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Comment Re:Ponzi Scheme?? (Score 1) 101

I've always considered Bitcoin to be something of a Ponzi scheme

As opposed to the Ponzi schemes called USD, EUR and the like? Please, before you criticize an alternative to old systems, try learning something about the old ones first. You might find there was something wrong with the old scheme, and hence new alternatives were proposed.

I wonder what will happen when the computational power required to feasibly mine bitcoin exceeds the limitations of what cutting edge semiconductor processes can deliver.

Next, try learning something about Bitcoin itself. Basically, what matters to your income and influence on the network is your _proportion_ of the total computing power of the network. There's no absolute requirement to worry about.

Comment Re:EE Degree (Score 1) 195

For some reason, having an EE degree is considered the same (or for some people better, if you have software experience) than a CS degree, because supposedly I know how computers work at a gate level.

I have a physics degree, so supposedly I know how everything works ;) Most of my research/development work has been some kind of programming, but presumably that's how everything is done today. For example physics and chemistry simulations rather than lab work.

In my experience, one thing you get from advanced studies better than practical work is an abstract, systemic understanding of things. A way to look at the big picture and realize it's still only a special case of a humongous picture. For example, after studying functional analysis at the math department, I've been much more comfortable using functions to manipulate functions.


Uber is Getting Serious About Building Real, Honest-To-God Flying Taxis ( 90

An anonymous reader shares an article: When Uber first announced its crazy-sounding plan to explore "on-demand urban aviation" -- essentially a network of flying taxis that could be hailed via a smartphone app and flown from rooftop to rooftop -- the company made it clear that it never intended to go it alone. Today, as it kicked off its three-day Elevate conference in Dallas, Texas, the ride-hail company announced a slew of partnerships with cities, aviation manufacturers, real estate, and electric charging companies, in its effort to bring its dream of flying cars a little closer to reality. Uber said it will be teaming up with the governments of Dallas-Fort Worth and Dubai to bring its flying taxis to those cities first. It is also joining forces with real estate firm Hilwood Properties in Dallas-Fort Worth to identify sites where it will build takeoff and landing pads, which Uber calls "vertiports." It has signed contracts (or is in the midst of contract negotiations) with five aircraft manufacturers to work on the design and production of lightweight, electrically powered vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft. And it launched a partnership with an electric charging company called ChargePoint, to develop charging stations for Uber's flying taxis.

Comment Re:Cultural ethics won't allow work-free life (Score 1) 287

Cultural ethics won't allow

  • married women working
  • unmarried couples staying in the same hotel room
  • black and white people in the same section of a bus
  • gay marriages


Also, how about living a work-free life on your savings or investments? The idea of basic income is really an extended version of that.

Comment Re:FSF = not practical (Score 1) 171

the free software idealism has lost and will never win

It's becoming more popular in the biology / medical research community, as people start to understand the importance of reproducible and open research.

I though the whole idea of science was reproducible and open research. Also, having more of a natural science than CS background, I've always viewed FOSS as the application of scientific principles to software. Unfortunately, I've come across closed software in fields such as molecular modelling and fluid dynamics. It's an interesting turnaround if scientists have to learn the basics again from software guys.

Comment Re:Wow (Score 5, Interesting) 117

Yup, this sounds just like the reports of negative temperature. There, the distribution of particles was governed by a term like B*c*T, where B = external magnetic field strength and T = temperature. The field was suddenly reversed, but the particles didn't change their configuration immediately. The system looked like B*c*T for a while, but the field was now -B. So if you wrote the term as (-B)*c*(-T), it looked like the long-term equilibrium state at field -B and temperature -T. Of course, the system wasn't at equilibrium, so the math didn't really apply.

Comment Re:There is a part that is forever - bureaucracy (Score 1) 263

Politicians come and go and ideas are forever.

The problem is that while politicians may go, the bureaucracy they create does not.

Also, legislation (in case that wasn't implied already). For instance, the consensus on certain drugs seems to be that drugs are bad, because they're illegal, and they better stay illegal because they're bad. The same goes for things like copyright laws, with some people arguing that we shouldn't allow the Pirate Party in the parliament, because their agenda goes against current legislation. Because obviously the parliament should never do such a thing as change the law.

Comment Triumph-Adler Alphatronic PC (Score 1) 857

IOW, something with a Basic interpreter but none of those silly games of the Commodore machines some of my friends had (though it came with ROMs for chess and a Pacman-like game). Also, a manual in German which was great fun as in that year 1987 I had just started to study it as my second language.

The Courts

Alphabet Wants Its Lawsuit Against Uber To Play Out Publicly ( 35

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Recode: The company filed an opposition request late last night to Uber's motion for arbitration. If the case went to arbitration, an alternate form for dispute resolution, it would remain in private. Alphabet self-driving subsidiary Waymo "has not consented to arbitrate this dispute with Uber," the new filing said, "and Waymo cannot be coerced into arbitration simply because the trade secrets that Uber stole and that Uber is using in Uber's self-driving cars happen to come from former Waymo employees. That is not the law." Alphabet alleges that its proprietary self-driving technology is being used by the ride-hailing company illegally. The Google parent company claims that Uber's self-driving head at the center of the case, Anthony Levandowski, stole 14,000 files from Alphabet, where he worked on self-driving technology before leaving to launch autonomous truck startup Otto. Uber acquired Otto in August. Alphabet alleged the files Levandowski stole include designs for Alphabet's lidar -- light detection and ranging -- technology. Lidar is a key component to most self-driving systems. Legal arguments aside, there are questions surrounding what might motivate each company's position on openness of proceedings. Alphabet's opposition suggested Uber is seeking to delay proceedings, including a hearing on an injunction Alphabet wants against Uber and to prevent public access to proceedings. "Uber does not like what the public is learning through this litigation about Uber's illegal and unfair competition," the latest filing said.

Comment Linux still does this (Score 3, Insightful) 467

It presents you with a command prompt, ready to be programmed on. You can do things like shell one-liners to automate pieces of your work as you go on, without entering any special programming modes. And when you need to do more serious programming, there are no artificial barriers. In short, it doesn't enforce any unnecessary separation between users and developers.

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