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Comment Re:Intrinsic Value (Score 4, Insightful) 174

An excellent weighing-in on the recent fluctuation. Bitcoins: The Second Biggest Ponzi Scheme in History

Bitcoin may or may not be a good investment, but it certainly is not a Ponzi Scheme.

The article lists the biggest Ponzi Scheme in history as Social Security. Social Security may or may not be good public policy, but it is not a Ponzi Scheme either.

Comment Re:On the Early player advantage (Score 1, Insightful) 174

Yes, but I'm shocked at how no one is talking about the amount of electricity being wasted to generate digital coins.

Most bitcoins are mined where electricity is cheap, like Iceland and the US Pacific Northwest, that use hydropower. Water flowing through a turbine really isn't causing much environmental damage. Compared to the environmental damage of gold mining, this is much better.

Comment Re:uhm... (Score 2) 129

They do know everyone selling data + advertising already does this, right? This is a VERY obvious use of aggregated data.

Before you make such a judgement, you might want to actually read the patent. Slashdot summaries almost always completely misrepresent what is actually covered in the claims section of the patent.

Comment Re:No, they don't work (Score 4, Insightful) 670

There is absolutely no point taking medication (FFS) to control your bad habits.

You are wrong. Nicotine patches have helped millions of people quit smoking. These diet pills have also been shown, in controlled studies, to help many people achieve long term weight loss. Yes, people need to change their habits. But what you are missing, is that the drugs can help them do that. By achieving some weight loss, it can start them on the cycle of positive reinforcement.

Comment Re: I think people just won't own these cars (Score 2) 140

I don't see that as any different than someone not properly maintaining their manual car.

I see a big difference: with an automated car, the car will know that it needs maintenance. If it is a safely issue, it can limit its speed, or refuse to drive until the problem is fixed. Otherwise, it can automatically drive itself to a maintenance center while you are at work or sleeping.

Comment Re:Glitch = Possible Death (Score 3, Interesting) 140

What if it suddenly veers into a wall or oncoming truck due to an incorrect or faulty instruction. Fuck autonomous!

You are obviously not an embedded system engineer with mission critical design experience. The proper way to design a system like this is to have multiple processes running on at least two separate CPUs. The most powerful CPU computes the car's speed and path, and another process running on a separate CPU performs sanity checks on the results. If something is clearly wrong (like steering into oncoming traffic), then the backup program applies the brakes and pulls off the road. Bits can be flipped by cosmic rays, or whatever, and a system like this is designed to deal with that. This is standard critical system engineering. Then you put it on the test track, and throw all the crap you can at it: turn off sensors at random, put corrupt data on the bus, flip bits in memory, etc. Keep hammering it and fixing the problems until it can handle any failure as safely as possible.

Comment Re:But does it ... (Score 4, Interesting) 140

As a side effect, this will finally, finally, FINALLY put an end to the dreaded find-a-parking-space-in-a-busy-city-on-Friday-night drill.

Self-driving cars can not only use remote parking lots, they can also make much better use of parking lot space. They are unoccupied when they self-park, so there is no need to leave room for people to exit. So they can park just an inch apart, and the absence of side mirrors will make that very close. Less space is needed for lanes, since the cars can steer optimally and coordinate their movements. Cars could park directly in front and behind each other, then when summoned by its owner, a car could signal for the blocking cars to move. The capacity of a parking lot can easily be doubled or tripled.

Comment Re:Common knowledge (Score 1) 270

In the business, this is called duty cycle, and there are significant MTBF differences between enterprise quality drives (FC, SAS) and consumer drivers (SATA, NL-SAS) at high duty cycles.

No there isn't. This article was just more confirmation that there is NO difference between "enterprise" and "consumer" other than the price. Plenty of other people have looked at the data and reached the same conclusion. Also: the MTBF number on the side of the box has no connection to reality. It is just a number made up by the marketing department.

Comment Re:Common knowledge (Score 1) 270

Perhaps you are missing this part:

Enterprise drives do have one advantage: longer warranties...

Businesses want longer warranties especially these days ...

The warranties are just more evidence that "enterprise drives" are a scam. Warranties are almost never worth the price you pay for them. If they were, few companies would be foolish enough to offer them.

Comment Re:Common knowledge (Score 4, Interesting) 270

What? There's absolutely difference between 87 octane and 92+ octane.

For 99% of cars, there is no difference. Unless a car is specifically designed to use a higher compression ratio, there is no benefit whatsoever to a higher octane rating. Besides, you are assuming that the premium gas actually has a higher octane rating. Years ago, it actually cost more to make high octane gas. Today the octane rating can be tweaked with cheap additives. So it is common to just make it all 92, then just use one tanker truck to make the delivery and just fill all the tanks with identical gas.

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Systems programmers are the high priests of a low cult. -- R.S. Barton