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Comment Re:Not gonna happen (Score 1) 185

That's not the fallacy. The fallacy would be "We've already spent 500 million on research and development for this drug, but shit, only the incredibly impoverished really need it so we must charge them an arm and a leg, even if that means no one can buy it". It is not "There is no viable market for this drug, therefore we should not spend any money on R&D for it, because it could bankrupt us". That's just a rational economic decision.

Comment Re:Already or in the process of being repaired (Score 1) 183

I'll give you that it's interesting. I wouldn't call it awesome, except to say that I'm often awestruck at how relentlessly unscrupulous the bitcoin community remains at every turn. What market is it, exactly, that bitcoin is first to? It's not the first currency to be exchanged nor stored anonymously. It's not the first solution for online person to person or e-commerce payments. It's not the first virtual currency to be exchangeable for real money. Etc. What has bitcoin done besides assert its own value on the premise that it will somehow be the future of worldwide finance?

Comment Re:Already or in the process of being repaired (Score 1, Informative) 183

I assure you, he was casting aspersions on all digital wallet type things, not just bitcoin. Bitcoin advocates love to tout how awesomely anonymous and secure and perfect and futuristic it is. Then scams and simple robberies like this happen all the time, and normal people say "caveat emptor, you fool" while the mouthbreathers insist that "It's not a problem with BITCOIN per se! Bitcoin is still great! Bittcoin 4eva!"

Comment Re:Retro-active (Score 5, Insightful) 312

I don't buy this argument. People bought their $5 digital copies in lieu of the $20 blu-rays under pretty explicit terms. That $15.00 difference is not just savings from absent physical production passed onto the consumer; it's the forfeiture of your right to physical ownership, substituted instead for Amazon's right to shut the service down or reorganize the service as they please. This might be a terrible way to treat customers, but it's certainly not as though those customers have been robbed of their property.

Comment Re:The argument is a stretch. (Score 2) 292

This is mostly correct. One of the major fear of a market without net neutrality is not that ISPs wukk charge customers high fees for the bandwidth needed to access and use services like Netflix. Like you said, that's fine. There's nothing wrong with usage-based billing for bandwidth. The fear is that an ISP could impose a pricing structure like that, but ALSO exempt its own services or favored partner's services from that requirement. E.x. if Comcast decides to offer, say, a Basic and Premium tier - with the premium tier having bandwidth and latency sufficient for Netflix HD, but the Basic not - and package its own Xfinity HD or Amazon HD streaming video service along with the basic package without bandwidth restrictions, that would violate net neutrality principles. As far as Comcast is concerned, the data is indistinguishable, but it's able to use its control over the network in anti-competitive ways.

Comment Re:DHS covering an awful lot these days ... (Score 1) 123

That might be the case, but that has nothing to do with what you posted. What you posted is actually the opposite of what you're implying - which is that the DHS is some cutthroat super-agency that disregards its narrowly defined mandates. This is an example of the DHS having to comply with the same mundane protocols that every other government agency does.

Comment Re:DHS covering an awful lot these days ... (Score 3, Informative) 123

What exactly do you think this means? Did you actually read any of the reports? The DHS joined almost all other federal agencies in making it policy not to fuck over the health or environment of low-income populations as part of their operations. E.g. if the coast guard wants to test the effects of a new chemical dispersant for oil spills, this policy directs them to do it somewhere other than a lower-income fishing village in Louisiana. Or if the nuclear regulatory commission wants to build a site to dispose of spent nuclear fuel, they should do it somewhere other than near the aquifer of an Indian reservation.

Comment Actually a good idea (Score 1) 315

A patent for a DRM system for 3D printers is not the same as a mandate that all 3D printers must implement it. That will be a legislative battle fought a long time from now. I imagine a much more realistic application of this will have nothing to do with home users, since it will be trivial for those tech-savvy enough to own a home 3D printer to circumvent the system, or buy one without it. No, this will be targeted at industrious types who look to make a business out of piracy-based manufacturing. Just like it shouldn't be legal for Kinkos to accept payment for copyright-infringing requests (e.g. someone wants to print five hundred bound copies of 50 Shades of Grey for their "personal use"), it shouldn't be legal for a 3D print shop to take a fee for you to print out a bootleg of a hot new Christmas toy for your kid you found on The Pirate Bay because your local Toys R Us ran out of them before you could grab one off the shelf.

Comment Re:./ed (Score 3, Interesting) 608

This Q&A is more evidence that Romney is what everybody has been calling him from the start; basically moderate, smart guy who is cunning enough to play the part needed to get into office. He's a former governor, a distinguished JD MBA, and he hasn't got a deep dark secret besides being a little too capitalistic and a little too obsequious to his Church. I don't think anyone doubts that he would be an excellent director of policy and decision-maker in chief. If there were 535 Romney's in congress who only slightly disagreed with each other on center-right versus center-left policy leanings, we'd all be far better off. But that's not what we'd get with a Romney presidency. Romney is not the leader of his party; Clint Eastwood, Paul Ryan, and Grover Norquist are. What you see in Romney's platform and tempered responses (a four point plan here, a three-pillar foundation there) is not what you will get from the Congress elected along with him should he galvanize the base enough to keep the house and win back the senate. You'd get an agenda dictated by the hard-right and the tea party, with Romney stuck signing into law bills and policies that make government less effective and militate against his reasonable goals. It's actually been pretty sad to see this Faustian bargain develop; Romney got the nomination and has a serious shot at the becoming #45 in the history books, but he's had to pander to the base of the party over which he has little if any serious sway anyway, and will be utterly subservient to their agenda while in office. A fun twist on the lame-duck phenomenon. On the flip side, the GOP gets an electable candidate, but one whose core views they know in their hearts will never really align with their own. It will be hollow, Pyrrhic victories all around.

Comment Re:shocker (Score 1) 167

With USD you have exquisite knowledge of the sender and recipient of funds and can physically trace the movement of bills with markings or serial numbers. They can choose not to participate in legally dubious activities. Almost the entirety of the sales pitch of BitCoin is that it's anonymous and untraceable. If MasterCard can't tell the difference between a payment processed to pay for a can of soda and a payment processed to pay for 10 kilos of cocaine, they may be inadvertently abetting or committing a crime totally outside of their control. I guess you're too stupid to realize I never said that BitCoin didn't have legitimate uses, but that a payment processor of anonymous transactions can't tell the difference between legal and illegal ones.

Comment Re:shocker (Score 2) 167

MasterCard is a payment processor that merchants and consumers CHOOSE to use for convenience, not a boa constrictor wrapped around the neck of international commerce. If WikiLeaks wanted to, they could accept donations from dollar bills stuffed in envelopes, but they wanted an online processing instead. MasterCard shut them off because they didn't want to known as one of the companies processing charitable contributions to an international espionage suspect, not because they're some megalomaniacal superpower.

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