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Bitcoin

Japanese Police Arrest Mount Gox CEO Mark Karpeles 98 98

McGruber writes with the news as carried (paywalled) by the Wall Street Journal that Mark Karpeles, who headed bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, has been arrested by Japanese police: In February 2014, Mount Gox filed for bankruptcy, saying it had lost 750,000 of its customers' bitcoins as well as 100,000 of its own, worth some $500 million at the time. A police spokesman said Mr. Karpelès is suspected of manipulating his own account at the company by making it appear that $1 million was added to it. The BBC reports the arrest as well, and notes that the coins missing from Mt. Gox represent 7% of all Bitcoins in circulation.

Comment Re:quickly to be followed by self-driving cars (Score 1) 874 874

Right, you can't save money on interest if you're not paying it to begin with.

I agree that houses (and cars, these days) are sold on a monthly payment rather than total cost. But if you buy *less* than the most expensive payment you can afford, then you have other money to enjoy. Many people buy the biggest they can afford, though, and then are house-poor.

Comment Re:quickly to be followed by self-driving cars (Score 1) 874 874

Part of the value of a new vehicle is the low maintenance costs, helped by the warranty. My GF has a 7 year-old car, and it's absolutely falling apart. Transmission is dying, suspension is shot, and the AC compressor is frozen. It is, essentially, totaled, in that it would cost more than half the value of the car to fix it.

Also it's easy to find 0% financing, which is better than paying cash, thanks to the time value of money.

Comment Re:quickly to be followed by self-driving cars (Score 1) 874 874

Vehicle non-ownership is only cost effective in urban cores.

Even then, it's questionable. I have some vehicle-ownership-eschewing friends, but they're compensated by their employer, who spends a minimum of $20/day, or $400/mo, just for their commute. You can easily pay for a decent vehicle -- including fuel and maintenance -- for that much, let alone when you factor in the extra $100 to $200 they're paying for personal Uber rides and weekend car rentals so they can actually leave the city.

Self driving cars should make on-demand car renting far cheaper, and make non-ownership a viable option for far more people.

It will only be cheaper if those savings are actually passed along to the consumer rather than gobbled up as profit. I predict that a driverless taxi will be cheap for just long enough to make taxi driving obsolete, and then once that happens, prices will rebound to just below the cost of owning a seldom-used vehicle.

And there are some parts of vehicle ownership that are difficult to reproduce. Instant availability with no wait-time, a somewhat reasonable assurance that you're not sitting in or touching the remnants of someone else's bodily fluids, and a low penalty for forgetting your wallet or phone in your own car. The value of those features is, of course, subjective.

Comment Re:If you think Windows is bad (Score 0) 364 364

From a UX standpoint, Android is a completely different animal from any Linux distro out there. And for that matter, the kernel is modified as well.

I mean, we can have a nice long philosophical "Ship of Theseus" debate, but if it rings like a smartphone...

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 483 483

You make some great points. My problem isn't with the potential downsides of Windows 10, but the lack of upsides.

What do I get out of it that I don't have in 7? A new interface with some random change-for-the-sake-of-change differences? I've upgraded every version of Windows since 3.1, except Me, and maybe I'm turning into a curmudgeon, but I feel like Windows 7 is the "finished" version of Windows. It's done. Make some minor changes as hardware improves, but there's really no need to keep reinventing the wheel.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go make sure there are no kids on my lawn.

Comment Non-issue (Score 2) 122 122

This is a non-issue for several reasons, among them:

1) Covert officers travel under diplomatic cover, and most diplomats have security clearances. This will not stand out.
2) It's already trivial for a nation-state to identify spies under diplomatic cover. We know who theirs are, and they know who ours are. Diplomatic cover is not about cover; it's about *diplomatic immunity*, so if they get pissed at our spies, all they can do is kick them out, and vice versa.
3) Non-official cover employees are harder to detect, but they generally only hide their present employment, not their past employment, and usually have cover stories, not cover identities/jobs. See: Valerie Plame. At best, you can use fingerprints to confirm that they are who they say they are, which they're not lying about anyway, so...

The real danger is blackmail. The employer already knows what infractions are listed on the SF86, of course, but the general public may not. Affairs, drug usage, and to a lesser degree, expunged criminal history, arrest record, financial issues, etc. Just download an SF86 and look it over. Depending on the individual, it could be a scandal that they'd rather avoid, and/or that the employer would rather avoid. e.g., "Why would you hire someone who smoked crack?"

Comment Re:Misleading headline (Score 2) 1175 1175

he was charged to discharging a gun within city limits

No he wasn't.

"Long story short, after that, they took me to jail for wanton endangerment first degree and criminal mischief...because I fired the shotgun into the air."

Hillview Police detective Charles McWhirter of says you can't fire your gun in the city.

"Well, we do have a city ordinance against discharging firearms in the city, but the officer made an arrest for a Kentucky Revised Statute violation," he said. (Emphasis mine.)

These are basically catchalls:

508.060 Wanton endangerment in the first degree.
(1) A person is guilty of wanton endangerment in the first degree when, under
circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, he
wantonly engages in conduct which creates a substantial danger of death or serious
physical injury to another person.
(2) Wanton endangerment in the first degree is a Class D felony.

512.020 Criminal mischief in the first degree.
(1) A person is guilty of criminal mischief in the first degree when, having no right to
do so or any reasonable ground to believe that he has such right, he intentionally or
wantonly defaces, destroys or damages any property causing pecuniary loss of
$1,000 or more.
(2) Criminal mischief in the first degree is a Class D felony.

I suspect he will be able to argue a) that he did not create a substantial danger, and b) that he had a reasonable ground to believe he had a right to destroy the drone. In fact, his testimony stated as much, so I would bet the criminal mischief charge will probably be dropped.

Disobedience: The silver lining to the cloud of servitude. -- Ambrose Bierce

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