16 acres of water-thirsty crops outside Phoenix in a development with 452 homes? This isn't a farm, (much less something you could call a "conservation community") it's landscaping that happens to produce something you can eat. Better than a golf-course, I suppose, but still a bit "slacktivist."
Well, when this happens to an actual bank, you have $5k up until the day the bank stops paying withdrawals, at which point you have some amount less than $5k. How much less is determined by value of the assets that remain on the books, which is usually much higher than $0. When an FDIC-insured bank fails, usually depositors eventually recover some amount over 90% of their uninsured assets as the government "winds down" the bank by selling off the loans at market value and distributing the proceeds.
Without regulation? I suppose how much in the way of assets they have left to portion out to depositors just depends on how long their cash or credit reserves last... All Mt. Gox had was what a banker would call "reserves", and they ran those down to $0 before shutting the doors. In that case, you have $5k up until the point they couldn't pay out withdrawals, at which point it instantly went from $5k to $0.
If it takes 4M gallons of water to produce one ton of beef, I'd think my water savings by swapping out half my meat product consumption with vegetables would save a LOT more than 30% of my water footprint, if the figures for water consumption by vegetables are also accurate.
I think their numbers for vegetables are good, but the numbers for cattle are WAY overblown. According to helpful calculations provided by the USGS, "You would need to build a pool about 267 feet long (almost as long as a football field), 50 feet wide, and 10 feet deep" to hold 1M gallons. The idea that it takes four of those (weighing a total of 16,000 tons) to produce a single ton of beef is beyond belief. I know forage crops are not always the most water-efficient, and cattle feed isn't the most efficient use of crops, but it's not THAT bad.
Of all the economic statistics, the unemployment rate is the easiest to understand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics calls or visit a randomly selected sample of Americans, ask them if they are employed, and if they are not, are they looking for a job. While they ask some other questions, those are the basic ones used to determine the widely-publicized unemployment rate. This is not a complicated statistical formula here, subject to all sorts of evil manipulation.
Now, you could argue that the labor participation rate is more useful, or perhaps include people that aren't working as many hours as they'd like, or include people that would like to work, but have given up looking. And they publish those numbers also for any that care to read them, so you can hardly argue that they are a big secret that The Man is trying to hide from you. But it's silly to call any of them "fictitious." And these formulas hardly seem "politically derived." (In fact, the BLS and their counterparts in the GAO are quite fiercely independent; the statisticians are all civil servants that don't really give a *bleep!* what congress or the president want the numbers to end up at.)
Inflation is much the same way; they publish numbers that are perhaps not as useful as we'd like them to be, but they have proven to be pretty free of political whims. It's a drawn-out, very public, process to fiddle with those formulas. If there was a hint that they were bowing to political pressure when calculating them, you'd know about it.
If he had called himself by some sort of clever pseudonym, that might make sense. But going by your birth name isn't exactly stealthy... name changes are part of public record.
He didn't exactly give press releases as Mr. BitCoin, but that's not the same thing as trying to stay anonymous. Unheralded yes, anonymous, no.
I was not aware it was inherently considered unethical journalism to uncover those who wish to remain anonymous. Peeling back anonymity can help shed light on the reasons somebody does what they did. Background, motiviations, current involvement, etc. are certainly newsworthy things to examine.
And why is his life in danger?
"Plain old tech" people get paid conference passes all the time. Your company buys X amount of stuff from Y vendor (or a business partner), the vendor account rep provides your company with Z full conference passes gratis, and most of those passes end up in the hand of front-line IT grunts (they are the ones most of the education classes are targeted for.) These grunts are no more likely to be familiar with the particular facts of what they were getting interrogated on than any other geek.
Also, it IS a tech conference; RSA just happens to be a security vendor; pretty much every single large tech vendor runs one of these conferences. A "security conference" would be something like DEFCON, one of the several conferences the IEEE runs on security, etc.
And quit with your paranoia about how much RSA is bribing me. I work from home, so it'd be pretty tough for RSA to buy me lunch. The organization I work for (part of a larger IT company) is not an RSA customer. Not everyone that voices vocal disagreement is a sock-puppet; I thought the whole point of the Slashdot comment section was to comment.
All my so-called "pro-RSA" talk on this topic has been motivated by the obnoxious tactics of these protestors, and the knee-jerk silence-equals-guilty attitude. You'd get the same reaction from me if this was a story about PETA sticking microphones in the face of somebody trying to buy some chicken for dinner.
Tim Cook told a single owner to go *bleep!* himself. The shareholders as a whole voted specifically on this resolution, and rejected it.
$0.5B in BtC's are missing (not all deposits), but they only have liabilities of $60M?
Cute. Are they somehow magically not on the hook for all that missing dough?
If they were a bank, deposits are supposed to be counted as part of your liabilities.
The defense and intelligence parts of the budget have very large parts that are a "black box". As well they should be. It's a bit difficult to carry out secret projects if all your contracts are open to anybody that wants to read them.
Yes, such contracts are vulnerable to abuse and oversight problems. But that doesn't mean that the RSA even has the ability to release the contract if they wanted to.
Giving pure placebos works for some mental health drugs, OTC-dose pain relievers, cholesterol meds, sexual dysfunction drugs, etc. Basically, if the problem could be "in your head", or the drug is intended to be taken by healthy people on a prophylactic basis, the control in a drug trial can safely be a sugar pill. Also eligible for sugar-pill placebos are conditions for which there is no current treatment.
For conditions in which there IS an effective treatment, it is considered unethical to give a placebo during a trial (as in, you'd never give sterile water to a diabetic taking insulin in a trial for a new form of insulin.) And giving a placebo to somebody where going off their current med would be blindingly obvious is simply ineffective. Nobody currently on high-dose opiates is going to somehow not notice they are not receiving a sugar-pill. The withdrawl symptoms are obvious, painful, and aren't going to go away with sheer willpower thinking you are receiving a different opiate.
Most of the attendees at a tech conference are front-line IT grunts (and their managers) sent their by their boss to learn about new products, techniques, etc. Most of them don't work for RSA, nor will most have been in charge of the buying decision to purchase RSA products.
This isn't a "veil of contractual secrecy" being thrown... this is some more-or-less random schmoe having a complete stranger asking him questions on camera on something on which he doesn't have enough information to make an intelligent reply.
They were accused of taking a $10M bribe to backdoor an encryption algorithm. RSA says it's not true. There's zero evidence that RSA knew about the weakness when accepting the money to include the algorithm in their products.
If they truly were going to compromise the security of every one of their customers, why would they have agreed to accept a paltry $10M?
The RSA has already explicitly said the contract doesn't say what they are accused of it saying. What else do you want them to do? They can't go and release the details of a confidential contract simply because somebody thinks it contains something it doesn't have.
Now, I'm not saying that RSA isn't lying, but if they were, would you believe that any contract they produced was an accurate one? Probably not. Talk about "Damned if you do, damned if you don't."
The essence of a Ponzi scheme involves outsize returns. A business getting themselves in a cash crunch because they have no clue what they are doing is just a poorly-run business. Indeed, exactly what you described is how most businesses that collect payment prior to service being rendered (contractors, airlines, furniture stores, etc.) go bankrupt.
One of these (a Ponzi scheme) is fraud; the other is just incompetence. There isn't enough room in the jails to lock up every business that gets over their head and leaves customers in the lurch when they go under.