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Comment: When Banks Were Able to Print Their Own Money (Score 1) 118

by westlake (#47424697) Attached to: Judge Shoots Down "Bitcoin Isn't Money" Argument In Silk Road Trial

The Constitution does not say this. It states that the Federal Goverment can issue and regulate money but not that it has a moneopoly. In fact, for the majority of US history private money was very common. i.e. Bank notes issued by private banks.

with predictably disastrous results:

There were significant problems with this system, in which money often wasn't worth the paper it was printed on. In theory, a bank note derived its value from its ability to be redeemed for gold or silver at the issuing bank, but what banks could live up to that promise? Those that were poorly capitalized went to great lengths to ensure that their notes weren't redeemed. For example, the Union Bank of Tennessee issued notes only redeemable in New Orleans.

In this unpredictable environment, spending a dollar required some serious thinking. A wallet might have three, five or a dozen different bank notes -- a bull's head staring back at you from a Bull's Head Bank note, or a Marine Bank bill illustrated with ships -- not to mention foreign coins from around the world and personal checks, which also circulated as money. Most bank notes traded at a discount based on the reputation of the bank and how far the note was from where it originated.

A shop owner had even more variables to consider. When a consumer opened his wallet to pay, the proprietor turned to his local edition of ''Bicknellâ(TM)s Counterfeit Detector and Bank Note Reporter,'' or to ''Van Court's Counterfeit Detector and Bank Note List.''

Thumbing through a counterfeit detector, the store owner would try to assess the value of the bank notes at hand. He took a hard look at the person handing over the bills, judging value based on the person's race, class, dress, comportment and reputation.

Counterfeiters exploited this feature of the system, and passed themselves in addition to their notes, dressing and acting as proper ladies and gentlemen. And with so many bank notes from so many banks, counterfeiters flourished. Some simply invented whole banks. Others erased the name of a failed bank and replaced it with that of a reputable one.

Of course, as 19th-century observers frequently noted, a poorly capitalized bank that printed notes it couldn't redeem was, in the end, little different from a counterfeiting operation.

When Banks Were Able to Print Their Own Money, Literally

Comment: Article 1 Section 10 (Score 1) 118

by westlake (#47424457) Attached to: Judge Shoots Down "Bitcoin Isn't Money" Argument In Silk Road Trial

Now if you can tell me where in that line it says that ONLY congress is able to make money I will bow down to your constitutional knowledge.

Fair enough.

No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

You can. of course, use foreign currencies to make ordinary purchases in the US, but no one is obliged to accept them, and you will likely be surcharged over and above the exchange rate posted at a bank.

Comment: Re:Bitcoin isn't money but it's still a financial (Score 2) 118

by westlake (#47424013) Attached to: Judge Shoots Down "Bitcoin Isn't Money" Argument In Silk Road Trial

Of course, if you take cash from some people and then give it to other people, well then you must be a criminal.

If you know where you stand as middle man in a criminal transaction - such as a money laundering scheme - you most certainly are a criminal yourself.

Comment: Re:Management is becoming obsolete (Score 1) 159

by Ash-Fox (#47401631) Attached to: The AI Boss That Deploys Hong Kong's Subway Engineers

but they can't determine that Billy Bob had a rough 4th of July weekend, and it would be best to have him do his paperwork today instead of working on the electrical junction box that has water damage.

If my scheduling system can take this recommendation into account, why wouldn't the AI be capable of doing it?

Comment: A single point of failure? (Score 1) 463

There are numerous reasons pilots can't see out real windows. Things like clouds, fog and night. Yet pilots can flight on instruments just fine and it is routine.

If I understand the idea correctly, isn't it true that all the instrumentation on board is to be integrated into this one big window?

Comment: Re:Prior art (Score 1) 463

Science Fiction is not prior art.

Prior art implies that almost all of the practical problems that stand in the way of progress have already been solved. That the path ahead lies clear.

The bridge of the Enterprise.

The concept is quite carefully worked out in Heinlein's "Methuselah's Children." 1941, 1958.

The Enterprise bridge is a regression.

The New Frontiers had no mechanical switches or controls of any kind and none that could be triggered accidentally --- which is one-up on the touch screens of ST:TNG. The engineers who designed Heinlein's generation ships understood trigger guards, low voltage wiring, fuses, circuit breakers and so on.

Comment: Re:Will local rights holders sue? (Score 2) 153

by westlake (#47399669) Attached to: New Zealand ISP's Anti-Geoblocking Service Makes Waves

Geo-locking content has been declared illegal in New Zealand

New Zealand isn't a country.

It is a Hollywood back lot complete with tour guides. Film and TV Theme Tours

With a population of 4 million, New Zealand's value as a media market is less than 1/4 that of metropolitan New York City.

Comment: Re:HOSTS files = QUITE relevant (Score 1) 495

by Kalriath (#47396577) Attached to: Microsoft Takes Down Domains

What are you sniveling about now? wasn't seized. The authoritive NS records for the domain still point to Vitalwerks' servers. Ditto for the other no-ip ccTLDs - all of which you listed. Face it, your list is wrong, and RANDOMLY capitalising and bolding WORDS doesn't change that fact, or that hosts files are irrelevant to this discussion.

13. ... r-q1