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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

by Baron_Yam (#49016457) Attached to: Canadian Supreme Court Rules Ban On Assisted Suicide Unconstitutional

>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

by Baron_Yam (#48978769) Attached to: Major Record Labels Keep 73% of Spotify Payouts

>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.

Comment: Re:Why use a cable? (Score 1) 248

by Baron_Yam (#48926665) Attached to: Engineers Develop 'Ultrarope' For World's Highest Elevator

Yes, but we have big elevator cars because of the 'one car per shaft' limit. Remove that limit and you can have smaller cars, and smaller weights.

And whatever weight you add (drawing more power to go up) results in generating more power on the way down.

You use batteries and capacitors (or even just other elevators descending at the same time as another is ascending) as your 'counterweight'.

Comment: Re:Worthless (Score 1) 248

by Baron_Yam (#48920587) Attached to: Engineers Develop 'Ultrarope' For World's Highest Elevator

With electric elevators riding vertical rails, you can do switching. Essentially, with three or four sets of rails (one up, one down, a couple for parking) you can put as many cars in the same set of shafts as you want - and even have a supply of extras waiting in a subbasement to be added when required.

Comment: Re:Why use a cable? (Score 1) 248

by Baron_Yam (#48920571) Attached to: Engineers Develop 'Ultrarope' For World's Highest Elevator

It's mostly the counterweight issue, which you can resolve by using electric motors in the cars and large battery banks.

Draw power on the way up, generate power on the way down. There are losses, of course, but it's doable and not terribly inefficient.

The regulations for battery maintenance make it prohibitively expensive. I think there's only one or two such installations in existence.

Comment: Re:2 External HDs and Blue Ray disks. (Score 1) 251

by Baron_Yam (#48916577) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Medium For Personal Archive?

Ideally, you're going to want a couple of low-end laptops of a make and model known for reliability and able to run directly off wall current. You keep those backups for 20 years and you might find there's no OS or hardware that can handle your old media.

THEN I'd tend to store the data (and an image of the OS drive) on bootable USB flash-based storage. Just in case. You don't need the mechanical parts of the HDD failing after a long period in storage.

Comment: Re:so many problems with this idea (Score 3, Insightful) 80

by Baron_Yam (#48893539) Attached to: Winklevoss Twins Plan Regulated Bitcoin Exchange

>a virtual currency that is in direct competition with its own pet, the Almighty Dollar.

This is what Bitcoin proponents would have you believe, but there is no competition at present, and the flaws inherent in the protocol mean there never will be.

Perhaps some other future crypto will be a competitor, but all Bitcoin does is spawn scams or payment gateways that evolve into PayPal equivalents (once they're big enough they cut Bitcoin out of the loop).

Comment: Re:Pump and Dump until proven otherwise (Score 0) 55

by Baron_Yam (#48862175) Attached to: Jim Blasko Explains BitCoin Spinoff 'Unbreakable Coin' (Video 1 of 2)

"The great strength of bitcoin is its network effect."

Which is pretty much all it has going for it, since the only problem it solves causes issues that can only be resolved by bypassing Bitcoin with third party vendors.

It's really odd to see so many people (though really compared to the US economy it's peanuts) jump in without understanding just how futile an attempt at crypto Bitcoin is.

"Every new coin has to demonstrate how they will gather sufficient network effect to make themselves useful"

Nope. The network effect will build if the coin has sufficient utility over existing systems. A new coin needs to demonstrate that it is scalable, more efficient, and easier to use than existing options, including but not limited to Bitcoin.

Comment: Re:Inevitible (Score 4, Interesting) 151

by Baron_Yam (#48844101) Attached to: Being Pestered By Drones? Buy a Drone-Hunting Drone

Don't forget that guy in New Zealand who designed and built an inexpensive home-built cruise missile that could be launched from a pickup truck. It wasn't big, but it was effectively unstoppable and theoretically pretty easy to launch and escape without getting caught.

The important part here, is that he built a guidance system for it. Adapt that for a small drone platform, and suddenly you don't need to be at the controls or within visual range of the thing.

Comment: This will be interesting (Score 0) 74

by Baron_Yam (#48770661) Attached to: BlackBerry's Survival Plan: the Internet of Things

They have been unable to make their smartphones work in the consumer market, and they've burned a lot of bridges with their corporate customers.

So... given the track record of being unable to judge the market and put out a solid, single product the company was focused on, they expect to succeed at putting out a variety of products with which they have no experience and know nothing about the market?

Good luck. I expect Waterloo will have some good commercial real estate freed up soon.

What good is a ticket to the good life, if you can't find the entrance?