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Comment: He's confused (Score 1) 300

by Baldrson (#48741809) Attached to: Why We're Not Going To See Sub-orbital Airliners

Given fast turn around reusability with rocket engine restart capabilities claimed by SpaceX the numbers work out for high end passenger fares if you go to a lower suborbital velocity and then bleed off energy while stretching distance by passively skipping off the atmosphere. By "passive" I mean no scramjet (or other propulsive kick). If you really need distance use rocket engine restart and carry extra propellant.

Comment: But the US Benefits by Their Spending Here!!! (Score 2) 294

If all these immigrants are so beneficial to me, I want a citizen's dividend to prove it and I do _not_ want my citizenship's equity diluted by making "voting share holders" out of these immigrants.

Oh, you can't provide that for me?

Take your immigration propaganda and shove it.

Comment: The Primary Discipline (Score 1) 312

by Baldrson (#48707057) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Should We Do About the DDoS Problem?

If the services being attacked are distributed then the distributed attacks are less likely to be effective as there are fewer choke-points.

From a Viewdata Corp of America proprietary white paper: "Rational and Overview of Requirements for a Videotex Local Programming Capability" by Jim Bowery circa 1982, section "The Primary Discipline":

At no point in the specification of the user interface should there appear artifacts of the physical distinction between the terminal and the network as a whole. The terminal should, at every point in the interface, be treated as a cohesive extension of the network. For functions that relate to ownership, operating environment and security, the terminal should be treated as a host system. Artifacts of the network's physics that relate to timing and reliability can only be minimized to the extent possible without compromising the specification of the user interface. This kind of simplification of the user interface is what sets user-oriented service apart from technology-oriented service. The difficulty of maintaining this discipline should not be under-estimated, nor should its import...

The local system is simply the host system closest to the user. The relationship between the local system and its host should be analogous in every way possible, to the relationship between central host systems. The local system, like any host system, has its own processor, memory, operating environment and ownership. Perhaps the only real distinction between a local system and a conventional host system is that it services only one user.

To those accustomed to dealing with "dumb" terminals, this seems like a radical departure, but if one accepts the need for local programmability, it is a necessary switch in perspective. Once one accepts this analogy, the strategy for implementing the primary discipline on the network as a whole becomes more apparent. The local/network interface specification needs to be, at least at the application level protocol, the same as the intra-network interface specification.

+ - "Disgruntled Employee" Suspected in Sony Cyber Attack->

Submitted by Baldrson
Baldrson (78598) writes " reports that: "FBI agents investigating the Sony Pictures hack were briefed Monday by a security firm that says its research points to laid-off Sony staff, not North Korea, as the perpetrator...Researchers from the cyber intelligence company Norse have said their own investigation into the data on the Sony attack doesn’t point to North Korea at all and instead indicates some combination of a disgruntled employee and hackers for piracy groups is at fault." One wonders what Paul Graham has to say about the risk posed by "disgruntled employees" to Fortune 500 firms that follow his advice."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Fraud (Score 2) 552

by Baldrson (#48678413) Attached to: Paul Graham: Let the Other 95% of Great Programmers In

Graham pretends that there hasn't been massive fraud in guest worker visas.

Why should anyone pay any attention to him on the issue of immigration at all?

The abuses of immigration statutes mean one thing and one thing only: Shut down immigration and repatriate those that were let in during the period of systemic fraud -- then after we've put our own house in order to a level of prudence commensurate with the history of fraud in this area, reconsider.

+ - Bill Gates Sponsoring Palladium-Based LENR Technology-> 1

Submitted by Baldrson
Baldrson (78598) writes " reports that: "Low energy nuclear reactor (LENR) technology, and by extension palladium, is attracting the attention of one of the richest men in the world and a pioneer inventor of new technology... In a recent visit to Italy, billionaire business man, investor and inventor Bill Gates said that for several years he has been a believer in the idea of LENR, and is a sponsor of companies developing the technology... During his trip to Italy he visited the national agency for new technologies, energy and sustainable economic development (ENEA) where scientists have made significant progress towards a working design for low energy nuclear fusion. The centerpiece of their design is the same as in Mitsubishi’s: palladium. Creating palladium foil with just the right parameters, and managing stress levels in the material was a key issue, one that the researchers at EMEA were able to resolve several years ago." This is controversial to say the least. For example one of the first (1994) Idea Futures claims was that a palladium cold fusion device could produce even a small fraction of that claimed by many researchers over the last quarter century. That claim is presently selling at 2% odds and the judgement deadline is next week."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Computer history rambles and what might have be (Score 1) 628

by Baldrson (#48654475) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

Thanks for the links to Norris's papers. I had attempted to gain access to those when I visited the Twin Cities a few years back -- as they were part of the UMN Norris archives -- but they kept worse than bankers' hours so I wasn't able to gain access to them during that visit.

In particular the long-lost paper "Back to the Countryside Via Technology" by William C. Norris, then CEO of Control Data Corporation, January 1978, was what I recalled. It delves into some of his vision for the PLATO network as a way of preserving the Nation of Settlers against the onslaughts of urbanization (and what has turned out to be a resulting demographic catastrophy in loss of total fertility rates among the baby boom generation).

Norris was one of my inspirations for county currency, as well as my early promotion of mass market computer networks. Sadly, perhaps even tragically, I did not get through his middle management at CDC to Norris about the mass market version of PLATO a group of us young engineers had demonstrated right under his nose at CDC circa 1980. The world might have been a very different place. It is my greatest professional regret that I didn't just barge into his office and chain myself to a door to get his attention.

Comment: Re:Basic Income vs. Copyrights & Patents (Score 1) 628

by Baldrson (#48649607) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

The approach of replacing net asset taxation with what amounts to property insurance is a good one and indeed one I've suggested as part of an anarcho-capitalist model for government as mutual insurance company (ala Lysander Spooner). The basic income then becomes, literally, a dividend to the shareholders in the mutual insurance company -- which maintains defense of national territory as the foundation for all other property.

As for intellectual property, there are genuinely heroic inventions that need to be rewarded because technology development is damn expensive and money needs to be placed in the hands of proven inventors. The problem is patents are the _only_ asset that is de facto taxed by the Federal government -- when it should be the only asset that is _exempt_, if any. Moreover, the legal fees of maintaining filings world-wide should be picked up as a natural security measure -- as well as defending intellectual property as though it were sovereign territory. Finally, the standard of "non-obviousness" needs to be much more strictly enforced to prohibit patent trolls. For instance, I don't consider my invention of the massively multiplayer first person shooter 3D game to be particularly heroic or "non-obvious", which is why I've never made a big deal about not receiving much in the way of royalties from the follow-on industry. It was something that was bound to happen one way or another as more people got their hands on computers with graphics and networking capability.

On the other hand, probably the most pathological example of intellectual property in history is MS-DOS, so you cite it at length for good reason. However, if the property value assessment is, as I have often suggested, a market-based liquidation value, from virtually the moment that IBM made the decision to distribute MS-DOS with their 4.77MHz 8088 PC, the tax rate on Bill Gates would have been so great that he would have had to very quickly sold MS-DOS to some legal person that had at least as great a vision for the future of operating systems as DRI.

There were a number of operating systems around at that time but few that would run on the 8086/8088 hardware. One with multitasking was the iRMX86 OSsupplied by Intel with its 8086/8088 chips for real time development. I don't know how or why they overlooked that. My suspicion is that the real reason they chose MS-DOS was that Bill Gates's mother had direct contacts with the IBM board of directors.

If that's the case, it would make me feel quite a bit better about my decision to abandon development of an 8086/8088 OS -- a development that started before the first silicon was shipped while I was at the PLATO project where we modified the CDC Cyber COMPASS assembler to produce the instructions documented on the preliminary datasheets, and execute on an emulator running on the Cyber 6500 during off-hours.

The reason I initiated that project, with some of the PLATO system programmers (Ray Ozzie was a system programmer at PLATO but was consumed by his work on the Z80 firmware) was that I foresaw the horror of a bad operating system becoming the network-effect atop Moore's Law, and wanted to head it off. Others, primarily Steve Freyder, agreed and pitched in.

It was obvious to me that whoever got the critical mass OS for that platform would have a natural monopoly and lock out competition -- including superior operating systems.

I abandoned that project only because Mike Pavloff at Control Data HQ offered me a position at the Arden Hills Operations where I could pursue a mass market version of the PLATO network which would have, using Ozzie's Z80 firmware, bypassed the personal computer era entirely with a Mac-like UI and built-in 1200bps modem starting in 1981 with a monthly service charge of $40/month including "terminal" rental. We had that system benchmarked out at a scale that could have deployed nation wide late in 1979, but Wall Street analysts smelled blood and were ripping Bill Norris (the Nebraska farm boy that founded CDC with Seymour Cray) limb from limb due to his billion dollar investment in PLATO. CDC middle management mutinied and reneged on their agreement to let me pursue a mass market
version of PLATO. I fled CDC and tried to revive something similar at Knight-Rider's joint venture with AT&T, but that is another story.

Suffice to say, when I saw MS-DOS I knew a horror had been unleashed and that Gates would become extremely wealthy.

If Freyder and I had been able to, somehow, beat Gates's mother and get our OS distributed by IBM, do I think I would have deserved to be the world's richest man? Hell NO! I consider my foresight to be no more than the ability to identify a bottleneck in the trade routes of Moore's Law that, if one could occupy, one could extract an enormous revenue stream from; and if my position on net asset taxation hasn't made it clear that I would not consider such foresight to be a "creative spark", I don't know what would.

Comment: Re:Communism (Score 1) 628

by Baldrson (#48642735) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

You are correct to point out the similarity between the failure mode of capitalism and communism as being central control by corporation vs central control by government. But this is precisely the argument for why basic income is a solution to both.

You're correct in another way that needs some elaboration, because on the face of it you are dead wrong:

The demographic transitio, in which total fertility rates fall below replacement rate as women are given independence by economic development, is a powerful force for zero population growth, as can be seen in this GapMinder animation of TFR vs per capita income by country through time. If one relies on such data, one can see that overpopulation is not a problem (although race replacement of non-African countries by African countries will obtain due to liberal immigration policies into the future).

However, income as TFR suppression, must be seen for what it is: A kind of antibiotic targeting human fertility.

Viewed in this way, once the world has been Africanized and has a TFR below replacement rate, subpopulations that are immune to the antibiotic will emerge with very high TFRs.

So, yes, fertility controls will eventually become critical, since the biosphere is a two-dimensional surface and exponentiation is hyperdimensional, but this is true regardless of the political economy in place.

Comment: A Transition Policy (Score 4, Interesting) 628

by Baldrson (#48642569) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

My suggestion for a transition policy, which I set forth in a 1992 paper titled "A Net Asset Tax Based On The Net Present Value Calculation and Market Democracy" was to cease taxing economic activity and, instead, tax net assets beyond bankruptcy protection of home and tools of the trade, and use the funds to pay out an unconditional basic income aka "citizen's dividend", thereby doing away with most of the present functions of government including not only the welfare state but also the need for burdensome regulatory agencies (that are subject to capture). Part of the problem here, of course, is the notion of "citizen" vs "non-citizen", but that is a far lesser problem than massive unemployment and hyper-centralization of net assets.

Quoting from that paper:

The government should tax net assets, in excess of levels typically protected under personal bankruptcy, at a rate equal to the rate of interest on the national debt, thereby eliminating other forms of taxation. Creator-owned intellectual property should be exempt.


With the exception of basic functions of government and the pay down of debt, the government budget should be dispersed to citizens as cash, rather than being spent in government programs or even limited in the form of vouchers. This is "market democracy" in which the citizens and their markets, rather than central planning and politics, influence the selection of goods and services to be capitalized and provided.

Comment: Old Fashioned Frequency Following (Score 2) 88

by Baldrson (#48613925) Attached to: Brain Stimulation For Entertainment?

In a college course called "Physics for Artists" at the U of IA back in 1974, I pursued the frequency following effect of strobe lights as an adjunct to art displays to induce the desired state of consciousness. Fortunately the EEG technology was too expensive to complete the project for my college sophomore budget -- fortunately because it is the kind of thing that if shown in a public exhibit could definitely cause seizures. Milder forms are already probably being used in theater with rhythmic light and sound, but attenuated in a studied manner.

Comment: Genocide (Score 1) 398

by Baldrson (#48553045) Attached to: Displaced IT Workers Being Silenced

Elizabeth Warren's work on "The Two Income Trap" has shown the government's figures on the cost of living to be genocidally wrong. When I say genocidally wrong I mean the absence of children that contributes to "the labor shortage" is due to income redistribution from the middle classes to the increasing centralization of wealth among the upper 1%. Ricardo's "iron law of wages" was formulated in a time when "subsistence" could not cut into replacement reproduction due to the lack of birth control. The conscientious fraction of the population will respond to a lowering of real family income relative to the cost of replacement child rearing by ceasing to have children. This is what Warren's work shows is exactly what happened to the Baby Boomers when it came time for them to plan their families. To further import foreign workers to fill the "labor shortage" when it is already demonstrably the case that lowered _real_ wages has resulted in quasi-genocide of the populations being replaced is no longer excusable as mere ignorance by policy planners, if, indeed, it ever was excusable.

Although the moon is smaller than the earth, it is farther away.