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Comment: bitcoin (and altcoins) are circling the drain (Score 2, Insightful) 56

by Ritz_Just_Ritz (#47979515) Attached to: PayPal Integrates Bitcoin Processors BitPay, Coinbase and GoCoin

Look at the drop in the value of bitcoin (in dollar terms) over the last year. The same goes for any of the alt coins, at least the ones with enough volume in the market to be remotely useful.

It's all over but the shouting. The pump and dumpers are making some money, but as a currency it's just too risky to hold since the value is tanking.

Comment: About a year late (Score 2) 215

by Ritz_Just_Ritz (#47704445) Attached to: New HP Laptop Would Mean Windows at Chromebook Prices

I picked up an Acer C720 about a year ago that was good enough that I don't even carry around the Mac Air that my company gave me. 2GB RAM, Celeron 2955U haswell processor, 8-9 hour battery life, hdmi/USB3, SD slot, 16GB storage, same video resolution as the HP above. All for US$199 and in a 2lb package.

I thought I'd need more storage, but it's a year later and I haven't used more than about 10GB of the internal storage. One of these days, I'll upgrade it to 32GB or 64GB, but I've just been storing my personal files on either a 64GB SD card or 64GB USB 3.0 fob.

Having something this thinly provisioned running the bloat that is Win 8.1 wouldn't be attractive for me at all, regardless of the price point. However, it's great for ChromeOS and Ubuntu Trusty.

Comment: laying off...but needs more H-1B's (Score 5, Insightful) 282

For those needing another reason not to purchase Microsoft products...they just fired 18,000 people but are lobbying the government for an ever increasing number of wage slaves from India and other countries. They can hire these poor saps at lower salaries, bully them into working long hours for no additional pay (it's that bad 'ol offshore middleman that's blamed for the sweatshop hours) while backhanding profits to cronies in these offshore companies. Meanwhile, they whine that they can't find any qualified local staff. Actually, they just can't find local staff willing to work for third world salaries while living with first world expenses and taxes. Just say no.

Comment: Re:polymer AR lower recievers... (Score 1) 490

Actually, the law is ambiguous. You ARE permitted to sell your handiwork, but you can't do it with the "intent" of being a business. So passing down that milled 80% receiver that you used to roll your own AR-15 to your heirs or selling a one-off seems to be within the law. Milling one a week and selling them on ebay...that's likely to lead to your arrest.

Comment: Re:What the police have (Score 5, Informative) 664

A few years ago, I had a car stolen right out of my gated/locked driveway in NJ (cue the Jersey jokes). It wasn't an expensive car, but still worth about US$10k. When I reported it stolen and informed the police where they could ask for surveillance video that would likely show the crime and culprit, they treated me like a nuisance and never investigated the crime. I know they never investigated because the owner of the surveillance cam was never even contacted, even when I followed up with the cops a couple of times. The insurance company just paid out immediately and the adjuster said the odds of ever seeing the car again when stolen from northern NJ was almost zero.

So I can only chuckle when I'm told that the cops will show even a cursory interest in helping someone recover a phone, even if the EXACT location is known.

Comment: Re: Americans don't have guns? Or jackets? (Score 1) 664

You're joking, right? Just try to get a pistol permit in NYC. While technically, it's possible, it is neither cheap nor easy. Long guns are only slightly easier (permit still required). Meanwhile, anyone who is cheeky enough to steal and then use your phone is probably not going to be disinclined to buy any of the easily available illegal firearms that can be purchased from a local street thug for a song.

Comment: Re:Nuclear is obvious, an energy surplus is desire (Score 3, Interesting) 433

by Ritz_Just_Ritz (#46742713) Attached to: UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

Nuclear waste disposal from conventional fission reactors is a solved problem. Unfortunately, the storage of said waste kicks the NIMBY crowd into high gear. Here's an about converting it to relatively inert ceramic blocks (already available tech) and sink it at some remote subduction zone fault where it gradually gets folded back into the mantle? That ought to suffice until the perpetually "50 years from now" fusion energy generation crowd catches up.

Comment: Re:Chinese getting uncomfortable... (Score 1) 100

by Ritz_Just_Ritz (#46652937) Attached to: China Cracks Down On Bitcoin, Cuts Off Exchanges' Bank Access

I think their real fear is that it's a perfect vehicle to circumvent capital controls and allows people to transfer significant amounts of cash OUT of the country.

Many of those doing the transferring are part of the government. So how to reign it in without any official "enforcement?" Eliminate the ability to deposit cash into the exchanges. Solves their immediate problem without any embarrassing prosecutions.

Comment: Corruption in China (Score 3, Informative) 26

by Ritz_Just_Ritz (#46614323) Attached to: China Prosecuted Internet Policeman In Paid Deletion Cases

Corruption in China is a fact of life. It's systemic and pervasive. As much as the government talks about stamping it out, they only inflict pin pricks. They make WAY too much money through corruption and it's widely known/accepted in Chinese society. One need only look at the sheer numbers of government functionaries who send their kids overseas to school and who keep huge sums of ill-gotten money in foreign bank accounts. These are kids who have parents with official salaries are often less than US$15k a year and they're parked in posh apartments (paid for in cash), studying at top 20 universities (paid in cash), driving around in fancy cars, living a lavish lifestyle, etc. There's very little effort made to hide it.

The people who benefit from this system are shitting their pants about potential discontent from those who aren't benefiting from the game. One of Mao's rallying cries was stamping out corruption. Once he got into power (by force), those folks were systematically rooted out, jailed, and often killed. Small wonder more and more of these "government officials" are sneaking money and family out of the country and applying for foreign passports. They know there will be a purge following this binge.

Fasten your seatbelts.

Comment: People's Republic of New Jersey Strikes Again (Score 1) 342

by Ritz_Just_Ritz (#46459121) Attached to: New Jersey Auto Dealers Don't Want to Face Tesla

NJ has demonstrated time and again that corrupt politics rule the day. The state car dealer association controls a substantial amount of contribution budget.

Hopefully, Tesla doesn't knuckle under and just encourages NJ purchasers to head over to NY or PA and buy their cars there.

Competence, like truth, beauty, and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder. -- Dr. Laurence J. Peter