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Comment Re:So just ban bitcoin (Score 1) 126

How exactly would you ban it? You'd have to shut down all BTC exchanges that deal in more or less decent real currencies worldwide. Making it harder for victims (in a particular country) to obtain Bitcoin might make collecting on these schemes harder and thus more unattractive to pull off in the first place, but even that doesn't seem feasible.

By the way, Bitcoin is traceable (by everyone) but anonymous.

Comment Two comments (Score 1) 75

Two comments

Parallelism -- the problem with parallelism is that everyone assumes that all problems can be decomposed into problems which can be solved in parallel. This is the "I all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail" problem. There hasn't been a lot of progress on the P vs. NP front, nor does it look like there's likely to be one soon, short of true quantum computing. And no, D-Wave fans: quantum annealing is not the same thing as collapsing the composite wave for into the correct answer because you happen to own the computer in "the most sincere universe".

Productive programming -- It's amusing that a semiconductor vendor would complain about programming productivity. The main barrier to programming productivity is that the silicon doesn't think about problem solving the way you have to think about problem solving in order to get a stepwise improvement. In other words: the chip vendors are making the wrong chips. This is really easy to see if you've done VLSI design in Verilog or VHDL, or even if you've only had to deal with an FPGA. The primary difference is that the chip folks never have to deal with "can't happen" states -- so their silicon compilers simply ignore them, because you on'y ever correctly hook up a chip one way. Take a software engineer and have them code up a bit decoder in VHDL -- it's going to be 10 times larger than what a chip designer would produce because of collapsing "don't care" to something reasonable.

Other than that... interesting interview, even if it doesn't cover a lot of ground, overall.

Comment Re:Their fault (Score 2) 166

That explains why they left the other nasties alone. After all Australia still has all of its 50 pound worms, 100 pound spiders, mosquitos the size of baseballs, snakes the size of oil pipelines, golfball sized versions of those fish that swim up your urinal tract, etc. All poisonous, spiky, slimy, smelly, and very very pissed off.

Comment Re:What complete nonsense (Score 1) 300

That's a good point: the banks in Europe did appear to need some help with their reserves. But at some point, the object was no longer to save the banks from collapse, but to improve their reserves so that they could start lending money to businesses and individuals again, thus kickstarting the economy. But proponents in favour of helicopter money argue that the effect of such QE on the economy is slow and limited, and that giving cash in the hands of people directly is a far more effective way to aid the economy.

Comment Re:How large?!? (Score 1) 300

Living on Mars is certainly not impossible, we have the technology. We just need to deal with risk, accidents and deaths, health issues, the incredible expense of getting a colony set up, and the idea of going without iPhones, health care, toilet paper and any form of luxury so we can pay for the ongoing resupply missions. So sure, it's a little impractical at the moment. But not impossible.

Comment Re:What complete nonsense (Score 1) 300

It's actually not a bad idea if you want a little inflation, and there are cases where you'd want it. This is Friedman's "helicopter money", where a central bank increases the money supply by giving every person a bit of cash, instead of the usual quantitive easing where they buy government securities. The idea behind this method is that it turns out that money generated through QE doesn't make its way into the real economy all that quickly, where it is expected that a one-off payment to citizens will (even if they decide to save or invest most of it). It was actually briefly considered in Europe, but naturally the banks oppose it since it means the helicopter will not be flying over their lawn anymore,and thus Draghi (president of the ECB and former Goldman Sachs exec) is never going to allow it.

Of course it wouldn't be a million but perhaps $1000 or a $300 Tricky Dick Fun Bill.

Comment Re: What complete nonsense (Score 3, Insightful) 300

You can't realistically adjust minimum wage for productivity. Productivity measures the output of a system vs. its operational cost. The productivity of a person isn't simply the productivity of that system divided by the nr. of employees in it. Else they'd have to pay the one janitor left in Amazon's fully automatic warehouse a couple of million a year, probably.

Comment Re:Dramatic contemporary issues (Score 1) 164

I've never been a Star Trek fan, it's an ok (collection of) series and I enjoyed most of the movies but it never really grabbed me to the point where I'd make sure to watch every episode. But for some reason I really got into Enterprise. Until the time travel story line, yes. Time travel is just the next level of flashbacks and foreshadowing; a device that can tremendously enrich a story and even be a central part of it, but it is very hard to do this well, and in most cases it ends up getting botched or serves as a crutch for weak uninspired writers. Especially in case of the obligatory "Back to present day Earth" episode or even season that so many SF series seem to require.

As for Star Trek:SJW: that has the potential of being unintentionally hilarious. But hasn't the franchise always dealt with "dramatic contemporary themes", as TFA suggests?

Comment President-Asterisk Trump (Score 1) 168

Unless that tweet turns into a punitive regulatory action, then you've just lost a chunk of your savings.

This is a good point. We've gotten used to the Prince Jeoffrey phase of this drama, but winter is coming. The King Jeoffrey phase will be much different.

In less than 24 hours he goes from being President-Elect Trump to President* Trump, and those tweets might come with executive orders attached. (Twitter is gonna support that, they don't know it yet, but they'll do it soon, believe me.)

*illegitimately

Comment Re:About as useful as touch screens for amputees (Score 1) 161

So?

Oh no, a system makes an improvement, but not a perfect, 100 percent improvement, so what, lets throw out the improvement it *does* make?

It's not an improvement across the board. It's likely not an improvement at all, if you are listening to elevator music to make you calm enough to drive in the first place, and suddenly there's a startling "BRAAAAAAAAAAAAATTTTTTT!" that could just as easily come out of the ambulances horn, but didn't, it came out of your radio.

Also: call me back when it can turn an off radio to on, or force your stereo away from whatever you're listening to, over to the FM band so the ambulance can scream at you more than the flashing lights, siren, and horn are already screaming at you.

Also also: so I assume the computer in self driving cars will now listen to NPR most of the time so that the FM radio will alert the car's driver -- a computer that apparently likes "Lake Woebegone Tales" -- will "hear" the ambulance.

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