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Open Source Tortilla For Tor To Be Released At Black Hat

Afecks Not New (68 comments)

I wrote a tool like this ages ago called Torcap; http://freehaven.net/~aphex/torcap/ and it does all of that plus works on Windows and is open source.

about a year ago
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'Pirate' Website Owner Sentenced To 4 Years In Prison

Afecks Re:Good boyyy!!!! You're going to get a treat, UK! (212 comments)

With a government the corporations may not exist, but the large companies and rich owners would still be in charge and writing the laws that make us all victims to their whims.

You clearly don't understand anarcho-capitalism. There would be only one law: Keep your hands off other people and their property without their permission.

Obviously, a definition of what counts as "people", "property" and "permission" need to go along with that single law but it's fairly intuitive. Anything capable of asserting itself as a person is one. You can claim unowned property by marking it as yours and taking an interest in it. No you can't claim the moon when you've never been there. No you can't claim an entire continent by planting a flag on a beach. Permission requires non-fraudulent consent. Knowing all that, how on earth do you get the idea that following these ideas can end up with the "rich" stuffing poor people into meat grinders for their amusement?

The only way anyone could get rich is by serving wants of the masses with lower priced higher quality goods and services than the competition. In a free market, if we all want Nike shoes and McDonald's hamburgers, Adidas and Wendy's are going broke and there's nothing they can do about it. The "poor" decide who becomes "rich". Consumers have the ultimate power, not producers. With services like Urbanspoon, Yelp, etc, you can't even claim much of an asymmetry of information. If your product sucks, a few people might experience it firsthand but word will spread quickly and you'll be out of business in no time. With government intervention, Wendy's could claim that McDonald's has a monopoly and get subsidized, etc, etc. Even though everyone wants McDonald's, Wendy's can play political favors to waste time and money giving us what we don't want.

If you want to then argue that popular taste sucks, you're just being a snob. We each are the judge of what we like best. If you think that because your opinion is a minority that you'll be left out in the cold, you're wrong again. It's the government that necessarily reduces variety with regulations and market intervention. In a free market, if you want something bad enough and willing to pay for it, you'll get it, even if it's raw milk or fish pedicures.

For more insight, I recommend that you read "The Machinery of Freedom" by David Friedman.

more than 2 years ago
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Algorithmic Trading Glitch Costs Firm $440 Million

Afecks Re:Visual walkthrough and commentary of the mayhem (377 comments)

But regardless of how they got rich, the rich aren't (generally) making their income honestly.

If they aren't committing fraud (illegal) or using the government (artificial monopolies) then they are engaging in voluntary exchanges i.e. free trade. If I trade your pen for my watch and you agree, then it must be the case that I value your pen more than my watch and you value my watch more than your pen. After the exchange, we both end up with something we find more valuable. We both are better off. That's what I advocate. The alternative is one of us using violence to force the other to commit to an involuntary exchange. That's uncivilized barbarism as far as I'm concerned.

Monopolies

Artificial monopolies can only exist through violent enforcement (typically government). Otherwise, monopolies aren't necessarily a bad thing. It just means that there's only a single seller.

If everyone buys Nike shoes because nobody else can provide the same quality at a competitive price and all other shoemakers go out of business, how is that bad? Even once the other shoemakers go out of business, Nike isn't going to be able to start charging $10,000 a pair. Whenever the price gets high enough, other firms will be tempted to enter the market. The higher the price goes, the more tempting it is. Nike wants to make profits. It's likely that they're going to keep their prices low enough to avoid losing market share. The mere possibility of competition will keep their prices in check.

You'll probably claim that they will just lower their prices to the point of losing money long enough to drive others out of business but historically that's highly unlikely and has never resulted in a stable abusive monopoly. The reason being that there are several strategies to combat it. You could start stockpiling Nike's shoes, wait until they are tired of hemorrhaging cash and then sell them at just above what they cost you to make a profit (but still at or below what Nike needs to make a profit). You could also point out to their customers that Nike is only selling low so they can jack up prices later. Look at the widespread outrage at Chick-Fil-A in the US, just from the actions of one executive. You don't think they'd boycott a business that's trying to systematically fuck them over monetarily? There are many other possible defenses that I won't go into. Which is why, as I said, it's virtually unheard of.

oligarchies, back room deals

The same problems apply as previously mentioned and then some. These same cartels are trying to fuck each other over just as fast and hard as they are trying to fuck over everyone else. Let's ignore the previous issues (though they still apply and therefore this is somewhat irrelevant) and pretend that somehow Nike and Adidas have run everyone else out of town. They still have to deal with each other. They have artificially high profits but each one can make more money by secretly lowering prices thereby grabbing more market share through those very same "back room deals". The same hunger for profits that builds cartels makes them unstable and causes their inevitable destruction. The only long-term stable collusion that gets to outrageous levels is between governments and businesses.

"take-backs" on stock exchanges

I'm not familiar with that term. However, I will say that if you agree to some terms and conditions then you must follow through with them. Otherwise, it's breach of contract (tortious) or fraud (illegal). If you'll elaborate more then I'll address that too but I don't have hope that it will stand up to scrutiny.

If you really care about challenging your beliefs then I suggest you watch Walter Block's Introduction to Libertarianism on YouTube, read David Friedman's Machinery of Freedom and if still hungry for more, read The Market for Liberty by Linda and Morris Tannehill. Everything you've said so far has been refuted a thousand times over. In itself that is no big deal. After all, I don't blame you for being ignorant (not an insult, we are all ignorant of things, including me) but I do think it's irresponsible to have such a vociferous opinion while choosing to remain in such a state.

more than 2 years ago
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Analyzing Tweets To Identify Psychopaths

Afecks Re:There's a rumor going around (266 comments)

Which in turn makes you a thief.

No, it doesn't. Theft is taking property from the rightful owner. A thief isn't a rightful owner. You should, of course, return the money to the rightful owner if they can be identified, minus a fee for your time and effort. I'm glad you agree that taxation is theft, though. That's a start.

more than 2 years ago
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Patent Troll Claims Minecraft Infringement

Afecks Re:I hope.. (304 comments)

Good to see that someone truly understands the prisoner's dillemma.

Life is not prisoner's dilemma. It's iterated prisoner's dilemma because people can actually build up reputations. It's been shown that the best stable strategy is tit-for-tat plus forgiveness.

more than 2 years ago
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Analyzing Tweets To Identify Psychopaths

Afecks Re:There's a rumor going around (266 comments)

people that bitch and complain about "freeloaders" and "people living on the government teat" that I know for a fact are collecting government services themselves or have benefited from them in the past

The more money you take from a thief, the better libertarian you are. The fact that libertarians even realize that taxation is theft puts them miles ahead of anyone on the left or the right. The only way they would actually be hypocrites is if they had an opportunity to abolish the state and refused to do so. I recommend that libertarians put as much burden on the state as legally possible in order to speed things up. Take every dime you can from a thief.

more than 2 years ago
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Lenovo CEO Gives His $3M Bonus To 10k Workers

Afecks Re:Bloody communists! (267 comments)

You cannot deduct the value of your services given to a qualified organization. What excuse can you give for why that still happens under capitalism?

more than 2 years ago
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12 Dead, 50 Injured at The Dark Knight Rises Showing In Colorado

Afecks Re:Willing to bet.. (1706 comments)

If the attacker believes/knows that the victims are armed, it's reasonable to believe that the attacker will choose not to attack due to the fact that the attack could be answered by his/her own death. Most attackers know that most populations are unarmed, therefore an attack can be executed with relative impunity.

Exactly. He used a gun and a smoke bomb at a movie theater. The guy didn't show up with a banana and start making "pew pew" noises with his mouth. He didn't try an assault on a police station. Clearly, he was rational enough to make decisions on what kinds of things would succeed or fail. I highly doubt he'd show up and try the same thing if the odds of failure were a lot higher. The claim that every gunman is batshit insane and that nothing could deter any of them doesn't hold water.

more than 2 years ago
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Google Joining Fight Against Drug Cartels

Afecks Re:Who are the real "Drug Cartel" ? (253 comments)

2) Drugs cost money to develop, show efficacy in clinical trials, etc. Most drugs going through the pipeline are duds. For the ones that do work we have patents. And once those 20 years are up, those drugs become generic and cheaper. The generics work, and most people should be opting for them. If they aren't they're just being sheltered from the true cost of the name-brand drugs. Or do you think drugs like atorvastatin just came out of nowhere?

For starters, healthcare would be cheaper because there would be no patents on drugs, there would be no mandatory medical licensing and there would be no need for the currently absurd amounts of malpractice insurance.

1. Drug patents - Intellectual property is incompatible with libertarianism. Instead of recovering R&D costs through artificial government enforced monopolies, R&D would be paid for by private investors and charity. Americans donate something like 300 billion dollars to charity each year. Much of the cost for new drugs is spent jumping through FDA hoops. Historically, the first to market with new drugs retain something like 80% market share even when competitors make generic versions. The FDA has the incentive to keep new drugs off the market because if the FDA makes a mistake, it gets bad press. Whereas the millions that die each year because they are denied safe and effective drugs by the FDA go unnoticed (kind of like how jobs that are lost make the papers but the jobs that are never created go unnoticed).

2. Licensing - While it seems wise to let doctors regulate doctors (who else would be a better expert than existing experts), putting existing firms in charge of regulating the competition is a terrible idea. Because new regulations typically apply only to new licensees, the current firms can make unreasonable rules to prevent new competition. There's no incentive to improve the standards and every incentive to make them stricter than necessary. Current absurd standards involve language requirements for doctors in a bid to keep out foreign competition. Being able to speak English has no bearing on medical expertise. Translators are a lot cheaper than English speaking doctors.

3. Malpractice Insurance - Removing an infected splinter recently cost a close relative around $800, a procedure that should have cost closer to $80. Why? Because if anything were to go wrong, the doctor could be sued and therefore has to charge more to cover insurance premiums. Allowing individuals to sign waivers allowing minimal or no insurance coverage would put the choice where it belongs, with the risk taker. You can pay $800 if you want that kind of security or you can pay $80 if you are willing to take the risk that removing a splinter could turn into a life-threatening catastrophe.

This is merely scratching the surface of the reasons that the American medical system is a joke. For deeper analysis of the FDA, check out Mary Ruwart's interviews and website. She was a pharmaceutical research scientist for Upjohn Pharmaceuticals for 19 years. Robert Murphy has a concise article called "Flower Power" on how occupational licensing hurts us all. Finally, a good read is Richard Epstein's article "Medical Malpractice: The Case for Contract" for obvious reasons.

more than 2 years ago
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CERN Announcing New LHC Results July 4th

Afecks Re:when these genius people are 100% (226 comments)

You're just adding yet another possibility. It's trivial to reword it. What is the probability that a coin will land heads, tails or on its edge? The probability is 1. It has to do one of those if those are all the possibilities. What is the probability that it will do none of those things? The probability is 0. Whatever other possibilities you want to add, exploding into marshmallows, being nuked while inside a fridge, getting a top 10 single on the UK pop charts, etc, doesn't matter. If you list all the possibilities, the probability that it will be one of those is 1 and the probability that it will be none of those is 0. Basic. Fucking. Logic.

Also, a perfect coin is a definition. It's not some value judgement.

more than 2 years ago
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CERN Announcing New LHC Results July 4th

Afecks Re:when these genius people are 100% (226 comments)

Zero and one are not probabilities.

What the hell? Yes, they are! What is the probability that a perfect coin will land either heads or tails? The probability is 1. What is the probablity that it will land neither? The probability is 0. It's pretty simple.

more than 2 years ago
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Supreme Court: Affordable Care Act Is Constitutional

Afecks Re:Good question (2416 comments)

The individual mandate was designed (by Republican think tanks) to avoid freeloaders, who we've all been paying for when they show up in the emergency room.

Funny that. The state is given the power to force ER's to treat people, regardless of ability to pay, and this creates problems, which of course are solved by giving the state even more power, which of course causes more as yet to be seen problems... To make a long story short, by 2032 all restaurants are Taco Bell and salt is illegal.

more than 2 years ago
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Biotech Report Says IP Spurs Innovation

Afecks slavery promotes cotton (126 comments)

There are two separate questions:

1. Is intellectual property justified?

2. Does intellectual property promote creative works?

Regardless of the answer to the second question, the answer to the first question is "no". Threatening to imprison or kill individuals, which is what all laws ultimately are, is unjustified. No, we don't deserve everything for free. Yes, it's immoral to derive value from someone's hard work without compensation. But immoral does not equal illegal. The government should, at most, be using its monopoly on violence to protect people and their property. Using violence, locking people in cages, destroying their lives, killing them, just to promote something that would exist anyways, is asinine and barbaric.

more than 2 years ago
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California City May Tax Sugary Drinks Like Cigarettes

Afecks Re:People should pay for their choices (842 comments)

Just to be sure we're clear -- are you saying you want to live somewhere the emergency rooms turn people away?

No, I want to live somewhere that makes it legal for ER's to turn people away. On top of that, I hope that ER's figure out some way to accept people without money, perhaps through some kind of charity or through charging paying customers slightly more, think one laptop per child pricing. You buy one kidney transplant for yourself and cover part of the costs for someone needy. There's all kinds of answers to be found when you aren't too busy trying to shoot them down in order to defend the status quo. However it gets done, it should be voluntary. That much I know. If you want something, pay for it. If you can't afford it, do without or rely on the kindness of others. Whatever you do, don't act like you are owed something and then proceed to extract it through government violence.

more than 2 years ago
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Soda Ban May Hit the Big Apple

Afecks Re:Get a refill.. (1141 comments)

People are idiots and they're addicted to sugar. It places a cost on the rest of us. I see no reason why your right to be a lardass trumps the community's need to keep healthcare costs down.

You force socialized medicine down our throats and then when the costs get out of hand, you want to regulate what people do with their own bodies? I think you're the idiot. What I do to my own body shouldn't affect you. If it does, that just means you need to mind your own business and get out of my life. I don't owe you anything. You're just some random stranger and I wouldn't trust you to park my car, much less make any life-altering decisions for me.

more than 2 years ago
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Soda Ban May Hit the Big Apple

Afecks Re:Get a refill.. (1141 comments)

As long as the government is intervening in their every day life by providing a safety net for their irresponsible decisions, how is this a bad thing?

You see, according to the government's plan, I'm the enemy, 'cause I like to think; I like to read. I'm into freedom of speech and freedom of choice. I'm the kind of guy who likes to sit in a greasy spoon and wonder, "Gee, should I have the T-bone steak or the jumbo rack of barbecued ribs with the side order of gravy fries?" I WANT high cholesterol. I wanna eat bacon and butter and BUCKETS of cheese, okay? I want to smoke a Cuban cigar the size of Cincinnati. I want to run through the streets naked with green Jell-o all over my body reading Playboy magazine. Why? Because I suddenly might feel the need to, okay, pal? I've SEEN the future. Do you know what it is? It's a 47-year-old virgin sitting around in his pajamas, drinking a banana-broccoli shake, singing "I'm an Oscar Meyer Wiener".

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Amir Taaki About Bitcoin

Afecks Re:Is the gold rush over? (768 comments)

That was the point...BitCoin is great for people who got in early and mined a lot. But for everyone else, adopting it means essentially giving those early adopters stuff for free.

If you buy $20 worth of BTC and then buy $20 worth of stuff with BTC, how exactly are you losing anything? You're not. This is just one of several myths surrounding Bitcoin. Another is that it has no intrinsic value. First of all, nothing has intrinsic value. If everyone decided gold was worthless tomorrow, it would be. What these people mean to argue is that BTC isn't a commodity. You can't do anything with it except use it as a medium of exchange. This too is a false. It's a proof-of-work system and can be used as a replacement for CAPTCHA's. Maybe I'm showing my age here but I remember HashCash and how that was supposed to stop email spam forever. Obviously, that didn't happen but Bitcoin has the same usage that HashCash did/does have. It's useful as a commodity. You can argue that it's overvalued compared to how much is actually used as a commodity but so is gold. How much gold do we really need to turn into audio connectors, food decorations, teeth, etc? I doubt it's enough to justify gold being somewhere around $50 a gram.

more than 3 years ago
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Don't Stop File-Sharing, Says Former Pink Floyd Manager

Afecks Re:Main problem is revenue (243 comments)

If music, movies, software and books are freely distributed they pretty much have zero value. There will be some very talented folks that are also independently wealthy (or have gotten rich from when their music had value) that can afford to work for nothing. The rest of the world is going to do something that pays the rent and the grocery bill.

I find it hilarious that some people think that without copyright laws nobody would want to support artists when the very fact that copyright laws exist is a demonstration that people want to support artists! If you think it's not then that means you think that the majority of people don't really want to support artists but they do want the government to hold a gun to their heads and force them to do it. Huh? What?

more than 4 years ago
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Diet of Fast Food and Candy May Cause Alzheimer's

Afecks Re:Hogwash (224 comments)

Whatchamacallit, the official candy bar of Alzheimer's sufferers.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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Afecks Afecks writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Afecks writes "Greenpeace has setup an eco-parody of Apple's homepage requesting that Apple cleans up its act. While Apple has stepped up things with its recycling program, one of the biggest problems is that you can't recycle toxic waste. The website is very informative and while at first glance seems to cast Apple in a negative light, in the end has many good things to say about the company. If Apple can make the iPod eco-friendly, what's really stopping them from making their computers the same? To date there has been no official response from Apple."
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Afecks Afecks writes  |  about 8 years ago

Afecks (899057) writes "As the number of Tor servers grows it gets harder and harder to picture the network. Using Google maps and GeoIP location, tormap.net solves that problem by showing a marker on the map for each Tor server. Multiple servers in the same location get clustered into a single marker. By clicking on a marker it is possible to view system information, uptime and traffic graphs for each Tor server. Very slick."

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