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Comment: It makes sense to me (Score 1) 404

by Z8 (#46898741) Attached to: Rand Paul Suggests Backing Bitcoin With Stocks

Can someone explain how this isn't silly? He wants it backed by intrinsic value, which I think may be missing the point of Bitcoin, and his example of the perfect thing with intrinsic value is "stocks"?

Stocks do have intrinsic value because owning a stock is equivalent to owning a company, and all the company owns (factories, farmland, guns, whatever). Bitcoin, on the other hand, has no intrinsic value.

Partly because of this, stocks are also much less volatile than bitcoin and are better at being a store of value. For instance, compare this recent bitcoin chart with this S&P500 chart over the same period. As you can see, the difference between the min and max stock is about 4%, while bitcoin is about 40%. That's 10x worse.

Is there a way of transferring stock (for instance an S&P500 ETF) as easily as bitcoins can be transferred? I don't know, but it would be very cool, and definitely much better than Bitcoin. So anyway, his idea is probably unworkable, but it's not silly or ridiculous IMHO.

Comment: Owning a stock means you own part of a company (Score 1) 404

by Z8 (#46898667) Attached to: Rand Paul Suggests Backing Bitcoin With Stocks

Stocks have no more intrinsic value than our paper currency.

A stock means that you own part of a company. The company itself may own land, computers, factories, etc. (It could even own guns and gold! yeehaw!) Those have intrinsic value, so the stock does also.

This is why stocks are recommended for people concerned about inflation. A fall in the value of paper money typically does not affect stocks as much as most other instruments.

Comment: Re: There are records (Score 1) 228

by masmullin (#46450723) Attached to: Hackers Allege Mt. Gox Still Controls "Stolen" Bitcoins

Sure they would. Digital goods can be stolen just like physical goods. The car analogy is simple and easy to understand, but another analogy would be a database of customer information that I have gathered on my computer system. If you break into my computer copy the database to your server then delete mine, you have stolen it and I can petition the courts for my database back.

Comment: Re:Holmes (Score 2) 206

by Z8 (#46120851) Attached to: It's Not Memory Loss - Older Minds May Just Be Fuller of Information
Below is the Sherlock Holmes quote for people that don't know what OP is referencing. My personal favorite quote of his.

I consider that a man's brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things, so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skillful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.

Comment: Re: ...but if you want free software to improve... (Score 1) 1098

by masmullin (#46066863) Attached to: FSF's Richard Stallman Calls LLVM a 'Terrible Setback'

I think you have this backwards. BSD emphasizes freedom for everyone at the expense of the original developer and third parties, while gpl emphasizes freedom for the original dev over others.

What I mean by this is that the bsd basically says "I the dev allow you everyone else to do whatever you want, including making changes to the software without giving back to me or any third party." The gpl says " you can to what you want with this software, but you must give me (and third parties) any changes you make"

Comment: We can learn a lot from NK about ski park design (Score 4, Funny) 101

by Z8 (#46017575) Attached to: US Geneticist Discusses North Korea Trip With Dennis Rodman
From TFA:

I then kept moving in the tube and five other Korean men also were knocked to the ground in their effort to stop my tube from going off a 100 foot cliff that was located at the bottom of the bunny slope.

Let me guess, the water park slides all end in shark tanks?

Comment: Re:Seems fine with me. (Score 1) 599

by masmullin (#45333557) Attached to: Withhold Passwords From Your Employer, Go To Jail?

I don't have a problem with this. The company may have been dumb to put this much power in one person's hands, and perhaps they got what they had coming in someone's eyes, but it doesn't excuse this behavior. If I had the only key to the server room and got fired but didn't turn in the key, I would expect retribution of some form, especially if the office had a steel door that took weeks to break down.

See, the thing is, it's not a key. It's a part of your body that unlocks the computer system. Specifically, the "key" is a series of electrical pulses in your head. Those electrical pulses belong to you because they are inside you.

To follow your analogy... the problem here is that the "key" in question belongs to YOU not the city. Why the city was ok with letting the server room be locked with YOUR key is a sign of their stupidity, but their stupidity shouldn't be YOUR problem. If you hyjacked their system so that none of THEIR keys worked properly... that's a completely separate issue to discuss.

Why is it YOUR key and not theirs? Because the key is actually a part of your brain, and a government or an employer cannot claim eminent domain over the contents of your brain, as the slippery slope induced is just barbaric beyond imagining.

When the city fired him, he took HIS key and went home.

Comment: Re:Come on... (Score 1) 188

by masmullin (#45237581) Attached to: Online Retailers Cruising Tor To Hunt For Fraudsters

Wrong. Denying service because of race is against the law. Denying service because the buyer is anon is not.

It's not as black and white as that (no pun intended). Denying service is based on class of people. While the wording of the act certainly lends itself to denying service based on race (or other similar visible discrimination), the legal definition has been argued with a much wider interpretation. A good lawyer could argue that people wanting to protect their 4th amendment right are a class of people and should therefore not be discriminated against.

Do I think it would win? Not really. But I certainly think there is an argument to be made.

This 'stolen credit card' problem is not the fault of people wanting to protect their privacy, and doing this TOR blocking is simply a lazy and error prone protection method. A real solution should not involve forcing people to give up their human rights in order to shop.

Comment: Re:golden age of SF/Fantasy paperback is so over (Score 1) 83

by Z8 (#43865847) Attached to: Writer Jack Vance Dead At 96

When the price of paperbacks went over $5 in the early 1990s, rising at more than double the rate of inflation, it seemed like sheer greed to me.

Not saying your wrong, but it seems funny to me that $5-$10 for a full novel would seem greedy. I guess I'm just on the other side of the scale. I'm always amazed at some level when I read a good novel—it feels like I should have had to have paid $1000 for the experience because of the hundreds of hours of talented work that went into it.

Comment: Know stuff AND be a good manager (Score 1) 161

by Z8 (#43755603) Attached to: How To Talk Like a CIO

Untrue. Let us take a car example. I as CEO want to move our product from place A to place B. I also want to move myself from place A to place B.

You're picking a case where you're assuming that transport is independent of everything else. If everything were like that then, sure, managers wouldn't have to know anything, and MBAs might actually make the best executives.

In many real cases, parts of the business are all connected and there aren't necessarily dividing lines. For instance, if you're having labor trouble, perhaps a fleet of trucks will be more vulnerable to strikes than rail. But perhaps your product will spend more time sitting in a hot car with real, which could be an issue if it's heat sensitive.

These are just example to fit in with your car analogy and may not be plausible. But in real life there are often cases where there aren't clean interfaces between problems, and a CEO who knows the details can ask better questions and better anticipate problems.

And that is often the problem: People who think they know something about the technology will ask for the wrong things and then are surprised they get the wrong answers.

Maybe you are right about the psychology in some cases, but there seems to be a simple response to this. The ideal is to know (not just think you know) the techology AND ask the right questions.

Very few CEOs get this. Very few are able to let go and just trust the people in their team to be qualified in their field.

Trust should be rational. If you have no idea what your people are doing it'll be harder to trust them.

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