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Comment Re:Well the ultimate value of Bitcoin is (Score 5, Insightful) 605

Some of your argument is interesting, but the idea that something's value is equal to the effort that it takes to obtain/create the thing is certainly not the case. There are lots of things that are very difficult to create and/or duplicate that have no value. If I have my computer hash random strings until I get a hash that includes my name in it, even though it might take 10 hours to do (and would take another 10 hours to duplicate), it doesn't make that random string valuable.

Value is the benefit I get from having a good or service (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Value_(economics)). While often times it is correlated with the difficulty in obtaining something, they are not equivalent.

That being said, your argument could still (sort of) work like this: there SHOULD be a cap on the value of a bitcoin.... the $ cost in computing power to mine a new coin. Whenever the price rises much above that, there should be an economic incentive to spend the money mining a new coin instead of buying the coin on the market. Of course, this price isn't a HARD cap, since there is still a capital expense in buying the hardware to mine the coin (or the opportunity cost of not using that hardware to do something MORE valuable), but it shouldn't get too high above that cost.

Of course, the fact that the cost to mine a bitcoin increases with each previously mined coin makes this even more complicated..

Comment Advice from another Philosophy major (Score 3, Interesting) 182

Just go get a job. I was a self-taught programmer as well, and got my BA in Philosophy, too.

When I decided to try making my hobby a career, it was RIDICULOUSLY easy to get a job. All I did was use some personal projects as my resume. Showed them my code, showed them what I could do, and was hired.

No one has ever cared that I didn't have a degree in a computer-related field. In fact, my boss never even went to college. You just need some way to show you can do the work. If you don't think you are good enough yet, practice! Create some side projects. Work on open-source projects. Add these projects to git, and suddenly you will be getting a TON of emails about work. Trust me.

Comment Re:A better question... (Score 4, Insightful) 796

You describe Pascal's Wager (That you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by believing in God, while you have everything to lose and nothing to gain by not believing in God). This can be a compelling argument to someone who already believes in God, or is in a culture where there is only really one choice of religion.

However, the argument is a poor one. An unmentioned premise of the argument is that there is only one possible God to choose to believe in or not; of course, we know this is not true. There are countless different Gods that people choose to believe in. There are the major religions, and all of the thousands of offshoots. Many of those beliefs include the idea that God HATES it if you worship the wrong God (think the First Commandment).

Because of this, you have to include in your calculation that you choose the WRONG God to believe in, and in doing so you actually piss him off more than if you had not believed at all. Maybe God exists, but his REAL desire is for no one to worship him, and worshipping him is what pisses him off.

There are infinite possible Gods, so the argument that you should just choose to believe in one of them because you have nothing to lose doesn't hold water.

Comment Re:One Billion? (Score 1) 162

It is quite rational, really... even if you know something is a bubble and will eventually burst, you might also think that you can make a bunch of money riding the bubble, and still get out with your profits before it bursts. Some people DO win; you just never know if you are going to be the one caught holding the bag.

Comment Re:IF this passed in the US... (Score 4, Insightful) 234

How is this different than stealing your car, taking it for a spin, and then putting it back in your driveway?

Would you respond "Learn to install a better alarm and not allow your car to be hot-wired so easy"?

You don't have to install an unbreakable lock to be protected from theft in the eyes of the law.

Comment Re:Better service.. (Score 1) 133

Apple could have the same infrastructure cost if they use bittorrent to distribute their content. The Pirate Bay still has to pay for it's servers.

We could argue about the cost of producing music for ages. I will bet dollars to donuts, however, that a negligible fraction of your download price from apple goes to actual production costs.

Comment Maybe app isn't short for applicaton (Score 3, Interesting) 353

As the article points out, an 'app' is very different from an 'application'. I have never heard someone refer to an iPhone program as an 'application' and I have never heard someone use the term 'app' to refer to a stand-alone desktop software. This would seem to imply that they are distinct terms, and one is not merely shorthand for the other.

This is not the misappropriation of one term, but the creation of a new one. Sure, the word app has its root in the word application, but there are lots of words that come from old words (in fact, most words have their roots in other words that mean different, but related, things).

I think the only time that anyone should complain about the misuse of terms is when it is unclear which version of the word someone is using. An example from the article is the misuse of 'download' for 'upload'. If someone says download when they mean upload, it can be confusing. If someone calls something an 'app', no one will think they are talking about a desktop application.

Also another complaint with the article: applications have always referred to more than just 'a self-contained piece of software installed on a PC or Mac'. All other operating systems have applications as well.

Comment Re:So turn javascript off (Score 2) 221

Facebook won't even let you view their site with javascript off (you can try for yourself if you like). They will tell you to enable javascript, or you can use their mobile site (which does not have the same functionality).

You aren't going to get Facebook users to turn off javascript.

In this case, what the actual problem is is that the users weren't using SSL. The ISP was injecting javascript directly into the HTTP response.... this can't happen if you are using SSL (properly).

Facebook doesn't default to https; you have to explicitly decide to use SSL. Most users don't know enough to know to use SSL, so a better campaign than trying to get people to turn off javascript (which will hinder the user experience) is to get them to only use sites that are https (which will have no negative effect for the user).

In fact, your solution to only allow javascript for certain sites would NOT fix this problem.... users would naturally turn on javascript for facebook, and since the ISPs were directly injecting the javascript into the HTTP response, the javascript was running under the facebook domain.

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