1363 posts • joined 10 May 2011
For me it's almost a deal clincher!
Not only do I get the benefit of not having to worry about US legal tentacles and Chinese spying for the reasons you describe, but given China's attitude towards intellectual property enforcement I'd be able to use it to store all my DRM-free music, movies and TV shows without worrying about being prosecuted for doing so - and give access to my family and friends besides!
I still wouldn't use it to replace my local storage though, more as an access-anywhere adjunct. Not to mention that with my ISP data usage plan at 150 GB per month it would take me over 2 months to upload that much...
Actually, I can see the copyright lobby giving birth to dinosaur-sized kittens over this, because inevitably the most popular use of such a generous storage space allocation will be pirate downloads on a scale to make even bittorrent pale into insignificance!
Re: I predict
You think you have the right to complain?
It's summer here in Australia, and while it's cloudy today we've generally been getting clear skies. But of course it doesn't matter how clear our skies get since the damn thing will be at its best only as it passes right over the BLOODY NORTH POLE meaning we'll only get to see it low in our northern skies for a couple of days as it emerges from behind the Sun and starts to brighten up!
You complain about a few clouds? Bah! We've got thousands of miles of rock and magma blocking our bloody view!
Oh well. Back to swanking over our Magellanic Clouds I guess...
In light of this
Does anyone here seriously believe that allowing private enterprise to replace or take over the functions of government will result in improvements?
These corporations have to be lashed by legislation every step of the way. And those who raise the reflexive cry of "Communism!" every time someone opposes corporate domination of any aspect of human endeavour must be exposed for the shills they are. No legal leeway whatsoever can be given to these psychopathic "entities" whose obsession with profit supersedes even their consideration of human life.
It always starts like this
Administration of space should remain in the hands of publicly accountable and electable organisations.
If this guy gets what he wants, then the corporatisation of space for profit above all else will inevitably follow. And the inevitable outcome of that can be expressed in two words:
And so once again
a few idiots ruin it for the rest of us. Just like those little fuckwits with laser pointers aiming them at aircraft caused the government to ban laser pointers above 1 mW for everybody.
Given that this is the Nanny State Republic of Ausfailia, expect to see legislation very soon banning all use of RC aircraft anywhere except by law enforcement and registered personnel, using this as an excuse to take away yet another small liberty. It's what our government does best.
Well, I'm male, and I find any phone/gadget use during meetings and presentations unacceptable.
To the point where, if I'm giving a presentation, and someone is using a phone or tablet, I will stop the presentation, explain to everyone present that when we are all ready to continue, I will do so at their earliest convenience; and I will wait until anyone messing about with their gadgets has returned their attention to the meeting.
I've interviewed job candidates who have actually pulled out their phones and started texting, right there in front of me. Needless to say, I've politely informed them at that point that they won't be considered for the position, and they would save their own time and mine by departing forthwith.
I also refuse to hold conversations with people who keep diverting their attention to their phone. I generally give them three warnings, after that I will simply leave, ignore them, or go about my own business, even if they try to pick it up again when they're done.
It's basic human courtesy that when someone is talking to you, you pay attention to them.
Re: Less annoying than mangled text?
Not only that, but what's even more sinister is that this represents ads that you can't block with NoScript and Adblock. If you do, obviously you can't solve the captcha and you can't use the site.
The one problem I see
is one of retrieval rather than storage.
If they build a storage medium that will last a million years they also need to build a writer/reader that will last a million years. Otherwise, like reel-to-reel tapes, 8" floppies, and Betamax cassettes, the information might still be there but a functioning device to read it non-existent, since companies see fit to change the media standards every couple of decades or so and planned obsolescence takes care of the rest.
Fat lot of good an archive of these things would be even in 50 years' time, let alone a million, when nobody makes the readers any more...
You clearly haven't encountered the delusional mentality of advertising twonks. I've actually worked with these people, I'm sorry to say, and I've been exposed to their peculiar brand of reality-rejection first-hand.
*THIS IS WHAT ADVERTISING PEOPLE ACTUALLY BELIEVE*
People love watching advertisements. They receive deep and fulfilling life satisfaction from the excitement of learning about our latest products. They find our art and design work stimulating and interesting, and will naturally tend to seek out more. People desire advertising as it fulfills their deep spiritual need to buy and consume. Our task, then, is to gratify this insatiable desire by creating deeper, richer, more spiritual advertising that will touch their hearts and win their souls to buy more widgets.
*THIS IS WHAT ADVERTISING PEOPLE ACTUALLY BELIEVE*
I know this is difficult to comprehend, but you'll find that the only possibility that exists for "these folk" is that you desire ever more intense and personal advertising and that they are the ones to fulfill your need.
It's sickening, I know, but that's the mindset you're dealing with. Not much short of a course of Haloperidol can fix that I'm afraid.
Re: Dailymail astroturf does
" I read comments suggesting MI5 kill the Guardian editor with Polonium, that he should be shot for treason and all kinds of threats."
I have to pull you up on that one matey. There is a distinct difference between saying someone should be shot and saying someone will be shot. The second one is a threat; the first one isn't, it's just an opinion. Any comment along the lines of "You should be..." is not a statement of action and therefore cannot be interpreted as a threat.
The day you start classifying "should" as "will" is the day you give up any pretence of freedom of expression.
150 millon light years away?
Are you sure? Because detecting a white dwarf and an asteroidal body comparable to Ceres at the equivalent distance of a galaxy on the far side of the Virgo Cluster is no mean feat! What incredible instrument did they use to pull that off?
Or did you mean 150 light years and got a bit overenthusiastic about the distance?
Back in the 80s I was shopping around for a new stereo. In store after store, I'd see outrageous claims for the power of these cheap all-in-one systems - 600 W here, 1500 W there. Watts PMPO, that is. Meaning that the system could theoretically output that power level for a second or two here and there, with a load of distortion, before blowing its caps out of its arse, but nowhere near that on a continuous basis.
Try asking the salesmen how many watts RMS or the signal-to-noise ratio and I'd get blank looks at shop after shop. They'd try all sorts of weasel tricks to convince me that PMPO was a valid measure of a stereo system's quality and that'd be my cue to move on.
After that it was MHz for microprocessors, which we quickly established as PMPO-level bullshit even back in the Commodore 64 days. The Zilog Z-80 could be clocked at 4 MHz while the humble 6510 only did 1, but the overheads of the Z80 made it the inferior processor. Same with the 12 MHz 80286 of the IBM PC vs the 7 MHz 68000 of the Amiga - and the Amiga blew the PC away in terms of performance.
These days it's megapixels. I have an Olympus FE 240 pocket camera (nothing fancy, but at least it has an actual lens on it) and a Samsung Galaxy S2 phone. The Olympus is 7 megapixels, the phone is 8. Guess which one takes the better pictures?
Oh well, I suppose they've got to keep trying. But for me, every time I see these bullshit measurements touted as an informative factor of a product's quality, I am reminded of the PMPO days and my youthful trek around town to find the ideal stereo.
No. He won't. Neither will I. Neither will a host of others who refuse to hand over control of our machines to megalomaniac corporations who think they have the right to claim ownership of our lives.
There are always alternatives. Always have been, always will be.
So the kids will avoid being hit with kiddy porn charges and get nailed for sexual harassment instead. Well, it is a step up I suppose.
Re: I swear
More specifically, like Reddit's /srs/ board.
I stopped reading the article the moment I encountered the word "misogyny" on the first page. That word, along with other political-correctness trigger words like "womyn" and "cisgender", act like an automatic off-switch beyond which I will not proceed.
So I'd take this review of GTA with a grain of salt. Obviously the reviewer has biases of his own which prohibit more open-minded people from establishing an informed judgement of the game based on this review.
Translation: "We want all of Rudd's mates gone so we can give the cushy sinecure positions to our mates."
Sometimes these politicians' motives are so transparent you could use them to measure Doppler shifts in distant galaxies.
Re: Well, if you're taking photos at a concert...
You're not alone there mate. I'm right there with ya.
Last year I went with my brother to some "Symphony Under The Stars" event, with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra performing in Elder Park.
And all I could see was a sea of arms waving smartphones high in the fucking air. I don't know why 20,000 people all wanted 20,000 identical videos of a mass of 20,000 wavering smartphone screens, because that's all any of them would have gotten. The only way you'd have been able to see (or film) the orchestra would be to have been pressed up against the stage.
Because of this sort of thing, I've come to detest the fucking things. In cinemas, in restaurants, at concerts, fireworks shows, sporting events, everywhere, everybody constantly waving these fucking smartphones around every bloody moment of every bloody day. An EMP cannon! an EMP cannon! my kingdom for an EMP cannon!
@ DJO Re: Psudorandomosity
"As far as I know nuclear decay is the only easy genuine random source available but a bit tricky to include in a little chip at a suitably low cost."
What about Americium-241 based smoke detectors? We already have widespread, low-cost "nuclear" gear in our homes in this form - why couldn't we use this same technology as an RNG in our computers as well?
I don't have a problem
with the concept of the cloud per se. It has its uses and provides a lot of convenience; you can access your data from anywhere there's a computer and internet connection, you can share that data with colleagues in distant locations without the limitations imposed by email; you can offload much of your maintenance problems to a third party. The cloud certainly has its advantages.
What I object to, in the strongest terms, is this constant push, push push to force everybody to use cloud technologies exclusively. Increasingly, new versions of software are coming out as SaaS - pay every month, instead of pay once and keep forever. And if your cash flow is down one month, and you can't afford all the stacked monthly payments, you lose everything. Much of the software we use is now in two flavours - packaged and SaaS - but it's evident that "packaged" is being retained only as a transitional measure and the intent is to "wean" us all into the cloud as soon as possible.
Whenever something like this is pushed with such fervour and zeal, it inevitably means one thing: the big boys make more money which means you get less while paying more. Microsoft have found to their cost that selling a successful product can be a disaster once market saturation is reached, as the numbers of companies unwilling to migrate from the tried-and-true Windows XP shows. "Buy once and keep forever" is not as profitable as the "leech money off the poor bastards forever and a day" model. And this is one real reason why cloud is being pushed so hard.
The other reason is about power and control. Cloud storage means your data can be taken away if you don't toe the official line; it means your data can be monitored and analysed at will without your knowledge; it means your computer and your data are no longer your own, they now belong to the companies that own the OS and your data storage.
So in the end, my problem is not that cloud technology exists; it's that we are being forced into it to the exclusion of all other options. And until this hegemony is confronted and we are let to make our own choices about how and where we use what technologies, I and others like myself will continue to oppose this encroachment of our informational freedom to our last ounce of strength.
Re: Death to Ransomware
My thoughts exactly.
I've often maintained that until we start PUBLICLY EXECUTING these fucking bastards, and their families along with them if it can be shown that the family members knew of the criminal activity and did nothing about it, this sort of shit will run rampant.
Once we've had a few globally televised public hangings of these parasitic scum that are of no worth to the human race, once they made to realise the stakes are that they'll make money at less risk by enlisting for service in Afghanistan, we'll start seeing some results.
Who? Apple or the CIVC?
For my part, given Apple's legendary lust for petty intellectual property, I 'd love to see the Frenchies sue their arses off. It would be poetic justice.
Re: I'll say it, since nobody else has the guts to
@ Don Jefe: No advantage, in fact I've probably earned a place on a few watchlists for posting that opinion. I just felt I should point it out because the possibility existed that it was a motivating factor and that mentioning it as such was likely to invoke artificial social taboos designed to silence debate.
As to you others who felt it necessary to resort to abuse and insult, thank you for illustrating why it is necessary to oppose the proponents of political correctness, who are the very ones who use these tactics to silence discussion and dismiss opinions you don't like. What you fail to understand is that the more you abuse and deride those who don't share your worldview, the more people will oppose you, and the greater the eventual horror that will arise from that opposition. You seem to have forgotten, as so many have in the past, that carrot is more effective than stick.
I'll say it, since nobody else has the guts to
It's extremely politically incorrect to say this, and I'll likely cop a pasting as an anti-Semite and a Nazi and all sorts from the more oversensitive and zealous commentards, but -
Zuckerberg is a Jew. Shreateh is a Palestinian. I'd wager heavily that this political condition has at least some measure of effect in the making of Facebook's decision to refuse payment. After all, that money might be used to support anti-Israeli terrorism, no?
There, I've got it off my chest. Let the downvotes roll in, fellas.
Re: Mandatory XKCD link
e'); DROP TABLE PLANETS;--
I see little Bobby Tables has grown up to become an astronomer!
Re: iPhone buyers also younger, smarter, richer than 'droid drones
Ooh, ooh, can I write Apple's next marketing campaign based on this?
"Samsung and Android. The choice of bogans, chavs and rednecks everywhere!"
Interesting that Safari and Opera have such high error rates while Chrome is so low, considering that all three use the Webkit engine as their foundation (ISTR Opera switched to Webkit a while back didn't they?)
Like others here, I have no problem with the modern incarnations of IE. Since Microsoft have been dragged screaming to the W3C table the job of web development has become a lot less hair-greying than in the days of IE6, when as I recall I became quite the Firefox evangelist on these very forums (and elsewhere) to try and drive standardisation. I'm very thankful that that battle, at least, is finally over!
The only problem with a telescope in Antarctica is that you can only ever see the Southern Hemisphere. Perhaps there's a similar location in Greenland where they could put a complementary telescope, then we could cover the entire sky.
" If an agent of the copyright holder made the files available for download and advertised it on pirate sites, then the people who downloaded them obtained them legally."
You've raised a very interesting legal issue here.
Yes they did download them legally, but it's not the downloading the copyright mafia nail you for - it's the seeding / uploading, which is integral to bittorrent, and which legally amounts to unauthorised distribution. That's what they charge you with on the court documents.
I'd be very interested to see the legal take on this - if I, as a copyright owner, distribute my own work via bittorrent, I'm implicitly authorising others to distribute my work as well by the very act of using the bittorrent mechanism as my distribution medium. So does this implicit consent stand as legal authorisation for anyone in the swarm to distribute? What if I stop seeding the torrent myself - does that withdraw the consent for others to distribute? What if someone else creates another torrent on another tracker and starts seeding it there as well?
Bittorrent seems to be a real Pandora's box as far as legitimate or authorised distribution of copyrighted material is concerned. Any commentards here in the legal profession got a take on this, or does anyone know of any court cases dealing with these issues?
Re: Oh, Ambassador!
Shit, that would have to be a bloody big squirrel!
I remember seeing parody ads for "Crackwhore Barbie" back in the 90s, in MAD magazine or some similar publication I think. I had no idea companies would ever start selling toys that promote criminal activity for real though!
I mean, in an age when kids are expelled for merely hugging each other in school, how the bloody hell is Lego getting away with this without a massive media/do-gooder shitstorm in the offing? It just shows the extent to which the media controls public reactions to these things, doesn't it?
History has lessons for us here
This kind of greed and exploitation by the aristocracy is what eventually leads to revolutions and sends parasites like this bitch to the gallows and the guillotine.
Re: A Better Place.
Agreed, although the B Ark would be an acceptable alternative for those feeling a bit less murderous...
Re: "The US Government isn't a totalitarian government by any stretch of the imagination."
"Never heard of a county with several governments."
How about Somalia?
Re: Manning will have a lot...
This is a brain cell. I have quite a few of them to sell you if you'd like a couple of your own. Real cheap too, just 5 cents each!
Re: There is something sad about this
"The US Government isn't a totalitarian government by any stretch of the imagination."
Hitler was elected to power by voters in a democracy. Do not mistake the ability to vote for a guarantee of freedom.
Some toy throwing going on here.
I'm no Google fan any more than I am a Microsoft one, but it seems to me that Microsoft are throwing their toys out of the pram on this one.
As a web developer for many years, I still remember the horror days of IE6 and ActiveX, where I had to create two versions of the same website for every project - one for IE6, and one to the W3C specs. This blew out costs and dev times on every project and I came to loathe Microsoft for this.
But these days Microsoft aren't the big boys on the block any more, and so it seems to me they're now spitting their chips because they're not the ones shoving their bloated inconsistent standards down everyone's throats. Instead they're being forced to abide by the W3C specs as they should have been from day dot. And they're bitching about it because they're no longer the ones calling the shots.
So tough shit MS, your day is past and you have to suck it up and comply with the W3C standards like everyone else.
Mind you, I don't like Google's "We don't have to use HTML 5 but you do" approach either. Anyone who operates under "do as I say not as I do" is someone I never want to deal with, as I despise nothing more than a hypocrite.
Re: A Warning, Please!
Before clicking on any link, hover the mouse pointer over it. Then look at the status bar right at the very bottom of your browser window. It'll tell you where the link goes. Make it a habit to do this every time you follow a link.
Re: One must be a complete idiot
The diary comparison is certainly a valid one, yes.
But most people don't routinely hand their diaries over to the management of their local shopping centre for perusal to establish what adverts to show you when you walk into the mall.
Use duckduckgo.com. Not only do they not track you and respect your privacy a lot better than Google, they also do AND based searches by default (you have to use the OR operator if you want OR-based search) And I've found their search results as relevant as anything Google provides.
It's not that big an Achilles heel, and I see this in a different light - the whole event shows that a terrorist attempting to jam the GPS at an airport would be unlikely to succeed. There's nothing "fortunate" about it, evidently the airport authorities were prepared and able to respond to an attack of this kind.
A problem was identified during the test: a jamming signal affecting the guidance systems. The source was triangulated and located, agents dispatched to the location, and the problem was solved in a timely fashion and in good order.
I was impressed to see that there was no overreaction by authorities on this one; no SWAT teams armed to the teeth stomping the guy's face into the pavement, no gung-ho cops tasering innocent bystanders, no besuited operatives ramming gloved hands into body cavities. Just a measured response to the threat and the sensible capitulation of the culprit. It was what could be called a textbook case.
So this doesn't seem to me to be a failure of security. To my mind, it looks like a resounding success.
Encryption alone is not enough
No matter how effectively a message is encrypted, it can be intercepted and saved indefinitely in its encrypted form and then decoded at leisure. And with the computing power available to the three-letter agencies "at leisure" isn't very long at all in the scheme of things.
Better security would be achieved by breaking the encrypted file into pieces and routing each piece separately through a different random path each time, interspersed with rubbish pieces to further obfuscate the real ones. This way, no one system can capture the entire message and piece it back together. The internet is already set up to operate on this basic principle; all that's needed is software to ensure that no two packets go by the same route.
The weak point in this system would of course be the sender's and receiver's ISPs; of necessity, both ISPs would have every piece pass through them. A possible workaround would be an open network of interconnected wireless routers, linked between neighbouring homes and offices. This way, part of my message could go through my ISP, part through my neighbour's ISP, part through the guy down the road's ISP. The recipient could receive the message the same way. This way, even if all of us were on the same ISP (as in some areas where one big company has a monopoly), the ISP sees packets from multiple customers and has no way to tie any group of packets back together into a single file.
At present, this is conjecture, as in my area people aren't yet amenable to interconnecting their wireless routers, but I've heard of districts where this is being done already, and as governments and companies continue to encroach on our freedoms, I'm sure people will in time come to see the necessity of doing this.
"And what kind of free democratic nation would do that ?"
I don't think that word means what you think it means. As I understand it, "Democratic" - as in "The Democratic People's Republic of Korea" or "The German Democratic Republic" - means something like "a nation governed in such a way is to give its citizenry the illusion that they have a say in how the country is run." You seem to have misunderstood the "the illusion that they have" part in that definition. Also, "free" is the standard word used by dictators from Napoleon to Obama to describe the conditions in the countries they preside over.
So, in actual fact, pretty much every "free democratic " nation would indeed do what you say, in keeping with what they really are...
Exactly what I noticed.
I actually laughed at the inherent self-contradiction when I read: "...the collected data was "anonymised" before it was analysed, hoped to use this technology to... show tailored adverts to people as they walked by the bins." The "anonymised" part is the most sickeningly obvious attempt at damage control spin I have ever read; in the very same breath they reveal the lie and their true intentions.
By definition, if they're showing me "tailored" advertising, they must know who they are showing the adverts to, ergo I am not anonymous. Whether or not they know the name on my birth certificate is irrelevant; to tailor advertising means they must know my comings and goings, likes and dislikes, lifestyle choices, associations, occupation, hobbies, interests - in short, everything that makes me who I am. What price a name if you have all that? Anonymised my fucking arse.
>>Or intolerant douchags...
Or sanctimonious PC do-gooders...
@OrsonX Re: face-recognition software banned being a shame
The use of face-recognition software in public places bloody well should be banned, so if it has been that's a ban I fully support.
Suppose you're walking down the street and your Glass films me at a politically incorrect rally, or walking into an adult bookshop, for example. The face-recognition software identifies me, even if I'm not known to you, and sends the info back to Google/Facebook for processing. My mother has already posted dozens of pictures of me on Facebook without my consent so Facebook already has a face-recognition profile on me, like it or not. Next, Google/Facebook notifies everyone on my contact list that I'm where you saw me, or at the very least notes it down in some database for later use when I need a security clearance or police check done.
That's the kind of shit face-recognition software is capable of, whether or not it yet does it. It's the most invasive technological violation of personal liberty yet created. Without it, cameras are just image recorders, that require a human to take the time to look at the images to determine if I was anywhere in particular. That degree of labour introduces reasonable odds that someone inimical to me can't easily identify me or be able to track my movements.
But with it, every net-connected camera becomes an automated remote identification device, constantly updating any relevant database with a running update on all my actions and movements, the result of which I have to live in the constant awareness of my every movement being tracked by people who don't necessarily have my well-being at heart.
if it sounds like I'm being paranoid, I have every right to be. The "liberal" supporters of political correctness are known for viciously demanding the ruination of anyone who doesn't kowtow to their PC worldview: the purveyors of "tolerance" are hypocritically the most sanctimoniously intolerant bigots this side of the Taliban. And I'm an active supporter of Men's Rights Australia, A Voice For Men, and the Campaign Against Political Correctness, amongst others. I've had hate mail and death threats from these same "pro-tolerance" PC bigots for publicly supporting these organisations. It's noteworthy that while the media is screaming about "trolls" and cops are arresting those who threaten and abuse high-profile feminists, nobody's doing anything about the harassment and abuse dished out by their supporters to anyone who dares to contradict them. The number of downvotes I'll probably cop for this paragraph alone will illustrate the principle quite adequately, I believe.
Is it any wonder, in the face of the hysterical PC self-righteousness that pervades society these days, that its accompaniment by such invasive technology poses such a danger?
No, bloody right face-recognition software should be banned. I wish they'd ban it here in Australia too.
I have a complex up/down voting system for this site!
On consideration, I find I have quite a complex algorithm for upvoting and downvoting on El Reg, more so than other sites, due to El Reg's voting system requiring a wait for two page reloads to vote. As a result, I only go to the trouble if I feel the post is worth voting on.
I'll upvote a post if:
1) The post makes me laugh or spit coffee/lunch over my keyboard or monitor.
2) The post expresses a political opinion I strongly agree with (regardless of its factual content or literary coherency - the political alignment with my own is sufficient cause for an upvote.)
3) The post has good literary merit or posits its owner's case with aplomb.
4) amanfromMars posted it and I cannot decipher or understand what he posted, or if I simply give up trying part way through.
I'll downvote a post if:
1) The post has even the slightest whiff of political correctness about it.*
2) The spelling, grammar and/or syntax is so bad as to make the post indecipherable (amanfromMars is treated oppositely here: he gets a downvote if his post is actually decipherable!)
3) The argument of the post is so ill-researched, fallacious or delusional as to expose the poster as a retarded fuckwit.
Fanboi/fandroid arguments get nothing. I hate Apple myself, because of their control-freakery and egregious litigiousness, but I won't upvote a post simply because it's an Apple hater and I won't downvote one simply because it supports them. My fanboy loyalty to IT companies died with the Commodore Amiga.
*Political correctness: I won't downvote a post simply because it expresses a political opinion I disagree with. For example, you could call for abolition of minimum wage or billion-year copyright extensions and I wouldn't downvote you for that even though I disagree with it. But any hint of the poster supporting feminism (note: by this I mean focus on women's rights alone), affirmative action, advocacy of censorship of dissenting views, or anti-white/anti-male dogma WILL get a downvote, guaranteed, regardless of the validity of the argument or how well the post might be written.
If I feel the politically-correct post is aggravating enough and it pisses me off sufficiently, I'll actually go to the trouble of going to the poster's public post history page and sequentially downvoting their other posts until my temper calms down (David W, Vladimir Plouzhnikov, Oolons and NomNomNom have all been victims of this at various times!) I know that's juvenile, and one should expect more from a 46 year old adult, but I find it therapeutic and it makes me feel better... So to the guys listed above: If you suddenly find your last 50-odd posts all have at least one downvote regardless of topic, you can feel gratified that you've pissed me off enough to waste half an hour attacking your post history!
"2. This person is overpaid and the price you are being offered is vastly inflated. (reality)."
This is why, in our office, a guy who shows up driving an 8 year old Ford Falcon and wearing a turtleneck sweater and jeans, has a lot better chance of selling us a few boxes of photocopier toner than, say, a guy who shows up in a new F-type Jaguar wearing an Armani suit. Given that attire in our office veers decidedly towards the neat casual side, upstaging one's potential customers with flashy overpriced bling that is obviously going to be tacked onto the sale price isn't a good start!
There's an old Murphy's Law corollary that goes something like "The plushness of the front office decor is inversely proportional to the fundamental solvency of the firm." The same principle applies to travelling sales reps as well.
@ Jim 59
Just because laws between the USA and USSR may differ, doesn't mean the principles - or abilities - do. For example, you argue:
"People could not even leave the USSR on holiday, whereas every American citizen is free to travel the world."
IF they can afford it. Given the wealth distribution curve in the USA, I'd say, at guess, that at least 60% of the population can't afford to leave their home town, let alone travel to another country. So while the laws may imply freedom, the actual outcome, for the majority, is still the same.
"The supreme soviet was unelected, whereas the US citizens have full suffrage."
But giving people the choice between Democrats and Republicans, given that for the average American life stays pretty much the same regardless of who is in power - that is, subject to random search and seizure, indefinite detention without trial, no due process (don't tell me that the Obama Administration has given Snowden anything remotely approaching due process) - so again, the effect is much the same whether there was only one party or two. Western democracy has become a token gesture at best.
"The USA has to keep people out, not shoot people trying to escape like the USSR."
That one I'll give you - considering that you have an overcrowded, poverty-stricken third-world country ruled by brutal drug lords on your southern border. Anything's better than that. But that's the majority of people you have to "keep out"; I don't see too many other westerners trying to set up in America.
"Snowden is being pursued by a democratically elected government that wants to bring criminal charges and give him an open trial."
Ha! Well, for democratically elected government I refer you to my above answer on that subject. The Obama Administration has openly branded him a traitor. No trial, no due process, no "alleged", they've just come straight out and announced on the international stage that he's guilty. There's no chance he'll ever receive a fair trial now. If you believe for one second that if Snowden were to return to the USA he'd be found anything other than guilty on the spot, I'd be interested in selling you the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
To finish, I'd like to quote some excerpts from a letter sent from Snowden's father's lawyer to the Obama Administration:
"We are also appalled at your administration’s scorn for due process, the rule of law, fairness, and the presumption of innocence as regards Edward... Your decision to force down a civilian airliner carrying Bolivian President Eva Morales in hopes of kidnapping Edward also does not inspire confidence that you are committed to providing him a fair trial... Yet Speaker Boehner has denounced Edward as a "traitor"... Ms. Bachmann has pronounced that, "This was not the act of a patriot; this was an act of a traitor." And Ms. Feinstein has decreed that Edward was guilty of "treason,"..."
Yes, a fair and just trial under a democratic government indeed. You can read the letter in its entirety here.
I find it amusingly ironic
30 years ago, we welcomed defectors fleeing Soviet tyranny, persecuted for revealing the truth about their despotic regime, and cheered them on as they made their life-or-death dash across the Iron Curtain, desperately seeking freedom from an unjust and totalitarian state ruled by a dictator.
Now, in these margin times, a defector is fleeing American tyranny, persecuted for revealing the truth about his despotic regime, and we cheer him on as he makes his life-or-death dash across the Electronic Curtain, desperately seeking freedom from an unjust and totalitarian state ruled by a dictator!
How things have changed. How they remain the same...
Duck test = fish test!
"If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck."
This line of reasoning could also be used to define a whale as a fish, since a whale looks and swims in similar fashion - as famously (and erroneously) argued by Herman Melville via his protagonist Ishmael in Moby Dick:
"Next: how shall we define the whale, by his obvious externals, so as conspicuously to label him for all time to come? To be short, then, a whale is a spouting fish with a horizontal tail. There you have him. However contracted, that definition is the result of expanded meditation. A walrus spouts much like a whale, but the walrus is not a fish, because he is amphibious. But the last term of the definition is still more cogent, as coupled with the first. Almost anyone must have noticed that all the fish familiar to landsmen have not a flat, but a vertical, or up-and-down tail. Whereas, among spouting fish the tail, though it may be similarly shaped, invariably assumes a horizontal position." - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chapter XXXII Cetology.
Obviously this reasoning is flawed, as any primary school kid knows that a whale is a mammal, not a fish. So in similar vein, just because something looks, swims and quacks like a duck, doesn't necessarily mean that it is. It may well be that it usually is, and one could be justified for saying so, but using this argument as the basis for a legal decision doesn't bode well for rule of logic and reason. There needs to be a more solid factual basis for arguing that Bitcoin is indeed the same thing as money.
At present, Bitcoin strikes me as having more in common with a commodity than a currency. Consider trade commodities, for example sugar or copper. Like sugar and copper, Bitcoins have a variable market price which rises and falls according to supply and demand. Like sugar and copper, Bitcoins are manufactured by a value-adding process of labour and production. Like sugar and copper, Bitcoins are bought and sold on commodity exchanges, not banks.
So under this court's ruling, sugar and copper are the same thing as money, just as Bitcoins are. They can be used to store and retrieve value, bought and sold for profit, just as Bitcoins are. But if we start treating commodities as though they were money, we're opening a Pandora's box of trade nightmares that are going to have repercussions around the world. I'll leave it to the more imaginative commodities traders to consider the ramifications of that decision!
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