Doesn't Airplane Mode deactivate WiFi (and Bluetooth, NFC etc.) as well? (Genuine question, I've not looked that hard at it). If so, I can't see how useful a device it can be without any active radios.
The IAU list has authority because it is the version that actual astronomers and scientists use. Astronomers need SOMEONE to write a catalogue of names down for them so they all know what they're talking about- if not IAU, then who? Would it make you happier if they were 'murica based? Is it just that they are histroically based in France that upsets you?
IAU are simply doing a service to remind people that Uwingu (not to mention "name a star" companies) do not have the right to change the names in the IAU catalogue, so if you "buy a name" from these companies the name you choose will never be used by anyone ever. That's a helpful reminder- they're just trying to "scam bust".
Ultimately, there's nothing stopping anyone starting a new "naming authority" to compete with the IAU. But you'll need to persuade scientists, journals, universities etc. to sign up to using your new scheme instead of the IAU. Seeing as people are happy with the IAU's work, you're unlikely to find many takers.
Put it another way- can you name a single instance, in the long history of aviation, where a fault has taken down first one plane, and then another before the black box was recovered? Just one?
If the answer is "no", then this probably isn't a problem. Most faults do not take down multiple planes because planes are operated under excruciating quality control which remove most "frequent" faults long before they occur. And black boxes are almost always recovered quickly (via conventional means) in any case. So this would only be useful in an extreme minority of crashes- ones with an extremely specific (and rare) variety of fault and where the black box cannot be recovered using its transponder or just by looking for the wreckage.
"Local pissing contest" is an easy title to give something very far away. If you're Ukrainian, that "local pissing contest" is "a invasion by a huge, hostile power that used to have dominion over your country in order to seize a large and important piece of your country". If you're Russian, it's "the fascist take over of an allied neighbour with the implied threat to life and livelihood to millions of your ethnic brothers and former countrymen".
If you're American, how would you feel if Mexico invaded Puerto Rico? British- Argentina invading The Falklands? Australian- erm...Indonesia and Christmas Island? (I may need to learn more about Australian geopolitics...)
My point is, if your country was the one being invaded you might be reaching for the nukes too.
Then what is to stop every graduate from simply declaring bankruptcy when they graduate and be back in the good graces of the financial industry by the time they hit their early 30s - but with no debt and 7 years of saved income?
Because in theory bankruptcy should only be issued by a court when it is needed- you can't just rock up to a court and ask for one without proof that you're genuinely destitute.
So the real question is "what's to stop people going to university for several long years, and then intentionally making themselves ruinously poor for a period of years"? The answer being "because people are just not going to do that".
If you think the courts do genuinely let anyone have bankruptcy for a song, then you have a complaint about the system that goes way beyond students. After all, what's to stop...anyone with any sort of debt doing it?
I am intrigued by that question. Compound interest savings accounts are the absolute standard savings account in...well, I thought everywhere, outside of Islamic banking. Are you asking because you don't know what it is (which is fine, I'm not getting at you, it's not a high-street term), or because you do know but there aren't any accounts like that in your jurisdiction?
Compound interest, in a savings sense, just means this. You put $1000 in a bank account with a 3% interest rate. After one year they credit your interest of $30, so your new balance is $1030. The next year, you till get 3% interest, but this time on your new (higher) balance- so instead of after two years you having $1060 (non compound interest), instead you have $1060.90. Doesn't sound like much, but it mounts up with higher balances over long periods.
And it particularly matters in a loan scenario- the consequence being that interest charges will keep going up unless your payments are greater than the interest being charged.
It's supply and demand- or, the "David Beckham" factor, if you will.
Put simply, people want a degree from Harvard or Yale. It doesn't matter if other universities are just as good or even better at actually providing an education- what people want is the word "Harvard" printed at the top of their degree certificate. This is extremely valuable, and everyone wants it. Meanwhile, Harvard is the only organisation in the word who are allowed to issue certificates with "Harvard" written on them.
So, you have intense demand, and extremely limited supply. Assuming you don't use the law to regulate the price in some way, market forces will dictate that the only way is up for that price. It becomes a straight out bidding war for a few thousand places for a few million potential applicants- which means the price will settle out at "the maximum that the 1000 richest applicants and their families can afford". Which is a lot.
(The "David Beckham" factor because, similarly, a top athlete is in high demand from all of the very rich sports team, and supply is extremely limited- there is only one David Beckham. Supply can't increase to meet demand, so you end up with athletes being paid terrifyingly high fees- the most that the richest team can afford).
In Britain, our university fees (for domestic students) are capped at £9,000 per year. This is the only thing stopping the same thing happening to Oxford/Cambridge/UCL/etc., and is a Good Thing. The only debate in the UK is whether £9k is too high and should be lowered, not whether caps should be removed and prices surrendered to the open market.
Couldn't have said it better myself. Whether you think this PR stunt exonerates Google of any blame for "things" or not, and whether you think charity is a suitable substitute for proper taxation or not, doesn't change the fact that a large injection of cash into "buses for poor young people" is obviously a good thing.
Perhaps it is cynical and we should be cynical. But hey, it's still a good outcome.
While I am no expert in Japanese law, I can tell you that in many jurisdictions there is a law on the books called "criminal negligence". I.e., doing something harmful when you should have known better.
I think "losing the key to the box containing $500m of customer money" would qualify for that.
People are using Beta? Like, for longer than it takes to file a complaint and then click the "classic" button at the bottom of the screen?
I don't know about your biology, but my hands are lower down than my face. When I look at my phone, it will usually be...perhaps nipple high, with the screen angled upwards towards my face and the camera angled harmlessly towards the ground. Nobody nearby could mistake this for filming (except maybe filming the pavement a meter or two in front of me).
I definitely do not make a habit of looking innocently at my phone while pointing its camera at strangers faces.
Surely you can see the difference between that and having a camera pointing wherever you're looking?
For instance, how would the divorce issues work out (custody, support, etc)?
This may seem like stating the obvious, but- divorce issues are based on marriage law, not parental law. You can be married to someone who is not the parent of your child (crazy modern world, eh?). And while custody battles tend to favour biological parents, it is not a solid point of law- it is entirely possible for a step parent to be granted custody over a biological parent, if the court thinks a case is compelling.*
*I have witnessed this in real life. An acquaintance of mine got custody of both children when he divorced his wife, even though one of them wasn't "his". That was because he had raised him in a father role for more than a decade since he was 3 years old, the mum was very unstable, and the bio-dad was completely off the scene. The mum contested it, but the court found that the child was better off with his step dad than his biological mum.
The Swiss Franc is a difficult example, because it is used as a "safe haven" investment in exactly the same way as gold is. It is badly effected by speculation, and in a way that almost exactly mirrors the speculation patterns gold experiences. Considering that the Swiss Franc itself had a distinctive pattern of value changes (the value in comparison with other currencies shoots up at the first sign of world troubles, and collapses again as soon as the troubles are over), it is difficult to use it as an argument AGAINST exactly the same volatility patterns in gold.
For most people, value can be measured at it's basic level in absolute terms. I.e., how much is their labour worth (their pay), how much are their savings worth, and how much "stuff" (groceries, utilities, luxuries) can they buy with their money. By this measure, the USD, EUR and GBP are far more stable than gold. That is, Compare the value of a loaf of bread, a car, or someone's pay in any two years and the change in currency terms is far more predictable (a steady march of 1-5% price inflation, mostly) than in gold (which yoyos). You can argue if you like that gold and other safe haven investments are the only things in the world with stable value, and EVERYTHING ELSE (including every thing in the world with any day to day use) is volatile in a uniform way. Or you can argue that the value of everything else is relatively stable, and it is gold that is volatile.
Frankly it doesn't actually make a difference- it's a point of philosophy which way you look at it, not economics. But for most people, the important measure of "stable value" is in knowing in a predicable way how much stuff can be exchanged for their labour and savings at any given point. Gold does not pass that test.
(And nor does BTC).
If your premise were true (that the volatility in the dollar price of gold is down to the volatility of the dollar, not the gold), there would be two easy ways to tell:
1) Gold can be bought using any currency in the world. There are hundreds of currencies other than the USD. If it was the value of the dollar that was changing, and not the gold, you'd expect to see the gold-to-other-currency prices change entirely differently. The price of gold in one currency might have gone down when the USD price went up, while others might have been very stable, and others could have gone up notably more than the USD. Even though the recent financial crisis has been pretty global, not all countries were affected equally, and past crises have been far more focused- the evidence for "the dollar is volatile, not gold" should be evident in the long term figures.
2) Dollars buy things which are not gold. Bread, cars, coal, toasters, silver, people's wages, etc. If you're telling me that when the price of gold shoots up 100% in one year it is because the value of the dollar has halved (and not anything to do with the intrinsic value of the gold, nosiree), you'd expect to see all of the other things priced in USD shoot up by 100% too. If the value of bread, cars, toasters, coal, silver and human labour all remain aproximately the same while the USD value of gold doubles, you can safely assume it was the value of the gold (not the dollar) that has changed.
I challenge you to find evidence to back up either of those points. To the best of my knowledge:
1) The peaks and troughs of the value of gold are mirrored pretty evenly in the prices in any currency you care to mention, especially once you strip out events which definitely do affect the value of the currencies (which are well documented by official inflation/deflation figures). The price is near as damnit the same whatever the currency.
2) Official USD inflation figures (which take an average of all sorts of goods and services) are in the low single digits, and definitely don't show any doubling or halving over the last few years. And the comparitive value of gold and other commoditiies (other metals, raw resources, fuel stuffs, etc.) does not stay in sync- when the value of gold spiked, it spiked in comparison to most other commodities as well as in comparison to hard currencies. The only things that spiked in sync with gold were other commodities with the same properties (i.e. precious metals with "safe haven investment" status)- and even then the values still decoupled.
That IS the value of gold being volatile.
Let's say a loaf of bread is $1. You could also exchange that $1 for X BTC or Y gold, and then exchange those BTC or gold for a loaf of bread (assuming your grocer is amenable).
Now let's say you go back one year later to buy some bread. Now that bread costs $1.03 (damned inflation). Or it costs 0.001X BTC, or 1.5Y gold. The value of both the gold and the BTC can be seen as mor volatle, in grocery terms, than the dollar.
This is actually what has happened in the last couple of years. Dollar inflation remains in low single digits. In the meantime, BTC is 10,000x more valuable (in dollar or grocery terms) than it was a couple of years ago, and gold has lost about a third of it's value (again, in dollar and grocery terms) over the same period. This isn't just the dollar being volatile- otherwise the price of bread (and everything else) will have changed wildly in that time in dollar terms, which it didn't (or at least not as much as it did in gold and BTC terms).
Or to put it another way- if you had converted all of your wealth to gold a few years ago, you'd be able to buy far less actual stuff (groceries etc.) with it today than you thought you could a few years ago. That is value changing, not just a "volatile dollar".