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Comment Re:Will their implementation allow tracking? (Score 2) 54

When banks implement blockchains, will their version allow tracking of all the individuals involved in the whole chain?

Of course it will. They want to use a blockchain for maintaining an efficient high-speed ledger of all bank-to-bank transactions. When you do a funds transfer from, for your account to an account at another bank, they'll write an entry to the block chain and both parties will be able to validate the time at which the transaction occurred. Having an unforgeable ledger is the entire point of the system that they're proposing.

Comment Re:Best selling computer? (Score 1) 252

I'm surprised that it was that few. I remember seeing them for £50 in Argos about a decade after they were first released. They were incredibly popular as games machines and a load of shops had a row of C64 game tapes for around 50p each (NES games were around £10, if I remember correctly, at the same time).

Comment Re:A Lot of Effort to Bury the Lede (Score 1) 107

There's no vast left- or right-wing media conspiracy. There's a small number of owners of the mainstream press, and they will not print anything that directly contradicts the interests of these owners. This has no allegiance to any political party or ideology other than a desire for certain individuals to increase their personal power.

Various governments have allowed mergers and acquisitions among news companies until there's very little independent press. Most countries don't want to regulate press freedom too heavily (for good reason - there's a very fine line between regulating truth in journalism and forcing propaganda and it's incredibly easy for the former to slip into the latter), so we're left with the majority of the population being informed by untrustworthy sources.

Comment Re:Pretty shocking (Score 1) 111

I find the map pretty surprising. Zoom in on the UK, and most of England is yellow (11-15 g/m3), but Reading (dense traffic, industrial areas, lots of diesel trains passing through) is green (<10), yet completely surrounded by yellow areas. I'd probably be inclined to trust the point samples, but their averaging between them looks like it's nonsense. The middle of Wales is pretty green, but with squares of yellow. The green makes sense (it's basically a big space full of hills and sheep), but the yellow doesn't seem to correspond with any human habitation or industry.

Comment Re: don't get your hope up (Score 1) 250

Indeed. Under the Consumer Rights Act and the earlier Sale of Goods Act, you are entitled to a refund for a variety of reasons. Any claims made by the seller that influenced your decision and are false gives you grounds for a refund (or a replacement with a version that meets these requirements). I had the battery on an Apple laptop fail after the warranty expired, but because of the SoGA they replaced it without quibble: their website claimed that it would retain 80% of its charge after 300 discharge cycles and the system monitor showed that it was retaining about 15% of its charge after about 120 complete cycles.

Comment Re: meh (Score 1) 448

Military meals are designed with attention to the morale factor. Even the modern MRE is designed to help the soldier feel human in unfavorable surroundings. Apollo 10 was the first to officially test real bread. Gemini Astronauts smuggled aboard a kosher corned beef sandwich but it was stale and thus had too many crumbs which went airborne. By Apollo 10 it was discovered that nitrogen-flushed bread would stay fresh for 10 days. I'll have to try that.

Comment Re: meh (Score 1) 448

but what are the chances of finding a good vintage of scotch to go with all of this breaded goodness they are going to be having up there?

Alcohol is definitely going to space. Ballantine's zero-gravity glass is made in cooperation with something called the Open Space Agency, which also has a design for an automated Dobsonian telescope. Ardbeg is going to space. And a vacuum still is an old science-fiction trope.

Comment Re:Everybody should be prepared to die. (Score 4, Funny) 448

Out of several tens of billions of humans, only a fraction have not yet died, and of those who died, only a small percent of disputed cases indicate recovery.

On the contrary, I have never died before and rumors that I would do so are spread by fact-checkers of the liberal press and corrupt global warming scientists.

Comment Some Artistic License (Score 1) 448

I like the part in the SpaceX video where the rocket lands, and the door opens on magnificent desolation. This is artistic license. Obviously the material for a habitat would precede the arrival of people.

But yes, a first-try planetary colony won't necessarily work. Getting there is dangerous, and once you're there being able to continue to provide the population with air, water, food, shelter, and energy is going to have significant risks of lethal failures.

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