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Comment There Are No Sovereign Rights (Score 1) 234

[pirate]The Code is more what you call guidelines, than actual rules...[/pirate] and as goes Pirates of the Caribbean, so goes "international law." There are no sovereign rights. There are only guidelines on what is normally allowed to let slide by interested powers. North Korea is allowed to develop nuclear weapons and ICBMs solely due to the crack they fall through in the current balance of power.

Comment Proxy fight: Parent Is Correct (Score 1) 227

13 year Hawaii resident, lacking mod points, so chiming in to say that tlambert hit the nail on the head. The sovereignty and similar aligned organizations have little political power, other than what they can exercise in the state courts.

I used to argue with sovereignty advocates (via Maui News letters to editor) that if they wanted to make some real headway, they should consider forming a party and contesting elective office like the various Puerto Rican independentistas, rather than expending all of their energies in front of judges.

But, those at the pointy end of the Hawaii movements seem to labor under the delusion that a tribunal in The Hague or D.C. can and will separate Hawaii from the remainder of the Union by the stroke of a pen, so back to court we go...

Comment Re:That guy looks and sounds like a pompous ass (Score 1) 70

Also, he awards bonus points for proofs of hardness. No one has managed to prove hardness for any existing block cipher. Block ciphers are simply ways to jumble the plaintext up in a reversible fashion. They are not based on difficult mathematical problems.

Proving hardness is something you do for asymmetrical ciphers, but asymmetrical ciphers are way too slow to be useful for actual messages.

Comment Re:More interesting is Age Adjusted Funds (Score 1) 71

I know splitting between equity and bonds is a typical allocation strategy, but I really feel like any bond holdings are inappropriate if you're not planning on retiring in the next ten years. The rule of thumb was always ten percent more bonds every ten years closer to retirement, but I feel like that's much too conservative.

I agree, my personal mix is 90 percent S&P 500 index, 5 percent MidCap, 5 percent Bonds. When I'm about 5 years out, I'll convert some more to bond funds, but sadly most of these age adjusted funds have a heavy overweight on bonds, for some reason.

Comment More interesting is Age Adjusted Funds (Score 5, Informative) 71

A lot of American and Canadian retirement accounts are in "age adjusted" funds, which are really just a mix of mutual funds or ETFs of bond funds and stock funds.

If you check, you'll find most large firms have an S&P 500 index from Vanguard or Fidelity (like the VINIX) which has an expense ratio of around 0.02 or 0.04 percent, and a Total Stock Market index with an expense ratio of around 0.05 or 0.07 percent and a Total Bond Market index with an expense ration of around 0.10 or 0.12 percent.

You could replace the "age adjusted" fund that charges you 0.40 to 0.65 percent with an automatic stock fund and bond fund allocation, e.g. 70/30, and then just reallocate periodically. Cost to you drops from 0.40 to 0.05 percent, in many cases.

That's all these "wealth firm robots" really do. You can buy the underlying components and pay less.

It's the fees that kill you. You don't notice them when returns are 12 percent, but when the market is crawling (like today) with 1-2 percent returns, you sure notice the fees that siphon off up to 1/4 of your earnings.

Comment Advancing knowledge (Score 1) 82

I love stuff like this. Finding a scientific explanation for something that sounds like baloney. All the bogus gluten and electricity allergies have made me very skeptical about things like this, but this is fascinating. It sort of rubs me wrong, it doesn't make sense to me that vibration could induce an allergic reaction, but I cannot deny evidence like this.

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