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Comment Re:The actual real problem with Mars... (Score 1, Informative) 82

Musk isn't going to Mars, nor does he care about any military applications of the technology. This is just an excuse for him to get more government contracts for promises he knows he will never have to actually fulfill.

Donald Trump knows the same thing, that we're not actually going to Mars. Like every President for the last several decades, he merely makes a promise of getting there that's so far out that everyone will have long forgotten said promise by the time the deadline arrives. Any President promising to do anything more than 8 years out is basically saying that it isn't going to happen. The next President will make the same "In 20/30/40 years we're going to Mars" promise. If you want to know the truth of the matter, just try holding your breath waiting for any of them to actually increase funding to NASA enough to make it actually happen.

Comment Won't stop the analog hole, and other holes (Score 1) 187

This does nothing to keep me from pointing a high-speed, high-resolution camera at my screen.

It also does nothing to stop me from doing a "tear-down" of my high-resolution, HDMI, DRM-compliant monitor and monitoring the electrical signals that make the pixels light up.

Sure, this is awkward and expensive, but I, er, I mean people like me in other countries, only have to do this once (per video) then put the results up on the Interwebs for everyone to download.

Submission + - Trump team communications intercepted w/o foreigners in conversation (cnn.com)

bongey writes: The intelligence community is coming clean. Telling congress there was "incidental collection" of the Trump transition team from Nov-2016-Jan-2017. The intercepts included reports of communications between Trump team members, with team members being unmasked that were wildly disseminated throughout the intelligence community. The intercepts had little to no foreign intelligence value, and the intercepts had nothing to do with Russian investigation.

Comment Re:They own the networks and content (Score 5, Insightful) 135

When I cut the cord, Time Warner kept pestering me with bundled offers, including one that basically gave me cable and internet for the same price that I'm paying now for internet only. When I turned the offer down, it drove them nuts. They clearly wanted to be able to still count me as a cable TV subscriber even if I wasn't even using the cable TV. I suspect that offers like this keep the number of cable subscribers artificially high. There are probably a lot of cord cutters out there who only still have cable because cablecos are basically giving it to them for free.

Comment It won't matter (Score 1) 234

If the Supreme Court rules against the patent-holder, they will still be allowed to use contract law to get what they want.

So, instead of selling ink cartridges at a 20% discount to customers who agree to "no reuse" terms, they will rent the cartridges and sell the ink, essentially offering a "cartridge and ink supply only" service contract.

Submission + - Trump Is Weeks Away From Missing His Chance to Reform Work Visas (bloomberg.com)

pteddy writes: We haven't heard much from Trump or Congress on the issue of H1-B reform lately. As Bloomberg points out time is running out:

President Donald Trump and Congress have said they want to overhaul policies that allow companies to bring employees from overseas to the U.S. But the application deadline for the most controversial visa program is the first week of April, which means new rules have to be in place for that batch of applicants or another year's worth of visas will be handed out under the existing guidelines. The current H-1B visa program has been criticized for hurting American workers and undercutting salaries.

Submission + - How H-1B Visas Are Being Used to Replace American Workers (numbersusa.com)

walterbyrd writes: According to 60 Minutes investigation:

When confronted with the tech companies’ argument that they cannot find enough qualified American workers the former Congressman replied, “there are a lot of qualified American workers, but the companies will do better financially if they hire the foreign worker rather than the Americans.”

Submission + - How the Internet Gave Mail-Order Brides the Power (backchannel.com)

mirandakatz writes: For decades, the mail-order bride system in the Philippines went something like this: Western men picked Filipinas out of catalogues, and the women had little to no information about the men they were agreeing to marry. The internet has changed all of that. As Meredith Talusan reports at Backchannel, technology has empowered Filipinas to be choosy about the Western men they pursue—and indeed, when it comes to online dating, they now hold much of the power. As Talusan writes, "in one sense, the leveling of dating power between Filipinas and Westerners is the fulfillment of the global internet’s promise to equalize relations between disparate places and people. Yet even as Filipinas and Westerners face off as equals online, the world of dating exposes the ultimate limitations of the web."

Comment currency trading: speculation vs hedge (Score 2) 268

If you treat Bitcoins as currency, you spend them. Thus, you're not holding on to them long enough for them to accrue value. If you treat them as an investment, you're not spending them, and there's no Bitcoin economy to make them worth anything.

That's why Bitcoin trading is pure speculation.

There are two good reasons to "invest" in a currency:

1) Utility: It's a "safe, convenient, and easy to use" currency. For most people in countries with relatively stable currencies, their country's fiat currency fits this bill. I for one keep at least a month's worth of expenses "in cash" in a bank account, knowing I will lose very little to inflation, that I have a very low risk of the money suddenly becoming temporarily inaccessible, and knowing that I can pay any domestic debt with it without having to pay a middleman to convert it.

2) Hedge: If I know I'm going to need a certain amount of Euros, Yen, or BTC six months from now but I'm not willing to accept the risk of currency flucutations, I can "lock in" the price now, either by buying a futures contract or by buying the actual Euros, Yen, or BTC.

But I agree with you, buying BCT, or for that matter, any currency that isn't known to be very stable (low inflation now and for the forseeable future) as an "investment" is pretty speculative.

Comment Re:Ask Slashdot: How Do I Avoid My Taxes? (Score 1) 268

Your question boils down to, "How do I avoid capital gains taxes on my Bitcoin earnings?" That's problematic, as you can imagine

Not probematic at all. There are easy, legal ways to avoid capital gains taxes that don't require learning the intricacies of the tax code or hiring an accountant:

* If you were going to give money to charity anyways, give them the appreciated asset.
* If you won't need the money for the rest of your life, leave the asset to your heirs.
* If you paid more for the asset than it's worth today, sell and declare a capital loss.

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