It's a triumph of the human spirit, or something.
It's a triumph of the human spirit, or something.
Radioactive drones --- brilliant sales pitch
Oh, I wouldn't even try to sell the public on that one. On the plus side, Technetium is a pain in the ass to distribute precisely because it decays so fast, so you could choose far worse payloads.
That the mega-rich have mega-toys seems as good an explanation as any.
I assume that gapagos' question, to the degree that it is fully serious, is a reference to the fact that, in stark contrast to all the hip, cool, oh-so-startup space ventures, Lockheed Martin is one of the aerospace contractors that you go to if you want to deliver a project on a nation-state-sized budget, with overruns to be expected...
While Lockeed is technically private, and only acts like a parasitic appendage of the US government, they aren't exactly a poster child for the 'zOMG! Free Enterprise Innovation will get us into space for cheap!' school.
>The system would allow people to pay bills anonymously over the Internet through an electronic transfer of funds â" just like Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is not anonymous. There is a very clear, public trail linking your wallet to your purchases.
Yes; but (unlike, say, credit cards) anybody can magic a wallet into existence with a dash of math, at any time, so connections between people and wallets are established only by inferences made possible by various forms of sloppiness in handling. Odds are that many wallets are robustly identified with users; but only on the basis of techniques unrelated to bitcoin proper.
Maybe the patent office will notice a bit of prior art? One can hope, right?
I suspect that JP Morgan's patent attorneys aren't idiots, so they've probably done some clever rules-lawyering; but 'bitcoin' is one of those things with such substantial public recognition that it won't be trivial to hide unless the examiner is really sleeping on the job.
With a lot of painfully-obvious tech patents, the prior art (while it definitely exists) is mostly working knowledge among techies, and (because it's considered obvious) often doesn't get a writeup anywhere, although source implementations and the like may be publicly available. That's the sort of thing that makes it easier to sneak by the examiner with a bit of creative rewording so that the old 'just google the important-sounding strings' doesn't work.
Bitcoin, though, didn't Newsweek, or some rag of similar caliber, to a (deeply uninformative, possibly actively misleading) puff piece on it a little while ago? It isn't exactly commonly well-understood; but you'd have to be living under a rock to have not heard at least some journalist's 3rd-hand interpretation of what it is.
If it were faith based, it'd be way easier: we could just posit a Grand Unified Theory, and then bodge like crazy to force any observations into agreement with it.
Instead, we start with a whole bunch of tedious empiricism, observational inference of patterns, and hope that eventually somebody comes up with something that will elegantly explain the mess. It's Newton's old "Hypotheses non fingo": He had no idea how or why universal gravitation worked the way it did; but accorded with astronomical and physical observation, so he proposed it, without any metaphysical entanglements, as a model.
Exercising the temporal power of fire and sword against your religious enemies is fun and all; but (even when you are on top) tends to be corrupting, and when you aren't, it opens the door to being at the mercy of every different group out there.
Plus, even among people who would ordinarily be inclined to treat your choices of faith as purely personal and let you believe as you will, nothing sours toleration quite like making it clear that you are ready and willing to impose what you believe on everyone else. Suddenly, and wholly because of your actions, your beliefs are now everybody's business; because everybody will suffer for them. That's when the gloves come off (most notably among atheists: 'god-not-existing' is something that isn't even worth mentioning, except that people who believe otherwise keep pushing the matter. In absence of pressure from theists, the nonexistence of god is about as interesting as the nonexistence of Russel's teapot.)
"Offensive", in practice, is either meaningless (since everything is, to somebody) or simply emotional majoritarianism (if you only count as 'offensive' things that offend large and influential groups of people). Lousy criterion.
If you think atheists drive evangelical conservatives nuts, you ain't seen nothing yet.
Which is a trifle ironic, because 'satanists' (to the degree that they actually take the stuff seriously, and aren't just into heavy metal and upsetting their parents), are far closer, in terms of opinions on metaphysics, to Christians than atheists are. Especially to some of the protestant outfits that are practically Manichean in their emphasis on the power of satan in the world...
Though, given how much they like Muslims, who are closer still, I suppose that it may be a matter of hating your competitors even more than people in a different industry altogether.