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Comment: Re:Not me... (Score 1) 507

by FireFury03 (#47447001) Attached to: Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

As someone who has had a recent issue with a certain major bank(they closed the account and sent cashiers checks to me for the balance. Waiting 2-3 days without money wasn't pleasant)...I will never go cashless.

That's more of an "all eggs in one basket" problem than a problem specifically made worse by being cashless. If you split your money between multiple banks then this kind of thing wouldn't be an issue (or have multiple credit cards, etc.)

Comment: Re:What's the point? (Score 1) 119

I don't know if you read books or anything on your devices, but I've found that reading on an iPad Air to be *significantly* better than my previous devices.

I don't own a tablet - I use a desktop machine for every day work, a laptop around the house and an Android smartphone. I wouldn't really want to read books on my smartphone except in an emergency - screen's too small to be comfortable. And I don't want a bigger smart phone because then it wouldn't be convenient to carry around and I honestly can't think how a higher resolution display would make my phone better.

On the other hand, my wife does have a tablet... She occasionally reads books on it, but it mostly gets used for facebook, web surfing, photo browsing, etc. My experience of using it for reading books isn't great - if I want to sit in the garden in the sun I find the screen too reflective, and if I want to sit in bed at night then a backlit screen is really glaring.

I think, if I were going to buy a device to be an ebook reader, I would have to buy an epaper device to be really comfortable with it, and epaper is a bit too limited to use the device for non-book uses. So since I can't get a device that would be a reasonable all-rounder then I'm not likely to buy one soon. The perfect tablet for me would probably be one that has an LCD display on one side and an ePaper display on the other so I could just turn it over to choose which display was most suitable for the current situation - no one makes such a thing.

In truth, the prevalence of DRM on ebooks is likely to keep me from being especially interested in buying an ebook reader. Whilst I do consider tablets to be quite "shiny" and nice for surfing the web on, when I look at what I'd use it for honestly, I really don't think I'd get a lot of use out of it so there's not a lot of point in me buying one.

Comment: Re: Not France vs US (Score 1) 269

If publishers want to compete with piracy, they need to make it more convenient for people to get the books they want, at the price they want.

I don't think there's a lot of risk of piracy of paper books. eBooks are another matter, but they are one thing I wouldn't touch because of the DRM (yes, I know you can trivially remove the DRM, but if I'm going to have to break the law to use something I purchased I start questioning why I didn't just break the law instead of purchasing it in the first place).

Comment: Re:because drinking water is so pristine (Score 1) 236

by FireFury03 (#47441709) Attached to: Texas Town Turns To Treated Sewage For Drinking Water

not like the wild animals and fish don't piss and shit into our water

who drinks straight from a lake or river?

Lots of people out in the country. Go walking in the highlands of Scotland and you'll frequently see pipes taking drinking water directly from the rivers and directly feeding cottages a few metres down stream - either no filtering, or extremely minimal filtering. If I go out walking in a mountainous area I have no problems collecting drinking water from streams - and after a week of drinking nothing but stream water, a glass of mains water tastes like drinking from a chlorinated swimming pool!

Comment: Re: Not France vs US (Score 1) 269

Amazon certainly doesn't pose a threat to variety of material

Sure they do - they try some pretty hard negotiation tactics with the publishers which sometimes results in books from certain publishers being withdrawn from Amazon. If Amazon is pretty much the only place you can get books then this is going to threaten the variety of material available to the general public.

Comment: Re:What's the point? (Score 2) 119

If the average human eye can't tell the slightest difference, what's the point of making displays that dense?

I would guess there may be applications for things like VR/AR headsets, where you're using a very small screen to cover a large field of vision.

However, I more or less thought the same thing about Apple's retina displays - I can see some restricted uses, but for the general case I don't notice the pixels on my non-retina phone so I'm not sure why I'd want to waste the battery power moving even more pixels around.

Comment: Re:Nothing unusual (Score 1) 39

by FireFury03 (#47399623) Attached to: Free Wi-Fi Supplier, Gowex, Files For Bankruptcy

No, business are sat down and are interrogated like ordinary people. For some loans they just hit the credit bureau, just like ordinary people. Sometimes they go over the documents with a fine tooth comb, just like ordinary people. And just like ordinary people sometimes business enhance, fudge, or outright lie.

Also, even if your business is a limited company, you'll usually find that small business investments are often secured against the directors' themselves, so frequently it is _not_ the case that you can just move the money out of the company and declare it insolvant, coz if you do that you'll lose your home too. Where this tends to fall down is bigger companies, where the bank perceives the company itself to be worth enough to secure the loan... which is a problem if the company's value is fictional.

Comment: Re:Nothing unusual (Score 5, Interesting) 39

by FireFury03 (#47398039) Attached to: Free Wi-Fi Supplier, Gowex, Files For Bankruptcy

Why is it compulsory that I have to be sat down like a child when I want to take out a £1000 loan but nobody questions businesses or enforces them to give enhanced accounts or audits in their first few years of operation.

Well, to some extent I think people who run businesses are probably expected to have a bit more of a clue to managing finances than the average man-on-the-street. (And I guess you only have to look at the number of "pay day loan" companies that charge several thousands percent APR to realise that there are a *lot* of members of the public who really don't understand how to manage their finances). So the whole being sat down like a child thing is basically to stop people who don't know what they're doing ending up with mountains of debt _by mistake_, it's not to stop people intentionally cooking the books.

A company cooking the books is serious, but arguably, a privately held company cooking the books is probably not _that_ bad - yes they avoid paying a bit of tax, but auditing costs the government money so you have to weigh up this cost against the amount of extra tax revenues they're going to get (and certainly, my privately held limited company has never been audited by the inland revenue, not that I have any reason to believe that such an audit would raise any warnings).

Things are a bit more serious with a publicly held company though, since cooking the books will artificially raise the share price and then risk a crash (as has happened here) so innocent third party investors are going to get screwed over. Its hard to decide who should be paying the costs of an independent audit in this case though. Maybe investors should value a company's shares more highly if a independent audit has been published for that company since investing in that company should presumably be a lower risk.

Comment: Re:Haha (Score 1) 235

by FireFury03 (#47383595) Attached to: Radar Changing the Face of Cycling

But the bottom line is, if they are in the lane you are driving in, it is no different then another car except you can pass them without completely changing lanes.

Worth pointing out that the British highway code says that you give bikes as much room as you'd give a car (i.e. you must pull all the way out into the next lane). I say this as someone who still has a bunch of painful cuts from about 3 weeks ago when a driver decided that it was safe to overtake me on a single track road, leaving around 2cm between his car and the end of my handlebars (I swerved to avoid getting hit by his wing mirror, lost my balance and wobbled into the side of his car, which is exactly what leaving zero margin for error gets you. I ended up with cuts, bruises, grazes and a ripped T-shirt from where I hit the road, he ended up with an expensive handlebar scrape the full length of his car, which will hopefully remind him not to be such a bellend in future.)

Comment: Re:How is this different from sensory deprivation? (Score 2) 333

I'm familiar with sensory deprivation studies, but personally I find it shocking (pardon the pun) that people are willing to self-administer painful shocks just to avoid being alone with their thoughts for 15 minutes. Don't you?

I've not read the article, but the thought that immediately occurred to me was whether there was a curiosity element involved. i.e. did people really shock themselves because they were bored, or did they shock themselves out of curiosity to see if it really did hurt as much as they were told it would?

Electric shocks aren't something that most people have experienced - if you were asked to cut yourself then you'd probably guess how much it'd hurt since most people have had cuts before, but if you're told "this button will shock you", you're in a complete unknown - most people haven't had electric shocks, and even if you had you don't know anything about the voltage, etc. they're administering so no way to gauge how much pain to expect.

Comment: Re:Well, duh... (Score 4, Insightful) 210

"A new law that has a fairly vague scope"? It's a law which dates back to 1995, and its scope is fairly clear. See the ECJ's Factsheet.

The whole idea of treating a news report as "personal data" seems completely flawed to me.

But in any case, there seems to be a "public interest" judgement to be made, with respect to this law. In general I think "public interest" judgements need to be made by judges and other public organisations within an established framework, rather than as ad-hoc judgements by private businesses.

Comment: Re:Well, duh... (Score 5, Insightful) 210

...but that's exactly what the ruling does. The original case was a businessman objecting to Google links to newpaper stories about his life. This is no different.

Fact is, the court that issued this ruling screwed up big time. Perhaps, if Google can find a few more egregious deletions to make, the European Parliament will correct the error.

I think the big problem here is that Google are expected to be the judge, jury and executioner and are getting smacked down when someone thinks they made the wrong judgement call. This stuff should be going to an independent judge instead of expecting Google to uphold a new law that has a fairly vague scope.

Comment: Re:One stupid question (Score 3, Interesting) 88

How do they choose the exchange? Government property must be auctioned off to the highest bidder, otherwise they are favoring a business over others.

One of those little things that they do to maintain the appearance that they are not corrupt.

I'm curious how they handle foreign currency which is seized - if they seize a truck full of euros, do they auction them or of just exchange them for dollars? If the latter, what's the difference between that and doing the same with bitcoins?

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