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Comment: Re:Reminds me of one thing (Score 1) 724

by IamTheRealMike (#49352757) Attached to: Germanwings Plane Crash Was No Accident

Because then everyone dies when the computer fails. Autopilots regularly fail and expect the pilot to take over

I think this depends on your definition of "fail". As far as I know true computer failures where the machine just goes crazy and tries to crash the plane are non-existent. What happens more regularly is the autopilot sees that something weird is happening and chooses to disengage itself - presumably an autopilot program could be written that never disengages and always does the best it can to fly the plane, unless deliberately disengaged.

This is particularly problematic when sensors fail, as they did in AF447, and the computer doesn't know what's going on any more.

No, this is irrelevant. If the planes sensors completely fail then the pilot doesn't know what's going on either, and the plane is probably doomed no matter what. In normal operation these planes are flying in a very small speed corridor between disintegration and stalling. If you don't know how fast your going a stall or overspeed is pretty much inevitable, and if you don't know how high you are even basic visibility problems can cause a crash into the surface. Neither human nor computer can succeed in such a situation.

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Journal: Does #OccupyResoluteDesk Read Slashdot? 7

Journal by smitty_one_each

He reminded Republicans that some of the ideas behind the Affordable Care Act--most notably its individual mandate to buy coverage--were once supported by some conservatives, although its Medicaid expansion and some other big parts of the law stem more from liberal thought.
"The Affordable Care Act pretty much was their plan before I adopted it," he said.

Comment: Bitcoin's use (Score 1, Redundant) 42

by DrYak (#49343263) Attached to: UK Setting Itself Up To Be More Friendly To Bitcoin Startups

I'm still struggling to see what the benefit for me would be? I have little need for making anonymous payments,

Anonymity isn't what crypto currencies provide. In fact, far from the opposite: Their whole structure is based on publicly broadcasting every transaction, that then everyone in the network store in its local copy of the common ledger (= into the blockchain). At best your can call it "pseudonymous" (wallets are identified by a base32 hash. it's not obvious at first look which real person is behind a wallet, just like the username on a forum doesn't immediately looks tied to an identity).

The main argument for bitcoin is decentralisation: because everyone has a copy of the blockchain, every one can verify that a transaction is legit and did indeed happen. There is no need for a central authority. Things are kept in balance by the whole network, no single entity can take control. (Unless they control 51% of all mining hash power).

Another peculiarity which stems from the above is that you aren't bound to any specific company. As long as both ends of a transaction support the bitcoin protocole, they can do whatever transaction suits them.
(you could be using a web-based coin payment processor like coinbase, i could be using a wallet running locally on my machine like's own, and we can still exchange BTCs)

international transfers are reasonably fast, cheap and convenient these days. {...} for local purchases iDeal (the Dutch banks' online payment solution) is better,

Well, we are both in Europe, so thanks to SEPA we already have reasonably fast and cheap transfers, that can work between any participating banks (I don't need to be at the same bank as you, or even in the same country. Because your dutch and my swiss bank are both participating in SEPA, we can send each other funds).

But that's not the case everywhere else.

Also, even if they are relatively fast, they still take between 24 and 72 inside the same country, and a few days up to a week for international payment. That makes it still usable for ordering goods around, for example.

One of the small advantage of bitcoin protocol is that it works much faster: between a few minutes up to half an hour at worst. Between any end-point wherever on the world as long as both support the protocol. That makes it usable for buying services.
It gives the easy and quick possibilities of cash transaction (here's your 5EUR note).
- but without the limitation of needing physical present (I can't send a 5EUR note over e-mail)
- and without relying necessarily on a third party or the same 3rd party.

One benefit is not having to give online merchants my full credit card details {...} and for international orders I can almost always use PayPal for that.

Yet still, these are form of payment where there is one single company in charge or supervising everything (most credit cards issued by banks will rely on the VISA or MasterCard companies). When paying an online merchant through a credit card, you need to have a credit card at the same company (e.g.: MasterCard) and that company is going to charge you both for the transaction.
Also, the company can decide to stop receiving payments (see Visa and MasterCard deciding to stop processing donations to WikiLeaks).

Same with PayPal: a single company, requires that both ends of the transaction use paypal.
Is known for making troubles and locking account on a very regular base.
And very often, you need to give your credit cards info to paypal anyway, in order to be able to add funds to your paypal account.

One of the reason bitcoin gained some traction, is to work around the blocking of funds by Paypal and credit card companies.

That's not the case, neither with SEPA as you mentioned in Europe, nor with bitcoins.
I could by exchanging my BTCs with CHFs face-to-face by meeting people (like localbitcoins) and sending them using a wallet running on my laptop. You could be storing them on your wallet of a big exchange platform (like BTC-e) and convert them back to euros there. Or one of us could be using a payment processor like coinbase, or whatever.

Beats mucking around with out of date block chains and/or crooked exchanges (though some people would put Paypal in that category).

Well atleast, unlike paypal, you can choose your poison.

The trouble with being punctual is that people think you have nothing more important to do.