in the real world, figuring out whom to trust and whom not to, is something everyone already does.
Were that true, Mt Gox wouldn't have been in business.
Mt Gox is a great example! Ok, so I mis-spoke when I said everybody already does it. I meant everybody already knows they should, and a majority of people do it. Most people wouldn't do business with Mt Gox, and the few who did, either got an "oops" reminder or had to shrug and admit they had been taking great risks.
You've got to remember that especially over the last year, a shitload of people involved in Bitcoin (and especially the people you hear about in the media) had been thinking of Bitcoin as a speculative investment, not as a type of money. They're the same kind of get-rich-quick-without-doing-anything people that were "day trading" a decade ago. They either knew they taking risks when they worked with companies like Mt Gox, or they were fools.
I'm amazed that people think Mt Gox somehow shows a failure in Bitcoin (or as some weird exception to all the same money-related common sense that people normally expect to see in other people and themselves). You've got this thing in its total infancy, going through its recent speculation bubble, and this is as bad as it gets?!
The especially funny thing about Mt Gox is that if they had been a dollars-euros exchange and the same thing had happened (where they disappeared with a bunch of peoples' dollars and euros) I wonder which currency people would blame it on. Was it dollar's fault, or was it euro's fault? (I just know that people who'd say "It was neither a dollar or euro problem; fools will be fools and sometimes they get burned," would be called anarchists or libertards.)
We have been able to clone several species already. That's not the problem. The problem is that you need a surrogate mother for the embryo and the closest we have is the African elephant, which separated from the mammoth a long time ago. From TFA it seems they are already working on cross-species clones but they are still a long way off.
That may seem like a victory but it's really just scratching the surface. Once you have cloned a mammoth what then? To establish a viable population you need genetic diversity, a minimum founder population of 50-100 individuals that should preferably be as distantly related as possible. The up side of a project like this is that if we can solve the problem do cloning a mammoth it we can start harvesting the DNA of many individuals of species like tigers and rhinos that are about to be become extinct thanks hedonistic nouveau rich assholes with more money than sense who keep poachers and exotic pet traders in business. Then, at a later date when Gene Roddenberry's vision has come true and mankind has grown up (not holding my breath) we will be able to recreate viable populations.
If mammoths were wiped out by climate change, then resurrecting the species in a modern climate would be bringing it into an environment that it was not evolved to handle.
Not only does that seem rather pointless, but it also strikes me as arguably sounding like animal cruelty. I'd suggest that the scientific discoveries we might make by doing this may be heavily outweighed by the ethical considerations involved.
This matter really feels one of those times when scientists should be reminding themselves that just because we *CAN* do something does not necessarily mean that we *SHOULD*.
Mammoths survived until at least 2500 years ago on Wrangel island where that particular population was probably wiped out by modern humans so at least the habitat question is a non issue.
... meanwhile on anti-vax FB pages that I have gotten into, they are having measles-parties, mumps-parties, and the like. Intentionally exposing their kids to disease.
From today shoppers entering the Swan Centre will be able to receive offers and discounts directly on their smartphones from retailers throughout the shopping centre — as long as they download a SmartRewards app first.
As they wander through the shopping centre, tiny devices called TagBeacons send targeted ads and discounts directly to their smartphones using low-energy Bluetooth technology, which enables information to be sent to devices that are up to 50 metres away.
Over time, as the data collected builds up, users will begin to receive more targeted offers, and there will also be the option for retailers and shopping centres to monitor customer behaviour."
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These haphazard limits are introduced at a time when banks offer practically no financing to SMEs and startups. Getting a startup off the ground in Spain has never been easy and these steps will make it even worse, but the Spanish government seems to be willing to do whatever it takes to protect their friends, consistently looking out for the interests of a very few well-connected persons."
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In my view, crypto currencies are still at v1.0, and we all should know the rule about ".0" releases, let alone "1.0" releases. As such, I find that it's an interesting notion but almost certainly doomed to be replaced by something new and improved once all the teething troubles and peripheral issues that we are currently seeing get addressed. I'm not really expecting the tech masses (including the jaded grey beards) to really embrace it until we start seeing the next generation of currencies and have some kind of framework in place to prevent most of those "flaws and nitpicks" without having to RTFM. Any possible mainstream public acceptance is probably only going to come once there are far more legitimate uses than illegitimate ones and it's generally seen as a safe and convenient thing to do, even for a complete n00b that's likely to click on a link to a file called "rootkit.exe", cancel the AV warnings and run it anyway.
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Citizens shouldn't need to check the status of each company they do business with. That would be too much work for individual in the real world to ever do it.
If you're going to make that argument, then please don't bring the real world into it, because in the real world, figuring out whom to trust and whom not to, is something everyone already does.
I'm not really saying we shouldn't have a common set of protections; nobody is going to say "I'm pro-fraud." But we really do disagree on how low the bar can be, what risks (and expenses to insure against risks) are acceptable, and so on. And in the real world, everything is about risks, not absolute protections. One company uses a VISA merchant account, another just has a paypal account. Who are you to say one of them is wrong to accept Paypal's offer (or that both are wrong, since the company should just be waiting for checks (or cash) in the mail)?
People don't even know what the common set of rules is. I just assumed it was illegal for credit card companies to sell to third parties, information about what products I buy, but no. Go next door in one direction, and you'll find someone who is astonished that I could be so naive. Go next door from there, and you'll find someone else who still doesn't know, and is equally astonished for for the opposite reason.
Every time you see a piece of paper with a shitload of fine print, you are looking at direct evidence that nobody is satisfied that the lines are in the right places, and everyone is doing something about it, by sending out that fine print or by continuing to do business with the people who sent it to them.
You can build regulated structures out of unregulated primitives.
Experience says you can't.
You've had some unique experiences, then. Dollars themselves used to built out of less-regulated gold. Western Union, credit cards, and other more complicated (and more "rulesey") things were built out of dollars. Paypal, complete with its frustrating freezes (suddenly labeled "over-regulation" or "private regulation" by those burned), was built on credit cards and bank accounts. Your experience doesn't include any of this? (Or to call up my previous analogy, CPython and its wonderful garbage collection, is built atop C.)
And Bitcoin certainly isn't regulated.
Exactly. It's not, and it probably won't ever be (unless governments persuade people to adopt some blockchain policy changes). Yet, in the news today, Singapore says it intends to regulate Bitcoin exchanges within their jurisdiction. That's what I mean about building regulated things upon unregulated primatives. You might not understand Bitcoin, but if a government were to tell you that a particular Bitcoin escrow had that government's full faith and backing, then you might be willing to use that escrow, even if the funds were stored as Bitcoin. At the same time, there would be people out there, possibly having fun with Bitcoin and doing business with each other using that currency, without ever using that exchange and getting themselves stuck in the regulations.
Just like what happens with dollars.