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Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 110

I seem to recall a firm of auditors called something Young that materially misrepresented their clients. And got caught, but how often does that happen.

And the point is I have no way of knowing how often that happens. And I doubt that you do either, even if as an auditor and a CPA. The people who want to hire a shady auditor won't hire someone unless they already have a pretty good idea that their ethics are flexible.

Comment Re:all growed up now (Score 1) 110

Ok, you need to be a bit careful here. The first thing to remember is that Anonymous isn't an organization, it's a name applied to a bunch of people who don't have any connection to each other.

You should NEVER trust anything said by Anonymous. That's like trusting something posted by "Anonymous Coward", which is the same kind of entity. But likewise you should never automatically disbelieve it.

Secondly, even the most highly regarded analytics groups make mistakes. Sorry, but they do. So Anonymous Analytics making mistakes wouldn't be at all surprising.

Thirdly, many traditional "analytics" groups have a long history of falsehoods. Consider Gardner. You can't prove that it was lying, because they may have believed what they said. But I consider many of them less reliable than a magic 8-ball. (That, of course, is just my opinion. I've got nothing to back it up.)

Fourthly, read A Random Walk Down Wall Street http://www.amazon.com/Random-W... , or check out the elephant at the Chicago Zoo who used to make better than average stock predictions. There was also an ape, but I can't remember where, or whether it was a chimp or a gorilla.

Comment The devil is in the details! (Score 1) 375

As stated the question can neither be answered yes nor no. There's too many edge cases.

If the DRM requires access to a validating server, then the items should be freely re-sellable....and anyone who buys them should realize that they are getting a volatile good. But they usually *don't* realize that. It's usually sold as if it were permanent.

If the DRM doesn't require access to the internet, isn't limited to "so many plays", etc., then it should be vendible. But what's the life of the storage medium?

If there is no DRM, then it should not be vendible while the publisher is selling or offering for sale copies...even at unreasonable prices. (But he's actually got to be prepared to make the sale. A "print on demand" setup would suffice. [I know, we aren't talking about actual print, but the analog.]) This is the one case where copyright law makes any sense, but it needs to be different because of the ease of duplication. One limitation: If you can prove that no copy has ever been made, then it should be vendible.

Comment Re:Survivable != Unlivable? (Score 1) 414

66 feet is much more believable, but 66 feet wouldn't affect Iceland? 66 feet would affect California, and much of the rest of the US. I don't really know how elevated Iceland is, but a quick look at a map of elevation shows that it's likely to be strongly affected. Probably half the living area would go away, unless the shore is extremely steep. (The map said 0-500 feet, which makes this a guesstimate.) But the edges are nearly certain to be lower than the more central part, and the edges are larger than the center. I would guess that people generally live where the slope is less steep, and those are the areas most likely to be flooded. It's also probable that storm surges will be stronger, which means that the rivers will flood more often, but if the land is steep enough that may not be significant. (OTOH, I do remember fighting a flood on a hillside about 50 years ago, so with a really hard rain, steep hillsides aren't invulnerable.)

And the fact that the CURRENT average midsummer high at the South Pole is -26C doesn't imply that it's going to stay that cold if the ice starts melting from the edges in. Which it's already doing.

It's a lot easier to be cold if the area around you is cold. The melting of the Arctic should be seen as a clear warning of what is in store in the long term for Antarctica unless something changes. Oceans just move heat around faster than solid chunks of ice, and Antarctica just has more thermal mass. So the changes will be slower. If you go back far enough there were temperate style forests growing in Antarctica, and the continent was then in the same position.

I did overstate the case when I said the Tethys Sea would reform in California. The land has risen where the Tethys Sea used to be (now it's the central valley), but it *would* be under water, just not very deep water. Probably no more than 15-30 feet on the average. It's hard to tell because searches for maps of elevation just gives me maps of subsidence.

Comment Re: Duh (Score 1) 376

Apple is no shinning light of good here. I don't place them in the same garbage can as MS, but I don't like them much either.
I'll agree that:
Because Apple sells hardware.
Because Apple doesn't have a history of absolutely rampant customer abuse.
Because Apple has motivation to keep their ecosystem good.
Because Apple has legitimate ways to make money.
Because Apple doesn't hunt down and delete your old version of Solitaire, put a special flag that doesn't let it run in its most modern OS, offer a new version of Solitaire with ads, and then offer a subscription.

but that puts too favorable a light on Apple and it's past actions. Apple is the company that I first noticed slipping a license modification in as a security update. Apple has (intentionally?) broken software that they sold to cause an upgrade to a later version. Etc. Nothing that MS hasn't done more frequently, but Apple isn't innocent.

It was the license modification that got me to remove internet access to my Apple computers and switch to Linux, so that was about 2000. Possibly a year or so later. Since then I've basically ignored them.

If you want to say MS is worse, you'll get no argument from me, but that doesn't mean that Apple is "Lawful Good".

Comment Re:I've been predicted that (Score 1) 414

Nobody pays for anything themselves. All wealth is social wealth.

OK, that's a slight overstatement. Kalahari bushmen probably still pay for most things themselves, but even they have (well, had a century ago) an immense amount of social wealth.

This is not to say that everyone contributes equally. That's clearly not true. But the wealthy are at least as likely to misappropriation and misspending (social) wealth as anyone else. And you can't even define "misappropriate" or "misspend" in an objective way. You can make laws about it, of course, but that is just abuse of (social) power, and (social) power is one kind of social wealth.

I'm temperamentally a libertarian (small "l", please), but I'm also a practical observer of human nature. If you remove laws from an area, the strong (in that area) will use their power to abuse the weak in that area...unless there are repercussions that they wouldn't like. This is not, however, a global assertion. Many people would behave morally, and not abuse power. But many would.

So. There's a real problem. If the wealthy can hire people to work for them at starvation wages, they will. And those who don't want to will be disadvantaged. If they can't, they won't. One of the features of a basic income is that people won't need to accept unfair wage deals. Some people consider this a disadvantage.

FWIW, I'm in favor of a linear tax system. Straight percentage of all income with NO EXCLUSIONS. Simple, easy to honestly administer, and doesn't require much bureaucracy. I'm also in favor of a "guaranteed baseline". y = mx + b. m is the tax rate, x is the income, and b is the negative of the poverty level, and is adjusted yearly. But only if commercial sponsorship of lobbying is illegal. This includes corporations, unions, political action committees, everyone. Now this doesn't mean that they aren't allowed to ask you to send in a letter or e-mail or phone call supporting them, it means they aren't allowed to pay you anything to do that in any way. And I didn't say anything about "while in office". It would also be illegal to promise to hire them afterwards. (Well, perhaps it should just be illegal to hire them afterwards? They *do* get pensions don't they?) This would cover ALL transfers of funds to anyone holding government office, or who has held government office. I didn't say anything about "but not if they worked for it", because that's not what I meant. Allowing government officials to be paid for non-governmental work sets up a strong perverse incentive, and this is true even after they leave the government. Let them subsist on their retirement package and the basic income. Or run for office again.

And that brings up the question about bribes offered before the person assume office...but I don't have a good answer there. (Well, I sort of do, but the best I could come up with is have office holders chosen by the selective service.)

Comment Re:Survivable != Unlivable? (Score 1) 414

I don't think you realize how much complete melting of the ice would raise sea levels. I've seen estimates that it would raise is nearly a kilometer. I find this hard to believe, but expect it to be substantial, not just a meter or so. There might be a few ex-mountain peaks left of Iceland after the complete melt, but not many.

The "If you really live in Iceland" is because your answer sounded like a joke. I was actually assuming that you lived in some place that was fairly cold, like, say Newfoundland. But a complete melt would put almost anywhere that people currently live in large numbers under water. California could expect the re-appearance of the Tethys Sea. The Great Salt Lake in Utah would probably be re-connected to the Mississippi River. Other things in other places. Central South America would again be flooded by the oceans. Etc. I can't be very explicit because I don't know most of the world that well, but even if the rise was only a couple of meters, no place that people live would be unaffected. In fact, no place on the surface of the earth.

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