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Comment: Re:written by the NSA (Score 1) 55

I've always wondered if the NSA has academics "informally" on their payroll. In East Germany, the secret police, called the Stasi, had loads of folks working "informally" for them.

The NSA would pay (or bribe?) the academics to mislead research with disinformation, and intentionally build in a backdoor.

Of course, one might think that academics would have some sense of integrity. But these days, nothing really surprises me anymore.

Comment: Re:Just hope (Score 1) 118


That's correct. However, one of the two main problems in Greece is that folks there don't pay their taxes. That and corruption. Both the Troika and Syriza are in agreement on that.

In order for Greeks to buy Firefox TVs, or any other foreign made products, they will need hard Euros. The Greek government will probably have to resort to paying government salaries and pensions in "Scrips":

Folks won't be able to a Firefox TV with Scrip . . . unless they pay a whole lot of them. So . . . all I can wish you is good luck!

Comment: Re:"Cashless" is meaningless (Score 3, Interesting) 294

A slight correction. Greece has already received two bailouts worth billions in the last five years . . . with the condition that they will implement necessary structural reforms in their economy. For example, pensions in Greece are way to high for what the people paid in. And their are way too many civil servants.

Greece essentially "cooked the books" and hid state debt. This only works for a while. When this was discovered five years ago, Greece was shutout from the international capital markets: No one would lend to them anymore. However, a lot of private banks had too much exposure to Greece, which forced the Troika, the EU, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund, to arrange a bailout, to avoid financial contagion. The private banks received a "haircut", which means that they would only receive a smaller percentage of the money owed to them. Most of the debt now rests on EU taxpayers.

Greece dragged their feet on implementing reforms. So a second bailout was necessary. Things were getting better, as they now had GDP growth. Well, then the Greeks went off at the beginning of this year, and elected a new coalition of Radical Left Marxists, and Right Wingers. And since then, things have taken a major turn for the worse. The new government promised to:

Raise pensions
Hire more civil servants (to reduce unemployment)
Erase bailout debts

Sounds like a nice plan . . . but where do you get the money to finance this? Well, the EU should just give more Euros to Greece! Which is politically untenable for the rest of Europe. The only way this could work, is if Greece had their own currency to devalue. So, in the long run, Greece needs to leave the Euro. Except, a majority of Greeks want to stay in the Euro. Thus, the current Greek government wants to get kicked out, so they can blame the EU for it. But the EU does not want to take the blame, so they won't kick out Greece. What we have now, is a slow speed train wreck.

Comment: Re:"Cashless" is meaningless (Score 5, Informative) 294

You need a currency.

"1000 Quatloos for the newcomers!"

It will be interesting to see how Greece gets out of their mess, when they run out of Euros. Pundits are guessing that Greece will issue "scrips", which are a kind of government IOU, and pay government salaries and pensions with them.

The only problem with that is . . . who will want these scrips? Certainly not even the Greeks themselves. They want Euros. And they will try to get rid of their scrips as soon as they can, in exchange for something of value.

Car sales are up now in Greece by something like 40%, as people worry about if their bank accounts will get raided by the government. An automobile is considered as something "valuable". The cruel irony here, is that Greeks prefer to buy German cars . . . exactly the folks who Greeks blame for all their problems. So the Germans are actually benefiting the most from this.

Comment: Re:Slashdot Poll?!? (Score 1) 844

by PolygamousRanchKid (#49681571) Attached to: Religious Affiliation Shrinking In the US

Also anecdotally, because i don't have the data right now, the vast majority of Greek postgraduates believe in the God of the (Greek Orthodox) Christian church, i.e., THE God.

Also anecdotally, because i don't have the data right now, the vast majority of Greek postgraduates believe that Greece can stay in the Euro . . .

Comment: Slashdot Poll?!? (Score 0) 844

by PolygamousRanchKid (#49680391) Attached to: Religious Affiliation Shrinking In the US

This topic just screams out for a Slashdot Poll! What is your religious affiliation?:

1. Something Christian-like (Can anyone tell me what the difference between a Presbyterian and a Methodist is?)
2. Zoroastrian
3. Skinny Hindu folks, who don't eat enough meat.
4. Islam (. . . and all their unwelcome fanatic folks)
5. Flying Spaghetti Monster?
6. "I'm a doctor, Jim, not a religious preacher!"

Comment: Re:human overpopulation (Score 2) 146

. we need to cut the human population in half in the next 100 years (by breeding less, not killing people off) if we really want to sustain the earth

. . . and you are preaching to the Slashdot crowd about breeding less . . . ? Sorry, that doesn't sound very effective to me . . .

Now, if you want to talk about killing people off, the folks here will be thrilled to serve you up unfeasible ideas about sharks with lasers, smothering with gamma ray enhanced testicles, and the like.

The Human Species are one tough bad add mutha fucka . . . they ain't going away any time real soon . . . without an Armageddon fight.

Comment: RT?!? (Score -1, Troll) 161

RT. the "Russian Times" is the political mouth of Putin to the masses. Anyone who would believe anything that comes out of that rag, well . . . should be given a good home from the rest of their lives.

Yes, France and Germany are responsible for the conflict in the Ukraine. Crimea was always a "traditional" part of Russia.

Wales, too!

Comment: Re:You've got that backward. (Score 1) 46

I'm just waiting for drones that will simultaneously cut my lawn and deter burglars.

Why not drones that *cut burglars* and *deter the lawn* from growing?

Well, a robotic sprinkler that sprayed Agent Orange would be half of the solution. The idea would need to be more developed, but I'm thinking that DARPA would cough up the cash for that.

Comment: Re:"$38.3 milllion for equipment to span Californi (Score 2) 101

by PolygamousRanchKid (#49567563) Attached to: A Cheap, Ubiquitous Earthquake Warning System

The gov't should convince insurance companies to band together and pony up the cash.

This reminds me of an old Monty Python joke. When asked about tax policies, one bowler hat guy quips: "I think we should tax foreigners, living abroad!"

In any democracy, one thing is certain: A bunch of folks think that a bunch of other folks should pay for something all of them need.

There is one way to find out if a man is honest -- ask him. If he says "Yes" you know he is crooked. -- Groucho Marx