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How California's Carbon Market Actually Works

JBMcB Re:Fee rather than market (97 comments)

Same goes with the back-asswards CAFE standards. Want more fuel efficient vehicles on the road? Tax gasoline. But no, an insanely complicated average fuel economy-per-vehicle-segment over general fleet sales is imposed. More politically expedient, MUCH less efficient.

5 days ago
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Slashdot Asks: Do You Want a Smart Watch?

JBMcB No (381 comments)

My smartphone does everything already. Pulling it out of my pocket to look at it isn't such an ordeal. I already have a watch that tells the time and date, and it goes for years on a battery.

about a month ago
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Judge Shoots Down "Bitcoin Isn't Money" Argument In Silk Road Trial

JBMcB Re:Moron Judge (135 comments)

Butcoin was supposed to be money, but so far it's far to volatile to be used as a unit of account in any serious sense.

Using it as a a unit of account is a regulatory definition, not an economic one. Money is still money even if there is no concept of "Bookkeeping."

Volatility doesn't enter in to the equation, during the Weimar republic the Mark was still the currency of Germany, even though hyperinflation made it essentially worthless. Just because it isn't a good store of value doesn't mean it isn't a store of value. What matters is it's ultimate utility to the users.

about a month and a half ago
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Judge Shoots Down "Bitcoin Isn't Money" Argument In Silk Road Trial

JBMcB Re:Moron Judge (135 comments)

Money is anything that can be used to store or trade value. Anything *can* be money, but that doesn't mean it is.

If people are buying bitcoin, then trading it for goods, services, or other forms of money, then, de-facto, it's money.

about a month and a half ago
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Dubai's Climate-Controlled Dome City Is a Dystopia Waiting To Happen

JBMcB Perspective (265 comments)

It's easy to complain about how awful malls are until you have to walk around outside when it's 105F out, or when it's -5F with two feet of snow on the ground.

about a month and a half ago
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IRS Recycled Lerner Hard Drive

JBMcB Lost... (682 comments)

We lost the backups. Her computer drive was taken apart and recycled into a crib mobile for underprivileged infants. We had printouts but those were shredded into organic compost. The tape backups were overwritten as we only have one backup set of tapes. The people who sent her the email also deleted them from their "sent" boxes as they only have 5MB of quota for that mail box. The people who received her email deleted them from their inboxes as we rigorously practice inbox zero.

So you see, no monkey business here.

about 2 months ago
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NADA Is Terrified of Tesla

JBMcB Re:No such thing as maintenance free car (455 comments)

That's just mostly how the current companies handle it. Safety recalls have happened with Tesla. They've simply used company techs to do the work by picking the vehicle up from your house/work if the fix can't be done on the spot, sometimes delivering a loaner vehicle.

This works great when you have a few thousand vehicles on the road. When you have a few hundred-thousand cars all over the country, sending techs out to everyone's home is going to bankrupt you.

about 2 months ago
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Interviews: Forrest Mims Answers Your Questions

JBMcB Re:Too bad about evolution (161 comments)

I really liked Mims's electronics books, but I can't respect him as a scientist when he misrepresents the theory of evolution and proposes (essentially) intelligent design instead. It's a damn shame.

I'd argue that you can still respect him as a scientist. Most scientists get things wrong - it doesn't negate their other accomplishments. Linus Pauling thought that most diseases, including cancer, could be cured through Vitamin C supplements (it apparently didn't work as he died of cancer.) Tesla discounted the theory of Relativity and bought into Aetherism for decades after the former was widely accepted and the latter was completely disproved.

about 2 months ago
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Group Demonstrates 3,000 Km Electric Car Battery

JBMcB Getting better (363 comments)

I wouldn't call a disposable aluminum battery the "cutting edge" of technology.

about 3 months ago
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Why the Sharing Economy Is About Desperation, Not Trust

JBMcB This article brought to you by... (331 comments)

This article brought to you by the taxi cab and hotel industries.

Remember, competing with established business interests is for losers.

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Preparing For Windows XP EOL?

JBMcB Relatively safe (423 comments)

There hasn't been a root exploit in XP for a couple of years now, which means if you are running as a user and not root, and you know what you are doing, XP should be fairly safe.

1. Run as a regular user and only elevate permissions when you need to
2. Make sure your directory permissions are locked down properly (there are guides to help you do this)
3. Turn off all unnecessary services
4. Run a 3rd party antivirus app - BitDefender Free is excellent
5. Regularly run rootkit detectors and a second on-demand scanner (I use Trend Micro)
6. Don't use IE, use Firefox with NoScript turned on
7. Don't use Flash, Adobe Reader or Java. Use Sumatra PDF for PDF viewing.

I keep a VM of XP around for running some old apps and reading my junk email account. I've been sent virii and all sorts of junkware, and running the above config is pretty impervious to anything thrown at me. I can revert the image to it's original state if something bad happens, and I've yet to have to do that.

about 5 months ago
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Yik Yak, After Complaints From Schools, Suspends Its Service In Chicago

JBMcB Help, I'm being harrassed on an app on my phone! (167 comments)

If only there was some way to prevent people from harassing me on this app. I could uninstall it, or just not use it - naw we'll just pressure the company to disable it in my whole area.

about 5 months ago
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Mass. Legislature Strikes Back: Upskirt Photos Now Officially a Misdemeanor

JBMcB Re:no surprise (256 comments)

Sure, it'll just cost you $10,000 for a lawyer.

about 5 months ago
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Happy anniversary, Federal Reserve System

JBMcB Thanks federal reserve... (3 comments)

for funding the never-ending series of wars the US has been involved in since World War II. Without the unlimited ability to create money out of thin air, we wouldn't have all this amazing military hardware we have to justify it's existence for by blowing up people around the world on a continual basis.

about 8 months ago
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The Dismantling of POTS: Bold Move Or Grave Error?

JBMcB Re:Answer: None (582 comments)

Until fiber optic cable cable to the home is as common as copper it won't be a suitable replacement for POTS.

I *almost* agree. Saying we should keep POTS until it can be replaced with fiber, however, is like saying everyone should stick with driving Yugos until it becomes feasible for everyone to buy a Ferrari. Wireless technologies are a good interim solution until fiber can be deployed ubiquitously, especially in very low density areas.

about 9 months ago
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Only 25% of Yahoo Staff "Eat Their Own Dog Food"

JBMcB Mail? (292 comments)

I'm sure the employee's reaction was the same as everyone else's: Yahoo still has email?

about 9 months ago
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China Creates Air Defence Zone Over Japan-Controlled Islands, Issues War Threat

JBMcB Re:My prediction (519 comments)

I don't think Japan cares too much anymore as I read an article a few months ago that they have developed technology to slant-drill underwater. They'll just tap the oil reserves sideways from their own land.

about 9 months ago
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The Art of Apple, In Pictures

JBMcB Re:Is it me? (47 comments)

They look uninspired now, because after they came out they were widely copied. Take a look at what laptops looked like before the powerbooks came out in the 90's. Chunky looking lap-bricks with trackballs hanging off the side. One year after the powerbook, nearly every laptop was black or dark gray with an integrated trackball in the palm rest. Ditto the Apple II - computers either looked like dumb terminals with CPU boxes bolted onto them, or mad scientist experiments.

about 9 months ago
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IRS Left Taxpayer Data Vulnerable and Lied About It

JBMcB Re:Consequences? (79 comments)

Fines? Prison? How about just firing those not doing their job?

about 9 months ago

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