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Small Bank In Kansas Creates the Bank Account of the Future

diamondmagic Re:Unless it has support for Bitcoin... (153 comments)

Much of the problem is this is encoded into law in US banking regulations, including money laundering laws, the USA PATRIOT act, and the Check 21 Act that defined the now-antique process of electronic checks, and happens to make US checking horribly insecure without any legal fix (a very good example of why not to encode technical standards into law).

Banks wouldn't get any particular advantage over repeal of much of this regulation (except maybe the PATRIOT parts, which directly makes banking less accessible to customers), so they're probably not fighting for it. And to the contrary, it raises barriers to entry into the market and encourages vendor-lock in (I can transfer money within a company instantly; between banks takes 2-3 days).

2 days ago
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LG To Show Off New 55-Inch 8K Display at CES

diamondmagic Re:7680 8K (179 comments)

It derives from cinema, where 2k projectors output 2048x1080: 16:9 productions still use a 1920x1080 subframe, but most movies are either in 2.40:1 or 1.80:1 which is wider than 1920x1080, hence the extra width supported by digital cinema projectors.

Somewhere along the line, someone figured 2160p was too strange a number to use for consumer 16:9 televisions, so they went with "4k" by which to mean "16:9 in a 4k frame."

about a week ago
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BitTorrent Launches Project Maelstrom, the First Torrent-Based Browser

diamondmagic Re:Right (67 comments)

You just need to track down a peer who's a member of the network, and you need to be able to get packets to them. Any peer will do; doesn't matter who or how much you trust them.

How is any part of that 'centralized'?

The very worst that can happen is you never get to download your file, or your payment never makes it to the vendor, if you have a bottleneck through your ISP, and your ISP decides to cut your service... but that's not a fault of the protocol, that's a fault of physics. If you have any connection at all to the network, Bitcoin and Bittorrent will work.

about a week ago
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The Failed Economics of Our Software Commons

diamondmagic Re:Marketshare (205 comments)

Just google "But who will build the roads?" and you'll find all the explanation you need. And anecdotes like this this:

"Who will build the roads?" is a question that belongs at the top of every libertarian drinking game. If we didn't have state coercion, the argument runs, there would be no roads. There'd be a Sears tower over there, and your house over here, and everyone involved would just be standing there scratching their heads.

(fwiw, we had private roads all throughout American history, and in fact the first government-funded transportation in North America was water canals.)

Please note the distinction between ethics and morals. The former is always objective. No matter who you are, no matter what race you are, it's always wrong to kill, steal, defraud, or otherwise initiate violence. The laws written down are just a codification on how to establish justice. They might vary, but they're all pretty good substitutes for each other. Some locales might have slightly different understandings: In the US, you're expected to pay for you food after you eat it; and not knock on people's doors at unreasonable hours of the night, so there might be a law saying "no unsolicited knocking on doors after 22:00". These are fine.

Morals, by contrast, are something we learn after reading a bedtime story. Probably good advice, but not necessarily true, depending on the person's exact situation. Don't go into excessive debt is my favorite.

The issue is never about government per se, but it's about rule of law. The Framers intended the Federal government to be as close to anarchy as possible while keeping rule of law, and indeed that is the only ethical thing is can do. If the government is indeed a government of the people, it can't do anything that one person couldn't do by themselves.

For this reason it's impossible to add "unlawful" to the definition of "theft" because then by definition, the government can't steal. This directly contradicts the notion that the government is accountable to the people. Theft is theft. If I own it, and it's taken from me against my will, it's theft, period.

If it's absolutely necessary to have some theft in order to keep rule of law for everything else, fine. But don't pretend that the trillions of dollars spent on warfare, welfare, and bailouts is protecting the rule of law in the slightest bit.

about a week ago
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The Failed Economics of Our Software Commons

diamondmagic Re:Marketshare (205 comments)

The stock market reaching record highs in the face of a bigger money supply is called inflation. That's a Bad Thing(TM).

It doesn't increase our productive capacity, but instead it's a form of theft from people who have savings (people who fund large capital projects), to the benefit of people who receive the money: typically banks, the government, the politically well-connected (in that order).

How about nobody steals from anyone?

about two weeks ago
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UK Announces 'Google Tax'

diamondmagic Re:Great (602 comments)

Also, your anecdote is nice, but in reality there's very little evidence to suggest higher taxes means more prosperity. Prosperity is very strongly correlated with rule of law, however, which requires a minimum of taxes, if any.

about two weeks ago
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UK Announces 'Google Tax'

diamondmagic Re:Great (602 comments)

If you think the government is the most efficient spender of your money, I have sad news for you. I scarcely have time to discuss the wars, failed projects, spying, or hell, the fact New York prosecutors couldn't even get a an indictment for police officers who killed a guy they said wasn't paying taxes. Killed a guy for not paying taxes, as a result of a direct order to NYPD to crack down on tax evasion. If he were smoking a joint it would have merely been a summons! But I digress.

No, the fact of the matter is without cost and revenue, there is no profit or loss, and we can't know if we're efficiently allocating resources or just wasting them. All other industry except government would collapse if they squandered resources as much as the government does. Yet they do it. Over and over again.

All other industry has to buy inputs - raw materials, labor, capital - and combine it and sell the result for a higher price than they bought it for, hence producing value. The government just shoves a gun in your face.

Anyways, if you're happy with giving away your money like that, then cut the damn check yourself. You most certainly don't speak for all of us, though.

about two weeks ago
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Interviews: Malcolm Gladwell Answers Your Questions

diamondmagic Re:Scare mongering, he says? (48 comments)

That has to be the longest ad hominem I've ever read.

about two weeks ago
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UK Announces 'Google Tax'

diamondmagic Re:Great (602 comments)

Very carefully, taking as little as possible.

If necessary at all: Also note that the US had no income tax until 1913.

about two weeks ago
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UK Announces 'Google Tax'

diamondmagic Re:Great (602 comments)

Said worker didn't have any guarantee of employment, did they? No?

No one is stopping them from getting another job, right?

But they are seeing the benefits of increased marginal productivity of the workforce, in the form of lower prices. For the working class, you think that would be a good thing.

Your alternatives are (1) require people to hire employees (um, that's called slavery); or (2) prohibit companies from buying capital goods. Which is, like, 100% of the reason we have modern technology. But hey, enjoy your horse and buggy!

about two weeks ago
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UK Announces 'Google Tax'

diamondmagic Re:Great (602 comments)

Sorry, no. Jobs are, to a company, a calculated exchange. Everyone wants to minimize costs and maximize value produced, and often hiring people is better at that than any alternative, so they do that.

There's nothing inherently good about "job creation" though. Ideally, I should just think "Coca-Cola" and instantly it starts going down my throat. (In reality, I have to get up out of my chair and fork over a dollar bill or two. Oh the horror!) The market gets us pretty darn close, though, no one person could possibly have figured out how to manufacture things so cheaply; it's something that's emerged from a positively staggering amount of entrepreneurs acting independently on prices of inputs, combining them in all sorts of ways, and seeing what they can sell the result for.

about two weeks ago
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UK Announces 'Google Tax'

diamondmagic Re:Great (602 comments)

The most important thing for a productive economy is rule of law. Taxes (under threat of violence) are one way to prevent that; as is actual violence.

about two weeks ago
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UK Announces 'Google Tax'

diamondmagic Re:Great (602 comments)

True that entire markets would not be possible if there were no demand for them; but that's not to say entrepreneurs don't create jobs. They do: They own the capital and decide how to allocate it.

about two weeks ago
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UK Announces 'Google Tax'

diamondmagic Re:Great (602 comments)

Automation doesn't destroy jobs, it increases the amount of goods that a single worker can produce, making everyone richer. Supply and demand in the labor market ensures that jobs are redistributed accordingly in the most efficient manner.

about two weeks ago
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Football Concussion Lawsuits Start To Hit High Schools

diamondmagic Re:Here's an idea (233 comments)

From what? What's colliding with player's skulls with such force they're going to get fractured?

about two weeks ago
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Football Concussion Lawsuits Start To Hit High Schools

diamondmagic Re:Here's an idea (233 comments)

Other sports manage to find solutions to this without helmets. Think wrestling, water polo.

about three weeks ago
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Supreme Court To Decide Whether Rap Lyric Threats Are Free Speech

diamondmagic Re:And this is how perverted our system has gotten (436 comments)

Nothing in the entire Federalist, so-called Anti-Federalist papers, or drafts of the Bill of Rights support this theory. Major citation needed. If you can find this, great! But I can't.

I don't like intellectual property any more than the next guy on /., but the First Amendment was not written to intentionally or unintentionally supersede Congress' copyright law-making ability, which is more specific than the First amendment.

The order of the provisions don't matter. The Constitution is a single, cohesive work spread across something like a dozen sheets of paper (two for the unamended Constitution; one for the Bill of Rights and 27th amendment and including one proposed amendment not (yet) part of the Constitution; and whatever the rest of the amendments are written on).

Like all common law works, the order of the statutes doesn't matter, and the dates in which they were passed doesn't matter. Hence why laws repealed specifically mention the sections of the Code to modify, or which previous laws are null and void. It is called lex specialis and instead of refuting my point, you just reiterated your point without managing to explain the hard reality of common law away.

Another example:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Before this amendment, Congress already had no power to search and seize property (unless maybe they could work it into "necessary and proper", because it's generally agreed there needs to be some warrant system in order to serve justice).

After the amendment, now there's an exception! Now all of a sudden, the ability to search and seize property is in (very narrow) cases, actually permitted. For better or worse.

Regardless, now "necessary and proper" no longer applies to search warrants, the more specific Fourth Amendment is the exclusive statute on what's lawful.

about three weeks ago
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Football Concussion Lawsuits Start To Hit High Schools

diamondmagic Here's an idea (233 comments)

Concussions are caused by sudden forces applied to the brain, right?

Well then, let's get rid of the helmets. No, really. It's not like there's hard game pieces flying towards your head at 90+ MPH (hockey, baseball, lacrosse). The only long-term damage that a helmet can protect against is skull fractures. Other than that, they reduce the pain associated with hitting your head, making it easier to damage your brain.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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NSA Caused Syria's 2012 Internet Outage

diamondmagic diamondmagic writes  |  about 4 months ago

diamondmagic (877411) writes "Wired's new profile of Edward Snowden reveals that the 2012 outage of Syria's Internet, in an attempt to spy on communications in the midst of a civil war, was caused when the NSA tried to remotely install an exploit onto a core router. The article continues: "But something went wrong, and the router was bricked instead—rendered totally inoperable. The failure of this router caused Syria to suddenly lose all connection to the Internet—although the public didn’t know that the US government was responsible.""

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