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Comment Re:force companies to be non-profits that sell to (Score 1) 308

Why would any sane company owner agree sell anything at all to TSA if your dream came true? They wouldn't be able to buy even toilet paper.

The same for any other industry - either the companies would find a way to cheat it, or they would fire all employees, sell all assets and give the money back to creators/investors/owners of the company, as in that case it would be a better choice for the owners to just keep that money in the bank rather than make some goods or services with that.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 161

As the parent was saying, the token is also used to confirm the transactions after they've been entered - the bank, naturally, doesn't trust the session until it times out or is logged off.

This same process is also used by my bank on the other side of the world - this closes many potential vulnerabilities - this one with the expiring session; phishing (since even if you get the user to login to a fake site, you can't transfer the funds), cross-site scripting usages to submit data to bank sites, etc. Heck, it was probably designed to combat no-tech attacks such as using the computer and browser session of someone who left for lunch and forgot to log out of the system.

Comment Re:It's happened before (Score 1) 300

911 is prioritised so that all the other calls are unable to connect or are deliberately dropped to 'make space' - both fixed-line systems and wireless cell towers have this built in especially for such occasions - so this experience is not relevant to the case.

You should be able to connect 911 with a cell phone that has been disconnected for not paying the bills, in the middle of a peak-usage situation (say, large public event) while many phones are unable to connect to the network because the cell has reached max capacity - the systems are designed to do that; and if they didn't work in this case, then that is either gross negligence or a major technical problem worth investigating.

Comment Re:Why would anyone want to use a kindle? (Score 1) 155

A small library (say, a thousand books) in developing world is quickly detoriating - it needs a sizable building, it needs to be protected from humidity in the rain season, it needs to be protected from rodents - it's expensive and problematic. A few kindles are a more efficient way to store these books, and it's also more feasible from a charity logistics viewpoint - shipping a small box vs. arranging a small building and maintenance for it.

Comment Re:Oblig. (Score 1) 331

Today high-end computers have comparable horsepower to human brain - *if* we knew how to run human brain 'software' on silicon von Neumann machines, the raw computing power would be enough already.

Brute-forcing the problem will add many orders of magnitude, though - but if Moore's law holds for a couple more decades, then it will give us the computing power even for that.

Comment Re:This is why "health insurance" is so expensive (Score 1) 138

The answer sounds cruel and inhumane because there is NO happy-fluffy answer that doesn't rely on help from rainbow-farting invisible pink unicorns.

At almost any point of life-end there is something more that can be done to prolong it. And there's not enough resources in the world to do everything for everyone even if 100% of population worked in medicine. So, unavoidably, at some point the care will stop and people will die. That's life.

The only discussion is about when, who and how should better make the choice to not apply some treatment because of resource=cost issues, knowing that it will mean someone dying sooner. Avoiding the discussion of such choice because it's morally hard doesn't solve anything, it just selfishly pushes the responsibility of this choice to others and allows to arrogantly blame them for life being the way it is.

We need to discuss and agree on the best socioeconomic systems to choosing which and how much life saving treatments somebody/everybody will get or be denied, in a way that maximizes the common well-being and life expectancy. Any choice will usually be better for one group and worse (deadly worse) for others, so they will literally fight for their lives about making a choice that fits them best. That's how it is.

Comment Re:Been done before, but not illegally? (Score 1) 99

It's very simple - just the same as cracking any other system to get some service for free that's usually sold for $x.

Unauthorised acccess / cracking of computer systems with direct losses = crime.

Reselling the service (chip counters in a virtual poker game) for financial gain = aggravating circumstances.

If you defrauded a $1000 per haircut hairdresser into giving his services w/o paying, the court will bill you $1000 - nobody cares how valuable the service is in your mind.

Regarding your example with dupe bugs - i'd say that in some of such incidents the guilty ones could be criminally persecuted, the companies simply choose not to for PR purposes - but if you would intentionally dupe and resell for real money some premium items that are being sold by the game store and are a major revenue stream, then you would have to be far away in lawyer-inaccessible countries to get away with just a ban.

Comment Re:Currency does not have to be anything physical. (Score 1) 99

On the other hand, having "real value" is not nearly enough or sufficient for something to be useful as currency - say, both gasoline and iPads have 'real value'.

So, as currency doesn't imply 'real value', and 'real value' doesn't imply currency, they are orthogonal, mostly unrelated concepts, so it's not of much use to use them in the same sentence - money is money and that's it, and stuff with 'real value' is something completely different.

Comment Re:Mint analogy (Score 1) 99

Most of money supply for major currencies (say, US dollars or Euro) is virtual - there aren't nearly as much physical cash banknotes as the money in circulation, as most of money is not issued by Federal reserve or central banks of other countries not by running a printing press, but by lending it in the electronic money transfer system.

If you somehow change a number in a database system holding your personal bank account in Bank of America or whatever other bank, there is no more record of it than the database transaction logs; however by increasing that counter you have effectively stolen money and that has some jail time in store for you.

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