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Comment Re:Bitcoin? (Score 2, Interesting) 72

1. Three years ago in Brazil you could buy Bitcoins in local online markets using your local account. Several large markets also accepted international wire transfers. Or you could also go to IIRC, and buy in cash from people geographically near you.

2. There were services accepting Bitcoins that sold gift cards for Amazon and other big stores. Don't know if there are such services still. Of course they charged fees.

In any case, Bitcoin serves three main purposes, as I see:

I. dealing in shady business (silk road, etc)
II. trading and speculating
III. keeping a handful of libertarians geeks thinking they're really "sticking it to the man"

I and II are obviously the reasons Bitcoin still exists. III is not enough to keep it rolling.

Comment Re: Good grief... (Score 1) 681

Learning facts don't make anyone knowledgeable of science. I think what really means is that your regular software writer (and CS bachelor, IMHO) has no contact whatsoever with the scientific method and with how science actually works. That is, they are unaware of how to develop an hypothesis, test it against experiment, place the phenomenon under a broader context, etc.

A really simple test to see if someone has at least a minimum understand of how science works is asking them about what a theory is. I've seem plenty of college educated people think that, say, Theory of Relativity and Theory of Evolution are mere guesses that haven't still been properly verified and one have not only the right, but the moral obligation to chose whether to believe them or not based on their on personal logic. Actually, most people say things like "this and that haven't actually been proved by science", thinking that there are actually "proofs" of anything in science.

I disagree with how they picture Nye's position as a prominent science educator, but his opinion is right on the dime.

Comment Open source code but proprietary compilers. (Score 1) 222

At home about 95% of all software that I use are open source. At work this number drops down to ~80%. However, most of the open source software I use at work is compiled with proprietary and closed source compilers (IBM, Portland, Intel). Compiling is not something I often do, though.

Comment Re:Great idea (Score 1) 110

Do you believe that the origin of all North and Northeast population is identical (and in that case Bahia's)?

Of course not. That's why I said that there is a very mixed racial makeup. Slavery was one factor, but not the only one. There are regions in Northeastern states, such as in Paraíba or Pernambuco, where there are a lot of whites with Dutch and Portuguese background. In North and Mid-West regions there was a greater mix with native populations. It is impossible to say that it is the same, and I never said that.

What I said is that Southern states, and São Paulo, have a different ethnic profile.The focus of white immigrants during the XIX and XX centuries were mostly São Paulo and Southern states, and to a lesser degree other Southeastern states. This changed the ethnic makeup of these regions quite drastically, e.g., And this is a fact, whether you like it or not.

Comment Re:Great idea (Score 1) 110

one of the most impoverished countries in the world better themselves after this!

This is not really the case, at least in a large part of the country, specially in the Southern regions (São Paulo and below). I live in São Paulo right now (that's the state, not the city!), in a medium size town (pop. 250,000), have a regular job and my quality of life is not very much different than when I lived in Germany for some years, quite a while ago. The main problems are public services, specially health services (but I, like half of Brazilian population, have a private health insurance) and public transportation (we have pretty decent buses, but they can't be compared to Germany's rail system), even though we pay way too much taxes. Our GDP as of 2011 as US$ 2.48 trillion (6th in the world, higher than India, Russia and Mexico), and the tax revenue was 35% of that. So our government gets a metric fucktonne of money.

In some states, most of them in Northern and Northeastern regions, poverty is a whole different business. It looks like two countries, as a matter of fact. Even in terms of ethnicity, with Northern states having a very mixed racial makeup (due to slavery), and Southern states having a majority of whites of Italian, German, Spaniard and Portuguese origins (there was a large government program to make the population whiter in these regions, about 100-150 years ago).

Comment Re:Blame the foreigners (Score 4, Interesting) 110

Actually, it is much harder for a domestic company (specially if it is not very large) to get away with this kind of behavior.

Brazil has very strict work laws, up to the point that even nannies and house cleaners are jobs under strict regulation. This case with Samsung is indeed very worrying, however it is not as common in companies as most people would expect in Brazil. We have hundreds of unions who have very resonant voices in politics.

Work conditions abuses in Brazil come mostly in two flavors:

i) Rural work in farms, specially up North. It is not uncommon to have people working under slavery regime in some farms, and some of the scandals involve even politicians who are also big farmers. The workers are usually very poor people who are deluded into getting a job in a farm and getting rich. Their travel costs are covered by the farmer, and so is living cost and food, and they stay in an eternal debt without ever leaving. They end up working 18 hours shifts for food, with no sanitary conditions, etc. This is taken seriously in Brazil, but more often than not the responsible for this are rich people, so they get away with fines and never see the inside of a jail cell.

ii) Manual labor done by foreigners, in particular by South Americans. In Sao Paulo city there are 200,000 Bolivians, 80% of them are illegal, and most of them work with sewing. They work under very poor conditions and earn very little. Since most of them are illegal, and most of them are in debt with people who helped them to get here, they are afraid to seek the police.

But in companies this is not the case. Even to me this news about Samsung came as a shock.

Comment Not so great (Score 3, Interesting) 518

The saddest thing is that probably each and every citizen -- be them old, young, children, ill, healthy -- will have (as in obliged) to pay his or her visit to the funeral in order to say a last good bye, in a country with a terrible winter and where artificial heating is a luxury only available to the great members of the party. Perhaps even a little sadder is knowing that absolutely nothing will change, for his son has been trained since his early years to take on daddy's position and keep up with the realm of terror, not to mention that the old military leaders who were by KJI's side the whole time still remain.

The positive thing about his death to the citizens of North Korea is to show them that despite of what their government have been saying, their leaders are not deities nor special in any way, and are prone to die just like any other human. I wonder how his death is being explained to citizens -- perhaps they are being taught that the dearest leader ascended to the skies after fulfilling his role as a guide to humanity.

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