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Comment: Re:seems kinda pointless (Score 1) 143

I'm not sure that we should rely on economic motivations to constrain abuses, for two reasons:

1- While a dragnet search might be impractical, an individual can still be targeted. For example: a corrupt authority has a cocaine-using informant hold a glass, which is then given to their target in a restaurant and taken as evidence afterwards. Bam, their target is on coke, liable for some of the most egregious penalities in our legal system.
2- While today a test might be beyond the reach of budgets, technology advances. Particularly now, in an era where we are learning to apply 50 years of micron-scale manufacturing from the semiconductor industry to commoditizing previously complex chemical analyses.

Comment: Re:The IMF should be worried (Score 3, Informative) 294

by TheGavster (#49700857) Attached to: The Solution To Argentina's Banking Problems Is To Go Cashless

Seigniorage is the difference between the cost to produce currency and the face value of the currency. Hypothetically, a cashless system would eliminate this inefficiency. There will inevitably, though, be "service fees" or somesuch taken from each transaction for administering the system.

At the end of the day, though, seigniorage is chump change compared to the power to deficit spend. What the Argentinian government really wants is to have its population to use a currency that they can make more of. If citizens are only accepting a foreign currency, or some private credits, the state has to directly collect taxes, which can be problematic politically. Forcing citizens to accept the Banana Dollar or whatever is simply the formalization of the state consuming goods and services from the population without having to answer to a set revenue policy.

Comment: Re:I'm just glad (Score 4, Informative) 213

by TheGavster (#49656061) Attached to: Transformer Explosion Closes Nuclear Plant Unit North of NYC

You do know that hydroelectric power plants also have large, oil-cooled transformers, of similar design, which have exactly the same chance of exploding as this unit, right? Of course, it doesn't actually matter, since this transformer explosion had the same chance of causing a nuclear accident as an explosion at Niagara Falls does of flooding upstate New York.

Comment: Re:Is this Google's fault? (Score 1) 434

by TheGavster (#49625763) Attached to: Google Can't Ignore the Android Update Problem Any Longer

Fellow Moto G owner here. I've seen the Google release come out for the GPE version, the Motorola release come out for the OEM version, still waiting on AT&T to finish whatever it is that they do. I've looked for help on converting to GPE, but everything seems to involve a step where you download a ROM from Uncle Bob's Totally Trustworthy Download Service. Google could do a lot by putting out an official place to find upgraded ROMs for those willing to unlock, particularly for devices that they already have the software for.

As an aside, the reason that I have the AT&T edition is because it was difficult to find reliable information on what AT&T's frequencies are vs the frequencies supported by a particular model. Carriers obviously have an incentive to keep things ambiguous (certainly worked on me), but perhaps Google could help by adding "all band radio" to the minimum hardware list ("camera" is already on there for no discernible reason).

Comment: Re:Giving the customers what they want (Score 3, Interesting) 216

by TheGavster (#49516353) Attached to: Netflix Is Betting On Exclusive Programming

While Netflix's distribution model and show quality make it a locally good thing, I think that in the larger scheme, having content production and content distribution tied together will ultimately continue the problems that the current system has. While some of this content is available through other distributors, they always have an incentive to give preferential treatment to their own distributor. I doubt we'll ever see House of Cards on Hulu Plus, for example.

Aside from having to subscribe to several services to hit all of the content that you're interested in, you also have the cases where, like HBO, they have conditions on subscribing and draconian restrictions on what devices they allow playback on (eg, until a couple of years ago, Android playback was locked out if you had an external display connected)

Comment: Re:So? (Score 3, Insightful) 138

The Pebble is 1/3 the price, has a 1-week battery, and works with iOS, Android, and Sailfish. I will be interested to see how the Apple Watch actually does after release, since every smart watch review I've read for the past 2 years has measured against the hypothetical iWatch rather than the real competition.

Comment: Re: Lifestyle (Score 4, Interesting) 332

by TheGavster (#49457387) Attached to: California Looks To the Sea For a Drink of Water

I think that the 70% export figure indicates that while "other countries" have switched which crops they grow, they haven't changed their almond consumption rate. Similar to how the western world has eliminated the environmentally destructive extraction techniques necessary for rare earth metals, but still buys cell phones because China is willing to take the hit.

Comment: Re:Capacity isn't the problem. (Score 3, Insightful) 229

by TheGavster (#49453337) Attached to: 220TB Tapes Show Tape Storage Still Has a Long Future

These guys probably would have preferred to be able to come back up after some number of days, rather than ever. That said, not all losses of data are total, so it might make sense to have a tape system for catastrophes and some other system for correcting a smaller mistake.

Comment: Oh, Phoronix (Score 0) 96

I initially thought that the reason What this actually means is not completely certain at this point" was because the product had been announced. Then I saw a big fat "download the free community edition" link, and realized that this was another one of those journalistic failures that Phoronix calls "articles". Seriously, how hard is it to try out the product you're reporting on for 3 seconds to see if the feature that your article is reporting on exists?

Comment: Re:Sure you did.. (Score 5, Insightful) 140

by TheGavster (#49366701) Attached to: NSA: We Mulled Ending Phone Program Before Edward Snowden Leaks

Even if the NSA was considering terminating these programs due to cost, that's not the same as terminating them because domestic surveillance exceeds the NSA's mandate. It's kind of like saying that we don't jail people for homosexuality because the prisons would cost too much: while the argument does end the injustice in the short term, it leaves open the possibility of it returning in a way that a moral argument doesn't.

Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition. - Isaac Asimov