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Comment Re:Probably actually illegal (Score 1) 220

The "value" doesn't exist. Things don't have value; people place a valuation on things--a property of the observer, not the object. You might value (verb) a candy bar at $1, but it has no actual value (noun).

Things have a cost and a price. That cost is directly related to human labor time required to make the thing. All business expenses go to pay wages, buy from other businesses, and take profit. Recurse this and all business expenses reduce to wages, {alie profit+wages}, profit; which just becomes wages and profit. In aggregate, price can never be lower than wages; and the minimum sustainable wage is one that keeps your labor force alive (even slaves must eat and be sheltered from the cold, and it's cheaper to treat illness than to raise a new slave).

If that candy bar requires $1.80 to make and you value it at $1, you're not buying a candybar. If that's what people think of candy bars, then candy bars aren't a product until we invent technology to use roughly half as many people to make the same number of candy bars.

Your complaint essentially boils down to, "Stacker could have conned someone into paying a lot more than the business and its products were actually worth. You don't know how successful they'd have been at convincing people to overpay."

Comment Re:Not gonna happen (Score 1) 42

"Easy to audit" is bullshit. It's hard to hide; it's not easy to audit. The "public ledger" is a history of when each object has had its blockchain extended. The problem is an account consists of assets of value, such as dollars; those assets are semi-fungible, in the sense that the account has value and any set of assets producing that value is representative. Accounts typically have one or several kinds of fungible assets--a single currency or separate lots of fungible assets (e.g. your commodities account may contain oil, gold, and FCOJ; your stock account contains stocks)--because *which* of each of those things is irrelevant.

Blockchains mean you can tell which gold piece moved where; if you want to audit financial behavior, you need to know which accounts moved what. You might be able to piece that together from a blockchain; but only by auditing every single object to determine where it once stood, collecting all objects that ever entered a particular account, and then generating an account ledger from that. It'd be like going into every bank vault and every wallet and inspecting every dollar to see whose hands it's changed through in its history. If you don't have the ability to inspect the current state of every single piece of blockchain currency in existence *and* to guarantee that you've done exactly that (i.e. that you haven't missed any), you can't audit.

Any given dollar telling you the history of how it's been owned and spent is different than any given account describing its financial history in its ledger.

Comment Re:no "Russian Hackers", that's B.S. (Score 0) 89

You don't think the Russians wouldn't like a disruptive candidate like Trump winning the election. They're playing similar games elsewhere, like assuring an old style Trot like Jeremy Corbyn stays in charge of Labour in the UK, and feeding all sorts of anti-EU fires throughout the rest of Europe. Russia knows that it has absolutely no hope of every beating a unified West, so it's going to do its best to screw with that unity.

Comment Re:i.e. I think I can ignore the law if I want to (Score 3, Informative) 131

Um, the French and Indian War was between 1756 and 1763. There was no "Canada", save as a bit of a colloquial expression for the New France, which became British after the defeat of French forces in 1759.

You might note that the American War of Independence didn't begin until 1775, and "Canada" didn't become a formal name until 1791 when the former territories of New France were carved into Upper Canada, where many Empire Loyalists were settling, and Lower Canada, where the Quebecois were dominant, and these two colonies later became Ontario and Quebec.

So what you wrote is factually wrong. The French and Indian Wars was a war between France and Britain, an arena of the larger Seven Years War, and most certainly involved the defense of the British colonies (including but not limited to the Thirteen "American" colonies) in North America.

Comment Re:Call me strange but... (Score 3, Informative) 170

No, there are no such studies. There are studies confirming that a drop in oxygen levels to the brain, often concurrent with someone about to die, will lead to some pretty wild hallucinations, but what you wrote is just pure bullshit. There is nothing to indicate in any research that the mind is anything more than the sum of actions of several different parts of the brain.

Comment Probably actually illegal (Score 5, Interesting) 220

This is probably actually illegal. Sony had to pay a settlement for disabling Linux on the PS3; HP is doing the same, so has at least a civil suit. Uniquely, however, HP has proven that their product is compatible with third-party ink, and has taken action to specifically to lock-out competition. That's probably an instance of Tying, and HP has sufficient market power to show that Tying is anti-competitive.

Comment Re:Dear article writer: Listen to yourself (Score 2) 75

The thing is big data lets you go to East Africa and use gajillions of samples to map out a statistical analysis of exactly what square meter of ground you want to tap into to get the most-likely absolute-best geothermal energy production. Rough knowledge lets you do ... about the same thing, just without taking it to planck scale.

We're not talking about the difference between a 500 gigawatt production facility and a 900 gigawatt production facility; we're talking about 500 gigawatt versus 500.1 gigawatt.

That's why Apple [], Amazon, Google, Microsoft, etc. are all building huge data centers. They want a piece of the pie of influencing & controlling because ultimately it will bring profits.

Big data makes the difference between 30%-effective advertising and 70%-effective advertising. Big energy can go outside and run a thermal scan of the ground (from an air plane, using IR cameras) and then just pick somewhere for geothermal; THAT'S HOW ADVERTISING WORKS WITHOUT BIG DATA! If you just bluntly advertise based on a survey of demographics, you get significantly less conversion. You go into a city and say, "Hmm, lots of black people here, kind of poor, thug life, ok. Put up billboards about Ciroc featuring buff black dudes in do-rags with face tattoos." With big data, instead of running online ads that say, "You're in regional Baltimore, so let's show racially-profiled ads that basically assume you're a black gang thug," they can try to pinpoint exactly what behaviors describe the recipient of a particular ad, and serve an ad that matches their interests, thus get much more conversion.

So, again, while advertisers might more than double their effectiveness by churning through piles and piles of data, all that effort gets power companies roughly zero over just taking a fly-over with thermal or sonic imaging. The most important data tool in oil prospecting is AUTOTUNE. They don't much benefit at all from big data. Neither does most other things (farming, manufacturing, music production, pharmacology, chemistry).

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