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Comment Re:No good (Score 1) 558

Not only fly, but the take-off procedures are already well underway. Some European countries are planning a full abolition of physical money.

Completely unfeasible at this stage. They can plan all they want, but capital flights would be massive.

Also, more than once I've been to restaurants where the smartcard readers weren't working. It still happens. So you'd need to carry a stack of 20 Euro bills just in case.

No, you wouldn't. You'd pay with your phone, either through phone billing or by direct transfer (giro). Because the transfer systems uses universal routing and is bank-agnostic (except for in the UK, which clings to its old fashioned branch based accounts) and is payer based unlike the US payee based, anyone can pay anyone else in seconds, and there's no "hold" time.

If all phone and internet services were down too, well, what would you do if a cash register was broken or you run out of change? It's not much different - you take people's names and addresses and send them a bill.

Let's talk about this when transfer fees are zero, and p2p payments are as easy as p2m. That's what cash does for you.

Comment No good (Score 1) 558

There's a difference between 500 Euros and 100 Dollars. About 5x difference. Imagine getting rid of everything above 20 Euros. Wouldn't fly at all.

Also, more than once I've been to restaurants where the smartcard readers weren't working. It still happens. So you'd need to carry a stack of 20 Euro bills just in case.

And what about all those cash countries using USD for transactions, where the local currency is too much in flux to serve as anything other than toilet paper? They'd instantly switch to a currency that has all those necessary bills.

Comment Re: Parallax. (Score 1) 425

You surmised properly. I did have an N95. The phone was great except that the UI was, well, Symbian, and the battery life was utter, absolute garbage. I was lucky to get 5 hours under wifi. There's absolutely no comparison between the N95 and the iPhone, even without the app store or copy-paste. Yes, iOS 1.0 was sorely lacking in some areas, but overall the iPhone was a giant leap forward. I never even touched the N95 after that.

Comment Re:Parallax. (Score 2) 425

That's complete bullshit. You have no idea what the original iPhone did then. That's exactly the point of @schnell's comment above. No one was using their "smartphone" (or super duper feature phone like the N95) because they were a disaster to use. What Apple did was create a complete package of software and hardware, and provided web apps functionality. It's only when users found out how amazing the package was that they said "Why did you short-change us!?!? That thing is great, let us use it all the way! We want native apps!"

When people saw my iPhone they'd ask me what I thought of it, and my answer was always that within 3 years everyone would have one or something similar. There was just no comparison, this was finally a usable handheld computer with a SIM card. So whether you call it a "feature phone" or a "smartphone" is irrelevant: it was a revolution in phones, and every single smartphone today is a direct descendant of the iPhone.

Put another way, the chasm between the phones before iPhone and the iPhone is immensely wider than the difference between the iPhone and today's smartphones.

Comment Re:Parallax. (Score 1) 425

"* Apple did not invent smartphones. They took the idea and made the first smartphone that was user-friendly enough that normal people wanted one instead of just work-issued mobile email tools, so lots and lots of people wanted to buy one."

No. The first iphone sold only 6M. At the time, there were numerous smartphones, most notably the N95, that sold a lot more. Also, the first iphone wasn't even a smartphone but a feature phone.

That's completely ludicrous: either you're trolling or you didn't go through the iPhone revolution. The first iPhone was as much a smartphone as the one you have in your pocket.

Comment Re:A minority view? (Score 1) 649

You think that the sun, rocks, and trees give comfort to humans? After losing a loved one?

Perhaps there is more confusion than you recognize regarding what actually exists, and your belief or disbelief doesn't change that.

Clearly you don't understand the importance of sun, trees, rain et. al. to primitive humans. It literally meant life or death if the sun didn't shine enough, or the rain was missing, or the trees weren't bountiful. Hence the gods of such things.
Perhaps the confusion is yours.

Comment Re:Original iPads Work Well ... (Score 1) 386

I know the parent is sarcastic, but replacing a battery in an iPhone costs $25 and 2 minutes in the store. I just did it for my iPhone 4S, and the difference was phenomenal. Basically after 3 years your battery goes to crap as soon as you hit 50% capacity as described by the OS. You blink and it's dead. Replace it and you are back to normal, and there's nothing incredibly hard about replacing an iPhone battery.

Comment Re:Why are trades (pre-purchase) public anyway? (Score 1) 342

Because this is basically what's happening, is that these machines are taking advantage of a security flaw that allows them to see a transaction before it's complete

No. They see the completed transaction at one exchange for X shares, and assume you're doing the same thing at the other exchanges. They just race there faster and preempt your transactions that are on the way.

And they also consistently post fake offers that they retract in order to analyze the market appetite.

Comment Re:Banks deflecting attention from themselves (Score 1) 342

There is nothing illegal whatsoever, since the trades are public. It's just that the HFT optimized their routes.

Sure not illegal per se, but only a finite number of people can get that sort of access, so now the playing field isn't level.

Exactly. That's one of the major complaints regarding HFT, and why the IEX exchange why created.

Comment Re:Banks deflecting attention from themselves (Score 2) 342

As for the front-running nonsense on 60 Minutes, that's always been illegal (contrary to what we're being told), and it is not at all how high frequency trading works. If someone was in fact doing that, then they're in a whole world of hurt with the SEC (and rightly so), but this entire exercise appears much more like a distraction: blame small outsider firms who've made the marketplace more effecient and tightened spreads for problems created by corruption within the big banks, and hope no one least until the next bank-induced crash.

This is absolutely not illegal. Here's how HFT gets one of its profit lines:
Large trades often spread across multiple exchanges. Buy 30,000 shares here, 15,000 there, etc... The regular broker submits one purchase and it gets distributed across exchanges. As soon as it hits the first exchange, say after 30ms, an HFT algo picks up on the trade and assumes that it'll happen as well on the other exchanges. So it races ahead and front-runs in the other exchanges before the regular distributed trade has a chance to arrive there.
There is nothing illegal whatsoever, since the trades are public. It's just that the HFT optimized their routes.

Comment Better article (Score 5, Informative) 342

There's a gripping article over at the NY Times (adapted from a just released book) that explains very well the pitfalls of HFT, where the problems are mostly due to the haves and have-nots, just like in most things. The article is at

Not having a level playing deck in an exchange is a major problem for the correct functioning of said exchange.

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