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Comment Re:Full Price? (Score 1) 155

If someone wants to buy a cheap TV for $200 do they insist on getting financing from the manufacturer? No, they use their credit card. Why would a phone be any different? I also don't get it why anyone would want to buy a phone from Verizon in the first place. Do people want to buy a toaster from their electric company or a car from their local gas station? Carriers should be in the business of providing a monthly data allotment and nothing more. Hopefully, this change is the first step towards a more competitive marketplace. More competition should eventually lead to *fully* open-source cheap and powerful phones.

Comment Government Finances (Score 1) 195

Option 1: The government spends millions of dollars inspecting and enforcing safety rules. No accident happens, and the government collects nothing. Profit for the government: negative millions.

Option 2: The government spends nothing on inspections or enforcement. An accident happens, and the government collects billions of dollars in fines. Profit for the government: positive 18.7 billion dollars.

Comment Re:One of many big lies (Score 1) 940

The weird thing is that the mainstream media celebrates when property prices go up and moan when property prices go down; but they also celebrate when rents go down and moan when rents go up. Putting the two together, the media seems to want property prices high but rents low - which makes no economic sense. The only thing I can figure is that the media figures that more of their readers/viewers already own than are looking to buy, and more readers/viewers are renters rather than landlords. I guess that logic makes sense in a cynical kind of way - the media is playing both sides of the fence to increase their own market share and profits - like a military arms manufacturer that sells to both sides of a conflict.

Comment Re:Bitcoin is faulty by nature (Score 1) 161

Not an arrest yet, but:

"The Court's judgment permanently enjoins Shavers and BTCST from future violations of Sections 5 and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder; orders them to disgorge, on a joint and several basis, $39,638,569, plus $1,766,098 prejudgment interest thereon, for a total of $40,404,667; and orders Shavers and BTCST each to pay a $150,000 penalty. "

That's gotta hurt.

Comment Google Earth KMZ Files (Score 4, Informative) 54

From the paper, here are the links to Google Earth KMZ files to view the whole earth results:

Gravity anomaly map

VGG map

The new data is very cool, and a clear improvement from Google Earth's standard data. They've got all the world's water, even lakes. They only missed a 2000 km radius circle centered on the north pole. To see the difference, after opening the KMZ files in Google Earth, select and unselect the check boxes in the Temporary Places folder.

Comment Re:"Stakeholders" (Score 2) 132

What surprises and disappoints me is that Intel has sided against net neutrality. Here's a link to the letter signed by Intel and other anti-net-neutrality companies:

I guess some commercial routers and network equipment have Intel chips in them, so Intel might just be doing what their router manufacturing customers have requested, but this has to be a bad move from a public relations point of view. Intel is a household name and lots of consumer products have "Intel Inside" stickers on them.

Comment Re:I never really understood bitcoin (Score 1) 191

Bitcoin is actually a distributed peer-to-peer ledger that keeps track of who has the coins. The coins themselves don't actually exist. It's like if you and I both have bank accounts in the same bank and I write a check to you and you deposit the check. The bank reduces my balance and increases yours by the check amount. This works even if there are no actual physical dollar bills in the bank anywhere.

Mining is doing that bank teller work (increasing and decreasing other people's balances when transactions are requested), and the tellers (miners) are paid for that work with small amounts of the same virtual coins for each transaction they process.

The brilliance of the bitcoin protocol is how it automatically prevents both the bank tellers (miners) and bank customers (bitcoin users) from embezzling virtual coins or inflating the virtual coin supply.

Submission + - Bitcoin Inventor Satoshi Nakamoto Doxed by Newsweek

DoctorBit writes: According to today's Newsweek article, Satoshi Nakamoto is ... Satoshi Nakamoto — a 64-year-old Japanese-American former defense contractor living with his mother in a modest Temple City, California suburban home. According to the article, "He is someone with a penchant for collecting model trains and a career shrouded in secrecy, having done classified work for major corporations and the U.S. military." and "Nakamoto's family describe him as extremely intelligent, moody and obsessively private, a man of few words who screens his phone calls, anonymizes his emails and, for most of his life, has been preoccupied with the two things for which Bitcoin has now become known: money and secrecy."
The article quotes him as responding when asked about bitcoin, "I am no longer involved in that and I cannot discuss it, ... It's been turned over to other people. They are in charge of it now. I no longer have any connection."
I imagine that he will now have to move and hire round-the-clock security for his own protection.

System going down in 5 minutes.