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Comment: It would give them control of monetary policy (Score 1, Insightful) 358 358

Part of the issue in the Eurozone is that countries have control of fiscal policy, as in how money is spent and taxes collected, but not monetary policy, as in how much money is supplied and to where.

While monetary policy doesn't let you magic your way out of any situation (see Zimbawbe for an example) it can be useful. Have a currency that is weak or strong isn't inherently good and bad, but rather useful in different ways. So one country might wish to have a weaker currency, another a stronger one. Also it can allow for things such as higher inflation, which can be a problem, but can also be useful in some situations.

It wouldn't solve Greece's problem, to be sure, but there are ways it could potentially help.

Comment: Also the Euro is stable and widely accepted (Score 3, Insightful) 358 358

Trying to push bitcoin only shows that the author has a poor understanding and an agenda. While you could, potentially, argue bitcoin in cases where a country's currency has collapsed, or is unable to be used to buy things from other countries. Bitcoin is highly volatile, a very poor store of wealth, but it is something you can spend and transfer, in some places at least, and at present it has value.

Well, that isn't an issue with the Euro. It is an extremely important and widely used currency, second only to the US Dollar. All Eurozone countries use it (by definition) which is quite a few major economies. As such it is also widely sought after in international currency exchanges. Euros are very easy to spend on the international scale. Many places will take them directly, and any bank will convert them.

Also the Euro is pretty stable. When you look at it compared to other major currencies like the Dollar, Pound, and the Yen it compares very well. All fluctuate, of course, but not very quickly. So it is a good store of value, you don't have to worry about losing your money. Works long term too, as many nations with good credit will sell debt instruments in Euros.

So there is nothing bitcoin solves here, because bitcoin is a currency and currency isn't the problem in Greece. This isn't Zimbawbe where the currency was worth nothing.

The only way it could "help" is to move money out in the event of capital controls on Greek banks. But of course:

1) You have to get the money out of the bank first, which a capital control can slow down.
2) The only way it facilitates that would be being less traceable. As I said, Euros are taken everywhere, you can convert them to Dollars or anything else.
3) Most importantly that wouldn't help the situation at all, it'd make it work. Might help an individual save money, but it would only worsen the situation.

Comment: It's mostly click-baitng, with a bit of stupid (Score 1) 299 299

A lot of it is just the run of the mill stupid site trying to drive up traffic with controversial headlines. Worked too, Slashdot linked to them. However part of it is just the guy being a derp and thinking that because the UI wasn't completely polished off it wasn't ready to go. Had he looked in to it, he'd realize that kind of polish is nearly always the things that comes last, right before release, for a variety of reasons.

Comment: Ummmmmm (Score 1) 81 81

If your funding is so bad that you can't afford anything newer than a P3 and a 17" CRT, I have to wonder just how good the research is that you do. Or maybe that you just don't understand how technology has changed.

I encountered the latter in my undergrad days. I was a psych major for a time, and as is tradition they force students to participate in experiments to get free subjects. So one of them was on Internet addiction. This was in the early 2000s, while broadband was not common it was not rare either and the university was of course on a dedicated link. All the questions were around "How long are you connected to the Internet?" and "How often do you log in?" and such things.

I tried to explain to the researcher such questions weren't meaningful to me, my computer was on all the time and I could just use it like any other program. They didn't understand, and figured I didn't understand and kept repeating the question. I tried to explain and demonstrate with their office computer. That failed though, because the thing was so slow it took the better part of a minute to launch IE, which they thought was dialing in to the Internet. For them it wasn't a seamless experience, they only used the Internet when they needed/wanted to since it was so slow. I could not communicate to them that for an ever increasing number of us, it wasn't like that, it was just a part of using a computer.

I've encountered things like this a number of additional times with psychology/sociology/behavioral researchers. Their grasp of computer technology is so poor that their studies are extremely flawed because they don't understand the tools they are using.

That aside, maybe this works, who knows without a link to the paper, but it seems like a more effective use of computers and dieting are the widespread calorie tracker apps. When people actually track what they take in, they often can do a much better job at preventing it from getting excessive.

Comment: Also lower power for performance (Score 1) 136 136

Intel's chips have been real good in terms of performance/watt these days. AMD has had real problems in that regard. Their high end chips are massive power sinks. Now in some uses, maybe that isn't important, but in a small system, it matters. You are going to have to jump though hoops to make sure you thermal system fits, is sufficient, and isn't loud anyhow, trying to put a ton more power in there isn't a winning idea.

Thus when you have the 4790k on the one hand, which is rated at 88 watts TDP, and the AMD AMD FX-9590 at 220 watts on the other hand, the choice is pretty clear. Even if performance were equal (it's not) the power savings is a clear win for a small unit.

At the moment a combination of older lithography technology and core design has AMD CPUs running pretty high power, so not the thing for SFF devices. Perhaps that will change with their next generation, we'll see.

Comment: Ya pretty much (Score 1) 177 177

You can argue for or against various licensing, insurance, bonding, etc requirements but what it comes down to is they need to be consistent. If a given type of work has that requirements, then everyone needs to be held to it, or it needs to be removed. You can't have it where some people have to jump through the hoops, but others don't.

A more extreme example would be pharmacists. To be a pharmacists requires a great deal of training and certification, in the US at least. That is how it is: You wanna dispense prescription medication you have to have the right degree, and experience and certification. Well, we can't very well have that but then also allow someone to be a "medicine sharing service" that just has random uncertified people who dispense medications. I suppose you could argue drug dealers are that and, what do you know, the government will put them in jail.

So if you think the licensing requirements for taxi services are silly, fair enough, let's work on getting rid of them. But Uber and the like shouldn't get a pass whereas traditional taxi services have to comply. Either is is a requirement or it isn't. It should have to do with the type of work you do, not the name of the company you work for/with.

Comment: Re:Renting other stuff (Score 1) 937 937

There are simple arrangements of sales that emulate rent in that capacity (a "rental shop" would sell above market price on long installment terms, and buy back below market price in one lump sum). The same kind of arrangement would also be fine for land, and would serve the functions where people actually want "rental" housing, while automatically becoming more like a sale for people who really just wanted a sale in the first place (or who just find themselves renting for so long that they might as well have just bought one... and it turns out, they technically did, and eventually it's paid of and done).

Ah, OK. Putting it on a long installment plan does makes it work.

Dan Aris

+ - US Supreme Court Declares Same-Sex Marriage Legal Nationwide ->

westlake writes: In a ruling that is the court's most important expansion of marriage rights in the United States since its landmark 1967 decision in Loving v. Virginia that struck down state laws barring interracial marriages, the US Supreme Court has declared same-sex marriage legal nationwide.
In the background of an unexpectedly liberal turn in Court, as seen by conservatives, is the growing power and influence of "the technocrat," by which they mean the dominant economic forces of the 21st century, Hollywood in entertainment, Silicon Valley in tech, Amazon in retailing, and so on.

Link to Original Source

Comment: Renting other stuff (Score 1) 937 937

Alice gives Bob some stuff. In exchange Bob gives Alice a thing. Then Alice has to give back the thing, and Bob gets to keep the stuff. Bob has profited at Alice's expense; Alice lost some stuff, and didn't get any thing for it. Why the hell would Alice put up with this? Because she has no choice; Bob has the thing that Alice needs to survive, so she either gives up her stuff and accepts the loss in order to buy herself a little more time, or she dies. (Or gives up the stuff to Charles instead, or Doug, etc, but same difference there).

It's not quite literal theft, but it's close enough.

As a somewhat ancillary point, how do you feel about renting things other than land? For instance, a pressure washer? I have absolutely no desire to own a pressure washer for good; I might need one once every 2-3 years, if that, and it's ridiculously inefficient for everyone who needs one once every 2-3 years to own one. So when I need one, I go down to the local hardware store, which has a couple that it rents out, pay them something like $20 for an hour of its use, and then give it back when I'm done.

I've gained nothing tangible from that save the use of the pressure washer (and the products of my labour with it—to wit, a clean deck/house/whatever). In the absence of the ability to rent, presumably if I wanted such a thing, I would have to either pay the full purchase price of the pressure washer with the understanding that I would be paid back almost all of it when I returned it—which ends up amounting to exactly the same thing, with the added burden of needing to have enough money to purchase a big-ticket item like that—or I would have to pay significantly more for an actual person from the hardware store to bring the pressure washer and use it to wash my deck/house/whatever, in which case I'm paying for a service.

So what's your thought on that sort of rent, and how does it—or does it not—differ fundamentally from renting land?

Dan Aris

Comment: So long as you are ok with the other half (Score 1) 242 242

That the government, to avoid that, can use force to reduce the numbers. Specifically forcing industry and citizens to produce less CO2. Things like checks to see how much you drive and prison if you go over, forced shutdown of industry, etc.

If you aren't ok with that, then you can't very well say the government should be arrested. After all, they themselves don't produce all the CO2, society at large does. They can't magic it away, meaning the only thing they can do is force citizens to comply.

Comment: Well to be fair, this really is taking too long (Score 2) 192 192

Windows EOL dates are known way in advance. 10 years from the date of release. Sometimes they do extend it (they did with XP) but you can plan on a decade. That really is a good amount of time to plan on the lifecycle for your products. It is not too much to say "about once a decade we are going to make sure that our code is up to date and compatible with the current version of windows, and then transition to that". Were you to transition to 8.1, you'd have support until 2023.

While critical systems certainly aren't something to move to a new platform right away, you have plenty of time to do it in. This is just a case of feet dragging.

Comment: All nurture. 100%. (Score 1) 490 490

In the Victorian era, pink was considered a color for boys—it was a lighter version of red, which was considered a very masculine color.

There's absolutely nothing biological about the current trend of girls liking pink. It's entirely a product of our culture, which says "girls should like pink."

Similarly, any research that shows differences in job or academic field preferences by gender had damn well better show some kind of controlling for cultural factors, or it's got absolutely no value in showing what girls "naturally" like.

Dan Aris

Comment: Also their service is optional (Score 2) 172 172

You don't have to have your stuff on their subscription services. It is up to the author (or publisher, whoever controls the copyright). You can have all, some or none of your stuff on their subscription services. However, many choose to have stuff on subscription because it helps people discover your stuff, and while you may not make a lot per view/listen, you make some and it can add up.

Pay per page view actually makes sense, as it helps reward authors that release stuff worth reading. If you do pay per book, then someone can release a book that look interesting, but has no substance. However if people have started reading, well they got their money, and they are done. With page views counting, then it is the stuff that is quality that people read to the end that gets rewarded.

I've never been canoeing before, but I imagine there must be just a few simple heuristics you have to remember... Yes, don't fall out, and don't hit rocks.