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Comment: Re:Moron Judge (Score 1) 114

by ultranova (#47427225) Attached to: Judge Shoots Down "Bitcoin Isn't Money" Argument In Silk Road Trial

Fortunately we have laws that define those pieces of paper as legal tender, which differentiates them from little bits of hash solutions and things that people define in internet forums.

"Legal tender" where? I don't have to accept your funny paper. Not that you could send it to me anyway, since only fools tell their Real Life adress over the Internet, and even if I did, it would take days - and neither of us would have proof that the transaction actually happened. And of course, it's not like I'm obligated to give you credit in the first place, especially not in an Internet forum.

Comment: Re:Bitcoin isn't money but it's still a financial (Score 1) 114

by ultranova (#47427085) Attached to: Judge Shoots Down "Bitcoin Isn't Money" Argument In Silk Road Trial

Silk Road used it is to launder money.

Silk Road didn't use Bitcoin to launder money, Silk Road used Bitcoin to transfer money and a tumbler - a series of transactions meant to disguise the "border" transactions between Silk Road and the rest of Bitcoin economy by blending into the crowd - to launder it.

Except it was not really even proper money laundering, since it didn't invent a legal source for the Bitcoins being withdrawn from the system. That would had required a cover firm, a suspiciously succesful gambling site or something.

Comment: Re: "Emergency" laws. (Score 1) 122

by ultranova (#47426909) Attached to: UK Gov't Plans To Push "Emergency" Surveillance Laws

The British actually need to learn the difference between a pedophile and a child molester.

Alas, they're too stupid to do that.

To be fair, the words are used interchangeably outside of medical profession. A pedophile would gain nothing by coming out, and likely lose a lot, so the only ones the public knows about are those caught molesting.

So it's not necessarily a matter of not knowing, but not having any reason to care.

Comment: Translation (Score 1) 74

by Opportunist (#47426863) Attached to: After NSA Spying Flap, Germany Asks CIA Station Chief to Depart

You just outed our spies in your network and you expect us to sign a no-spy list? Come again when we have undermined your security enough that you're as safe as the other countries we pretty much already own.

In other words, we'll only not spy on you if you hand over what we want willingly.

Comment: Re:UK is not a free country (Score 1) 122

by ultranova (#47426841) Attached to: UK Gov't Plans To Push "Emergency" Surveillance Laws

Democracy without constitutional limitations is two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner.

Democracy with constitutional limitations is the same, except the wolves have toilet paper. And every other form of government is the wolves skipping formalities.

If the majority of your population are wolves, you're screwed, no matter what form of government you have.

Comment: Re:UK is not a free country (Score 1) 122

by ultranova (#47426777) Attached to: UK Gov't Plans To Push "Emergency" Surveillance Laws

Many people appear to have a great deal of faith in both politicians and governments.

Or little faith in their own ability to fight monsters. Or even little ability to even perceive monstrous as monstrous anymore, having been socialized into believing that the strong should dominate over weak and the only issue in question is the specific form this takes.

Once you've been conditioned into believing it's just and right you lose your livelihood because it happens to benefit a higher-up, is it really that much a stretch to believe they can just plain kill you? It enhances shareholder value to not have you dirty bum begging on the street, and using tax money to feed you would violate sacred property rights. And you're just a looter anyway, not welcome in Galt's Gulch.

Comment: Re: How about (Score 1) 371

Well, that's because globalization was the choice these days

The US was doing globalization since before there was a US.

I'm not ragging against globalization. I'm just pointing out the cause and effect.

And what is the connection between your alleged cause and your alleged effect? This doesn't explain the US's incompetent and expensive social programs, their intrusive spying, or humongous military-industrial complex. Other countries do globalization without those things.

Comment: Re:Who do they think they are? (Score 1) 92

by ultranova (#47425593) Attached to: India's National Informatics Centre Forged Google SSL Certificates

All countries conduct espionage to the extent that they prioritize their capabilities, and against targets where they perceive threats and/or opportunities.

All countries keep an eye on their neighbours, just like all people keep a general awareness of their surroundings. All countries don't tap the phones of their neighbours's leaders, or install malware on equipment sold to them, or even spies over. Morals aside, taking hostile action tends to backfire, as the US is learning. Reputation is a resource, and it's stupid to waste it.

The problem with Machtpolitik is that even if you win a few rounds, you can't stop playing without giving away all your ill-gotten gains, and sooner or later you lose. And when you do, you don't get back what you've lost, even if you quit. And sometimes the house wins and everyone loses big time. And the Devil's the dealer.

The US is a good case study: the country is hopelessly in debt and the infrastructure is crumbling, yet it's going to be spending $ 1 trillion for a new fighter. It's madness, but that's the price US pays for the way it fought the Cold War. Ruthlessness doesn't go away and leave you alone just because whatever enemy you conjured it up to win has. That's why it's foolish to ignore morality, even in international politics - especially in international politics, since there's no nice constable to run to if you manage to get in over your head.

Comment: Minix on Atari ST (Score 3, Interesting) 100

by sbaker (#47424723) Attached to: Prof. Andy Tanenbaum Retires From Vrije University

I ran Minix for a year or more on my Atari ST - having a UNIX-like operating system on a machine I could have at home was a truly awesome thing. Tanenbaum's work is fascinating, useful and will be around for a good while...which is more or less the definition of "successful" in academic circles.

The debates with Linus were interesting - but I always felt that they were arguing at cross-purposes. Linus wanted a quick implementation of something indistinguishable from "real UNIX" - Tanenbaum wanted something beautiful and elegant. Both got what they wanted - there was (and continues to be) no reason why they can't both continue to exist and be useful.

Tanenbaum's statement that the computer would mostly be running one program at a time was clearly unreasonable for a PC - but think about phones or embedded controllers like BeagleBone and Raspberry Pi? Perhaps Minix is a better solution in those kinds of applications?

Comment: Re:Not possible (Score 1) 59

by khallow (#47423905) Attached to: IBM To Invest $3 Billion For Semiconductor Research

We only have semiconductors because of space.

Well, yea. But that stuff came from supernovae many billion years ago. We don't need space now to have semiconductors since that stuff, particular silicon won't go anywhere.

I suspect however that you are thinking that the US space program is responsible for semiconductors. That is nonsense. We would have them anyway even in the absence of contributions from any agency of the US including the Department of Defense (who was a far bigger contributor to IC R&D than NASA was by at least an order of magnitude). And the incentives to develop integrated circuits and CPUs would have resulted in pretty much what we have now, perhaps even further along since so the careers of so many intelligence,educated people were squandered on various white elephants between NASA and the US military.

Comment: Re:And Joe Schmoe wont care. (Score 1) 317

by arth1 (#47423663) Attached to: The Pentagon's $399 Billion Plane To Nowhere

Half our registered voters don't even want to pay for healthcare for our citizens, why do you think we would pay for this?

I haven't met many fellow Americans who are willing to pay for healthcare for anyone. Half of them are willing to subsidize private health insurance, which is still a right-wing approach seen from a world perspective.

It seems like another way to move money from the middle class to corporations, giving the lower income workers extra expenses they can ill afford, even subsidized. It doesn't help to have health insurance if you cannot afford the co-pay and OOP expenses.

The very idea of funding healthcare directly, not going through private insurance intermediates who milk the maximum amount of money from both sides, is one that seems alien to Americans, no matter what party they claim to support.

Counting in octal is just like counting in decimal--if you don't use your thumbs. -- Tom Lehrer

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