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Comment Re:2 Words (Score 1) 810 810

Good point, pure EVs are currently unsuitable for apartment dwellers, or people commuting 100km to work. But, no one is talking about a market dominance. If only 5% of people decided to buy an EV that would already be a major success. Infrastructure and technology would follow and several years down the line we would find there are more of us falling into the "can buy" category.

The biggest problem at the moment is the price - ultimately it will have to go down because there is no reason why a mass produced EV has to be more expensive than an ICE. But for now, Tesla is doing it right, by targeting the premium market and selling a car that appeals to early adopters.

Comment Re:For non-Americans (Score 1) 174 174

The sources say it is 500km/h. That's the problem with unit conversion - on one hand there is always accuracy loss (500km/h310mph), on another it paints a false picture. "310" (two significant digits) sounds like a maximum speed they have managed to achieve, "500" tells you they have reached a milestone or a design target. Bloomberg did it right - they provided original numbers with translations in parentheses for casual readers. Slashdot, which supposedly serves geeks and technical audience, hasn't been any better than a popular magazine.

Comment Re:Hyper TEXT (Score 1) 566 566

Does supply of precious metals vary? Sure. Can it be ramped up 1000x, 1000000x or 1000000000x as easily as typing this line? Hell no!

Guys, you are of course right that there is no black and white choice here. Gold is only an approximation of a commodity with a stable price and therefore it can be used as money. Binary formats can be specified as clearly as text ones. But then, the *scale* is what sometimes makes all the difference.

Comment Re:Hyper TEXT (Score 1) 566 566

The first has to remain compatible with millions of LOCs like:
s.write('GET / HTTP/1.0\n\n')
which in practice prevents anyone (good willed or not) from extending the format in an incompatible way.

The other one can be arbitrarily extended by upgrading and a handful of other most commonly used implementations.

The second option is tempting if you want more control over the specification. Which raises the question: why would anyone need or want to change HTTP2 once it is deployed? Or, will IETF turn evil once they get power in their hands?

Comment Re:Hyper TEXT (Score 2) 566 566

I agree with you that it is technically possible to define a text format that is more obfuscated than the binary one. Yet, it almost never happens.

Text formats are designed to be open and humanly readable (that's why they are *text* formats). This encourages writing multiple implementations of parsers and formatters, often partial or ad-hoc ones (perl one-liners etc). At some point the critical mass is reached and no one, not even the original author, can fiddle with the format, effectively preventing any embrace, extend, extinguish efforts.

Binary generally do not generally reach this level of standardization. On purpose - people want to control the format and the handful of its implementations. There are some exceptions, like TCP or IPv4, (which BTW proves your point that a binary format *can* be open) but they are considered a failure in terms of extensibility specifically because they escaped the control.

Finally, in case of HTTP there is exactly *zero* benefit from switching to binary representation. Bandwidth utilization is negligible and has never been smaller, parsing has to be robust to errors for security reasons so you cannot save much processing power either. These things were important in early 1990s (yet we chose to communicate in plain text anyway) but not now. The only place where HTTP could be improved is latency as it scales slower than network bandwidth but that has nothing to do with the format.

Comment Re:Hyper TEXT (Score 1) 566 566

"Peg rates", "certificates"? Pegging fiat currencies to precious metals is just like assuring that binary protocols will always be 1:1 convertible into equivalent text representations. Over the time, the ratio becomes 1:2, 1:5,..., 1:1000. It will, because there are no technical obstacles preventing that, and organizational ones are never effective (drugs, child porn and terrorism will justify about anything).

And no, 1g of gold will always be worth 1g of gold. It my become diluted in new coins, or replaced with paper certificates. But your existing savings are as safe as you are.

Comment Re:Hyper TEXT (Score 0) 566 566

Text protocols are a guarantee of openness, just like precious metals are a guarantee of sound money. In theory, there is nothing wrong with binary protocols or fiat currencies, they may even be better performing or more convenient. But as we all know by now, promises "we will keep this protocol open" or "we will never print money out of thin air" are *always* broken.

Comment Re:Journalist Wanted Moore Hits (Score 1) 147 147

Moore's law is all about positive financial feedback:
- better products (capacity, performance, usability) ->
- more money ->
- process development (scaling feature size) ->
- better products.

It worked so well because there was a single variable - process feature size - that translated investment money into more attractive products. That produced 30 years of exponential growth and increased transistor density ~1e+4 times.

Tackling multiple problems (design, IO, packaging) doesn't work nearly as well - you need more money for the same result and most techniques deliver only a temporary boost. Hitting fundamental issues like sub-threshold slope limiting the supply voltage (~90nm) or quantum tunneling leakage (DRAMs at 20nm and Flash at 15nm) doesn't help either.

The development continues, only more slowly. This is visible in performance-sensitive applications (PCs), which improve incrementally for 10 years now - they are getting better but people are no longer tempted to change their devices every 2~3 years.

Comment Re:Duh (Score 1) 339 339

Are you in the US? Then perhaps you realize that the greatest period of growth in the US coincided with constant deflation (second half of XIX century)? That was when the nation was running consistent surplusses (both at individual and state level), there was plenty of money for investment (real money, coming from savings, not from debt), many social issues were non-existent (drug user? - die in hell. Immigrant? - earn you wages), and standard of life has greatly improved. All this without a single dollar collected through the income tax.
It is depressing to see how many Americans are falling into this trap. If there is anyone who should know better, it is you.


A healthy economy should encourage:
- working - this is what brings value to the economy - the economy is only worth as much as the goods and services it produces,
- saving - this is the only thing that brings money for investment and social security,

By extension, it should discourage:
- consumption - it is depleting the pool of goods and services, and savings,
- debt - it is depleting savings and encourages excessive consumption.

When you organize your country around these rules you get period of constant growth of purchasing power and a deflation. If you flip the rules upside-down, you get constant drop of purchasing power and an inflation (bubbles are inflation concentrated on a small fragment of the market). It is really that simple. The difficult part is moving from a heavily indebted economy to one based on healthy principles. So far no-one has managed to do it without going bust or, worse, killing milions of people.

1 + 1 = 3, for large values of 1.