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Comment Re:Holy flamebait batman! (Score 1) 883

It is well known that the majority voice - both in staff and readers - at slashdot has leaned conservative for over a decade now.

Actually, up until Gamergate /. leaned leftwards and libertarian (if it leaned at all, which isn't at all clear). Post Gamergate, the descent to "conservative" and ignorance has been very noticeable.

Comment Re:2 years seems rather excessive (Score 1) 87

2 years to build a new Soyuz capsule after it's ordered? It takes Boeing and Airbus about 80 days to build a 777 or A380.

Apples and oranges - because the second example doesn't examine the time from order to delivery. So, while it sounds impressive to the uneducated and clueless, your examples are completely meaningless.

Comment Re:Which companies? (Score 3, Interesting) 78

Keep in mind that the "Slashdot consensus" was that Facebook would be out of business by 2008, that the Google IPO would tank, and that the iPhone would be dead-on-arrival.

Yup. And when Facebook's stock cratered right after it's IPO (as did Google's), the was dancing in the virtual Slashdot streets. They were certain there were going to be lawsuits, that Facebook would evaporate, etc... Yet, today, it's trading at $130 a share. (And we're still waiting on the Year of Linux on The Desktop.)

Comment Re:First of its kind... (Score 1) 68

My only wish would be if they could add two ports for a fiber optic cable loop. This could be S/PDIF or any form factor. The goal is to have a fiber optic cable that could be looped around a desk or sturdy object, similar to a Kensington lock. If the cable is cut or unplugged, the machine goes into a locked state. This way, it turns the theft into "just" hardware.

Pretty much this - if you can just toss the machine into a pocket and take it to where it can be worked on at leisure, it's security theatre.

Comment Re:R&D versus production (Score 1) 114

their systems are certainly working better than other programs at their stage of evolution.

That depends on which "other programs" you look at. Back in the 1950's and early 1960's when we were still learning rocketry and their were no textbooks? Sure. They're doing much better. Compared to more modern programs... they're doing worse. Much worse. The open question, the only real question, the one with no satisfactory answer... is whether the problems are inherent to a startup with no collective experience, are due to their rapid prototyping process, or due to their constant schedule pressure. Or from elements of all three.
The one constant, the one thing we do know for a fact, it that SpaceX (or at least Musk) is consistently overconfident and equally consistently over promises and under delivers. He's not alone in that though... it's a pretty consistent feature of NewSpace. (Or AltSpace, or "mammals", whichever term you prefer.)

Comment Re:Fiat Currency (Score 1) 87

What I'd be curious about is whether it's somehow technically illegal to use foreign currency for transactions in the United States. I can pretty easily see a business in DC or NYC accepting Euros as payment if they have a lot of European customers.

Accepting foreign currencies is no problem. Paying out in foreign currencies or exchanging one for the other is where AFAIK things get sticky. I don't know how it is nowadays when most transactions are electronic... But stores along the Canadian border (here in Washington State) used to happily accept Canadian money (at a premium above the current exchange rate). What they wouldn't do is return your change in Canadian or exchange one for the other - that makes you a currency exchange, which requires a license.
Hmm... Looking at it that way, the two rulings may not be not as inconsistent as it seems on the face of it. In the Miami ruling, the defendant was conducting business solely in US Dollars, which is quite legal. (So long as he converted his books into dollars at tax time and paid his taxes in dollars.) In the Manhattan case, the defendant was, via Bitcoin, intentionally exchanging one currency for another - which is not legal without the appropriate license.

Comment Re:Fiat Currency (Score 1) 87

( We could envisage a scenario in which, absent such a decree/requirement, you and I could agree some complex scheme to defraud the Federal Government of tax revenue. I could sell you a car for "ten bananas" and when asked for taxes by the government, could give them a couple of pieces of fruit to cover the tax. )

You could, if you were ignorant of tax law. In reality, this "loophole" has long since been closed - you can conduct your transactions in any currency or in barter if you want, but you're required to convert that into US dollars to calculate your taxes and then pay your taxes in US dollars. (An additional requirement is to "show your work" - that is, to define the value of your currency and demonstrate your conversion method is valid.) So long as you don't try and pull a stupid stunt like claiming a "banana" is worth $0.15 when selling a new luxury car with 200 miles on it, the IRS does not care how you keep your books.

Comment After a three year break... (Score -1) 88

"Among the advances: astronauts can remain on the station up to 30 days".

Which leaves them (after a three year break in manned flight), what... forty years behind everyone else? Not that that will stop those who want China to give them stiffies and stroke material by re-igniting a Space Race.

China has just enough of a space program to let them claim (internally and externally) to be a Real Country with a Real Space Program, and not a yuan's worth more. Despite their many pronouncements about things they may do in some misty future, there's no evidence they intend to ever have anything more.

Comment Re:Tractors (Score 1) 400

With 60%+ of the workforce working in farming, the Industrial Revolution was predicted to cause massive unemployment that the society could never recover from.

While "never recover from" turned out to be wildly pessimistic - you're wildly clueless. There was indeed widespread unemployment and massive social disruption. Communism and anarchism (so wildly prevalent in the late 18th century) didn't spring out of nowhere. Nor were the masses of poor and the workhouses of Dickens' novels creations of whole cloth. It took better than a century for the bolus to work it's way through the system. (The US was lucky and missed the worst of it because we were still in the Manifest Destiny stage and expanding into the West.)

The microchip revolution has already taken away many jobs... and over the next couple of decades, it's poised to take many more.

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