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Posts by Greysard

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  • Transgender girl says she is rejected by straight guys for 'having male parts'

    11/23/2015 1:02:15 AM PST · 106 of 127
    Greysard to MamaB
    "if you could go back in time, what year would you choose and why?" I could not think of a specific year because I had a number of them. What year would you choose?

    The very beginning of Holocene :-) One could make pretty nice living there with modern knowledge.

  • Transgender girl says she is rejected by straight guys for 'having male parts'

    11/22/2015 8:49:56 PM PST · 34 of 127
    Greysard to Jim from C-Town
    UH, Because they are not gay!

    Hmm, let me see. Straight men won't deal with him/her because he/she is not a girl; and gay men won't deal with him/her because he/she looks like a girl. I guess he/she should look for another transgender, just in reverse polarity :-)

  • Question: Do moderate Muslims believe in the Quran, sharia law, jihad, infidels, dhimmi, etc?

    11/20/2015 9:12:08 PM PST · 38 of 106
    Greysard to AnalogReigns
    there simply is no dividing line between radical Jihadists and your average “moderate” Muslim, its just a matter of how seriously they are following their religion.

    Even a nominal Muslim, who was born into the religion but does not believe in it and does not follow the rituals, is still counted as a Muslim and is added into the pool of "peaceful" adherents. But in reality that person is not religious at all and should not be counted. This technique creates a significant error when the entire population of a country is counted as Muslim, even though only a much smaller number cares about Islam and chooses to dedicate some resources to it (even if it's just their own time.)

  • Moscow reports deaths of 160 Russian Islamic State fighters in Syria

    11/20/2015 1:06:28 AM PST · 34 of 54
    Greysard to UCANSEE2
    How about Putin taking Obama on a safari hunt ?

    In what role?

  • Canada considering constructing camps to house Syrian refugees

    11/19/2015 8:58:48 PM PST · 28 of 35
    Greysard to headstamp 2
    "One U.S. official said his understanding was that once the refugees arrived in Canada, authorities would detain them in some kind of 'camp' and not release them until after a thorough vetting."

    It is patently obvious that after four years of war in Syria, after destruction of whole cities in that war, after hundreds of thousands are displaced and tens of thousands killed with no record of it, there is absolutely no chance of vetting any one of those applicants.

  • Syrian Ambassador Says That Over 20% Of Refugees To Europe May Have Links To The Islamic State

    11/19/2015 3:45:44 PM PST · 25 of 43
    Greysard to showme_the_Glory
    20 armed committed wolves can easily take out 80 docile sheep.

    Each one of the terrorists in Paris killed 15 innocents (on average.) That is considering that they used a very simple tactic of running into the crowd with guns blazing. More sophisticated attackers (like Breivik) can kill far more.

    Besides, if those photos of "refugees" are in any way representative, it would be hard to find 20% of non-terrorists among them. They look like ISIS soldiers taken from the front lines for another duty. There are only a few women and children in each photo. Most likely nobody can leave Syria without going through a filter that is controlled by ISIS - and we can imagine who they will let through and who will be sent back.

  • EXCLUSIVE — REPORT: 8 Syrians Caught at Texas Border in Laredo

    11/18/2015 8:16:19 PM PST · 17 of 62
    Greysard to Big Red Badger
    you can just start adding zeroes to that number to reflect those who made it through.

    Those who made it through are likely more competent and better prepared.

  • BREAKING: Honduras says has detained 5 Syrians coming to USA with stolen Greek passports

    11/18/2015 12:44:45 PM PST · 31 of 53
    Greysard to Major Matt Mason
    Why do they have to have a link to last week's attacks?

    If they are terrorists, it's nearly certain that they would be told only about *their* mission, not about other missions that are about to happen on another end of the planet. If the planners are smart, though, the soldiers would be only told to get in, establish a base, and then contact an anonymous handler over the Internet.

  • BREAKING NEWS: 'Heavy gunfire' breaks out in Paris suburb as police hunt for ninth jihadi

    11/18/2015 12:41:14 AM PST · 44 of 70
    Greysard to catbertz
    I’ve been thinking about this concept of how to actually deal with a hostile embedded enemy. There are no good, civil solutions to pacify this type of Islamic threat. I further think that they hope to push us to the point of barbarity.

    The immigrants (including the imams who preach jihad) were accepted on an assumption that they will join the society and become citizens just like everyone else is. That assumption was wrong. The least painful solution would be to undo the grant of citizenship... but many of the immigrants have no other citizenship at the moment, and cannot be sent anywhere. The EU has very few options left:

    1) Do nothing. Suffer terrorism, whack a mole when you can, but the opponent's human resources exceed yours, and their population grows while yours shrinks. This will not work in the long term, and the nation will cease to exist as soon as the Muslim population gets numerous enough to control the country through the democratic mechanisms. (That's where another Pinochet might step in.)

    2) Dedicate some part of your territory to the opponent. Let them have their own state there. Build a wall and guard that border. This is technically doable. Legally, it's borderline; Stalin exiled several nations for their behavior during the World War II. Today collective punishment is illegal, but this separation is not punishment - it's a grant of statehood. France will lose some territory, but then it will be rid of the unwanted people. Islam would be outlawed in France, probably.

    3) Allow a civil war to start; let the population fight it out. The end result will be the (2) above, only with far more dead and with lasting hate between the groups. This development promises no advantage, especially if Islamists win the war.

    4) Use methods that are universally recognized as unacceptable today, like genocide or forced deportations into faraway lands. Even if attempted, this is going to create a lot of backlash, unless done exactly by Machiavelli's recommendations. Technically, it's not very likely. Legally... it might work if, say, Islamists get a nuke and explode it in some important place. Then the whole world will donate a few more nukes to them, free air delivery.

    These problems are not unique to France; they will be the burden of every country that has a significant number of radical Muslims.

  • 28 states refuse Syrian refugees - AL, MI, TX, LA, AR, IN, IL, MA, MS, OH, FL, WI, NC, AZ, ME, NH...

    11/16/2015 8:48:15 PM PST · 382 of 444
    Greysard to Sequoyah101
    If states can prohibit these immigrants it implies that they have the ability to control their own borders by some form of state citizenship and state ICE. So if so, why not exercise the same stance on aliens and other illegals?

    States, for all practical purposes, have no such power. If a refugee gets a green card, it won't say much about his terrorist intentions, if he has any. If the police checks the document and finds that the subject is an immigrant... nothing can be concluded from that. Furthermore, if someone does conclude something, it may be illegal. The right to be on the US soil is given by the federal government, as it controls the border. The states have no easy means, outside of Congress, of questioning it:

    "Today's ruling appropriately bars the state of Arizona from effectively criminalizing unlawful status in the state and confirms the federal government's exclusive authority to regulate in the area of immigration," Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement.
  • 28 states refuse Syrian refugees - AL, MI, TX, LA, AR, IN, IL, MA, MS, OH, FL, WI, NC, AZ, ME, NH...

    11/16/2015 8:23:16 PM PST · 378 of 444
    Greysard to ilovesarah2012
    How exactly will they stop them once they arrive?

    All that the states can do is to not extend certain social programs to those invaders poor refugees. However if those guys are not interested in getting the social assistance, they are absolutely free to go anywhere within the USA and to live wherever they please.

    Chances are that the new cells will be financed from abroad and domestically, just as 9/11 terrorists were. They will not apply for social security; they will avoid all contacts with the government. Perhaps they will be employed by "moderate muslims."

  • French air force conducting major bombardment against ISIS targets in Raqqa, Syria,

    11/15/2015 4:02:35 PM PST · 73 of 137
    Greysard to SoFloFreeper
    So they’ll perform air strikes to a bunch of Muslims 1,000 miles away but not resist the jihadists within their own borders?

    Quite a few people have already offered their opinions. Here is one more:

    The generals in command of the French Air Force cannot singlehandedly reject demands of the EU bureaucrats, or to start deportations. But they can order bombing raids without asking for a permission slip from Merkel or even Hollande (if someone in the EU cares what he thinks.) The military command does what they can.

  • Putin tells Western leaders: Let's bury our differences and jointly strike at 'barbarian' ISIS

    11/15/2015 3:34:44 PM PST · 185 of 192
    Greysard to Celtic Conservative
    ...and the KGB Colonel appears to be more of a statesman than the US president.

    Hey, you have to work hard to become a Colonel, in KGB or anywhere else. A Colonel in the Army commands a brigade (four to six thousand men.) Obama has no history of command; he wouldn't even qualify to command a squad.

  • US Navy say "light in the West Coast sky" was a Trident II (D5) missile test at sea from the sub....

    11/08/2015 7:16:20 PM PST · 220 of 244
    Greysard to The Cajun
    Laser or particle beam, one or the other.

    One wouldn't be able to see a laser beam from the side. The whole point of laser is that the beam is narrow and condensed. Even if it were like a 3" diameter white-hot steel pipe all the way from the ground to the clouds, you'd be hard pressed to see it from a distance.

    Particle beam... there is a reason why particles in LHC are accelerated in vacuum. Otherwise they wouldn't travel very far; air is just too dense. Particle beam weapons are only for spaceships.

  • Ben Carson admits fabricating West Point scholarship

    11/06/2015 1:01:42 PM PST · 462 of 560
    Greysard to Godebert
    "On a side note... why are so many of the posts infected with special character symbols? It makes everything hard to read." -- I thought I was the only one seeing that. What's up with that?

    FR's Web site is so safe (and old) that it refuses to understand UTF-8. The UTF-8 character encoding method sometimes needs two characters to encode one - if those are foreign or special characters. Some quotes are special and require two consequent bytes to create one glyph. FR's software erroneously treats them as individual characters instead of composing them into one UNICODE codepoint. It is perfectly safe, though. Only ugly.

  • Dr. Carson on Evolution: ‘No One Has Ever Demonstrated One Species Changing to Another Species’

    11/05/2015 9:01:33 PM PST · 75 of 192
    Greysard to Fungi
    Name them and how were they "created?"

    Here is something else:

    Critics of evolution have always maintained that mutations and selection can only produce new varieties inside a certain species, that one could not have new species emerging via such a process. This idea has finally been empirically rebutted: scientists have now observed the actual emergence of new species.

    Written in 2006, nearly 10 years ago.

  • Bitcoin Risks and Skepticism

    11/04/2015 11:32:11 AM PST · 25 of 25
    Greysard to bkopto
    Proof of work (= energy expenditure) is the price to pay to generate a trustless system. Therefore, IMO, the energy expended by PoW is an interesting offset to human malfeasance, conniving and greed.

    I wonder how then the BTC differs from gold as currency. The same proof of work was present then, as gold is hard to mine (at least in Europe, before they came to Americas.)

    In this aspect gold is better because it is useful (for jewelry, electronics, science) and it does not depend on social acceptance to have value. BTC has no inherent value, and thus all the work that went into minting the BTC hinges on acceptance. As you can see, BTC combines the worst characteristics of currencies - it is hard to mine, like precious metals, but it has no inherent value, like paper money.

  • Bitcoin Risks and Skepticism

    11/03/2015 1:39:40 PM PST · 20 of 25
    Greysard to jjsheridan5
    Why take the risk on a new currency, that may or may not ever become widely accepted, if I also believe that the new and risky currency will go down in value? What is the generally accepted response to this, in the bitcoin community?

    I can only speak for myself. New currencies often have legitimacy crisis. If a large country, seemingly acting reasonably, introduces a new currency, it is easier. Euro is one such example. If an individual, who keeps his true identity secret, introduces a currency and keeps some for himself, this becomes a much dicier proposition.

    Some of the key factors that a customer considers are:

    • How widespread this currency will likely be?
    • Will it have captive market? (Such as taxes to be paid in it)
    • Does the issuer have physical goods to back it?
    • What is the history of this particular issuer?
    • Does it have any other specific risks?

    One desired quality of money is that the tokens themselves should have minimal cost; preferrably zero. Paper money comes close to that, as paper is reasonably inexpensive. Electronic money as they exist today in banks and on our credit cards have zero cost. This is good because the token itself should not be an expensive good. You do not want to pay for your cup of coffee with an original painting by a famous artist - even if the nominal value of that "coin" is one cup of coffee. This issue also affected gold coins, as they had value close to their face value - and that resulted in debasement of coins.

    Unfortunately, BTC is not free. BTC costs a lot of money (electric power) to produce. This is a waste. This also results in a situation when nobody can offer BTC as a handy replacement for barter items, as you have to purchase the coin first - and the act of purchase of a coin has nothing to do with the exchange that the coin facilitates.

    Here is an example, with barter and with BTC.

    BARTER. Bob built a chair and wants to sell it. Alice wants to buy that chair. Bob needs a loaf of bread, and Alice just baked one. They exchange goods. Bob now has bread, and Alice can sit on her new chair. All the work was exchanged, and none were leaking to 3rd parties.

    BTC. Bob built a chair and wants to sell it for 1 BTC. Alice wants to buy that chair for 1 BTC. However Alice does not have 1 BTC. Each BTC costs, in whatever money, close to its face value. Alice takes one loaf of bread to the exchange and procures one BTC from the miner Mike for that bread. Now Alice comes back and gives the 1 BTC to Bob, and collects her chair. Bob still wants his bread, and Alice doesn't have her bread anymore.

    What would happen now in our "normal" economy? Bob would go to Mike the miner, give him 1 BTC, and take the bread. This would complete the exchange because the value of the token (paper money or iron/nickel coins) is nearly zero.

    This is different in the BTC world. When Bob goes to Mike and offers him his BTC, Mike says that he already gave one half of his bread to the power company, and another half to the company that made a BTC mining machine for him. He has no bread to sell anymore!

    You can see now that the high cost of the token is now sunk into tokens themselves. The society has to bear the extreme expense of calculating otherwise pointless and valueless numbers, just so they could be exchanged for very inexpensive goods. This is one of many issues that plague digital coins. To put it simply, digital money must be very inexpensive to generate and to process. BTC does not offer either - minting of coins is very expensive, and transfers of BTC require massive worldwide calculations. Compare with cash, which costs nothing to print and the only person who counts it is the clerk at the store. Plastic cash (cards) costs even less.

  • MoneyGram: Bitcoin Will Fail to Disrupt Remittances

    11/02/2015 3:41:49 PM PST · 10 of 14
    Greysard to Dilbert San Diego
    Doesn't bitcoin rely on everyone having faith that it is actually a medium of exchange, a store of value???

    Yes, just like paper money or gold bars. There is only one kind of exchange that does not depend on trust in value of an otherwise valueless good. That is called barter.

    Bitcoin and its friends are not particularly different in this aspect from other currencies. Right now acceptance of BTC is low because so many people (nearly everyone) refuse to exchange their hard work for a coin that may have no value. It does not matter that the coin in question is digital; it wouldn't be any better if Satoshi Nakamoto came up with a truckload of unforgeable metal coins. We trust [some] currencies because, in our estimate, they are built into large, stable economies. BTC, or Zimbabwean Dollar, are not.

    If nobody had faith in bitcoin wouldn't it be valueless?

    Yes; just as sea shells of Pacific Islanders are only souvenirs today, not money as they used to be. That also applies to other currencies, and history gives us many examples. Value of a coin is defined by you, in the market. If you are not willing to part with your goods for $n coins, the coins lose value until you change your mind.

  • Google is killing Chrome OS and putting all its chips on Android

    10/29/2015 8:25:06 PM PDT · 20 of 27
    Greysard to Ernest_at_the_Beach
    Kangaroo Mobile Desktop Computer ... I want my Gnome shell ...etc....on it.

    R-Pi or BBB is cheaper. But Linux works fine on Atoms in any case.

  • Google is killing Chrome OS and putting all its chips on Android

    10/29/2015 7:28:26 PM PDT · 17 of 27
    Greysard to Sgt_Schultze
    You may be interested in this new product. These are apparently shipping now.

    The hardware is not that essential (to me,) but the software is the Remix OS. You can expect something similar from the Google's project.

    Tablets mostly took a back seat at CES this year, but there were still a few interesting announcements that came from Vegas, including one from a new company called Jide. Founded by some former Google senior engineers, the company introduced its Remix "ultra-tablet" with the promise that it would improve the productivity of those using the Android OS.

    It certainly looks better than Windows 10. Though pretty much every OS nowadays looks better than Win10 :-)

    But indeed this is a great illustration of my assertion that Desktop Android would be usable and beneficial to many, if not most, PC users. Even the most valuable resource of Windows - the large number of applications written for WIN32 API - is being slowly but surely reduced in relevance because a lot of modern development happens on Android and on iOS - except industrial applications; for them the only acceptable hardware platforms are PCs, and those currently run only Windows/Mac/Linux.

  • Google is killing Chrome OS and putting all its chips on Android

    10/29/2015 7:07:51 PM PDT · 15 of 27
    Greysard to Dalberg-Acton
    "improved battery autonomy"

    The device needs less power to perform the same work; the battery can be smaller, but the device will work longer.

  • RAAF tanker pushes the envelope to rescue crippled US Hornet over Iraq

    10/29/2015 5:35:26 PM PDT · 12 of 34
    Greysard to Gunslingr3
    A more optimistic view is that an F-35 pilot won't have to deal with the difficulties of refueling after shutting down an engine.

    Not being an airplane mechanic, I had to check Wikipedia to confirm what I suspected:

    The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth multirole fighters
  • Google is killing Chrome OS and putting all its chips on Android

    10/29/2015 5:30:44 PM PDT · 8 of 27
    Greysard to Paladin2
    More like a growing, cancerous M$ Blob....

    I'm working with Android for a while, and it is pretty good. It's very easy to create useful applications in it, once you learn the ropes.

    Currently Android is not a desktop OS for one simple reason: its window manager (WM) is a single-window, always-fullscreen one, despite existence of some animated overlays. This prevents use of Android on a generic PC, because on a PC you want overlapped windows under control of a more complex WM.

    This is, basically, all that Google needs to change. Maybe a few drivers need to be added for a few common Ethernet chipsets; that is not a big deal, and all of these are already present in Linux (which runs Android as a GUI and a VM.)

    The combined version of Android will be very well received. Android already has quite a few useful applications, and more are added every day because software development for Android is free and requires nothing but a PC. If Android can be deployed on a common PC, this will further dilute the market of Windows 10 - as Win10 is a terrible overkill for the vast majority of systems. About 100% of home systems will be much happier on Android. When was the last time you needed to fix registry on Android, or recover from BSOD? Even Dalvik, which is not even the latest VM, is amazingly fast; but Android 5 uses ART, which is even faster:

    Unlike Dalvik, ART introduces the use of ahead-of-time (AOT) compilation by compiling entire applications into native machine code upon their installation. By eliminating Dalvik's interpretation and trace-based JIT compilation, ART improves the overall execution efficiency and reduces power consumption, which results in improved battery autonomy on mobile devices. At the same time, ART brings faster execution of applications, improved memory allocation and garbage collection (GC) mechanisms, new applications debugging features, and more accurate high-level profiling of applications.[1][4][5]

    This further marginalizes native code (C/C++ etc,) improves portability, and fully enables the long-sought idea of "write once, run anywhere." That idea is already mostly alive within the Android's environment. If it spreads to PCs, there will be very little reason to code for anything else, unless you are doing very specialized work.

  • Turkey confirms shelling Kurdish fighters in Syria

    10/28/2015 5:20:37 PM PDT · 6 of 7
    Greysard to Psalm 144
    Who is the other NATO party?

    There is a chain of strange events around deliveries and non-deliveries of US weapons to Kurds. Those weapons are currently pointed toward ISIS... and toward Turkey, not without a reason (as you mentioned.) One can say that NATO (US) bullets are killing NATO (Turkish) soldiers. Guess who is paying for all that...

    IMO, Turkey is one of those countries that should not be in NATO, for a large number of reasons. But... it served the need of the day (in 1960s) to conscript the Turks, no matter how heavy is the baggage.

  • Turkey confirms shelling Kurdish fighters in Syria

    10/28/2015 2:32:32 PM PDT · 2 of 7
    Greysard to tcrlaf
    Theoretically, this should be a serious internal NATO issue, as NATO members are waging a war by proxy against each other.
  • California's Bullet Train Will Take Even Longer To Go Nowhere

    10/28/2015 11:31:48 AM PDT · 14 of 19
    Greysard to telstar12.5
    exactly who is supposed to ride this thing when built? probable cost more than a plane ticket,take longer to get there, and break down more.

    Anyone who ever travelled up or down I-5, or any other freeway of such caliber, can easily identify one more problem with the train: you cannot haul stuff. The train is only good for lawyers who need to go from SF to LA with just a briefcase, for a meeting, and be back home by dinner time. That is, assuming that the promised deal on travel time - 2 hours from SF to LA - that had been already changed to 2 hours and 40 minutes - won't be changed any further.

    Unfortunately, the lawyer's time is expensive, so no lawyer will ever take the train. No farmer with a truck full of grain will take the train. No rancher with a trailer full of cattle will take the train. No business traveler will take the train because he uses airplane to come here from NYC or wherever. No experienced traveler in an RV will take the train. Locals won't take the train because they have cars, and the train stations are too far apart.

    Trains are designed only for passengers with little luggage. This leaves only young and poor tourists, students perhaps, with only backpacks, who will certainly be glued to windows, eagerly watching the moon-like landscape of the water-starved Central Valley. That would be their trip of a lifetime - simply because they will never make that mistake again.

  • Submachine gun fired at police officers in north-west London

    10/28/2015 9:11:27 AM PDT · 18 of 39
    Greysard to Larry Lucido
    Who would want a machine gun on a sub anyway? Would the rounds go bouncing all over the place?

    Only if operated incorrectly.

  • Windows 10 (migrated there...wish I hadn't)

    10/26/2015 4:23:51 PM PDT · 29 of 92
    Greysard to gorush
    My (unbacked-up) data was retrieved and installed on a new laptop. It came loaded with 8...they keep bugging me to update, as they did right before my last machine went down. I think I’ll stay with 8.

    I'd say you want to upgrade to 10 while the new laptop is under warranty. The 8 is a dead end, and Microsoft will want to wash them out of circulation as quickly as possible. You will have to move off of 8 - to 10 or to Linux, your choice.

    Of course make a complete backup before you upgrade.

  • It's On: Obama Sends Destroyer To Chinese Islands, China Vows Military Response

    10/26/2015 2:25:21 PM PDT · 47 of 171
    Greysard to amorphous
    an intense war of words developed with Defense Secretary Ash Carter insisting that the US would sail and fly anywhere it pleased

    He said that???

  • Iraqi parliament approves Russian air strikes against ISIL

    10/26/2015 1:52:04 PM PDT · 35 of 42
    Greysard to Forward the Light Brigade
    I long to see a dozen bears loaded with dumb bombs fly from Russia and bomb Mosul into a replica of Berlin, Circa 1945.

    I'm sure it won't be necessary. ISIS soldiers have no particular attachment to Mosul, and they have other places to retreat to. They will leave the city as soon as it is no longer practical to defend it. This can be achieved by selective destruction of key defensive facilities. It will be cheaper, faster that way, and the city's population, hostages of ISIS, would be mostly unharmed.

  • VIDEO: Tens of Thousands More Muslims Storm Slovenia Border, Calls for End of EU

    10/25/2015 8:18:51 PM PDT · 44 of 58
    Greysard to laplata; Lucy Hamilton
    Sorry, it was an extremely convoluted way to say "Since you are there, write more, with more details!" :-)
  • Top 10 Benefits Bitcoin Provides New Users

    10/25/2015 8:10:25 PM PDT · 15 of 24
    Greysard to Another Post-American
    And yes, there are now hundreds of alternative cryptocurrencies in competition with bitcoin. All this competition will help make the winners better and every more highly optimized for every financial niche. What innovation is going on in the world of fiat by comparison? Shall I snigger at that question? ;-)

    As matter of fact, there is a lot of innovation in fiat currencies. You might have noticed that the US merchants are switching (or have switched, they have a deadline in October) to the "Chip and Signature" method of authorizing cards. Some are experimenting with NFC payment methods. Going back, banks offered online access to everything and provided you with a number of one-time use card numbers. Going further back, online purchases became possible. It's quite a lot of innovation that happened within just last 20-25 years.

    I cannot say much about all the alternative cryptocurrencies. If some are better, more power to them. However it is essential that a cryptocurrency that is selected for a major one in a country has to work at least as well as the existing systems. How long does it take today to authorize a card scan? A second or two at most. How long does it take to confirm a BTC purchase? Five to fifteen minutes. As you can see, BTC is simply not ready to become a viable payment instrument. By design, it never will be. I assert that the BTC is a good, interesting experiment that demonstrated something good and something bad. The blockchain was a significant invention - and it is also the Achilles' heel of the whole design. BTC is a heavyweight design with extremely high cost of each transaction. Compare to current banking systems - they are decentralized, they are scalable, and they have very low cost of transaction. The customer does not need a blockchain; he only needs his goods. The math of confirming the purchase is not his problem, it should stay between the merchant and the bank. It is too much to ask the whole planet to vote on my purchase of a cup of coffee.

  • Top 10 Benefits Bitcoin Provides New Users

    10/25/2015 7:58:14 PM PDT · 13 of 24
    Greysard to Another Post-American
    You seem pretty biased. But to claim there is “nothing wrong” with fiat is a bit silly, don’t you think? Or is the totalitarian imposition of an arbitrary fiat currency subject to manipulation at the whims of central bankers now thought to be consistent with the goals of Free Republic?

    There is indeed nothing wrong with fiat money that is properly administered. If you are a baker, you can carry with you ten loaves of bread to exchange for other goods, or you can carry with you ten pieces of paper that you can equally well exchange for other goods. Fiat money also offers divisibility (something that a rancher would appreciate) and invulnerability to passage of time and other dangers. (My money in the bank is safe even if the local branch is destroyed by a stray asteroid.)

    You can argue that fiat currency that we have today is being poorly managed. That is perhaps true. Then that's what you need to focus on, not on finding a new coin that will be similarly mismanaged. You want an example? Don't need to go too far - look at the chart of BTC's own values over time. The bitness of the coin did not prevent it from becoming an instrument of speculation; that would happen just the same if Ferengi dropped onto our planet 21 million units of Latinum. (It would be even better because everyone would get their share, and there would be no cost of manufacturing of the coins, and we would be unable to make more.)

    This means that "central bankers," as well as all other bankers, would quickly find a way to profit off of scarcity of the BTC. Just as one example: they can purchase all of it, for any amount of paper money - and then they abandon the paper money. Who is the winner here?

    I suppose there are still a few poor souls buying stamps and trenchantly sending out all their mail via the post office too. But for the rest of us, email has proven a better alternative. I expect the same for the battle between banks/government fiat and cryptocurrency as well.

    I did mention that BTC has a huge skeleton in their closet: the huge pile of BTC that was minted in the first year or two of BTC's existence, nearly with zero effort, by a few early adopters (and the inventors.) If BTC becomes the coin of planet Earth, these people will own a quarter or a third of the planet's wealth. Do you want to so richly reward them for their invention?

    The problems with money that the civilization is experiencing today have little to do with the technology of money, and everything to do with the decisions of the administrators - and with passivity of the audience. BTC aficionados naively believe that they can create a technological solution of a social problem. That never worked before, but surely this will work now. Money is being attacked simply because it is the easiest and most direct path to wealth without working. Any monetary system will be attacked similarly; and all well known monetary systems were attacked in the past, by various means.

    Some of the attack mechanisms are even built into the BTC. I have already mentioned the mathematical upper limit on the number of coins. As more and more people on Earth produce more and more goods, there will be more goods chasing the same Bitcoin. The value of the Bitcoin has to go up, all the time. You can now become rich by sitting on your stash. Today you cannot do that with your USD - they are deflating; this means that you need to let someone else use your USD for a while to make a small profit. This creates credit, which finances new construction, new inventions, new everything. But there will be no credit in the BTC world - and if you can convince someone to lend you a few coins, you will not be able to pay back the interest - it will be too expensive. BTC stifles credit and stops circulation of money within the economy. This is just one of the examples of what's wrong with the BTC as it is today. Note that I do not deny that digital coins may become useful in the future; but BTC as such is only a rough technology demo that is nowhere ready for public adoption.

  • VIDEO: Tens of Thousands More Muslims Storm Slovenia Border, Calls for End of EU

    10/25/2015 7:27:59 PM PDT · 19 of 58
    Greysard to Lucy Hamilton
    You need to come and spend time on the ground here in Europe, with actual Europeans then maybe you can make equally stunning comments.

    Quite a few FR readers are not entirely able to quit their jobs on a lark and go visit the EU just to see what's happening. It might be useful to read opinions of FR members who are already there and know the situation firsthand. The classical "Your wrong!" answer is not sufficiently informative :-)

  • Refugees will freeze to death, warn EU head

    10/25/2015 7:15:33 PM PDT · 44 of 114
    Greysard to CrazyIvan
    Just ask the Ruskies what kind of allie “father winter” can be.

    Don't they have Google Images somewhere in Syria?

  • Why '5+5+5=15' is wrong under the Common Core

    10/25/2015 4:56:12 PM PDT · 50 of 126
    Greysard to Svartalfiar
    Taking a combined algebra/Pre-Cal class junior year, we had the option to take AP Calculus, AB or BC. But normal-track students didn't touch calculus, much less do much if anything with matrices

    For me matrices were first introduced as methods of calculating currents and voltages in linear electric circuits. Later on we got many more use out of them. But it was in the university.

    And as far as I can remember, matrix multiplication is the only time when a × b ≠ b × a.

    The operator of multiplication can be defined in many ways. There is the matrix product; there is the Hadamard product; there is the Kronecker product; there is the Frobenius product. It would be not particularly wise to "prepare" students for operations with matrices. When they get that far they will be able to explain for themselves why this or that method is used, and what's the difference.

    The whole story is sad. Math is famous for many ways to prove something. Here is the page with 114 different proofs of the Pythagorean Theorem. According to those "teachers," 113 of them would be "wrong" - and I'm suspecting that few of them would be able to comprehend some of those proofs.

  • Harsh conditions are foiling Russian jets in Syria

    10/25/2015 4:31:29 PM PDT · 10 of 32
    Greysard to MinorityRepublican
    It's obvious to any observer that Russia uses ISIS just as live practice targets, and sees Syria as a test range. All the feedback about reliability and failure rate of all components is necessary for improvements.
  • Top 10 Benefits Bitcoin Provides New Users

    10/25/2015 4:17:54 PM PDT · 7 of 24
    Greysard to Another Post-American
    The words "you," "your," and such below are just rethorical devices. They are not aimed at the poster, or at anyone in particular.

    1. The world’s easiest bank account to open

    Thank you very much, but I am a welcome visitor in any bank, and I have no difficulty in opening accounts. Perhaps it might be tougher for an illegal immigrant, but it's their problem.

    2. Appreciate the appreciation

    What's the point? All pyramid schemes have appreciation built in. The earliest investors make money, the later investors lose money. We are in the "later" stage, where BTC holders are frantically searching for fools someone who will purchase their BTC for an "old and obsolete" stack of US dollars.

    3. Launch your Business idea without the need for bank approval

    Oh, great - you think it is that easy? I don't even use Facebook or Twitter. Aside from that, there are already services that specialize in such things - and they don't require Bitcoins. They gladly take whatever currency you have.

    4. Quickly gain access to the rest of the digital currencies or altcoins

    Shades of late night sales pitch. Not only you get this piece of junk, we will also give you these two pieces of junk, valued at a hundred trillion bananas each, entirely for free! Besides, BTC is not "a multi-billion dollar industry," no matter how hard BTC owners would love it to be true. BTCs are just numbers; they don't have value until someone purchases such a number for real money.

    6. Two words: Bitcoin IPOs!

    You can't be serious. IPO is not a joke, and not an experiment. The guy doesn't even understand what he is speaking of.

    7. Programmable money has its advantages over fiat currencies

    Yeah, I see that some helicopter parents would love to program where their child can shop - instead of teaching the child to shop in decent places. Go ahead, use technology to program your children, this will work just fine for both of you :-)

    8. ‘Smart contracts’ provide many business options

    None that I see useful. Except that yes, I'd love to give the bank the right to lock me out of my car whenever the bank chooses to do so.

    8. Crowdfund your business or project even in the most remote area

    That is funny:

    What if you’re in an impoverished, 3rd-world nation? You don’t live near a metropolitan city. You live 30-50-100 miles from the nearest bank. You don’t own a car. Your local dirt road is flooded out by rain 3-4 days a week. Your nation’s currency is going through inflation at close to 10% annually, and you don’t get much of it to begin with. You support your family from a small farm you own that provides food to live on, but could provide more if you could invest in grain, materials, and more land. You know one person several miles away with a computer and an internet connection. You can get to him once a week when you shop near his location. He lets you use a computer if you need. Bitcoin’s unique abilities give you the means to transact worldwide. Now, you have options you’ve never had before.

    If you are an impoverished peasant, living knee deep in mud in Lower Elbonia, it does not matter if you can receive BTC for your goods. You don't have any goods worth selling, and you have no means to ship them.

    9. Don’t like your government or central banking system? Bitcoin makes a financial and political statement

    Oh yes, the best way to make amends if your government or the banking systems are off course is... to isolate itself from that society and to set up your own economy, with your own toy money. A truly excellent idea :-) Do not bother trying to fix the country for your neighbors, for your children, for the world. No, just walk away and live your own life (apparently, within confines of one's own head.)

    10. Bitcoin’s speed makes a wire transfer seem like a steam ship

    Funny as well:

    Have you ever tried to take more than US$10k out of a bank? These days, you will have a conversation with the branch manager, and the transaction will be sent to the government, regardless of where you are. You are on somebody’s list.

    Had it ever occurred to you, young padawan, that the bank and the government are already fully aware that you have $10K or whatever that is in your bank account? One can withdraw whatever he wants, whenever he wants, and those armored cars (Brinks etc.) that you sometimes see in the street are employed in exactly that business. The sob story about difficulties of handling money is very appealing to those who don't have access to that kind of cash. However those who do are, actually, treated as kings.

    Sending a wire transfer takes days! Why waste the time? Plus, you’ll have to answer twenty questions as to who you’re sending it to and why. If you want to send a million dollars in bitcoin to someone overseas, you can send it fully-encrypted to any address you like, without an interrogation by a bank, or fear of reprisals.

    Obviously, the guy who wrote that had never seen a form for a wire transfer. There is nothing further to say. BTW, the form is free, and he could have looked at it at any bank.

    They’ll receive it in seconds, and get it verified within the hour.

    And if they don't receive it, or say that they haven't received it? Who do I complain to? Where is the paper trail? Dear padawan, there is more to a wire transfer than meets the eye. Businesses *insist* on meticulously kept documents. As matter of fact, it happened once that my wire transfer was returned because the account on the other end got closed. I'm ecstatic that I haven't used Bitcoin for that transfer, because there would be no chance of getting the money back!

    People have been trained and conditioned to think physical money is a great asset, but when it is time to move that physical asset, this favored trait becomes a major liability. Bitcoin doesn’t have such problems. You are in full control of your money anytime, anywhere, with access to any amount. Now that’s control over your finances.

    Why do I get a feeling that this was written by a young creative person in a corner of a Starbucks store in SF? The author does not comprehend the possibility that the Internet may one day stop working; or that there are places in the world that do not have cell phone coverage at 4G speeds.

    This is just a working sample of what Bitcoin is doing now and will do in the very near future. Bitcoin is not a conjured-up online experiment. It is a new digital ecosystem that will allow people to have the same flexibility and economic power as nation states. The privacy that is currently being stolen at an exponential rate is infinitely enhanced through encryption.

    The author refuses to understand that currently cash transactions are entirely untraceable; and bank and card transactions can be traced only by the banks and governments. However Bitcoins are a public system that is based on the fact that everyone, everywhere has a complete list of all purchases by every single user. The users are hiding behind numbers of their wallets, but it's not rocket science to unravel this by starting somewhere and then mining the database (blockchain) of all current and past purchases and transfers. BTC is a wide open book for anyone who is willing to read it. BTC has no privacy, and it is not even supposed to provide one. The nearest analogy is that you can get a bank card with an alias on it, and spend it thinking that nobody in stores will know that "John Doe" is actually $your_real_name_here.

    Bitcoin is an interesting technology, but it is mired in problems that range from technical (it does not scale; purchases require up to 15 minutes to confirm) to social (who are the initial miners who secretly mined 1/4 of the BTC mass while nobody was aware of the BTC?) The BTC is a dead end. The idea of digital currency is not a dead end, but it needs to be rebuilt from scratch, using the lessons obtained from the BTC experiment. It must be put to trial in various countries, and the deficiencies fixed. Only then it can become usable. Until then... there is nothing wrong with the money that we have today. There is no urgency to fix it - unless, of course, like the secretive BTC creators, you want to profit from selling your own fiat currency to the world.

  • We are all Slovenians now: Small and beautiful European country being overrun by Muslim invaders.

    10/24/2015 5:20:25 PM PDT · 9 of 86
    Greysard to Blood of Tyrants
    Pray that Russia defeats ISIS quickly so the invaders can be sent home.

    Europe does not have resolve to send the invaders home. After the first 100 are on the airplane to Syria, the remaining 1,999,900 will be in the streets, rioting - and the governments will allow that because sending in the tanks is not even imaginable in their reality. Perhaps it is not even winnable in military terms, because a 2 million army is very capable against an unarmed, brainwashed population.

    In the long term, indeed, they should be sent back. Perhaps they shouldn't be allowed in either. However modern liberal societies are managed by modern liberals - and those are incapable of any action that does not please everyone. Besides, all of those managers are temporary placeholders, unlike kings of the past. They have no personal reason to care what happens to this or that country. This process may even manufacture a convenient crisis that will be used to do things that are not possible otherwise. At very least it will keep those politicians near the trough, as they declare themselves the saviors of humanity.

  • Hillary Offers Disastrous ObamaCare 2.0

    10/23/2015 8:31:51 PM PDT · 3 of 8
    Greysard to minnesota_bound
    If she is jailed then we won’t have to suffer.

    As if this is her own plan.

  • More than 50,000 migrants arrive in Greece in one week, the highest total of 2015

    10/23/2015 4:29:27 PM PDT · 13 of 19
    Greysard to cherry
    why are they allowing this?

    After decades of building a liberal paradise in Europe they can't think of anything fitting to say or feel when an army of young, strong and ruthless warriors pours into their countries.

    This will go into history books as one of the easiest conquests ever. The invading army will be fed, housed by the natives, and given money to spend.

    Germany is now trying to deport some of the "migrants," but those "migrants" know how to act in hostile environments. Only a handful of them - primarily those who really deserve to stay - will be deported. The rest are dissolving within borderless Europe and joining their communities.

  • GOP candidates and the Convention of States. [question]

    10/22/2015 11:13:44 AM PDT · 17 of 35
    Greysard to C210N
    Don’t see any evidence of Trump weighing in on COS.

    Even aside from Trump's possible awareness that the Constitution exists, introducing the COS into his message will only make it more complex, and will create new angles of attack against him. Perhaps that's what his people are telling him.

  • A new Chinese anti-ship ballistic missile is bad news for US aircraft carriers

    10/21/2015 6:40:01 PM PDT · 4 of 51
    Greysard to nickcarraway
    I thought it was already acknowledged that aircraft carriers were obsolete?

    Obsolete and irreplaceable.

  • 1,500 Iranian fighters enter Syria under Russia's cover, reports say

    10/14/2015 7:26:44 PM PDT · 5 of 14
    Greysard to MinorityRepublican
    Their arrival is almost certain to fuel a civil war in Syria which has already claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people and displaced half of the country's population.

    Of course. Whenever a ragtag bunch of head-cutting fanatics invades your country, the only wise choice of action is to surrender right away. /s

  • Tesla claims trespassing journalists attacked Gigafactory workers

    10/13/2015 7:45:47 PM PDT · 6 of 7
    Greysard to old curmudgeon
    However no one other than a sworn officer of the law can hold or prevent a person from leaving as that is the equivalent of kidnapping.

    How would one prevent a person from leaving? By holding him physically; or by blocking his way. I do not know, but let's presume that nobody held the journalists in a chokehold, and nobody pointed weapons at them. They were free to walk away then.

    However things become more interesting if the journalist wants to leave in a car. Do the workers of the plant have an obligation to drop whatever they are doing and clear the way for the journalist to drive out of the facility? Do they have to do so even if it disrupts their job? Do they have to do so even if it costs a great deal of money? As an example: the road is dug up, and no car can cross until they put steel plates over the trench. Does the journalist - who merely "wants to leave" - have a right to drive around, across flower beds, through parked private cars, and through 10,000 sunbathers, on his way out? I suspect that the answer is no. And that includes driving into people, of course, which is attempted murder. If a trespasser wants to leave, he may be allowed to leave; but he is probably not entitled to kill on his way out just because there is a dispute.

  • Tesla claims trespassing journalists attacked Gigafactory workers

    10/13/2015 7:33:13 PM PDT · 5 of 7
    Greysard to PAR35
    Crank up the conspiracy theories. What is really going on at the site? What are they hiding from the media?

    Here is one for you. "They are hiding nothing. Literally."

    It might be so because Musk is a great entrepreneur, but not a scientist. He is not in the business of inventing things. He is in business of finding things to sell and then selling them. The fact that he occasionally has to order a few things built for him to sell is just a side effect. His EVs are neat, but the reason why nobody built them before is exactly why not too many companies build them today - they are *still* ahead of their time, considering their cost and the associated inconveniences. An EV that you can buy today for a competitive price, like Leaf, is a little golf cart for in-city use by owners of homes with garages who never go anywhere else or at a wrong time of day, or have a backup car.

    Will the economy of scale be able to drop the cost of EV batteries enough, so that everyone can use them? Musk knows already; we do not. If the answer is "yes" then there is no cause for concern, as we will get EVs with large energy storage and low cost of use per mile. If the answer is "no" ... then what is the plan that Musk is working on?

    And if you'd like to add to the conspiracy theory: electric energy cannot be stored. If someone, somewhere pulls the plug, the entire fleet of EVs will come to standstill within a day. That is not so with gasoline.

  • France plots next move as Russia extends hold in Syria

    10/06/2015 3:25:53 PM PDT · 25 of 40
    Greysard to TruthInThoughtWordAndDeed
    The Europeans will eventually war against Russia to keep it from controlling the Middle East. This may not happen for a while, but it will happen eventually.

    That's not even funny. The Europeans have no chance to win such a war if they start it. At their best effort they will only manage to kill everyone on the planet. But a far more realistic scenario is that they will surrender after a few key cities are destroyed. The term for that is "unacceptable losses." For that reason EU will direct their war effort at countries that have no nukes or air defense - like Libya. Unfortunately, such targets also have little importance.

  • Windows 10 officially hits 110 million installations

    10/06/2015 2:10:04 PM PDT · 14 of 18
    Greysard to SeekAndFind
    I had a Technical Preview on one of my desktops. It expired on Oct. 1. Formatted the disk and installed Linux Mint 17.2 KDE. The box looks and feels like a computer again.

    If you use the PC for communication, such as email, Web, Skype, then there is no reason to keep Windows. Those things work fine on Linux.

    If you need to prepare an occasional document, use online services - Google Docs is free, MS Office Online is free. These work on any OS.

    If you need the computer for serious, professional work, then you use the OS that runs your business software.

  • With Russias Dep. Army Chief due in Israel, Moscow posts 64 S-300 ship-to-air missiles...

    10/05/2015 2:35:41 PM PDT · 55 of 64
    Greysard to Little Ray
    Just something that I found on the Internet:

    Even so, the regime does retain small numbers of advanced systems that are technically capable of taking out multiple simultaneous targets, including cruise missiles and highly maneuverable fighter aircraft. After Israel's unimpeded 2007 airstrike on the nuclear reactor at al-Kibar, Syria invested heavily in modern Russian systems to bolster its air-defense network. The focus was on upgrading the network's backbone, composed of Soviet-era SAMs from the 1950s and 1960s, including SA-2s, SA-5s, and SA-6s. Serious steps were also taken to upgrade the regime's SA-3s into a more mobile and digital system. In addition, Damascus acquired more sophisticated tactical SAMs, such as three batteries of the very capable SA-17 and three dozen of the close-range SA-22 systems that reportedly downed the Turkish jet in 2012.

    So the answer is no, Syria never had anything advanced enough to counter a well planned, unexpected, peacetime attack of modern Israeli airplanes. Their SAMs were four decades old! It's miracle if they even were operational, if the maintenance could find the right vacuum tubes for them :-) Russia doesn't seem to have these anymore, except one SA-6 at a training facility and one at a base abroad.