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There is no dilemma, only a misunderstanding of laws, perpetuated by apostles of St. Milton. There is no law that says management's top priority is to enrich shareholders. Their job is to run the company in a responsible and sustainable manner so that it can indefinitely generate profits for them (I guess even if those profits are never distributed). Sometimes this means spending money or foregoing revenue for PR or marketing purposes. Other times it means spending money or foregoing revenue to help ensure you still have lots of customers. The decisions management makes on how to market their products, how to design them, and how to build them, are not for shareholders to approve or disapprove. It's management's decision, so if they feel environmental issues will threaten their future revenues, it's their call to do whatever makes sense to minimize those issues.
When Katrina devastated New Orleans, Wal-Mart sent truckloads of water to give away for free to residents with no water. Nobody accused them of violating their fiduciary duty. Intel spent tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars promoting USB and wi-fi standards, with no direct revenue, and nobody accused them of wasting money. These are marketing decisions that don't have to get approved by misinformed shareholders, no matter what economic bible they quote.
And as Cook correctly stated, if you don't agree with how the company is being run, you should get out of the stock. Owning shares of stock in a publicly traded company does not give you any say over management decisions - at best you get to vote for a board of directors, and they get to hire and fire top executives. Given how little influence average stockholders have over corporate boards, they would be better served by selling their shares when they don't agree with management.
5 days, 22 hours ago on Apple’s Tim Cook And His Dilemma Over Sustainability And Climate Change
Why are you using the term "investing in" instead of "donating to"? Are these groups that were created to protest political issues expected to generate profits?
And is Omidyar expected to always oppose everything the Obama administration does? Wouldn't that effectively make him a member of the tea party? Shouldn't he be allowed to be in agreement on some issues?
Do you specifically believe Omidyar should not be allowed to take sides in such a big issue (not that there is a good side to take)? If your only complaint is a lack of disclosure, then you should make that clear.
1 week, 1 day ago on On the importance of keeping investors out of the newsroom, and not treating your readers like fools
@condofranca Well, so far, FB makes no money from Instagram. They might in the future, but they aren't yet. And it remains to be seen how you tie ads to photos on small screens, they don't quite have the technology to figure out what is in photos that advertisers find relevant.
Yes, FB is paying for protection, but if WhatsApp doesn't generate any revenue (let alone income), it will eventually decrease the value of FB. Both Zuckerberg and the WhatsAPpp founders have said they won't run ads there, so you have to take that at face value (or are you calling them liars?).
You can't blame the founders for taking that offer. I'm impressed they held out for that much. At some point the offer had to be $10 billion, and they still turned it down. I can't fathom how they said no until the offer got that big.
" I dont want Facebook in my life." You're not alone in that sentiment. People will give up FB because they don't like that. It's not necessary for life as an adult, and people will realize that.
Maybe people wont' abandon Facebook, but they will decrease their usage of it. The cost of switching to new networks is near zero, and the barrier to entry for new networks is also pretty low (SnapChat grew to be acquired for $19B with only less than $60M in funding, so it obviously can be done.
Funny you asked, no, I don't want to be tracked all over the net, so that's what I am working on stopping. :-)
2 weeks, 3 days ago on Follow the photos: The real reason Facebook just paid almost 10% of its market cap for WhatsApp
" you have to be 16 to sign up"
Seriously? I'm a lot older than you, and I still know that kids lie about their age on-line. That hasn't prevented much of their users from being younger than 16. If kids will go to great lengths to illegally purchase alcohol, it's not a stretch to imagine they will click on a box on a webpage that says they are 16.
So they own photos. Maybe they will make the same amount of money per photo sent on whatsapp that they make for each one posted on instagram. Which is zero. A widely used photo messaging over the internet app may be good for data capping wireless carriers, but it remains to be seen how that translates into ad dollars. Especially when your user base is young and in countries that have low per capita incomes (an ad being viewed by an American is worth more to advertisers than one being viewed in Indonesia). Is anyone making money from sharing of photos? It's one thing to sell ads that target words in an email or post, but another to make them relevant to a photo. To a 14-year old with little or no disposable income (if they can't afford the almost unlimited text plans, the main reason for using an internet-based messaging app), how much spending will embedded ads generate?
So go ahead, make another pitcher of kool-aid. The batch made in the 90s is long gone, all drunk up by buyers pf petfood.com and toys.com and stupidthingsnobodywilleverbuy.com. We can use another wealth redistribution vehicle in the valley.
2 weeks, 4 days ago on Follow the photos: The real reason Facebook just paid almost 10% of its market cap for WhatsApp
An almost perfect piece, the only gripe I have is the comment that some corporate charters demand that corporations answer to shareholders over customers. That is a myth spread by people who believe that short term profits is a corporation's top priority. It isn't, running the company in a manner that can sustain operation is the top priority, and usually that requires keeping customers happy. The only reason companies like Comcast get away with not pleasing customers is their government-granted monopoly.
But when the general media writes on this topic, I hope they read this article and learn/quote from it.
3 weeks, 2 days ago on Whatever happened to broadband competition?
I take it you haven't flown on United or American lately.
3 weeks, 4 days ago on Forget Google Glass: If Virgin wants “flying to be a pleasure” it should change how it treats passengers
"Verizon wants to charge companies with big customer bases and big data-loads like Netflix more for access to their customers. By manually slowing down or “throttling” Netflix, it could pressure them to cough up more cash."
I would like to believe that Verizon and the other ISPs understand that content providers like Netflix are already paying for access to their customers, when they pay for their connection to the Internet. The Internet is a network of networks, and when you connect your network to the rest of the other networks that are connected to the Internet, you now have access to all computers that are on every network. That's how the Internet is supposed to work. Verizon, and the service providers who don't like the idea of net neutrality, effectively want to redefine the service they offer. Instead of providing an Internet connection over DSL or FiOS, they want to provide a connection to the Verizon network. Which provides an optional gateway to the Internet, a gateway that Verizon wants to control, without regulations that limit how they operate that gateway.
If they are allowed to limit the functionality of that gateway, they should not be allowed to market their services as Internet access, for it isn't access to the Internet that they are selling. It's access to the Verizon network, which is not the same thing. If Verizon wants to offer Internet service, they cannot arbitrarily decide which connections on the Internet get to be connected, and at what speed.
And with regards to the photo, if you're going to buy a 65" TV, don't you want your sofa to face it directly, instead of sideways?
3 weeks, 5 days ago on Is Verizon really slowing Netflix down on purpose?
It isn't just Facebook, I've had the same reaction on other sites, and I usually try not to be inflammatory. I was not just censored, but kicked off Atlantic's site, for responding to a headline ("There are no fat people in Paris") with the comment "Yes, there are. They are called American tourists.". At first I created a new user name, but then I decided to not use it. If they are going to be that arbitrary with their policing, I don't want to be part of their "community".
Maybe you don't want to leave Facebook for marketing reasons (I can understand that ), but I wouldn't want to live in a town where they restricted your speech like that.
And you're right - Obama shouldn't care about what the Republicans will say about anything he does - it's a lock they will criticize him, so he should just do what he thinks is best, and ignore the political fallout. It's not like he's going to be running for office again.
1 month ago on How I was censored by Facebook
@row1e No, it's a program that runs under the OS, which is the platform. It is customizable, but it's not designed to load other programs, other than those that personalize the behavior of the browser.
The browser doesn't force anyone to search. There is an address bar at the top, and you can enter the address of the website you wish to visit. You can save favorite sites. There is no forcing anyone to do anything, and I don't pay any of the browser vendors anything.
As for the apps that browser vendors force us to use, I have no idea what you are talking about. I use the browser to access servers that are connected to the internet. When the content on the server requires the use of an application beyond the browser, I usually have a choice (yes, there are defaults apps, like video players, but there has to be defaults because the majority of people wouldn't know what to do)), but the limitations are usually imposed by the server, not the browser.
1 month, 1 week ago on This is how Google is killing the Web
The one per cent are not job creators, that's a fantasy, and they are causing inequality. They are the prime sources of inequality, as they take advantage of the imbalance between supply and demand for labor to increase their share of profits. When they take a bigger slice of the pie, there is less for everyone else. And they have not demonstrated that the pie is getting bigger, only that their share is. And when profits increase, they respond by hoarding them, not reinvesting them.
They are not being demonized for being rich, they are being demonized because they run the system, and the system is failing. Tax rates are lower than they have been in decades, and if there are too many regulations, tell that to people in West Virginia and West, Texas. Parasites like Perkins whine about regulations, but never give examples of these "job-killing" burdens, they only just echo the whining of the buy low/sell high extractors.
Poor Tommy Perkins, nobody threw him a parade for of the jobs he created. Maybe if the regulations and taxes are too stifling, he can sail his yacht to some other country where there are less of both. I hear Somalia is a good place for job creators like him, there is not much of a government to tell him what he can't do.
1 month, 1 week ago on Perkins: I regret using the word ‘Kristallnacht,’ but not the message
The browser is an app. Not many apps give access to other apps. If you want Chrome to give you access to other apps, install Chrome OS.
The headline is ridiculous.
Only some of Google's revenues would be threatened by end-to-end encryption. When you do a search, it may be encrypted, but only to google servers, as it is de-crypted by their servers, otherwise they wouldn't know what to search for. They could still run search-related ads on their page that were relevant to what you are searching for, and that represents the bulk of their revenue.
However, if you encrypted your gmail before it was sent, and it was decrypted by the recipient, Google would lose the ability to run ads relevant to the content of that mail. However, if you do searching on google in normal (not incognito) mode while you are logged in to your gmail account on the same browser, google would still know what you are searching for, and would be able to display ads in your gmail window relevant to your searches. However, I don' think those ads represent a significant piece of their total revenue.
1 month, 1 week ago on Google and encryption: why true user privacy is Google’s biggest enemy
The votes in Colorado and Washington are going to turn out to be major turning points for the nation, impacting the economy, prisons, and millions of lives. I might be cynical, but I have to think that the government is now embracing the sale of marijuana because the tobacco and/or alcohol industries want to start selling it (but in any case, I applaud them for these latest moves). It's kind of like when IBM introduced the PC, it legitimized Apple. And if the alcohol and tobacco industries start selling it in two states, they will want to do it in all 50. And it will happen. Federal, state, and local governments will spend less money on enforcing and prosecuting obsolete drug laws, and on incarcerating non-violent people. And the decriminalization will reduce the violence associated with the sale of marijuana, and hopefully will be applied to other substances that are now criminalized.
1 month, 2 weeks ago on Citing public safety, AG Holder moves to help the marijuana industry
@AtticusSnark I'm not calling him a hero, but he is a whistleblower. Nobody else was going to uncover the fact that the NSA collects all those communications, and then decides what to do with it. Without him, the world doesn't know the US has further shredded the constitution.
He ended up in Russia because any country with better relations with the US would have been pressured to turn him over. He wanted to go to Brazil, but had no way to go there on a commercial flight, and apparently his "handlers" aren't willing to spring for a private jet.
As for Greenwald, he had to give it to someone, and probably someone who isn't part of the media machine in the U.S>. I can't say I blame him for not turning it over solely o a US media outlet; I don't trust them, either.
Most of what he disclosed was not secret, just not widely known. Congress indemnified phone companies in 2007 for giving access to their networks to the government, because they knew it was illegal. The public wasn't really paying attention, but this "disclosure" got everyone's attention.
There has been no evidence of any terrorists escaping the government because of Snowden. If anything, he's made it harder for them to operate in a distributed fashion, because they won't risk electronic communications. That will greatly diminish their effectiveness.
As far as Greenwald goes, don't ignore the message because you hate the messenger. One thing Snowden wanted and got with his choice of Greenwald was widespread attention, which if he didn't get it, would have made his sacrifice (and he did make a sacrifice, he is in Russia) in vain.
1 month, 2 weeks ago on How whistleblowers are barred from defending themselves in court
@AtticusSnark He was a spy, but a spy for the US. If you manage computers, or do just about anything, for the NSA, you are a spy.
If he wanted to spy for China or Russia, he could have sold all of those "secrets" for hundreds of millions of dollars, and not revealed he had taken them, and the NSA never would have known they were compromised. He doesn't appear to be living the life of luxury, nor does he have much freedom.
It doesn't sound like he needed any help from outside agents to copy files from computers he managed. After all, it was his job to manage those computers. He was most likely more knowledgeable about how they worked than any foreign agency.
His revelations demonstrate how incompetently managed the U.S. intelligence departments were. A low level contractor like Snowden never should have had access to that much information.
Maybe twitter should have a special section for debates that allows more than 140 characters. I don't use it, because I don't think you can disseminate any meaningful information in 140 characters; what you can do is get misunderstood. Although I kind of wish I caught this debate live.
Lots of people, but still a small percentage of the population, were aware that the NSA captures voice and data traffic from ISPs, namely Verizon and ATT. Congress passed legislation indemnifying the phone companies against lawsuits for their unlawful cooperation with the government, so they essentially admitted it was illegal. The broad monitoring is also unconstitutional, and Andreessen is disingenuous, at best, when he minimizes the disclosure of these actions and subsequent public reaction. It is a big thing, and when people like him joke about it, it encourages more people to accept the government's actions as acceptable. That's a very slippery slope, unless you want a nation of sheep.
I have to say I do like Pando's internal debate, between those who devote their posts to gossiping about the character of Greenwald and Snowden, and those who focus instead on their revelations.
1 month, 3 weeks ago on Many of the NSA revelations aren’t “surprising.” So what?
If Andreessen thinks Snowden didn't really disclose any secrets, then maybe he should be coming out in favor of not charging Snowden with any crimes.
1 month, 3 weeks ago on Why is Marc Andreessen defending the NSA?
@JohnnyCWood So if Obama pushed for single payer health care and got nothing, you would have been okay with that? Or would you still be mad at him because he didn't use martial law to get Congress to go along with him?
1 month, 3 weeks ago on The inside story of how Obamacare became an insurance-industry bailout
@TomBurlWalsh Yes, but just to get it to pass, he made huge concessions to many Democrats who represent conservative districts and states. He would have lost all of those votes had he pushed for single payer, or anything other than what ended up as ACA. He used the power of his office as much as possible, but he did not have a guy like Tom DeLay, whom Bush/Rove had, to bully disloyal Democrats (many of whom rode his election into their seats) into supporting his position. The Democratic party in the house (and in many cases, the senate) is not one big happy family. Obama just barely got enough votes in the senate to overcome a filibuster, as Democratic senators who didn't like parts of his plan sided with Republican threats to filibuster.
When it comes to policies that require legislation, Obama is not a dictator. He has veto power, but does not have the power to force an issue, like he does on things like spying and fighting wars. Presidents can unilaterally enforce laws to their own interpretation (leading to the disintegration of the constitution), bu they can't make them.
@Strangely Enough That's Sebelius's opinion, and even if true does not nullify the justification for the current system. If Obama had campaigned for single payer, he would have gotten nothing. There is no reason why single payer can't happen at some point in the future; sixteen years before Obama's efforts, Clinton's presidency was almost ended by his attempt to get a national health care system passed. And yet the nation eventually made a small movement in the right direction. The U.S. isn't super-country, it can't make giant leaps in a single bound.
Forcing people to buy insurance is a tax; the people who weren't buying insurance are low risks that subsidize those who are more likely to require health care. Which is what insurance does in general - distribute the losses of a small segment of the population to a much broader group.
If Obama pushed for single payer, he would have lost. We would have the same system we had a year ago. Millions of people now have insurance, including coverage for pre-existing conditions. Maybe this doesn't benefit a lot of people, but those who are now covered may think differently.