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Comment Re:Can any government really stop BitCoin? (Score 3, Informative) 185

That's a nice theory. In practice what happens is one special interest or another does their own research that tries to demonstrate that something is harmful. Then they go lobby politicians who go "ooh err a study shows $X is harmful, maybe should ban it". Then the other side lobbies to try and undermine that study or convince the politicians not to go ahead. You can call this process the government proving something if you like, but that's not really correct.

To demonstrate this point, please find me a serious, government-sponsored cost/benefit analysis of anti-money laundering laws. I've yet to find one. Wikipedia's take. There are various attempts by academics and accountancy firms, but they are all hobbled by the fact that nobody can even measure how much money laundering takes place (heck even defining what it actually is, can prove troublesome).

Here's a statistic for you to chew on. The concept of money laundering was first invented by the USA in 1970, so about 40 years ago. It has been constantly ratched up since then. Yet in the last 20 years the street price of cocaine has more than halved (page 81, adjusted for inflation and changes in purity). In other words, despite the massive effort put into the war on drugs and all the effort put into AML, it hasn't been enough to even balance increased efficiency of the drug cartels. We can perhaps consider that the price would be even lower if it were not for AML. But that hardly seems to matter against a backdrop of such utter failure.

Comment Re:stupidity won again (Score 1) 168

The court assumes that bad guys don't already have this knowledge. From decades of experience in IT security we can conclude with near certainty that they do.

Erm, no you can't. Your experience is obviously wrong if you conclude that.

Immobilisers are mandatory in the EU since 1998 because they had an absolutely massive effect on car theft. From el wiki:

Statistics in Australia show that 3 out of 4 vehicle thefts are older cars stolen for joyriding, transport or to commit another crime. Immobilisers are fitted to around 45% of all cars in Australia, but account for only 7% of those cars that are stolen. In many instances where a vehicle fitted with an immobiliser has been stolen, the thief had access to the original key. Only around 1 in 4 stolen vehicles are stolen by professional thieves. The majority of vehicles are stolen by opportunistic thieves relying on finding older vehicles that have ineffective security or none at all.

From this paper

Application of the security device reduced the rate of car theft by an estimated 70 percent in the Netherlands and 80 percent in England and Wales, within ten years
after the regulation went into eect. Based on micro-data on time to recovery of stolen cars for the Netherlands, we nd that the device had a greater impact on theft
for joyriding and temporary transportation than on theft for resale and car parts. The costs per prevented theft equal some 250 Euro for England and Wales and 1,000 Euro for the Netherlands; a fraction of the social benets of a prevented car theft

Obviously, in that timeframe not all immobilisers were secure, as we're now learning that some have exploits (also see the BMW recall). Yet car theft dropped a lot anyway. The only explanation is that "bad guys" (who come in all shapes and sizes) did not have that knowledge, the skills needed to be a car thief not often overlapping with the skills needed to break complex security electronics.

Comment Re:Not to quibble, but... (Score 1) 164

amacbride wrote: "Um, in the very first sentence..."

You're right and fixed. Thank you! It's the only spelling error of the man's name in the essay. Copyedit errors happen.

"Furthermore, I think 2001 the film works precisely because of the tension between Clarke's fundamentally optimistic view of human nature, and Kubrick's pessimistic one."

Read on and I think you'll find we're very much in agreement on that point. -M

Comment Re:the 'grad student read' (Score 1) 164

globaljustin wrote: "(when he bothers to try and summarize)"

That's a fair point. I could cut the word count down significantly and recast several of the ideas into separate academic papers. But I was shooting for a more general audience, one who might need a breakdown of the film scene by scene. Those who haven't seen the film more than once. But I could have done better. Every piece of work has its warts.

I'm on to other projects now, but may one day revisit the work and attempt a more concise revision.

Comment Re:My bad (Score 1) 164

OK, so I get it now. Timothy linked to a /. review of that book in the submission intro, and you linked to an Amazon review of that book as well. But the book wasn't written by me. I got confused.

However, I read the Amazon review and thought - beyond her criticisms of a book I haven't read - some of what she said about the movie was very interesting. I'd love to read her essay on 2001 and will definitely do a google search and look for it. I suspect she'd trash my work, but also believe that in her criticisms I'd learn many interesting new things.

On the fence here over whether I'd prefer she review my essay. Woman got a harsh tonue. Lol. -M

Comment Re:Not to quibble, but... (Score 1) 164

I own many of Clarke's books, including 2001. I'm sorry to say, but I think you should check your sources on that one. See here. Further, I checked the essay source and found 26 instances of the name "Clarke" and no misspellings of "Clark". Can you quote a portion of text where you found the error? If so, I'll fix it. -M

Comment Re:OMFG (Score 2) 164

Ligeti is pretty avant-garde stuff. He makes extensive use of polyrhythm and chromatic polyharmony. His stuff is meant to be difficult listening. Clashing sounds that evoke discomfort and disturbed emotions. I won't say that my interpretation is an 'explanation' for why Kubrick chose that kind of music for his score, but I do think it's fair to say that he chose it on purpose.

Glad you liked the read!

Comment OMFG (Score 5, Interesting) 164

Uhhh. Hi folks!

I'm in Aussieland, where everything that moves is poisonous, and it's past 11pm. If there are any questions, I'll try to answer as timely as I can. But the wifey has dibs too.

Pretty fracking cool /. and thanks timothy! And it's aright if you think there's better words out there on the film. Damn thing has embossed more ink on paper than just about any flick in existence. I just couldn't help myself 'cause I love the movie. So I wanted my say too.


Comment Re:Congratulations! (Score 1) 5

Forward me a copy or a link to a google doc. I absolutely will not share it or violate your copyright in any way, and will do my best to offer a helpful and honest critique with the hope it will improve the work. PM me and I'll forward you a gdocs link to a short story I'm working on that's currently in the queue.

Comment What MS must do is become less PROPRIETARY (Score 2, Interesting) 230

All Microsoft problems really indirectly boil down to one problem. They try to be a licensing company, rather than a technology solution company.
This is why google nailed them in both search and phone and now tablet. Even IBM got the message, and moved toward a Linux datacenter strategy.

I just amazes me to see all their "reforms" all their "restructuring" all their products that have been doomed to fail, and they still don't get it.

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