20 posts • joined Tuesday 14th August 2007 17:19 GMT
When does the point come when we are *too* connected? Is it really healthy to be able to talk to anyone at any time without taking time for reflection?
I don't see a problem using any tool such as email or texting or phones when necessary, sometimes it's simply easier or more convenient for either party to send a text instead of calling or actually going to see your recipient. However when you become dependant on a tool for day to day life you start to wonder what you are losing... It's good to evolve, but evolving doesn't mean completely throwing away old ways, it means adapting them to current needs.
Too Much Profit?
Soo.... Where does one draw the line of "too much profit"? I for one (living in a free nation, free market), enjoy the possibility of being able to make as much money as I want from my business. This doesn't mean skipping out on my responsibilities (standard taxes) by any means. However if they take "excess" profits from one company, what's to stop them from taking that from my company? Is oil special just because it's somewhat necessary now (hasn't always been necessary, probly won't be forever)?
My arguements generally fall back to private businesses vs corporations. Corporations such as Exxon Mobile have a responsibility to shareholders for solid profit margins, in this case shareholders are mostly pension funds. However some sort of social responsibility encouragement (worker development, infrastructure improvements) would be far more beneficial than a windfall tax giving people another $1000 to spend on gas.
I personally don't find it to be anticompetitive. Apple designed Mac OS. It's THEIR product. If they don't want to sell it to everyone they shouldn't have to, it's called FREE MARKET. However, if in some crazy judgement they do lose (I've long wanted Mac OS on PC), It will be good for the market in providing some alternative to windows that's relatively stable most of the time, and in doing so will only reaffirm why they have never opened it up to all hardware. Want the most stable Mac OS? Buy it on Apple hardware. Want cheap? Buy it on open hardware and pay for it in reliability.
But even then it's still probably more solid than Windows...
This is the problem with business nowdays. The responsibility of the board and CEO IS to achieve maximum profitability (value) for the shareholders, not to simply remain profitable. It is an investment, and as an investor you want max return on your investment. If something can be done to increase return, then it must be done.
I'm not saying I agree with this method, but that's also the reason I wouldn't build a publicly traded company. Private investors providing loans to a company is a different story, as long as you repay at the contracted rate, that's the only obligation you have. Your profitability or value from that point can be whatever you chose, as you have no responsibility of value. Public corporations DO have responsibility of value.
Spleen is pretty much right here. The example you give would relate to a company that's privately owned. In privately owned, if you had a business worth a million, and someone offered 10 million for it, you could still tell them to shove off and keep it for yourself.
In a publicly traded business, the board is responsible for realizing the highest value per share (providing the highest return) for investors. If Microsoft wants to buy a company at a premium, and the board refuses to sell, they're not doing their job (unless they believe they can make more elsewhere). Microsoft then has the option of going to the shareholders (the true owners) and asking them to replace the board with people that will support the sale. If the owners (shareholders) want to sell, the board gets replace and the sale proceeds.
The real problem...
Is that the American way of Government is always a lesser of two evils. I tend to be against the warrantless wiretapping program. I have always been a firm believer in the checks and balances way of doing things. Why not have a court, even a secret court, that approves wiretaps? It has been used before while not apparently costing anything.
However there are problems with this system as well. Leaks occur when agencies outside the one performing the taps are informed (via asking permission, etc). Most Court records (even secret courts), become public domain. If this happens while the tap is still in process, vital information can be - and usually is - lost. With a secret court, all wiretap decisions go through a single court, usually only a handful of judges at most, who are appointed, not elected. What's to say they're actually doing what's in the best interest of the country and not themselves or some other agency? At the same time having to get warrants approved can (at times, not always) cost vital time in getting information.
I'm not saying that warantless wiretapping is the right way, however there are just as many problems with the warant system as without. It mostly comes back to what is a resonable expectation of privacy.
I'll leave one more thought to fan the flames:
Privacy is a tool of the guilty, and those fighting unjust laws.
This sadly just reaffirms the type of "leadership" that the Patriots have. The "try to win at all costs" or "get every last cent wherever you can" mentality is unfortunately all too common in pro sports nowdays, as see earlier this year from the taping scandal (which now turns out has been going on for a few years, ordered by the owners/management). Everythings a trademark for more money or and angle where you can "bend" the rules to have an advantage; whatever happened to just getting good atheletes to play the game? (yeah yeah, it's all a business now ><)
Gratz to the Giants for playing great through the playoffs and getting a well deserved SB victory.
I agree with you that this is in essence a pure criminal matter, however that doesn't mean that MS should not do anything to help prevent these crimes from being committed.
Blocking Serial or Mac address (whichever is used when authenticating) would NOT "brick" the unit, it would only make it usable offline. In fact this would likely make it easier to track those committing these crimes. If a blocked box was picked up on Ebay, you go through Ebay's fraud devision, same as any other conterfit item. I believe ebay already files criminal charges against those with fraudulent auctions. MS could also add some means of unblocking these boxes with detailed info on the owner (ie only done at game stores, etc), and move that box to a watch list. Any more activity? You know right away who's responsible for the box.
Geothermal / Base Load
People talk about the environmental effects of Wind/Water etc, and then state how great geothermal is, without thinking about the implications of mass use of geothermal. The earth's core currently is insulated fairly well. As you start punching holes down towards the core and harnessing this heat, you remove the insulation and cool the core. While in small scale this may not have an effect for millions of years, on large scale it could be much faster. Every action has a consequence, unfortunatetly most people tend to be biased towards what they think is the best idea, without weighing all the possible effects (be it nuclear, fossil fuels, or natural).
"We have become used to the idea that we need 'base load' supply ... However, as more and more renewables like wind, wave and tidal come on the grid system ... complimentary plants can be run up and down to compensate for the variable availability of energy from these sources."
In theory scaling up/down plants is a great idea. If you don't need the power just scale back or shut down the plant until you do need it. In practice you have a staff of people that you have to either pay to do nothing while the plant is down for a month where renewables are working great (upping the basic cost of energy), or you have to lay off that staff and hope they're still around when you need to scale the plant back up (potentially causing blackouts or saftey hazards with understaffed plants).
R.E.. I wonder how many upgrade to a Wii?
The Wii was the last system of the 3 that I've bought, with the only game that I play on it being Wii Bowling (played a few others, but they've since been shelved). I've owned nearly every game system available in the US, and 360 is by far my favorite both for the games and the console as a media system, and the only console I'd repurchase (psp is awesome as well).
As far as the "next gen" systems, Wii is NOT a next gen system, it is based on old tech (gamecube), and is at best a new revision to an existing system, adding new controls. It also exists in a different market (the "fun" or party games segment), as opposed to the 360/PS3 which are in the gamer market. As they are 2 different segments, you can not compare sales figures. It's like comparing 2 sports cars sales figures to that of a Prius.
I agree with the other posters, let this die and find some real news to write about.
Why is Microsoft the dominant player in the browser market? Besides IE being bundled with every system, if you want to run Windows Update and get ALL the updates available for your computer, you HAVE to use IE. Sure, the "critical" updates can come down automatically, however to update the core desktop product, you have to use another MS product! (go figure).
"Microsoft says the groups haven't provided an existing or potential protocol licensee that intends to use the license to create software for the desktop that would rely on protections given by the judgment."
Well, if MS was actually split up, there would be plenty of licensees, being all the new companies created by the split. Oh wait no, that'd take away from their profit...
"How many of those 360s were replacements for broken consoles?
I don't actually know a single 360 gamer who only owns/has owned 1 360.
Not hating, just curious."
The only reason I've owned 2 is that the first was stolen. Both the original and the Elite I now own ran/run like champs.
I, however, did not replace the PS3 that was stolen.
Animal Shelters/ General Comments
"The tent cities are probably tolerable in the winter, but in summer it's damned hot here. The temperature reaches or exceeds 100°F (38°C) on an average of 89 days during the year, including most days from early June through early September."
As has been said many times, it's much hotter in the Middle East, where many troops from both the UK and US serve in full combat gear (much warmer than pink underwear).
"Does anyone seriously claim this has worked to reduce crime? Is crime lower in the USA or Russia where they lock up MORE people? It may not fit your prejudiced preconceptions, but the numbers say locking people up doesn't work. Whatever the colour of their underwear."
There are some who do make that claim, though it's likely unfounded. The argument I present is: Is the current system working better? Do giving prisoners tvs to sit around and watch, or weights to lift make them better fit to live as part of society, or will it enable them to go back to what they do currently?
I'm not saying Joe is some savior or not corrupt. He likely is just as corrupt as most other prison officials or government workers/politicians, however he's not content to leave the system as is and hope it works itself out.
I leave you with one more program Joe has started, that has not been mentioned, and goes back to my point of bettering prisoners to re-enter society:
"Maricopa County was spending approx. $18 million dollars a year on stray animals, like cats and dogs. Sheriff Joe offered to take the department over, and the County Supervisors said okay.
The animal shelters are now all staffed and operated by prisoners. They feed and care for the strays. Every animal in his care is taken out and walked twice
daily. He now has prisoners who are experts in animal nutrition and behavior. They give great classes for anyone who'd like to adopt an animal. He has literally taken stray dogs off the street, given them to the care of prisoners, and had them place in dog shows.
The best part? His budget for the entire department is now under $3 million.
Teresa and I adopted a Weimaraner from a Maricopa County shelter two years ago. He was neutered, and current on all shots, in great health, and even had a microchip inserted the day we got him. Cost us $78.
The prisoners get the benefit of about $0.28 an hour for working, but most
would work for free, just to be out of their cells for the day. Most of his budget is for utilities, building maintenance, etc. He pays the prisoners out of the fees collected for adopted animals. "
"Next Gen" consoles
Am I the only one that doesn't see Wii as a next gen console?? Yes, it's the new evolution of the nintendo consoles, however it in no way competes for the same market as the 360 and PS3. I love Wii, It's a great system with great games, and is an excellent innovation. However it is aimed mostly at a different market: it's the party game system. It's one that while played alone at times, is far more fun played as a group. Most of those games also don't need as good of graphics to enjoy them.
The 360 and PS3 however, are aimed at the traditional "gamer" market, folks that want full dolby surround sound, and super high 1080p style graphics. Much more of a single player market, and while there are some good multiplayer games, the ones with the most draw are games such as Bioshock (which won the Spike Awards Game of the Year), that you can get immersed in due to the awesome graphics and sounds, with a solid story. Unfortunately without the graphics power, Wii will struggle to accel in that market, which is why I have a hard time considering it a "Next Gen" system.
The other point I would like to see from your analysis, besides the point made by T Fillmore, is the percentage of repeat crime. Whereas his methods may not be deturring those that have not committed a crime previously, I would tend to think that the methods HAVE inspired those in his prisons to change their ways, or at least think twice before committing another crime in his jurisdiction.
Standard prisons are definately no deturrent. 3 meals a day, tv, recreation (weights, bball, etc). Some folks in the cities here in the states have it worse outside than in. I know of at least 1 man in town that attempts robery on a bank every fall so he has a place to stay for the winter. I somewhat doubt he'd be so anxious with hard labor awaiting him on the other side.
One other point that hasn't been mentioned, among Sheriff Joe's improvements have been getting meal costs for prisoners down to about 40 cents a day each, on a diet of balogna sandwiches (nutritious and cheap).
My only disappointment is that most other areas in the states are reluctant to change to a system like this. I'm not saying all his methods are great, but it's a step in the right direction. Crime needs punishment as a deturrent, and the current system in general fails at this.
This article shows a couple good points, though at heart it seems to revolve around the effect of bittorrent (or any equivalent connection hog) on DOCSIS networks. Whereas bittorrent is a good software client in spirit, it does tend make tons of requests. This is not a problem on a switched network such as DSL, as only users on that dsl connection are affected (ie... LAN traffic). So again it comes back to software designers creating poor software that attempts to do as much as possible, when unnecessary (why is there no option to limit number of connections?). As noted you can many times get far better download speeds with fewer connection attempts.
As programs like these continue to emerge, the problem will only increase, even on switched networks. Programmers will find ways around being limited by switched networks. The only solution in these cases becomes separation of traffic, and limits on types of traffic (again, very hard to implement currently, if even possible). ie.. standard web browsing gets 256k, file downloads 512k, streaming video 768k, etc. And in the end, on a DOCSIS network, the only place to regulate upstream is at the modem.
I'm just curious... As all police officers (in the US at least) have to be tasered before being able to use the weapon, how many of them have died in that procedure? If that statistic is 0, does that not help lend credibility to the "excited delirium" theory? Obviously that's for correct use of the weapon, not including cases of misuse of the weapon or excessive use (operator caused deaths).
OK, as we know Apple makes it's money from hardware. So charge the same as Vista Ultimate for OS X for PC, may not totally offset the hardware profit, but with the number of copies they sell it'd hit the high volume low cost strategy, and their profits would still increase. Hell they could even leave it the same price and just provide no support whatsoever; you run it on a pc, you get it as is.
Search Engines vs File Sharing
Maybe it's just me, but I don't see a difference here between the lawsuits by Perfect 10 and the ones brought against the filesharing software companies by the RIAA and MPAA. Software found to encourage copyright infringement has been systematically eliminated through lawsuits, as have sites that provide emule or other filesharing links. Yet Microsoft and Google can in essence do the same thing with thier search engines and get away clean... This is purely an observation, not supporting either side.
Just another example of the US courts continuing to contradict themselves. Either encouraging copyright infringement through some means is illegal, or it isn't. Make up your minds!