Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Cyber Monday Sale Extended! Courses ranging from coding to project management - all eLearning deals 20% off with coupon code "CYBERMONDAY20". ×

Comment Re:Caveot Emptor (Score 2) 99

The reason that people who lost money in Mt Gox can't get their money back isn't because it was in Bitcoin. ... The reason people won't get their money back from Mt Gox is because Mt Gox isn't an FDIC insured bank.

Your point is sound (deposit insurance is different from who or what issues a currency), but in practice that distinction doesn't help anyone looking to replace their wealth storage in dollars with something else. The reason Mt Gox isn't an FDIC insured bank is because their deposits are in bitcoin, and FDIC doesn't insure anything that isn't in dollars.

I seriously doubt the US government will start insuring bitcoin deposits because 1) it doesn't control the currency, and 2) because it wants to encourage people to use dollars, not bitcoin. Lack of FDIC insurance on bitcoin is a (major) downside to using bitcoin as a wealth storage replacement.

Note that I'm talking about wealth storage, not short-term transactions. Transactions can be done in whatever currency the two parties agree upon (dollars, bitcoin, Ferraris, head of cattle, whatever). That's been possible since the dawn of trading between two parties and bitcoin is perhaps useful there.

Comment Re:Caveot Emptor (Score 2) 99

The difference is that deposits in a US bank are insured by the federal government up to some amount. (I'm not sure how it works in other countries but I would be surprised if they didn't have similar arrangements.) Bitcoins are not insured by a government. Yes, the government is going after the individual responsible for committing the theft, but there's no guarantee that those people will get their money back - unlike with a government-issued, government-insured currency.

Comment Re:Wow! (Score 4, Interesting) 274

which means that the managers' efforts increased the size of the endowment by $1.7B.

No one is disputing that the size of the endowment increased by $1.7B. Was it really due to the managers' efforts, or could the fund have increased by $1.7B if invested in a lower cost investment portfolio that *doesn't* take 20% of that growth? Over the last couple years, the market has been strong, and many investments have done well. I could support paying the managers 20% of whatever growth they generate above and beyond some normative benchmark, like the S&P 500. That would be a measure of the managers true effect. Oh, and while we're at it, why don't we say that if the fund ends up doing worse than the S&P 500 due to the managers efforts, claw back some of that 2% fee too.

Comment Re:The reason is more simple (Score 1) 688

A two-car household is a common scenario, at least in the US (basically a two-adult household where most things are shared, like two married people for example), so the expense of having a second car is not an additional expense since both adults want/need a car anyway. In the two-car household, at least one of the cars is a commuter car. The other car may be a commuter car or may be a "family car" like a minivan/SUV. There's basically no reason why the commuter car can't be electric.

The other common situation that you're talking about is a one-car situation comprised of a single unmarried/unattached person not sharing cars with anyone else. In this case, I agree, there are a good number of reasons why you may not want your only car to be an electric.

Comment Re:Limited Resources Used Badly (Score 1) 678

There's nothing wrong with SOME diversion and trade of a natural resource. But there is something VERY wrong with doing it when you have a limited resource like fresh water that is being used badly.

Who determines what is a bad use and what is a good use? You? I claim that burning gasoline in your car is a bad use of the resources of the Middle East/Texas/Venezuela/Dakotas.

comparative advantage [snip]

You're right, it's not comparative advantage, it's absolute advantage, which is even stronger. The Great Lakes has an absolute advantage in water production, but the southwest has a huge absolute advantage in solar power production.

Comment Re:Interstate Water Sharing system (Score 3, Insightful) 678

How about, instead of massive engineering projects, we just don't build cities where there aren't enough natural resources to sustain them?

So then, we should avoid building cities in the Great Lakes region, where it gets really cold in winter and people have to use natural gas that was mined in Texas and the Dakotas?

There's this thing called comparitive advantage. The southwest has tons of potential for producing solar energy, let's not shut down development there yet.

Comment Re:Price Controls? (Score 1) 279

why do you have a "yard"?

I'm not the OP, but I'll tell you why I have a yard: I like the privacy and convenience it enables for me and my family for doing stuff outside. Public parks are great but cover different use cases. It's the same question and answer as why anyone lives in a single-family residence instead of a multi-family apartment/condo.

Comment Re:Move to a gated community (Score 2) 611

Your part is only half of the free market equation, and if you do just that half, it will lead to lower GDP. The people commuting on those roads at that time aren't doing it for fun, they are doing it to get to or from jobs. If you reduce the trips, you reduce work accomplished. If you make the trips more expensive, you just took money that would be used to buy something else and gave it to the road authority.

If you still want to price freeway demand like that (which will restrict demand), you either have to be willing to give up the GDP, or you have to do something about the supply side. I don't see many people willing to give up GDP, so let's talk about supply. The usual free-market solution is for companies to see profit in the freeway-capacity market (due to the excessive demand and limited supply) and provide additional supply, thereby taking that profit. Roads are a natural monopoly mostly controlled by the government, but you can approximate what would happen on the supply side by requiring the toll authority to spend its profit on adding road capacity in particularly supply-constrained sections of road.

Submission + - AT&T Pauses Fiber Rollout, Citing Obama's Net Neutrality Regulations

AcidPenguin9873 writes: Following Monday's request by President Obama to the FCC to impose tough net-neutrality regulations on ISPs, AT&T has announced that they are pausing the fiber-optic network upgrades that they had previously announced for 100 U.S. cities. AT&T cited regulatory uncertainty as the primary cause for the pause: " 'We can't go out and invest that kind of money deploying fiber to 100 cities not knowing under what rules those investments will be governed,' [the company's chief executive Randall Stephenson] said."

Submission + - AT&T Pauses Fiber Rollout, Citing Obama's Net Neutrality Regulations (

If you can't learn to do it well, learn to enjoy doing it badly.