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Comment Re:No, not economics at all (Score 1) 185

I don't have to apologize for national fiat currency, it's silly too, and I don't keep my assets in cash. My problem with Bitcoin is that it is even less credible than "the faith and credit of the United States government", which has been the justification of the Dollar since it was allowed to float. It seems to be nothing but "wish and it will come true".

Comment Re:Are they going to fine airlines for doing the s (Score 1) 188

No, the small-aircraft owners aren't at risk of messing up their avionics. They are, however, consciously messing up the cellular network for everyone else. You see, you are supposed to be in range of just a few cells when you use your phone, so that we get frequency reuse between cells. If you are at altitude, you are in line-of-sight communications with all of the cells out to the visible horizon on all sides. And the frequencies you are using are probably locked out from reuse over that entire vast area. It would not take very many phones at altitude to disrupt the entire system.

Comment No, not economics at all (Score 4, Insightful) 185

People who received a play-money system from a mysterious unknown person and actually convinced themselves that it has value are now facing a schism over the money market failing to grow without bounds. Unless, that is, the software is modified in a way that might, over time, disincent people from playing the game.

I can't be the only one who is thinking that the only problem is that these folks believe bitcoins have value.

Hell, I thought that the fiat currency of nations was a bad deal. This is an order of magnitude worse.

Comment Re:Are they going to fine airlines for doing the s (Score 1) 188

No, the real problem is that you have line-of-sight communications to every cell site until the visible horizon. This tends to use up frequencies over a very large area. In general the antennas have been engineered not to work at high angles, but this can't be complete and the ones on the horizon may see you at the same angle as their regular users.

Comment The problem is usually video (Score 1, Insightful) 378

Think of how we use video devices. Not just in Linux, in pretty much all current systems. In the name of "efficiency" we memory-map them, and we let the user process directly mess around with the internals of a hardware device.

This is the way a set-top video game box works, not a secure and reliable operating system.

Until the video is firewalled off from the user the way other components of the operating system are, it's not going to be safe, secure, or reliable. Obviously we'll need new hardware designs to make this work fast enough.

Comment Re:People isn't the issue, farming is (Score 2) 387

What you are complaining about here is a failure of management.

But not the one I see signs about whenever I drive on I-5. The latest rash of billboards is "Why are we spending on high-speed rail when that money should be used to build additional water storage right now!".

Farmers, build your own water storage if you want it, I'm finished subsidizing your every expense and I'm taking the train.

Comment Re:People isn't the issue, farming is (Score 5, Insightful) 387

The fact that rivers run to the sea isn't really a management problem. There is actually only one river in California without a dam at present, all of the others have controlled levels, hydroelectric generation, and take-outs of much of their water volume for various purposes.

We've already destroyed much of the fisheries and are having trouble recovering them. We might have about 5% of the birds the state once had. The Central Valley, which was swampland only a century ago, has been made a desert. Giant lakes have disappeared.

No surprise if this has changed the weather. A huge heat sink was removed from the environment and there is a perpetual windstorm as cool air is sucked into that valley.

Proper management is not to suck down the remaining 5%, interrupting the flow of rivers to the sea permanently. Proper management is to attach the real economic cost to water delivered to agriculture, rather than to vastly subsidize it.

Yes, this means that farming, and farming jobs, would change. Sorry, you asked more of the land than it could provide forever, your resources have run out, game over.

Comment Have We Lost the War to Quid Pro Quo Complacency? (Score 3) 359

Time and time again I see news articles that seem to herald the idea that users are willing to sacrifice something like privacy for the use of software. Take Facebook for an example. You get a robust and snappy storage and website for communication at the cost of control over your life and privacy. And as I try to explain to people the tradeoffs most of them seem to be complacent. Even I myself use GMail, there's just no better mail service. Even if there were, I'd have to run the server from my home to be sure that I'm in control in it and it's truly free (by your definition). So given that much of the populace isn't even prepared technologically to harness truly free software, don't you think they have slowly accepted the trade offs and that the pros of your arguments -- though sound -- are only possibly realized by those skilled enough to edit source code or host their own mail server from their home?

Comment Companies Selling Actually Free Software? (Score 5, Interesting) 359

I found your piece on selling free software to be pretty logical on paper. However, has it ever worked in the wild? Can you name companies or revenues that currently operate on this idea (and I'm not talking about services or support of the software)? I simply can't come up with a widely used monetized piece of software licensed under the GNU GPL whereby the original software was sold at a single price and shipped with the source code -- free for the original purchaser to distribute by the license's clauses. Can you list any revenue generation from that? I must admit I'm not exactly enamored with paying for free software (as in your definition of free) before it's written yet I cannot think of any other way this would fairly compensate the developer.

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?

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