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Comment Gee! Why is it so difficult? (Score 0) 183

Where do the revenue to sustain the gaming industry come from? Mostly from people overloaded with testosterone, with an urge feel the thrill of killing, maiming and engaging in wanton destruction. Most games award points for what would be considered "bad" behavior in real life. Cheating, hitting other cars, forming secret coteries and trick other gamers, betrayal etc etc.

Is it any wonder the gamers extend the "boundaries" of the game to include the entire gaming infrastructure? The gaming companies say, "these are the games, Here you can get hit other cars, or trick another user into losing they cyberberries. But this part is not a game, and you should behave honestly". The gamers see it holistically, they would steal the game from the gaming companies if they can, they will steal the cybergoodies from the companies if they can, they will run the game under virtual machines and use software to change the game state and cheat.

After encouraging and rewarding such behavior "inside the game", trying to discourage it "outside the game" is not going to work. The gamers do not agree with the gaming companies on what "inside" and "outside" of the game are.

Comment Re: Uh No (Score 1) 282

No. I am not saying that. The statement was the Republicans hence not won the popular vote for a long time. If re distribute Ross Perot vote and Ralph Nader vote to R and D, R would get 92 and 04. D would get 96, 00, 08 and 12. Four and two instead of five and one. D's demographic advantage is undeniable but the extrapolation curve is a little over estimated. R still has fighting chance in 16 and 20 unless they change their policies.

Comment Customer != consumer (Score 1) 282

The conflict of interest between the customer and the consumer is very big. For example a physics simulation company would sell design analysis tools. Its customer is the company that buys those tools, your Intel, Apple, BMW, Toyota... whatever. The consumer is an employee of that corporation. The customer wants the tools to be easy to use, and produce accurate reliable answers all the time. But the consumer wants the product to be easy to use on some parts but very difficult to use in other parts. He/she wants a tough learning curve to create a barrier to entry, and the results to get more accurate using less resources depending on experience. Customer wants even newbies to learn to use it quickly and produce as good a result as the veterans. There is a conflict of interest between customer and the user.

Comment Electric car complexity health care complexity (Score 1) 282

Look electric car is not like health insurance. Health insurance must be sold across the state lines and nationwide. Healthcare companies should be able to find states with friendly regulators. They need to set up shop at a place where the judges, juries and arbitrators would be friendly to the company not the claimants. So that is why we should support healthcare being sold nationwide.

But the electric car is a very complex product. Most users don't know how to drive a car. They need to be trained and licensed to use one. Remember you don't need a license to be a patient to a doctor or in a hospital. Shows you how complex the automobile is. And you add on top of this electricity, which you can't see. They say Tesla runs on electricity. But I don't want to cars trailing miles and miles of extension cords. They will tangle up in the road and create fire hazard. So electric cars must be sold only via authorized dealers and you should not even be able to buy one across county lines, leave alone state lines.

Comment It exists, but you can't see it. (Score 1) 373

There is an instance of elegant code that solves a real life engineering problem that beats the competition by orders of magnitude in speed, resource usage, robustness and accuracy.

Unfortunately my employer thinks it belongs to the corporation, because they paid me something they call salary to me when I wrote it. They would not let me show it to you all. But this much I can tell you. The key to writing such wonderfully elegant code is to avoid exaggeration, stay away from bragging, and most importantly eschew snark.

Comment upper peninsula of Michigan (Score 3, Interesting) 370

I hired a guy who was in a small time band for 20 years after high school. Traveled all over US. No one ever paid an admission price to hear them. Hotel lobby. Restaurant. Etc. Decided to get a degree at age 40. 20 years of travel showed him the cheapest place in USA. Upper peninsula of Michigan. Mich tech or some such place. Finished degree in three years with summer session. Started as entry level coder at age 44. One of the smartest guys I have met. He joined and enjoyed our London times cryptic crossword puzzle group. So go north young man.

Comment Re:I must not be getting this.. (Score 0) 301

You are confusing the term "mining" with some kind of digging the earth to find gold or coal. What they call mining is simply the process of validating a large block of transactions. To provide an incentive for validating these transactions they provide a transaction fee. That fee is paid in bitcoins. They used the term mining to "jazz" up the work.

The plan is to make the transaction fee paid to validate the block go to zero at some point in the future. It is expected enough people will be using bitcoins to exchange. And it is in their best interest to validate large blocks of transactions and they will do it for free. That is what is meant by "there will be no more coins to mine".

At that point there will be a fixed number of bit coins and they will be exchanged freely between other currencies. It will be almost like the gold standard. But with one difference. There is some outside chance a suddenly a new gold field might be discovered. Or some sunken vessel of gold discovered and salvaged. Or there could be really El Dorado and it gets discovered. But in the bitcoin universe, you are guaranteed there will not be a sudden influx of new bitcoins. The number of coins are fixed. Their value floats up or down.

Comment What about private companies? (Score 4, Interesting) 405

We get all worked up about the government data collection. But what LAPD is doing is perfectly legal for a private company to do. There is already a huge industry of people with license plate scanners to scan every car in a parking lot and tip off repossession companies for the tip money. Private investigators collect such data to use in divorce cases, child custody cases. Stalkers and creeps could use private detective agencies to access such data base of collected license plate scans.

I am not saying, "So we should let LAPD scan license plates". What I am saying is whatever argument you use against LAPD is valid an order of magnitude more for private companies too. And any solution, change we propose should also prohibit such private companies from consolidating such data into some kind of national data base queriable by private detective agencies, repossession companies, divorce lawyers, etc.

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