and they've sent her along with us for a few months. We're talking and the lime thing comes up. For the rest of my life I will never see such a confused look on someone's face. She just looks at me for a moment then gets up and leaves. In a few minutes our waiter brings me a note written on a napkin and it's this young lady requesting I meet her in the lobby.
The poor thing was so scared. She didn't want to make me look stupid, but she also didn't want me to make her look stupid by association. She handled it well. She explained it all to me and we went to the hotel library and she proved I was stupid with an encyclopedia.
Up until that very moment I had never been speechless. Ever. I started trying to remember who all I had told this to. I was really freaked out. I'm wrong sometimes, a lot of times really, but never this wrong. Shortly after I sent an 'electronic mail' message to the girl from New Zealand who had beguiled me. Since that day, every Christmas, and every year for my birthday, I receive a lime from her as a gift. Without fail, a single lime. She went on to become quite famous and maybe 12-15 years ago I also discovered that in the case where she keeps pictures of herself with well known people there is a lime in there with no name or explanation, just a single lime.
Re: To be accused is to be guilty
Seems like glossing over things is going around Mike.
Prosecutors won't generally go to trial unless the judge is sympathetic to the evidence presented. Now, the system was designed with the intent of allowing the social/economic opinions of the judge to be expressed in their rulings. In and of itself, that's actually a good plan. Somebody who doesn't perpetually cause trouble shouldn't get the same punishment as a person the judge has been seeing every few months for the last 25 years. That's cool.
What isn't cool, is that any system designed to reflect the individual opinions of those who oversee the systems operations is that you can game the system if you want it to take you to loftier heights. It's the same reason most people suck at capitalism. People are really, really bad at understanding value.
You assume the DA doesn't want to go to court because he doesn't have good evidence, but the fact of the matter is the evidence is valued differently by everyone involved. The DA doesn't want to take this trial to court because he will be putting his name in for a bench job next cycle and he wants a hardass resume of being hard on drug cases. This judge never rules hard on marijuana cases because he was still smoking pot with his soon to be wife when she got pregnant and his, now adult, daughter smokes grass too.
What you see as valuable, isn't. You think budgets are the issue when no federal court has ever, not one fucking time, been denied funds to prosecute crimes. It's a bottomless well, you can't budget the courts. Jesus. If you think people don't want to screw up their win/loss record because it'll make them look bad, how's it going to sound when you say: 'I'm very sorry lady. I know there is footage from 14 high resolution color video cameras showing him bludgeoning everyone to death with concrete garden statuary then wiping his bloody penis all over your daughters face, but we spent all our money prosecuting foreign computer hackers and pot smokers. Better luck next time'.
That's going to do wonders for your reputation right? Christ man. We now know, unequivocally, that you don't understand how courts work. I'm gong to have to express my doubts regarding your knowledge of statistics as well.
You absolutely cannot, under no circumstances, it is truly impossible, for any system designed by Humans, and dealing with Humans in matters which take into age, desire, intent, social status, outside influence, past history and a zillion other factors to have a 97% ANYTHING. It can't be done. That's just, really, really, really bad use of numbers. You seem to be able to identify grossly weighted conservative commentary, where's your common sense when it comes to a 97% win, by plea, for the prosecutors.
The fucking Pope wasn't 97% back when the Pope was infallible. The all powerful God of the Jews, Christians and Muslims wasn't 97%. There's a whole big section at the front of their books that deals with God saying: 'God damnit. I'm really sorry for the whole drown everybody thing. I was cranky and it seemed like a good idea at the time. I mean, I expected some collateral damage and all. But shit. None of you guys learned to swim? I've seen you guys floating felled trees on the rivers and stacking them to make shelters. I really thought people would see that if you turned the house upside down BAM! Instant boat. I even sent that Noah guy blueprints via Angel Courier all you had to do was do what he was doing. Noah has missed the last 13,000 days of work because he's a drunk, but guess who isn't dead and is still drunk. Yup. Noah. First thing he does after walking around in animal shit for over a month was get to work on a new vineyard. First thing. Anyway. I fucked up. Next time I'll use fire. Sorry. Have a rainbow.'
Yeah. Remember that part? Yup. That was the all powerful God of several big religions saying he fucked up. No matter what you believe about religion, the fact God is saying oops, is absolute proof you can't have 97% of anything. If they made up the God stories why put in such a big glaring hole in the 'all powerful, all seeing, all knowing, omnipresent supernatural being' part? If they didn't make it up then you've got an all powerful, all seeing, all knowing omnipresent supernatural being saying Fuck. I screwed this up. Sorry.
You're obviously not an idiot. Step away from the issue a little bit and think. Don't emote and make a highly irrational defense of something you know absolutely cannot be valid without weighting or falsifying data. Don't think for a second that because somebody is with the government that they're above lying or cheating.
That's pretty fucking good!