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Comment: Re:We don't all live in the USA. (Score 1) 140

by swb (#48912883) Attached to: Davos 2015: Less Innovation, More Regulation, More Unrest. Run Away!

I think the problem is you can't pack up a whole economy and move it.

If your wealth is dependent on the US domestic economy and it tanks because of civil unrest, a lot of wealthy people will be unwealthy before they can even reconsider relocating.

There's also the question of "what is money?" and are you really rich still if you have to convert your money to another currency with a different local buying power, especially if your native currency dives or is sinking when you try to convert it.

There's also the question of competition for safe overseas havens; if the availability is limited, you're now competing with just the rich, so unless you're elite rich, you may lose out altogether.

And what kind of haven are you expecting? A self-sustaining kind of pre-20th century British estate of farms and light industry? At the end of the day it sounds like a mash-up of a Ralph Lauren ad with survivalism.

Comment: Re:There's a whole industry based around Elite Pan (Score 1) 140

by swb (#48912841) Attached to: Davos 2015: Less Innovation, More Regulation, More Unrest. Run Away!

I seem to remember reading something about the risks of the low profile merely wealthy, people who aren't famous or especially politically connected and whose wealth is never-work-again kinds of money but not Glided Age, family dynasty wealth and isn't tied to control of a specific corporation or revenue-generating entity.

Apparently they are targeted at many levels because they have limited options for their liquid assets. They're at risk from being ripped off by their investments, at risk from embezzlement, targeting by the IRS for tax problems, even possibly targeted by crooked cops and politicians.

When I'm fantasizing about winning the hundreds of millions lottery, I sometimes wonder how someone like me with little understanding of "real" money would structure the money so that it would be harder to get ripped off. Like hiring multiple investment advisors for chunks of money, hiring auditors to check up on the investment advisors and various lawyers kept independent from each other, all of it designed to be a series of checks and balances.

After a while, I can see where the paranoia comes from. It's kind of like being a dictator who has several security services he uses to spy on the others, hoping that it breeds enough insecurity to keep them all more or less honest.

Comment: Re:Crash safety testing not applicable. (Score 1) 122

Ya, but golf carts aren't so hot driving across town. I'd think it would be a rather limited market that would want to pay over $8,000 for a golf cart that you can't carry golf clubs in. Generally, I'd assume Slashdot readers don't fall into that niche. $8K on a gaming machine, maybe. $8K to leave your house? No way. :)

Comment: I wonder if they're still updated (Score 1) 245

by swb (#48908635) Attached to: Plan C: The Cold War Plan Which Would Have Brought the US Under Martial Law

I wonder if any of these plans are still being updated, even if it's only by some guy in a basement office someplace.

Obviously China is still of interest, but most of them are extremely unlikely, although you wonder if there are times where it gets thought about. France after the attempt on De Gaulle or the possibility of a left-wing revolution in 1968, maybe even about Marine LePen. Mexico might warrant some kind of what-ifs around a failed state status. Germany and Japan are occupied by US forces now, but maybe there's some political theorizing about a populist/nativist Japanese party gaining power. Germany seems like the worst candidate, with the only situations I can imagine revolving around a collapse of the Euro and some kind of German administration of European economies, which seems unlikely.

Comment: Re:That's a lot of lifetimes (Score 1) 54

by swb (#48908195) Attached to: "Once In a Lifetime" Asteroid Sighting Monday Night

Yes you can see shooting stars nearly every night but this flyby is maybe worth missing a little sleep if you have the gear and diligence to be able to see it.

Call me a cynic, but if you can't see it with the naked eye, is it really that interesting?

I'm sure it's maybe a big deal for people with telescopes and greater than average interest in astronomy, but for people not in that category it seems like it would just be one more flash of light through a telescope.

Comment: Re:Crash safety testing not applicable. (Score 1) 122

From their site, they intend to make all the essential parts for crash safety out of printed plastic.

Everything on the car that could be integrated into a single material piece has been printed. This includes the chassis/frame, exterior body, and some interior features. The mechanical components of the vehicle, like battery, motors, wiring, and suspension, are sourced from Renaultâ(TM)s Twizy, an electric powered city car.

Also on their site has the specs.

Motor - 5 bhp or 17 bhp, 42 lb-ft torque*

Top Speed - approx. 50mph*

The "*" indicating there should be a footnote explaining it, is missing.

Actually, their donor car (Renault Twizy) isn't even classified as a car. It's a quadcycle, and is not currently legal for road operation in the United States. From what I found elsewhere, Renault isn't even planning to make it available in the US, since it doesn't meet the road requirements here.

Comment: Re:Really? (Score 3, Interesting) 92

by Svartalf (#48899205) Attached to: Why We Still Can't Really Put Anything In the Public Domain

Considering that RMS didn't dream these licenses up, but rather Eben Moglen, you might want to contemplate who knows more about this... The law professor that actually teaches on this subject or someone claiming that there is a right of revocation in there that's effectively free of Promissory Estoppel and the like on the subject. Just because there's a law on one side doesn't mean other laws don't cause OTHER, equally bad problems on the subject and effectively preclude the hypothesized notion out of box.

Comment: Re:Perhaps ... (Score 1) 92

by Svartalf (#48899037) Attached to: Why We Still Can't Really Put Anything In the Public Domain

No, if you're doing your legal documents right, it does place it into the Public Domain as intended. How? Promissory Estoppel prevents such an act from even being ran up the flagpole on an infringement suit. If you actually DID this, just because you can revoke assignments, etc. doesn't give you carte-blanche to actually DO it the way they're describing there.

Without covenants in place as part of the agreement, yeah. There's a problem. With them, this is really nothing more than the nattering of someone trying to make a vastly bigger deal of things than is really there.

Comment: Heh... (Score 5, Interesting) 92

by Svartalf (#48899013) Attached to: Why We Still Can't Really Put Anything In the Public Domain


You can't make promises or covenants of this nature with the intent of even remotely considering to revoke them. Your successors are also bound to them. Typically someone will bring up Promissory Estoppel and then raise Bad Faith- and then move to dismiss the case you brought against them...and most typically get it.

Comment: Re:Nope (Score 1) 325

by swb (#48897649) Attached to: UHD Spec Stomps on Current Blu-ray Spec, But Will Consumers Notice?

Maybe if the rights weren't such a cluster fuck, we would have offline Netflix where the movie could be stored locally for offline viewing.

Unfortunately the rights holders and the wireless internet providers seem to be in some kind of Mexican standoff over who is the greediest asshole.

If LTE data was 10x cheaper (ie, my 10G plan was 100G), it would solve most of the stream only issues. There would still be some corner cases like long aircraft trips or weird rural areas.

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the demigodic party. -- Dennis Ritchie