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Comment: Re:bit coin doesn't solve the strategic issue. (Score 2) 318 318

by Errol backfiring (#50011591) Attached to: Greek Financial Crisis Is an Opportunity For Bitcoin

What would exiting the Euro actually accomplish?

A lot. First of all, the money system could be in the hands of society instead of the other way around, as it is now. This could change the very definition of money for the Greeks.

The current situation in Europe is that all the nations are under control of the European Central Bank. NOT the other way around, as the ECB is an independent institution. This independent institution however has the power to grab as much money from the nations as they want (through the "stability pact"). Even so, it is just a bank, but with the right to print money.

Now you all know how fiat money is made, right? You have to give (well, promise) a valuable thing to the bank (the "security"), the bank puts in in the books, says "hey, we have an extra amount of money in the books!" and "lends" it out to you. I put the word "lends" between quotes, because it is not lent, but created by this bookkeping fraud. The money never existed before the loan. Off course, holding their laugh, the bank says that they are doing something risky by lending your own value out to you, so they ask usury. In Newspeak: interest. So, basically, you pay the bank to hijack your security.

There is off course a downside to this piramid scheme: the usury that you have to pay extra has never existed and can only be generated by new loans! At some point you are lending so much to pay the usury (thus bringing more and more valuable items to the bank as security!), that loads get refused, and you will have to default or plunder even more resources to give away to the bank. That is where Greece is right now. The Greeks have nothing to loose, as they have been plundered to the bone already.

Now what would happen if society itself (represented by the goverment for example) could issue money? In that case money could become "effort for the greater good of society" instead of "bottomless debt to an independent company". The government could pay "made up" money to people building roads, providing healthcare, etc. That money can then circulate further within society. The difference would not be that the money is made up (it is made up now also), but that money would actually get a real value. Off course, the goverment can always "unmake up" the money with taxes. But hey, taxes can be much lower. Instead of requiring high taxes in bank-debt to pay to road-building companies and to repay it and more to the ECB, the money can become its own tax! You pay in effort to society instead of in bank debt to the bank!

Off course there is a catch: everything depends on how wise the amount of money is chosen to be paid to society. Too little, and society will issue its own currency (and pay in sigarettes, for example). Too much, and nobody will believe the numbers. Vary too fast, and the money will be unreliable. I really wish the Greek goverment a lot of wisdom.

As an aside, if the government prints the money, they can set the rules as well. A ban on usury ("interest"), for example. Or a ban on speculation that is no more than a gambling game. Or even negative interest (some local currencies feature this) to encourage people to keep the money circulating.

All in all, getting control over their own money is the best (and I think the only) option left to Greece.

Google

Google Tests Code Repository Service 44 44

Posted by Soulskill
from the a-challenger-appears dept.
An anonymous reader writes: VentureBeat notes that Google has begun testing an unannounced service to host and edit source code repositories as part of its cloud platform. It's called Cloud Source Repositories, and it's currently being beta-tested. "Google is taking a gradual approach with the new service: It can serve as a 'remote' for Git repositories sitting elsewhere on the Internet or locally. Still, over time the new tool could help Google become more of an all-in-one destination for building and deploying applications."

+ - Judge orders Dutch governemt to finally take action on climate promises->

Submitted by Errol backfiring
Errol backfiring writes: Although the Dutch government has promised to make sure carbon emissions are lowered considerably, they have consistently failed to take action on this matter. Dutch climate group Urgenda and Dutch citizens have gone to court to force the government to take action, and the verdict (linked page is in Dutch) is that the government must reduce emissions by al least 25% compared to the 1990 level.

This 25% is seen as the minimum effort needed to keep the people safe from climate change dangers. 25% to 40% is the norm in international climate policy.

The verdict is also important for similar climate groups in other countries.

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:More stupid reporting on SlashDot (Score 1) 192 192

Do you have any idea how much it would cost the tax payers to try to *replace* all that embedded technology?

A lot less then trying to work around systems that cannot be maintained, let alone be repaired and are therefore utterly broken. Have you any idea how many security leaks their software must have? Even if they upgrade Windows for a few MegaBucks, all the libraries used inside the software remain unpatched. Heck, if somebody from China wants to be anonymous on-line, it is probably easier to do through the US Navy than through any Chinese server.

Privacy

Louisiana Governor Vetoes License Plate Reader Bill, Citing Privacy Concerns 129 129

Posted by samzenpus
from the stop-watching dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has vetoed a plan to acquire license plate reading cameras in the state. Law enforcement agencies nationwide use such cameras to scan cars and compare them to a "hot list" of stolen or wanted vehicles. That data is kept for weeks, or even years In some cases. Jindal wrote in a signing statement: "Senate Bill No. 250 would authorize the use of automatic license plate reader camera surveillance programs in various parishes throughout the state. The personal information captured by these cameras, which includes a person’s vehicle location, would be retained in a central database and accessible to not only participating law enforcement agencies but other specified private entities for a period of time regardless of whether or not the system detects that a person is in violation of vehicle insurance requirements. Camera programs such as these that make private information readily available beyond the scope of law enforcement, pose a fundamental risk to personal privacy and create large pools of information belonging to law abiding citizens that unfortunately can be extremely vulnerable to theft or misuse. For these reasons, I have vetoed Senate Bill No. 250 and hereby return it to the Senate."
Science

General Mills To Drop Artificial Ingredients In Cereal 163 163

Posted by samzenpus
from the less-is-more dept.
schwit1 writes: General Mills announced Monday that it will be removing artificial colors and flavoring from its cereal products over the next two to three years. The company said that Trix and Reese's Puffs will be some of the first cereals to undergo the changes adding that cereals like Lucky Charms that have marshmallows may take longer to reformulate. They say 90 percent of their cereals will have no artificial ingredients by the end of 2016. "We've continued to listen to consumers who want to see more recognizable and familiar ingredients on the labels and challenged ourselves to remove barriers that prevent adults and children from enjoying our cereals," said Jim Murphy, president of General Mills cereal division, in a statement.

Comment: Re:Good thing Slashdot isn't in the EU (Score 1) 401 401

by Errol backfiring (#49929409) Attached to: European Court: Websites Are Responsible For Users' Comments

Good thing Slashdot isn't in the EU

Are you sure? Tax havens like the Netherlands are "home" to a huge lot of companies who are only there on paper to avoid taxation. However, there have already been a lot of lawsuits by such companies abusing Dutch treaties. So many in fact, that other countries are thinking of revoking all their treaties with the Netherlands.

United States

FDA Bans Trans Fat 851 851

Posted by Soulskill
from the bye-bye-miss-american-pie dept.
An anonymous reader writes: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has finally come to a conclusion about artificial trans fat: it must be removed from the U.S. food supply over the next three years. According to their final determination (PDF), there's no longer a scientific consensus that partially hydrogenated oils are safe to consume. Trans fat must be gone from food in the U.S. by June, 2018, unless a petitioner is granted specific approval by the FDA to continue using it. "Many baked goods such as pie crusts and biscuits as well as canned frosting still use partially hydrogenated oils because they help baked goods maintain their flakiness and frostings be spreadable. As for frying, palm oil is expected to be a go-to alternative, while modified soybean oil may catch on as well." The food industry is expected to spend $6.2 billion over the next two decades to formulate replacements, but the money saved from health benefits is expected to be more than 20 times higher.
Facebook

Belgian Privacy Watchdog Sues Facebook 72 72

Posted by samzenpus
from the take-them-to-court dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Belgium is taking Facebook to task – and to court – about the company's opaque user-monitoring frameworks. The country's independent Privacy Commission, which is partnered with equivalent institutions in the Netherlands, France, Germany and Spain, failed to obtain information from the social media giant about the extent and nature of its user-analysis network, and has now decided to take action. The commission is particularly interested in the use that Facebook makes of information about users who are not logged in to Facebook, and may not even be members. The ubiquity of Facebook "share" buttons, along with other popular widgets or modules, have extended the company's reach far beyond its own site. The court convenes on the matter this Thursday.
Government

Leaked TISA Documents Reveal Privacy Threat 145 145

Posted by timothy
from the may-fsm-bless-julian-assange dept.
schwit1 writes with some Wikileaks-enabled news at Forbes about the Trade in Services Agreement, a treaty currently under negotiation between the U.S., the European Union and nearly two dozen other parties. Wikileaks' release of 17 documents from the negotiating countries puts some bad light on some of the provisions being considered: From the Forbes report: Under the draft provisions of the latest trade deal to be leaked by Wikileaks, countries could be barred from trying to control where their citizens' personal data is held or whether it's accessible from outside the country. ... These negotiating texts are supposed to remain secret for five years after TISA is finalized and brought into force. Like TTIP and TPP, TISA could be sped through Congress using Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), also known as fast-track authority, which has been passed by the US Senate and may be taken up in the House this month. Under TPA, Congress is barred from making amendments to the trade deals, and most simply give yes-or-no approval.
Stats

Google Diversity Report Straight Out of 'How To Lie With Statistics' Playbook 287 287

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-unlike-every-other-corporate-report dept.
theodp writes: Among the books recommended by Bill Gates for beach reading this summer is How to Lie With Statistics, the published-in-1954-but-timely-as-ever introduction to the (mis)use of statistics. So, how can one lie with statistics? "Sometimes it is percentages that are given and raw figures that are missing," explains the book, "and this can be deceptive too." So, does this explain Google's just-released Diversity Report and the accompanying chock-full-o-percentages narrative (find-all-%-image), which boasts "the Black community in grew [sic] by 38 percent", while the less-impressive raw figures — e.g., the number of Google employees increased by 5,928, but the ranks of Black females only increased by 35 (less than 0.6% of the net increase) — are relegated to a PDF of its EEO-1 Report that's linked to in the fine-print footnotes? To be fair to Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Apple and Amazon didn't want people to see their EEO-1 numbers, either.

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