PC395o Opinion Blog Monday 29/10/07 ...
On BBCWS WSJ Asia tech correspondent says Facebook is dead
- good article I would say - Google is dead as well
An A level in economics teaches me : the Internet is a Perfect Market. Whatever a Google does other companies can copy at zero cost, OK maybe not in a day. I worked in the internet business 12 years now

Look if google genuine profit is $3Bn, (which I don't believe it does there's all kinds of accountancy tricks you can use like the German TV company which sold $100m in advertising then it bought $100m in advertising from the same client. Buy a company then sell it to your own shell company for double the value. etc)

Anyway if it's profit is $3Bn then we are paying too much for Googles services ..ah you say we don't pay anything it's free. Exactly they make me watch all these ads and I'm not paid for it. If they really can make 3bn from a free service then I can make 1 billion by paying people to watch my ads. Sounds difficult ? well be creative e.g. make a deal with hotels/cafes to put my search page first. Signup premium clients etc not poor students

There is a possibility that Google are following the Microsoft / Rockerfeller business model" of buy companies up, before they compete with you, surely the European Competition Authority should be wary of this.

I have another article about networking Fakebook etc, but simply remember I have accounts with 8 different companies, they are not monopolies more will come. Look at their valuations crazy crazy.

Jan 2008 update - Google is like a pyramid scam, but it might just work. It's original business doesn't make money and is very vulnerable to competition and being usurped e.g. Wiki free search tool. Seems with all this cash they can invest in businesses with business models that can make a profit, so they won't go bankcrupt just yet, but if they invest wisely then the shareholders might get to keep something around their original investment of $80, too bad if they bought shares later for $320 that was a stupid investment.

- from their website Does Google pay a cash dividend? No, we have never declared or paid a cash dividend nor do we expect to pay any dividends in the foreseeable future.

- It chooses maybe for tax reasons to reinvest all profits so you should earn a capital gain it's more risky than a cos that pays dividends I suppose. BUT, it doesn't matter if a stock issues dividends or not as the sharesholder can (synthetically) create it's own dividends by selling fractional shares of the company.

Skepticality 64 boring

.. - The presenters were very excited about a film Flock of Dodos a film about the creationism debate. Boring.. in most of the educated world there is no debate. Having criticized religious people for being dogmatic they went on to be dogmatic themselves by criticizing climate skeptics for not believing.

The other thing was the "shifting baselines idea", i.e. measuring what is normal in ecological terms. This is no big deal either as it says look the long term not the short term more

One of things was I had just listened to Oz Skeptics podcast featuring Top Oz Skeptic Prof Ian Plimer (top geologist) who argued strongly and logically the opposite against assuming MM CC catastrophe. That was 2004, but his recent newspaper articles are just as strong.

Steve Hassan on ABC
"When my father told me about Reverend Moon's gun factory I just stopped listening and chanted "god is great, god is great" .. former cult member

" thought-stopping" : religions/cults program followers to believe any criticism is the work of Satan.

Can be applied to other things "Be positive, don't you criticise that nice Mr Hitler, he is going to make Germany great." So I say Negative thinking is great ..

Steve Hassan on ABC Spirit of Things "When you get into one of these authoritarian groups, they say you have to look at reality their way, that they have the one truth and that is basically a very fear-driven way of looking at reality, that if you don't do it their way, you're going to get cancer, you're going to be hit by a car,"

Induce phobias to control people : taught to do thought-stopping, basically push any negative thought out of your mind.
- caught in a psychological trap
- state of fear.

his web : freedomofmind.com, other factnet.org

- don't block - take onboard criticism and make changes or not.

Sub-prime Mortgage abuse of the English language

.. hello what's that , typical of Real Estate people. Can I say I went out last night and ate a sub-tasty meal and saw a sub-excellent film. Look prime means the top quality, so sub-prime surely normal, but it can't mean normal otherwise they would just say "mortgage", so the clear implication is that it means below normal ie "risky". So at least "sub-prime" = "quite risky mortgage"

New Science

photo electric thread - will you be able to weave solar panels

RNeth Plants for mining :idea from a plant which has a sap which is 30% nickel. Now bred cress which is 10% gold. Yeh but why not use bacteria, surely be quicker ?

Unprofessional Skeptics 03/11/07
- been listening to 3 lots of podcasts recently Skepticality, My Oz Skeptics CD and skeptics Guide. - I am concerned to hear skeptics making thinking errors belittling of "opposition and of course type generalisations. It shouldn't be like that.

Is US Justice systematically racist ? BBC File on 4 Programme
Rather than a clear message, seems cases could seem outrageous, but on examination more grey.

Is the case of Shaquanda Cotton a sign or systematic racism or a ruthless mother running up against a bumbling bunch of teachers ?

Going to the end of the case first
1.the parole rules were applied outrageously unfairly. To gain parole the children had to conform to the strict discipline code. But there were things like they gave her an extra pair of socks then refused parole cos she had an extra pair of socks
2. Good on the official who took action to instantly release all the girls unfairly detained.
3. No child should be kept in prison, unless they represent a genuine physical danger. Even if a child pushed a disabled teacher, even if she was a real bad, even if she threatened the teacher.
BUT why didn't she testify, why not release records. Either the jury were unfair, or there was something in all the evidence that convinced then to convict.

Seems a product of American confrontation and litigation culture, meets bad legal system rather than just racism.
Seems the child was an no angel, but was the victim of an escalation game between the school and the mother and a justice system which is in a bit of a mess. Jailing a child for a year for such a small thing does seem unjust and I can see how it happened, but it shouldn't have. In any other country they would have both backed down and she would be back at school the next day. But she threatened to charge the teacher, so the teacher who no one says anything other than shocked was taken the hospital and filed a counter charge. On provocation this was raised to assault on a public official with a possible 7 year sentence. Seems the girls charges against the teacher were dropped or failed. The judge seemed to say at court the mother was uncooperative so a parole couldn't be offered, so since the jury had found her guilty the judge was forced to give her a custodial sentence. Like in the Tony Martin case in the UK where the Tories brought in a law that killers should serve a minimum of 5 years. Then when Tony Martin was over aggressive in defending his property the judge couldn't give less no matter how tormented he had been. So the same Tories who'd made the law complained how unfair it was.

The school should have dealt with it internally , but once the girl pressed charges they probably felt they have to back up their teacher. The Judge should have been able to say "even if your mother won't cooperate I'm going to parole you anyway", bit I guess the system prevented him.

Story : Early to school her way was barred by a male teacher altercation, her head hit a door.
Then two white students came into the building and that she asked a female teaching assistant, "Why couldn't I come in and then you let those white kids come in?"
Another Altercation : A jury believed the staff that she had pushed the disabled old woman without provocation sentenced for up to seven years in a state youth prison. (that's a mess how can you give an open ended sentence ?)

DA said he would like to say more and release the school records, but the mother won't allow this.

Judge Chuck Superville has defended the sentence he gave to Miss Cotton saying "the outcome would have been the same" if she had been white. I can believe this, but the system needs fixing. Even if she refused to admit guilt the judge should have been able to dismiss the case saying the crime was too minor to go to trial and it wouldn't be in the best interests of the child nor society to proceed.

Someone should have been able to appeal to the President or someone saying "this girl is in jail for a year and she maybe innocent or even if she is guilty a 1 year sentence is ridiculous for one push".

Notes 03/11/07

zwoop decision making system

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Randi_Educational_Foundation

http://www.urbanecology.org.au/topics/solarpanels.html energy payback of energy generated compared to energy used in manufacture is not less than 2 years and maybe much more. What if it is 10 years including installation work. That's not very viable is. most places say energy saving measures are a much better investment.

The cost of installing energy-saving measures such as solar panels would take more than 200 years to recoup in reduced bills, according to research published today from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors

fingerprints. Their average error rate was 0.8% - and one lab got 4.4% wrong. don't Warm up the car by idling it's wasteful http://www.abc.net.au/science/k2/moments/s2044311.htm

$15m/year maths geniuses
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