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posted by janrinok on Friday November 18, @02:28PM   Printer-friendly

Cascade Lake and Skylake prove even more expensive than expected:

VLSI Technology, a patent holding company affiliated with Softbank's Fortress Investment Group, has been awarded $948.8 million in a patent infringement claim against Intel Corporation.

On Tuesday, a federal jury in the Western District of Texas, a popular venue for patent claims, found that Intel's Cascade Lake and Skylake processors violated a VLSI data processing patent.

Intel in a statement emailed to The Register said it intends to appeal the decision.

"This case is just one example of many that shows the US patent system is in urgent need of reform," a company spokesperson said. "VLSI is a 'patent troll' created by Fortress, a hedge fund that is bankrolled by large investment groups for the sole purpose of filing lawsuits to extract billions from American innovators like Intel."

"This is the third time that Intel has been forced to defend itself against meritless patent infringement claims made by VLSI. Intel strongly disagrees with the jury's verdict and the excessive damages awarded. We intend to appeal and are confident in the strength of our case."

An attorney representing VLSI did not immediately respond to request for comment.

[...] A 2014 academic paper, "The Direct Costs from NPE Disputes," [PDF] found that in 2011, "the estimated direct, accrued costs of NPE [non-practicing entities] patent assertions totaled $29 billion."

Large technology companies – many of which have amassed large patent portfolios, which they often justify as defensive weapons – have complained for years about patent trolls/patent assertion entities [PAE] /NPEs, which are companies that exist to file infringement claims.

Legal changes, like the US Supreme Court's Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International decision, which made software patents more difficult to obtain, have reduced patent trials – more claims are being dismissed. But Intel in its antitrust argument against Fortress has suggested that patent assertion entities are adapting to the new legal landscape.

"In the face of these challenges, PAEs have evolved," the company said. "PAEs have increasingly been partnering with investment firms to fuel their litigation."


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  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Saturday November 19, @08:02PM (17 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Saturday November 19, @08:02PM (#1280538)

    In the current economy housing is only paid for by people who make good money, or government assistance programs. With (significant) UBI, everyone has sufficient means to afford basic low cost housing and specially administered government housing projects for the needy can wind down. IMO that would provide deflationary influence on the housing market, knowing that these low income people at least have enough reliable income to pay for basic low cost housing.

    Or, the housing owners could just be greedy bastards and let people stay homeless on the streets while they hold out for higher rent and pay higher taxes for police to protect them from the starving poor... Could go either way, or a million other ways, nobody really knows until it is put into practice.

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  • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Saturday November 19, @08:42PM (16 children)

    by RamiK (1813) on Saturday November 19, @08:42PM (#1280543)

    ...that would provide deflationary influence on the housing market...

    Without taking action to increase the supply of housing you'll just create a demand-pull inflation.

    Or, the housing owners could just be greedy bastards and let people stay homeless on the streets while they hold out for higher rent and pay higher taxes for police to protect them from the starving poor

    You're not thinking far enough. At first money will transfer from the upper class (tax), through the poor (UBI) to the middle class (rent seeking). However, the scaling factor will enter: The ultra rich will put up huge ghetto style block cities where they'll own the supermarkets and utilities thus milking the UBI recipients directly. Another iteration forwards and the poor are back to working poor status since the rich raised the prices for everything to optimal while the middle class is no longer in the rent-seeking business since they were scaled out of it.

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    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Saturday November 19, @09:58PM (15 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Saturday November 19, @09:58PM (#1280548)

      >Without taking action to increase the supply of housing you'll just create a demand-pull inflation.

      Housing demand, at least at the low end of the market, comes from population, not money. When the poor have enough money to actually pay for housing, there will be incentive to provide it for them at prices they can afford.

      >The ultra rich will put up huge ghetto style block cities where they'll own the supermarkets and utilities thus milking the UBI recipients directly.

      I don't question whether this is beneath their moral scruples, clearly it isn't, but I do question whether it's actually worth the Ultra-rich's time to pursue such low margin markets? They would rather be focused on milking the middle-class dry until the Middle class is all down in UBI level housing too.

      UBI isn't about bleeding money out of the rich, it's about changing the economics equation to put in a per-capita floor number higher than 0. Having that guaranteed income, as long as it is enough to provide basic food, clothing and shelter - even if it is in your ghettos - changes the employment social dynamic dramatically. People would be working to better their circumstances, not to avoid unlivable situations. Assuming we ever get to a representative government where the majority of a the population gets policies they want (instead of the majority of the money), all the rich would accomplish by raising the cost of living in their slums is increased taxes to pay for the increased UBI to cover those expenses.

      Most everything worthwhile throughout human history has come about at the hands of people with, relatively speaking, too much time on their hands. Discoveries, inventions, philosophical advances have mostly been at the hands of the idle rich, or in situations of commission by the rich like Leonardo DaVinci and Edison's patent sweatshop. Wouldn't it be interesting if 100 million+ Americans had the option to pursue their own interests, rather than working from graduation until they're old and broken?

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      • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Saturday November 19, @11:18PM (14 children)

        by RamiK (1813) on Saturday November 19, @11:18PM (#1280559)

        would rather be focused on milking the middle-class dry until the Middle class is all down in UBI level housing too.

        It will rotate between parties just like now: When the republicans get elected they'll mostly target the poor and when the democrats get elected they'll mostly target the middle.

        UBI isn't about bleeding money out of the rich...Assuming we ever get to a representative government where the majority of a the population gets policies they want (instead of the majority of the money), all the rich would accomplish by raising the cost of living in their slums is increased taxes to pay for the increased UBI to cover those expenses.

        That's the problem: The adversarial design of the republic's government and markets explicitly sets out to make sure one side is always out to bleed the other as a form of checks and balances precisely to prevent having a democratic "representative government where the majority of a the population gets policies they want". And since that's a prerequisite for UBI to work as intended...

        Look, the US exists to fulfill a Machiavellian ideal by (John Adams' [jstor.org]) design. The Union's very nature opposes everything UBI sets to achieve. It's basically why the US was so opposed to communism and is so resistive to various socialist and progressive agendas. You just can't remove a big chunk of American from the you-stab-me-I-stab-you game. The system won't allow it. Even if the upper and middle classes somehow reach an agreement not to fuck it up, some Trump-wannabe fueled by senility, dirty money and debts will start spreading FUD how he can make America great again if they just vote for him and once he gains a bit of popularity one of the major parties will embrace him and break things up. That's how the system was design to work: Endless conflict as a form of stability to fuel growth and prevent cartels and monopolies from gaining too much political influence.

        For UBI to happen in the US in any shape or form, it will need to happen for the whole OECD first just like health care. And even then, the US will be forced into it kicking and screaming through multiple failed legislative attempts and decades of two-steps-forward, one-step-back pushes and pulls. And that's me being optimistic.

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        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday November 20, @02:28AM (13 children)

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday November 20, @02:28AM (#1280582)

          UBI doesn't serve a 51% majority, it would benefit more like an 80% supermajority, not to mention providing security for future generations...

          If the "silent majority" ever wakes up to that reality, opponents of UBI are screwed.

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          • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Sunday November 20, @12:49PM (12 children)

            by RamiK (1813) on Sunday November 20, @12:49PM (#1280661)

            Universal health care serves 99% of the population. How's that working?

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            • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday November 20, @01:38PM (11 children)

              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday November 20, @01:38PM (#1280668)

              Note: dependency on Silent Majority waking up from their current delusional state. Why do you think Gov. DeSantis is explicitly passing "Anti-Woke" legislation around education?

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              • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Sunday November 20, @02:32PM (10 children)

                by RamiK (1813) on Sunday November 20, @02:32PM (#1280675)

                Gender politics is the sex-sales of red herrings: You can always bet on it to divide and conquer whenever you stumble on inconvenient majority consensus.

                But yeah. I remain unconvinced about UBI and any other plan that necessitates people not being idiots. Call me back when you can get the Kardashians to champion UBI. Then we'll talk :/

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                • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday November 20, @02:49PM (9 children)

                  by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday November 20, @02:49PM (#1280679)

                  I know he's a radical arrested for protesting, but Sanders was actually making "I'd like for us to do this" noises back when Yang was campaigning on it.

                  I feel like it wouldn't take the Kardashians to make it happen, just a few dozen Hollywood blockbusters showing what it could do, and maybe a few more contrasting it with a future without it. They make plenty of dystopian crap, they could start getting explicit in Star Trek: "this is where we go with UBI..."

                  I'm not at all claiming that UBI can't be a label slapped on corrupt party leader communism or similar sleight of hand bullshit revolutions that make things just as bad or worse as they were before, but unlike communism, UBI leaves the power of purchasing in the hands of the people. It's not quite: One person one (monetary) vote, but it stops people's money-voting power from dropping to zero, and that's a powerful change in the denominator.

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                  • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Sunday November 20, @04:41PM (8 children)

                    by RamiK (1813) on Sunday November 20, @04:41PM (#1280689)

                    I'm beating a dead horse here but you get to choose health insurers, doctors, smartphones, a wide selection of wonderful tv channels, ISPs... Fundamentally, free markets just don't work by default as competition needs significant invested interests, legislation and active enforcement to function properly. So, unless you can design UBI in a way that pits the middle class incentives against the upper class and vice versa, it ain't gonna fly.

                    Having said all that, there's one game changer that should actually have a fairly decent chance at getting UBI going in the next few years: The federal reserve will probably issue a CBDC* and gradually phase out paper currency in the next few years which would follow up with a fairly complete rewrite of the tax system. From there, the rich will fight tooth and nail to keep the middle class in check by cancelling social programs and favoring direct flow to people's pockets where their market dominance can be leveraged to scale. But, since the flow issues will surface early, the middle class will be able to act in time to keep the rich in check with more taxes and anti-competitive regulations and enforcement...

                    * China is already there while the EU is starting a pilot next year so it will soon become a fundamental trust issue in the dollar unless it gets done.

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                    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday November 20, @05:54PM (7 children)

                      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday November 20, @05:54PM (#1280696)

                      >Fundamentally, free markets just don't work by default as competition needs significant invested interests

                      No, they don't. Free markets lead to the Rockefeller domination of the oil industry and similar... Anti-trust laws sort of give justification for breakups of those kinds of monopolies - the aftermath of the AT&T breakup was an intentional shitshow, but if you look at pre and post AT&T breakup communication markets there's no denying the revolutionary improvements that were accelerated by the breakup.

                      The problem we have today is collusion of the major players - again in the oil and energy markets, but really all over. Again, the members of "the club" basically play a gentleman's game of non-competition and act as a defacto monopoly that new entrants to the market have little or no chance of challenging. Like the anti-trust legislation of the 1920s, the 2020s really needs to get into anti-collusion activities - and we are in tiny little baby steps, but it really should move faster.

                      Agreed that CBDC is a good thing, traceable currency is actually a good thing overall. I do feel that untraceable cash has its place and we should establish some kind of "rights to cash" that permit transactions under $10K or 33% of annual declared income as untraceable without question as a matter of civil liberty, in my Utopia this is a right NOT conferred upon corporations. I like the Scandanavian model of open tax returns, and I definitely think that anyone seeking public office at any level should put their annual income statements on public display for all to see when declaring intent to run for office.

                      >the rich will fight tooth and nail to keep the middle class in check by cancelling social programs

                      I am completely 100% in favor of the scale-back of social programs, replacing need-based aid with the recognition that these are needs of all citizens of the country and providing that assistance as UBI to all citizens regardless of their income level, only question to be asked: "Are you a citizen of the United States of America?" Answer yes falsely and be subject to reparation payments with penalties or deportation or both. Same thing for basic healthcare insurance - you want fancy insurance that provides the latest super-treatments? Yeah, get that on the private market - don't tax me for your experimental $900K cancer therapy as part of my kids' well-patient visits to the pediatrician insurance.

                      I fully recognize that I would have a snowball's chance in the flowing crater of Kiluaea of getting these reforms passed if I ran for office like Andrew Wang, but we should keep the noise up and keep the politicians aware that there is support out here for these kinds of reforms. Without it, people will continue to believe that it's hopeless to even try to fight for it.

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                      • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Sunday November 20, @08:24PM (6 children)

                        by RamiK (1813) on Sunday November 20, @08:24PM (#1280710)

                        The problem we have today is collusion of the major players

                        I don't think it's wise to adopt the puritan mind set when it comes to collusion, conspiracies, collaboration or civilization as a whole whichever you want to call it. After all, when you start trying to pit the law against human nature, you're going to lose. If you want to ensure competition, you can't legislate rules saying you have to compete. You have to make it necessary to compete. If companies collude on hiring practices, illegality do-not-compete clauses and make it possible for people to quit without notice... If pharmaceutical and tech hike prices, force them to license their patent per drug to third-parties after a set period with the price of the licenses being a fixed percentage off the profits similar to how fabless and restaurant subsidiaries work... If you need companies to keep to CO2 quotas, force petroleum and green house polluters to invest in green energy R&D so it will gradually become their interests for the alternatives to sell...

                        Basically, instead of saying no to human nature, say "Fine. But you're going to play by my rules." instead.

                        we should keep the noise up and keep the politicians aware that there is support out here for these kinds of reforms. Without it, people will continue to believe that it's hopeless to even try to fight for it.

                        I'm torn about this since noise about a dozen different reforms that have fundamental flaws tends to drown out the various discussion about regulatory capture and tax reforms that are closer to consensus. Still, we're in the internet age and noise seems unavoidable so maybe it's fine as a counterbalance to the lunacy the bible thumpers are proposing... Honestly I don't have a good way to evaluate the pros and cons so I guess something is better than nothing?

                        Regardless, we're entering a recession right now so plummeting stock portfolios and record unemployment in white color jobs tend to get elected officials to reconsider their positions on reforms... But we'll see.

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                        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday November 20, @09:22PM (5 children)

                          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday November 20, @09:22PM (#1280717)

                          >make it possible for people to quit without notice...

                          You have heard of employment at will?

                          >If pharmaceutical and tech hike prices, force them to license their patent per drug to third-parties after a set period with the price of the licenses being a fixed percentage off the profits

                          We have that today, it's just that the set period is 20 years and that seems to be enough for things as simple as insulin to be hiked 400% well, just because we can legally.

                          >noise about a dozen different reforms that have fundamental flaws

                          I don't see it as a dozen different reforms, I see it as a singular recognition of basic rights of citizens under the current economic situation: basic food, shelter, etc. conferred upon each and every citizen in the form of UBI, not a bunch of de-humanizing needs tests administered by the bureaucracy - that's un-necessary, in-efficient, and missing the point: these things are everyone's right, whether employed or not. Wind down the programs that become un-necessary as a side-benefit. The major positive benefit I see of the change in policy is: people would be working because they want to, not because they have to, it would be a power-shift to the employees away from employers, particularly bottom-feeding employers who tend to be the most abusive of their employees. Eventually: minimum wage could be abolished, you want to work in WalMart for free? Go for it, if they'll have you. I assume that working conditions at these volunteer positions would be attractive to the volunteers, otherwise why would they do it?

                          >plummeting stock portfolios

                          I am so f-ing sick of the "market's not doing so well" belly aching of multi-millionaires who have one less million than they did last month, when overall they've made 10s of millions in the market in exchange for putting their capital at risk and out of reach for a minute.

                          >counterbalance to the lunacy the bible thumpers are proposing.

                          And that's my other problem with "political debate" - it is always framed in such radical extremes, overreach beyond what anyone really wants, and then some start to take the overblown message to heart and really set it as their goal, and then you get -hit like Dobbs v Jackson. Part of me is glad that Musk has shown his colors (60% of the bots and sock puppets voted this way, so it's God's will), that Trump is back on Twitter for as long as Twitter lasts with everyone fired or quitting, and that Trump is back out there bashing the Republican party into pieces, the part that isn't terrified that next time he loses (which, in any sane world is every time he runs) he's going to somehow get the loyalty of significant segments of the military and we end up nuking ourselves over imaginary election fraud...

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                          • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Monday November 21, @03:07AM (4 children)

                            by RamiK (1813) on Monday November 21, @03:07AM (#1280748)

                            I don't see it as a dozen different reforms

                            Again, I like the idea and I respect the vision as a whole but I'm concerned with the implementation details. Especially when the government simply doesn't know about the cash flow and has to trust the fox to guard the hen house when...

                            I am so f-ing sick of the "market's not doing so well" belly aching of multi-millionaires

                            Yeah. Governments will remain hostages to industry FUD and it will always be a huge gamble to to go against what the banks and lobbies are telling you since they CAN and WILL deliberately sabotage reforms even if it means damaging their companies. That one in particular really needs digital currency so government will be able to monitor the real world as is instead of putting its faith in interest holders.

                            Part of me is glad that Musk has shown his colors...

                            I suggest you read this in case any of this caught you by surprise: https://edition.cnn.com/2022/11/16/business/tesla-elon-musk-testimony-lawsuit/index.html [cnn.com]

                            Trump is back out there bashing the Republican party into pieces...

                            The youth support for the democrats is so high I doubt it matters who the republicans will run in 2024.

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                            • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday November 21, @11:22AM (3 children)

                              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday November 21, @11:22AM (#1280787)

                              My first job out of college I worked (for 12 years) for a "closely held" small public company, meaning: the CEO held 51% of the shares. For 10 of those years I worked closely with the CEO, and he was a good guy - compared with others in his position he was a great guy. Employees were paid more or less market rate with slightly better than market benefits as compared with much larger companies in the industry. He was in his 60s and basically mellow, but still reaching for that next level brass ring.

                              When times were good he would pay himself $300k per year. When times were hard, he would forgo salary and make 12% APR loans to the company and issue new shares, always issuing himself enough to keep control but also taking money from the market. With 51% control these actions could never be questioned, but occasionally he would hire consultants to tell him what was "reasonable in the current environment.". Of course they would tell him things he wanted to hear. Things like: issue of restricted shares to CEO and employees: employees get the opportunity to purchase shares restricted from market sale for one year at 50% of market rate, CEO gets opportunity to purchase many more shares only restricted for six months, or maybe three, at 25% of market rate, and the worst part IMO: is not required to disclose these terms except in the annual report which comes out long after the employees decision to participate deadline. The justification is rich too: the better terms are because the size of the investment is higher IIRC CEO was investing 100k, employees were restricted to a maximum $25k in aggregate of all employees, limited due to the lesser financial means of the employees and the risky nature of the investment. In other words: because the employees are lower class they have not only restricted opportunity to benefit from the situation but also higher risk terms.

                              He was one of the good ones, most of the investors we courted over the years weren't even shy about the nature of the pump and dump schemes they proposed wherein their investment in our company put most of the risk on the company existing shareholders and most of the gain of a successful outcome in their pockets. I forget the particulars of those deals we turned down, but IIRC "most" often ran around 90% both risk to shareholders and 90% gain to these outside investors. Virtually all of those proposals included total divestiture of the outside investors within a year or two - they weren't interested in the company at all beyond its access to the stock market.

                              Musk is playing at such a high level that there are no precedents to compare, lawsuits are just part of the landscape there because of the opportunity to make precedent. I would not be surprised by an Elon bid for the presidency as early as 2028, but at this point I sincerely doubt his ability to successfully manage Twitter as a major platform that long and his ability to transform his various customer based (tree hugger solar and EV, starry eyed Martian hopefuls, outspoken businessman worshipers...) into a voting bloc. Even if he signed Andrew Yang as VP I would have a hard time voting for an out of touch pothead trust fund baby. Maybe if he was running against Trump.... At least he wouldn't be over 70 going into office.

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                              • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Monday November 21, @05:55PM (2 children)

                                by RamiK (1813) on Monday November 21, @05:55PM (#1280842)

                                I would not be surprised by an Elon bid for the presidency as early as 2028

                                He'll have to get the natural-born citizen clause repealed first since he was born in South Africa.

                                lawsuits are just part of the landscape...

                                When Musk tweeted he secured funds he didn't for the first time, he made a mistake. When he violate the terms with the SEC on the 3rd or 4th time he made such a tweet with the excuse that "extracted from Musk through the exercise of economic duress" ( https://techcrunch.com/2022/04/27/judge-quashes-elon-musks-attempt-to-end-sec-settlement-over-tesla-tweets/ [techcrunch.com] ), he was being a criminal. When he awarded himself a $50 billion golden parachute without consulting the boardroom or appointing board members who have the shareholder's concerns at heart despite being explicitly required to do by his SEC settlement, he was being a recidivist. And now, when he's moving employees and cash from Tesla into Twitter despite it not benefiting Tesla shareholder in any way while the above case is still discussed in court... Yeah. That's not being a good CEO, a bad investor or even a repeat offender... That's him betting on getting the next president into office by control media Murdoch-style so they'll pardon him for everything.

                                So if you seriously didn't see Trump being invited back by Musk into twitter coming, you haven't been paying attention at all.

                                Regardless, the only mild surprise is that Trump had the business acumen to turn down the invitation so he'll be able to negotiate the terms. Of course, the Trump brand is associated with a competitor so that alone is enough for him to refuse if only initially... Still, if he does join Twitter back and it ends up getting him a better deal, that would be to Trump's credit.

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                                • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday November 21, @06:35PM (1 child)

                                  by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday November 21, @06:35PM (#1280857)

                                  >He'll have to get the natural-born citizen clause repealed first since he was born in South Africa.

                                  Stranger things have happened, but he probably knows better than to try to run himself anyway - far better to send in a puppet.

                                  >That's him betting on getting the next president into office by control media Murdoch-style so they'll pardon him for everything.

                                  Interesting plot twist, wasn't paying close enough attention to call that one, but it makes sense. What I have seen, consistently, in the ranks of the very wealthy is an unusual appetite for risk. They don't usually get there by playing it safe, and most of them seem to have a pathological need to play long odds.

                                  >that would be to Trump's credit

                                  It's possible that in his post-COVID haze he has started following advice more than he used to, certainly there's a crust of people around him (not that he hired/fired) that have placed themselves there in a symbiotic sort of relationship - his public persona revolves around being an ego-centric sycophant seeker, and I'm sure that's who he really is deep down too, but after his time in the presidency and post-presidential preparations for his trials, he may have actually learned to listen to these people once in a while, or simply lost the will to fight it anymore.

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                                  • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Monday November 21, @09:26PM

                                    by RamiK (1813) on Monday November 21, @09:26PM (#1280896)

                                    very wealthy is an unusual appetite for risk

                                    Depends on the generation: The first gen got there by a lot of dice rolls and outlier luck so they tend to bet big as a force of habit. However, the following generations tend to build off economies of scale so so long as they have basic common sense they can keep accumulating their fortune. Either way, no risk is too big when you're too-big-to-fail.

                                    It's possible that in his post-COVID haze he has started following advice more than he used to...

                                    I'm guessing it's just that solicitations for his money and brand are common as spam mail is to the rest of us so he shot it down by default at the speed of a left swipe on an ad. Either way, there's still something to be said about knowing who to take advice from or maybe the experience it takes to build that "too good to be true so lets refuse first, ask questions later" response so it's still to his credit.

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