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Comment: Re:Dissappointed (Score 1) 288

by TranquilVoid (#47488507) Attached to: Australia Repeals Carbon Tax

I think you misunderstand the concept of a mandate. It is used when a party wins an overwhelming majority in the lower house to suggest that the upper house, where the party has a minority, should capitulate on a particular issue. I.e. suggesting the checks and balances should step aside. It has nothing to do with complaining about losing in a democracy.

Personally I think a mandate almost never exists. In a representative system you might say that all elected members have a mandate to vote as they campaigned.

Comment: Re:Thanks for pointing out the "briefly" part. (Score 1) 461

by TranquilVoid (#47322311) Attached to: Half of Germany's Power Supplied By Solar, Briefly

Very informative. The density of the German population makes sense, but can you explain why Germany, a nation with a lot of manufacturing, would have less troubles than the US with balancing?

P.S. I'm hoping the answer is their lack of strong sunlight, for delicious irony.

Comment: Re:Everybody is wrong... (Score 1) 270

All caches have a non-zero miss change, it doesn't mean the concept is useless. In this case it could still work. If it predicts your Sunday night show 80% of the time, then for the 20% miss you'll have to stream from the original server. However if the 80% applies to all customers then network congestion has been significantly reduced and your streaming can work at HD.

Comment: Re:Gox used margin trading & fractional reserv (Score 1) 143

by TranquilVoid (#47097571) Attached to: Sifting Mt. Gox's Logs Reveals Suspicious Trading Patterns

How does fractional reserve work with Bitcoin? If they loan out some deposited coins, fair enough, but if the original owner draws on it they cryptographically need that exact coin, not some other random one.

Or do depositors hand over the coins to the exchange for a virtual account, destroying the signed-ownership benefit of Bitcoin and replacing it with trust in an institution?

Comment: Re:Roman empire killed by geometry and resources (Score 1) 384

by TranquilVoid (#46875881) Attached to: How Concrete Contributed To the Downfall of the Roman Empire

Without military force, [they] developed the art of religious coercion and control, and the Roman empire eventually became the Holy Roman empire.

Perceptions are interesting, my understanding was completely the reverse, that as the empire declined the church had to pick up the slack of looking after the population, and so developed the attributes of a state rather than being a pacifist religion.

And the money continued to flow to Rome, for centuries....

A good point, it helps explains how the empire survived for centuries after its territory had ceased expanding. I think we see the same effects today within former colonial powers like Britain and France. The trade connections don't disappear just because they no longer officially own the country.

Comment: Re:Economic reasons (Score 1) 384

by TranquilVoid (#46865913) Attached to: How Concrete Contributed To the Downfall of the Roman Empire

the myth tells people what they want to hear: A good morality tale, supporting their own particular morality.

To be fair we're all subject to this. Everyone has a particular understanding of how the world, and people, work, borne of years of experience. Any story that goes against our understanding is naturally suspect, and rightly so in most cases. Imagine if you adjusted your view of the world to accommodate every Facebook story on the miracles of coconut oil or what have you.

Comment: Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (Score 1) 304

by TranquilVoid (#46764785) Attached to: Is Crimea In Russia? Internet Companies Have Different Answers

The people of Crimea however should get to decide where Crimea goes. The only thing Russia can do is either offer to annex or refuse to offer to annex if the Crimean people wish to be part of Russia.

How far should this be taken? Should the majority-Ukrainian sub-districts within Crimea get to decide if their sub-district is part of Ukraine or Russia? How about individual Ukrainian households within Russian-dominated sub-districts?

Managing populations is messy and there is no clear moral principle around geography, but Crimea was a Ukrainian state, under a constitution that required a nation-wide referendum. The question is, at what point are things so bad that you should violate another country's sovereignty?

Russia clearly did more than offering to annex. They actually ran the referendum after sending their military in semi-covertly, ensuring history books will forever question the legitimacy of the vote.

Comment: Re:Sorry about the loss of the magic (Score 1) 469

It is actually about 'playing in' the wood. This is more noticeable with acoustic guitars (and violins) - they will sound radically better after even a few months of playing due to the vibrations changing the wood. I suspect it softens the wood allowing the instrument to vibrate better across its entire mass but don't know the details.

There are diminishing returns, and I do agree that thinking a 70 year old guitar is intrinsically better than a 5 year old guitar is mostly psychological.

Comment: Re:And yet they supported Obama (Score 1) 564

by TranquilVoid (#46681513) Attached to: Was Eich a Threat To Mozilla's $1B Google "Trust Fund"?

If you actually believe in people's rights to have private views that are not acceptable to some, then you have to accept that they will take action based on those views. That's the whole point of having views and protecting people's non-mainstream opinions right?

This would be insightful if you clarified that you meant political action. Clearly, you are not allowed to physically disrupt a legal gay wedding any more than you can lynch a black person simply because your views call for it.

But I do agree, there's no point in saying "this is a democracy, so you are free to believe A so long as you never tell any one nor act on it". Future mind-reading tech would soon reveal what that 'liberty' was really worth.

Comment: Re:And yet they supported Obama (Score 1) 564

by TranquilVoid (#46681297) Attached to: Was Eich a Threat To Mozilla's $1B Google "Trust Fund"?

Sort of, the problem is that the people don't want their leaders to represent all of society. They want them to hold the same personal beliefs they do and really believe in their agenda. So we get

"The only clear solution is X, because of A, B and C. Opposing arguments D, E and F are completely stupid and my political opponents are crazy." instead of

"I have come up with a solution I believe is the best compromise for all parties. It is a slightly better compromise than my opponent's."

You will note that in the ideal situation, personal beliefs are irrelevant. Eich was not in an ideal workplace.

Comment: Re:April Fools stories are gay (Score 1) 1482

by TranquilVoid (#46646983) Attached to: OKCupid Warns Off Mozilla Firefox Users Over Gay Rights

Don't anti-discrimination hiring laws override freedom of association for businesses? A business can't refuse to hire a qualified employee, whether CEO or cleaner, based on their race, religion, sexual orientation or political views, so it makes little sense to boycott a company for following this law.

For God's sake, stop researching for a while and begin to think!