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Comment Re:meh (Score 4, Insightful) 544

Now it's backed by faith. How's that working out for everybody?

Gold also only has value because people believe it does - as the GP post said, you can't eat it, you can't really build a shelter out of it, etc.

In any event, why should the money supply be tied to a rare, precious metal? Matching the growth (or shrinkage!) of the money supply based solely on the discovery, loss, or recovery of a particular natural resource hardly seems like a good plan for managing the economy.

Comment Re:It seems obvious from this (Score 1) 925

As has been said before, any issue that is not black and white will be cut, beaten, reworded, altered, reframed, redefined, polarized, radicalized, and several more things until it becomes black and white, and then the two parties will take sides, each declaring their side to be 100% perfect good, and the other side to be 100% perfect evil. I don't know why you would expect anything else.

Comment Re:Ok, seriously (Score 1) 715

The true freedom is that we have options. RMS wants everybody to live by his definition of "freedom", but his is pretty narrow and restrictive, which kinda defeats the purpose of the concept of freedom.

RMS wants to limit your ability to give away your freedom. You can't choose to sell yourself into slavery. Right now, you can choose to give your data to someone who can choose, if they wish, to restrict your freedom. Some people advocate that you should be able to sell yourself into slavery, but I'm not convinced that this is really a good idea...

Comment Re:Not really (Score 1) 522

If the average consumer sees charges of $5 on their bill from based on sending spam, then they have an incentive to get their computer cleaned up and locked down. Right now, it doesn't cost the owners of compromised computers anything (except some speed of their program execution, I guess) to be part of the botnet, so they don't have much incentive to do anything about it.

I'm not saying I support this scheme; that's just the idea behind it.

Comment Re:My novel legal theory (Score 1) 779

But it sucks breaking up too, but I don't see too many people lobbying to pass laws requiring girlfriends to give thirty days notice before dumping their asses.

You're right, but then again, your job is ostensibly what you do in order to make money in order to have a place to live and food to eat. Possibly for your family, too. If I split with my girlfriend, I don't have to find another in a very short period of time in order to continue eating, having a home, et cetera.

(Yes, I know this ignores the case of someone living with his girlfriend and depending on her to support him. I'm not sure what you can do about this kind of scenario, but it is VERY different from a hardworking person suddenly fired from his job with a wife, children, and possibly elderly parents to support.)

Comment Re:Yes, and it's called LifeWings (Score 2) 263

Let the highly skilled people make more decisions, and defend them when they do so, by making it illegal to sue hospitals for trying to help you -- only for lack of trying. As it is today, if a doctor has a choice between a procedure that slightly improves 70% of the patients and does nothing for the rest, or one that cures 95% and maims 5%, he will almost always have to go for the former, cause the 5% unlucky ones will sue.

Not far enough. The whole tort system needs to be altered to stop paying out money just because something bad happened. The way it used to work, and should work, was that your lawsuit only had merit if you could show the doctor was wrong to choose the 95%-success course of action. If he was, the wrong decision or negligence or whatever is punished. There used to be consideration of what a reasonable (competent in the field) person (doctor) would have done. Not anymore.

The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Do you have to be smart to be rich? ( 3

amigoro writes: "Do you have to be intelligent to be wealthy?

The answer is yes, according to a study which tracks a large group of young US baby boomers, but only if all other factors are held constant. But regression results suggest that statistically, there is really no distinguishable relationship between IQ scores and wealth."

United States

Submission + - Government: iPhone and US cell service is unfair (

fdmendez writes: "Lawmakers in Washington believe the Federal Government needs to regulate the cell service industry in order to create a better experience for consumers. Other countries provide examples for the US to follow.

Recently, Amp'd Mobile shut down leaving 175,000 customers suddenly out of cell service. Sprint canceled the accounts of about 1,000 customers last month for complaining too much. Verizon is always behind the rest of the world when it comes to phone selection and phone technology, and don't get me started on AT&T's reception and call quality. Basically, America isn't satisfied with its cell service.

The House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and Internet thinks it might be a bad idea for wireless companies to be regulated at the state utility level rather than the federal level."


Submission + - New glitches in touch screens -- 40% failure rates (

destinyland writes: "A new investigation by Dan Rather found 40% of voting machine touch screens from one parts supplier had to be returned as defective. It was only discovered after a new manager took over the manufacturing plant in "the shanty towns of Manilla." Even the $2.50-a-day workers were spotting parts defects, but their hurried managers would perform only one test — shaking the machine to see if anything rattled. A Florida elections specialist ultimately had to return 1800 touch screen voting machines as defective, because selecting the first box on a ballot would highlight the second box. But even after testing newer machines, he's not re-assured. "It seems like they'll work today, and tomorrow they might not work... They're just unreliable, in my opinion.""

Submission + - AT&T proves Net Neutrality fears well founded

LinearBob writes: "The Chicago Tribune has an article describing in detail how AT&T censored a live concert by Pearl Jam. Here is a link to the Chicago Tribune article. u_jam_0809aug09,1,6237615.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

The following was quoted from the Tribune article:

"A live Internet broadcast of Pearl Jam's performance at Chicago's Lollapalooza music festival Sunday went off without a hitch — until singer Eddie Vedder criticized President Bush.

Lyrics critical of the president didn't make it past editors of the show's Webcast, the band complained Wednesday on its Web site.

The performance, sponsored by AT&T Inc. and carried on AT&T's "Blue Room" site, omitted the lyrics "George Bush, leave this world alone" and "George Bush, find yourself another home" as part of a version of the song "Daughter," according to the Pearl Jam Web site.

An AT&T spokeswoman confirmed the omission Wednesday, saying that it had been a mistake made by someone working for the agency hired by AT&T to handle its Blue Room content.

"We don't have a policy in place to censor," said AT&T's Tiffany Nels. "We have a policy on excessive profanity. This was an honest mistake. There was no censorship intended."

Nels said that there is a delay of a few seconds between the performance and its streaming to the Web so that an editor can cut out profane language because the Web site is available to all ages and AT&T doesn't want foul language going out.

End quote

Perhaps there was no censorship intended, but censorship IS what AT&T did here. I find AT&T's explanation for the missing lyrics to be disingenuous at best. To me, this is a clear case of censorship, and is precisely why we need "Net Neutrality" now."

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"Being against torture ought to be sort of a bipartisan thing." -- Karl Lehenbauer