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Comment: Re:app vs act(uality ) (Score 4, Insightful) 234

by mark_elf (#41184109) Attached to: Apple Rejects Drone Strike App

Head under pillows, going to the Apple store to buy more iPads, not questioning the consensus, super-consuming reality we live in. I turned on my facebook today and saw all my friends got new iphones so I went down and got one too! Drone strikes keep us safe, don't ask too many questions, don't rock the boat. Obama or Romney, Apple or Microsoft, Facebook or Google+. What do drone strikes have to do with it?

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Posted from a 17" macbook pro.

Comment: Re:shocker (Score 1) 167

by mark_elf (#41086655) Attached to: Mastercard Denies Plans For BitCoin Credit Card

The price of gasoline cost $0.25 SILVER per gallon a century ago, and it still costs $0.25 SILVER per gallon today. The rise in apparent price is due entirely to local currency fluctuations.

Silver and gasoline are industrial commodities that are both manufactured: both have to be taken from the ground and refined. Both have storage and distribution infrastructures. Not only have all these systems radically changed over the last 100 years, the relative scarcity and demand for silver and gasoline have not remained constant. Your point seems to be that the inherent value of commodities never, ever change with respect to each other, even over a hundred years. That doesn't seem to be true. Just choosing a commodity to be a currency would change it's value a lot.

Because BitCoins are not directly tied to any single currency, and are not manipulated by fiat, and are instead a representative of time and number of users, BitCoins will likely become a far more stable monetary unit than government-issued currencies. When you see the exchange rate graph of BitCoins begin to mirror the price of oil, that day will have come. If you look at the 1M graphs of BitCoins and oil, that mirroring has already begun.

My God, why would you want your currency tied to the inherent value of oil? I hope for your sake that's not true. One exocet later...

Dollars at least have the advantage of being the fiat currency of the most wealthy and powerful national economy on earth, if only being backed by it's national debt. Bitcoins are the fiat currency of some internet geeks and drug addicts, and are only backed by the strength of... the bitcoin market. As long as everyone has "faith in bitcoins", you're good.

Comment: Re:NASA rejected the other riskier bets... (Score 4, Insightful) 61

by mark_elf (#41061043) Attached to: Next Mars Mission Selected For Funding

Personally I'm less certain that people need to go to these places. Kind of a stunt, right? Because we have such great imaging and 'bots now.

My friend works at JPL, he told me Carl Sagan once gave a talk to the staff there and basically said as much... No we don't need to send people there, but enthusiasm over manned space flight is what pays for all these robotic science missions.

Either way, we need better propulsion systems. If we're sending people, we need better toilets.

Comment: Re:There's no chance... (Score 1) 70

by mark_elf (#41052167) Attached to: Finland Hosts Mobile Phone Throwing Championships
For comparison, the record baseball throw is about 136 meters, set in 1957 by some freak of nature. The record for a female is 90 meters, by Babe Didrikson, who won a gold medal in javelin at the 1932 Olympics, and could have broken that skinny kid in half. Must be operator error, maybe the guy was reading feet instead of meters.

Comment: Re:Astroturfing on Amazon? (Score 4, Insightful) 129

by mark_elf (#41039249) Attached to: Why Amazon Is Google's Real Competition
The Van Cliburn Piano Competition? Really? How many people would even be on the fence about something like that. You either own all twelve or you wouldn't watch it if it was free. I mean maybe there was some turfing by all their friends or something. But anyone who would gush about The Van Cliburn Piano Competition very well could be sincere. It's not like it's an air freshener or a stick of RAM or something. The idea is that it's an artistic pinnacle reached by serious young musicians. I think Amazon gets a free pass on this one.

Comment: Re:Just don't allow it at all (Score 1) 454

by mark_elf (#41019041) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Best Setup a School Internet Filter?

Class groups and study session events.

Do you mean "everyone doing their homework together" on facebook? Do you mean actually teaching a class on facebook? Seems kind of inappropriate to me. Maybe your idea is to make it more appropriate by filtering it, but I don't think they want you to. They make money showing you ads, building a dossier on what you click on, etc. So I would suggest that you not use it as a teaching tool. In fact it's kind of unfair if all the students are required to use facebook to participate in this "content". What if they don't want to start out their lives feeding all their personal info to an evil mega-corporation? (Unlikely I know.) There are probably educational sites out there you could have everyone sign up for that have some kind of chat.

(ps - If they're younger than 13 they're not supposed to be on fb.)

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