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Comment: Re:Owning a stock means you own part of a company (Score 1) 404

by Code Yanker (#46899097) Attached to: Rand Paul Suggests Backing Bitcoin With Stocks

"Common stock" is, at an "intrinsic" level, only a worthless piece of paper (or equivalent digital representation). On that paper it is stated that you have some say in how the issuing company is run and what it does with its assets. But you are not the worker, you do not personally possess the assets of the company, and thus the value of the stock lies in the "trust" you place in the people who do personally possess the assets of the company to provide you some future value.

In concept (and often in practice as well) this is no different from money. Debt. IOUs.

The money in your bank account is not, but for a small fraction, actual currency issued by your sovereign (Federal Reserve notes in the US). Instead, it is a bunch of papers representing IOUs (largely home mortgages, auto loans and small business loans). This is how fractional reserve banking works. People come into an establishment that is trusted by the public to assess and aggregate risk, and literally create money on the spot by signing loan papers. This is how most money enters the system.

How is this system different from a corporation issuing common stock? It isn't really. Common stock USUALLY is just riskier, therefore TYPICALLY has a higher interest rate.

Comment: Re:And the US could turn Russia into vapor (Score 1) 878

The United States is, by a wide margin, the largest manufacturer of goods in the world. We produce nearly 25% more than China and the Russian Federation combined, with a small fraction of the population. This was BEFORE the fracking boom.

http://www.wisegeek.org/what-a...

Comment: Re:more nukes now (Score 1) 284

by Code Yanker (#46095229) Attached to: Chinese Moon Rover Says an Early Goodnight

I don't know about the UK, but here in the States, the safety standards for new reactors are much higher than for existing reactors. Paradoxically, this has the opposite effect on public safety because now there are no economical options to take the place of an aging reactor. Normalizing for externalities, nuclear would still be profitable to the public, but NIMBY means we won't be getting any new reactors for a long time. It won't last though. At current rate of growth in energy consumption, soon we won't have a choice.

Comment: Re:more nukes now (Score 1) 284

by Code Yanker (#46091715) Attached to: Chinese Moon Rover Says an Early Goodnight

So lets see, you are

1.) using a profit projection (likely to ALREADY include government-mandated insurance premiums, but you didn't cite a source so who knows?)
2.) from a reactor built to modern safety standards
3.) to meet modern regulations (which can make costs arbitrarily high)
4.) to compare with a reactor commissioned in the 1970s
5.) using a design from the 1960s.

Sounds legit.

Comment: Re:more nukes now (Score 1) 284

by Code Yanker (#46088371) Attached to: Chinese Moon Rover Says an Early Goodnight

That's now how insurance works. They look at the potential risk, and as Fukushima demonstrated that potential (in monetary terms) is rather high. Sorry, but if you irradiate someone's property and make it worthless, or destroy their business and livelihood, you have to compensate them.

The cost of compensating them multiplied by the frequency of such an occurrence would be FAR, FAR, FAR, less than the rate. The cost of occurrence is high, but the frequency of the occurrence is more than low enough to compensate. Ruin theory is THE ONLY THING AT PLAY HERE. I also want to point out that Fukushima was caused by a natural disaster that ALREADY MADE A SHITLOAD OF PROPERTY WORTHLESS.

That's not an imposed cost, that's how society works.

The fact that we require nuclear to be so much more profitable to society (AND IT IS) demonstrates that IS an imposed cost.

Only if the premiums made the energy produced ridiculously expensive.

Look up the number of Terawatts produced by nuclear reactors built in the last 30 years. Then look at the damage to life and property caused by nuclear reactors built in the last 30 years. Report your findings. This study has been done a thousand times and your just flat out wrong.

Keep in mind that the UK has already had to guarantee above market rate prices.

Only if "above market" means greater than the price of fossil fuels MINUS the externalized cost of their damages to human health and the environment.

As for all your other stuff about renewables, you make the classic mistake of considering a single type or single generator on its own. Sure, a particular wind farm may not produce the same amount of energy all year round, but over the entire country there is always a base load of wind energy.

Show me one fucking example of a geographical region that has achieved this. The mythical "composite base load" is just that. A myth. Even in theory, it requires natural gas to provide feedback-based stabilization (meaning you need a smart grid in the first place). The end game for such schemes is that we invest a shitload of money in the short-term on a precisely calculated ratio of wind to solar and sparse energy storage with gas-powered stabilization, and invest a shitload of money in the long-term on dense energy storage. Either way, it is not even close to economical.

Storage systems are already viable, such as the 50MW batteries they have deployed in Japan

with fewer government subsidies than nuclear AT PRESENT TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT, of course

Germany isn't even half way through it's transitional period yet, and has already made incredible progress.

France is still innovating too. And they are WAY farther along. I'd say they are pretty much DONE with their transition already!

there is plenty of money being invested in new renewable energy sources, but very little in nuclear

Ruin theory. It's a thing.

Comment: Re:more nukes now (Score 4, Interesting) 284

by Code Yanker (#46081497) Attached to: Chinese Moon Rover Says an Early Goodnight

The problem is cost.

The problem is IMPOSED cost. We IMPOSE cost on nuclear because, despite it's amazing track record of safety normalized for Terawatt-hours produced, the one accident where fewer than 70 people actually died from the radiation (despite the fact that its primary purpose was for enriching weapons grade nuclear material, not energy and had third-world safety controls) was heavily publicized. 70 people fall of their roofs in different parts of the world for a trickle of solar power and it is as "statistic." 70 people die from radiation for the oceans of energy nuclear has produced, and it is a "disaster."

in the UK the government has to provide insurance since no commercial insurer would even consider it.

Insurance companies profit by dispersing the risk of low-frequency-high-cost events over multiple parties. For any given event, the frequency multiplied by the cost of the event must be less than the premium. Nuclear meets this requirement! But there is a second requirement called "ruin capacity" that derives from a statistical nicety in the central limit theorem: The cost of a single event must be much lower than the operating cost of the risk-aggregating party, so that the off-chance of a single event wouldn't put the company at risk of going out of business.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R...

This is not true for any single insurer in the UK, but it is true for the government. Thus, an insurer could not profit from a nuclear power plant, but the government could.

There are too many competitive alternatives now.

There are no alternatives that are as safe and reliable as nuclear power. Fossil fuels? Not nearly as safe as nuclear. Hydro? Not nearly as safe as nuclear. Wind/Solar? Not reliable enough to generate base load electricity without energy storage. Energy storage? Not even close to becoming economically viable yet. Germany is the closest any major power has come to ditching fossil fuels for renewables, with a whopping 25% reduction in fossil fuel dependency.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R...

But renewables can't produce energy on-demand without expensive energy storage mechanisms. So Germany can't actually CONSUME that energy without the help of rate agreements from their nuclear-producing neighbors like France.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E...

France, by contrast, ditched fossil fuels for a primarily nuclear-based strategy a long time ago. The result? 90+% reduction in fossil fuel usage.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E...

By all measures, nuclear is winning.

because the extremely powerful newspapers hate all the alternatives.

[Citation needed]

Comment: Re:If 10 parties have 10% of the vote each (Score 2) 441

by Code Yanker (#46046851) Attached to: Why Whistleblowers Can't Get a Fair Trial

voting 3rd party streghtens the position of the candidate furthest from the voter's preferences

No, it doesn't. It strengthens the position of the 3rd party.

You are trying to use game theoretical optimums to model a system which is inherently game-theoretically irrational by design. Consider this:

Informing yourself about the issues, takes time. Informing yourself about each candidates positions on the issues takes time. Going to the polls takes time, even if "the polls" is just your mailbox. You could spend that time doing literally anything else, but you don't, despite the nearly-impossible odds that you taking the time to do these things will influence the results of the election.

According to game theory then, about 60% of people in the voting age population (approx. voter turnout) are being irrational. So what is going on here? Well, you understand that if only a small number of people vote, then they will have a great deal of power, and that is clearly bad. You know your vote probably won't make a difference, but if EVERYONE thought that way, it would be really bad.

Game theoretically, you know it would benefit you right now to push button B, but if EVERYONE pushed button B we would all suffer. You aren't thinking about yourself, you are thinking about the group. That is an area of human behavior described in the study of superrationality.

So why then the two party system? Actually, two party systems TEND to crop up even using voting algorithms specifically designed to give 3rd parties a fair chance. Even in wars, you see factions magically aligning themselves into two narrowly-defined groups of strange bedfellows.

The reason is because of ignorance on a massive scale. To bring back the war analogy, we were allies with Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden once, because we didn't know any better. People are scared into an irrational panic when faced with the false specter of "the Great Enemy" and are suddenly willing to compromise their own goals with lesser enemies. But it doesn't have to be like that. It isn't ALWAYS like that even now, particularly when people are informed. And that is what "vote 3rd party" advocates are trying to achieve.

Vote your conscience. Vote 3rd party*

*Unless you conscience tells you to vote for one of the two main parties.

Comment: Re:Damned if they do... (Score 1) 275

by Code Yanker (#43722929) Attached to: Microsoft Reads Your Skype Chat Messages

Once they start scrubbing the data to "improve the relevance of targeted advertising" I might start worrying. I'm not cool with advertisers being able to bid on my screen real-estate based on what I write in private messages. MS, Google, Yahoo filtering scam and spam? That is perfectly expected behavior.

Comment: Re:Prior art (Score 1) 117

by Code Yanker (#43719933) Attached to: Microsoft Patents "Cartoon Face Generation"

Actually, that isn't quite right. The patent itself would cover the entire business case to be made for such an invention, that is the whole car, or any possible way in which the engine might be used.

The INDEPENDENT CLAIMS in the patent would include all of the things you listed. A solid, enforceable patent will have independent claims specific enough to exclude as much prior art as possible, but that doesn't mean any prior art would invalidate the patent. Your super efficient engine design, for example, could include components like a fuel injector that people have been putting into engine designs for decades, but that doesn't mean it isn't patentable. Your patent should at least reference the prior art, however.

Here is where lawyers like to get general. A super efficient engine is novel, but it is a useless novelty, unless you put it into a machine, such as a car, that performs a useful function. That is where DEPENDENT CLAIMS come into play. You want your dependent claims to be big, broad, sweeping and general to cover as many business cases as possible. This process invariably invokes big giant buckets of prior art. All of which you need to reference, of course.

I think it is high time for /. to stop cherry-picking lawyer-speak from patent applications. If your invention builds off of previous inventions, like all inventions do, and the patent application is written correctly, then there is always going to be some set of broad, sweeping claims which, when quoted, will send the comment section into a rantfest.

Comment: Re:WP8 Isn't all bad (Score 3, Informative) 309

by Code Yanker (#43675113) Attached to: Microsoft's Most Profitable Mobile Operating System: Android

There is a task switcher (hold down the back button and a list pops up with thumbnails from your open app). Also, with WP8, any app can run in the background as long as it conforms to certain rules about resource utilization. Not many apps use the feature yet, but the key ones like Skype do, where you want the app to do something even if the app is running in the background.

Comment: Re:Non Sequitir (Score 1) 178

by Code Yanker (#42518195) Attached to: Windows RT Jailbroken To Run Third-Party Desktop Apps

Microsoft encourages you to use their billing system, but it is by no means required. You can give your program to users as crippled trialware if you wish and then just distribute the key for the full version via an in-app purchase. Microsoft only charges you for the in-app purchase if you use their built-in billing API, but you are free to use any billing service you wish and cut Microsoft out of the game completely. At this point, you have basically obtained free hosting for your binaries from Microsoft, in exchange for the contribution of your app to augment their ecosystem.

Last I checked, Apple put an explicit ban on the sale of digital content through iOS apps in a way that cuts Apple out of the gravy train.

No guarantee that Microsoft won't turn into Apple when/if it finally does gain a more entrenched ecosystem, but hey, that's business for you.

Comment: Re:No OS is ever truly an OS (Score 2) 269

by Code Yanker (#41466085) Attached to: Intel CEO Tells Staff Windows 8 Is Being Released Prematurely

In the history of software, I can think of no major OS releases that hit the market without major issue, much less something as high-profile as a new Windows version. Not Windows, OSX, iOS, Android, Solaris, or pick-your-flavor of Linux. The larger your scale, the more beta-testers just don't cut it anymore. You can take Apple's approach and strictly control the hardware that your software can run on, but you can always fuck that up to. You always have to wait for the first round of updates (or in Apple's situation, a free carrying case for every user) and hope that fixes it.

The confusion of a staff member is measured by the length of his memos. -- New York Times, Jan. 20, 1981

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