Then, almost by definition, it is worthless
And yet it works in exactly the way Libertarians are telling us things will work: companies put an agreed-on label on their products, they have an incentive to check unreasonable-sounding claims from their competitors as do consumer groups, and there is redress through the courts (and bad publicity) if anyone is caught cheating. For once, it's a free market solution that is working with a minimal amount of government intervention.
This isn't the reason the cloud makes a terrible backup. The thing that you want to avoid with a backup is correlated failures: things that cause a failure of your primary store should be different from things that cause a failure of your backup. Your house burning down or thieves coming and stealing your computers will cause failures of both your original and on-site backups. It's a lot less likely that the founder of your cloud provider will be arrested for the same reason that you lose your laptop.
Remember: it only matters if your backup storage fails at the same time as your on-line storage.
As Rei said: it is a solved problem, you build a road. This is a cheaper solution. That's what technology is after all, the ability to do things more efficiently.
Plus: who gets to decide what's "frivolous"? Certainly not you. Whatever people will pay the most for is the least frivolous, as there's no better objective measure of value.
This really doesn't work if you try to fund it from income tax. Wealth != income.
That's really only relevant if you are just sitting on a pile of cash stuffed into a mattress. However typically wealth earns income if you have it anywhere but a mattress and in Canada even 50% of all capital gains is included, and taxed, as income. While you could just live of savings wile earning no money that would be a really stupid thing to do because unless the tax rate hits 100% you are always better off earning that income from wealth and paying taxes on it.
Is the imbecile who sent the fine won't be fired.
It's not really that imbecile's fault - indeed they might not even agree with the law but still feel they have a duty to enforce it. The problem here is the legal protections engineers have managed to get in place to protect their jobs. If you want to see a really appalling example of this just look to Canada where engineering is operated like a medieval guild where everything is regulated; only existing guild members are allowed to train you and in some provinces making something like an electronic circuit means that you have to be a guild member. It's pathetic to see this in the modern world...and also really annoying if you are a physicist and equally if not actually far better qualified for some of the "protected" jobs - particularly when one of those jobs is teaching engineers physics!
You can address that by having a progressive tax. In the UK, there are tax-free savings accounts that have a limited pay-in amount per year, income on which is exempt from income tax. You could do the same thing with a wealth tax: anything in a tax-free savings account doesn't count. You could perhaps also add an exemption for money in your primary residence, up to the median house price in your region. Beyond that, add a tax-free allowance of something like $50K and most people will pay nothing.
The real problem with such a scheme is that it's open to tax avoidance. It's fine for poor people, whose wealth is typically in cash form and so easily valued, but what about wealth held in private stocks in off-shore corporations? Those currently don't even need to be disclosed, and if they are then it's often very difficult to determine the value of the company (especially if it's a shell company that owns other shell companies that own real assets, with arbitrary levels of indirection in the middle). To make it work, you need complete financial transparency on all private companies.
 When they were introduced, this was about £3K, which was pretty reasonable. If you're earning 50% more than minimum wage in most of the country, you can get close to this. Now it's over £10K, which effectively makes it a tax break for the rich. Unfortunately, it doesn't roll over either, so if you have irregular income then you couldn't put in nothing one year and then £6K the next.
"Fly over country" is poor because being in the middle of nowhere leads to less economic activity
This is definitely true for physical goods that have high transportation costs. It's less true for virtual goods, such as most of the California exports.
I don't think any sort of flying transport can land safely in a parking lot. Just too dangerous for anyone on the ground, plus the property damage from anything loose (stones ets) on the ground nearby. FOD kills.
until they talk about Uber creating flying taxis, then the fascination turns to horror.
Look on the bright side: at least it is not United Airlines developing them.
Meh, I'd hope the optimizer was the right tool for the job. Any compiler worth a crap would know just what to do with
uint8_t a = d >> 8;
and that wouldn't rely on any undefined behavior (there's no standard way to directly manipulate registers in C, after all).
The second is that one of the big bottlenecks for modern filesystems is the wait until data is safely in persistent storage. System RAM doesn't help here, because it goes away with power failure. To ensure consistency, you have to pause writing parts of an update until you've received confirmation that the previous part is written. In a conventional journaled FS, for example, you don't start writing the updates until you've confirmed that the journal has been committed to disk. With NV cache, you can get this confirmation practically instantly. If there's a power failure, then the drive just has to replay the transactions from NVRAM.
It is difficult to soar with the eagles when you work with turkeys.