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Comment: Re:Can someone clarify the state of BitCoin? (Score 1) 134

by michelcolman (#47869673) Attached to: Paypal Jumps Into Bitcoin With Both Feet

O, yes, it's easy enough. You buy some $5 item on eBay using PayPal in BTC. Then you download the most recent copy of the blockchain, go through the transactions to figure out exactly which of your bitcoins was used and how much those particular bitcoins were worth when you acquired them (either by buying them with USD, or being paid in BTC by somebody else). Then you calculate the capital gains tax to add to your tax report. Simply do this for every transaction you make. Easy, it's just a simple habit to get used to, I don't see what the big fuss is about.

Comment: Re:Welcome to the Information Age! (Score 1) 144

by michelcolman (#47735381) Attached to: It's Easy To Hack Traffic Lights

That's like saying "I'm not going to lock my door because thieves know how to pick locks anyway". Very bad argument if you ask me.

Jeez, the system they used actually supported WPA2, all they had to do was tick a box and choose a password. Sure, maybe that will be cracked one day, too. But it will certainly take more expertise than just listening to data that's transmitted in the clear.

Comment: Re:Welcome to the Information Age! (Score 1) 144

by michelcolman (#47730147) Attached to: It's Easy To Hack Traffic Lights

And how exactly would a simple password result in a higher price?

They are using standard IP software (as evidenced by the fact that the "attackers" could join without the slightest effort), and I'm sure that software has the option of requiring a password to join the network. All they had to do is tick the box, pick a password, and hardcode the password into the traffic lights software. I know, not the best solution, but surely better than using no password at all.

So don't tell me cost was the reason. Basic negligence (and possibly bad intentions, hoping for a new juicy contract for an "improved" system once someone exploits it) are the real reasons.

Comment: Re:Musk brilliant engineer, marketing dumbass (Score 2) 122

by michelcolman (#47588075) Attached to: Elon Musk Promises 100,000 Electric Cars Per Year

The other auto makers already have this technology and are doing practically nothing with it. Elon thought the biggest risk to his company was other companies joining the race and pushing Tesla out of business. The opposite has happened, none of the big auto companies is really interested.

The problem is that, right now, electric cars are incredibly expensive to develop and produce. Lots of new technology is needed to make them efficient enough to have a practical range, and batteries are very expensive. The old auto companies have sure tried to make a few practical, sort of not too expensive small electric cars but few people were buying them because they were too expensive for what they offered. Elon's approach actually made a lot more sense:

1. Develop the basic technology by marketing a toy roadster car for very rich people with undoubtedly an enormous profit margin to pay back the development costs as quickly as possible and pave the way for the next car. Forget about the middle class, they are not going to pay 50% extra just to have an electric car. Rich people will gladly pay this and more for a "toy" to show off to their friends.
2. Using the money and gained credibility from that roadster, make a more practical model which is still very expensive but also desirable for the rich. Again, rich people is where the money is. They also don't care much about teething problems in the early cars because they are much too proud about showing off the technology and the incredible performance of their car.
3. Once you reach enough volume with these cars, start working on an actual, affordable car. With the volume of the earlier models, battery prices have come down and you can even afford building an enormous new battery plant. NOW building affordable electric cars becomes feasible.

In my humble opinion, this was a brilliant way of doing it. As long as electric cars are much more expensive than internal combustion engine cars, the masses simply won't go for them.

Comment: Re:Doesn't surprise me (Score 2) 81

by michelcolman (#47575655) Attached to: Nevada Construction Project Could Be Tesla/Panasonic Gigafactory

Well, at least it's one of them. I read they were already going to break ground in multiple locations while waiting for the final decision and approval. So this doesn't mean that the actual factory will be built there. Quite a bold trade-off, actually, wasting some money by starting to build in several places that may end up not being used, just to avoid having to wait for politicians to make up their minds. Elon doesn't like to waste time.

And who knows, those locations may end up housing gigafactories as well, just at a later time.

Money can't buy happiness, but it can make you awfully comfortable while you're being miserable. -- C.B. Luce