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* Posts by Destroy All Monsters

8140 posts • joined 3 Jun 2008

Gov report: Actually, evil City traders DIDN'T cause the banking crash

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Headmaster

Just a citation is needed

It's US centric, but then again the world is US centric; thanks WWI and Bretton-Woods!

"Inside Job": A Look at the Heart of the Left - March 15, 2011 by Jeffrey Tucker

I really wanted to love Inside Job, the film that won the Academy award this year for best documentary. And it is a great film, but to see it that way you have to turn your brain “off” even as you push the “on” button on your DVD clicker. The interviews are personal and interesting. The footage of Wall Street and the offices of big players in the world of finance are absolutely gripping. The narrative has energy that pushes this two-hour film forward. It is easy to watch and tells a great story.

Sadly, the filmmakers themselves were hunting for something they did not find. And they did not find it because it is mostly not there. They had decided that the story of the boom of the 2000s and the bust of 2008 was a story of scandal and rampant criminality that purposely sucked away resources from the middle class and the poor to feed the lifestyles of the big shots in high finance. They wanted to find those white-collar criminals who made this whole thing happen and make a case for why they should all be rounded up and jailed.

What they found instead – though they apparently never realized this – was a bunch of interesting and smart people who had mastered the art of chasing prices and chasing paper up during the boom times and down again during the bust times. That’s what entrepreneurs do. If they aren’t going to do that, they could go into some other profession. This isn’t criminality. This riding the business-cycle wave. The problems they are looking for are deeply embedded in the system. They are structural, not personal. If criminals exist in this story, they are most likely to be found within the halls of government. But those people are rather inaccessible whereas the private traders are happy to go on camera.

The biggest problem was that the narrative never asked where all these paper profits were coming from. The monetary angle eluded them completely. The filmmakers missed this structural point because they decided at the outset to trace our problems all the way back to the “eighties.” Now, in the vocabulary of the left, the “eighties” is a curse word. It means Reagan, which means evil. It means capitalism, greed, the rich getting richer, and all the other political cliches we know so well. So rather than looking carefully at the monetary system that generated all this paper, they filmmakers looked to presidents and their great black beast of “deregulation.”

Contrast this point of view with the wonderful speech of David Stockman at the ASC the other day. He was just as passionate about the corruption generated by the system but he found the source in the end of the gold standard. He had a coherent theory that allowed him to see, understand, and explain the world coherently.

The makers of “Inside Job,” by contrast, were all over the place. They are against the boom. But they are against the bust too. They are against the bailouts. But they are against failing to bailout too. They are against housing subsidies. But they are against rationing housing too. They are against the government. But they are against private finance also. Most absurdly, they demand government controls over finance but their own film demonstrates that government is largely captured by private financial interests. They are reduced to looking for ghosts and wishing upon stars.

They end with a demand for people to be locked up, not people in government (I’m all ears on that) but rather people in investment banking, though it it not clear what they did wrong. The worst crime that the film can drag up is how traders were both denouncing certain kinds of commercial paper as junk even as they pushed it on buyers. But look: this shows you what is so wrong about inflated markets. They make junk profitable and depreciate quality as unprofitable. It’s an upside down world when the Fed and moral hazard take over. There really is not contradiction in seeing certain investment vehicles are pure trash even as you sincerely see them as good investments.

This film demonstrates all you need to know about the worldview of the American left, and it is completely barren of sound theory. They weave tales of demons all around, even as they lack the intellectual apparatus to understand events rationally. It really is pathetic. This film is a gigantic missed opportunity. They started to tell a good story and instead ended up chasing around ideological conventions and coming up empty handed. That said, if you can provide your own voice overs, Inside Job is worth an evening.

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Website which 'could have prevented Rwandan genocide' goes live

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Big Brother

All well and good but...

Why can't I order up at least small arms of appreciable power (i.e. at least up to .5 in caliber, and including rocket launchers) from that site? Do I really have to dial UN-911, then wait until someone picks up?

“The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles.”

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Upstart $3bn forex trader dumps Oracle JVM for Azul's Zing

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Devil

It's Syndrome, and he's using his Zero-Point Energy Beam to Trade!

Yah Very Nice

... but can one do something useful with it except try to mint dollars from brownian motion?

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Spooky action at a distance is faster than light

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Headmaster

Re: IMHO

> if you change the state of one "particle" you change the state of the other

That's not how it works. You can decide to extract information about the entangled system at once particle, which gives you a classical value - and fixes the classical value at the other end. This does not imply that you "change" anything here or that you "change" anything there.

> Therefore we see 2 "particles" but the entangled "particle" only knows about itself, so you have to look at what's happening from the "particle's" reference point not from ours.

It's two particles though they have correlated state.

The entangled particles "knows" nothing. And you can easily select relatively moving frames in which Alice measures before Bob, and others in which Bob measures before Alice. They will still find the same classical values, surprise! Actually not a surprise if you just drop the idea that states are described by classical vectors or hidden variables. Of course, one can posit magically invisible metaphysical mechanisms to keep this all in the classical space of ideas .. looking at you, Bohmians.

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Headmaster

Re: Fallacy?

There is no "frame of reference of the photon". That's what light speed is.

You can do without "c" for spacetime very well indeed. Just stay Galilean.

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Headmaster

Re: Yummie crypto

Its not possible. That's what this is about.

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Headmaster

Re: Speed of light fallacy

The actrociously named "quantum tunnelling" (there is no tunnel in sight anywhere) has nothing to do with signals moving at the speed of light or less (or more) nor the even more atrociously named "spooky action".

> I only read one sentence of this article, and decided to stop reading there and then, hehehe

Yeah, you should go on reading, Eadon. It is often helpful.

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Holmes

Well done ... again.

Still measuring how quickly a statement about a system propagates?

This is basically a null experiment.

- You have a blue and a red car

- One car is a million miles away

- One of the cars is hidden behind a curtain

- When you peek behind the curtain and find out that the there car is blue...

...how fast does the other car become red?

Seriously fast!!

(Ok, so i QM the colors are not set at the start because the mathematics are an extension of classical probability calculus from R to C, but that's basically it)

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NASA rules out leading new human lunar expedition

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Terminator

Manned asteroid landing? I'm for that!

Easier than Mars, for sure.

Otherwise, work on those fracking robots. We demand more autonomy.

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Android's US market share continues to slip

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Boffin

Re: North American centric sales surveys are less than meaningful ...

Where we go, we don't need no handbook!

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Windows

Re: It's because Americans pay the same on a long-term contract no matter the phone we buy

> runs linux, BSD or friggin VAX?

Where can I get this VAXFONE?

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Re: The real success story ...

They are just resting!

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Hubble boffins: Incredibly old supernova could explain EVERYTHING

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Headmaster

Re: Im confused.

And I will repeat it infinitely many times, whenever and wherever this is.

ℂ is infinite in any direction, but at no point do you find the same number!

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Pint

Re: Isn't the question really...

They don't write galactic hardboiled stuff like they used to.

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Re: Im confused.

> If the universe is infinite then everything happens infinitely often.

No.

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Paris Hilton

Don't blame the lonely electron

> universe of 5 billion years has a maximum size of 10 billion light years, as the universe expanded at the speed of light

The "expansion speed" gives a flying fuck about the speed of light. Regions "causally connected" before inflation hit the nitro may have been flung apart so quickly that they disappeared across each other's cosmological event horizon (i.e. redshifted to flatline and only reachable with speeds > c). These regions would now be "reconnecting", i.e. light from them can reach us as time progresses.

Indeed, the actual universe may be very much vaster than a measly 15 billion LY, which is why is appears exceedingly "flat" (no sign of curvature even at cosmologial distances). It may even be infinite, who knows.

Moreover, there is the idea that as cosmological expansion accelerates, it may all end in a "Big Rip" whereby at each point, the acceleration of the expansion will become such that the cosmological event horizon will be infinitesimally near. Every subatomic particle will feel very lonely indeed in that case.

And why the Big Brother icon?

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Alien

Dwarf tossing is allowed if they are white!

> two white dwarfs don't just crash into each other at high speed

Very unlikely. That would be better than gunslingers colliding their 9mm projectiles while firing along the length of a street. You need to put them into orbit around each other first, then dump the angular momentum and the energy somewhere (tides, gas, other objects, mysterious forces, gravitational radiation?) so that they spiral into each other.

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Headmaster

> until it greedily accretes too much mass and explodes

Hrm! It's not as if the physical system has any choice in deciding whether it wants that last little mint or not. This is not Mises' "Human Action" but Misner's "Gravitation".

> If supernovae were popcorn, the question is how long before they start popping?

Someone clearly is channelling Carl Sagan.

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US jobs grew at slower pace in March, says gov

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Holmes

Keynesianism dead, festering even with bought cretins columning in the NYT and The Indy

"There He Goes Again" - Hunter Lewis - Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

We now have the announcement that Ben Bernanke’s Fed will buy $45 billion a month in treasuries, QE4, until unemployment reaches 6.5% or his version of inflation exceeds 2.5%. What a surprise!

Last September, when Bernanke announced the third phase of the government’s program of borrowing from itself by creating new money and using it to buy government bonds, I wrote:

"Bernanke says that the new announced round of money printing (QE3 plus more Twist) is intended to reduce unemployment. Does he believe that? It is possible that Bernanke really drinks his own Cool Aid, but I doubt it. Does he think that stock market gains will boost confidence and somehow help employment indirectly? Perhaps. He has in the past claimed credit for spiking the stock market, although he must know that the empirical evidence does not show a link to employment gains."...

"Helicopter Ben Runs Out of Ideas for Creating Money" - Joseph Salerno - Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

Ben Bernanke’s confided yesterday that he is unaware of any new method of stimulating economic growth. Spoke Bernanke: “As far as I’m aware, there’s no completely new method that we haven’t [already tapped].” So Helicopter Ben has run out of innovative and unconventional ways to create new money. Lest you be tempted to breathe a bit easier, however, rest assured that the now conventional method of quantitative easing, involving the Fed’s monthly purchase of $85 billion worth of mortgage-backed and U.S. government securities, seems to be working just fine according to Bernanke and he foresees its continuation. Noting the stubbornly high unemployment rate combined with the low inflation rate in the U.S. economy, Bernanke stated, “That is the case for being aggressive, which we are trying to do.” Although he is “cautiously optimistic,” he does promise to closely monitor the risks, efficacy, costs and benefits of this inflationary policy.

It's going swimmingly. Mussolini-admirer Roosevelt keynesianed ahead at full steam for 8 years before starting to ask himself the question whether the problem might be sitting in the Presidential Chair. We are nearly there.

And finally, "The Great Deformation" is out in hardback. Might be a good read.

(...) Accordingly, the central banking branch of the state remains hostage to Wall Street speculators who threaten a hissy fit sell-off unless they are juiced again and again. Monetary policy has thus become an engine of reverse Robin Hood redistribution; it flails about implementing quasi-Keynesian demand–pumping theories that punish Main Street savers, workers, and businessmen while creating endless opportunities, as shown below, for speculative gain in the Wall Street casino.

At the same time, Keynesian economists of both parties urged prompt fiscal action, and the elected politicians obligingly piled on with budget-busting tax cuts and spending initiatives. The United States thus became fiscally ungovernable. Washington has been afraid to disturb a purported economic recovery that is not real or sustainable, and therefore has continued to borrow and spend to keep the macroeconomic “prints” inching upward. In the long run this will bury the nation in debt, but in the near term it has been sufficient to keep the stock averages rising and the harvest of speculative winnings flowing to the top 1 percent.

The breakdown of sound money has now finally generated a cruel endgame. The fiscal and central banking branches of the state have endlessly bludgeoned the free market, eviscerating its capacity to generate wealth and growth. This growing economic failure, in turn, generates political demands for state action to stimulate recovery and jobs.

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Boffins shine new light on dark matter

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Re: >wrong how?

I should add the the paper mentioned above seems to imply that dark matter behaves the same as matter whereas it apparently behaves more like a sloshing bosonic liquid...

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Alien

Re: >wrong how?

> no more than the intrusions into our space-time

Could also be invisible ponies. All this "extra dimensions" stuff sounds far fetched and a tad on the "play loose" side to me.

Here is another idea, not that I understand much of it or condone any of it, but there may be solutions right under our nose. Note that this is a classical theory, so you still need to cross the plateau of leng and bring back the key to "quantization" :

MATTER-ANTIMATTER ASYMMETRY AND DARK MATTER FROM TORSION

We propose a simple scenario which explains the observed matter-antimatter imbalance and the origin of dark matter in the Universe. We use the Einstein-Cartan-Sciama-Kibble theory of gravity which naturally extends general relativity to include the intrinsic spin of matter. Spacetime torsion produced by spin generates, in the classical Dirac equation, the Hehl-Datta term which is cubic in spinor fields. We show that under a charge-conjugation transformation this term changes sign relative to the mass term. A classical Dirac spinor and its charge conjugate therefore satisfy different field equations. Fermions in the presence of torsion have higher energy levels than antifermions, which leads to their decay asymmetry. Such a difference is significant only at extremely high densities that existed in the very early Universe. We propose that this difference caused a mechanism, according to which heavy fermions existing in such a Universe and carrying the baryon number decayed mostly to normal matter, whereas their antiparticles decayed mostly to hidden antimatter which forms dark matter. The conserved total baryon number of the Universe remained zero.

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Destroy All Monsters
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Re: State of the Universe?

> If 23% of the universe is dark matter and it is annihilating itself and producing positrons

No, it MIGHT decay to a positron/electron pair. After all, you must keep the totals of quantum numbers as they were, so the charge total must stay zero, you can't just spit out out a positron.

So you want into speculative ideas? Start Here

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Devil

Re: It works and is good work, but ....

The non-paywalled goodies are here:

http://physics.aps.org/featured-article-pdf/10.1103/PhysRevLett.110.141102 (PDF)

(In another matter entirely, if the Reg Sciencedesk decides to link to a paper on the Arxiv, please use the Arxiv abstract page (from where the PDF can be reached), do not link directly to the PDF...)

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Obvious to the meanest intelligence.

The question is: wrong how?

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Re: Confused

If there is "dark matter" by definition it modifies the gravitational field (otherwise it wouldn't be matter and it would only be connected with the universe in a metaphysical manner).

Light paths have to follow the shape of the gravitational field (because the gravitational field, in essence, IS spacetime), so...

Yes, "dark matter interacts gravitationally with light"

If Dark Matter does not absorb, reflect or emit light...what happens when a photon hits it?

By definition, if Dark Matter does not interact with the electromagnetic field, it cannot interact with the electromagnetic field. So no photon will ever "hit it" (a better view: there is no "spark" between the dark matter field and the electromagnetic field ever).

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Headmaster

It works and is good work, but ....

Matt Strassler says:

The results look very nice, indicating the AMS experiment is working very well. Yet the conclusions from the results so far are not very dramatic, and, in my opinion, have been significantly over-sold in the press. Despite what you may read, we are no closer to finding dark matter than we were last week. Any claims to the contrary are due to scientists spinning their results (and to reporters who are being spun).

The Jester:

So, AMS-02 made some bold claims today. Dark matter is mentioned 9 times in the press release, supersymmetry twice. They say that “...over the coming months, AMS will be able to tell us conclusively whether these positrons are a signal for dark matter...”. However this is just a lot of smoke without fire. There's absolutely no way that measurements of the positron spectrum may give us a reliable evidence for dark matter: not now, and not anytime soon. We simply have no robust way of telling a dark matter signal from a boring astrophysics background in that channel, because we don't know the shape nor the normalization of the background. It doesn't mean that AMS cannot provide a tantalizing signature of dark matter in the future. The most important thing we learned today is that AMS works and exceeds in precision the previous instruments (which wasn't that obvious: it's the first time a serious experiment is performed on a space station, and besides the mission underwent a dramatic downgrade shortly before the launch). We're waiting most eagerly on the AMS measurements of the antiproton and anti-deuterium spectra. A correlated excess in several channels could give us more confidence in the dark matter origin. Until that happens, the history has taught us to be skeptical about any evidence of dark matter from astrophysics experiments.

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Bitcoin exchange: Greedy traders to blame for DDoS attack

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Pint

Re: End Point

In government-enforced fiat currencies, we have the inverse problem. The monetary mass is not constant and inflation happens first through issue of new money by the central bank (money which goes to the treasury, then to well-connected cronies for some righteous "spending" at pre-inflation prices, which is the wealth-transfer effect), followed by pyramiding in fracres banking system (1000 units go into your account, 800 units can be lent out while you can still write cheques on your 1000). This quickly causes the purchasing power to decrease (hidden taxation) and zeroes to pile up at the end of prices even though the prices in an improving and non-deteriorating economy should go down.

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Holmes

Re: End Point

> There comes a point where there isn't enough to go around.

There is enough ... to do what exactly?

What you want is a possibility to SUBDIVIDE the money as its purchasing power increases (or alternatively, as price deflation sets in because the possibilities of production are greater). So if a cup of coffee was worth 1 unit, it may be had at 0.001 units after a few years. There is no problem here. You just have to be able to set the decimal point.

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Microsoft's developer conference sells out at $2,095 per head

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Mushroom

Re: If we all club together...

He would probably explode like an hexogen-vest laden "black widow", and be totally unspottable at entry control.

Microsoft partial decapitation strike accomplished!

We also need an icon of a fluffy cat being stroked.

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Trollface

Re: Uh, boss....

Woah I got a downvote. Either it's Matt or someone thinks people go on conferences to do actual work.

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Uh, boss....

Haha! Looks like a lot of people rise to the occasion to get out of the office buildings, see new people, get some fresh air and go on VACATION!

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Gartner: RIP PCs - tablets will CRUSH you this year

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Devil

Me not buy Windows for a loooong time.

> Microsoft have by far the best ...

Sorry, the LAN interface disconnected.

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Why does our galaxy spiral?

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Alien

Re: All of this is just pure fantasy. It's not science!

If you speculate you better come up with some seriously reasonable shit having minimum assumption (i.e. "best compressible theory"). Otherwise I will cut your throat with Occam's razor.

> laws of physics not immutable

Not minimal.

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Alien

Re: Why do galaxies spiral?

Do I have to spell everything out for you first-graders?

The Gödel Metric

Following Gödel, we can interpret the dust particles as galaxies, so that the Gödel solution becomes a cosmological model of a rotating universe. Besides rotating, this model exhibits no Hubble expansion, so it is not a realistic model of the universe in which we live, but can be taken as illustrating an alternative universe which would in principle be allowed by general relativity (if one admits the legitimacy of a nonzero cosmological constant). A less well known solution of Gödel's exhibits both rotation and Hubble expansion, and has the other qualities of his first model, so Gödel's model is really killed by the inconvenient observations that the universe is not rotating. The quality of these observations improved continually up until his death, and he would always ask "is the universe rotating yet?" and be told "no, it isn't."

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WTF?

Re: Waste of time and money

Anyone who has read the Captain Future episode "Quest Beyond the Stars" KNOWS that there isn't a BLACK HOLE but actually a WHITE HOLE at the center of the galaxy.

No, it's not a good read.

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Facepalm

Re: All of this is just pure fantasy. It's not science!

> It's just like creating any simulation in any videogame and that's it. Nothing more than that.

Implying the potemkin village of a videogame does any "simulation".

You are right insofar as numerical cutoffs (gotta stop subdividing time and space at some point) and the floating-point rounding and logarithmic scaling will influence the computation. These influences must be quantified and reasons must be given why such effects do not unduly affect the overall results. But in the end it's just an experiment in statistics, like weather pattern computation. You don't care about any exact results at all, just an representative result of an ensemble.

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Re: Why do galaxies spiral?

In a sense. If the universe ITSELF rotates, then this will be apparent in the distribution of galactic rotation axis (no conclusive effect has been found AFAIK). I think it also means CLOSED TIMELIKE CURVES are possible, and one might have an UNIVERSE THAT CREATES ITSELF BY CURVING AROUND.

More on this in papers that are way over my paygrade.

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Angel

Re: re: Mad Downvoters

I know. Have an upvote.

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Norkoshop: How Pyongyang well and truly forked Adobe

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Pint

Big Brother Printer!

And then Winston Smith woke up. Had it just been a dream?

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HP chairman Lane yields to 'here's you hat, what's your hurry?' pressure

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Trollface

Entitled, moi?

"rightful place at the pinnacle of global business"

HP .... the once and future king. Any continuity between Hewlett-Packard company and HP? Hmmm.

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Bitcoin-mining malware ENSLAVES computers

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Devil

> late-to-the-party shady speculator that telegraphs a jarring fall

Isn't that more like a diamond rush into Belgian congo though? "There's stones in those hills, young man, and the locals are .. willing and eager to help."

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Steve Jobs' 'spaceship' threatened by massive cost overruns

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Holmes

Re: The cost doesn't matter

If the shareholders say no, then it's no.

It's their building.

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Mars to go offline for a month as vast nuclear furnace gets in the way

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Re: We need a relay

Hell yeah. Full-fat Lithium-Deuterium provides a higher density than the exceedingly rare fusion reactions in an even highly-compressed mix of simple hydrogen, juiced with some catalytic carbon and nitrogen.

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Anonymous joins forces with arch-enemy The Jester against Norks

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Re: Great...

" try to use their nuclear weapons"

Do they have any functional ones?

Are they even weaponized?

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Is this now the forum for "Concerned Soccer Moms?"

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Bitcoin briefly soars to record $147 high, driven by Cyprus bank flap

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Holmes

For those with interest in the "dismal science", there is an article of some interest about bitcoin:

The Money-ness of Bitcoins

written by:

Nikolay Gertchev is an economist with the European Commission, Brussels, Belgium. The views expressed in this article are strictly personal and do not engage the responsibility of the European Commission.

In particular, we read:

In conclusion, virtual monies, of which bitcoins seem to be the most perfected specimen up to date, do not allow acting individuals to manage the uncertainty of the future as well as material monies do. They could serve to intermediate exchanges among those who invest in the technology that creates them, stores them, and transfers them. Nevertheless, they could never achieve that degree of universality and flexibility that material monies carry with them by nature. Thus, on the free market, commodity monies, and presumably gold and silver, still have a great comparative advantage.

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Bank card-slurp nasty 'infects tills, ATMs', corrupt staff fingered

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Mushroom

Total and utter failure of any secure process at ATM building and installing

1) "Any shit OS like Windows shurely will be enough for that application"

2) "Reviews and software audits?" We have heard of them.

3) Secure practices? That's when you use condoms, right?

4) Yeah, this ATM will just FTP out. Doe the requirements forbid it? No. so it's ok.

5) Independent Verification and Validation? We are not NASA.

6) We always buy Diebold as they also make voting machines

The "financial industry". Only good at lending out more money than it actually owns. At interest.

> The malware is written in C++

Counts as Mad Skillz in 2013.

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Hate being stalked by Facebook? Why not try Google+ stalking

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Paris Hilton

Re: Me, personally, I shun the advertising moguls ...

Actually, I think it was a spinoff of research in building nuke-resistant networks, so that the glitterati could continue to talk about cats falling down stairs while the rubes were being transformed into shadows on wall...

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Is NBN Co about to pay for 80 years of power pole access?

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Big Brother

Re: Sensationally wrong analysis

True dat!

Dat NBN is gonna run for A HUNDRED YEARS and we WANNA THAT MONEY NOW, UPFRONT, we will even discount it properly to HALF A BEELION.

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Monkey poo probe reveals secrets of middle-management brains

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Facepalm

"Maybe they seek conflict for entertainment"

Frack I DETEST people who are so retarded that they believe they can competently criticize research because they once read an article in "Jesus News" about this and now think they know everything about it.

The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than average. This bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their mistakes.

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