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Comment: Re:Moron Judge (Score 2) 135

by JBMcB (#47424711) Attached to: Judge Shoots Down "Bitcoin Isn't Money" Argument In Silk Road Trial

Butcoin was supposed to be money, but so far it's far to volatile to be used as a unit of account in any serious sense.

Using it as a a unit of account is a regulatory definition, not an economic one. Money is still money even if there is no concept of "Bookkeeping."

Volatility doesn't enter in to the equation, during the Weimar republic the Mark was still the currency of Germany, even though hyperinflation made it essentially worthless. Just because it isn't a good store of value doesn't mean it isn't a store of value. What matters is it's ultimate utility to the users.

Comment: Lost... (Score 4, Insightful) 682

by JBMcB (#47270991) Attached to: IRS Recycled Lerner Hard Drive

We lost the backups. Her computer drive was taken apart and recycled into a crib mobile for underprivileged infants. We had printouts but those were shredded into organic compost. The tape backups were overwritten as we only have one backup set of tapes. The people who sent her the email also deleted them from their "sent" boxes as they only have 5MB of quota for that mail box. The people who received her email deleted them from their inboxes as we rigorously practice inbox zero.

So you see, no monkey business here.

Comment: Re:No such thing as maintenance free car (Score 1) 455

by JBMcB (#47270937) Attached to: NADA Is Terrified of Tesla

That's just mostly how the current companies handle it. Safety recalls have happened with Tesla. They've simply used company techs to do the work by picking the vehicle up from your house/work if the fix can't be done on the spot, sometimes delivering a loaner vehicle.

This works great when you have a few thousand vehicles on the road. When you have a few hundred-thousand cars all over the country, sending techs out to everyone's home is going to bankrupt you.

Comment: Re:Too bad about evolution (Score 1) 161

by JBMcB (#47199713) Attached to: Interviews: Forrest Mims Answers Your Questions

I really liked Mims's electronics books, but I can't respect him as a scientist when he misrepresents the theory of evolution and proposes (essentially) intelligent design instead. It's a damn shame.

I'd argue that you can still respect him as a scientist. Most scientists get things wrong - it doesn't negate their other accomplishments. Linus Pauling thought that most diseases, including cancer, could be cured through Vitamin C supplements (it apparently didn't work as he died of cancer.) Tesla discounted the theory of Relativity and bought into Aetherism for decades after the former was widely accepted and the latter was completely disproved.

Comment: Relatively safe (Score 4, Informative) 423

by JBMcB (#46596419) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Preparing For Windows XP EOL?

There hasn't been a root exploit in XP for a couple of years now, which means if you are running as a user and not root, and you know what you are doing, XP should be fairly safe.

1. Run as a regular user and only elevate permissions when you need to
2. Make sure your directory permissions are locked down properly (there are guides to help you do this)
3. Turn off all unnecessary services
4. Run a 3rd party antivirus app - BitDefender Free is excellent
5. Regularly run rootkit detectors and a second on-demand scanner (I use Trend Micro)
6. Don't use IE, use Firefox with NoScript turned on
7. Don't use Flash, Adobe Reader or Java. Use Sumatra PDF for PDF viewing.

I keep a VM of XP around for running some old apps and reading my junk email account. I've been sent virii and all sorts of junkware, and running the above config is pretty impervious to anything thrown at me. I can revert the image to it's original state if something bad happens, and I've yet to have to do that.

Comment: Thanks federal reserve... (Score 1) 3

by JBMcB (#45766343) Attached to: Happy anniversary, Federal Reserve System

for funding the never-ending series of wars the US has been involved in since World War II. Without the unlimited ability to create money out of thin air, we wouldn't have all this amazing military hardware we have to justify it's existence for by blowing up people around the world on a continual basis.

Comment: Re:Answer: None (Score 2) 582

by JBMcB (#45560971) Attached to: The Dismantling of POTS: Bold Move Or Grave Error?

Until fiber optic cable cable to the home is as common as copper it won't be a suitable replacement for POTS.

I *almost* agree. Saying we should keep POTS until it can be replaced with fiber, however, is like saying everyone should stick with driving Yugos until it becomes feasible for everyone to buy a Ferrari. Wireless technologies are a good interim solution until fiber can be deployed ubiquitously, especially in very low density areas.

"The value of marriage is not that adults produce children, but that children produce adults." -- Peter De Vries