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Comment Re: If it works (Score 4, Interesting) 203

Communism produces a more ingenious, crafty workforce that can think outside the box, simply due to necessity because of shortages in materials and spare parts. People who could keep your plastic car running with shoestring and rubber band (provided that's available, if not, substitute) were highly sought after and could actually make a comfortable living for communist conditions.

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) 203

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) 104

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:Well duh (Score 1) 141

Again, if delivery times are between 2 and 12 days, I would not complain. I'm not a Prime customer, I get pushed back to the end of the queue and my time comes when there's less stress. So I could hope to get lucky and order on a slow day, and get my stuff in 2 days because they get around to shipping it right away, or I could be unlucky and order during a stressful week when they don't get around to my order until the next week. That, I could understand.

What I cannot understand is how my stuff arrives without fail (and I am dead serious here, this is ALWAYS the case) in 6-8 days from the same warehouse that could deliver in 2-3 days before Prime got here.

Comment Re:Pretty shocking (Score 1) 103

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) 243

I honestly don't get Kickstarter. Basically, what it is is a venture capitalist venue for dummies. And I mean that in the most pejorative sense possible.

Kickstarter projects are by definition rather high risk ventures. You are investing into something that is being built. But people treat it like they're just buying something that IS already built, albeit with some rather insane delivery times. That this has to lead to disappointment is a given.

There is a pretty good reason "ordinary" VCs want equity when they back you with money. They are carrying the risk together with you. And there is a pretty good chance that the money is gone because the project never materializes. They accept a high risk, so they want a high reward. That's sensible.

What people on Kickstarter do is to accept a high risk for a pittance of return. What do you usually get? You get the product they try to produce. Maybe at a reduced price (read: at cost), maybe in some superspecial edition that ONLY backers get (and everyone who later pays a buck extra).

Sorry, but if you accept that deal, you better have other reasons to back the project (like, say, you really, really want to see this done and you love it SO much that you'll willingly throw away money for the CHANCE to MAYBE see it happen).

Comment Re: don't get your hope up (Score 1) 243

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:don't get your hope up (Score 1) 243

So I should base my decision whether or not I buy a game on the recommendation of someone who makes his living reviewing games (and hence his income is dependent on people looking at his reviews), exists in a system where being the first to deliver is key (first review gets eyeballs, being 2 days late is ... useless), probably gets the game early from the company to put out a review and will nearly certainly be removed from the "gets game early for free" list if he calls it a stinker and the bomb of the year?

I ... I'll go with the screenshot, the chance of it being honest is higher.

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