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Comment Re:Another idiot buying into the bitcoin scam. (Score 2) 347

No, but the taxation often provides the tipping point.

A national currency is marked by 2 things: that you can (or must) pay your taxes with it, and that the employees of that government (most especially the military) accept it in payment. As long as both of those are true, even with serious inflation, the national currency has value.

That is only pertinent to the internal market value of the currency and only to a limited degree. The North Korean won and Libyan dinar are pretty worthless outside of their native nation states. However a national currency can even internally spiral out of control even where there is still the requirement to pay ones taxes from it and have it accepted as payment (think Zimbabwean dollar).

Any currency can be massively devalued by the creation of more of itself in excess of the perceived value of the currency. The more notes that are printed, the less the value of those in circulation becomes. This is why quantitative easing and similar solutions will not work. Come back in 5 years if you do not recognise this fact today and we'll talk then.

The strength in Bitcoin in this matter is that one cannot just run a shell script to create a few million more Bitcoins. Because the release of the unit of exchange is fixed there is a certain degree of security to it. Okay, so there is no major tax-raising government entity behind the currency. Does that mean it is worthless as a medium of exchange? Of course not. A medium of exchange is just that and no more. The value of a one hundred dollar bill is only what you are able to exchange it for, which is entirely dependent upon the environment you find yourself in.

Personally I would even argue that the claimed weaknesses of Bitcoin (decentralised, no government backing) could be a foundational key strength of the currency.


Submission + - Should we Boycott Apple For the Sake of Innovation? (techpp.com) 2

SmartAboutThings writes: "What Apple is doing with the Galaxy Nexus and Tab ban is called – pattent trolling. Enough reason to boycott Apple – yes. They’re not protecting the innovation, but their own a$$ and money. For them, this is good – protecting what they’ve crafted in their garage full of bright minds. But what does it mean for us? Why is Apple trying to kill competition? From what I can tell, true innovation can only come out of competition, but Apple doesn’t seem to love that. They want to maintain their position, they want people to blindly buy iPhones, iPads forever. But that’s impossible. Should we boycott Apple for the sake of innovation?"

Comment Re:Savvy study author ... (Score 0) 471

"Atheist countries"?

Yes, like the USA.

Pledge of Allegiance: "...one nation under God..."

National motto: "In God we trust"

Court oath: "Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?"

Oath of allegiance: "...I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God"

USA atheist? You're having a fucking laugh, mate.

Comment Connected to C&W issues yesterday? (Score 3, Informative) 203

From around 1730hrs yesterday, Cable & Wireless started having huge (95% packet loss) issues for about 90 minutes in the Holland/Germany area. Was interesting to note that trying to reach (from remote locations in Europe) two sites we have in Sweden, one (on Telia) was fine, but another was mostly offline. We're still waiting to receive a report from C&W about the outage.

Comment Re:The CIA and MI6 are wimping out (Score 1) 311

Doesn't matter. Most democratic countries run on the basis of "innocent until proven guilty".

Assange has as yet to be charged with anything, let alone tried or convicted.

I do not, however, include the USA as a democratic country, since they employ:

* Imprisonment without trial
* Torture
* Executions without trial
* Repression of basic freedoms

Comment Re:About bloody time (Score 3, Insightful) 58

I would suggest that the LibDems, like the Tories, have come into service of the nation only to discover the barren waste left by the Labour administration. It's all well and good having grand plans, but when one peers inside to find the coffers empty through abysmal mis-management, it's difficult to step forward with increased spending plans without looking completely nuts.

Clegg and his bunch are in a very difficult situation where they need to keep some stability in the country by not having an early election called that could potentially bring Miliband into government. At the same time they need to keep the Right in check and ensure that some Liberal views are represented. The key to all of this mess is to get the country back on its feet before the Reds are able to get close to another attempt at drowning the UK.

There's always horse trading in politics and this is one area that it would be very surprising to see the Liberals allow to pass through.

Comment Re:No 3G and No Touchscreen Keyboard? (Score 3, Interesting) 206

Yeah because poor people are well known for a) their disposable income to spend on electronics other than cell phones and b) their desire to read books often enough to have a dedicated device for it. I mean, when you hear that ghetto street slang you think "wow, he must be a well-read sort of fellow".

I'm not in the lowest tax bracket and can attest to the fact that it's more than simply the price-point that is a consideration when it comes to purchasing an ebook reader. I've just ordered my first ebook reader from Amazon and selected the basic model (without adverts). What I considered to be their high prices had put me off looking at them in the past. Plus there was (and still is) the issue that if I buy treeware, I'd expect to receive a digital copy too, so that my original copy does not get ruined and I find I am unable to purchase another copy since the publisher has stopped printing it. Kind of like being able to make MP3s from my own CD collection.

There is something satisfying about selecting a book and settling down to read it, when it comes in a paper version. That being said, the convenience and space factors when travelling make the ebook reader a certain winner. The reduction in price of the Kindle is what tipped the scales for me. There may still be the relatively high prices to pay on new books (compared to the associated costs involved with virtual media), but when one considers the wealth of knowledge available that is not constrained by copyright, the low priced Kindles make for a good purchase.

Comment Re:Private IP ranges (Score 2) 320

IPv4 NAT can cause problems for some communications protocols. These include, but are not limited to:

  • PPTP
  • Bittorrent
  • SIP

Things will only get worse on IPv4 when the ISPs increasingly move towards carrier NAT as a solution to avoid the perceived complexities if IPv6, when really it's just an excuse to do less work and squeeze more money out of the users.

Comment Re:Speeding the path to IPv6? (Score 1) 284

I doubt that individuals & companies said, "No! We refuse to go on the internet until we can have TLDs with non-Latin characters."

You think that companies have only a single domain? You think that they use only a single IP?

iain@expat-tc ~ $ host www.microsoft.com.au
www.microsoft.com.au has address

iain@expat-tc ~ $ host www.microsoft.it
www.microsoft.it is an alias for microsoft.it.
microsoft.it has address
microsoft.it has address
microsoft.it mail is handled by 10 maila.microsoft.com.

Comment Speeding the path to IPv6? (Score -1, Offtopic) 284

I wonder what impact this will have on the ever decreasing amount of IPv4 addresses available. If it means that this pushes us towards a greater uptake of IPv6, it can only be good. For too long ISPs have been reluctant to encourage the rollout of IPv6 connectivity, all the time turning a blind eye to this problem of diminishing IPv4 addresses. Perhaps with a rush for new domains there will be a significant drop in the number of free IPv4 addresses and this will spur the uptake of IPv6.

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