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Comment: I found this article to be more informative (Score 2) 154

by TubeSteak (#47426743) Attached to: After NSA Spying Flap, Germany Asks CIA Station Chief to Depart

Retaliation for Spying: Germany Asks CIA Official to Leave Country

Initially, there had been talk of a formal expulsion of the CIA employee, who is officially accredited as the so-called chief of station and is responsible for the US intelligence service's activities in Germany. A short time later, the government backpedalled and said it had only recommended that he leave. Although it cannot be compared with a formal explusion, it remains an unfriendly gesture.

On a diplomatic level, it is no less than an earthquake and represents a measure that until Thursday would have only been implemented against pariah states like North Korea or Iran. It also underscores just how deep tensions have grown between Berlin and Washington over the spying affair.

The USA's response has been something along the lines of "you expected us not to conducting traditional spying activities?"

Comment: Re:Already happened? (Score 1) 270

by StikyPad (#47424523) Attached to: The Lovelace Test Is Better Than the Turing Test At Detecting AI

I think you're mischaracterizing both philosophy and science. If we accept the definition of philosophy as "the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence" then most sciences are a subset of philosophy. And simply because there is a hierarchal structure to their categorization or origins does not give one authority over the other, any more than the first mammal has authority over lions. Neither do we say that lions have "far exceeded" the limits of mammals. Arguments that pit philosophy against science are just as nonsensical.

Comment: Re:Most humans couldn't pass that test (Score 1) 270

by StikyPad (#47424331) Attached to: The Lovelace Test Is Better Than the Turing Test At Detecting AI

To be fair to the GP, the output of any human is predictable and explainable if we accept determinism. The only way the Lovelace Test can be valid is if we accept that people have souls (or some other attribute not subject to physical law) that in some way affect natural brain function, and find a way to reproduce that artificially.

Indeed, the whole idea of "unpredictable, unexplainable output" seems contradictory. When people do not behave somewhat predictably, when we cannot explain their actions, we typically label them as crazy. Intelligent actions are not inexplicable after analysis, even if they appear to be in the moment. The only way to satisfy that condition is to generate random output, which is the opposite of intelligence.

Comment: Re:Moron Judge (Score 2) 118

by StikyPad (#47424071) Attached to: Judge Shoots Down "Bitcoin Isn't Money" Argument In Silk Road Trial

Except the IRS has declared that bitcoin is property, not currency.

Q-1: How is virtual currency treated for federal tax purposes?
A-1: For federal tax purposes, virtual currency is treated as property. General tax
principles applicable to property transactions apply to transactions using virtual
currency.

and

http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroo...

The money laundering statute applies to the below:

(4) the term âoefinancial transactionâ means
(A) a transaction which in any way or degree affects interstate or foreign commerce involving
(i) the movement of funds by wire or other means or
(ii) one or more monetary instruments, or
(iii) the transfer of title to any real property, vehicle, vessel, or aircraft, or
(B) a transaction involving the use of a financial institution...
http://www.law.cornell.edu/usc...

Note that "real property," is real estate, not any personal property whatsoever, and the term "monetary instrument" is likewise defined by the FDIC:

Monetary instruments.
(1) Monetary instruments include:
(i) Currency;
(ii) Traveler's checks in any form;
(iii) All negotiable instruments (including personal checks, business checks, official bank checks, cashier's checks, third-party checks, promissory notes (as that term is defined in the Uniform Commercial Code), and money orders) that are either in bearer form, endorsed without restriction, made out to a fictitious payee (for the purposes of Sec. 1010.340), or otherwise in such form that title thereto passes upon delivery;
(iv) Incomplete instruments (including personal checks, business checks, official bank checks, cashier's checks, third-party checks, promissory notes (as that term is defined in the Uniform Commercial Code), and money orders) signed but with the payee's name omitted; and
(v) Securities or stock in bearer form or otherwise in such form that title thereto passes upon delivery.
http://www.fdic.gov/regulation...

So yes, there are very different regulations depending on whether bitcoin is or is not currency. Absent legislation specifically addressing "virtual currency," the courts will have to hash out this disagreement, which is what will happen here, I'm sure, but I think it's regrettable that someone can be punished for law that isn't yet decided. If I drive 55, should I be punished for skirting speeding laws? Are racetracks circumventing legislation against street racing? The problem with calling this money laundering isn't that this guy is punished (if he's guilty of running the Silk Road); it's that it opens up a whole other class of individuals for prosecution just because they were using bitcoin to conduct transactions -- namely everyone who conducts transactions in bitcoin.

Comment: Re:As plain as the googgles on your face (Score 4, Insightful) 56

by TubeSteak (#47422311) Attached to: The Future of Wearables: Standalone, Unobtrusive, and Everywhere

It is actually the intrusiveness that bothers people. Most people don't really care if they are recorded, as long as it isn't obvious and in their face. Not many people are bothered by store security cameras, etc.

The difference is that we know what a store security camera is going to do with the recording: record over it in XY days.
We don't know what [random glasshole] is going to do with the recording they make of us.

So it really doesn't matter what the recorder's unspoken intent is, what causes discomfort is the recordee's uncertainty.

Comment: Re:Dubai has bigger problems (Score 3, Informative) 261

Forget the fact that once the oil's gone the wealth remaining in the region will leach away as there's so few people (though it'll take a very long time).

Dubai and the other Emirates are acutely aware of the limits to their oil reserves.
They've been very busy turning their States into financial and trade hubs for the Arabian Peninsula,
with plenty of free trade zones (no taxes on corporate income) in order to draw in international corporations.

My advice: Bilk Dubai for all its worth now, because in 50 years it'll be a distant memory of largesse gone awry by modern standards.

Your advice is wrong.
Abu Dhabi is the 800 lb gorilla in the UAE and has the 2nd largest sovereign wealth fund in the world.
As long as Dubai's royal family goes along with Abu Dhabi's Sheikh, Dubai can keep borrowing money until the end of time.
/The last time Dubai needed cash, they had to reform some laws as a condition set by Abu Dhabi.

Comment: Re:Meanwhile, in DSL-land (Score 1) 146

by Gothmolly (#47421981) Attached to: Alcatel-Lucent's XG-FAST Pushes 10,000Mbps Over Copper Phone Lines

That's not the case at all. There is only 1 FTTH adopter in the area - Verizon, and they're never going anywhere. It's not a question of an attractive business model, it's a matter of basic math - they've stretched the fiber as long as it will pay for, and no further. ILECs want out of the copper business altogether, that's why they're rolling (capped) 4G "Broadband" as an alternative.

Comment: Re:Meanwhile, in DSL-land (Score 1) 146

by Gothmolly (#47421973) Attached to: Alcatel-Lucent's XG-FAST Pushes 10,000Mbps Over Copper Phone Lines

Cache your DNS.
Queue and deliver your own email - throttled, of course.
Force everything through a squid proxy for a couple of reasons - first, see what your PCs are doing w/o any user interaction, I found it interesting how many google and microsoft websites things randomly hit. Block them all in squid to save bandwidth. Bandwidth throttle in squid, if you do it right you can make it subnet, IP, time-of-day specific, whatever you want. Caching Microsoft stuff can be tricky, there's a lot of articles out there about it, you basically have to bloat out some of the settings in squid, although it's still hit or miss.

You can get a lot of mileage out of a crappy connection simply by throttling the non-interactive stuff, leaving room for things like Netflix or VOIP that tends to be picky about bandwidth.

Comment: Re:What difference now does it make? :) Sunk costs (Score 4, Informative) 342

by TubeSteak (#47420239) Attached to: The Pentagon's $399 Billion Plane To Nowhere

You cannot continue to go out and fight with older weapons though.
Nominally, the F-15/F-16/F-18 are not as survivable in a modern air war.

The F-35 is a compromise design.
Mostly it compromises its ability to loiter on the target, carry large amounts of munitions, and dogfight.
So as long as you don't want to do any of those things, the F-35 is better than older weapons.

A proven fighter is one that has been through the teething problems that the F-35 is going through now.

Ha! The F-35's issues are not "teething problems," they are R&D problems.
The F-35 is a procurement disaster of such epic proportions that tomes will be written to warn future generations on what not to do.

Just to stay on topic, one of those tomes will talk about engine problems and why the military should source 2 different engine designs.
It will also mention that, because of the F-35's unprecedented budget overruns, the second design was canceled.

Luck, that's when preparation and opportunity meet. -- P.E. Trudeau

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