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Comment Re:What a world.... (Score 1) 260

"Free market" is a political buzz phrase with no real meaning in economics (look it up).

While I agree that "free market" is mainly a political term... in economics the same concept is simply referred to as a "market". There is no need for a term like "free market" in economics because in economics all trade is assumed to be voluntary, and consequently all markets are free markets. Occasionally economists will speculate on the likely effects of non-economic influences like price floors or taxation, but the very existence of these influences undermines the most basic foundations of economic calculation. This is part of the reason why economic predictions tend to go off the rails when you start introducing distortions like patents, copyrights, monetary policy, and taxes, all of which are decidedly non-free: they belong to the domain of political action rather than economics.

There is also no such thing as a free market when there is no regulation...

That is the same as saying "there is no such thing as a free market." A regulated market cannot by definition be a free market. The "free" in "free market" means that all interactions within the market are voluntary: the permissible actions are exactly those which do not infringe on others' property rights, no more and no less. Regulations are imposed involuntarily. The two are not compatible.

A free market may well include monopolies and cartels, but in general these are due to the presence of regulations, not their absence. The more heavily regulated the market the higher the barriers to entry and the more prone it becomes to regulatory capture, both of which favor a small number of large, well-established players.

Comment Think Tank = Propaganda with academic support (Score 1) 166

Think Tanks are almost entirely purposed with creating biased academic like support for propaganda purposes. They do not seek truth, only as much truth that supports their paid positions and maybe invent clever fake science to undermine confuse actual science -- smoking is actually good for you! Some people they hire are honest but believe in the same things and if that changes they are fired. Others are just intellectual whores who sell their minds out for money, arguably worse than a whore.

Think Tanks owe their huge numbers to the Vietnam era where the elite and their corporations realized the power of academic institutions to influence public policy with troublesome facts, cogent arguments, and tenure protected free speech. An effort was put together to counter the mostly selfless honest intelligent free speech and a Nixon man led the charge in a warped paranoid view only a religious zealot could have.

A professor somewhere should get news time even more for a group of them but a think tank shouldn't get anymore attention than corporate spokes person... and they get too much attention already.

Comment Re:Raise your hand if... (Score 1) 365

I would imagine that most places that take cash only advertise it when you walk in. You know going in that you need plastic. If there's no notification, then there's a reason to argue.

"Places that take cash only" would be exactly the opposite situation. We're discussing cases where the merchant only accepts electronic payment—no cash. And it doesn't matter whether they post a sign saying "credit card only, no cash"—if a debt exists, you can pay it with legal tender. Even if they had your signature on a written contract, to refuse your offer to pay in full in legal tender would amount to forgiving the debt. They can blacklist you for it, but they can't legally claim that you still owe them anything. If a merchant doesn't want to deal with cash at all their only option is to avoid giving customers anything on credit, even short-term credit such as one incurs at a restaurant.

That is what legal tender is: a payment method of last resort which can be used to settle any debt, regardless of any prior agreement you may have made to pay by a different method.

That is the legal situation, more or less. As for the morality of the subject, I perceive legal tender as a bit of a grey area: I disagree with the current political methods but also think that the situation would not be significantly different if limited to legitimate (voluntary) means. On the one hand, legal tender laws are being imposed on the merchant by force, and a customer or party to a contract who agreed to pay in one form should not attempt to escape that voluntarily accepted obligation—I consider that contract-breaking and tantamount to theft. On the other hand, it would not be unreasonable for a court charged with resolving such disputes to impose the condition that the plaintiff must agree to accept some standard form of compensation as a condition of receiving the court's assistance, rather than the specific property in dispute. Some cases would be impossible to resolve without that constraint; the defendant may not even have the disputed property. On the other other hand, the government's courts claim a monopoly on arbitrating such disputes, which means any conditions they impose are at least partly based on force. If you don't agree to their conditions you have nowhere else to turn.

Comment Re:Raise your hand if... (Score 1) 365

A place not accepting cash doesn't mean that you can just walk out with the merchandise, though. Your perception that you've created a debt by attempting to purchase something is off. There's no debt because the transaction hasn't been completed, and there's no contract, verbal or written, setting up payment at a later time.

I don't know if this is the same in Australia, but in the US it depends on whether payment is required up front. Most restaurants here give you the food first and have you pay your bill just before you leave, so there is a debt—and if they refuse your offer of cash to settle that debt then they simply don't get paid. (They are under no obligation to make change, though: if you order $5 worth of food and only have $20 bills, you can either offer to pay $20 cash for a $5 meal or make your payment in the form the merchant prefers.) A coffee shop might work the same way or might require payment up front when you place your order. In the latter case there is no debt, so the legal tender rules do not apply; in this case, as you said, the coffee doesn't belong to the customer until payment is made in accordance with the merchant's criteria.

Comment Re:There are 900 .com registrars (Score 1) 77

Right, but if Verisign allows any registrar to update DS records for any domain, and not just the ones they're individually responsible for, then a registrar other than your own could push a malicious DS record for your domain into the TLD where it would be duly signed by Verisign, and you're back to trusting 900 separate registrars rather than just your own authorized registrar and Verisign. The TLD should only allow one registrar to update any given domain.

Comment Re:There are 900 .com registrars (Score 1) 77

There are 900 registrars handling .com, any of which can issue a transfer and change the root DNS servers for any .com domain.

So they don't keep track of which registrars are responsible for which domains? That does seem a bit messed up, if true. My impression was that there was a formal process registrars had to go through to transfer control over a domain name—or does that only restrict domain owners, and not registrars? If the control over .com domains is really as chaotic as you say then that is a separate issue that ought to be addressed independent of DANE or DNSSEC.

Even so, DANE still gives you the benefit of domain validation without the need to deal with a traditional CA as well as your DNSSEC trust chain. You also have the option of choosing a TLD with saner access controls than simply granting 900 separate entities global write access.

Comment Re:"Signed all the way". That's just a different C (Score 1) 77

You still have CA, you've just decided that the CA needs to be the same people who run DNS, because ... well no good reason that I can think of. What does that gain you?

First, this is for Domain Validation certificates only. The normal CA process would still apply if you wanted an EV certificate—though you could restrict your domain to a specific EV certificate for additional security.

If someone has control over your domain records they can already obtain a DV certificate for your domain from just about any CA by redirecting the domain to their own servers. What DANE buys you is all the security you would get with Domain Validation minus the need to deal with two different CAs, one for DNSSEC and another for TLS.

As a bonus, with DANE records for a site "" there are only three entities you need to trust: the domain administrator for "", the registrar for "com.", and the root authority. In the traditional CA system any CA can issue a certificate for any domain, so you're forced to trust dozens (if not hundreds) of CAs both to maintain the security of their signing keys and to refrain from issuing an unauthorized certificate for your domain. A breach at any one of those CAs can compromise the security of your site.

Comment Re:Here's the actual problem, (Score 1) 197

I've lived as an immigrant and guest worker for much of my life, and I've always understood that immigration is a privilege, that as an immigrant I do not have most of the rights of citizens, and that until I become a citizen, I can be asked to leave at any time.

You're selling yourself short. Your rights are not defined by the government's whims. You have just as much right to be here as anyone born within the geopolitical boundaries of the United States. Anyone who tries to claim otherwise (including the U.S. government) is infringing on your natural rights as a sentient being.

Comment Web app (Score 1) 71

My TV's Netflix app simply wraps a customized browser loading a local web app which uses ajax to talk with netflix. Then they used some sort of browser plug in or modification to get to whatever video library the device supported.

Why wouldn't netflix use a similar approach for all it's apps from toaster to xbox??

You can make a local web app that would fool almost anybody with a properly customized browser (using local OS library means it wouldn't take much ram since it's likely loaded anyhow.)

Less development and support related issues; every device has some working browser library and video decoder if hardware support is available.

Comment Re:It won't matter (Score 1) 243

After I switched out the cartridges, I shipped the empty cartridge back in the same box as I got the new cartridge, print out a shipping label and drop it off at the post office. Hence, I "rented" the cartridge and kept the ink.

You're not renting the cartridge; it belongs to you. You may or may not get a credit towards the purchase of a new cartridge if you return your old one for recycling, but there is no penalty for simply keeping it. If you were renting the cartridge you would be obligated to return it eventually, whether or not you wanted a new one.

There are cases where the container for a consumable really is rented; for example, if you need a small quantity of liquid nitrogen you'll generally want to rent a dewar to carry it rather than buying your own. (Liquid nitrogen is relatively cheap, on its own, but the dewars start at several hundred dollars.)

Comment Re:Liability (Score 1) 499

And then just at the moment BigCorp starts to loose [sic], they settle out of court.

Settlements are voluntary and must be accepted by both sides. If the plaintiff doesn't want to settle there isn't anything BigCorp can do about it.

To me, out of court settlements should not mean that the case should be dropped.

What else would it mean? A settlement is nothing more or less than an agreement to drop the case in exchange for some compensation. You could prohibit settlements entirely, but it makes no sense to have an out-of-court settlement where the court continues to hear the case. Even prohibiting settlement would be somewhat problematic since the court relies on the plaintiff to argue their side of the case convincingly—it doesn't really make sense to punish a plaintiff for withdrawing their claims in response to a better offer by the defendant, and the enforcement necessary to prevent the plaintiff from deliberately losing would be difficult at best. Ultimately the court is there to see to it that disagreements are resolved, not to create new ones. If the plaintiff and defendant can resolve their issues on their own with an out-of-court settlement, why should the court interfere?

Comment Re:This is bullcrap (Score 1) 520

The password (like a key to a safe) ...

I think you mean "like a combination to a safe". Passwords aren't like physical keys—they're something you know, not something you have. And unlike physical keys, which can be seized with a warrant, there is no precedent for requiring a suspect to divulge the code to a combination lock.

Comment Re:Destroy code? (Score 1) 520

I doubt that would work in this case as I'm sure LEO images the media and tries to decrypt the images.

You don't wipe the drive itself, you wipe the key stored in the TPM or equivalent (which is tamper-resistant and not easily cloneable). Even with the master password, no one can decrypt the contents of the drive without the active participation of the original TPM. An image of the encrypted drive will not help at all if the TPM can be persuaded to delete the sole copy of the decryption key, for example by providing it with a duress password.

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