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Submission + - Google Global Cache coming to Cuba

lpress writes: The Associated Press reports that on Monday Eric Schmidt will be in Havana to sign a deal bringing Google Global Cache to Cuba. This will be a win for the Cuban people, Google and the Obama administration.

Comment Re:Wrong even if correct (Score 1) 255

Fundamentally inflation happens when the money supply in circulation grows faster than the economy, deflation happens when the money supply grows slower than the economy.

Fractional reserve banking increases the effective money supply. A proportion of customers deposits are kept as central bank money in reserve. The rest is loaned or invested. The result is that the total customer deposits (which as far as the customer is concerned are effectively money) is greater than the totl ammount of "central bank money" in the system.

In our current system governments/central banks can control the effective money supply in a couple of ways. They can put in place minimum reserve requirements on banks and they can control the ammount of "central bank money" money in circulation.

For fractional reserve banking to work customers must have high confidence in the safety of the banking system. This is ensured through a cobination of government-backed "insurance" schemes and stract regulations on bank investment practices.

So what about bitcoin. The rules for the supply of real bitcoins (analogous to central bank money) are largely fixed. Afaict there is currently no significant fractional reserve bitcoin banking going on. So the inflation and deflation is largely tied to the size of the bitcoin economy and the proportion of bitcoin that is hoarded by speculators rather than circulatin in the bitcoin economy.

A successful introduction of fractional reseve banking would cause a sudden increase in the effective money suppy and with it a burst of inflation.

So the question is would fractionl reserve bitcoin banking be successful? My bet is NO.

The problem is how is the fractional reserve bitcoin bank going to invest the money that they aren't keeping in reserve. There are two options I see both bad.

1. They could make bitcoin denominated loans. However given bitcoins's overall deflationary tendancies and massive volatility only an idiot would take out such a loan.
2. They could invest in something non-bitcoin denominated but then the bank is taking on the risk from bitcoins deflation and volatility.

Either way I expect any fractional reserve bitcoin bank to find themselves bankrupt fairly quickly.

Comment Re:Did anybody read the summary ? (Score 1) 258

Stopping production of pennies won't stop lazy customers taking them out of circuation. So without a supply of new coins coming into circulation shopkeepers will quickly run out.

People expect to be able to go into a shop, pay for something and be given change. So the shop owners will be forced to come up with a new policy on how they give change in the absense of any supply of pennies.

Comment Re:It's OVH (Score 1) 103

It's not just VPSs. A project I cofounded used a dedicated server running Debian from dreamhost (chosen because it was cheap and came with unlimited bandwidth). In setting the server up we removed apache and installed nginx.

Doing so broke the boot process!

IIRC Dreamhost support managed to find a way to manually boot the box but couldn't help with actually fixing it and then we found a way to hack up their scripts so it would boot by itself again.

Comment Re:Stop combining sellers for "identical" products (Score 2) 62

The amazon term is "stickerless comingled inventory". Sellers can choose to have their products commingled with that of other sellers and that of amazon itself. From the sellers side this saves having to label up the products with seller information. From amazon's side this presumablly makes logistics more efficient.

Which works great until you have unscrupulous sellers introducing substandard (fake, damaged, not new, not the correct model etc) into the supply chain. Customers can order from a reputable seller or amazon themselves and yet end up getting stock from the unscrupulous seller.

Some product categories are excluded from stickerless comingled inventory and amazon claims to track where the products actually came from, but apparently this is not enough to keep the problem under control.

Comment Re:Connect product reviews to sellers? (Score 2) 62

Worse than that amazon operates commingled inventory. With commingled inventory the seller you select is simply the one who gets your money, not nessacerally the one who supplied the product.

In general for products with high counterfieting risk I would advise avoiding amazon completely.

Comment Re:The end of Net Neutrality (Score 1) 110

All this does is provide an excuse to throttle "less important traffic", i.e. any website that doesn't pay greedy ISPs for higher priority.

The already existing prioritisation features are more than enough to do that.

In that case, they need their own dedicated network. The public internet cannot guarantee a packet gets from Point A to Point B, let alone gets there in a specified time.

I would agree that you won't be able to run such services over the "public internet".

The point AIUI is to allow you to build one network over which all your traffic flows while maintining deterministic bandwidth/latency/jitter for those applications that need it.

Comment Re:Ethernet won against more "deterministic" desig (Score 1) 110

Modern Ethernet is really Ethernet in name only.

The multipoint coaxial segments are gone, replaced by point to point twisted pair. CSMA/CD is pretty much gone*. replaced by switching. The simple wire-level "manchester encoding" is pretty much gone repalced by a highly complex multilevel encodings with echo cancellation

All that is really left is the frame formats and the addressing scheme.

Just because a design descision made sense at a particular time and in a particular context does not mean it will make sense for all time and in all contexts.

* By pretty much gone, I mean that the hardware still supports it, but it's only used when connecting to legacy equipment.

Comment Re:Poor Execution of the Referendum ... (Score 1) 609

The pro-brexit side didn't "decide to put the question to the people" (though once the descision was made to put it to the people they did put out propaganda painting an unrealistically rosy view of brexit).

Anti-EU sentiment in the UK had been rising. Cameron and his cronies (pro remain) offered the refferendum to pacify both Euroskeptics in his own party and voters who might otherwise vote for UKIP. Unfortunately for them (and IMO for the UK as a whole) they didn't get the result they wanted. Cameron then resigned leaving the rest of the tory party to pick up the peices.

Comment Re:They really should approve though (Score 1) 609

However after an agreement is reached there should be another vote.

AIUI the problem is that once article 50 is invoked the clock starts ticking on our (the UKs) EU membership. If the clock runs out we get a hard exit

The only way to stop that clock is to make an agreement with the rest of the EU. It's not at all clear if they would offer us "remain a member on your current terms".

Comment Re:Huh who knew? (Score 1) 609

Well, that's nice, but this Article is about the UK leaving the EU, so UK legislation is really the only legislation of relevance.

Surely EU legislation is important too.

What exactly happens if Teresa says "fuck you" to the british courts and sends the article 50 notification anyway? can the EU accept it and begin the process of kicking the UK out of the EU?

Comment Re: Sorry, Tim... (Score 1) 394

As a brit I can see a few reasons to use credit cards.

1. If you need to borrow money short-term they are the cheapest option. You get about a month interest-free by default and you can get far longer if you have a good credit rating and are prepared to apply for a new card.
2. Regularly using and paying off a credit card builds your credit rating which is useful if you ever want to get a mortgage and buy a house.
3. The legal protections in the event of fraud are much stronger with credit cards than debit cards.
4. You can often get various rewards for spending on a credit card that you would not get with a debit card or cash.

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