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Comment: Re:You think Greeks want MORE electronic money? (Score 1) 358 358

I think his point was that you'd have physical access to it, yknow, to buy physical bread and milk.

What people found out in the Argentinian crisis of 1998 and in the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990's, is that you cannot buy anything you want with gold.
People want things that they can use (or must have), so the economy becomes barter - trade alcohol for cans of food, trade cigarette lighters for condoms, gasoline for alcohol.

I kind of doubt there will be a market for trading a can of soup for bitcoins on a street corner. I can imagine that someone might setup a trading warehouse that dealt with bitcoins, but I can't see that becoming standard practice. Keep in mind bitcoin trading requires computers and electricity.

What is gold good for? Gold is good for preserving your savings through bank failures and/or a currency crisis if you convert your savings before the crisis happens.
But you can do the same thing with Swiss francs or American Dollars, but like gold, only if you can get them before hand.
Banks love gold for themselves for that reason - to protect their own money.

Comment: Re: Interesting eggcorn (Score 2) 112 112

It should be "free rein". It refers to the reins used to direct the travel of a horse similarly to the way "steering wheels" were used to direct the motion of automobiles before Google acquired a majority stake on the US Supreme court and self-driving cars became mandatory.
Anyway, If you were to release your grip on the reins, then the horse may theorectically feel free to travel in any direction. In practice the horse generally returned to the barn after scraping the rider off on the nearest tree.

Comment: Re:Beyond comprehension (Score 1) 126 126

A corporation has no accountability to customers. It is accountable to the shareholders. See "fiduciary duties". A corporation taking maximum advantage of its customers is WORKING AS INTENDED.

A government's duty, the reason it exists, is to serve the people. Yes, corruption and poor performance happens, but they are DEFECTS.

True, regarding an individual customer, but not true for the society as a whole.
Corporations are all accountable to numerous government regulatory agencies
Utilities are largely controlled by state and federal regulatory agencies.
Corporations are answerable to the courts.

Comment: There are no secrets (Score 2) 108 108

Have they forgotten that we had multiple people over the years trying to sell/give away nuclear weapons secrets from the very beginning of the program?
And I bet for every person that would sell nuclear weapons secrets, you could find a thousand that would sell backdoor encryption keys.
How can they possibly imagine that no one could be found to divulge the backdoor for a few million dollars?

For one thing, certain Wall Street firms would have the backdoor keys within days, if not hours.
And if money didn't work, those firms aren't at all afraid to use their ex-FIS/GRU employees to do whatever it takes.

Comment: Re:US rail system (Score 1) 294 294

Nonetheless, I personally don't know any.

That's probably because you don't hang out with rednecks and other uneducated people much.

However, you're probably right about soccer.

I actually don't know what soccer is. I saw someone on FOX talking about it and guessed it didn't sound like something we would do.

Comment: Re:Not news... Use better passwords. (Score 1) 110 110

This is not a story, and not really a Linux problem. The worm relies on weak passwords to execute code. This is about as newsworthy as telling me that car thieves found a way to exploit Fords that have the keys left in them.

This is more like "dealerships hide a spare key under every car, but they don't tell the owner".

Comment: Re: Meh... (Score 1) 247 247

Then give a definition, rather than telling me mine is wrong. 99% of the jackasses who do that would argue with any definition I give, so there's no point in me wasting my time.

I get it, you are the self-appointed guardian of "toilet to tap" and argue with anyone who uses that phrase.

Here's your definition.
"Toilet to tap" programs are those in which the treated sewage is directly used as the input into the water treatment plant.
The phrase "toilet to tap" is pejorative; the intent is to make people opposed to the process of recycling water directly from the sewage treatment plants. The phrase is also used by journalists hoping to attract attention to their article.

Less disparaging terms are those like "recycled water", "water re-use", "water reclamation" and so on.

Some people consider discharging the treated water upstream to the cities water intake to be "toilet to tap", or also the process where the treated water is put into holding ponds that also serve as water intake. Those are called the same terms with the word "indirect" added, such as "indirect recycled water".

No one calls the case of upstream cities sewage (treated or untreated) being dumped into a river that downstream cities use for their water intake to be "toilet to tap". That's just traditional practice, and is called "pollution" in the case of untreated sewage.

Here is a journal article that discusses it in more detail.

Comment: I luuuuuved Win 3.x (Score 4, Funny) 387 387

Speaking as a support person, I loved Window 3.x.
It trained the entire world to expect that their computer to crash often, even daily, and that those crashes could be explained away with "Yep, that happens".
Followed by "You need to reboot more often".
Before MS Windows, I supported mainframes and those customers wanted to know why for every crash, which was rare except for hardware failure, and they expected it to get fixed so that it didn't happen again. Those people are still like that, and they pay plenty for it.

After MS Windows, life was pretty much like this:
"My computer is broken."
      "Is it on fire?"
      "Then reboot. If it still doesn't work I'll send someone to re-install everything" (thinly disguised threat)

Comment: Re: Markets, not people (Score 1) 615 615

In larger and more diverse cultures Socialism has always devolved into some form of communism or fascism with corruption, violence, and death aplenty, typically with extreme poverty for all but the 'connected' and powerful.

That sounds good, but I'm drawing a blank when trying to think of a socialist society that devolved into communism.
I'm also having a hard time recalling the names of any socialist societies that devolved into fascism.

Can you give us some examples of socialist societies that so devolved?