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Comment: Things to solve (Score 1) 350

by Alioth (#47447095) Attached to: Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

There are still some things to solve for the cashless society.

1. Electronic transactions are still far too expensive. Every shop I go into to get (say) my lunch have a minimum amount you have to spend before you can use your debit card (or you have to pay a surcharge). My lunch always falls below this value so I must use cash. Things like vending machines too. Until it's cheap enough to use something like a debit card to buy an item costing 60p, then you'll still need cash.
2. Security. Debit/credit cards are too insecure, and the burden of making them secure is on the merchant in the form of PCI-DSS. It means if you're a small business taking debit/credit might not be an option. The burger van in the car park for instance, it's still impractical for him to take electronic transactions due to the equipment requirements and PCI-DSS.
3. Very hard to settle private debts. For instance if I hire a builder for a small job, he now has to give me all his bank details if I'm to do an electronic transfer. It's about 100 times easier to give him cash.

Comment: They nailed it 500 years ago (Score 1) 56

by DNS-and-BIND (#47446677) Attached to: How To Fix The Shortage of K-5 Scholastic Chess Facilitators
"[Chess] is certainly a pleasing and ingenious amusement, but it seems to have one defect, which is that it is possible to have too much knowledge of it, so that whoever would excel in the game must give a great deal of time to it, as I believe, and as much study as if he would learn some noble science or perform well anything of importance; and yet in the end, for all his pains, he only knows how to play a game. Thus, I think a very unusual thing happens in this, namely that mediocrity is more to be praised than excellence."
-- Castiglione, The Book of the Courtier, 1528, Book II para. 31, Singleton translation

Comment: Re:Snowden's Patriotism is Gaining Acceptance (Score 1) 168

by DNS-and-BIND (#47445041) Attached to: NSA Says Snowden Emails Exempt From Public Disclosure
It has been my experience that those exact same people are very quick to label anything but their own thinking jingoism. They can't even accept there might be such a thing as patriotism, and if it did exist it surely wouldn't apply to America, the nation that is worse than Nazi Germany. How do you have an argument with people who believe that borders shouldn't exist?

Comment: That's Fine (Score 5, Insightful) 96

If they want to go after a SEO company for not optimizing their search results, I don't see anything wrong with that. But has Seattle City Light considered just NOT SUCKING as a strategy to improve their reputation? Seems to me that analyzing the root cause of the problem ("Man, we REALLY suck!") and fixing it ("Hey, has anyone thought about maybe trying NOT sucking?") would be a good bit less expensive. Seems like only an idiot would say "Hey here's an idea! Let's pay 20 grand to some company and then we can keep sucking!" Of course, as a power company you kind of have a captive audience, so it seems like you could really suck all you want to as long as you don't capture the attention of various regulatory bodies in the process.

*shrug* I don't live in Seattle, so I don't know anything about it, but the internets say they suck pretty hard. I'm guessing their SEO company kind of sucks, too. Birds of a feather, eh?

Comment: Re:Chicken or egg? (Score 4, Insightful) 198

by DNS-and-BIND (#47442251) Attached to: Geographic Segregation By Education

Education is funded by property taxes, not sales tax. In Austin, people are being priced out of their homes because they voted for every social program out there, and now the taxes are too damn high.

"I'm at the breaking point," said Gretchin Gardner, an Austin artist who bought a 1930s bungalow in the Bouldin neighborhood just south of downtown in 1991 and has watched her property tax bill soar to $8500 this year.

"It's not because I don't like paying taxes," said Gardner, who attended both meetings [of "irate homeowners"]. "I have voted for every park, every library, all the school improvements, for light rail, for anything that will make this city better. But now I can't afford to live here anymore."
-- Austin American-Statesman

Comment: Re:bars, restaurants, dry cleaners, art galleries (Score -1, Troll) 198

by DNS-and-BIND (#47442223) Attached to: Geographic Segregation By Education
There is no culture in rural areas. There is no learning. For the active mind, it is a fate worse than death. Intelligent people want to be around other intelligent people. Who wants to live in the country with a bunch of bigots who dismiss any ideas they don't agree with?

Comment: Re:Well ... (Score 1) 81

No, the heavy hand of government would have shut the private company down.

I will never understand people who like big government. What is your freaking deal? Do you hope to get in and control the rest of us? It ain't gonna happen, you're not an elite, otherwise you won't be wasting your time posting on Slashdot. The boot is going to stomp on your face just like everyone else's.

If you do something right once, someone will ask you to do it again.

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