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Comment: Re:If the question is: (Score 2) 222

by rhekman (#44218473) Attached to: Computer Trading and Dark Pools

Paul Volcker had the right answer, IMO.

It's a shame more people don't pay attention to Volcker.

I also think it's a shame /. commenters string together a series of cuss words and add the word "capitalist" and get modded up. Instead, how about we have an intelligent discussion about whether this trading practice promotes bad ethics or somehow hides information from customers or trading partners.

Also, since this is supposedly a technology site, can we discuss whether the fact this trading is computerized somehow makes it unique from other kinds of markets?

Comment: Re:Seriously now (Score 5, Interesting) 153

by rhekman (#43362517) Attached to: Want to Keep Messages From the Feds? Use iMessage
While nothing technical is stopping an intelligence agency from passing on criminal tips to LEOs, there are legal road blocks to doing so. At least in the U.S. there are supposed to be restrictions on federal agencies spying on private citizens. More importantly though, our federal Constitution, state laws, and over 900 years of English common-law heritage guarantee one's right to face your accuser. Unless the originating agency can prove where and how they intercepted some communication, and it wasn't obtained as part of an unreasonable search or seizure, any such evidence is "fruit of the poisoned tree".

Comment: Re:Gary Johnson = Libertarian candidate (Score 2) 257

You don't know me, but I consider myself more Libertarian than Republican, but wouldn't call myself an anarchist in any way. I want a smaller government, but there's a happy medium where the central government is "powerless" to mandate things that really should be decided at the local level, like what's on the school lunch menu, how you purchase your health care, who get's housing assistance funds, who gets a subsidy for building a business or producing a crop.

There's a difference between anarchy and a well and truly federated system of government. What we need in this country is a return to federalism where the central government does a few things and does them well, like providing for national defense, entering into treaties, managing the money supply, and managing disputes between the states.

Comment: Re:What's the point of your post (Score 3, Insightful) 398

by rhekman (#40398883) Attached to: Larry Ellison Buys His Own Hawaiian Island

No criticism about the ridiculous wealth disparity in the world is appropriate if it comes from someone who spends significantly more than his share.

I wish I could mod this whole thread about share of wealth irrelevant. Whether Larry Ellison buys a huge chunk of real estate in Hawaii has nothing to do with whether a starving kid in Africa gets a meal today. And if Larry never got to the point where he could afford such a thing doesn't matter one iota to solve the plight of impoverished people around the world.

There are many fair criticisms about his management tactics and business decisions, but I fail to see how someone who has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to charity can be criticized for what appears to be yet another business deal.

The laws of the U.S. and Hawaii should ensure that he doesn't do anything harmful to the people or environment of this island. And if his involvement means the people that live there have a better life and he comes out ahead financially, then that's a net win we should all agree on.

Comment: Re:Because: (Score 1) 403

by rhekman (#33963622) Attached to: US Elections Dominated By Closed Source. Again.
The United States is a republic, not a democracy. I think you've confused feudalism with the concept of federalism. That is, where powers are divided between a representative central government and individual state and local goverments, compared to feudalism, where power is divided among property owning lords and giving fealty to a monarch.

Thankfully, we have moved on from a scheme where property rights were equivalent to voting rights. Today, basically anyone who is a citizen can vote.

The problem as I see it today is too little federalism. If the central government dictates so much of our day to day lives, you can't move to another city or another state to escape the tyranny.

Finally, political science aside, the difficulty with the actual mechanics of voting lies in the limited resources available to local election officials. These people are often city or county administrators or auditors, with other responsibilities beyond election time, and they are bound to competitively bid a "boxed" solution, rather than roll their own. I think this is definitely a situation of "build it, and they will come". It will take a critical mass of interested parties (like a trade group of local election officials) to certify and support a solution that could then be built by the private sector.

Comment: Re:cheap shot (Score 5, Insightful) 772

by rhekman (#33499766) Attached to: Researchers Say Happiness Costs $75K

The problem is that while the President has a majority in Congress on paper, reality is much different. It would be a lot more obvious that he hasn't got a majority were we under a Parliamentary system. ...
The only thing that could realistically screw it up for them is if the Tea party steals too many votes or the American people collectively grow a spine.

Wow. I'm actually a bit dismayed this post got modded insightful. All you're doing is calling a large portion of the population spineless and brainless for having a different opinion than yourself.

I think it's a perfectly valid point of view to believe a government should protect an environment where it's most productive members are enabled to enrich themselves and society as a whole. I also think it's perfectly valid to believe a government's largest expenditures should not be income transfer programs. I also think it's quite realistic to expect to strike a balance where society's poorest members can be helped in times of need without bankrupting the entire nation.

It amazes me how so-called "open minded" people can be so intolerant of differing opinions.

Comment: Re:And have been for decades (Score 1) 148

by rhekman (#33383772) Attached to: Air Force Uses Falcons To Protect Falcons
Yes, while probably not insurmountable, it would be horribly impractical to design a modern turbojet or turbofan engine that would "screen" birds and other foreign object debris (FOD).

You have to remember the intake flow to one of these engines is traveling at or near supersonic speeds. Any grate or screening device capable of blocking or diverting damaging material would have a severe negative impact on the performance and fuel efficiency of the engine.

That being said, considerable research and development has been done to make the internals of modern engines more hardened to bird strikes. Just search youtube for "jet engine bird strike test" some time to see some of the results. The latest engines can survive some considerable ingestions with only a reduction in performance -- safe enough for an emergency landing.
Image

New Jersey County Fights Landfill Odors Using Fragrant Spray Trucks 104

Posted by samzenpus
from the hearts-and-noses dept.
Not to be outdone by the Chinese and their deodorant guns, Middlesex County, New Jersey has unveiled their secret weapon against landfill stink, a perfume spraying truck. The flatbed truck equipped with special nozzles now drives around the 200-plus acre landfill spraying hundreds of gallons of a soapy, slightly citrus-scented liquid. From the article: "'It has a pleasant, showery smell,' said Richard Fitamant, executive director of the Middlesex County Utilities Authority, which runs the landfill. 'It's not offensive and it's not overpowering. It's a light scent.' Faced with a competing mandate to handle the loads of trash while curbing the stench, officials have turned to the roving, over-sized air freshener to control the smells wafting from the 200-plus acre landfill."

Comment: Re:Hmmmm... (Score 1) 112

by rhekman (#30671488) Attached to: Google Wants To Administer the First White Spaces
The fault I find with your argument is the asterisk post-script at the end -- *Current implementation of "government" is not what I'm talking about, I'm talking philosophically".

You cannot separate a philosophic ideal of government from its real world implications. Entrusting a bureaucracy to administer infrastructure you see as vital still creates a ruling class that then becomes entrenched and seeks to protect its own interest.

I do not see a protected bureaucracy as something superior to a corporation. Since governments, by there nature, are granted a monopoly on force, they should not be trusted with any more power than necessary to guarantee encroachment on our natural rights by other individuals or foreign powers who seek to usurp or deprive us.

Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.

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