This should be happening now...it would cost virtually nothing (on NASA $ scales)
And it accomplishes virtually nothing to boot! Seriously, there's a hell of a lot more to running the rover than just steering and driving. There's also a whole hell of a lot of engineering support. Then there's the whole science team, who also are on the NASA payroll...
(I am not overriding your font choices. If your browser isnt obeying your font choices you really should address that with your browser.
Link to Original Source
The point being to highlight that the coal industry accounts for 'only' 50 billion dollars worth of assets, which is a smaller portion of our economy and total assets than the hysteria of 'anything you do to attempt to phase out coal will destroy America' would suggest.
It's only smaller than you might think only if you're stupid enough to not grasp the concept of "leverage". The two bridges that connect the two halves of the town I live in can be replaced for 'only' 100 odd million, but the disruption if they were both shut down would be enormous. The town's main retail area (for example) would suddenly be on a dead end street. Nearly two thirds of it's commuters would face a trip almost five times as long to reach the ferry. (And the road they'd all be forced onto barely suffices for existing traffic.) Etc... etc...
"Size/value" != "Importance".
You realize that the correct word for what you describe here is not 'insurance' right?
It's 'pyramid scheme.'
Real insurance would involve ONLY healthy people, who pay enough as a group to cover the costs of the predictable subgroup that wind up needing catastrophic care later on.
Using a pyramid scheme to pay for routine health care and then calling it 'insurance' as a cover just makes it obvious this system was designed by fraudsters.
Read the whole article. It's quite good.
It's not "youth" that's the problem. It's banality. "The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads. That sucks." - Jeff Hammerbacher, Facebook. Most of the "app" companies are not "tech" companies. They're fad publishers. The technology for doing routine web apps and phone apps is pretty much standardized now.
The engineering that goes into phone hardware is just awe-inspiring. Electronic design today is brutal. You barely get to use any power, the budget for each function is tiny, the size has to be very small, you have to operate multiple radios without interference right next to each other, and there's a new product to get out every six months. Most of that engineering is not done in the US. That's a big concern. The US probably doesn't have the technology to build a cell phone any more.
It's not as bad as the first dot-com boom. This time, there's usually revenue. Income, even. Even Twitter claims to be profitable (although they're not, really. Look at the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles results, not the ones excluding "one-time expenses".)
That was my immediate thought. Any decent system needs to ensure that it isn't running at a loss. To make that happen, they need an accounting system in place.
Rather than a loss, they managed a significant profit. The profit didn't go to the company.
I've seen lots of affiliate systems (sign up for a sight, the referring webmaster gets x%). In the adult industry, it's called shaving. The referring webmaster has a percentage of their sales (I've seen up to 25%), where it isn't recorded that they got the sale. Instead, it is credited to another account. The owner of the system doesn't always know. They see sales come in. They see payments go out. The shaved sales go to one of the developer's accounts (usually to a difficult to trace 3rd party).
If I were the developer, I'd have a friend in another country set up his affiliate account. The "lost" sales get paid out to him. He keeps a percentage, and pays me the rest. It can be very difficult to trace until there is a code audit. The audits don't usually come until the boss knows there's something funny going on. As long as the boss is getting a large profit, they have no reason to audit.
In the rest of the corporate world, it's skimming. Accountants can make it look like the missing funds are going to nondescript costs.
In both skimming and shaving, it becomes obvious when the person doing it gets too greedy. Like, it's difficult to justify that $1M/yr goes to miscellaneous custodian costs. And yes, I've seen exactly that, in a company that only made about $3M/yr profit. Sometimes it goes to consumable costs. It can be tricky to track if they're smart. When they get greedy, smart falls out of the equation.
You need to read up more on economics. Maybe swing by a local college and audit some economics courses.
No, most (all?) of the current in use today is backed by nothing. Well, nothing more than the idea that it's worth something.
I have a $20 bill in my pocket. It's not worth anything. There is a perceived value of it, so I can exchange that piece of paper for goods and services.
If it were backed by anything, there would be an obligation by the issuing party to exchange it for the commodity it was backed by. You can't go to the federal reserve and say "I want to exchange my $20 note for $20 worth of gold". Best case, you'd get a smile, pat on the head, and be sent on your way.
We effectively work with a bartering system. The perceived value of one service or object, for another. You can barter drugs, ammunition, or sex. That doesn't make any of them a currency, even though they'd each be good examples in your description. Actually, I think I like my examples better than the ugly paper in my pocket.
What we've learned so far from Bitcoin:
- The distributed, eventually-consistent blockchain anchored by mining works and is quite robust against attack. Nobody has yet successfully attacked the basic Bitcoin system and stolen money. So the low level technology appears to be secure.
- Irrevocable, remote, anonymous transactions are the con man's dream. Especially when they're assocated with a whole community of suckers who think anonymous anarchy is a good idea. The scam level in the Bitcoin world is huge. Over half the exchanges have gone under, and that was before Mt. Gox. Bitcoin-oriented "stocks" and "Ponzis" have an even worse record.
- Personal computers are not secure enough to store money. "Bitcoin wallet stealers" are a major problem. Many "online wallet" services turned out to be scams. Storing Bitcoins safely while still being able to use them is quite hard.
- Volatility is far too high for Bitcoin to be a useful currency. Since last October, Bitcoin has gone from $100/BTC to $1100/BTC to $600/BTC. Daily variation often exceeds 10%. The companies that accept Bitcoin for real products have to reprice every few minutes. Bitcoin behaves like a pink sheet stock. Too many speculators, not enough real customers.
- There are scaling problems. Currently, every user has to have a complete copy of the entire transaction journal back to the first Bitcoin, and has to keep up with all the transactions as they happen. The confirmation process has a 7 transaction per second limit. Confirmations take about half an hour before they can be trusted; longer during busy periods.
- "Mining" is more centralized than expected. The original idea was that "mining" would be a spare-time activity of each user's computer. In practice, "mining" is done in large data centers with custom water-cooled ASIC chips. Two mining pools control more than half of Bitcoin's mining capacity, and they have the power to set fees and change the rules.
How do we know that the next update on linux is safe?
That's a very good question. Linus's position on the Intel random number generator not needing additional enthropy indicates he can no longer be trusted.
Link to Original Source
Salon did a pretty decent article on this as well.
Link to Original Source