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Comment Re:Don't Do The Dig ... (Score 1) 601

The government does not grant favors or rights, but protects the rights people already have.

That's just a story people tell, no more connected to reality than the legend of Santa Claus.

The governments is a collection of people who tell everybody else what to do and not to do, employ other people to enforce their decisions using violence if necessary, and get away with it.

There is no difference in legitimacy between a government and a mafia; governments just give their employees nicer costumes and invented culture so they could distract everyone from their essential nature using mythology and pageantry.

Comment Re:Don't Do The Dig ... (Score 2) 601

the bureocrats are required to apply them and are often reluctant to do that

The problem with this statement is that it's not falsifiable.

Anyone can talk about their motives and say they are reluctant to do something, but people frequently do lie about this to themselves and others. The only objective evidence an outsider has to evaulate motivations is behavior.

Since it's not true that any bureaucrats have been conscripted into government service then it must be true that any objection a bureaucrat may have towards any single aspect of their job is less important to them than avoiding the inconvenience of finding a new job. Anything one is willing to continue accepting a paycheck for isn't something one can credibly claim to oppose. That's why I'm more inclined to accept Edward Snowden's expressed motives at face value than I'm willing to accept yours.

Comment Re:Don't Do The Dig ... (Score 5, Insightful) 601

Actually, I have.

The intent of a law from the perspective of a legislator is to grant favors to people who will grant favors to them in return. The public is told, or is convieniently allowed to assume, a more benign and enlightened intent than what is actually true.

The intent of a law from the perspective of a bueracrat is to justifiy that bueracrat's continued salary and eventual pension.

This is the only explaination that is consistent with the evidence of how legislators and bueracrats behave. (as opposed to what they say).

Comment Re:Don't Do The Dig ... (Score 3, Insightful) 601

All in all, the effect of the law ran exactly opposite to the intent of the law

This is not a plausible claim.

If it was just this one example, then maybe it would be, but when you're talking about decades of examples where laws of all types achieve the exact opposite of their stated goals, and when the people enacting and enforcing laws ignore the mountains of evidence of this and continue to do what has been provably shown to accomplish the exact opposite of their stated goals, then it's more rational to assume that the stated goals of the laws have nothing whatsoever to do with the real intent of those enacting and enforcing the laws.

Comment Re:Browser energy? (Score 2) 243

I normally don't care about browser power usage, until I'm trying to maximise the time left on my laptop battery, and then I play close attention to CPU usage and power consumption.

On my laptop Konqueror wins by a very wide margin when it comes to being able to browse the Internet for as long as possible on a single charge. Firefox and Chrome are absolute pigs by comparison.

Comment Re:Crap, the sky is falling (Score 2) 334

The problem was old clients did not allocate enough Berkeley DB locks in order to process every valid combination of transactions. Newer clients correct this problem, and users are recommended to upgrade.

If they can't upgrade, then all they need to do is add a configuration file to the directory containing the database with the right MAX_LOCKS setting.

There are no force upgrades here, no forking of the currency - just correcting a misconfiguration that we didn't notice until recently.

Comment Re:What 2 camps? (Score 1) 127

But the portability and current infrastructure of petroleum energy is tough to beat. I'd like to see hydrogen do it, but there's still the infrastructure cost to ameliorate

Infrastructure is not the problem - thermodynamics is. Hydrogen is not a source of energy, since there isn't any of it laying around that we can use.

Pick one: fission, fusion, or "Little House on the Prarie" standard of living. Wind and solar fall into the last category, by the way.

Submission + - Bitcoin just hit the $2 Billion dollar market capitalization!

fredan writes: Based on the number of Bitcoins in circulation and the current price of over $181 / BTC, the total market capitalization is now over $2 Billion dollars.

The $1 Billion dollar market capitalization was achieved on the 27 Mars 2013.

That was just 11 days ago.

Comment Re:Is it? (Score 1) 388

An attacker with more computing power than the rest of the network combined can produce a longer proof of work chain and thus spend on one chain before eventually orphaning it with a different branch that sent the same output to a different address.

The actual amount of computing power needed for this attack does increase exponentially based on how far back in the chain the transaction to be reversed is contained, and the attacker must maintain a majority of hashing power for the entire duration of the attack.

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