Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
Back for a limited time - Get 15% off sitewide on Slashdot Deals with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" (some exclusions apply)". ×

Comment Re:Herein lies the problem.... (Score 1) 184

Why wouldn't you just keeping using the old panels? They won't get any less useful. They'll still put out very nearly the same power level 25 years from now. No one leases a car for that long because you don't expect your car to still be in good working order that far in the future, and you'll want the newer improved safety features, better engine, better gas mileage, etc. But with the panels... it's just watts. So your neighbor's newer installation has 8 panels instead of 10 for the same power level or something. Who cares? It doesn't take space you're actually using, you're still getting the number of watts you purchased.

Comment Re:Herein lies the problem.... (Score 1) 184

What were you hoping for? If you buy out right, you can buy new stuff later. Besides, it's not like your cell phone where they go out of style; a 1kW system will still be a 1kW system. Improvements just mean the prices go down, not that your neighbors will laugh at your outdated panels.

Comment Certificate revocation and time-release encryption (Score 2) 69

First option not on the list: revoking self-signed SSL certificates. Normally, it's hard to revoke a self-signed cert, because a potential attacker can just fail to send the user the revocation. But put the revocation on the blockchain, and timestamp the original cert, and it all gets a lot better.

Second: Time-release encryption. You can build a public key such that the private key can be computed from any future set of blockchain hashes. PDF paper. That makes it actually time-release, instead of a lot of schemes that release in response to a certain amount of work being done.

Comment Re:/.er bitcoin comments are the best! (Score 5, Insightful) 253

They've hardly missed the boat. If Bitcoin really disrupts things in Argentina, then that means Argentinians holding Bitcoins instead of holding pesos or dollars. That would imply they hold a number of Bitcoins worth some vaguely similar amount to what their current cash holdings are worth. Given that there are about $50B USD worth of pesos, and only $3B USD worth of Bitcoins, then either the price goes up a bunch or Bitcoin isn't actually being all that disruptive.

Comment Re:Why is bitcoin popular again? (Score 5, Insightful) 254

Fortunately, bitcoin allows multi-signature escrow. That permits the escrow service to decide who gets the bitcoins (buyer or seller), but doesn't let them run off with them. It's not perfect, as it can't prevent collusion between escrow agent and either party against the other party, but it does prevent the simpler forms of "just run off with the money". Why it isn't in more widespread use yet, I have no idea.

Comment Re:Really?!? (Score 1) 1448

By a quirk of history, this particular culture won and imposed it customs on everyone else.

There's a societal down-side to polygamy, one that needs STRONG cultural overrides to prevent. If (presumably) richer men are allowed multiple wives, that means that there are fewer wives for the rest of the men. You then end up with an excess of unmarried, non-parental young adult men, and being married and a parent is usually a calming influence. These single men are usually the first in the streets if things take even a tiny down-turn. We still see this in Arabic countries which allow polygamy, as well as countries where there's an imbalance of men and women, such as China and India (one-child policies as well as gender-based abortions responsible.

This is an obvious problem in societies that also have the problem of being strongly patriarchal and/or misogynistic. (The obvious examples you site have these issues.) In cases where women are equally allowed and able to engage in such relationships, there is no a priori reason to suspect such a problem.

The only evidence I know of that is directly relevant to modern times and from a sexually equal setting is highly anecdotal. I've looked a little for better without luck. But, what I've seen and heard from the polyamory community is that this is most likely a non-issue, and that if it isn't, you probably have your genders reversed. Basically, I've seen weak anecdotal evidence that in some circles, the women tend to participate in more relationships than the men do. I haven't seen any evidence (weak or otherwise) of the reverse effect. And, of course, this report should be taken with a large grain of salt, as it's based on fairly strongly selection-biased sources. However, I think it's strong enough to call your fears into question.

For reference, I (male, straight) in a happily polyamorous relationship. My partner (female) has a paramour (also male, also straight). The three of us get along well, and none of us are actively dating anyone else.

Comment Re:This explains it! (Score 1) 356

You can distill helium out of the air. There's some left. The cost would be around 10x the cost of neon, though. And if you have to ask what neon costs...

Actually, people do distill some helium out of the air. It comes out with the neon as "noncondensing gases" in the column. Those gases get sold to some buyers of neon, who don't mind some extra helium in the gas. Neon signs aren't too picky, iirc.

Intel CPUs are not defective, they just act that way. -- Henry Spencer