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I hate Apple design, but I just don't use their products. All Apple products have a good alternative...not necessarily true for Google, Facebook, Linkedin, etc.

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If supply goes up and demand is fixed, prices go down.

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..in an ideal system with completely rational actors. People will sit on properties that are not selling and not touch the price.

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And those people will eventually go bankrupt and the rental rates on their properties will reset. The market can stay irrational for arbitrarily long times, but not forever.

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The time it takes that to happen may be so long as to be effectively meaningless.

A rational person holding out for the "right" renter willing to pay the higher price would lower their prices sooner, but as previously established, people are not rational. Given the landlords that are holding multiple properties, they may just let the surplus profit soak up the loss from leaving the place without tenant.

Hiou linked a few good (and actually rational) reasons why this may happen, as well: http://www.ezracompany.com/2012/04/30/why-do-landlords-let-s...

The end result is that it's not as simple as ECON101 supply and demand.

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> The market can stay irrational for arbitrarily long times, but not forever.

Civilization, OTOH, cannot exist for arbitrarily long times (the heat death of the universe presents a pretty firm outer boundary), so the fact that the market can stay irrational for arbitrarily long times, but not forever, should not be seen as reassuring, or even meaningful.

Or, to quote Keynes, "In the long run we are all dead. Economists set themselves too easy, too useless a task, if in tempestuous seasons they can only tell us, that when the storm is long past, the ocean is flat again."

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Prop 13 means carrying costs can be extraordinarily low.

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I think any serious proposal to get rid of rent control would necessarily be tied to getting rid of prop 13.

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Are you arguing that if supply increases in a real market the prices won't go down?

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I'm seriously unsurprised to find the token why-does-anyone-like-Yudkowsky-he-doesn't-have-a-PhD-and-hasn't-even-saved-the-world-yet criticism in a thread about his Harry Potter fan fiction.

He's a great writer, and that should be more than enough for the purposes of recommending a thing he wrote.

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I left this out from the parent post because it's a subjective judgment, but I absolutely disagree that he's a "great" writer, or even anything really more than "serviceable" at best.

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Can you recommend some alternative writers that fill the role better?

I think his writing has two particular things going for it:

- He explains concepts clearly with understandable examples.

- He presents concepts that aren't (or weren't) well known outside of academia to a wider audience.

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"Scientific parable fiction" is a pretty narrow genre (though I'd personally argue that Yudkowsky does a pretty poor job of it - for example, Harry constantly assuming things without testing them and just happening to be right because the author says so).

One that does come to mind is: https://www.fanfiction.net/u/4976703/alexanderwales

alexanderwales writes relatively short, punchy stories that explore specific academic and narrative themes, and, importantly, generally work extremely very well as stories even if you discount the thought experiment aspects.

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I really liked The Last Christmas and The Metropolitan Man (A Bluer Shade of White felt a little cliched/predictable) and second the recommendation.

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> I'm seriously unsurprised to find the token why-does-anyone-like-Yudkowsky-he-doesn't-have-a-PhD-and-hasn't-even-saved-the-world-yet criticism in a thread about his Harry Potter fan fiction.

I don't think that this was the kind of criticism that was expressed, but on the other hand it's always easier to fight a straw man.

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>Whose the terrible engineer? Me with a patent and 25 years of innovation in key major products like the playstation network? Or the guy who interviewed me who gave me a thumbs down for being "terrible"?

Possibly neither, possibly both. Having been involved with something that launched at a company I've heard of doesn't necessarily mean you aren't a terrible engineer.

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My Dad (early 50's) has made more than I'm ever likely to (late 20's). He was always very circumspect about it, as it sounds like you are, but as I just became a father (and for some other reasons as well) he recently decided to share some hard numbers with me. I don't know how I feel about it, but I don't think I'd have been any worse off for not knowing.

tl;dr As someone in a similar position to your kids, I think your reasoning is sound.

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Why do you say that? I've been at Google for three years, and the only strong negative feeling I've observed towards MSFT was over the Mark Penn campaigns. Even then the response was mostly that the campus store should start selling the ties the Google guy in one of the ads wore, and ironically using "Scroogled" similarly to "Thanks, Obama".

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Stuff like this:

http://www.engadget.com/2013/08/15/google-blocks-windows-pho...

http://www.windowscentral.com/new-policy-google-voice-means-...

I used to be a big Google fan (before and after becoming a Microsoft employee), but seeing Google continue to block WP apps actually made me decide to move to WP and off Google services as much as possible.

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I don't get the complaint. Google obviously doesn't want to be in a position that it can't change how its ads are served because it's hard coded into a third party app they can't change, so they require it be done with HTML5. The requirement isn't a secret or a surprise and I highly doubt that Microsoft lacks the technical expertise to comply with it. It looks a lot more like Microsoft refusing a completely reasonable requirement so that they can make a stink about Google blocking them.

And complaining that there isn't an official version of some Google app for Windows Phone is like complaining there isn't an official version of Microsoft Office for Ubuntu or FreeBSD. Why would you even expect there to be?

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My complaint - and I'm speaking as a consumer, who pays for devices and watches ads - is that Google doesn't provide apps for Windows platforms and blocks developers (Microsoft and 3rd party) who do.

For the YouTube case, neither the Android nor iOS app were built on HTML5. Why did the WP app need to be? And, fine, if it needs to run on HTML5, were there API's or metadata provided to allow showing the ads using HTML5 standards? Nope.

Same for Google Voice - they won't provide an app and won't allow other developers to provide one. I don't care about having an official Google app; I do care about them completely walling off access to one.

Starting around the Google+ days, I began to get a very clear sense that Google cared about their strategies a lot more than me as a user. As a long-time Google user - since Gmail beta, OG Droid user, etc. - this was a dramatic shift.

Compare this to pretty much everything Microsoft releases these days - published standards, open API's. They publish things for other platforms and encourage developers to access and extend theirs. That's a technology future I'd prefer to support.

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> My complaint - and I'm speaking as a consumer, who pays for devices and watches ads - is that Google doesn't provide apps for Windows platforms and blocks developers (Microsoft and 3rd party) who do.

The problem is they're not really apps, they're services. Go ask Netflix if you can write a third party client for their service. Or Skype for that matter.

I'll be the first in line if you can get rid of all the useless DRM/telecoms regulation/whatever that makes these companies think this is necessary, but Google is if anything doing less of that than their competitors. At least they have platform-independent HTML5 versions of pretty much everything.

You have to admit the schadenfreude is delicious. Microsoft pushes DRM knowing full well it will disadvantage minority platforms and then it comes back to bite them now that they're the minority platform.

> published standards, open API's

It doesn't count when the standard just says "do it the way X version of Microsoft Office does it" without actually specifying what that is.

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> Skype for that matter

Not really an issue because Skype releases clients for Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, PlayStation...

> Useless DRM/telecoms regulation

What's that in reference to? Haven't heard Google say anything about that.

> HTML5 versions of pretty much everything

Sort of. See this thread on Google Inbox: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8495257

And this for Google Hangouts: https://twitter.com/johnath/status/486575645338918912

> delicious

To me as I consumer, schadenfreude is never delicious when it affects me.

> It doesn't count when the standard just says "do it the way X version of Microsoft Office does it" without actually specifying what that is.

Which API are you talking about? There are published, documented API endpoints for all kinds of Office services: https://www.google.com/?q=office+apis

I wasn't just talking about Office, by the way. For example, part of the HoloLens announcement was the invitation for Oculus, Magic Leap and Google Glass devs to build on the holographic APIs (http://www.theverge.com/2015/1/21/7865539/microsoft-windows-...).

Back to the original point - if a service provider won't provide an app, they should provide an API. Ideally both, but at least one. It's in their rights not to, but that's my cue to go somewhere else because that's not how I want to be treated.

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> Not really an issue because Skype releases clients for Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, PlayStation...

It's still kind of an issue if you want to run it on SteamOS, Solaris, FirefoxOS, Tizen, BeOS/Haiku, Plan9, all the different BSDs, etc. etc.

You can't expect anybody to support everything.

> Sort of.

Yes, Chrome-only for the brand new bleeding edge stuff is stupid. But it doesn't actually exclude any platforms because chromium is open source and anyone can port it to whatever you like. And then they end up supporting other browsers anyway.

> To me as I consumer, schadenfreude is never delicious when it affects me.

Yeah, I was a little confused about that. It seems like you were saying that Windows Phone users are having a hard time so you decided to switch to it. In which case it affecting you would seem to be intentionally self-inflicted.

> Which API are you talking about?

The "standard" for OOXML that Microsoft pushed through so they could say it was a "standard" even though the standards document was essentially entirely written by Microsoft and didn't provide all the information necessary to actually implement it correctly.

> Back to the original point - if a service provider won't provide an app, they should provide an API.

What you're really saying is that they should always provide an API, because nobody is going to provide an app for each of 10,000 different platforms. And I completely agree. But YouTube is doing the same as Netflix/Hulu/HBO and Google Voice is doing the same as Skype/MagicApp/Vonage. Blame all of them or none of them.

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First, I appreciate the thoughtful discussion. Good points, and it's nice to have avoided Godwin's law in a thread this deep.

> Skype

I fundamentally agree with you. Skype does support way more platforms than just about any service I can think of, especially when you consider Skype for Web beta (http://blogs.skype.com/2014/11/14/please-welcome-skype-for-w...). But I agree that nobody can support every platform.

> Chrome

Kind of true, but not all platforms can or will support arbitrary browsers. Worse, as a user I should never have to run multiple browsers just to use a web app. Extra chagrin here because holy cow this is the web we're talking about, and Google's established a pretty clear pattern over the past year of Chrome-only dev that should be pretty worrying to anyone that cares about web standards.

>shadenfreude

In my case, I decided that I was irritated enough at Google's actions that I'd rather not have Google apps on my phone apps than support their ecosystem. Plus, I genuinely prefer Windows Phone as a platform.

>OOXML

That was 2006, the same year jQuery was first released. Cars and Da Vinci Code were big movies that year. That was before Windows Vista shipped. It was a long time ago. If that's your reference on Microsoft's standards support, it's not the full picture.

>Blame all of them or none of them

I'll blame them all then, but I definitely feel like Microsoft's by far the least bad in this area. I'm disappointed, when I first got excited about the Android platform, I had high hopes that it would be something else. I ran early releases in VM's before phones were available. I was excited about an open source phone platform, and Google's general trend (at that time) of doing cool stuff on open source, open services, open API's. Things turned out differently.

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/10/googles-iron-grip-on-...

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> That was 2006...If that's your reference on Microsoft's standards support, it's not the full picture.

The new standard for high capacity SD Cards - SDXC - specifies a filesystem in the standard. That filesystem is exFAT, a proprietary, patent-encumbered filesystem from Microsoft.

Microsoft like to make out that they're an all new and open company, but they were a nasty company in the past, and they're a nasty company now.

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I'm not clear on how this relates. Microsoft created and patented a filesystem that solved some problems for flash memory. The SD association decided to adopt it for high capacity SD cards. I haven't read anything alleging that Microsoft did something sinister to trick them into doing that - is there something I'm not aware of there?

I get that this is inconvenient for users on other platforms that don't or can't license it easily, the same way GIF and MP3 and similar file formats have been in the past. I don't know why the SDA picked a proprietary filesystem.

Regardless, that was something the SDA did, and they did it in 2009. How does it relate to talking about how Microsoft currently produces apps and publishes APIs for other platforms?

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Oh please! You can't honestly believe that Microsoft didn't exert any pressure to get exFAT specified as the filesystem? There was no reason to specify a filesystem in the standard at all. SATA drives don't have a 'specified filesystem' now do they?

But even assuming that Microsoft had nothing to do with exFAT being adopted as the SDXC filesystem (yeah, right) it still relates as MS could have released the exFAT specification and they could have released the filesystem from licensing.

That would have been sign of them being a more open company, allowing integration with other OSs, but instead it just looks like since they failed to kill off OSS, they're now trying to own it. Same old Microsoft.

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Once again, that standard is nearly 5 years old. Microsoft has definitely continued changing their approach to OSS software. I think my favorite move posed by Microsoft that supports this is their open-sourcing of .net and working with the Mono developers to bring a better experience to all platforms.

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The effects of that standard are only just hitting us now. Have they dropped the requirements for a license for exFAT yet?

As for Open Sourcing .Net, what good has come of it as of today? It looks like a move to push their own environment more than anything else. But I'll tell you what: if in 2020 the decisions Microsoft are making today prove to be for the good, then I might start think better of them. At the moment, though, they've got a lot of past to make up for.

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My friends at Google constantly bash my use of Azure, Visual Studio and .NET/C# for my backend work - which they believe are inferior products. If you've actually used these products you would know that there is nothing inferior about them. Also, Vine/Facebook/Instagram/etc. all have modern apps on Windows Phone and yet a company the size of Google couldn't even bother to update their search app on that platform? Really?

Sorry but its evident to me as an outsider that Google has a chip on their shoulder when it comes to Microsoft, whether it be intentional weaved into their culture or not.

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> Google has a chip on their shoulder when it comes to Microsoft

Here's a good summary of the history behind this: http://www.windowscentral.com/google-problem-windows-phone

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One possible answer to that question, presumably not the one you're thinking of, is that those jobs are largely mechanical and require less creativity or generalized problem-solving ability than software engineering.

Edit: I don't mean to suggest that I think these kinds of questions are good for hiring software engineers, just that your argument for why that isn't the case may have some holes in it.

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Wake up between 11:00 and 12:30, arrive at work (Google NYC) by 1:30 or so, leave by 8:30ish (later when I have a good reason), get home, have dinner with my wife if I made it home by 8:00, kiss her goodnight, and take over watching my three-month-old twins until 4-5 AM, at which point I wake up my wife and go to sleep.

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Whether or not physicians are incompetent doesn't seem to address the result of the very first thing they did:

> So although the first doctors told them to wait, Balzer and Scott sent the MRI results to a handful of neurologists around the country. Nearly all of them agreed that Scott needed surgery.

I've had great doctors and terrible doctors, and the notion that the guy who graduated bottom of his class in medical school can always do better than a smart guy with an internet connection just doesn't pass muster in my experience. Of course some folks take this too far in the other direction, and I have a couple (mainstream, establishment, non-alternative, affiliated-with-big-hospitals) doctors whom I trust very much...but your blanket dismissal of "guy working in his basement" sounds, well, motivated.

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>A handful of Neurologists around the country.

But this is where we don't get the whole story; A handful of Neurologists could also be wrong but still have consensus. I want to see the reasoning behind their decisions because if an incomplete history was fed to these physicians, then of course they would come to the same conclusions. There could be selection bias, confirmation bias... all kinds of confounds that went into this. It's the classic '4 out of 5 doctors recommend X,' a statement that's meaningless.

Again, as I've said in a longer comment in this thread, there is a spectrum of competence in ANY field, but Medicine is very unique because there is a lot of broad knowledge that goes into the decision making process. Our jargon is immense for a reason, there's a lot of data that must be integrated. Whenever I read an article like this, I know I'm not getting the whole story because certain facts don't line up. Not to mention, I'd like to see the actual Pathology report because I don't buy the whole 'invading' the optic nerve statement. It sounds like something a surgeon would say immediately after the procedure like, "Wow, I'm glad we decided to do this, otherwise it would've been bad." It's screaming of confirmation bias.

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The reason may have been that they tend to grow slowly but considering her age it was likely to grow. Another alternative to monitor or surgery may have been radiation, but again age plays a part. In the end it is supposed to be an informed decision by the patient after exploring all treatments. In this particular case there may have been high risk of leaking CSF with risk of meningitis for example with the new approach used. But we do not have all the details, it's exciting though anytime there is a new approach other than craniotomy developed.

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No ads would mean no Google, which (given Google's market share) I respectfully claim would not be maximized user experience.

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