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Comment Re:Well... isn't it government property? (Score 1) 210

Exactly. ICANN and IANA don't exist because they have a mandate from the US government, they exist because there is a consensus that they're doing a reasonable job. You don't own an IP address because IANA says so, you own an IP address because the people who configure the BGP routes for backbone networks agree to send packets for you to the place that you've asked. They currently do this because they perceive the assignments made by IANA (and then subsequently by national organisations) to be fair and equitable. If it looks like the USA is imposing too much control on IANA, then their authority goes away and there is likely to be a new consensus about whose assignments become the real ones (probably with a long interim process where bits of the Internet were broken or unreliable).

Ironically, a lawsuit like this is exactly the sort of thing that would push the consensus away from the USA.

Comment Re:Will their implementation allow tracking? (Score 2) 55

When banks implement blockchains, will their version allow tracking of all the individuals involved in the whole chain?

Of course it will. They want to use a blockchain for maintaining an efficient high-speed ledger of all bank-to-bank transactions. When you do a funds transfer from, for your account to an account at another bank, they'll write an entry to the block chain and both parties will be able to validate the time at which the transaction occurred. Having an unforgeable ledger is the entire point of the system that they're proposing.

Comment Re:Best selling computer? (Score 1) 272

I'm surprised that it was that few. I remember seeing them for £50 in Argos about a decade after they were first released. They were incredibly popular as games machines and a load of shops had a row of C64 game tapes for around 50p each (NES games were around £10, if I remember correctly, at the same time).

Comment Re:A Lot of Effort to Bury the Lede (Score 1) 108

There's no vast left- or right-wing media conspiracy. There's a small number of owners of the mainstream press, and they will not print anything that directly contradicts the interests of these owners. This has no allegiance to any political party or ideology other than a desire for certain individuals to increase their personal power.

Various governments have allowed mergers and acquisitions among news companies until there's very little independent press. Most countries don't want to regulate press freedom too heavily (for good reason - there's a very fine line between regulating truth in journalism and forcing propaganda and it's incredibly easy for the former to slip into the latter), so we're left with the majority of the population being informed by untrustworthy sources.

Comment Re:Pretty shocking (Score 1) 113

I find the map pretty surprising. Zoom in on the UK, and most of England is yellow (11-15 g/m3), but Reading (dense traffic, industrial areas, lots of diesel trains passing through) is green (<10), yet completely surrounded by yellow areas. I'd probably be inclined to trust the point samples, but their averaging between them looks like it's nonsense. The middle of Wales is pretty green, but with squares of yellow. The green makes sense (it's basically a big space full of hills and sheep), but the yellow doesn't seem to correspond with any human habitation or industry.

Comment Re: don't get your hope up (Score 1) 259

Indeed. Under the Consumer Rights Act and the earlier Sale of Goods Act, you are entitled to a refund for a variety of reasons. Any claims made by the seller that influenced your decision and are false gives you grounds for a refund (or a replacement with a version that meets these requirements). I had the battery on an Apple laptop fail after the warranty expired, but because of the SoGA they replaced it without quibble: their website claimed that it would retain 80% of its charge after 300 discharge cycles and the system monitor showed that it was retaining about 15% of its charge after about 120 complete cycles.

Comment Re:What exactly are they doing with it? (Score 4, Insightful) 55

It's a distributed trust network, right? Why would banks that survive on trust want that distributed?

Well there's two parts to it, one is the "chain" property where like git's commits it's not possible to edit one transaction later and have it go unnoticed. You can run independent background audits that confirm that this blockchain state corresponds to these transactions and account balances. It's a lot more difficult than adding one fraudulent transaction by itself, like that somebody deposited cash in your account when they never did. Obviously if you can add "genuine" transaction to the chain that's different, but they can be validated in the process.

The other part is inter-bank transactions where it's essential that everybody agrees on the state of affairs. I wouldn't use the "proof of work" but rather signatures of trusted parties, one party one vote. If 100 banks get an inter-bank ledger, 98 of 100 agree on the block chain all the alarms should go off in the last two banks. With signing and countersigning it's pretty hard to go back on anything as 100 banks have digitially signed that they saw your bank digitally sign that this block chain is correct. Because it's harder than you think to find one trusted master to rule them all, both domestically and internationally. Everybody wants to do their own verification which is exactly what block chains provides.

Comment Re:The problem with privitization? Or just no shit (Score 1) 459

Government does little in the way of firsts as they are bound by health and safety laws and sending people on fact-gathering missions is generally a waste of money. Technically the moon missions would come under military, even then, wouldn't they?

Technically, no they wouldn't as NASA is a civilian agency operating outside the chain of command. In every other respect, yes it was the military backing it and funding it.

Comment Re:Probably actually illegal (Score 1) 249

The "value" doesn't exist. Things don't have value; people place a valuation on things--a property of the observer, not the object. You might value (verb) a candy bar at $1, but it has no actual value (noun).

Things have a cost and a price. That cost is directly related to human labor time required to make the thing. All business expenses go to pay wages, buy from other businesses, and take profit. Recurse this and all business expenses reduce to wages, {alie profit+wages}, profit; which just becomes wages and profit. In aggregate, price can never be lower than wages; and the minimum sustainable wage is one that keeps your labor force alive (even slaves must eat and be sheltered from the cold, and it's cheaper to treat illness than to raise a new slave).

If that candy bar requires $1.80 to make and you value it at $1, you're not buying a candybar. If that's what people think of candy bars, then candy bars aren't a product until we invent technology to use roughly half as many people to make the same number of candy bars.

Your complaint essentially boils down to, "Stacker could have conned someone into paying a lot more than the business and its products were actually worth. You don't know how successful they'd have been at convincing people to overpay."

Comment Re:Not gonna happen (Score 1) 43

"Easy to audit" is bullshit. It's hard to hide; it's not easy to audit. The "public ledger" is a history of when each object has had its blockchain extended. The problem is an account consists of assets of value, such as dollars; those assets are semi-fungible, in the sense that the account has value and any set of assets producing that value is representative. Accounts typically have one or several kinds of fungible assets--a single currency or separate lots of fungible assets (e.g. your commodities account may contain oil, gold, and FCOJ; your stock account contains stocks)--because *which* of each of those things is irrelevant.

Blockchains mean you can tell which gold piece moved where; if you want to audit financial behavior, you need to know which accounts moved what. You might be able to piece that together from a blockchain; but only by auditing every single object to determine where it once stood, collecting all objects that ever entered a particular account, and then generating an account ledger from that. It'd be like going into every bank vault and every wallet and inspecting every dollar to see whose hands it's changed through in its history. If you don't have the ability to inspect the current state of every single piece of blockchain currency in existence *and* to guarantee that you've done exactly that (i.e. that you haven't missed any), you can't audit.

Any given dollar telling you the history of how it's been owned and spent is different than any given account describing its financial history in its ledger.

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