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Comment Re:Hard vs. Soft SF (Score 1) 1033

Your categorization is off. "Hard" SF deals with technology that is at least theoretically possible, "Soft" does away with that limitation.

Somewhere further along the spectrum after "Soft" it fades from science fiction to fantasy fiction.

Traditionally, science fiction involves introducing some technology to the reader and then exploring the world that results from its existence.

Comment Re:Death of Bitcoin? (Score 1) 286

Bitcoin was once an interesting concept, but for practical application on any scale it's completely crap.

But one thing it isn't is anonymous. Once you match a person to an address, you can follow them forever... and since most people get their Bitcoin from a Chinese Bitcoin mine via an exchange - where they have to register and send money - that wouldn't be particularly difficult for someone with any police resources at all to do. Really, you just need to have the authority to get the exchange's records then read the blockchain.

The problem comes from the fact that the extortionists will operate out of countries that aren't particularly interested in cooperating, or don't even care about regulating their exchanges.

It's no different than an extortionist demanding you wire them money to a country where the Canadian authorities have no pull, Bitcoin is not especially enabling here.

Comment Re:Anybody else suffering from superhero burnout? (Score 1) 168

After Thor 2, Ant Man is the only other Marvel movie I skipped paying for

You might want to reconsider Ant Man. It doesn't have the origin story of the original character, it shows the passing of the torch.

It also doesn't require any knowledge of the Marvel Universe, cinematic or otherwise. The only thing you'll wonder is why there's a security guard with wings in one short scene, maybe why they throw out Stark's name and mention the Avengers at one point. But if you were completely ignorant of the Avengers, you'd miss absolutely nothing that would impair your enjoyment.

Now, the fact that the physics of the superpowers in the movie are a bit erratic, you have to invoke your suspension of disbelief for that. But it's pretty much worth it.

Comment Re:Will Cubans use Bitcoin? No. (Score 1) 60

>Consumer protections are independent of the payment method

Lie. You can burn Bitcoin, accidentally or on purpose, and it's irreversible. With other electronic methods you can't, and with physical cash there are circumstances under which the money will be replaced.

>Also, the only "traditional method" cheaper than Bitcoin transfer is handing someone cash in person

Lie. Bitcoin has transaction fees, and many informal studies done (when done by non-Bitcoiners) show it can't compete with the evil Western Union, never mind a normal credit card for day to day transactions. The case studies where the work is shown, and you can check the numbers yourself. The kind you never see Bitcoiners producing when trying to prove their case.

>There doesn't seem to be any indication whatsoever of failure

Lie. Those who did adopt it are dropping it because it gets them no business, and it costs money to support. In fact, the typical story is, "Small business adopts Bitcoin, sees no business, drops Bitcoin, receives dozens or hundreds of threats from people who never actually bought anything".

It's also dead as a store of value - the market value has tanked so you can't make it look attractive to the "get rich quick for nothing" crowd without going back to the very beginning for a comparison point.

Then, of course, there's the fact that there isn't a market small enough in the world to be supported by Bitcoin transactions given how slow the network is.

The only fix for Bitcoin's problems involves trusted third parties as middlemen - something that's fundamentally against the core reason to use Bitcoin - and those middlemen always seem to be businesses based on defrauding Bitcoiners.

Seriously, don't you feel the slightest bit of guilt lying to get new suckers into the pyramid scheme to bail you out?

Comment Re:Why do people think bitcoin is anonymous? (Score 2) 60

Why do people think Bitcoin in anonymous? Well, because at this point people with analytical and critical thinking skills have long since fled Bitcoin if they ever got in in the first place.

Fools and scammers, that's the Bitcoin space right now.

Comment Will Cubans use Bitcoin? No. (Score 2) 60

Will the cryptoloons and techno-anarchists ever give up trying to push their awful solution everywhere and anywhere in hopes of a price bump?

7 transactions per second, costs more the traditions methods, no consumer protections, easy to get ripped off, impossible to use securely.

Just let it die, already, the experiment failed.

Comment Re:how much longer will jet fighters be relevant? (Score 1) 217

Swarms of drones would likely be susceptible to concussive explosives or flak. The nice thing about the bigger planes is they have some toughness to them.

Still, I imagine a swarm of terrain-hugging mesh-netted drones carrying small bombs would be a massively useful tool in some circumstances.

Comment Re:Free lunch! (Score 1) 221

>Bandwidth is not infinite

Well... in practical finite-but-very-large terms, it's really a matter of how much money you're willing to throw at it.

You can put up a lot of microwave transmitters, and so long as your receiver is designed to be able to pick out the sources - much like a camera can have more than one element registering 'red' - you can use the same frequency range for all of them.

As long as neither the receiver or transmitter are moving significantly, this isn't technologically impossible.

Comment Re:Free advertising (Score 2) 218

>How many homes no longer have a home stereo system with a radio turner?

I do. I leave it on to keep the dog company while I'm out and about. He feels pretty strongly about not paying royalties as the programming's pretty weak.

The humans in the house use Internet streaming or locally stored content.

Comment How long will it take IBM to find it won't work? (Score 3, Insightful) 78

Unless they've figured out blockchain trimming, and how to vastly increase the transaction rate to traffic ratio, the blockchain simply isn't viable.

There's a reason all those 3rd party Bitcoin intermediaries popped up for 'off-chain' transactions (that solve all of Bitcoin's problems by removing Bitcoin from the equation).

While there may be some Bitcoin enthusiasts at IBM, it won't take very long for the rest of the organization to figure out the technology doesn't scale, isn't efficient, and has a short practical lifespan.

Comment Re:I for one am glad to see the ruling (Score 1) 231

>I cannot fathom people who go to extreme lengths of diet and exercise in a futile effort to prolong their lives. No one lives forever. You will die, no matter what you do to put it off. Why would you want to exist in suffering for extra years instead of just accepting your exit gracefully while you're still a fully functioning human being?

I've known people who lived well, well into their 90s before a quick decline. The retirement home was a very brief stop for them, because when they went in it was because their bodies were already failing.

With good genes, a good environment, and taking care of yourself, you can have a couple of decades of life and experience beyond 70.

You only get one go... why waste any of it? Rotting in a retirement home is generally a default choice by people who don't know what to do with themselves without someone telling them first.

Comment Re:Don't support them (Score 1) 157

>Why are we paying 10-20% to the likes of Uber and elance/odesk with them providing little more than an app and/or site for us to communicate?

Because you're not going to look through a million sources with a million different interfaces to find what you want.

People want to go to one or two places (real or virtual) that they more or less trust (where "trust" means "have confidence that you can predict what you'll get").

A middle-man may do a bad job of protecting you from bad products and services, but it's still better than nothing at all.

Which is not to say 20% isn't absurd.