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Comment: Re:I hate to imagine it (Score -1) 124

You are missing the point. The reason why this was news was that the baby had disappeared and stopped taking the drugs.
1. Baby has HIV, is given massive amount of drugs.
2. Baby disappears for 18 months, stops taking drugs.
3. Baby reappears after 18 months, we can't find HIV in the baby.
Ergo the early treatment with drugs cured the baby. Or that is what we thought. HIV is very good at hiding in odd parts of the body and popping out when nobody is looking.

Comment: Re:Bitcoin ISN'T Monay (Score 4, Informative) 132

The Constitution does not say this. It states that the Federal Goverment can issue and regulate money but not that it has a moneopoly. In fact, for the majority of US history private money was very common. i.e. Bank notes issued by private banks. It was not until the Civil War that goverment money was common and IIRC not until the early 1900 when private bank notes becaome uncommon.

Comment: Re:More like find reasons to deny coverage (Score 1) 349

by alexander_686 (#47408743) Attached to: Here Comes the Panopticon: Insurance Companies

Well, kind of.

With more accurate information insurance premiums can be set more accurately and this will result in savings. We can debate what portion of the savings will wind up with the insurance company, the corporate employer, or the individual insured.

Even if none of the profits wind up with the insurance company they may not mind. While the profits would be lower there would be lower risks with those profits. Boring stable profits are preferred to violate uncertain profits all things being equal.

Comment: Re:Actually makes good sense (Score 1) 683

Becuase the idea is to knock the low hanging fruit from the tree. Anybody who really wanted to blow up a airplane could. Thankfully it has been mostly half crazy idots who have been trying to do this. Plese note I don't know if I support the policy. I can understand where it is comming from but one has to balance out safty, privicy, and convience. I think the balance has already slid to far to the saty side.

Comment: Re:Nothing unusual (Score 1) 39

by alexander_686 (#47398503) Attached to: Free Wi-Fi Supplier, Gowex, Files For Bankruptcy

No, business are sat down and are interrogated like ordinary people. For some loans they just hit the credit bureau, just like ordinary people. Sometimes they go over the documents with a fine tooth comb, just like ordinary people. And just like ordinary people sometimes business enhance, fudge, or outright lie.

By the way, did they take out any business loans? I did not see any references in the articles to business loans. If it is stockholders money than one should be asking why the shareholders did not sit down and talk to the business like a little child.

Comment: Re:501(c)(3) Classes (Score 1) 228

by alexander_686 (#47362415) Attached to: The New 501(c)(3) and the Future of Open Source In the US

The examples you are giving are not the right ones. For example, a educational institution could be non-profit or for profit. The right examples would be Profit, Non-Profit, and Not-For-Profit.

Without reading the article I am going to guess Not-For Profit which has some internal sense. Not-For-Profits are when people come together to pull their resources. Examples would be Co-ops and Credit Unions. I would think farm co-ops would be semi on point. Famers (for profits) come together to pull their resources together to increase their purchasing power and other shared resources. Kind of like how for profit corporations come together to support a shared resource, Apache.

Comment: Re:One stupid question (Score 1) 88

You are technically correct when the exchange clears its own trades (i.e. has a clearing house) and fully insulates traders from each other and from counterparty risk. Even then the clearing house would bear counterparty and operational risk (the amount of risk depends on how it is being run.). However, this is not true for Over-The-Counter (OTC) trades. Here the people you are exchanging with are risking their own capital and inventory.

And here we may be entering the real of metaphysics. What is an exchange? You are prying apart the exchange into 2 separate entities, the trading floor and the traders. They are two separate legs but without those two separate legs the system would not stand up. The traders are normally partners (in the legal sense) or members. As volatility increases, the cost of holding inventory gets higher, the cost of trading gets higher. If volatility gets too high the trades will leave. The exchange would solvent and would be up and running but what is the point of there is no trading to be done?

Out of curiosity, when you are referring to exchanges, exactly which exchanges are you talking about? I am looking at Coinbase and from the outside I would guess that they would have some inventory of BitCoin.

Comment: Re:One stupid question (Score 1) 88

I am thinking about the exchanges where one can exchange BitCoins for other currency. If one can exchange BitCoins for US Dollars, Euros, etc., somebody has to be willing to be on the other side of those transactions, and spend US Dollars, Euros, etc. to hold an inventory of BitCoins. If we are talking about "wallets", they would not have that exposure.

I will admit that I am extending my deep and technical knowledge of other trading exchanges (commodity, FX, bond, stock) to BitCoin but I can't see any technical way to get around the fact that somebody (exchange, bank, middlemen, speculator) has to hold inventory and that their profits and losses will not just be dictated by not just be the trading fees made but also by the appreciation / deprecation in value of their inventory of BitCoins.

Comment: Re:Unbelievable (Score 1) 88

While there are a few special products that increase in value with risk (such as the VIX Index), the higher the risk the lower the price. Of course one has to separate out the upside risk against the downside risk and those could be very different risks. That is, a dot com stock's risk is asymmetrical – it could go up by 1,000% or go down by 100%. Currency risk tends to be more symmetrical.

Personally, I can't point to any rational reason why increased volatility would increase BitCoins value. Irrational reasons – a.k.a. speculation – the sense of excitement, etc. Maybe.

Comment: Re:One stupid question (Score 2) 88

Except that most exchanges are "long" on bit coins. That is they have a inventory of bit coins. If the market crashes so does the value of inventory. Some volatility encourages trading but they are still interested in the long term health and stability of BitCoins. Wild swings tends to shut the markets down.

Comment: Re:Threats? (Score 1) 273

You want rationality in fear mongering? o.k. – I will try.

Sony feels big. Everybody knows them and almost everybody has bought a Sony product at one time or another.

You want to make it look like it is big bad corporation against the little, helpless, city hall. So you want Uber to look as big as possible. Using market cap, as discussed, is about as distortive as one can get.

But people have a hard time knowing what a 17b dollar company looks like. How big is that? So you find some other company to compare. What other companies are out there that are also about 17b in size? One could use Dollar General or Chipotle, but they don't feel that big. Could Dollar General really take down city hall? One could use Omnicore but who the hell knows about them?

Comment: Re:wait a minute (Score 1) 190

by alexander_686 (#47352027) Attached to: NASA Launching Satellite To Track Carbon

And I can "sigh" right back at you. The earth's temperature has risen slower than climate models suggest but in the artic has risen much faster than expected.

It is probably because climate modelsoverestimated the effect of snow's albedo. Areas that where traditionally covered by snow in spring are not. These areas absorb more heat during spring, are covered by less snow, less heat is reflected back into space, resulting in warmer ground and less snow cover. A positive feedback look that we have seen over the past 10 years.

Climate change is complex and does not lend itself to simple answers.

Comment: Re:Threats? (Score 1) 273

I believe it is a disingenuous statement to mislead. It is technically true. However, there is an important but subtle distention between the value of a company and market capitalization.

Sony is a much larger company. However, from accounting 101, Assets – Liabilities = Equity. If we use assets as a proxy for company size (which is not quite true but good enough for this post), as one increases liabilities, equity gets smaller. Sony has lots of liabilities, so its market capitalization is much smaller than it size.

In addition, market capitalization does not care about the companies' current profitability (which is actually a better term than size) but its future profitability. Sony is a big average company. Because of its size it would need multiple home runs to really change its probability. Uber offers the prospect of large growth and large future profits. It is that tempting hope that makes Uber more valuable than Sony. That being said, maybe Uber is not worth 17b. For some hard numbers, see

http://fivethirtyeight.com/fea...

Comment: Re:wait a minute (Score 1) 190

by alexander_686 (#47351229) Attached to: NASA Launching Satellite To Track Carbon

But would alternative fuels help prevent climate change?

I have seen studies that suggest that planting trees in northern latitudes for biofuels would actually increase global warming. Grasslands covered in snow does a pretty good job of reflecting heat back into space – trees less so. Also, changing the mega flora changes the microorganism in the soil, resulting in a greater emissions of methane – a much strong greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

Pull one string of the web and unintended consequences abound. Normally I am a "faster, faster" type of person but for climate change, due to its complexity and unknowns, I tend to be "more study, more research."

"Morality is one thing. Ratings are everything." - A Network 23 executive on "Max Headroom"

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