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Comment: Re:Not surprised (Score 3, Insightful) 123 123

by Rei (#50015665) Attached to: Uber France Leaders Arrested For Running Illegal Taxi Company

Uber drivers are subsidized by everybody else. Taxi drivers have to pay high insurance rates because the act of driving a long distance every day for a ton of strangers is a job that inherently leads to a much higher statistical rate of payouts. If they're driving as a taxi on regular car insurance, it's you that's paying the bill for their swindle of the insurance system.

Comment: JQuery is the JavaScript Standard library. (Score 1) 91 91

by Qbertino (#50014829) Attached to: To Learn (Or Not Learn) JQuery

In my perception jQuery has basically become the JavaScript standard library.
Basically any combination of frontend toolkits has it included somewhere, so you don't even have to worry about doing that. It's the default for Joomla and Wordpress and there are a measurable amount of functions that take care of the gruntwork and normalize utility across browsers.

On top of that, the amount of JS projects relying on jQuery as a foundation is staggering. The secondary market has tools built around the jQuery ecosystem and the project as a whole does an excellent job at marketing and advocating.

I personally see the next generation in such avantgarde stuff as Googles Polymer (pretty amazing) but until everyone has moved to SPAs and web components - which is not happening any time soon - but until then it's not the worst idea to familiarize yourself with the concepts and the utility funcitons of jQuery. ... *After* you've learned JS itself properly, that is.

My 2 cents.

Comment: Re:What an opportunity! (Score 2) 299 299

by FooAtWFU (#50013527) Attached to: Greek Financial Crisis Is an Opportunity For Bitcoin

The historical evidence shows that Austerity causes demand contraction and often demand spiral, it has never in global history solved a budget crisis.

Austerity does cause demand contraction, but Greece is going to have to deal with it one way or another: there's no resources available for everyone to retire on a nice fat pension at age 55 anymore. It doesn't matter whether that comes out as a cut in euro-denominated pensions, or if that happens when people get drachma-denominated pensions: Greeks reliant on government funds must rely on less, because they're spending more than they take in, and it's pretty clear that lending money to Greece is less like lending and more like donating.

Now put a truckload of economic disruption on top of that mess.

The real way out for Greece was always securing a modicum of debt forgiveness and debt forbearance, plus enacting some economic reforms. The Greek economy is well-known as a sclerotic, over-regulated disaster area where you need to bribe corrupt bureaucrats to do anything and small-time rent-seeking plutocrats effectively own not just businesses but the right to operate important sectors of the economy. And the reforms were even going okay for a short while - real economic growth! - but the economic reforms proved unpopular with the leftists, and so this is what we get instead.

Glad it's not my country going through this.

Comment: Re:What plan? (Score 1) 84 84

How do you come to that assumption?

By linking to a peer-reviewed paper on the subject?

A nuclear warhead has lots of trouble to even "hit" an asteroid.

Essentially every space mission we have launched for the past several decades has had to navigate with a far more precision than that needed to get close to an asteroid and activate a single trigger event when close by.

Comment: Re:What an opportunity! (Score 1, Insightful) 299 299

by FooAtWFU (#50011765) Attached to: Greek Financial Crisis Is an Opportunity For Bitcoin

To replace one deflationary currency they can't print (Euro) for another (Bitcoin). No my dear friend. It's fiat currency they need right now.

It's a completely arbitrary distinction in many ways. Forget the money: the problem is about stuff (goods, services, etc). The Greek government has been borrowing so that its people can have more stuff, and at this point It's not even about paying what they've borrowed so far, there's a substantial ongoing deficit that they need to deal with. As such, the people are poorer than they thought, and they're going to have to cope with it somehow. They can do that by accepting the poverty and choosing austerity: cutting benefits, raising taxes. Or they can respond to that with reforms in the labor market and other markets (working harder/smarter).

All you get by replacing the currency and then paying people in the new currency that's worth less is austerity by stealth, with a side of chaos and disruption. Which is what the leftists in charge of Greece will pick, since they ideologically reject the reforms and can blame evil outside influences for the chaos and disruption.

Comment: Re: You think Greeks want MORE electronic money? (Score 5, Interesting) 299 299

by FooAtWFU (#50011637) Attached to: Greek Financial Crisis Is an Opportunity For Bitcoin

Gold fluctuates pretty wildly with mass hysteria, compete with massive deflation and inflation. Much like bitcoin. Prior to the 20th century, when communication wasn't quite so instant and pervasive, gold did a pretty good job because it was rare for *everyone* to panic more or be more confident all at once.

Eh. Don't oversell the old gold standard. For starters, a gold standard was typically a steady and persistent malaise of deflation, as economic output increased more steadily than the money supply. Second, this was punctuated by Fun Fun Fun bouts of inflation when something like a gold rush happened or someone colonizing the new world discovered new mines overseas. Third, the metallic standards' troubles were amplified when regimes inevitably tried to do something stupid like have currency in both gold and silver with the price ratio fixed, invariably leading to a straightforward application of Gresham's law where the overvalued money drove out the good (sometimes merely hoarding the good money, other times trading it out of the country for a better deal).

Comment: Re:What plan? (Score 3, Interesting) 84 84

We send spacecraft on comparable missions all the time. And it doesn't really take a spectacularly large payload to destroy (yes, destroy) an asteroid a few hundred meters in diameter. 1/2-kilometer-wide Itokawa could be blown into tiny bits which would not recoalesce, via a 0,5-1,0 megatonne nuclear warhead, a typical size in modern nuclear arsenals (in addition, the little pieces would be pushed out of their current orbit).

I know it's a common misconception that "nuking" an asteroid would simply create a few large fragments that would hit Earth with even more devastation, but that's not backed by simulation data. And anyway, even if it didn't blow the asteroid to tiny bits (which simulations say it would) and even if it didn't push the remaining pieces off trajectory (which they say it does), anything that spreads an Earth impact out over a larger period of time is a good thing - it means the higher percentage of the energy that's absorbed high in the atmosphere rather than reaching the surface (less ejecta, lower ocean waves, a broader (weaker) distribution of the heat pulse, etc), the weaker the shockwaves, the weaker the total heat at any given point in time, and the more time for Earth to radiate away any imparted energy or precipitate out any ejecta cloud. If the choice is between 15 Chelyabink-sized impactor (most of which will strike places where they won't even be witnessed) or one Meteor Crater-sized impactor (same total mass), pick the Chelyabinsk ones. 50 10-megatonne meteor crater impactors or one 500-megatonne Upheaval Dome impactor? Pick the former. The asteroid impacts calculator shows the former generating a negligible fireball and 270mph wind burst at 2km distance, while the latter creates the same winds 25km away (156 times the area) and a fireball that even 25km away is 50 times brighter than the sun, hot enough to instantly set most materials on fire.

But that's all irrelevant because, quite simply, simulations show that nuclear weapons do work against asteroids.

What we need is enough detection lead time to be able to launch a nuclear strike a few months before the impact date (to give time for the debris to disperse). There is no need to "land" or "drill" for the warhead. There is no pressure wave; instead, an immense burst of X-rays is absorbed through the outer skin of the asteroid on the side of the explosion, causing it to vaporize (unevenly) from within, especially near the ground zero point, and creating powerful shockwaves throughout its body. In addition to ripping it apart, the vaporized material and higher energy ejecta flies off, predominantly on the side where the explosion was detonated, acting a broad planar thruster.

Comment: Re: You think Greeks want MORE electronic money? (Score 2) 299 299

by FooAtWFU (#50011551) Attached to: Greek Financial Crisis Is an Opportunity For Bitcoin

But if you have just a few ounces of gold, how would you spend it? Shave it to buy a loaf of bread?

You take it to a dealer and they "make change" buy turning it back into normal-person money. There are well-known gold coins out there of regulated weight and purity. For instance, the US mint has issued 1oz gold eagle and buffalo coins. They're in the neighborhood of ~$1300 and $1100 each right now, respectively. You can look up the price up on the Internet ahead of time and not get scammed by the dealer like you would with jewelry.

Comment: Re:Stability (Score 1) 299 299

by FooAtWFU (#50011515) Attached to: Greek Financial Crisis Is an Opportunity For Bitcoin

Something doesn't make sense.

The Euro is the go-to safe haven currency.

The problem is that any Euros stored in a bank are liable to be seized and replaced with drachmas (greece leaves the euro, "grexit"), or possibly legislatively forbidden to leave the nation ("capital controls" - likely to lead to grexit). As you can imagine, these threats has led to lots of people withdrawing real Euros while they still can, depleting Greek banks of deposits, requiring emergency bailout/loans from the IMF and ECB. Now that line of credit has been maxed, they're not being offered any more, so as of last weekend or so the banks are closed and won't let anyone withdraw money.

So one pitch for bitcoin here is that it's more stable than a euro contained in a Greek bank. Of course, that's not going to do you much good if you can't get the euros out of the bank to buy the bitcoins. I guess the other is that it could help you either circumvent (legally) or violate (illegally) any future capital controls (good old-fashioned black-market currency dealing, also popular in China sometimes). We'll see about that.

Comment: Re:You think Greeks want MORE electronic money? (Score 1) 299 299

by FooAtWFU (#50011391) Attached to: Greek Financial Crisis Is an Opportunity For Bitcoin

Yes, you can. It's called derivatives. Sell silver you don't have, buy gold that nobody has, eat your heart out. They can send the price pretty much anywhere they like.

Poppycock. Even the legendary Jay Gould found that he couldn't corner the gold market.

Comment: Re:You think Greeks want MORE electronic money? (Score 4, Interesting) 299 299

by FooAtWFU (#50011109) Attached to: Greek Financial Crisis Is an Opportunity For Bitcoin

Because the value of gold and silver is somehow less arbitrary than electronic bank balances.

Depends on who's running the bank, doesn't it? The value of gold and silver fluctuate with supply and demand worldwide. They have industrial and decorative uses and a widespread base of people willing to own them. In the absence of large-scale deep-space asteroid mining technology flooding the market with excess supplies, they're going to remain fairly valuable.

A well-run bank can do much better (the value of its currency remaining approximately constant over time) but once you start instituting capital controls and swapping out the nice currency for shitty drachmas then it's another matter.

Comment: Re:That's nuthin (Score 1) 78 78

100% humidity is where the partial pressure of water vapor in the air is too high for any more water to be suspended in the air. This is when water does not evaporate so sweating ceases to make you any cooler. It does not mean that there is more water around you than air. Water in a liquid state does not count as humidity anyway.

The universe is like a safe to which there is a combination -- but the combination is locked up in the safe. -- Peter DeVries