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Comment: Which economic system? (Score 1) 676

by NetShadow (#37853140) Attached to: Why Economic Models Are Always Wrong

The Keynesian system of economics fails to model reality well because it's seriously flawed. The Austrian school of economics, which is similar to what was used in the United States pre-Keynes and whose economists did accurately predict the current economic crisis, is an entirely different matter. Look at Peter Schiff, Ron Paul, and a number of others -- they have been debunking Keynes for years. They've also been pointing out that the artificial "stimuation" of spending and the idea that your house is an investment rather than a liability or at best an item whose value is controlled by supply and demand and with the retirement of the baby boomers was bound to experience a slump in demand. With the addition of government interference in backing unrealistic loans for those who couldn't afford them, the writing was on the wall. We need to ditch the idea of a "centrally planned" economy and Keynesian economics generally if we want to have any kind of realistic understanding of how markets really work, and before we shoot ourselves in the foot yet again.

The Courts

+ - Amazon responds to "App Store" Lawsuit from Apple->

Submitted by
tekgoblin
tekgoblin writes "Apple had filed a lawsuit in March against Amazon's use of "App Store" in their newly launched Amazon AppStore. Apple had informed Amazon that using the term "App Store" was unlawful because they owned the rights to the term itself. In the lawsuit Amazon indicates that the term "App Store" is too generic for Apple to lay claim to the name itself."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Online poker may not be illegal, sending money is (Score 5, Interesting) 379

by NetShadow (#35833336) Attached to: DOJ Seizes Online Poker Site Domains

Online poker where the server is run outside the United States, may not be illegal in the US. At least the wire act used to prosecute people sending money to sports books and the like does not appear to apply to poker specifically, nor has anyone in the US been successfully prosecuted for online poker.

What *is* illegal as of the recent UIGEA act is for banks to provide you the ability to send your money to / receive money from these online gaming sites. Regardless of the facts, many state and federal officials persist in calling online poker illegal, despite it not apparently breaking any laws.

See this quote:


The indictment sets up a complicated global legal battle between the Department of Justice and the online poker entrepreneurs who have long argued that their operations in the U.S. do not violate U.S. law. Indeed, in recent days, one of the nation’s most prominent casino billionaires, Steve Wynn, announced a strategic relationship with PokerStars and said “in the United States of America the Justice Department has an opinion but several states have ruled and courts have agreed that poker is a game of skill, it’s not gambling. PokerStars rests their argument on that.”

Comment: Re:Hmm (Score 2) 379

by NetShadow (#35833104) Attached to: DOJ Seizes Online Poker Site Domains

Online poker where the server is run outside the United States, does *not* appear to be illegal in the US. At least the wire act used to prosecute people sending money to sports books and the like does not appear to apply to poker specifically, nor has anyone in the US been successfully prosecuted for online poker. What *is* illegal as of the recent UIGEA act is for banks to provide you the ability to send your money to / receive money from these online gaming sites. Regardless of the facts, many state and federal officials persist in calling online poker illegal, despite it not apparently breaking any laws.

Comment: Re:I expect no less (Score 2) 343

by NetShadow (#35602454) Attached to: Google Won't Pull Checkpoint Evasion App

Totally agree. I'm amazed to hear people calling for the censorship / restraint of the free exchange of tools and information by people who want to make them available to people who want to use them, when they violate no law. Just because something is controversial does not mean it should be banned. (I would think that we in the US would understand that more than most)

Comment: 1.1.1 brick not purposeful (Score 5, Informative) 298

by NetShadow (#30180608) Attached to: iPhone Owners Demand To See Apple Source Code

I know it's cool to hate Apple these days, but seriously, get the facts first...

The people who had 1.1.1 phones "bricked" were people who had unlocked their phones with the original (buggy) version of AnySIM that subtly corrupted the seczone where phone locks and IMEI were stored. It was corrupted in such a way that it wasn't obvious until the baseband was upgraded to the next version (which occurred in 1.1.1) where things totally stopped working.

Apple never deliberately tried to break anyone with an unlock, it just so happens that the unlockers had damaged their seczones and prevented the update from being applied cleanly.

Security

+ - Do The SSL Watchmen Watch Themselves?

Submitted by StrongestLink
StrongestLink (666) writes "In an intriguing twist on the recent Comodo CA vulnerability reported here last week, security researcher Mike Zusman today disclosed that three days prior to StartCom's disclosure of a flaw in a Comodo reseller's registration process, he discovered and disclosed an authentication bypass flaw to StartCom in their own registration process that allowed an attacker to submit an authorized request for any domain. During a month which was marked by the continuing paradigm shift to SSL-verified holiday shopping, the Chain of Trust continues to run off the gears, and Bruce Schneier is even commenting publicly that SSL's site validation mission isn't even relevant. What lies ahead for the billion-dollar CA industry?"

Comment: Attempt at an Actual Review (Score 1) 318

by NetShadow (#5359230) Attached to: The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect
So I read this post (which, as others have said, is more a threadbare and unconvincing synopsis than a review) and I thought, what the hell, the book looks halfway interesting. I followed the link, and noticed that this was a free ebook in HTML format.

The teaser (written in the classic dust-jacket tradition) reads:

"Lawrence had ordained that Prime Intellect could not, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. But he had not realized how much harm his super-intelligent creation could perceive, or what kind of action might be necessary to prevent it.
Caroline has been pulled from her deathbed into a brave new immortal Paradise where she can have anything she wants, except the sense that her life has meaning.

Now these two souls are headed for a confrontation which will force them to weigh matters of life and death before a machine that can remake -- or destroy -- the entire Universe. "

I read a couple of pages.

"Hmmm.." I think, "I have a few hours this afternoon in which some light reading might be nice." So I put on a pot of coffee, download the ebook to my Palm, and start reading.

Overall the novel has a fairly bleak feel to it. I found the main characters to be morose or morbid much of the time, though still compelling and believable. The book does have the feel of something that should have been a short story bloated into the length of a short novel.

Prime Intellect is the name of an AI supercomputer which suddenly and unforseeably attains super-human intelligence and vast quantum-mechanical control of the physical universe at the same time. In so doing, it attains a kind of godhood wherein it cures all of mankind's ills (including death), puts and end to all war and crime (including suicide), and sets out to grant every man's every whim.

In telling the story of Caroline, post-Prime-Intellect, (a large chunk of the novel), the book delves at length into an immortal orgy of death, sex, and authentic torture that seem gratuitious or placed for shock value. The prose invokes the lurid atmosphere of a snuff film or the feeling of watching a car wreck in slow-motion, at once disgusted and enthralled with what your mind is processing. The dynamic, driven, and intense nature of Caroline's character keep the reader intrigued throughout all of this, but it seems to provoke only for the sake of being provocative. On the positive side, experiencing these empty diversions firsthand, one does strongly identify with the sheer pointlessness of Caroline's life after she (and others) have had the aforementioned immortality thrust upon them.

Of greater fascination to me were the characters of Lawrence (the engineer who created Prime Intellect) and Prime Intellect itself. After the machine's apotheosis, the question that the book truly seeks to explore here is what happens when the three laws of robotics are used to rule not simply a robot, but a god, of our own creation.

When Caroline goes hunting down the other two main characters, either to finally end it all, or to break the monotony of her endless sensate flailings, take your pick, she threatens to set off a conflict which could plunge the entire universe into chaos.

I liked this novel, and had a good time reading it. I wouldn't quite rank it alongside Asimov, but it I found it enjoyable, well worth the time spent downloading and reading it. If you have a few extra hours (and preferably a good PDA or ebook reader), I'd recommend grabbing a copy.

If bankers can count, how come they have eight windows and only four tellers?

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