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Comment Who wants geo-blocking? (Score 4, Insightful) 172

Netflix wants global license deals for the content, they have no self interest in blocking VPN users.

Netflix will do just enough to make sure they don't get content pulled by the content owners or jeopardize future content deals. If they can convince the content owners that the VPN problem cannot be solved, all the better for both Netflix and the users.

Comment Re:School lunch probably explains a lot of it (Score 1) 519

I'm not sure the school meals pay a very large role, they have that in the US as well (but an argument could be made about the difference in nutritional value of the school food...).

The likelihood of anyone suffering from malnutrition in Australia, Germany, England, Sweden, or the Netherlands are very close to 0%, no matter how poor you are. This is not true for the US. I'm not talking about just getting enough calories, but getting the necessary nutrients to not limit brain development.

Comment Re:Before a human walks on Mars... (Score 1) 285

You are overestimating how difficult it is to produce nuclear weapons.
The OP is talking about 1000 years.

Producing nuclear weapons will not require large state funded operations 900 years from now. Unless we end up with a global orwellian government, producing nuclear weapons will be possible for frighteningly small groups or even individuals. It is a highly likely "great filter" that we might not pass.

Comment Re:Tesla... (Score 1) 142

Almost all Teslas with the installed hardware was sold with the autopilot feature included.
Initially it was included in the tech package option - and without the tech package you would not buy the upgrade later.

The option to not pay for the autopilot is something that was added around the time the 70D was released - with included most of the tech package in the base model - but not the autopilot software.

Comment Re:Robots first (Score 1) 211

There's a 1001 things that could go seriously wrong on Earth without it affecting Mars, and very few that would affect both.
Gamma ray bursts and something wacky happening to the sun are the only things I can think of were a Mars colony probably wouldn't help.
The list of possible extinction level events on Earth were a Mars colony would help - asteroid collision, supervolcano, nuclear war, sudden rapid climate change (>8C change), airborn virus with long (contagious) symptom free incubation period and extreme mortality rate, + a hundred more we haven't thought about yet.

We need a large colony on Mars. Preferably > 100 000 people.
That's not going to happen this century, BUT - if we keep putting off doing ANYTHING, nothing will ever happen.

We need to start solving some of the problems and create a plan for putting a long term manned research base on Mars.

Comment Re:Evidence of the Great Filter? (Score 1) 365

Good point.

Also, consider this:
What if FTL is impossible?
Matter would then be in short supply for a Type II civilization. How much IR radiation do we expect to come from an energy->matter conversion?
Would we be able to observe anything at all (expect gravitational forces) from a star system where 99.9% of the total energy output was used to create matter?

Comment Re:Evidence of the Great Filter? (Score 2) 365

This particular study was looking for Type III civilizations.
It's entirely conceivable that Type III civilizations doesn't exist anywhere - simply because the technology required to harness the total energy output of a galaxy cannot be created (the great filter is in our future).

Type 0 - type I civilizations would be hard to observe from earth unless they were actively trying to get noticed or just happened to have their (probably short) window of high-power radio era just at the right time for us to observe them. Our own high-power radio era is almost over.

Our understanding of the physics required to create a type II or type III civilization (if at all possible) is probably so incomplete that we wouldn't know what to look for anyway.

Comment Re:"Infringing"? (Score 1) 215

No, not from the US.
Every bank here have a common electronic system for passing payments back and forth.
It's used for both bills and person to person transactions. Depending on the bank it costs between $0 and $0.15 per transaction. Processing is done 4 or 5 times a day, but a system for instantaneous transfers is underway.

The infrastructure for passing payments between the various banks, paved the way for a common e-invoice system that's connected to me as a person (not my bank account), this means I can log on and pay the invoice from any of my accounts (in different banks, or charge it to a credit card).

Didn't quite understand what you meant about ATMs and checks? Do you have ATMs that will let you cash checks? Never seen anything like that.

Comment Re:"Infringing"? (Score 1) 215

Over here sales tax is 25% on both goods and services.
In addition to being liable for the sales tax, you are liable for any income tax, employment tax or company tax if the payment ended up being off-book.

Processing a check costs time and money and is an extremely wasteful way of transferring money. Last time I checked the price list for bank services, the fee for cashing a check was $20 (or $40 if you do not have an account where you cash it).

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