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Comment Re:Europe has also had wire transfers (Score 1) 294 294

>It's 2015. Why does transferring money in the US take more than a minute and a few cents? I transfer money via ACH all the time for $1 per transaction.

Manual wires are different, and have a lot of costs associated with them. There are people involved, not just data being pushed.

Comment Re:Called "Communism". (Score 1) 503 503

Star Trek was absolutely not communism, in that the State did not own everything. Sure, they owned the star ships and space ports and most of the stuff on them. But there were still farms and businesses and trade routes and mines and the State did not own any of that. They were much more efficient than that: The State owned the power production. The State was the only entity that made anti-matter, and without anti-matter, your star ship wasn't leaving the solar system. And if you couldn't leave the solar system, you had no access to the Andoran or Vulcan or Klingon markets. While on present-day earth, the dictatorships and kingdoms of the middle east thrived for as long as they did because the state owned the energy production, i.e., the oil. We are in the midst of huge changes in that regard, which is part of why the US government goes to great lengths to prop-up the Saudi dictatorship in order to protect access to their oil, despite said dictatorship being quite antithetical to nearly everything the USA was founded upon and is presumably supposed to stand for.

Militaries do no uses communist economics, it's dictated and centrally budgeted (i.e., planned). The notion that a pilot wants or needs to own his or her fighter jet is absurd at facevalue. In practice, the pilot, while presumably a volunteer, is nothing more than an employee.

And I don't charge my kids for use of the house because I didn't have kids as a means to an economic end; i.e., I didn't breed just to have free labor to use for my own purposes or to rent to others. So again, your notion that household economies are communistic are absurd.

Comment Re:Why don't they have a sat link? (Score 2) 102 102

A sat link isn't a viable alternative for providing data access to a government, much less an entire country.

TFA mentions the microwave backup being down, because commercial microwave links actually can provide significant levels of bandwidth.
The only real limit is line of sight and how much you want to spend.

And as always: Two is one and one is none.
There's a reason why NASA uses triple redundancy when they want something to never fail.

Comment Re:FOIA isn't meant to support a business model. (Score 1) 139 139

And waste more taxpayer money forcing a public employee to go through all the work again?

I can't recall the name, but there's an organization that spends its free time re-requesting FOIA'ed documents just to see what is or isn't redacted in subsequent releases.

It's basically a social engineering approach to un-redacting documents.

Comment Re:Cry More (Score 1) 139 139

but I found these two quotes to be interesting:

Heh. The problem is not the fees.
The problem is that journalists and activists overwhelmingly end up having to sue Federal (and State) Agencies in order to get a response or responsive documents to their FOIA requests.

This is despite the fact that Federal Agencies are required by law to respond to FOIA requests within 30(?) days.

"Even when a journalist acts with the utmost diligence in filing a FOIA request and pursuing his or her rights in court, agency feet-dragging can frustrate a journalist's attempt to obtain records at the time when they are needed most," [Jason "FOIA Terrorist" Leopold] wrote [in his written testimony before Congress].

"Investigative journalists should be spending their time and resources investigating, not litigating," he added. "Unfortunately, some agencies refuse to conduct adequate searches and fail to properly apply FOIA's exemption provisions until a lawsuit has been filed."

It can take years of litigation to get documents out of Federal Agencies.
Years. Of paying lawyers.
And then their scoop is gone.

I see the merits of arguments in favor of "upload immediately" (which IMO should be the default position) and "give the journalists a chance."
I think this trial run will expose the lie in any unsupported assertions being made by journalists arguing their position.

Comment Re:I believe it... (Score 1) 327 327

Students were again instructed to mimic surfing to a designated basket of URLs (Table I) as they might perform research for a paper, casual surfing (news). They were required to spend at least 5 - 15 minutes on each site.

Table 1: Basket of URLs Visited
youtube.com
bild.de
gamestar.de
cnn.com
shopping.com
bloomberg.com
spiegel.de
ebay.com
nytimes.com
mashable.com
yahoo.com
huffingtonpost.com
digg.com
washingtonpost.com
reddit.com
abcnews.go.com
buzzfeed.com
cbs.com
yelp.com
espn.com
msn.com
dailymail.co.uk
skysports.com
imgur.com
imdb.com
techcrunch.com
alibaba.com
reuters.com
cnet.com
thesun.co.uk
stackoverflow.com
bbc.com

Phase II of the testing was conducted from March 15, 2015 to May 1, 2015 with 103 students participating. Phase II revealed some interesting results. For the purposes of analysis, we selected two computers with the most web traffic, one with Adblock Plus (Computer Y) and one without any ad-blocking technology (Computer S).

That's an interesting test methodology and a highly questionable way to cherry pick analyze 2 weeks worth of data.

Comment Re:Your biggest screw up (Score 1) 452 452

Reddit was started as an experiment in free speech.

Wait, what?

I recall Alex coming on Slashdot a lot to promote Reddit when he first launched it. "An experiment in free speech" was not anything I recall being discussed. I also remember him posting on Slashdot while still developing reddit.

What I recall, is promotion of a general interest platform that was more open than Slashdot (unlimited moderations for all!) and less susceptible to vote brigading than Digg.

It was while ago, so I may be a bit foggy on the specifics.

Comment Re:Dwindling airable land? (Score 1) 279 279

I think what the Libertarians fail to realize is that farmers, as a general rule, are not smart enough to diversify or maintain course.

First, I think that's a ridiculous assertion. Smart farmers don't diversify because the taxpayers bear the risk of their crop failure, or of crashing prices; they have insufficient incentive to diversify.

Second, if we had a true free market, dumb farmers would go out of business and we would be left with smart farmers allocating resources efficiently. Isn't that the point of economic libertarianism?

Note: I am far from libertarian.

Comment Re:So does this qualify as 'organic'? (Score 1) 279 279

What do you mean by cyclical? Do you mean the livestock/fertilizer/crop/fodder cycle? Do you mean crop rotation? Or something else entirely?

Just curious, since I'm not aware of either cyclical production or crop rotation being a requirement for organic farming (although both are considered best practices).

Comment most important question goes unanswered (Score 1) 473 473

What language will these girls be learning? If it's javascript, php, python, or ruby, that's great. If it's Go or Swift, then this immediately reduces to a novel form of corporate welfare as Google and/or Apple get the government to pay for training their next generation workers

Comment Re:Links to the actual study (Score 2) 181 181

What I don't understand is why people assume congestion is intentional throttling by ISPs for them to profit later with imagined fast lanes.

Assume? The ISPs have been fighting (a losing battle) for a legal structure that will allow them to do it.
Hell, they're even telling us that is exactly their plan.

FTFA:

In Atlanta, for example, Comcast provided hourly median download speeds over a CDN called GTT of 21.4 megabits per second at 7pm throughout the month of May. AT&T provided speeds over the same network of â... of a megabit per second. When a network sends more than twice the traffic it receives, that network is required by AT&T to pay for the privilege. When quizzed about slow speeds on GTT, AT&T told Ars Technica earlier this year that it wouldnâ(TM)t upgrade capacity to a CDN that saw that much outgoing traffic until it saw some money from that network (as distinct from the money it sees from consumers).

Comment Re:Local and small (Score 1) 268 268

This is still a terrible measure, because bible-belt Southerners average close to 7%, while New Englanders average under 3% (source [philanthropy.com]).

It's also a terrible measure because giving to a church is not always the same as giving to a charity. Not saying that all churches aren't charities, just that some spend quite a lot less on charitable works than some other charities.

Living on Earth may be expensive, but it includes an annual free trip around the Sun.

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