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Comment Re:WW3 is going to be a nightmare (Score 1) 113

Without layers of defenses and countermeasures, drones could make armored vehicles nothing more than overlarge doorstops. Imagine how well an incursion into Gaza would go for the IDF if drones could pop out from behind any wall and precisely place a shape charge in the optimal location over the engine compartment of an armored vehicle.

Comment Re:This is a surprise? (Score 1) 483

They can't win. At this point, no matter what they do, some people will say they are corrupt for not acting like a proper non-profit, and some people will say they are idiots for not acting like a grown up business. With feedback like that, the only rational choice is to do what their "boss" wants -- in this case the CA legislature cares more about shaving costs than a few local jobs.

Comment Re:Here's a downside. (Score 1) 168

it has no downsides I can imagine.

If generalized beyond patent trolling suits it could severely limit the ability of shallow-pocket plaintiffs to obtain legal council on a contingency fee basis to obtain redress for the torts that damaged, and perhaps impoverished, them.

The result would be that the legal system becomes accessible only to the rich.

It is possible, but there is no reason to expect it to go there.

The problem only arises because of an expansive view of corporations is allowing too many corporations that were designed to fail as part of their business model, thereby privatizing the gains and socializing the losses. These corporate entities are simply not businesses in the pedestrian manner of a restaurant or a tech start up. In a sense, the court is searching for a real person as a plaintiff, other than the fake person which is the corporate entity.

Could this idea be expanded to all contingency fees? I am sure there will be lawyers who will try. And there will be lawyers who will try to clamp that down.

Comment Re:You are doing it wrong (Score 1) 296

And I am saying, for all practical purposes, you are wrong.

Not seeing the fluctuations is a significant practical positive because it makes a theoretical problem a non-problem, but it is a price that Bitcoin users cannot avoid.

Furthermore, Bitcoin has fluctuation that are very large when compared to major currencies. Whether we want to say the USD has small fluctuations and Bitcoin has large fluctuations, or we want to say the USD has large fluctuations and Bitcoin has immense fluctuations, it boils down to the same thing.

Comment Re:Maybe just profit taking? (Score 1) 296

That is only going to change when a big (evil) bank with cozy connections to all those big bad gov'ts decide to weigh in and help Bitcoin succeed. So far, one of the surest ways to lose you Bitcoin is to trust it to a Bitcoin exchange, where it will likely disappear with all the earmarks of an inside job. Mtgox is the obvious example, but it was far from the first and not the last.

Comment Re:Volatility (Score 1) 296

Only if you look at it in very short terms. Over long term it is actually quite stable other then occasional speculative peaks which are easy to avoid. You could see this one coming at Christmas. And today (If you were watching) was the bitcoin sale at $900.

For pretend money, Bitcoin is not so unstable. Compared to real money, it is extremely unstable. It is only ideological blinkers that prevent people from seeing it that way.

Comment Re:Speculators (Score 1) 146

Nothing is perfectly stable. We do not even know how to define "perfectly stable" in a manner that economists would agree on.

Most major currencies exhibit less instability over the course of two decades than Bitcoin does over any year. So if we agree that stability is desirable enough to even discuss, then that is a major black mark against Bitcoin.

Comment Re:Dear Matthew (Score 1) 531

I am baffled why Americans believe they have a "right" to tax the sale of a product made in China and sold in France.

It is only baffling if you look at the situation superficially.

Specifically, when a highly profitable subsidiary company is created in France that sells products built in China based entirely on key technology invented in the US by a US company, where was the bulk of value for that company created? The US gov't gets told that it happened in France and China. The French gov't gets told it happened in the US and China. The Chinese gov't gets told it happened in the US and France. Or maybe they all get told it happened in the Bahamas and Ireland.

Under that kind of creative gaming of the system, it makes perfect sense to tell Apple, no, it all happened in the US because all your many answers make less sense than that one.

If these American companies were paying big taxes to France and China, then, yes, Americans asking for another piece of the pie is probably wrong. But that is not what we are talking about. The subsidiary in France is literally telling the French gov't whoppers like "Oh, I paid $2 billion to a company in the West Indies for the rights to the intellectual property, plus $1 billion in local expenses, so I have exactly profits on that $3 billion in sales."

Comment Re:DNA Sequencing (Score 4, Insightful) 83

What Watson did is something any intern with time on his or her hands could have achieved by looking at the data, searching in a medical database, and then a long bit of drudgery finding the wheat among the chaff. And if it were an intern, we would applaud that person for surprising tenacity and "vision" in helping a patient when seasoned doctors failed.

Why do you need to denigrate that? Why do you need to concoct a phony baloney different standard when a computer succeeds where humans failed?

Comment Watson is the future...and the future is good. (Score 5, Insightful) 83

My personal opinion is most doctors are probably pretty bad at diagnosing non-obvious issues. We do not actually need Watson to replace the doctors. We need Watson as another opinion who looks at the data in another way, and can usefully point to the long tail of uncommon to rare things that have a statically reasonable likelihood of being relevant. Many of these uncommon things, why would expect a doctor to actually be competent at diagnosing them? When would they have built that kind expertise?

Taking TFA at face value, the doctors were ignoring data right under their noses. Watson found it by simply looking. It is not a matter of Watson have some magical genius. It is a matter of Watson being simply and thoroughly competent at many, many easy things that most doctors can never be expected to learn.

Comment Re:I guess there is demand (Score 1) 78

So real money is only 1% tangible while bitcoin is 0% tangible. Not a huge difference for me.

You live in a bubble, if the difference is so small to you. (1) The USD is backed by assets, even if not directly as it was when we had the gold standard. (2) The USD is also backed by binding explicit and implicit promises that 300 million US citizens will accept it. In comparison bitcoin is explicitly backed by nothing, and no one on the planet has made a binding promise to accept bitcoin.

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