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Comment Re: I wish people were that smart (Score 2) 353

I don't defend those practices; the post was aiming to inform objectively rather than to advocate one way or the other.

However, time is money, and rewriting accounting and expenditure rules typically require very high level (expensive) approval, so it might end up costing thousands once the cost of rewriting the procedures is included. It's hard to justify if there are only a few edge cases.

Comment Re: I wish people were that smart (Score 4, Informative) 353

For context, I work at a large multinational not based in the US.
We have different approval requirements for capital expenditure versus operating expenses (and in my country, different tax treatments as well). It may be easier for the person responsible for procurement to order a recurring monthly expense than justify a capex spend, especially if the monthly spend is below an approval threshold. It may even be cheaper given the paperwork required.

Comment Re: Glasses (Score 2) 435

Not just that - you can't focus anywhere but where the camera is focused. The 3D they tried to sell us showed difference in depth between the foreground and background, but was still blurry even when you try to look at it, unless you were only viewing animated films. This meant that watching 3D movies simply took more effort, as parts of the screen moved in and out of focus.

Comment Re: Not news (Score 1) 219

I do, but it could have missed out on a spot of my local news for any number of reasons - like a domestic political scandal or election happening at the same time. Not everything should necessarily be ascribed to malice or conspiracy.
There are other personal reasons why someone might miss out on a news story, including holiday, travel, family emergency, or illness.

Comment Re: Any way to hedge USD using smart contracts? (Score 1) 146

The principal reason fiat currencies are managed for low inflation is to produce steady nominal economic growth, and encourage investment and redistribution of funds. This isn't necessary for bitcoin, because it doesn't need to replace fiat currency to have value.
For example, Bitcoin offers a way to transfer funds in and out of war zones and political hot spots. Our existing monetary system breaks down in these cases, as trust breaks down, government stop operating, and the local fiat currency becomes worthless. Also, fiat is worthless if the government doesn't like you - just look at what happened to Wikileaks. The US government had their bank and PayPal accounts shut down and they were forced to rely on bitcoin donations.

Comment Re: Hilarious (Score 2) 146

It is normal for investors to hold a percentage of higher risk assets, and to hold financial instruments for purposes other than long term growth, such as hedging contracts to protect against currency fluctuations. In BTC's case, holding it offers certain characteristics that are hard to get in other asset classes. To someone managing a fund or portfolio, these characteristics have little to do with the technology itself, and everything to how the bitcoin price responds to international events. In recent years, the bitcoin price has risen when uncertainty around the global economic system is high, or a country (read China) is trying to restrict money flow across its borders. Given recent worries about the US president-elect starting a trade war, bitcoin outperformance at the same time as a strong US dollar (hence a low gold price) is a foreseeable outcome. None of this is to say bitcoin has any inherent value. However, the fact that its price has reacted to world events in predictable ways has meant that it has been a useful financial instrument.

Comment Re: Free Motorcycles (Score 1) 295

But the fact that the power hasn't been exercised isn't the point. The law is still on the books, so the state all has "ownership" and can in theory send you off to you to do whatever they want. Your Supreme Court considered this different to slavery only because serving in the armed forces is an "honour". http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-...

Comment Re: About time. (Score 1) 656

Section 116 of the constitution guarantees freedom of religion, and in theory might provide a defence if the nurse argued that their opposition to vaccination was based on religion. However, it becomes murky in healthcare. For example, in some states, doctors objecting to abortion are legally required to refer patients on to specialists that offer terminations, but those laws are contentious.

Comment Re: No. Simply No. (Score 3, Informative) 522

Not that I am in love with Microsoft, but Excel has added quite a few "minor" functions since 2000 that dramatically increase usability.

For example, Excel 2007 introduced filtering and sorting by colors. And formats. Coupled with the existing conditional formatting, it significantly improved the ability of the software to sort based on any criteria, without using extra columns.

Going back a bit further, a key feature introduced in Excel 2003 was the ability to import xml datasets, and to set up templates quite easily which automatically imported data from xml files into preset columns. This can be done using macros, sure, but it's a lot easier to use the built in functionality.

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