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Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 428

In those circumstances 20k libertarian activists should be able to totally revolutionize the state's politics, which will in turn mean that the national political scene has to deal with libertarian ideas in a much more serious way then otherwise.

It should be noted that the major political parties in New Hampshire are already upset that the Libertarians are bumping into their turf and engaged in a backlash against the Libertarians. If a mass immigration of Libertarians actually happens, I would expect that pushback to only get worse with even funds from national committees to get dumped into the state politics.

It is funny to hear candidates complain about the "damn Free Staters" and how their cushy re-election campaigns are thwarted.

Comment Re:End anonymity for cash (Score 1) 158

Gold and Silver have a number of flaws, not the least of which is that they can be devalued by new sources of those commodities. The other huge issue is that they have considerable bulk when trying to engage in high value transactions, thus engaging significant costs when trying to execute those kind of transactions. Indeed it was that issue of transferring gold & silver which resulted in the concept of bank notes in the first place where certificates of possession of gold were exchanged instead of the actual gold itself.

It is the spread of those certifications of a deposit of gold that also causes a whole bunch of the games being played in the global monetary system, particularly if the depositing authority (whoever that might be) decides to issues more certificates than they actually have of that commodity.

Furthermore, gold is still traceable in a variety of methods, not the least of which is having a serial number stamped on the gold bars or coins. Generally that is useful so far as having is already assayed as having a certain purity from some certifying authority (often a government of some sort). Modern technique of performing isotopic analysis can also go so far as determining which specific mine that some gold might have even come from in the first place and be used to trace the gold from specific individuals as well. That isn't perfect, but I wouldn't guarantee that any given briefcase full of gold coins is untraceable either, where melting down that gold to anonymize the gold isn't always an option.

Comment Re:Befehl ist Befehl (Score 1) 186

You make it sounds like it was so black and white and an easy decision, but like everything of that nature it was a whole lot more nuanced and got into project politics. The part I understood was that I would personally have needed to at least temporarily take on the financial burden of running the website if I had done a fork, even if it was likely that other community members were going to help contribute both with money and in other ways. Getting that organized and staying on top of that while working full time myself and raising a family also played a major part in that decision and realizing it would likely become a full time job with little pay if the fork was successful.

The licensing was easy... it was the GFDL (now CC-by-SA). I don't even see how you could think it was at all complicated or why I would misunderstand what that implied.

Comment Re:What would they expect him to do? (Score 1) 186

If you want to get into the nuanced USC 501(c)3 non-profit laws, be my guest. Also pay attention to what I said: donors can send donations into a trust, which is precisely what the link said is happening too. That the fundraising could be referred instead to the trust instead of the core organization is just a bit of legal game play that sometimes happens too, but you need to keep a strong legal firewall between the trust and the non-profit corporation as well. Let's just say it gets very complicated.

The fact is, Wikimedia could have easily funded an endowment long ago that would keep Wikipedia on-line forever without requiring another dollar in fundraising.

I think it should have happened a long time ago frankly, and it is sad that it has taken them this long to get such an endowment going at all. The Wikimedia Foundation used to be an incredibly lean organization with a very minimal staff and an annual budget of right around $3 million. The public outreach and frankly many of the ways that the money is being spent is diverting focus away from the core projects. The reason for aggressive year after year fundraising goals is simply because the trustees want to aggressively grow the organization and do more stuff because they can.

I believe it is ground for valid criticism of the organization precisely because they really don't need that money.

Comment Re:but... (Score 1) 186

That could change at any time based on board decision.

Not really. The decisions are made by the community except when specific legal issues have shown up which might shut the project down. One such example was the license change, and another was the specific policy requirement that each sub-project adopt a policy with regards to fair-use content or the lack thereof. Even in those cases, it was the community which made the final call with a whole lot of deliberation.

If they arbitrarily tried to change editorial policies on a whim, Wikipedia would simply die. The governing authority started with the volunteers and the board is something that was sort of grafted in later.

Yes there is

I suppose that is a matter of opinion on that position. She is in charge of the non-technical staff (the technical guys really do fit in a different category although I wouldn't want to cross this lady if I was one of the IT guys). It gets a whole lot more nuanced when you get into the gritty details and she definitely does not have any authority at all over any of the specific projects.

Yes. this is what boards do.

I suppose I'm saying that the board usurped authority that previously didn't exist and has gone above and beyond their original mandate for when they were created. The board members were never supposed to have the all power authority you are asserting here that they have and I suppose defacto is authority they possess.

It still doesn't stop the right to fork as exists in all open source projects though.

Comment Re:but... (Score 2) 186

In this case, the primary power of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Directors is really to administer the funds needed to operate the servers and to hire and fire the staff that runs those servers. There is a whole bunch of other staff doing what I think to be mostly make work projects to spend their donation money.

They gave unto themselves the authority to run roughshod over the editors and to arbitrarily change user privileges as well as to arbitrarily (at their discretion or due to a lawsuit) remove content from the Wikimedia projects (it wasn't even really approved by the community) and they also set up general policies for all of the various projects collectively. Running the server farm sort of helps give them an edge to be able to decide what goes onto those servers, so I suppose their power should be a given in that situation.

Editorial policies on the other hand are usually decided by community consensus and not by the board with often significant pushback when major changes happen without consulting the community. Since they don't hire and fire the actual administration and cleanup of the various wikiprojects or even deal with individual communities in a massive self-destruct mode (it happens from time to time.... that is the job of the stewards and those guys are elected by the community) they really don't deal too much with the actual content nor is there really any CEO like you might find even with other non-profit groups. The various units of Wikipedia report directly to the board, although the chair of the board usually acts in an executive capacity on a more day to day basis if needed.

The board could start locking the servers from write access or do other really stupid things, but that would just fork the projects and send the volunteers elsewhere. It is a sort of uneasy truce between the volunteer leadership and the board with regards to the real power of the board with a general presumption that the board is going to be doing the right thing most of the time even if on occasion they may screw up. In this situation though, the board members really govern a pretty small organization on the whole consisting of just the paid staff of the Wikimedia Foundation and not much else. It is rather prestigious due to the large number of volunteers who contribute to the projects though.

Comment Re:Befehl ist Befehl (Score 3, Informative) 186

This guy got hired on as one of Jimmy Wales picks. There are two members of the board who are picked by the community, but unfortunately Jimmy Wales set up the foundation in such a way that he could still control the board and do whatever he wanted to see happen. The end result is that the board can incestually (meaning being accountable from nobody but themselves) select new board members upon their own whim. That is precisely what happened here with this board appointment.

There is the right to fork as is the case with all open source projects, but that is really the only real power that the Wikipedia editors have in this situation other than to complain to the two community board members and see that their one limited voice can be heard on the next election for those positions. The Spanish Language Wikipedia did fork several years ago due to some disputes with the top leadership of Wikipedia (particularly the top admins in that language edition of Wikipedia), but that is far enough in the past that the root causes and resolution have nothing to do with the current situation.

I nearly forked one of the sister projects a few years ago (with widespread support in that sister project), and in hindsight perhaps I should have followed through with the effort too. The really odd thing is how Jimmy Wales offered web space for the fork too. I suppose it just matters how the Wikimedia Board deals with this situation to see if enough editors are finally going to be so completely fed up with the current leadership direction to create that fork or just roll with the punches. Stuff like the Libre Office fork of Open Office is a good example of how such a fork can be successful.

Comment Re:What would they expect him to do? (Score 3, Informative) 186

BTW, do we know what his salary at that "non-profit" company is?

Just that the Wikimedia Foundation is swimming in more money than they can spend. Part of that is due to really stupid non-profit laws that prevent setting up a trust account (which can be done by donors... just not the non-profit) to save the money for a rainy day, but also because they get a whole bunch of money flowing their direction too.

As a result, the Wikimedia Foundation has a whole bunch of make-work projects to ensure that they remain "non-profit", but that just bloats their staff size too. As can be seen, I'm not too impressed with how the money is being spent as well since I think better uses of that money could be used.

Comment Re:nope, it's still the router (Score 1) 190

Blockchains can have lag times of up to about 10 minutes per data exchange or longer, and building chains on separated nodes that on independent networks or computers only makes a difference when one has a longer chain than another... and the longer chain wins anyway. That is just for mining. You need zero syn/ack packets at all in that situation as they aren't needed to synch one block chain miner to another.

As for transaction data, you can pass data around on something like Fidonet... which may have a "router" look up table software so far as passing messages, doesn't really need a dedicated router either.

Seriously, this isn't like IP over avian carrier, I'm saying that TCP/IP is irrelevant to the concept of a blockchain or any other lower level protocol. It helps to automate the process no doubt and adds convenience, but I'm pointing out that it is unnecessary and you can definitely connect locations that are on separate networks for whatever reason that may be or even off-grid entirely for the purposes of a block chain concept. It is also a practical solution in those more unusual situations where network access is limited.

Comment Re:nope, it's still the router (Score 1) 190

Block chains don't need routers to exist, although it certainly is a useful feature. You can easily (or with modest difficulty) run a block chain network strictly through a sneaker network (aka with just thumb drives/floppy discs (yes... they still exist)/optical storage/etc.) moving data physically from one computer to the next. That is also true of sending transactions for cryptocurrency as well, although at some point you need to get those transactions folded into the primary block chain.

I would agree with your sentiment on the relative importance of the two ideas though, where the idea of a router is definitely something which impacts far more lives and is far more basic to modern computing than a block chain.

Comment Re:As a database (Score 1) 190

It isn't so much a way to store data, which can be done with any peer to peer network like a TOR network, and is in fact where the concept of "cloud storage" comes from. What a block chain does is to timestamp and certify that the data integrity is maintained in such a peer to peer data network.

It is a time stamp so far as you can also demonstrate a chronological sequence between each block and point to one block and certify that it came before another block. You can also establish "ownership" of a chunk of data so far as to authenticate who created that data in the first place. That is also one directional so far as it is hard to prove any one person specifically created that data if they want to stay anonymous, but it is easy for somebody deliberately wanting to claim a piece of data to certify that it is in fact "their" data.

I could see it being used as a way to stamp patent applications, to give another example not typically used.

Comment Re:That's NOT the real question. (Score 1) 298

> In CA the electron prices are straight pass thru from the powerplants.

The first time I read that, I thought you said "In CA, the election prices area straight pass thru..."

as if somehow government bribery has taken on a whole new level of weirdness. I have no doubt that lobbying money from energy producers plays a huge role in this too.

Comment Re:Something is always up. (Score 1) 298

How have the older components in your system held up over the years? The largest concern I've had so far with installing a solar power system at my house is a worry that by the time I get a payback from installing the system, the equipment will be ready for replacement.

Then again, I live in a colder climate city with not so much sunshine so there are a few other variables including the need to have a system that can handle temperature extremes from 40 C to - 40 C along with snow and ice removal issues too. It is still something I'm considering.

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