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Comment Re:Huh? (Score 2) 858

I wondered the same thing. Here is what the Bitcoin website says.

Bitcoin "accounts" do not have people's names on them and do not have to correspond to individuals. Each balance is simply associated with a randomly generated public-private key pair and the money "belongs" to whoever has the private key and can sign transactions with it. The transactions that are signed using those keys also don't have to include names.
A Bitcoin address mathematically corresponds to a public key and looks like this:
15VjRaDX9zpbA8LVnbrCAFzrVzN7ixHNsC
Each person can have many such addresses, each with its own balance, and this can make it more difficult to identify which person owns what amount. In order to protect his privacy, Bob can even generate a new public-private key pair for each individual transaction. So David receiving the coin from Charley will not be able to identify who is the second person in the list of transactions (not without asking Charley).

Comment Re:I'm fine with nuclear power. (Score 1) 442

They did actually worry about Tsunamis. Unfortunately this particular Tsunami was as I recall several meters taller than what they planned on, just as the quake was over an order of magnitude larger than they planned on. If you want to blame someone, blame the person who made the determination of the largest quakes and tsunamis to prepare for. I don't see how you can call an engineer incompetent if you exceed his safety margin and then bad things happen.

Comment Re:Nothing but respect... (Score 5, Informative) 349

I might be a little dramatic, but the increase in cancer occurrence is statistically noticeable at over 100 mSv/yr. The new limits in Japan are 250 mSv. The operators won't all get cancer and die, but staying has the potential to cost some operators a great deal many years down the road. It doesn't do any good to overstate the risk, but lets not sell them short either.

Comment Re:What does this say... (Score 2) 479

In order to have useful conversations with people who think the other way, lets at least make sure we understand their fears.

There is the belief that everyone or very nearly everyone in Guantanamo is guilty, but there is the fear that war is not a conducive environment to gather and retain the same burden of proof as is required for a civil case. Any time this proves to be the case, the defendant will be acquitted regardless of their actual guilt. The fear is then that the people that we release incorrectly will then go back to attempting to kill our soldiers.

This doesn't mean you're wrong, but when we feel strongly one way or the other over this, we tend to turn others position's into straw men. Thats unfortunately a counter productive tendency that humans find it very easy to engage in. I just want to try and keep it from happening here.

Comment Re:Unconstitutional (Score 1) 1505

I see what you're doing here. You're taking the constitution literally and thinking that it has objective meaning which does not change. While that's great and I wish you well, the courts and the legislative session doesn't see it that way. These days we don't have a functional constitution any more than the United Kingdom does. It just happens to make a useful argument when the courts don't like something.

Comment Re:This has already been happening (Score 4, Insightful) 446

What I really meant to get across was that because of the volumes that these systems need to trade in to make money, they have the capacity to make very large impacts on the market if they misbehave. Because of this, we should at the very least be aware of them and the dangers that they pose when they misbehave.

Comment This has already been happening (Score 5, Interesting) 446

Ars Technica wrote an interesting article about this almost a year ago. What is happening now isn't anything all that new. As several people have already mentioned, yes this is dangerous because these tools trade in extremely large sums. Slashdot even covered United Airlines stock dropping from $12 to $3 when the news crawler for one of these tools thought an old story was new and the tool proceeded to dump its entire United holdings causing a massive sell off by other investors. http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/07/-it-sounds-like-something.ars http://tech.slashdot.org/tech/08/09/10/203233.shtml

Comment Re:It's a matter of definitions (Score 3, Insightful) 334

Describing caching as a way Windows makes your computer "appear" faster is really a little disingenuous. If that is the only metric for your complaint then you should be angry that your processor caches as well. After all, your processor takes the time to check two or three caches every time it issues a move instruction. If it misses every time, then it has to pick what to throw out of the cache and read directly from memory. Wouldn't it be so much better if it just made a fetch to ram every time there was a move instruction? After all, your processors caches only "appear" to make your processor faster right? The question that people should be asking if they want to get upset about SuperFetch is does this approach to ram use benefit the user enough to be worth the extra complexity in the operating system's memory allocator.

Comment Re:Not all missile defense sucks (Score 1) 317

All of the missile defense elements have failed tests at one time or another. THAAD failed its first 6 intercept tests and has succeeded in its last 2. GMD has been successful in 8/15 of its intercept tests. This particular test did not fail because of the interceptor but because SBX, the supporting radar, failed. SBX is relatively new to GMD.

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