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Comment: Re:We do not need solid state to replace platter d (Score 3, Insightful) 247

by m.dillon (#46780589) Attached to: SSD-HDD Price Gap Won't Go Away Anytime Soon

No we don't. Hybrid drives are stupid. The added software complexity alone makes them a non-starter for anyone who wants reliability. The disparate failure modes make it a non-starter. The SSD portion of the hybrid drive is way, WAY too small to be useful.

If you care enough to want the performance benefit you either go with a pure SSD (which is what most people do these days), or you have a separate discrete SSD for booting, performace-oriented data, your swap store, and your HDD caching software.


Comment: Re:For the first time ever... (Score 1) 385

by m.dillon (#46758857) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

MLPs can be a holy mess if you do partial sales. So basically if you want to own a MLP, either buy and hold forever (pass it on to your kids in your estate), or when you do want to sell you sell the whole thing.

Pretty big tax hit if you've held a MLP a long time and sell since you will owe taxes on all the distributions you received from it over the years (if in a taxable account). If in a retirement account you need to be careful of any positive UBTI (unrelated business taxable income) on the K-1. And there may be multi-state filing requirements as well (usually not an issue for most people as long as the apportioned amount for the other states is less than $1000).

If you still want exposure to the space but don't want to deal with the MLPs, then look at the GPs (the general partners). e.g. KMI, OKE, LNCO, and so forth. Those are C-corps but tend to run up and down along with their MLP partners.


Comment: Had no choice but to deinstall it (Score 5, Funny) 218

by m.dillon (#46671845) Attached to: Why No One Trusts Facebook To Power the Future

I had no choice but to deinstall it on all of my Android devices. The old version no longer works and the new one wants permission to access pretty much everything I own... all my contacts, all my accounts, location, phone numbers, make phone calls and texts, god knows what else. Everything.

It's insane. I will not give Facebook access to all of that stuff. They can go stuff it. Nor will I give third party sites FB access for validation since that also means they can snarf my friends list.

I'm still able to run the FB app on IOS because that at least allows me to deny FB permission the access. Android though is out of the question.


Comment: Re:Then (Score 1) 402

Until the Chinese actually try to live on the moon for any period. Horrible temperature profile, little to no water excepting maybe at the poles, some of the nastiest dust in existence getting in to everything, hard vacuum.

Mars is a paradise compared to the Moon which is why if you are talking about a colony it makes a lot more sense than the moon or just about anywhere else in our solar system Only problem is the transit time.

Comment: Re:Well... not really (Score 3, Insightful) 94

by m.dillon (#46628469) Attached to: Square Market Now Accepts Bitcoin

That is, unfortunately, a very typical story. Buying during a fall thinking you are getting a good deal because the price was once higher is probably responsible for as many losses as those who buy at market tops and ride their 'investments' down.

It's basically due to the investor either not being able to come up with a reasonable approximation of intrinsic value with which to judge whether valuation is a buying or selling opportunity, or simply running on base emotion thinking that because the commodity was once at a higher price that it must therefore return to that higher price if only one waits long enough.

In the case of BTC, people come up with all sorts of crazy valuations (like '$500,000 per BTC') based on grade-school thinking and onto bandwagons of other's opinions thinking that it must be right because so many people believe it is right. So right that they can't lose even when value is falling through the floor. A lot of these people wind up eventually putting their entire life savings at risk, even if they didn't intend to originally. You see that money and potential profit and lose all semblance of reason. But in the end all they accomplish is to hand their money over to the other, smarter people.

It's not even necessarily an issue of greed... it's a problem of being driven by sentiment or specious arguments... depending on other people's opinions to form the basis for your own instead of generating your own opinion from basic principles (and not fooling yourself or pulling your own punches). Easy fodder for momentum-driven trading.

Consider for the moment that there is a buyer for every sale on an exchange. Who's doing the buying when the market is clearly going down?


Comment: Re:They're getting into Bitcoin NOW?!? (Score 4, Interesting) 94

by m.dillon (#46628343) Attached to: Square Market Now Accepts Bitcoin

Read more carefully. There's a big difference between accepting Bitcoin and pricing something in Bitcoin. Square market is pricing everything in dollars (because, really, no merchant in their right mind would ever price anything in actual BTC unless they were intentionally trying to fleece you).

It's a near meaningless gesture which puts the entire burden and risk on the consumer holding the BTC, who is not only eating the overhead from the transaction and the exchange spread, but is also creating a coincident sale on the exchange at market and is likely causing the whole BTC market to drop.

If you want to know how much it's costing you, consider that bitcoin has lost over half of its value over the last 4 months. Now you can make up all the reasons you like for why it is dropping, but my bet is that people are draining their BTC on goods and creating a field day for short speculators on the exchanges.


Comment: Re:They're getting into Bitcoin NOW?!? (Score 1) 94

by m.dillon (#46628323) Attached to: Square Market Now Accepts Bitcoin

I would love to know as well. And also, I wonder if you are recording those purchases since you have to declare each one on your tax return as a capital gain or loss.

Your argument is a bit absurd considering bitcoin's volatility, let alone the grade-school economics. Big words might be taken more seriously if not for the clear insanity behind the comment.

You honestly think you are being capital-efficient by using stored BTC as the basis for your working funds? I can't imagine how you plan your finances for the year.


Comment: Re:They're getting into Bitcoin NOW?!? (Score 1) 94

by m.dillon (#46627361) Attached to: Square Market Now Accepts Bitcoin

"So what? BTC is a medium of payment. The businesses accepting BTC as payment are largely converting it into their preferred currency, so the volatility isn't very important."

Really. Why don't you name a few? From where I stand no real business is keeping balances in BTC. All their prices are in USD and their payment processor (such as coinbase) is paying them in USD.

You realize how dumb your statement is? You think any business is going to forgo double-digit profits or accept double-digit losses by quoting a stable price in BTC? Good luck with that concept!


Comment: Re:They're getting into Bitcoin NOW?!? (Score 4, Insightful) 94

by m.dillon (#46627035) Attached to: Square Market Now Accepts Bitcoin

You are conveniently forgetting the conversion to and from USD also involves transaction fees. Not only that, but you also have to trust the trading institution that is holding your dollar balance to not abscond with your dollars, otherwise you have to ALSO transfer your dollars into and out of the institution immediately.

So we are now talking about three transaction fees at a minimum, and five transactions if you don't trust the institution doing the dollar conversion. Plus someone has to eat whatever change in trading value occurs during the period where the transaction is being stored in BTC.

This immediately causes numerous problems, not the least of which being that the trade value of BTC is no longer deflationary if nobody doing real commerce is holding a balance in BTC. In addition to the fact that it won't be deflationary anyway because there can be any number of crypto-currencies in existence.

We are considering the question of volatility and whether it matters. The answer is: Yes, it does matter, and for some obvious reasons.

Consider the two holders of BTC. The speculators, and those trying to use it for commerce. You need stability for commerce-users to hold a BTC balance of any significance. Without stability the only people holding BTC are the speculators. When speculators are the only game in town, instability is guaranteed.

Now consider the so-called deflationary property of BTC (which is a phantom property in my view... wishful thinking at best). What happens to the two holders of BTC if you actually get deflation? What you get is hoarding by the commerce users (i.e. it stops being used for commerce) and more speculation by the speculators. Result == even worse volatility. Hoarding can easily destroy any currency as has been proven over and over again throughout history.


Comment: Re:Well... not really (Score -1, Troll) 94

by m.dillon (#46626859) Attached to: Square Market Now Accepts Bitcoin

And you haven't bought or used bitcoin for anything else since, right?

Fortunately I'm old enough to know just how stupid remarks like yours are. In this unverifiable world of social network postings, anyone can claim anything. It might make for good entertainment, but only a fool actually believes people like you.


Comment: Well... not really (Score 2, Interesting) 94

by m.dillon (#46626805) Attached to: Square Market Now Accepts Bitcoin

"At the other end, the seller receives the amount of the purchased goods or services in the amount of USD advertised to the sellersâ(TM) customer at the time of transaction, and can fulfill their customerâ(TM)s order. In other words, the seller takes no risk on Bitcoin value fluctuation"

In otherwords, all prices are still in US Dollars and neither Square Market nor the seller assume any of the risk. Plus the Bitcoin holder gets to have fun reporting every single last sale's exchange value to the IRS, and has no protection against any fraud that might occur. Which, honestly, doesn't really further the cause.

Bitcoin holders are now learning the hard way that bitcoins are not the magical deflationary stores of value they thought they were.


Comment: Re:Limit order? (Score 1) 246

Ah, you don't understand the scale. Yes, people still do trade like this (manually, that is, though with some computer support for convenience). For very large orders it's still highly effective.

Small orders you can just throw onto an exchange because it's hard to front-run a small order. Large orders... you can't do that without seriously compromising your trade.


The more cordial the buyer's secretary, the greater the odds that the competition already has the order.