The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the ranking of UK universities. The REF replaces the older Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), which happened every four years. The last RAE was 4 years ago, and the current REF is just finishing. Established academics have to submit 4 research outputs since the last RAE / REF. These are usually papers, but can be other things (systems you've built and so on).
The REF is a really big deal in UK universities, because it directly impacts the availability of research grants. The CVs of individual researchers are taken into account, but the REF / RAE score of the department is the biggest factor. If you have 4 papers in top-tier publications (conferences or journals, depending on your field), then it's very easy to get hired in the run up to the REF, because a lot of second tier universities are looking to find people who will bump them up the rankings.
Conversely, if you don't have the 4 publications (or other impressive things), then it's very hard to get a tenured position, but if you're not averaging one good paper a year then there's probably something wrong with you as a researcher: part of the point of publicly funded research is that the results are communicated to the public, and if you're not doing this then you're not keeping up your end of the deal.
Hi. I'm Adrian. I work on wireless. It won't do what you say it will do. Don't cheap out on infrastructure.
Go get Windows 3.1 and Works. Stick it in a vmware VM. Cry at how fast the VM is.
int class = 42;
There are numerous other examples. The interesting behaviour of sizeof() when you have a class and a variable of the same name is one of my favourites.
On the other hand, crowdfunding things like kickstarter make patronage a lot easier. You don't need to be able to afford to hire an orchestra to play, you just need to find enough other people who are willing to do so. There was an article a few months ago about an effort to do this and produce high-quality public domain recordings of a large set of classical pieces.
We're in a world now where a band can produce an okay recording of a few songs in their living room, distribute it for free, and ask for funding for doing a studio recording of the whole album. They can then distribute the album for free and ask for funding for the next one (and bookings for gigs and so on). They're free to set the threshold cost for the next album to whatever they want, and if they have enough fans that think it's worth chipping in for, then it gets made and they get paid.
VMS managed to get the idea of the platform ABI specifying procedure call conventions right very early on. It had quite an easy job though. C, BASIC and Fortran are all structured programming languages with basically the same set of primitive types. None of them have (or, in the VMS days, had) classes, late binding, or real garbage collection. BASIC is kind-of GC'd, but it doesn't have pointers and so everything passed across the language barrier from BASIC was by value, so the GC didn't have to do anything clever.
It's worth remembering that when VMS was introduced, other platforms were still having problems getting C and Pascal to play nicely together (Pascal pushing arguments onto the stack in the opposite order to C), so that's not to belittle the achievement of VMS, but it's a very different world now that we have Simula and Smalltalk families of object orientation, various branches of functional languages, languages like Go and Erlang with (very different) first-class parallelism, and so on.
That's a joke, right? You actually believe Bitcoin is accepted and trusted by merchants? You can count the number of serious businesses trying to use bitcoin on one hand. Walmart's virtual currency is already used in far more transactions than Bitcoin ever will be.
You are staring at pretty numbers on a screen and have absolutely no sense of scale.
And as far as credit cards go, the space is getting pretty crowded already with Yahoo, Google, and others pushing into the space (after realizing that wallet apps are pretty useless without them). Lets see someone due monetary conversions to a bitcoin account with a credit card and see how long it takes them to either go bankrupt or be forced to charged significant fees to stay in business.
Bitcoin has no advantage whatsoever as a first-mover when the 'currency' is too unstable to actually be usable in the wider world of commerce.
Why would the world population want to do that when they could be using BTC2 or BTC3 or
There are tons of virtual currencies already in existence, and no barrier to entry for creating more (including no barrier to entry for creating clones of Bitcoin that use a different cryptographic base).
It costs me $0 to transfer dollars to relatives electronically, bank-to-bank. No fees at all.
Also, perhaps you are unaware, but Western Union has been losing business for two decades now. Many immigrants now send money home by opening a bank account and mailing a physical ATM card to their relatives, which can cost as little as $0 if the relatives withdrawal the cash in $ (which many can), and can be as little as 1% if a currency conversion is involved.
Even using a non-network ATM typically has a fixed charge, e.g. $3/$300 = 1% charge to get a hard currency in one's pocket.
Bitcoin cannot do better (people who think they can transfer BTC for free are ignoring both the exchange spreads and the time/volatility factor).
This mechanism is no guarantee that the seller will actually get the price they programmed in. In a crash there is not likely going to be a buyer at or above the programmed-in price and the seller can't force counter-parties to buy BTC (or anything) at the desired price.
In fact this mechanism exists in the real stock market and is manipulated all the time by contrived flash crashes to force those sell points to get hit. Since the price crashes through the sell levels so quickly there are no buyers at those prices and the sales wind up going at the market and forcing the stock down even more. Even worse, enough people using this sort of mechanism can CAUSE computer-driven crashes and lose their shirts in the process.
Unlike something like Bitcoin, stocks actually do have a real intrinsic value (even if investors can't calculate it with any accuracy). Which means that you can't sell a stock into oblivion and expect it to stay there very long. In the case of flash crashes, sometimes seconds, up to a few minutes at best. People who use these sorts of orders can wind up with sold positions and a stock price that has recovered before they can react and then they are screwed.
You've hit upon the basic mechanism but you haven't taken the next logical step. The issue is what happens when the pricing goes exponential (as it has, twice now).
What happens is that people who 'break even' almost universally go back into the market with more than just the house's money. Because the value is appreciating non-linearly, going back into the market almost always means spending far more money buying back in than you ever got out before that point.
For example, people who cashed out when it was hitting $250 a few months ago are now kicking themselves. In order to buy back in, they have to spend every last drop of their previous profits plus more to obtain a 'reasonable' speculative position at the new price.
This also points to how people's view of money shifts as the market rises, particularly people who have never had a lot of money or have never handled large sums or volumes of money (via their jobs or otherwise)... basically the definition of a 'sucker'. As long as they think they are making money, it becomes like a game of monopoly. In the first round someone who made a few $hundred thought they did really well. In the second round those few $hundred feel like chump change... it takes a few $thousand to really feel that you did well.
Well, it doesn't stop there. It keeps scaling up. In the third round a person might feel that a few $tens-of-thousands is necessary to do well and that a measily few $thousand is chump change. It keeps scaling up until a person either runs out of cash or runs out of borrowing capacity... the mindset continues to scale all the way until the whole thing comes crashing down.
That's why you wind up with people bankrupted instead of people being happy that they had fun playing with the house's money after the first round or two.
There are certainly a few smart people in the Bitcoin market who know how to extract actual profit from the trading. It mostly comes down to understanding the scaling effect and NOT being tricked by it (not scaling up the investment in each successive round by more than 1/2 the profit from the previous round). There are numerous well-known methodologies and I'm certain a small but significant percentage of Bitcoin traders are doing precisely that.
People doing the above scheme are the smart ones. They are draining hard money (real dollars) from the exchange against everyone else who is continuing to lever up. In the end, real money has been removed from the exchange while the remaining participants are basically just playing musical chairs with each other. When the eventual panic occurs there is simply not enough cash left with the exchange participants to cover everyone and the value crashes into oblivion.
This is how it will play out. It is ALWAYS how it plays out. Bitcoin is not going to be an exception.