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Comment Re:Dont fall for the subsidies... (Score 1) 248

More likely to be bought out, especially if it's been in business for only a few years. There are a lot of these guys that start the business with the sole intention of building up the subscriber base and selling it to the highest bidder. Find a local company, *with its own central station*, that's been in business more then 10 years. Look around for their customers, which you can find by looking for their window stickers. Ask them about their reputation.

There are a lot of whores and trunk slammers in this business, but they're usually easy to spot if you know what to look for.

Comment Make them spend money (Score 5, Insightful) 497

Pick up the phone. Ask them who they're calling from, have them spell your name specifically, state you "do not recall" such alleged debt. If you can, record the call. ("It's for my own records" if they ask.) Don't ever give them ANY information. If they insist on collection, ask them to send you a physical claim. If such arrives, find a defect and tell them about it when they call back. (unless, of course, they have an actually-toll-free number, which they have to pay for.)

Oh, and always, ALWAYS make them repeat themselves. Repeat yourself ad-naueum, as well.

Just don't make any false statements, or agree to the validity of any debt you are not willing to pay.

(Honestly, though, I'd expect a scam to drop at "I'm recording this call, and your name is?")

Comment Re:Documents shared with Google? (Score 3, Informative) 178

Quickoffice was a document-editing program way back in the PalmOS days, and it was the only major player to make a WebOS version.

Quickoffice does not require Google Docs to work. Although it does have some features which are counter-intuitive and don't work depending on the view you're in.

Comment Re:$5000 gets you... (Score 1) 196

> 3) Its battery life is pathetic, so it makes up for it with a mediocre ICE to charge with. Wake me when it has a range near 1000 miles, which is what a setup like this should be sporting.

This is a serial electric hybrid. You are evaluating a metric that only really matters for an all-electric car.

A Volt (or any other car with a gasoline engine) can make a journey of 1,000 miles significantly faster than any car tesla makes. They can also be rescued if energy runs out with a common plastic container, instead of a tow truck.

An electric car is an excellent choice if your daily commute and fiscal budget allow it. (I know people whose daily commute is well over 100 miles each way.). But they are simply not the same category as hybrid cars, be those hybrids serial or parallel.

(And, yes, I know that the Volt's engine and likely the ESR have a physical connection to the drivetrain that is used at certain highway speeds. That makes it a semi-paralel hybrid, not an electric car.)

Submission + - OpenShot Video Editor Achieves $35k on Kickstarter, Final Goal in Reach! ( 5

JonOomph writes: The popular open source video editor, OpenShot, has less than 39 hours remaining on popular crowd-funding site, The lead developer, Jonathan Thomas, has proposed a revolutionary new feature, which would allow users to offload CPU, memory, and disk cache to a local server (or multiple local servers), dramatically increasing the speed of previewing and rendering. The more servers added to the pool, the faster the video editing engine becomes (with the primary limitation being network bandwidth). If the final goal of $40k is reached in the remaining hours, this feature will be added to the next version of OpenShot.

Comment Re:Until they hit the max number of bitcoins (Score 1) 595

I've tried and tried to wrap my head around this, but it makes no sense to me. How can you have fractional-reserve banking if the coins have to match a digital signature? Fractional-reserve banking creates money out of thin air. How can you create bitcoins out of thin air?

1: It's "wealth", not "money." Fractional reserve banking doesn't create more US dollars, it just creates a debt from one part to another and formalizes the transfer of debts instead of the physical exchange of bank notes.

2: Annuities and futures. If I loan you 500 bitcoins to buy a car, with terms that you pay me back over 12 months with interest, I have ~500 BTC as an asset I can promise to others.

Comment Re:Well the ultimate value of Bitcoin is (Score 1) 605

but what I have not seen is a technical discussion on how Bitcoin is going to be shut down.

Assuming for the moment as a given that the feds describe to shut down BitCoin (let's say Congress passes a law banning it), I'd wager that the implementation would not be not dissimilar to the approach they take against child porn. Ban the practice outright, impose punitive sentences for dealing with it, and employ police officers to track down those engaging in the practice.

And if that happens, I wager domestic bitcoin usage would just shutter rather than deal with persecution. Bitcoin 2 would be written to concur with the law, and likely overtake its predecessor due to simple market weight.

Comment Re:Well the ultimate value of Bitcoin is (Score 4, Informative) 605

In the United States, people cannot ... trade real goods and services with BC -- because the U.S. gov' ...will enforce the dollar as the sole legal tender

That's not what "legal tender" means.

I could set up shop today in New York State and accept only bitcoins if I wanted to. The government wouldn't stop me, and in fact they'd back up my right to set my prices as whatever my little heart desires, in whatever strange currency I want.

But as soon as I ask the police to force a shoplifter to pay, I'll wind up having to deal with dollars, because that's all the government will force anyone to pay a debt in. And if I am on the other end of that transaction, I might wind up having to convert some bitcoins to dollars at a sub-optimal time when the bill comes due.

(That I'll also have to pay my taxes in dollars and likely pay my vendors and suppliers in the same means I'll have to deal with some local currency regardless. but that's a different issue.)

Comment Re:Who uses bills? (Score 5, Insightful) 605

For every $1000 in deposits, that means they can lend $10,000 at 5% above their costs and payouts, or more, yielding a $500 profit... wow!

1: It's $1,000 in assets. That includes a whole bunch of things beyond deposits, such as certain bonds.

2: That's $500 in revenue, not profit. From that revenue, they need to pay for all of their bills, and their payroll, and account for losses due to uncollectable accounts and outright thievery.

This $500 is spent by them eventually, and helps dilute the value of your original $1000 by inflation... so your "savings" loses value, as they leverage against it in multiple manners....

3: Inflation is a feature, not a bug. The work you did picking tomatoes last year is less valuable to the species than the work you did picking tomatoes today. The species would be better served if you used that same frugality to horde useful items instead of tokens, which is why the market rewards investment over savings.

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