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Comment Re:Remotely brick? (Score 3, Interesting) 202

Maybe not brick it (because people might try to fix it).

Just put a huge warning message that the device is dead and can not be used anymore. Give the people a code that they can use to claim a refund, and tell them they don't even have to bring it to a store. They can just chuck it away and claim a refund.

That way, no parent gives it to a young kid, and they scare them enough into getting rid of it.

Comment Re: Don't put your one egg (Score 2) 239

Always have an insurance

Never have insurance ... unless it is something you can't afford to lose. The cost of insurance is (expected-loss + insurance-company-overhead + insurance-company-profit). If you self-insure, it is just the expected loss. So never insure anything you can afford to lose. It is a bad bet.

Anyway, it is silly to conjecture about who is responsible for what cost. Here is the answer: Read the launch contract.

Wrong.When you self insure, you do not incur the "expected loss". You incur the "actual loss", which may be nothing, or could be more than anything you have.

If I had a $1m car, if I crashed it, I could lose $1m. But If I insured, I would lose the expected loss plus the overhead and profit margin.

The point of insurance is to remove uncertainty. Insurance is not a bad bet. Even very large companies such as Apple will insure because it is sensible to do so.

If you are self-insuring, you might not be using the funds you set aside wisely.

Comment Re:Law of unintended consequences, also frosty (Score 1) 470

accepting defeat means losing the useful original meaning

The original meaning is already lost. If you actually use "begs the question" correctly, 90% of your audience will have no idea what you mean, and the other 10% will think you are being pompous. It is best to just avoid the phrase entirely in both writing and speaking.

This +++
When one identifies a phrase or word in transition, it's probably best to avoid it. I'm afraid to use "literally" now because I have no idea how it will be interpreted.

I reckon they should interpret it "literally".

Comment Re:Waste of helium (Score 1) 190

Why do we "waste" a lot of our resources?

How much rubber and fuel is burned up on a "indy 500" race just so people can drive around in a big oval for hours? That fuel could have went to better uses.

Humans waste things for much less, this is a portable aircraft with a good carry capacity.

I think you wil find that the amount of fuel "wasted" in an actual Oval race is less than the fuel used by all the supporters who flock to watch said race.

Motorsports, at least at the top level, used a negligible amount of fuel compared to other fuel uses.

Comment Re:Moronic argument (Score 3, Interesting) 1145

Now what happened when people smoked away their food stamps? Did we cut them off? No, that would be cruel to the kids. We had to come up with other money from numerous other sources, and the bad behaviors still don't change.

This only seems to be an American problem. Here in the UK, people on benefits are given money. They are even given their rent money and mostly manage to pay their rent rather than drink or smoke it away.

If you treat people like children, they will behave like children. If people can't notice they are hungry or thirsty, and have nowhere to live even when they could afford it, then you have to let them deal with the consequences.

Comment Re:Example Chinese negotiation (Score 1) 89

China spent that money to try and avoid going down the hole with the US. The Chinese and the US economies are very intertwined. If China had not shored up the US dollar, US made products would have become cheaper and their own investments would have become worth less. They were acting in self interest, not out of any desire to help the US.

Comment Re:I've never had one. (Score 1) 105

Well, Amazon Video in not available on the Apple TV. However, it is available on the iPhone, and it allows one to "AirPlay" it to the Apple TV. So, when I want to watch something on Amazon TV, I get the iPhone out and watch it on the 40" TV in HD.As soon as it it outputting to AirPlay, the app becomes a remote control of sorts. Oh, and the iPhone also works as a more capable remote for the Apple TV than the official Apple TV remote.

Smartphones are more capable in some respects than PCs. It's a lot harder to do that on a PC without fiddling.

Comment Re:Good ruling (Score 1) 63

I could say the same about many other pieces of OSS software.

Linux is only technically open source. In reality what goes into the kernel is tightly controlled by Torvalds.

GCC is only technically open source. In reality what goes into GCC is tightly controlled by the GCC steering committee.

Open source doesn't mean that everyone gets to control every piece of software. It means anyone can take that software, makes improvements to it, and release new versions without needing approval from the original authors.

Comment Just increase the tax on all fuel. (Score 1) 150

Increasing tax on fuel will have a similar effect.

This idea is stupid - it's a technological solution looking for a problem. What if I buy an efficient car and tweak the engine to make it faster and less efficient. Does it still count as an efficient car?

Tax vehicles by weight if you have to - the heavier they are, the less efficient they tend ot be.

And tax the fuel. The more fuel you use, the more you pay.

And this does not involve any fancy tech.

Comment Re: And this is...news? (Score 1) 1092

There is a fifth way - the citizen's income.

Every citizen gets an amount of money which, if they pool together with others, they can survive on. They can then go and find any gainful work that augments their income and they pay tax at the marginal rate. Calibrated correctly, this should get rid of most "welfare" while also having the benefit of removing the means tested mess that is most countries' benefit systems.

Comment Re:Assange should arrest himself (Score 1) 158

Assange is asking for something that Sweden cannot give. Sweden is obliged, by treaty, to consider every extradition request that it receives. IANAL, but I am sure the Swedish government cannot limit the ability of courts to rule on extradition requests in any case.

Assange might as well ask for Sweden to ensure that it won't rain while he is there. His request is just as reasonable.

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