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Comment Re:What complete nonsense (Score 1) 286

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) 286

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) 286

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) 286

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 But it's "free" (except when it's not) (Score 4, Insightful) 160

For quite awhile, a lot of people seemed to have the "whatever, deal with it, that's the cost of a 'free' OS upgrade"

Except it was not a free upgrade for many people. More of a "I turned my computer on one day and WTF is this sh** where did my normal windows go and how do I get it back!"

And of course, on new PC's it comes with the cost of the PC, and some people also bought codes to install Win10 on home-built machine (which now anyone has to do if they want windows - as they've shelved Win7/8 - and the 'free' upgrade period is over).

So yeah, people paying hundreds of bucks for software that rams ads down their throat, direct from the manufacturer.

Comment Re:Dramatic contemporary issues (Score 1) 158

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 Alternatives (Score 1) 145

Yeah, but it's a lot easier to offer alternative digital offerings on the internet than it is with something that requires a dedicated physical connection/hardware to customers' house (cable/satellite).

That, and the "piracy" alternative is always there too.

Competition - whether legal or otherwise - can help prevent bad behavior.

Comment Re:Until Data Collection is 100% Removed... (Score 1) 210

I'm not defending MS, as an IT guy I lay the blame for this crap at their feet. But if I were paying someone to manage my IT for me, I'd expect them to prevent this stuff rather than clean up after it. Out of interest, how were you handling updates and upgrades before MS forced them upon you in Windows 10?

Comment Re:Until Data Collection is 100% Removed... (Score 1) 210

Microsoft shouldn't be forcing these updates by default, sure. But they did, and it was hardly a secret so you could have taken action beforehand and disabled the updates before they caused disaster. By the way, removing programs only happens on major updates of Windows, which should be treated as any major upgrade: with tests, rollback plans, and contacting the vendors of mission critical software about known compatibility issues. Those updates certainly should not be automatic... or be allowed by an administrator to proceed automatically.

Comment Re: Not sure what to think.... (Score 2) 794

It's not as clear cut as all that; not all muslims interpret their texts in tbe same way. For instance last year a bunch of top Islamic leaders and scholars in Pakistan issued a fatwa to the effect that post-op transgenders are to be afforded full marriage and inheritance rights according to their "reassigned" gender. They do not recognise or allow gay marriage, but a man-turned-woman can marry a man and the other way around.

Comment Re:Not sure what to think.... (Score 1) 794

I interpreted that as meaning that he was not able to do that, rather than just being unwilling.

Which was probably exactly what he intended. Either Obama didn't know the law allowed a pardon before a conviction, which I find very hard to believe, or he intended to say he wouldn't while giving the impression that he couldn't. Technically correct (the best kind of correct), but rather sleazy. Then again, he did study law...

Submission + - Law for Autonomous Vehicles: Supporting an Aftermarket for Driving Computers (

Bruce Perens writes: How will we buy self-driving cars, and how will we keep them running as self-driving software and hardware becomes obsolete much more rapidly than the vehicle itself? Boalt Hall legal professor Lothar Determann and Open Source Evangelist Bruce Perens are publishing an article in the prestigious Berkeley Technology Law Journal on how the law and markets might support an aftermarket for self-driving computers, rather than having the manufacturer lock them down or sell driving as a service rather than selling cars. The preprint is available to read now, and discusses how an Open Car, based on Open Standards and an Open Market, but not necessarily Open Source, can drive prices down and quality up over non-competitive manufacturer lock-in.

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