Please excuse the formatting above. I really, really, hate that slashdot can't seem to handle lists anymore.
Google lives in a fantasy world, where the WAN is as fast as the LAN. For me, both at home and in the workplace, you're talking about two and a half orders of magnitude difference. That's the whole reason all this cloud stuff, streaming (as opposed to download) video, etc all seems so bizarrely alien. You're talking about such a tremendous performance downgrade, that I just can't begin to really take it seriously.
I suppose the thinking is that they are planning for the future, when some day the WAN gets reasonably fast, where my home and business DSL line is replaced with fiber. Cool. Be ready, Google. But how are you going to spend those decades of waiting? Some cons are a little too long, IMHO.
Some thoughts on this:
- It my be fantasy for you and I, but Google actually lives in this world. When you can dabble in setting up gigabit city-wide networks as a freaking "experiment" it's reasonable to assume that bandwidth for remote connectivity isn't really an issue for you.
- 100kbit is more than enough to buy you a reasonably quick remote desktop session. If all your real work is being done in the datacenter across multiple redundant 10gbit links, then who the hell cares what the WAN connectivity is, as long as it's enough to get the session to the user?
Put a medium-sized antenna mast in every neighborhood with a few hundred highly-directional antennae pointing a clusters of 4-16 houses and put highly-directional rooftop antennae on each roof, and you can re-use the spectrum many times over.
Serve these neighborhood antennae with fibre if you can or highly-directional wireless if you can't.
The issues under this system will be that it's a whole new infrastructure including antenna sites, you will need to pick radio frequencies that are largely unaffected by weather and which don't compete with existing frequencies, etc. etc.
But assuming a weather-resistant block of frequencies that can feed lots of bandwidth to dozens of users at once is available, you won't have a frequency-allocation problem.
Another solution, one that may be more practical, is to just chuck the whole wire-to-the-home infrastructure and beef up the cell phone system so everyone can feed their home internet via cellular. Heck, in areas where the cellular network is already robust customers can simply "vote with their feet" now and cancel their land-line service entirely. You guys do have "number portability," don't you? If not, you should. It's nice.
I will stand by that sweeping statement until you can give me 1, and it only needs to be 1, large publicly funded project that was delivered under budget in the last 20 years.
How big is large? I live in an area that has seen several local and regional projects (regional = serving a mostly-urban/suburban population of 5-15 million people - bigger than some countries) in the $0.1-2.0b range that came in under-budget and before-deadline, and that's just in the last 3-4 years.
There's a thing about high-profile publicly-funded projects: They tend to attract people who want to be in charge, which leads to costs related to fighting over how things will or won't be done and costs associated with the "losing" side either sabotaging the effort or just "auditing it to death" in hopes of finding some reason to either kill it or to make the proponents look bad so they (the proponents) will be politically weaker when the next high-profile project comes around. Since high-dollar non-black-budget projects tend to be high-profile, well, you get the picture.
Thanks for this. Now I understand why I can't just assume Oz's urban and suburban infrastructure or lack of it is comparable to that of where I live.
1) Even in ancient times, coins generally contained less metal value than their stated sovereign-imposed value. Unless I've been misinformed, during certain times in the Roman Empire, the metal value was less than half of the stated value, making this the 1950s-equivalent of a paper dollar bill with a silver quarter taped to it.
2) Unlike some other rare metals, gold has the property of being easily identifiable by its color and softness.
3) Shiny, malleable, low-melting-point items can be turned into things of beauty like jewelry, which gives them a non-monetary value to any society that shares our sense of aesthetics and which has developed the ability to melt and shape metals. This and other uses provide the "intrinsic" portion of the metal's value. Any value above this is a result of people's faith that people in the future will buy the metal back at today's prices and is therefore non-intrinsic and subject to fluctuation based on human-emotional and other factors not related to the metal's intrinsic value.
4) some of the disadvantages of modern money that you mention I see as advantages. For example, if I don't have to keep my money on my person or stored on my property, that makes me less of a target for what used to be called bandits.
The last line should read "stable" rather than "parity."
Other examples of things that were once in demand in the USA but now are not, or at least not as much:
* Anything supporting the Whaling industry that isn't used elsewhere
* Raw paper for newspapers
* Typewriters and carbon paper
* leaded gasoline
* ivory, other than "old" (legal) ivory
* silk clothing
And the list goes on.
There are also many things that have gotten less valuable over time in inflation-adjusted dollars even though demand has remained high or increased, either because the cost of providing the good or service has gone down or because alternatives exist that put an ever-lowering ceiling on the prices people are willing to pay.
Examples for the United States include:
* Most "silicon-based" technologies and the services they provide (e.g. telecommunications costs)
* Food staples (commodity prices have slowly fallen over the last 80+ years)
* Out-of-season foods (including non-staple foods)
* Non-local transportation
and the list goes on.
As to which one(s) of these, if any, will prove to be the closes match for Bitcoin's future value trajectory, I have no clue. But I agree with you, it's probably not tulips.
Who knows, BC's long-term trend against the dollar might even be parity or positive.
There is a completely different use for alt-coins besides as an alternative currency: As the equivalent digital paper money of an existing currency or an existing commodity?
The nice thing about paper currency is that it is relatively anonymous. Sure, theoretically the serial numbers can be tracked and fingerprints can be scanned but that's impractical and wouldn't cover every transaction anyways.
Imagine a bitcoin-like setup where all of the coins were "pre-mined" by a sponsoring country, bank, or other entity and that entity backed all of the "coins" by something that already exists, such as United States Dollars, Euros, or even grams of gold.
As long as the sponsoring country is stable enough that people have faith in it to protect the actual items that back it and to buy back or redeem the virtual coins on demand, you now have a functioning electronic way of conducting business in US dollars, Euros, gold, or whatever with the limited-anonymity advantages of bitcoin.
In the case of gold, it would be equivalent to how gold certificates or gold coins used to work way back in the day.
By the way, if you think this can't work, a non-virtual equivalent of this is in use in many communities in the United States: "Local currency." In many communities, banks and business get together and agree to print and accept "local money" that is backed 1-for-1 by real United States dollars. This is usually done to promote spending money locally but sometimes as a novelty for tourists.
The "problem" with both of those routes [a currency-exchange-trade model or a commodities-futures-exchange model] is that there is heavy auditing on every stage of every transaction, so the anonymity aspect of Bitcoin goes right out of the window.
This would only apply at the "big-money" level. "Retail" users would continue to use retail-oriented exchanges like we have today or perhaps some other model, such as direct bartering such as you might find over Craigslist. Government regulations would ensure that in countries like the United States, any legal trade over a certain US-dollar-equivalent amount was not anonymous.
Here's how I see it:
If a local or online (but US-based) merchant is willing to sell dollars for bitcoins 10 years from now, you'll be able to buy small amounts without any government-mandated paperwork, but if you want to buy large amounts either all at once or over time in a way that should arouse suspicion that but for the government rules you would have done it all at once (i.e. "willful blindness" on the part of the money-exchange business won't protect them from government penalties), you'll need to prove your identity.
That leaves out the dominant form of advertising: payola. Major labels spend a lot of the band's money to get songs on the radio, whether it's laundered through "independent promoters" or just cutting checks to Clear Channel. Then there's TV/Movies: the major labels are all affiliated with TV/movie studios, so the songs played on every teen-centric show are pretty strategically chosen.
FTFY. Label contracts pass the cost of basically everything on to the artist, so other than providing an advance and access to some slimy contacts, the label isn't really doing much for the artist (and in the end, the label owns the copyright on what the artist paid for... it's like a reverse work for hire).
then anything that can be used to pay tax will have intrinsic value, including funny paper issued by the government.
To quote Granny from a pre-1965 TV episode of The Beverly Hillbillies when she went to the bank and tried to make a large withdrawal and the bank tried to pay her in paper money:
I heard recently on NPR or BBC radio that the number was closer to 10-13% that was used in manufacturing and other non-jewelry/non-bullion uses, but I could be wrong. Whatever it is, it's well over 80% split between bullion-or-other-pure-store-of-value uses and jewelry/art/aesthetic uses.
the sheriff of Nottingham is going to come after you for some US dollars.
Now why would some English Sheriff want US Dollars? What's wrong with British money???
delta between the assigned value and the value in utility is usually pretty noticeable.
I think you just created a new definition for the term "delta-v"