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Comment: Payments good, speculation bad (Score 1) 332

by jason8 (#46036561) Attached to: Marc Andreessen On Why Bitcoin Matters (And A Critique)
I'm in favor of a fast, cheap, reliable payment system, and that aspect of bitcoin is certainly appealing. But I'm totally against the speculative aspect of bitcoin (which is what I believe 99% of its proponents are *really* interested in). 80% of bitcoins are held by 1% of wallets, and the holders of these wallets are dearly hoping that the general public will buy into the idea of bitcoin with "real" money. Sorry, it ain't gonna be my real money.

Comment: Re:Have any one of you worked there? (Score 1) 139

by jason8 (#44576161) Attached to: Cisco Slashes 4,000 Jobs

In my experience this is fairly typical of large corporations. They DO have a lot of dead wood, mostly in the form of bloated middle management. But unsurprisingly, those are NOT the people they fire during layoffs.

That's probably true, but I was interested to read this quote from the Cisco CEO in the nytimes article about the layoffs:

"We've got to take out middle-level management," he said. "What I'm really after is not speed of decisions but speed of implementation."

Comment: Who thinks life began on Earth? (Score 1) 169

by jason8 (#43149885) Attached to: Evidence For Comet-Borne Microfossils Supports Panspermia
Perhaps I'm not being anthropocentric enough, but does anyone really think that life began on Earth? Perhaps there's no evidence yet to prove otherwise, but just on an intellectual level, it seems roughly similar to claiming that the universe revolves around us, or to expecting that alien life forms will be carbon-based, with arms and legs, symmetrical bodies, a tendency to post as anonymous cowards, etc...

Comment: Re:Depends, how much money you got? (Score 1) 181

by jason8 (#40824953) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are The Days of Homebrew Gaming Over?

My understanding of "homebrew" is that it's really a code word for cracking the platform, i.e. providing a way for users to play games on the console without owning a physical copy of the game. So in that light I can understand why Sony/Nintendo/Microsoft would be trying to make it go away.

I'm sure that people in the homebrew community would disagree with this, but for every enthusiast, there are probably 100 or 1000 people who would like to build a huge library of free games, enabled by a hack developed by one of the enthusiasts. And this would easily explain the interest in closed platforms.

Comment: Re:Wrong (Score 1) 471

by jason8 (#37839698) Attached to: 10 Years of Windows XP

XP itself never crashed(BSOD'd) unless you had serious hardware (or later, malware when it became sufficiently virulent) problems.

I distinctly remember an occasion about 5 years ago when I logged in to my office PC (running XP) from home, I believe using Citrix. That was in the morning, to get something done early. I did my stuff, then closed the Citrix session and headed in to the office -- but that didn't terminate the session, it just paused it. At my desk, for some reason I opened that Citrix session again, this time from my desktop PC itself. For about a second I saw a "two mirrors facing each other" type of thing, as it tried to show my desktop in a window on my desktop, and another one inside of that one, etc. Then XP blue-screened. It didn't seem like a hardware thing, and that's about the only blue-screen I can remember.

Still running XP at work, but now it's the 64-bit edition...

Comment: Re:It won't matter (Score 3, Interesting) 461

by jason8 (#37746344) Attached to: Amazon Bypassing Publishers By Signing Authors Directly

I think it's amusing that Penguin is involved here (although it may as well be any publisher for this particular story).

When Penguin was founded in the 1930s, they were probably as much of a disruptive force as Amazon is now. Paperbacks were pretty much unheard of. At the time new books -- which meant cloth-bound books -- generally cost about 6 shillings, or say about 20-30 pounds in today's UK money, or 40-60 US$. The first Pengins were sold for 6 pence, or 2-3 pounds, or 4-6 US$. All the original Penguins were reprints, i.e. not new original works but titles licensed from other publishers. The public reaction was positive. The publishing community started with an attitude of amused skepticism, and soon evolved to something like fear, as they watched Penguin cannibalize their sales.

These days Penguin is still around, having outlived and/or absorbed most of the old British publishing companies. It's interesting to think that they might be confronting an upheaval in the industry similar to the one they caused themselves 80 years ago.

Comment: Great. Web preview will suck faster now. (Score 0) 120

by jason8 (#34483478) Attached to: Google Quietly Posts Big JavaScript Engine Update
Ever since google decided to make their web search results unusable with the "Web Preview" crap (which pops up a huge, useless, floating window when you click on the text of any search result, and which is non-opt-out-able), they've made themselves an enemy of me. Or me of them. Whatever. I know it can be disabled via greasemonkey or noscript, but fuck it -- I'll just use other web searches, email, RSS readers, etc.

+ - Madoff's programmers indicted->

Submitted by jason8
jason8 (917879) writes "Two programmers who helped Ponzi-schemer (and now prison punching bag) Bernard Madoff program an old computer to produce false records have been indicted, according to the Post. Jerome O'Hara and George Perez were accused of conspiracy, falsifying records of a broker dealer and falsifying records of an investment adviser. They are each free on $1 million bail, and their lawyers say they will both plead not guilty."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Aww, checks! (Score 1) 494

by jason8 (#31498872) Attached to: Deposit Checks To Your Bank By Taking a Photo

"That will be $1.99, sir."

"One dollar and ninety-nine cents," I say, taking my delicious time. I pause, look at the cashier, pause again, and then break into a slow grin. "One full dollar, plus ninety-nine one-hundredths of a dollar..."

I then reach into my breast pocket and leisurely extract my slim, calf-bound check book, artfully raising an eyebrow as I do so. Extracting it approximately 50%, so that the cashier gets a glimpse of it, I ask, "Do you take... checks?"

"Of course, sir."

A satisfied, elegant, slightly ironic smile breaks over my face as I fully extract the check book and lay it on the counter. I cast my eyes about for a pen. The cashier offers a battered blue Bic. I visually inspect it and decline with a wry and rueful grin. My left hand rises slowly and deliberately to my other breast pocket, and eventually emerges holding a dark and slender pen. A fountain pen, its barrel chased with gold and etched with mysterious swirls.

And although at this point the store closed for the night and I had to leave without completing my transaction, I think you'll get some taste of the elegance of paying for a purchase with a check.

The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side. -- James Baldwin