Oh, "The Left" has it's own peculiarities. But the efforts to turn every one of their own inherent properties into an accusation against their opponents is a hallmark of the Religious Right.
Its a subscription-based MMO. $15 a month. In today's market, that is a recipe for fail.
On the other hand, I only play games that I pay for. I don't want anything for free, and most definitely not a game. Every single F2P game gives me a creepy feeling.
And I figure, since I'm not exceptional in any way, there are probably other people like me, who are happy to pay for a game that provides value. In fact, if the game was good enough, and provided enough value, I'd pay even more than the current price-tag for an AAA game.
I'm not much on MMO's or really, multiplayer anything, but by charging for their work, at least Blizzard has placed Wildstar in the category of games that I will consider playing.
Read the whole article. It's quite good.
It's not "youth" that's the problem. It's banality. "The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads. That sucks." - Jeff Hammerbacher, Facebook. Most of the "app" companies are not "tech" companies. They're fad publishers. The technology for doing routine web apps and phone apps is pretty much standardized now.
The engineering that goes into phone hardware is just awe-inspiring. Electronic design today is brutal. You barely get to use any power, the budget for each function is tiny, the size has to be very small, you have to operate multiple radios without interference right next to each other, and there's a new product to get out every six months. Most of that engineering is not done in the US. That's a big concern. The US probably doesn't have the technology to build a cell phone any more.
It's not as bad as the first dot-com boom. This time, there's usually revenue. Income, even. Even Twitter claims to be profitable (although they're not, really. Look at the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles results, not the ones excluding "one-time expenses".)
That was my immediate thought. Any decent system needs to ensure that it isn't running at a loss. To make that happen, they need an accounting system in place.
Rather than a loss, they managed a significant profit. The profit didn't go to the company.
I've seen lots of affiliate systems (sign up for a sight, the referring webmaster gets x%). In the adult industry, it's called shaving. The referring webmaster has a percentage of their sales (I've seen up to 25%), where it isn't recorded that they got the sale. Instead, it is credited to another account. The owner of the system doesn't always know. They see sales come in. They see payments go out. The shaved sales go to one of the developer's accounts (usually to a difficult to trace 3rd party).
If I were the developer, I'd have a friend in another country set up his affiliate account. The "lost" sales get paid out to him. He keeps a percentage, and pays me the rest. It can be very difficult to trace until there is a code audit. The audits don't usually come until the boss knows there's something funny going on. As long as the boss is getting a large profit, they have no reason to audit.
In the rest of the corporate world, it's skimming. Accountants can make it look like the missing funds are going to nondescript costs.
In both skimming and shaving, it becomes obvious when the person doing it gets too greedy. Like, it's difficult to justify that $1M/yr goes to miscellaneous custodian costs. And yes, I've seen exactly that, in a company that only made about $3M/yr profit. Sometimes it goes to consumable costs. It can be tricky to track if they're smart. When they get greedy, smart falls out of the equation.
You need to read up more on economics. Maybe swing by a local college and audit some economics courses.
No, most (all?) of the current in use today is backed by nothing. Well, nothing more than the idea that it's worth something.
I have a $20 bill in my pocket. It's not worth anything. There is a perceived value of it, so I can exchange that piece of paper for goods and services.
If it were backed by anything, there would be an obligation by the issuing party to exchange it for the commodity it was backed by. You can't go to the federal reserve and say "I want to exchange my $20 note for $20 worth of gold". Best case, you'd get a smile, pat on the head, and be sent on your way.
We effectively work with a bartering system. The perceived value of one service or object, for another. You can barter drugs, ammunition, or sex. That doesn't make any of them a currency, even though they'd each be good examples in your description. Actually, I think I like my examples better than the ugly paper in my pocket.
One thing you can always say about the right-wing in America:
It's always about projection.
They have it in their DNA to try to misdirect by blaming others for that which is their most defining property. They think it's some kind of super-secret jujutsu that they can do because some consultant told them to. But it doesn't fool anyone. Look how long they've been trying it.
Smitty makes a big deal about his Christian faith and lives and breathes dishonesty. He thinks that it's OK because he's doing God's work or something. Just look into fhe faces - into the eyes - of the old-line soldiers in the Right to see where this ends up. Go find a photo of Mark Levin and look at the dead, flat eyes. That is not what the grace of God looks like.
Smitty, let go of the corruption before it gets to the point where it will never let go of you.
. You don't need for people not to be able to see to feel private.
No, you need for people to be not seen.
The act of watching, when it is not wanted, is a transgression against the individual. Now, you may say we've moved into a "post-individual" age, where only the collective matters, but I'm pretty sure that's not what people want. There is a basic human dignity that is violated by unwanted surveillance on people who are not suspected of crime. It's why the framers of the US Constitution made a big deal about:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
It was a good idea then, and it's a much better idea now. Because when corporations and governments have the power of ubiquitous surveillance, there is no way NOT for it to be abused. Governments and corporations just don't know any better, because they are not human.
The fact that there are so many people who object to being watched should be enough. No means no. I have a right to be unwatched as much as a woman has a right to travel unmolested. If I don't want to be watched, I have a right not to be watched, when I'm in my own home, or even walking down the street.
What we've learned so far from Bitcoin:
- The distributed, eventually-consistent blockchain anchored by mining works and is quite robust against attack. Nobody has yet successfully attacked the basic Bitcoin system and stolen money. So the low level technology appears to be secure.
- Irrevocable, remote, anonymous transactions are the con man's dream. Especially when they're assocated with a whole community of suckers who think anonymous anarchy is a good idea. The scam level in the Bitcoin world is huge. Over half the exchanges have gone under, and that was before Mt. Gox. Bitcoin-oriented "stocks" and "Ponzis" have an even worse record.
- Personal computers are not secure enough to store money. "Bitcoin wallet stealers" are a major problem. Many "online wallet" services turned out to be scams. Storing Bitcoins safely while still being able to use them is quite hard.
- Volatility is far too high for Bitcoin to be a useful currency. Since last October, Bitcoin has gone from $100/BTC to $1100/BTC to $600/BTC. Daily variation often exceeds 10%. The companies that accept Bitcoin for real products have to reprice every few minutes. Bitcoin behaves like a pink sheet stock. Too many speculators, not enough real customers.
- There are scaling problems. Currently, every user has to have a complete copy of the entire transaction journal back to the first Bitcoin, and has to keep up with all the transactions as they happen. The confirmation process has a 7 transaction per second limit. Confirmations take about half an hour before they can be trusted; longer during busy periods.
- "Mining" is more centralized than expected. The original idea was that "mining" would be a spare-time activity of each user's computer. In practice, "mining" is done in large data centers with custom water-cooled ASIC chips. Two mining pools control more than half of Bitcoin's mining capacity, and they have the power to set fees and change the rules.
How do we know that the next update on linux is safe?
That's a very good question. Linus's position on the Intel random number generator not needing additional enthropy indicates he can no longer be trusted.
Yes, conceptually sound. IN practical terms -- absolute Public Relations marketing material.
The stock market for the most part does not lead to capital investments. Venture Capitalists firms are as often involved in predatory capitalism. Futures contracts don't stabilize prices for farmers, they create profits and scarcity in grains and now in oil.
And it's incorrect to say that Housing defaults caused the crash in 2008 -- banks were over-leveraged so a slight default in highly profitable sub-prime loans created a situation where they owed more than they owned.
If you accept everything at face value the comment makes sense. If I just believed the brochures and the macro / micro economics I took in college --sure, sounds good. Just like that sage serious stuff you see on all the financial shows if you don't pay attention that the hot stock pick is being promoted by someone who gets money on trades.
Stocks and Hedge Funds are activity to generate profits for people who sell stocks and mega institutions who do more trade in a second than you have in your entire lifetime. The algorithms that select buy and sell opportunities are looking at volatility and vectors -- not the value of the company or what it will do with that brand new widget. If you had to start a company by selling shares of stock today, you've got more luck with Kickstarter than you do with a Venture Capital fund -- the benefit of the Stock Market is like saying that Meth has a month of high productivity and then there are a few downsides but we won't go into that. The Stock Market does not promote good companies over bad ones. Good companies can get ahead but it's totally despite whatever goes on with their stock.
The 2008 Market Crash was NOT CAUSE BY REAL ESATE -- any more than a horse running around a track causes people to lose money betting on the ponies. The Sub Prime loans were often "sub prime" because someone was taking advantage of a home-owner with a higher interest rate -- people with good credit have a hard time with that, and people at the margins have a much harder time with that. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, before they were sold the Republican idea of the free market, did a good job getting loans back by not charging a high fee -- the default rates were only slightly higher than the average for the nation.
At the peak of all this "default" it was about 8% -- so what happened? The repeal of Glass/Stegall is what happened. Banks were overleveraged betting on Credit Default Swaps. They were able to use these as deposits because they had "property" somewhere in the title, and then use factoring to act like this was an asset and issue more money to buy more credit default swaps (this is why banks USED TO BE prohibited from speculative investments).
The problem was entirely one of high finance and fiscal discipline with people who got all the benefits and none of the responsibility.
The problem with finance in America is too many yokels go around spouting this "free market / finance BS" -- because they made some money selling people Financial Services. Financial Services may make a lot of money for a few people -- but it does squat to produce anything of value or empower anyone who is actually working for a living.
You start making some sense again when you talk about the velocity of money; "circulation is reduced because people are using the money to pay down debt." The big problem is that the distance between the Fed and the people with Big Pockets is shorter. If you just handed everyone in the country the trillions going to prop up the banks, you would have many more transactions -- and thus, the "velocity of money" would go up. "Velocity" is a medical term so that people can charge you more for saying; "more buying and selling".
Don't feel like I'm just picking you out -- you aren't worse that most people I hear talk about Finance - Hell, almost everyone talking about finance is brainwashed by people in finance.
I'm sure the people who used to sell religious artifacts also had a lot of important information on the value of the virgin Mary's milk.
Hopefully this case will never meet the supreme court. It's either going to happen at the state -- or not at all.
God knows we don't need the mostly fascist SCOTUS to rule that the needs of the status quo outweighs the rights of the many -- again.
I don't think they had Assyrian judges court ordering the non-smashing of clay tablets. The establishment at that time was used to investigating itself. The guards could not read -- only the scribes could read. And in these cases, the accounting was to keep track of what they already owned -- nobody had accounts. If someone thought they were being cheated, they'd just go bash their head in. Investigations were probably not a part of the judicial process until well after the Magna Carta. Now Hammurabi's code was the first known introduction of laws -- but not on due process or "how not to get your head bashed in." Two guys would argue about who did what and another man with really fancy clothes would listen, then someone would get bashed. Case closed.
Throughout most of history, suspicion of a crime was met with head bashing and throwing in a dungeon -- if you were lucky. The Assyrians probably didn't have dungeons so either you were dead, or thrown in a deep pit.
The modern courts will hem and haw and find no malfeasance but they'll give a stern warning to not do anything bad again. We've fallen a long way since the days of Assyrian Head bashing.
Achieving a name recognized by somebody other than you is a somewhat more complex problem, usually requiring a certain amount of give-and-take in terms of "I'll accept your stupid idea if you endure mine" type arrangements.
For all the histrionics about it, Nobody was somehow magically anointed the Super Name Czar by some magically authoritative process. Some organizations have their shit together, and any names in a given domain not endorsed by them are pretty much just private nicknames, some don't; but that's it.