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Comment: Re:How did they get caught? (Score 3, Insightful) 143

by Trepidity (#49376557) Attached to: Silk Road Investigators Charged With Stealing Bitcoin

According to the indictment, part of how they were caught is that as part of laundering their proceeds, they tried to strongarm the payment processor Venmo, who had closed their accounts as part of automated fraud detection. Venmo was unhappy with being strongarmed, and sent a complaint to someone higher up at the agency. The agents then tried to suppress the complaint, and simultaneously retaliate against Venmo by trying to start an investigation. That attempted investigation pulled in the IRS, whose investigators thought a bunch of things looked suspicious, and dug up enough dirt to blow the whistle on the agents in this case.

So I guess in short, they pissed off both a payment company and the IRS.

Comment: Re:Just looked her up (Score 5, Informative) 423

by Trepidity (#49366473) Attached to: Experts: Aim of 2 Degrees Climate Goal Insufficient

The area of geography she studies is how communities/economies are impacted by and adapt to changes in prevailing climates, which seems pretty relevant, depending on what question you're asking. She would be a poor authority on questions like modeling the impact of CO2 on weather, but more within her area if asking questions like, "how easy/difficult would it be for Indonesians to adapt to a 2" ocean-level rise?".

In terms of the IPCC reports, the research/authorship is divided into three working groups: #1 studies the underlying science; #2 studies impacts & adaptation; #3 studies possible mitigation strategies. She's part of #2.

Comment: Re:I'd put a 'may' there (Score 1) 42

by Trepidity (#49362365) Attached to: Taxpayer Subsidies To ULA To End

Yeah I think that's likely: if they become a large company with multiple large contracts, they'll end up spread over the US.

Heck they're already doing a little bit of spreading out. They have a significant test facility in Texas along with some engineering offices, and are building a new facility in Seattle to build satellites. I don't know if this is strategic/political or just happenstance at this point though. For example I believe a big motivation for the Texas site was that they were able to buy facilities off the defunct Beal Aerospace cheaply.

Comment: I'd put a 'may' there (Score 4, Insightful) 42

by Trepidity (#49360371) Attached to: Taxpayer Subsidies To ULA To End

political pressure is now pushing them hard to open up bidding to multiple companies, which in turn will help lower cost and save the taxpayer money

That's certainly a possible outcome, and hopefully the one we will see, but I think it's a bit optimistic to say that it will do this. It may do that, but a new contract process may also be a total clusterfuck, depending on how it's structured and overseen. The Air Force might get twice as good things for half the price, or it might get something that doesn't work for half the price, or four things that sort of work for twice the price.

Comment: Re:homeowner fail (Score 3, Informative) 536

My realtor didn't like it because it was an "unusual" offer, but I said it was a contract and I could put any conditions in it I wanted - the seller just had to agree (and did).

Fwiw with real estate this is tricky; not every contract rider is allowed in every jurisdiction, and some may be allowed but cause complexities. Not saying this particular one wasn't allowed in yours, but you can't generally assume that you can write anything you want into a real-estate transaction and not end up with problems.

Comment: Re: Invisible hand (Score 1) 536

If the prices were set near cost, that might be a reasonable excuse, but Comcast prices have ballooned much faster than inflation. They also charge much more than is typical for broadband in other countries where the cables are municipally owned and rented out to ISPs. Yet they still can't make a profit even with their absurd $60+/mo packages?

Comment: Re:Buy american only. (Score 3, Insightful) 108

by Trepidity (#49325957) Attached to: IBM Will Share Tech With China To Help Build IT Industry There

I think IBM probably realizes that, but hopes to make money in the medium-term anyway. If a pro-China strategy gets them into the Chinese market for the next 10-15 years, they could profit significantly. If that results in their Chinese partners eventually taking over their business and nudging them out, well, in 10-15 years someone else will be CEO, and that's their problem.

A lot of petrochemical firms are doing similar things. When Dupont goes into a joint venture with a Chinese firm to build a plastics facility, there are not many illusions about is going to happen to the technology: the JV partner will stay with Dupont for a few facilities until they develop enough skill in the tech to do it on their own, then subsequently will start building its own plants without Dupont.

"Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward" -- William E. Davidsen

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