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Comment Re:Since all money is fiat, why have taxes at all? (Score 1) 176

People, not person. Plural, not singular. And very, very plural. I do suspect that 7 billion (that's a thousand million) people agree that the specific piece of paper called $$$ has a certain value right now.

Those 7 billion also agree that an ounce of gold has a certain value right now. They could also decide tomorrow that it doesn't. It's just currently more difficult to produce enough gold to do that. Until we find a solid gold megaton asteroid out there and then gold is ISM as well.

Comment Re:Real time? (Score 1) 26

De-icing is a two-fold thing. The first part is to loosen any current ice buildup on the wings before takeoff so that the profile of the wing isn't affected. This is mostly accomplished by the pressure and heat of the de-icing fluid being sprayed about.

The second part is to reduce the formation of new ice buildup on the wing. Planes have waited too long in queues for takeoff and crashed because new ice formed since the last de-icing. The fluids have a sticky nature, like a syrup, that forms a layer of anti-freeze on the wing for a period of time. De-icing fluids are rated by the holdover time of the layer, which ranges from 5 minutes to 80 minutes depending on conditions and fluid type.

The airline industry has learned harsh lessons in the past about icing conditions and even if that dry Colorado powder can blow off when the plane moves, some might melt on contact with the surface of the wing and then freeze again on a different, colder, part of the wing. Be thankful for that rule that forces de-icing, otherwise airlines and pilots might take a chance they shouldn't.

Have a look at the accident reports for Scandinavian Airlines Flight 751, China Eastern Airlines Flight 5210, Air Florida Flight 90, Air Ontario Flight 1363 and USAir Flight 405. Decisions made by pilots, especially when under time constraints, within existing rules at the time can be really dumb sometimes and results in new rules.

Comment Re:Web Split (Score 1) 61

Interesting. Both Seacom and EASSY cable systems have landing stations at Maputo, so your ISPs probably used both of those and you didn't see the effects of the Seacom outage.

Some SA providers also used EASSY as well and showed slowdowns, but not full failures. It's just a pity that EASSY and Seacom haven't instituted mutual restoration agreements with each other, they definitely have the spare capacity on their systems to do that.

Comment Re:Web Split (Score 4, Interesting) 61

South African here, we did notice. Big time. The problem is that unlike Europe and America, the big boys don't have datacentres inside the undersea cable boundary. MS is served from Ireland, others from Amsterdam and France as best we can tell. Also a lot of sites under the South African domain use cheaper hosting off-shore.

There are 4 operational cables linking into South Africa, two on the west side and two on the east and most ISPs get redundancy by purchasing on one on each side. Just happened that a large batch of ISPs had WACS and Seacom as their redundant pair.

And as for the theories about monitoring installations, Seacom has gone down so many times since it was commissioned that every spy agency in the Universe probably has installed equipment on it, all in Egypt. Must look like a Christmas tree there :)

Comment Re:Aaaaand.. (Score 1) 248

I would say the union was toothless going into the strike if enough members were willing to take the extra $1000 znd forego the strike action.

The only way for a union to properly effective is to represent enough of the potential worker base that if the company goes and advertises for temporary workers, that they don't get them in solidarity. That's probably part of the reason why the IBM union failed to gain traction, they only represented existing IBM workers. A national, or even global, tech specialist union would have been more likely to succeed.

Comment Re:Government should enforce more standards (Score 1) 401

Early internet offerings were far from unregulated, even if they thought they were. All business regulations for brick-and-mortar businesses in their operational base location still applied and would be enforced if needed. More generalized regulations did show up later to reduce the confusion about which regulations (seller area, buyer area etc) applied. Not that it helped sort the confusion out though.

Comment Re:Government should enforce more standards (Score 0) 401

Watch me get labeled a SJW for this comment.

You, Mr Amiga3D, are a misogynistic shithead who barely deserves to get oxygen from the atmosphere, let alone a vote. You happily name the major male candidates, whether you like them or not, but somehow feel that the one female candidate with a chance can only be referred to by unacceptable derogatory words. I suggest you go quietly into a dark corner to meditate on what sort of person you are before someone shows you with a punch in the teeth.

Oh, if you happen to be female, the same still applies and you are possibly even more contemptible.

Comment Re:War on Privacy (Score 2) 153

I'm not quite sure where the idea came from, maybe the Brits, but South Africa has a brilliant article in our constitution that a bill dealing with the appropriation of fund or taxation can only deal with that and no other item.

Somewhere we learned that lesson that the US government doesn't want to have to learn.

Comment Re:Who would buy bulbs that took firmware? (Score 1) 110

A bulb is just that, a bulb. A filament heated by application of 120VAC across it. Why is there firmware? This sounds like a Millenial problem.

You're correct. This is for millenials that like to have their lights switching colours and dimming via their phones. For the rest of us, simple, dumb LED bulbs do the job of saving power and lasting long without the need for firmware or controllers.

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