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Comment Devices should be de-brickable (Score 1) 135

I've said it again and again, consumer devices should be de-brickable.

Business devices too for that matter.

They should all have a "factory reset jumper" or similar that resets the machine - or at least the non-replaceable parts of the machine - to factory conditions.

I can think of three exceptions to this rule:
* Things that must not be wiped due to legal reasons or fraud-prevention reasons, like a hard drive's in-use-hours, should not be wiped,
* Certain "write once" storage, such a log of reported thefts, should not be wiped, and
* if the consumer explicitly shoulds a different jumper, the ability to do a factory reset is permanently lost, rendering the device "brickable." Some users may want their devices to wipe their secuity keys and brick themselves if they are reported stolen or after too many unsuccessful logins in a row as a way to discourage theft.

On an iPhone, this might mean booting from a "restore" boot loader that would wipe the real boot loader, storage, ram, security, and everything else not "burned in" as "read only" at the factory or which wan't on the "no wipe" list such as a carrier-lock or powered-on-hour then set variables like the clock to sane albeit incorrect factory-default values. It would also preserve things normally "off limits" or "read only" to the bootloader and iOS for legal reasons (such as radio hardware). Then it would restore the regular bootloader and Apple security credentials from ROM and copy a temporary "iOS-restore" mini-operating system from ROM into storage and reboot. On the next boot, the special "iOS restore" OS would tell the user to either plug the USB cable into a PC running iTunes or to connect to the internet using USB, WiFi, or Bluetooth then it would load the real iOS from iTunes or an Apple internet server, then, after verifying the iOS was properly signed, set it so it would boot from the just-downloaded iOS and reboot. Sure, it would take awhile, and yes, all user data would be lost, but at least the phone would be usable.

On a PC with non-soldered RAM and disk or SSD storage, those devices would not need to be wiped as part of the machine's de-bricking routine - if those parts are contributing to the problem, the consumer can replace them.

Comment What is your goal? (Score 2) 269

Is it to trade with people using XYZ-coin? Then use XYZ-coin.

Is it to speculate? Sorry, nobody can predict the future. A few centuries ago Tulips were all the rage, but we all know what happened to them.

Is it market goods and services to XYZ-coin speculators? Then go with XYZ-coin so you can be part of "their community"?

Is it to promote features like anonymity/privacy or free-as-in-freedom that are probably better in XYZ-coin than in traditional currencies? Then pick any one that meets your "base criteria" in these areas: Bitcoin not good enough for a particular metric you are looking for? Then name the specific feature that BitCoin doesn't provide (or doesn't provide well enough for your needs) and ask Slashdot for help finding an XYZcoin that does.

Comment Commercial-grade copiers will always exist (Score 1) 105

Even if (hypothetically) the industry got a lockdown on all TVs and recording devices so the only devices that could display or record video had to obey the industries rules, you would STILL have the "analog hole."

It's technically possible (but not cheap) to make a sensor as big as a TV that has enough resolution to record every TV pixel faster than the pixel is changing.

Add a little computing power to take care of "bleed over" from neighboring pixels and a well-endowed copy-shop could make a full-resolution copy of anything that can be displayed on their TV or monitor.

Once a copy of a high-demand film is made and distributed to more than a few customers, it will leak to the free-as-in-beer (read: no more revenue for the pirates who funded the initial copying) places on the intertubes.

The best way for the industry to deter that level of well-funded piracy is to make everything available for home viewing worldwide at the same time, and in all formats that consumers want at the same time, and at a price that consumers can reasonably afford. Some publishers are already doing this. Doing this will dry up the piracy market for those who can't get titles in the formats they want when they want it.

Yes, there will still be piracy by those too cheap to pay reasonable prices for content, and there will be piracy by those who have copies of stuff just for the sake of having copies of stuff but probably won't ever watch it, but those groups aren't the ones that would be buying the videos on the open market in the first place, so the industry won't be losing much revenue.

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

So, you shouldn't mind giving all of that worthless paper/coins/bank-ledger entries you have to the IRS?

Seriosly though, fiat currencies and coins do have intrinsic value. Well, as much value as and any similar-sized/shaped object make of the same materials. Bank-ledger-entries, not so much.

Pre-1982 copper US pennies have a metal value higher than face value. Ditto pre-1964 silver coins and late-1960s half dollars, and pre-WWII gold coins. I admit I am "cheating" with the gold and silver, as part of their value is because people treat them as "money." Copper on the other hand is values for its intrinsic properties, not as a store of value.

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