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Comment: The Industrial Era disagrees (Score 1) 261

by pupsocket (#47651335) Attached to: Silicon Valley Doesn't Have an Attitude Problem, OK?

Henry George looked from a high hill toward the growing San Franscisco in the 1870's and realized that rising land prices were a bug in in the industrial economy. They punished success.

His book sold more copies than any other in the 19th century in the United States: Progress and Poverty.

Comment: Re:White Werhner von Braun may be many things... (Score 2) 165

by pupsocket (#47588337) Attached to: Was America's Top Rocketeer a Communist Spy? The FBI Thought So

An excellent characterization.

As I understand it, he was arrested for complaining that the war was not going well, which everyone knew but people in high places were forbidden to mention. His problem wasn't that the Nazis were Nazis, but that they were the losing.

As a technocrat under extenuating circumstances, he illustrates the worst moral worthlessness to which a technocrat can fall, and so should not be esteemed. He should never have been celebrated as an American hero.

Comment: Re:White Werhner von Braun may be many things... (Score 2) 165

by pupsocket (#47588245) Attached to: Was America's Top Rocketeer a Communist Spy? The FBI Thought So

The kindest thing you can say about him was that he had tunnel vision. He was an ambitious man who did not find murderous slavery to be sufficient reason to just take orders. No one can be forced to lead as uniquely as von Braun or forced to fight so hard for control of a project.

Was his behavior understandable? Yes, if you believe he was blinded by obsession. Was it justified? Not by a moon shot.

Comment: Re:White Werhner von Braun may be many things... (Score 5, Informative) 165

by pupsocket (#47579343) Attached to: Was America's Top Rocketeer a Communist Spy? The FBI Thought So

From the article:

"The actual manufacturing was done by prisoners from the concentration camp Mittelbau-Dora. As the historian Michael J. Neufeld has documented, von Braun went so far as to handpick detainees with technical qualifications for this work. (The prisoners were worked literally to death. In all, about 12,000 died producing von Braun’s rockets; for comparison, the rockets themselves would kill an estimated 9,000 people, many of them civilians.)"

Comment: Re:Railroads killed by the government... (Score 1) 195

by pupsocket (#47490983) Attached to: The Improbable Story of the 184 MPH Jet Train

I'm not against trucks. I just think that trains that can carry 600 people downtown to downtown at 300 kph shouldn't be something citizens of the United States can experience only overseas.

P.S. If I wanted to hide, I'd head to the old farm. It's pretty hard to hide in a subway.

Comment: Re:Railroads killed by the government... (Score 1) 195

by pupsocket (#47487695) Attached to: The Improbable Story of the 184 MPH Jet Train

The Nordic report cited above indicates that deterioration from environmental effects is not significant. Doesn't sound right, but then none of this matches intuition.

Speculation based on cursory reading: Since trucks do their worst where pavement is rough, the freeze-thaw cycle doesn't get a chance to do its worst because the trucks are too quick at expanding fissures and pounding the edges of cracks. Once trucks start tearing up a roadway, the destruction accelerates because tires bang asphalt at all angles and concentrate their load on a smaller area with shuddering stress.

Comment: Re:The car will need a license. (Score 1) 435

by pupsocket (#47487645) Attached to: FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

... the least you could do is wait until someone is confirmed to be doing something 'bad' before you punish them ...

We are sympathetic to your point of view, Citizen, but the approach you advocate would delay the expansion of government control over your life. We trust you are not hostile to the radiant future where cars have more autonomy than you do.

Comment: Re:Railroads killed by the government... (Score 1) 195

by pupsocket (#47487627) Attached to: The Improbable Story of the 184 MPH Jet Train

What you list are economic activities. Those are what humans intend to subsidize. We do not intend to favor specific businesses or to kill off businesses that would otherwise thrive.

The trucking industry operates with large enough organizations to influence policy in its favor. That industry is as large as it is because it has an unfair cost advantage over other modes of transport and because it has successfully hidden its subsidies while ensuring the failure of rail transportation.

Well, that's business. The fundamental corruption is in the legislature.

Comment: Re:Small business owners (Score 1) 68

The research was not about the scandal of data left behind. That data proved to be an excellent fossil showing a business running an insecure system without basic protections, failing even to install security updates for seven years.

This, though, only confirms your own account and probably falls well within the known range of shortcomings.

So ...

Doesn't HP, for whom the author of this report works, compete with sellers of point-of-sale systems, which have become default inventory and accounting systems for many small businesses?

After all, this is not a story about how data was actually used in a crime. The article: "Even second-hand POS systems aren't cheap, so it's unlikely that cybercriminals would spend hundreds of dollars on a chance that a few contain personal data." The businesses who use the system are not directly harmed, are probably defunct, and don't have IT expertise in house.

If there were headlines about this method being used or complaints from banks and law enforcement, it would not be necessary to issue this report.

Just a guess, but I'd say that only insurance companies, card clearance companies, and governments have a stake here, and they are the intended audience. They have the clout to ban resales, or at least to erect high barriers to resale involving certified wiping and refurbishment, which would help sales of new systems and create new opportunities for service charges.

Comment: Re:Railroads killed by the government... (Score 2) 195

by pupsocket (#47473613) Attached to: The Improbable Story of the 184 MPH Jet Train

The long-distance railroads in the U.S. were built by giving away land stolen from other peoples. Not just land to build the lines on, but a checkerboard of land for miles on both sides of the track, land that the railroads could sell to recoup their capital.

Many of these railroads were later bought out by John D. Rockefeller so that he could kill his competitors in the oil business by making it unprofitable for anyone else to transport petroleum.

Subsidy and monopoly are the parents of American railroads. Only businesses benefit. Humans can take the highway.

Comment: The car will need a license. (Score 1) 435

by pupsocket (#47470339) Attached to: FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

This is where the FBI is heading: expensive licenses with high compliance requirements, including data-sharing on demand with law enforcement agencies.

The licenses will be feasible for larger organizations with no particular fealty to one individual, unless that individual is the controlling shareholder of a closely held corporation. Individual licenses will be as rare as private jets.

There are sound reasons for this approach, and any suggestions how it can be executed without expanding police power or corporate control over daily life will be eagerly registered.

Some people have a great ambition: to build something that will last, at least until they've finished building it.

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