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Comments

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San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

Fned Re:Simple problem, simple solution (359 comments)

Anybody can still build in mountain view or wherever.

No they can't.

FTFA:

Even more mind-bogglingly, Mountain View is discussing new office development that would bring as many as 42,550 office workers to the city. But the city’s zoning plan only allows for a maximum of 7,000 new homes by 2030.

do you even read, brah?

about 3 months ago
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Jimmy Wales To 'Holistic Healers': Prove Your Claims the Old-Fashioned Way

Fned Re:You know what they call alternative medicine... (517 comments)

You're right, I misspoke. "rabbit starvation" is a different condition.

You can still die from it, of course.

about 4 months ago
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Florida Judge Rules IP Address Can't Identify a BitTorrent Pirate

Fned Re:Don't get too excited. (158 comments)

Actually, it seems that the judges couldn't do anything -- in the end they had to actually have police stake out his house in order to get any kind of submissible evidence.

about 4 months ago
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Florida Judge Rules IP Address Can't Identify a BitTorrent Pirate

Fned Re:Don't get too excited. (158 comments)

"wouldn't they", nothin' Done and done.

about 4 months ago
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What Fire and Leakage At WIPP Means For Nuclear Waste Disposal

Fned transuranic (TRU) waste--that is: (154 comments)

transuranic (TRU) waste--that is, radioactive elements heavier than uranium on the periodic chart, such as plutonium, americium, curium and neptunium.

Also known, in every country with a halfway-sensible nuclear policy, as "reactor fuel."

about 4 months ago
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Survey Finds Nearly 50% In US Believe In Medical Conspiracy Theories

Fned Re:Jenny McCarthy (395 comments)

Keep in mind, though, that before it was tested, it still worked.

about 4 months ago
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How Well Do Our Climate Models Match Our Observations?

Fned Re:Does this 'trick' adhere? Nope. (560 comments)

Except, of course, that it was not "valid" at all.

"The final analyses from various subsequent inquiries concluded that in this context 'trick' was normal scientific or mathematical jargon for a neat way of handling data, in this case a statistical method used to bring two or more different kinds of data sets together in a legitimate fashion."

When you have to hide your own results, you're doing something wrong.

"The EPA notes that in fact, the evidence shows that the research community was fully aware of these issues and that no one was hiding or concealing them."

A lot of dedicated alarmists have tried to pretend that "the trick" was above-board... but it wasn't.

"...in this case a statistical method used to bring two or more different kinds of data sets together in a legitimate fashion."
"...the evidence shows that the research community was fully aware of these issues and that no one was hiding or concealing them."

In any other field, if a scientist had tried this sort of thing to hide a bad result, they'd be in deep trouble.

[citation needed]

about 5 months ago
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Are Bankers Paid Too Much? Are Technology CEOs?

Fned Re:My Question is Different (712 comments)

"His point is that the goal of a business is to create a product, not to pay salaries."

Actually, on a broad scale, it's both. If enough businesses find ways to create products without paying salaries, before long they all go out of business.

Customers are the real "job creators."

about 5 months ago
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Are Bankers Paid Too Much? Are Technology CEOs?

Fned Re:tl;dr (712 comments)

Bailing out the banks was not optional.

Iceland. Your argument is invalid.

about 5 months ago
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Jade Rabbit Spotted By American Eagle (LRO)

Fned Re:Once Again (58 comments)

America is confronted by its absence in matters of competence, courage, integrity and enterprise.

Didn't our nuclear-powered laser robot just discover water on Mars...?

about 7 months ago
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TSA Union Calls For Armed Guards At Every Checkpoint

Fned Re: NOT posted as AC. (603 comments)

No, he's not joking.

The first armed responders to show up at the Fort Hood shooting were civilian base police.
Aaron Alexis wasn't confronted with serious armed resistance until civilian police showed up -- just one guard that he apparently got the jump on.
Tennesee armory: "Tennessee National Guard workers managed to take down a shooting suspect and hold him until police arrived..."
Fort Bragg: "Minor said that the gunman, who was firing at them, turned away. And as he did, he and Sgt. Edward Mongold tackled the man. "It was a fight for his life," Minor said. "It was a fight for our lives. Minor, Mongold and several other soldiers disarmed the shooter and held him for the military police.."

Apparently, the military bases in the incidents you linked to are real-life military bases, where for example many guards aren't allowed to load their weapons without specific orders, rather than the bristling-with-weapons-super-high-security-one-false-move-and-you're-dead military bases in your imagination.

True, some parts of military bases ARE exactly like you imagine. That's not where shootings have tended to happen, though, for obvious reasons.

about 9 months ago
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Digital Revolution Will Kill Jobs, Inflame Social Unrest, Says Gartner

Fned Re:Wages as share of GDP dropping since 1972 (754 comments)

If Walmart did not give them jobs, they would likely be working for less, or be unemployed.

So when Wal-Mart opens a store in an area, it results in more jobs in that area? Do you have a cite?

about 10 months ago
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US Adults Score Poorly On Worldwide Test

Fned Re:The useless skills have atrophied (745 comments)

... the only problem that needs to be solved is how to pay all the bills.

I can't imagine how math and reading skills might help there.

about 10 months ago
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Digital Revolution Will Kill Jobs, Inflame Social Unrest, Says Gartner

Fned Re:Not this shit again (754 comments)

This this this.

A rising tide raises all boats, but what we're seeing is the water level in the harbor being raised artificially by the big boats sinking all the smaller boats around them...

about 10 months ago
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Digital Revolution Will Kill Jobs, Inflame Social Unrest, Says Gartner

Fned Re:Wages as share of GDP dropping since 1972 (754 comments)

Walmart's profit margin is 3.61%. So 1.1% would be about 30% of their earnings.

I wonder how much of that 1.1% is only possible because of Wal-Mart employees on food stamps?

In other words, how much of that 1.1% is basically our tax money?

about 10 months ago
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Digital Revolution Will Kill Jobs, Inflame Social Unrest, Says Gartner

Fned Re:Wages as share of GDP dropping since 1972 (754 comments)

... oh, and Wal-Mart. Can't forget our continual taxpayer-funded subsidization of Wal-Mart.

about 10 months ago
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Digital Revolution Will Kill Jobs, Inflame Social Unrest, Says Gartner

Fned Re:Wages as share of GDP dropping since 1972 (754 comments)

What happens when the majority of economic activity requires no workers at all? Then the owner gets a pile of profits, pays no workers at all, and only owners can afford anything because everyone else is unemployed and unemployable...

It's worse than that. The owner's profits are 100% dependent on customers, and over time everyone has fewer customers. So before long, you have a few people with huge automated factories only producing one or two items a year for the other factory owners and everyone else is kept outside the fences by robots armed with blinding lasers.

Sometimes you'll hear people talking about "the redistribution of wealth" like it's a bad thing, but in truth all economic systems are methods of wealth re-distribution. Ours was built originally to encourage the creation of wealth, by distributing portions of the created wealth to all responsible, but lately it's been running into trouble; it can't handle a transition to post-scarcity and is actually set up to self-destruct before we get there. It's why our government has to subsidize so many seemingly successful businesses - agriculture, transportation, energy, et al..

about 10 months ago
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Twitter Launches Emergency Alerts

Fned Also... (75 comments)

Some of those able to send alerts include the American Red Cross, Federal Emergency Management Agency, World Health Organization, and government and non-government agencies in Japan and South Korea.

Others able to send alerts include anyone able to momentarily spoof Twitter into thinking they're one of the listed agencies...

about 10 months ago

Submissions

Fned hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

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Copyright is not compatible with computers

Fned Fned writes  |  more than 2 years ago

It just isn't.

Copyright as it was originally concieved, and in every evolutionary step since then, has depended intimately on the specific limitations of physical media.

Computers are designed explicitly to allow information to transcend the limitations of physical media.

It's all about access restriction.

Access restriction is what makes information valuable. You won't pay for information you already have access to, even if it's very, very useful or desirable. Once you have it, buying access to it holds no value for you. If you lose access, but still want the info, you'll be ready to pay again. There is no difference in the amount a person will pay for -- that is to say, very literally, the value of -- a copy of information you don't want, and a copy of information you already have.

Access restriction is inherent in physical copies of information. Creating analog backups is imperfect and loses information slowly over time; creating copies similar to the originals is an industrial endeavor with not only significant costs, but physical traceability. If you buy a book, and you really want to, you can track it back to where it was printed and go there. You can only read a book if you're near it, you can only play a record you can touch (or command a robot to touch, whatever). If I make a million copies of something, I've created a million times the value I started with, because there's a million times more access to the work.

Access restriction is NOT inherent in digital copies of information. Identical copies can be created and destroyed indefinitely without the slightest loss or measurable cost, by whoever has the equipment to access them in the first place. A bit cannot be traced; any information you might use to differentiate one copy from another is inherently additional information, and can in turn be copied or removed. Anyone with access to the computer system of a person with a copy, also has access to that copy. Or any number of copies. If I make a million copies of a file, I have not created a million times the value I started with.

Computers force us to confront an interesting truth about information: an individual copy of information has zero value. The creation of that information has value, and access to that information has value, and THAT'S IT. The value of a physical copy lies in granting access to the possessor. If I can't see someone play music whenever I want, but I can get a recording, that recording has value. If I CAN listen to someone play music whenever want, wherever I want, just by waving my hand, a recording of them has no value to me. If a million people want access to the file, and I make them all pay first, only then is the file valuable.

But:

Access control on digital information is essentially binary. If you give someone access, they have it, and if you take it away, they don't; and, immediately, EVERYONE with access to that party ALSO has access. DRM tries really hard to pretend that you can give and deny access to information simultaneously to the same party, but it's just a shadow play. It relies 100% on social factors to work (I don't want to break the law, I don't mind this business model, I'd rather spend the time to do something else than crack this or find someone who will). Because in the digital world, you can't grant and deny access to the same party simultaneously. Not really. You can limit access, but if the degree of access I want is the degree of access you're giving me, I've got it, full stop. And so does everyone who as access to ME.

The ONLY meaningful access restriction to digital works in the modern age is at the point of creation. The only reasonable business model is not to release a work to anyone until it is paid for, or not to CREATE it until it is paid for.

Interestingly, this is, in fact, how nearly all "Big Content" is created already. The budget for a movie doesn't come from future ticket sales, it comes from ticket sales from previous movies Big-name novelists get advances before they even start writing. When you buy in, you're not actually paying for the work that was created, that was ALREADY paid for. You're paying for the next thing.

The money that was used to create the movie Avatar came entirely from movie watchers. Every single dollar. Not directly, of course, but ultimately.

So why not directly? There is no practical or technical reason why not.

This is what terrifies the middlemen.

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