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Comment: Re:bah (Score 2) 172

by Rob Riggs (#48619903) Attached to: Army To Launch Spy Blimp Over Maryland

why didn't hash win out, or for that matter, heroin, or synthetic opiates active in the lower microgram range?

Economics. Cocaine was available in the U.S. for a long time and never had the market share that it had until the 1980s. It wasn't until the cost of marijuana became too high to transport and purchase that the switch to cocaine happened. Hash and heroin were equally expensive. Hash also requires marijuana to produce. At the same time Fat Albert was flying, the DEA was busy spraying marijuana fields, reducing crop yields and driving up the price of hash.

I am no expert, but my sense is that people gravitate towards the cheapest drug that will "do the trick" without getting in the way of a normal life. Alcohol, the official drug of the United States, doesn't do it for all of us. LSD is fairly inexpensive, but it requires a lot more free time than many of us have.

Comment: Re:1984 (Score 5, Interesting) 172

by Rob Riggs (#48619021) Attached to: Army To Launch Spy Blimp Over Maryland

Fat Albert was used for drug interdiction. It bears responsibility for helping turn the '80s into the "Cocaine Decade" in the U.S. because it became much more difficult to import the the heavy and bulky drug marijuana into the U.S. through Florida. Instead, those involved in boot-legging drugs into the country switched to a lighter, more compact drug -- cocaine. This quickly led to the development of crack cocaine and the rest is history. As a kid growing up in the Keys back then, the cultural change this brought with it was immensely obvious.

I remember when Fat Albert, tethered in Cudjoe Key, broke free from its mooring. Jets were scrambled and shot it down.

It is also recently responsible for a deadly general aviation accident, when a Cessna 182 hit its mooring line.

Fat Albert is also used for US propaganda directed at the Cuban population (TV Marti). It was supposed to be decommissioned last year. I don't know if it is still there. You could see it from pretty much anywhere in the lower Florida Keys.

Comment: Cinnamon on RHEL7 (Score 4, Interesting) 89

by Rob Riggs (#48497263) Attached to: Linux Mint 17.1 Cinnamon and MATE Editions Released

I've been a Red Hat/RHEL/CentOS/Fedora user for a *very* long time. I've been trying to use Gnome Shell since Gnome3 came out, so I have given it more than a fair shake. This past month I was testing RHEL7 for desktop upgrades at work and found that Gnome Shell is way too much of a distraction. So, at home I switched my desktop to Cinnamon. Holy Cow! I have a usable desktop again. I found Cinnamon in EPEL7 and installed that at work. It is so much more usable on RHEL7. This is what we will be rolling out as the default desktop firm-wide when we upgrade.

So -- a big *Thank You* to the Linux Mint team for making Cinnamon,

Comment: Re:So how is the price... (Score 5, Interesting) 284

by Rob Riggs (#48464373) Attached to: Is LTO Tape On Its Way Out?

When measuring the cost of backups, the cost of the media is often a small footnote. The cost of off-site storage can end up costing way more depending on how frequently they pick up, how long you store the tapes, and how frequently you need to do emergency restores.. Note that you left off the "time" component of the AWS cost structure -- the cost is *per month*. Still, AWS has some serious advantages over tape -- like the cost of robotic tape drives and the housing and maintenance costs that go along with them (if you have that sort of need). Plus, if you are a big enough customer, those 1 cent/GB/mo costs go down quite a bit.

Bitcoin

US Marshals Auctioning $20M Worth of Silk Road's Bitcoins 119

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-about-the-bitjamins dept.
coondoggie writes: The U.S. Marshals office says it will auction off almost 50,000 bitcoins (about $20 million worth) seized from alleged Silk Road creator Ross Ulbricht. The auction, which is the second sale of Silk Road's bitcoin collection, will take place during a 6-hour period on Dec. 4 from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. EST. Bids will be accepted by email from pre-registered bidders only, the U.S. Marshals office said. In June more than $17 million in bitcoins seized from the Silk Road take-down were auctioned off.

Comment: Re: Just (Score -1, Troll) 208

by Rob Riggs (#48325959) Attached to: PC Cooling Specialist Zalman Goes Bankrupt Due To Fraud

Classically, capitalism relies on producing goods that people want at prices people are willing to pay for them.

Bullshit. Classically, capitalism has a solitary defining feature: the private acquisition of capital. It is solely about who controls the resources used to produce goods. Lying and cheating are time-honored practices of modern capitalism.

Stinginess with privileges is kindness in disguise. -- Guide to VAX/VMS Security, Sep. 1984

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