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Comment Re:Casino Noise (Score 1) 118 118

And in any case property tax does end up being a tax on economic activity also, or at least on economic value, which is determined by economic activity.

The Broken Window Fallacy is the classic counterexample. Among other things, it's a means to disengage (and of course, tax) economic activity from the value of property.

I agree that the Broken Window Fallacy is a fallacy. I don't see how it's a counterexample to the claim that property tax is a tax on economic activity. Can you elaborate?

Comment Re:Obvious deflection. (Score 1) 184 184

I do think there are important differences with computers though
  Computers can potentially be much more efficient and accurate in their slaughter. Such machines may be used in ways not unlike hitler used gas chambers (wooo, godwin there we go).
  With current technology, computers can't make morality judgements like humans can, they can't think "you know what, my general just ordered a genocide, I'm not going to take part".
  With current technology, computers are much worse at distinguishing friend, foe or civilian. We ban land mines for exactly this reason - they don't distinguish who they're blowing up.

There's probably more reasons that they differ, but I can't be arsed thinking them up just now.

Comment Re:Casino Noise (Score 1) 118 118

capitalism in which the cost of protecting property rights is paid for by taxing economic activity rather than the property rights themselves.

How do you tax property rights?

Have you ever owned property? It is quite simple and called property tax.

I wondered if that's what he was proposing, that all defense of property be funded by property taxes. Property tax isn't really a tax on property rights, though. And in any case property tax does end up being a tax on economic activity also, or at least on economic value, which is determined by economic activity. So I don't see the point.

Comment Re: Winter? (Score 1) 215 215

Do a search for google car can't drive in rain and you will see that they haven't even been tested in heavy rain because of safety concerns.

That just means they haven't gotten to that yet, not that they expect it to be very hard.

If it wasn't an issue they would already be doing it. Of course it is nowhere near the first of the issues autonomous cars have, they are quite far from what people imagine.

The guys I know working on the Google cars disagree. Oh, they have plenty to do, but it's mostly because they've set an extraordinarily high bar for themselves.

Comment Re:Silicon or.... (Score 1) 174 174

Is this memory based on silicon, or something else, like GaAs or Germanium or Graphene or something else?

Given that they've released close to zero technical details on how it works, but stated that it's nonvolatile, has 1000x the endurance of NAND flash while being 1000x faster, is cheaper than DRAM, and will be available in 128GBit capacities any minute now, my guess is that it's based on magic.

Of course it's cheaper than DRAM; DRAM is expensive. TFA says it will be more expensive than NAND and cheaper than DRAM. So, it just adds another point on the continuum... the more speed and write cycles you need, the more it costs. Seems reasonable. And TFA says nothing about availability; not sure where you got that from.

There's no reason to conclude it's magic. There's also no reason to start designing new architectures around it until we see it in the real world.

Comment Re:Moor? (Score 2) 174 174

It's going to cost more than NAND flash.

But it would make a GREAT cache for spinning rust. None of the longevity problems of NAND, 1,000 times faster. Ka-chow.

For that matter, it would be a pretty good cache for NAND SSDs. I could do with most of my writes being 1000X faster.

Comment Re:Truck Stops, Gas Stations, etc (Score 1) 870 870

Current charge times make "recharge when the driver stops for breaks" impossible.

Not really, no. Current charge rates mean you can get about 100 miles of range in 20 minutes on a standard DC charger. If you're a tesla owner that's more like 200 miles of range in 20 minutes.

Big rigs typically get in the range of 8-10mpg, so they're roughly 4 times less efficient than cars. That implies that you could get about 50 miles for 20 minutes of charging on a tech similar to tesla's. Big rig drivers are required to take 10 hours of break in every 21. That 10 hours is enough to add 1500 miles of range, 11 hours is enough to drive roughly 770 miles.

It seems like even with Tesla's current DC charging tech there's *more* than enough ability to charge a big rig for all its current driving time.

Comment Re:And the NSA? (Score 1) 219 219

Actually, they probably included a few big wrenches to assemble some of the rack systems, so they probably have the tools to break even 1024 bit encryption.

When you say "1024-bit encryption" you're talking about RSA, which is a completely different problem. 1024-bit RSA are too small to be used today and should be replaced.

2048-bit RSA keys, however, are roughly equivalent in security against brute force to a 112-bit symmetric key, and will be secure against anyone for quite some time. 3072-bit RSA keys are equivalent to a 128-bit symmetric key. Excascale, even yottascale, computers won't touch them.

But everyone really should be moving away from RSA anyway. ECC is better in virtually every respect. To get 128-bit security (meaning equivalency to 128-bit symmetric key), you only need a 256-bit EC key.

Comment Re:How do they fare in colder climates? (Score 1) 870 870

Range suffers a bit, not so much because the batteries are affected by cold, but because you use some juice to heat the cabin. As far as performance on snow, they're great. Their center of gravity is low, front wheel drive and the power applied to the wheels is finely controllable.

I drive my Nissan LEAF to the ski resort almost every morning during the winter.

Comment Re:Doubtful (Score 1) 870 870

What complicates this is that whether or not an electric car is cheaper depends heavily on your driving -- and whether or not an electric car is feasible depends on your driving. TOC also depends on the cost of fuel and electricity. When I ran the numbers for myself a few years ago my break-even for a Nissan LEAF was three years, with the federal and state tax credits, or eight years without. That was without taking into consideration the difference in maintenance costs since I didn't know how to estimate them. I did not, however, predict the drop in gas prices. I haven't re-run the numbers, but I expect the lower price of gasoline would push those break-even points out 2-3 years.

If you can't understand it, it is intuitively obvious.