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Comment: Re:Cashless can't happen, here is why ... (Score 5, Insightful) 306

by arth1 (#47446257) Attached to: Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

The ONLY thing required for this to happen is secure communications.

That's like saying "the ONLY thing required is world peace".
What admins and engineers have known for a long time, and which people like Snowden provided evidence for is that secure communication is not a given, and highly unlikely to be an option for the masses.

If the government won't let people have a shadow economy they can't monitor or control, expect physical alternatives to take their place. There's plenty of precedence for turning to valuable metals when the currency cannot be trusted. And there are examples of governments banning both gold and silver trade as a kneejerk reaction, but that just moves the market to something else.

Comment: Re:LEDs (Score 1) 237

by arth1 (#47446001) Attached to: My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...

I'm switching out my lightbulbs - to halogen lights.
I can't stand the visible flickering of LED lights, nor that they don't light in a continuous spectrum. Some colors will show stronger and some less in LED light, which irritates me.
It's like listening to music with an 18-band equalizer, and three random knobs turned all the way up, and the rest down.

Halogen lights don't have that problem, and you can get them in many color temperatures. They're far more efficient than regular incandescent bulbs, while still having the advantages of an unbroken spectrum and little flickering. They're also safer for the environment to dispose of than LEDs.

Comment: Re:Cashless can't happen, here is why ... (Score 1) 306

by Pseudonym (#47445957) Attached to: Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

Never say "never". The kid who occasionally mows my lawn has a smartphone. I can see a day, not too far off, when this is the customary mechanism for doing that kind of payment. As soon as the transaction cost goes down to negligible.

So yes, there may come a time when government-supplied currency tokens are obsolete for almost all transactions. That may not be in my lifetime, although the phasing out of postage stamps may happen in the next couple of decades. Illicit transactions may just move to barter.

Comment: Re:"unwarranted invasion of personal privacy" (Score 1) 155

by Pseudonym (#47445881) Attached to: NSA Says Snowden Emails Exempt From Public Disclosure

Oh, you naïve person, you. Don't you know that your privacy rights aren't violated as long as you never know your personal data was being scraped and stored? It's the disclosure that is the privacy violation.

Besides, the data is only "collected" when someone looks at it. It's basically Schrödinger's database.

Comment: Re:The Existence of a "United States of America" (Score 3, Interesting) 155

by grcumb (#47444923) Attached to: NSA Says Snowden Emails Exempt From Public Disclosure

You are a citizen who cares more about your children's survival than the survival of Freedom and the well being of millions. In other words you aren't merely part of the problem, you are the problem.

You could happily sit in the company of many of history's great men. The too were willing to sacrifice countless lives for some lofty goal.

Is there any benefit too small, in your mind, for my kids to die supporting it?

It's worth noting that most revolutions happen when the only way remaining to provide for and protect one's children is to take up arms or man the barricades.

... And most of them are won by the side most able to protect its children.

Comment: Re:Just an opinion... (Score 2) 89

by grcumb (#47444787) Attached to: Elite Group of Researchers Rule Scientific Publishing

...and a negative one at that.

Could it ever possibly be that these scientists who "dominate" the scientific publishing are actually worthy of such a thing?

Indeed. And besides, compared to the star system in Hollywood, for example, this is downright democratic.

The intellectual penury that comes with serving with a leader in a given field seems to be gladly endured by most young researchers. This story ignores the fact that, although the senior researcher's name may be at the top of the paper, the junior researcher's name is right there below it.

It's a bit like an actor accepting a lesser credit in order to appear in a bigger film.

Comment: Re:Garbage In (Score 1) 229

by arth1 (#47442941) Attached to: Avast Buys 20 Used Phones, Recovers 40,000 Deleted Photos

Out of the 2 Android phones that I have had, zero of them came with Facebook preinstalled. I blame the mobile phone provider.

Your blame is at least partially misplaced. Manufacturers also bundle software, regardless of the carrier. The last two Android phones I had were bought directly from the manufacturer as never-locked phones (not to be confused with unlocked, which means the carrier lock has been removed). Yet there still was plenty of bundled and uninstallable software, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Drive, Hangout and Picasa apps and integration for pretty much everything. I have disabled more than 20 bundled apps.

The manufacturer assumes that everyone uses the big social media sites and want to tell their friends (and their friends) about everything they do, including what music (or audio books) they play, what pictures they take, and where they currently are.

It's good that social exhibitionism became acceptable (thanks to Jennifer Ringley more than anyone), but that it became the norm to the point that it's bundled is something I strongly object to. It's like buying a toilet and finding out that it (unadvertised) comes with wan connected crotch cams that can't be removed, just temporarily disabled.

Comment: Re: Subject bait (Score 1) 309

by arendjr (#47442713) Attached to: A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

You're not taking into consideration that Iron Dome does a trajectory analysis of the rockets and when the rocket is determined to fall safely outside of populated areas (like the vast majority of them do) they don't even attempt to intercept them. So they only have expenses for rockets which actually threaten to hit any cities.

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