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Comment Re:tracking (Score 1) 273

>Well I got mugged by three guys last May and defended myself successfully. Drunk bogan morons don't need an excuse to start a fight.

Drunk people are not, exactly, an example of a mugging. I got mugged some 17 years ago - and that consisted of a stab-first-and-take-valuables-of-his-bleeding-body approach. Kind of hard to defend yourself after a person just walking past you on the street suddenly stuck a knife in your ribs.

>The world isn't a safe place
That's a stupid response to an argument I didn't make. I merely said we can make it SAFER.

>You should teach your daughter that so she is strong enough to defend herself when the time comes.
Fine, that does NOT mean that it is NOT stupid to do things that endanger yourself more - like carrying cash. The very BEST defense is not being a target.

> Exchanging freedom for safety
There is no loss of freedom involved. Just a change in how I carry my money. If it's wrong to use technology to reduce our risk of being crime victims then you should get rid of any guns you may own. If you can use a gun to make yourself feel safer, I can use a smartphone for the same purpose. Neither affects how free we are in any way (contrary to what gun-nuts think - owning a gun does not make you freer nor is it 'freedom' to own one).

>I've been assisting someone who has had their identity stolen. He lost his house, $800,000 and was accused and tried of fraud despite the evidence available to say that he was just a naive old person being preyed upon.
And that is terrible. But it's still better than dead.

>You haven't lived until you've had a body cavity search at every airport you go to.
A ridiculous theater that does nothing to improve safety and thus is clearly not a good idea. On the other hand, not carrying cash, is PROVEN to reduce your risk of certain violent crimes - and thus is a good idea. My behavior, my ability to do the things I want to do, my capacity to live as I want to live is entirely unaffected. Government is not intruding in my behavior in any way, shape or form - I am merely making myself a less attractive target to desperate or evil people with deadly weapons.

>being raped in gaol after loosing everything you worked for all your life is not a good option either.
That's pretty damn terrible... but it's better than dead.

>A change which promotes state based terrorism is worse than both of those things, IMHO.
You've shown zero evidence whatsoever of this being true. Real state based terrorism has never happened in the USA. No, not even under Obama. State based terrorism by the US government tend to happen in other countries. It's what was done in Iraq. It's what was done in Nicaragua. It's what was done in Panama and Brazil.
But in America ? Never happened. The risk in America is that you'll be killed by corporate terrorists after republican 'freedom lovers' finish getting rid of every law that stands between them and getting paid to kill you. Whether they get killed in cash or via an electronic payment system is really not going to make any difference. It doesn't matter if you can track the payment for a murder when the murder is no longer a crime.

Comment Re:tracking (Score 1) 273

What's more likely to affect my daughter this year ? The government knowing I bought her, her first trycicle or her dad getting killed by a mugger for his cash ?

The biggest advantage of going cashless is not convenience, it's SAFETY. Muggings have been dropping as cash use has declined because the reward for the risk is reduced. Cash is instantly spendable, cards run a real risk of being reported and cancelled before you can get the money out, cellphones you need to sell to get money.
Nothing is more immediately valuable to a mugger than cash. Now of course, as muggings have declined - identity theft and similar crimes have gone up - because the money is now in computers, it makes more sense to rob the computers than to risk your life in person mugging somebody. At least there's no risk he turns out to be a black-ops trained marine vet who breaks your arm in four places.
But this is actually an improvement - because while you lose money in EITHER an identity theft or a mugging - the former probably won't get you killed or in hospital.
A change which forces a reduction in violent crime is a positive change - even if it comes with an uptick in white-collar crime.

Comment Re:tracking (Score 2) 273

>Free markets are where bread sits in lines waiting for me. The alternative is me waiting in lines for bread.

The real difference between those two scenarios is just that in your 'free market' a helluva lot of people can't get bread at all.

There is then more bread than people who CAN get it, and hence it sits and wait.

This is, obviously, great for you - being one of the few who can get bread - but it sucks for the people who can't.

Of course the OTHER thing it does it so perpetually increase the number of people who can't - so more and more bread goes to fewer and fewer people. We often refer to this effect by the shorthand name "rising inequality' - perhaps you've heard of it ?

But your BIGGEST mistake of all is thinking those are the only options. This is not an either-or question. Nothing that involves human beings is ever THAT simple. It's not a choice between "laizes faire capitalism" and "USSR style communism" -there are literally THOUSANDS of other ways we could organise the distribution of resources (which is all an economy is - a system to distribute resources). So while you feel the advantages of liazes-faire capitalism outweigh the problems (but only because none of the really BIG problems happen to you personally), a great many people do not and the argument that it's better than the downsides of Soviet Style communism is complete bullshit - because we don't need to choose EITHER.
Are you seriously so closed-minded that you are convinced, among the thousands of other possible ways we can organise this activity - not ONE of them may offer better pro/con ratios than the one you love ?

Because I am. None of them can... for every resource, service and product. But for every resource, service or product there is a way to organise it that would be better than EITHER laizes-faire capitalism OR soviet-style communism - in THIS location. In another town - another one will work better for the same product. And somewhere in the world, there is one product which, in one town, will work best with laizes-faire capitalism and somewhere out there is one product which, in one town, will work best with soviet-style communism. But for all the millions of other products in the millions of other towns the best answer will be NEITHER of those.

Indeed it's impossible to predict what the best answer will be. The only way to discover it is to experiment with all of them - in every town and for every product- and record the results. The only way to get an economy with minimum downsides and maximum benefits - is to have an economy that's created by the scientific method, experiment, test, improve - and consider all answers to be local to the specific parameters of the experiment. Just because in bummsville Idaho the best way to distribute apples turned out to be "plant an apple tree on every street corner and let everybody pick when they want" doesn't mean it's true for oranges in bummsville idaho and doesn't mean it's true for apples in New York.

Comment Re: no thanks (Score 3, Insightful) 299

This seems intuitively right, but doesn't quite gel with statistics. According to the FBI - the vast majority of terrorists are rightwing Christian-Nationalists (like the trump-lover who shot up Canada a month ago, or the guy in the recent NY attack).

But they get very little publicity - far less than Islamic terrorists do (indeed so MUCH less that most people refuse to believe there are actually more of them and they strike more often). Hell when they do make the news - we go to great lengths to avoid using the word 'terrorist' for them (as if there is any doubt that Dylan Roof was a terrorist).
Yet DESPITE getting less publicity, not getting credited as 'terrorists' and the public being in denial of their existence - they remain the biggest threat we face.

Now, of course, that still doesn't justify panicky over-reaction. It doesn't make it smart to break crucial encryption or give backdoors to governments. Terrorism remains a minor risk - even if you add all the worst examples together - you'd save far more lives if you can get rid of drunk drivers. I'd much rather see the more draconian-minded politicians focus on penalizing those guys to hell. As far as I'm concerned- everybody KNOWS the risks of drunk driving so if you're caught driving drunk you should be charged with attempted murder. That's what you did - you tried to kill innocent people.
Or maybe getting serious about enforcing safety regulations on corporations. If CEOs can't kill people their profit margines would, admittedly, be a lot lower -but you'd save thousands more lives per year than you would even if you could completely eradicate terrorism.

So yes - it makes sense ot see terorism in perspective and plan responses according to how small a problem it really is. But don't imagine that lack of publicity and credit will end it either. It's just that it's such a small problem that trying to end it isn't actually worth the cost in freedom.

Comment Re:So they just reinvented the docking station? (Score 1) 73

I'm not going to argue your interpretation of individual phrases. This patent is for a phone placed where a touchscreen would be in a laptop, so that it can be used for both touch and display.

The Atrix Lapdock had the phone vertically behind the laptop screen where it could not be used for touch or a secondary display.

Completely different.

Comment Re: Uh, why? (Score 1) 195

I can't say I ever saw a random reboot during the years I ran OS/2. There were a few BSODs, but heck, those can still happen even now on Windows. Don't recall any memory issues either. The worst part was WPS lockups because it had a single message queue, and an errant application could bring it to a screaming halt. It didn't happen that often, but was the worst thing I experienced in OS/2

Comment Re:Alternative media. (Score 0) 274

So when he was fabricating Twitter posts from Leslie Jones and encouraging his legions of adolescent cranks to attack her, that wasn't overtly racist? And for what, because he didn't like the Ghostbusters reboot (I didn't like it much either, but that certainly wasn't the actors' faults, that was the horrible screenplay).

Comment Re:But Dissent is Now HATE (Score 1) 274

I'm never sure whether the advocates of Neo-Nazis getting money from Youtube are just very anal individuals who have bought into the notion that First Amendment protections ought to apply to communications on private platforms, or are Neo-Nazis themselves. I think for the most part we're dealing with Aspies and similar types who have incredibly rigid world views and are cognitively incapable of seeing that a company like Google ultimately has to serve its customers (the advertisers) in the way that they want, or at least accommodate their concerns, although I'm sure the Neo-Nazis aren't happy either.

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