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Comment Re:Congressionally mandated penalty (Score 1) 184

It's pretty clear that with the invention of aircraft, we needed to revise the way we handle real estate.

Either you make it uniform and hand regulatory authority over to a federal agency, or you have a hodge-podge of state and local laws which make modern aviation either outright impossible or extremely burdensome.

Neither air travel nor deep mining were available technologies at the time the Constitution was written; to claim that the Constitution has some clear guidance on the matter is disingenuous at best.

The Supreme Court agreed with the nationwide "easement" that established regulated air space. I.e., the body explicitly granted the power to interpret the Constitution decided that the FAA was legally granted the authority to regulate national air space. That is the end of the discussion unless you wish to amend the Constitution further.

Go be an armchair lawyer somewhere else.

Comment Re:Only if you use App Cards with APPS! (Score 4, Insightful) 317

The US went chip & signature instead of chip & PIN, so the entire change is basically meaningless.

The US chips will be cracked in a matter of a months, maybe a more, and we gain almost nothing.

The chip & PIN system uses PKI and only communicates with the payment transaction system when the authorized user provides the PIN. Sure, you could have a rogue retailer push transactions in excess of what the buyer thought he was paying, but that will be caught and prosecuted swiftly.

The US system has no real authentication of the card user since (a) no one checks the signature to begin with, (b) most users leave an unintelligible scrawl, and (c) no retailer has a full-time handwriting expert on staff.

We finally had a good push to revamp the payment card infrastructure, and they totally blew it.

Comment Re:Seems Low (Score 1) 146

Did you read the article?

The way they're talking about replacement cost, it only really makes sense if they're talking about building again from scratch.

I assume existing applications would be developed to add all the lost functionality. If that's the game---a more practical take on "replacement" of the open source code---then you have to include integration and testing costs. Plus any opportunity costs for "lost" functionality that was not deemed worth reimplementing---because some things are very hard to do well, and the next developer might not bother unless there is overwhelming demand for it.

So even if you setup different goalposts compared to what the study examined, it's still going to be expensive. The only difference is there's just no widely-established standard for estimating how expensive.

Comment Re: How much will it cost. (Score 1) 396

You're asking a question without understanding the basic economics. Car batteries are in the $10K+ range. That is for the cheapest ones, and the price scales with capacity.

Yes, seriously, it's like 1/3 of the cost of the car for all-electric vehicles.

So they basically dump the ICE and some parts of the transmission. But they still had to do a lot of work to get a high-performance transmission working (so I assume that's not cheap), and they need a very heavy and expensive battery.

Comment Re: How much will it cost. (Score 1) 396

Just out of curiosity, were you bothered by the tax breaks that Escalade owners used to get?

People were pissed about the Escalade/Hummer tax breaks because it was blatant abuse---it was intended for business that required special vehicles to operate. Likewise, people were happy when the loophole was closed.

The credit for electrical vehicles it deliberately targeted at the consumer/commuter market to encourage adoption there.

I actually prefer the tax credit as a means of promoting new tech. Compared to government loans and other subsidies, the buyer's credit only encourages the companies which bring a compelling product to market. If your company makes a crap product that no one buys, you shouldn't get anything out of the government.

Comment Re: How much will it cost. (Score 1) 396

Maybe... unless gas prices stay low and perhaps get lower.

Historically, that does not happen. (At least not over the long term, which is the timeframe implied by vehicle ownership.)

While the strict value proposition of electrical vehicles is somewhat debatable at present, let's not pretend it's going to get any better.

I fully expect gas-guzzlers to be dinosaurs in my lifetime. I'm not sure if my next car will be electric, but I hope the durability of my current vehicle and the advances in battery tech make it so.

Comment Seems Low (Score 2) 146

Since most companies would either develop proprietary solutions or buy at a substantial markup from an establish publisher, the actual cost to replace all that software would be much, much higher. And if an established organization offers a replacement, it will likely have competitors---which again gives a duplication of effort, even if it is much smaller duplication than proprietary redevelopment of the functionality. This is not addressed at all in the paper.

They do acknowledge that failed or superseded code is not included in their analysis, and there was certainly developer time spent on code that is not a part of the project, either because it was culled or never made the cut to begin with.

Given both of those factors, the $5 billion figure is a very low best-case value. The practical cost of replacement would be monumentally higher once the mundane practicalities come into play.

Comment Property Law, Real Estate Laws (Score 1) 162

In the US, the mineral rights (and other natural resources) are often part of the real estate. Some places have legally segregated such rights from the surface estate, but they are still both considered property rights---which implies ownership.

The Outer Space Treaty says no one can own the Moon or other celestial bodies.

Since the way that the US handles natural resources implies ownership, it is a contradiction. And since treaties are second only to the Constitution in the US, it does seem that mining space is illegal for US-registered spacecraft.

If other countries have different laws, then they may have a loophole. But this is a facet of common law, so other countries will be in a similar conundrum. This treaty is about 50 years old; maybe it's time to revise it.

Comment Re:Boy cries wolf (Score 1) 435

They don't "free up" IPv4 addresses and then hand them out. Those addresses are auctioned.

So, yes, I do see them helping out. For a price.

Right now, IPv4 addresses sell for maybe $10 each. Not exactly profitable to rearchitect a network just yet.

But if you're going to do it anyway, or if the price goes up over time---of course you'll sell off what you don't need.

Comment Re:I agree with Microsoft here. (Score 1) 195

And then the Irish government tells them to piss off. Of course they're not going to do that. It would be a waste of time.

They want the data---even better if it sets a precedent that gives them more access in the future.

It's a long shot, but why not go for it? It only costs tax dollars. /s

Comment Re:"Infringing"? (Score 1) 215

As usual, the lack of government regulation has led the US to develop a system of proprietary fiefdoms.

There are several ATM networks, and there is generally a charge if your bank is not part of the network owning the ATM.

All American banks participate in the ACH, which is apparently behind the curve compared to your current system. We have nothing in the pipe for instantaneous transfers either. (We emulate instantaneous transfers with pre-approvals and floating funds.) The ACH is a 1980s-era relic that ought to have been replaced or redesigned at least twice by now.

The e-invoice system sounds amazing---the US will never have that. The banks have no interest in making your funds directly manageable, and the federal government has shown no interest in requiring them to do so.

You are in the hall of the mountain king.