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Comment How would I know? (Score 1) 164

Wouldn't I have to sign up to the service to discover what they're doing with my non-Google+ profile? I hear that if you have a public Google Profile then you can be added to the "circle" of a Google+ user. I have no idea if others can see that someone has added my profile to their circle. So far as I'm aware, Facebook has never done anything like this.. pulled in profile information from other services to add to their social network. I expect the inevitable result of this will be an automated service to badger me to join.. or just an attractive slippery slope of integration.

Comment Re:No kidding (Score 2, Informative) 210

Fusion is actually trivial to achieve. Thousands of people have built units in their garage.. it's a common science fair project.

Perhaps you're confused because you've heard that an effective fusion power plant is an area of active research and not currently available and have incorrectly assumed that this somehow implies that fusion must be hard.

You're wrong, and I hope you feel like an idiot now for being so smug.

Comment Re:That explains everything (Score 2) 403

So I rather choose that some generations are allowed to have one child (and some to have three) than letting people starve or starting wars for water and food. Call me evil.

For even thinking that it is or should be your choice, I do call you evil. Did no-one ever explain to you the concept of convincing others through argument? Even if your intentions are good, immediately reaching for the stick to force others into your view of the world is what makes you evil. Thinking that you're entitled to that power is what makes you evil. The assumption that you know better is what makes you evil. I really wish I knew why so many of my fellow geeks suffer from this hubris. It should be obvious to any good engineer that they are fallible, so why is it that when it comes to social engineering they're suddenly all knowing?

Comment I find Bitcoin interesting (Score 4, Interesting) 490

Both as a technical concept and as a social phenomena. Quite a lot of people using Bitcoin are not doing so for practical benefits.. they're installing the software and promoting the concept as a sort of protest against the fiat banking system. Oh, and because they hate paypal.. but that's mutual.

http://susansayler.wordpress.com/2011/05/16/bitcoin-p2p-currency-the-most-dangerous-project-weve-ever-seen/

That's a pretty interesting article.. and it demonstrates the power of portraying yourself as persecuted to attract new members.

However, I think they're pretty delusional about the robustness of the system. From the paper that started it all:

If a greedy attacker is able to assemble more CPU power than all the honest nodes, he would have to choose between using it to defraud people by stealing back his payments, or using it to generate new coins. He ought to find it more profitable to play by the rules, such rules that favour him with more new coins than everyone else combined, than to undermine the system and the validity of his own wealth.

This obviously assumes the attacker is interested in profits that can be extracted from the system. An attacker who is already wealthy, and has a greater interest in undermining the system than extracting profit from it, can trivially overwhelm the network by assembling processing power - especially if the attacker already has a stockpile of processing power.

National governments obviously fall into this category, so if they ever decide to destroy Bitcoin they won't need to issue any bans or even tell anyone.

I'm sure you can think of some other potential attackers who have the capability.

Comment That explains everything (Score 4, Insightful) 403

Hey fellow geeks, tell me what you think about population control.. are you fundamentally opposed to involuntary sterilization or do you think it might sometimes be the right solution?

Some of the scariest social policies that I've ever heard have come out of the mouths of engineers. We're inherently heartless bastards who consider ourselves intellectually superior and so should have the right to sweep aside individual rights for what we consider to be the greater good.

For many of us, it has taken years of deprogramming to free ourselves from the "our kind know better" mindset.
 

Comment Re:Stronger sure... (Score 1) 215

Actually, I think that's the exact opposite of the way I feel.

I refuse to buy something with strings attached. I won't buy a bicycle under the condition that I never let anyone else ride it, or with the expectation that the person who sold it to me could inspect my usage of it. Hell, I won't event rent a car from someone who restricts where I can go with it.. I tell those rental companies to buzz off and go with the one next to them.

Similarly, I would much rather run software that is permissively licensed (and I hope for the day when the bullshit argument that you have to have a license or you'll get sued for implied warranty or whatever) and if that means the software is free of charge, then all the better.

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