In other news... (humorous news items)

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby ijuin » Wed Feb 17, 2016 10:01 am UTC

sardia wrote:https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/02/12/the-poor-are-better-off-when-we-build-more-housing-for-the-rich/
New housing, these voices fear, will only turn affordable neighborhoods into unaffordable ones, attracting yet more wealth and accelerating the displacement of the poor. And so protestors rally against new market-rate apartments in Oakland. Politicians propose halting construction in San Francisco's Mission District.

Economists typically counter with a lesson about supply and demand: Increase the sheer amount of housing, and competition for it will fall, bringing down rents along the way to the benefit of everyone.

Key reasons is twofold.
First, supply and demand curves. More supply means that there are less rich people fighting middle class for houses. This results in less middle class people fighting poor people for housing.
Second, houses degrade in cost as time moves on. Yesterday's luxury housing is today's middle class housing, which will become tomorrow's poor housing.

I'm surprised that luxury>middle class>poor housing conversion happens. I just assumed that luxury houses stayed luxury or are torn down.


There is only "more supply" if more housing units are being constructed than demolished.

Let's say that 1000 low-income people are displaced in order to build housing for 1000 higher-income people. Note that there is no implication here that the total supply of housing is increasing. We do indeed need to increase the sheer amount of housing available, but demolishing one grade of housing and replacing it with another grade of housing contributes nothing towards that end unless more units are constructed overall than are demolished.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby jseah » Wed Feb 17, 2016 10:59 am UTC

From what I've read previously about the SF area, due to resistance, much of the property isn't very high rise. There are height limits IIRC?

Which means that buildings are replaced with high rise condominiums, there will be a net increase number of units. Basically you just need to build higher.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:42 pm UTC

sardia wrote:https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/won ... -100-bill/
TLDR: $100 bills main use is for crime, we should stop printing them. Electronic banking will deal with the rest.

I agree, note how the only country in the EU that supports big bills (500 euro etc etc,) is Luxembourg, a country that has a sizable lobbying group of illicit traders.


That's obnoxious. Deposits are already bulky enough without shrinking the bills down. And, given inflation, this is only going to become more of an issue.

Can't we get rid of pointless annoyances like the penny first?

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Diadem » Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:56 pm UTC

That reminds me of something I've always wanted to try.

Here in The Netherlands most shops don't accept €200,- and €500,- bills. Generally they have a sign somewhere saying something along the lines of "we don't have change for these bills". But the real reason they don't want them is of course the relatively high chance of them being counterfeit compounded by most employee's unfamiliarity with those bills.

So one thing I've always wanted to try was to buy something small, then hand over a €500,- bill and just say "Keep the change".

Sadly I'm not rich enough to blow that kind of money on silly jokes :-(
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Grop » Wed Feb 17, 2016 1:10 pm UTC

Indeed I have seen similar signs here; which suggested that such bills would be accepted if you don't need change ~ provided they pass the tests.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Zohar » Wed Feb 17, 2016 2:09 pm UTC

I went to Spain at some point when I was younger and my dad gave me a 500 euro bill for spending money. The very first night I went to pay my hotel with it and they wouldn't accept it. I had to go through several stores and restaurants until I found someone willing to break change. This was a particularly frustrating start to the trip considering the airline company also lost my luggage, so I was worried of being without clothes and unable to actually spend money on things. It turned out quite fine, but that was a really annoying first night.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby bigglesworth » Wed Feb 17, 2016 2:28 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:Speaking as someone who very much appreciates the ability to carry a certain number of $100 bills rather than twice that number of $50s
Brits find no problem using £20s for similar scale purchases. £50 notes aren't trusted here - historically they weren't secure.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Neil_Boekend » Wed Feb 17, 2016 2:30 pm UTC

Grop wrote:Indeed I have seen similar signs here; which suggested that such bills would be accepted if you don't need change ~ provided they pass the tests.

You would probably be etched into the employees mind. So if the bill turned out to be counterfeit they would have an accurate description of you (in addition to camera footage).
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Grop » Wed Feb 17, 2016 2:54 pm UTC

Probably. Anyway I don't use bills of greater value than 50 €.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby commodorejohn » Wed Feb 17, 2016 2:56 pm UTC

sardia wrote:I don't suppose both parties paid the relevant taxes on that sale that was so big that you needed $100 bills to carry it inconspicuously? On big stuff, I usually do a credit card>electronic transfers>cash>check>blood diamonds in order of convenience.

I don't suppose it's any of your or my business what the seller did about taxes. Presumably that got filed under miscellaneous income the way it's supposed to be, and if not, it's not my problem. As for the above, no private parties take credit cards (is there even any kind of method for non-merchants to claim payment with them?) Electronic transfers (at least on services that anybody uses) come with hefty fees (which, as noted, the seller will take out of the buyer if given the opportunity.) And nobody takes personal checks for large sums without either asking for about six different forms of ID and a blood sample or holding up the entire transaction for days until it clears. About the only other workaround I can think of is cashier's checks, which still have fees, but significantly less ridiculous ones.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby commodorejohn » Wed Feb 17, 2016 2:57 pm UTC

jseah wrote:From what I've read previously about the SF area, due to resistance, much of the property isn't very high rise. There are height limits IIRC?

Which means that buildings are replaced with high rise condominiums, there will be a net increase number of units. Basically you just need to build higher.

I sorta suspect seismic considerations might have something to do with that.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Mutex » Wed Feb 17, 2016 3:14 pm UTC

bigglesworth wrote:
commodorejohn wrote:Speaking as someone who very much appreciates the ability to carry a certain number of $100 bills rather than twice that number of $50s
Brits find no problem using £20s for similar scale purchases. £50 notes aren't trusted here - historically they weren't secure.

Indeed, I've seen £50s rarely here. The idea of even needing a sign in shops saying £200 and £500 notes won't be accepted - I've never even seen a £100 note. There's no way they'd be accepted.

In general any amount of money changing hands where £20s (or at a push £50s) are impractical would be done electronically.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby HES » Wed Feb 17, 2016 4:03 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:I've never even seen a £100 note.

Rare to the point that I didn't think they even existed, but it turns out they are in circulation over the Scottish border.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby ucim » Wed Feb 17, 2016 5:20 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:In general any amount of money changing hands where £20s (or at a push £50s) are impractical would be done electronically.
...sure, where the entire transaction is available to the government, to Visa, and to Facebook, should they wish to augment the profiling they are already doing.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed Feb 17, 2016 5:23 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:
jseah wrote:From what I've read previously about the SF area, due to resistance, much of the property isn't very high rise. There are height limits IIRC?

Which means that buildings are replaced with high rise condominiums, there will be a net increase number of units. Basically you just need to build higher.

I sorta suspect seismic considerations might have something to do with that.


Tokyo skyscrapers might disagree with you there.

Height limits are typically enforced because rich people in a tall building don't want another, taller building coming in and blocking their view. Modern society knows how to earthquake-proof tall buildings, so that's definitely not a major problem anymore.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby DaBigCheez » Wed Feb 17, 2016 5:26 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:As for the above, no private parties take credit cards (is there even any kind of method for non-merchants to claim payment with them?)

I know of Square, which plugs into the headset jack of a smartphone/tablet, and I believe Google Wallet has some means to accept credit card payments/transfers to make things like splitting the check for dinner when paying with credit cards easier.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed Feb 17, 2016 5:31 pm UTC

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Neil_Boekend » Wed Feb 17, 2016 5:41 pm UTC

Square and similar systems are unlikely to be used as a payment method between individuals (as in no company involved). Things like second hand stuff. The cost of getting one of those is just not justified.
Having said that, if I ever sell anything fancy enough to earn me more than a hundred euro's and for some reason it has to be in cash I'll probably have the money transfer at a bank where the money is directly checked and deposited in my bank account. Just in case it is counterfeit.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby HES » Wed Feb 17, 2016 5:44 pm UTC

You need something like PayM. But I guess you're lacking the infrastructure that's based off, so "haha, you have an antiquated banking system".

ucim wrote:the entire transaction is available to the government, to Visa

Good, extra protection against fraud/theft.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed Feb 17, 2016 5:48 pm UTC

HES wrote:You need something like PayM. But I guess you're lacking the infrastructure that's based off, so "haha, you have an antiquated banking system".


Hey, you Brits only had "Faster Payments" since 2008. America will catch up to you... eventually... our country is larger than yours so it takes a lot more effort to herd all of our banks to support a new protocol.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Feb 17, 2016 8:52 pm UTC

Neil_Boekend wrote:Square and similar systems are unlikely to be used as a payment method between individuals (as in no company involved). Things like second hand stuff. The cost of getting one of those is just not justified.
Having said that, if I ever sell anything fancy enough to earn me more than a hundred euro's and for some reason it has to be in cash I'll probably have the money transfer at a bank where the money is directly checked and deposited in my bank account. Just in case it is counterfeit.


Generally, the reader is free, and assuming a referral, you get a grand in processing free. After that, it's a few percent.

If you hit high enough volume, that percent will drop. This is not advertised on the site, but they will cheerfully do so if you ask. I ain't paying the list price. So, for *most* people, Square is a pretty easy way to transfer money.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby commodorejohn » Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:00 pm UTC

Assuming you have or want one of the gizmos required to use it, maybe.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:02 pm UTC

Smartphones, ipads, etc are pretty common. I concede that they make not work well for the amish.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby commodorejohn » Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:26 pm UTC

"Pretty common" is fine and dandy for services that provide an additional choice of options. It's when people start working off the assumption that "oh, everybody has one of these, they can just use this, so it's okay if we take away (option that doesn't require the purchase of a $x99.99 device and software)" that I start taking issue.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:28 pm UTC

Oh, I'm not for taking away cash, besides obnoxious little stuff like the penny, just pointing out that some services are getting remarkably convenient.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby PeteP » Wed Feb 17, 2016 11:01 pm UTC

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/02/judge-apple-must-help-fbi-unlock-san-bernardino-shooters-iphone/
So that law seriously allows compelling a company to write you custom software for free?

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Yablo » Wed Feb 17, 2016 11:13 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:That's obnoxious. Deposits are already bulky enough without shrinking the bills down. And, given inflation, this is only going to become more of an issue.

Can't we get rid of pointless annoyances like the penny first?

I actually like the penny and the financial granularity it represents, but I would support doing away with it before the $100 bill. I know it amounts to the same thing, but I very much prefer holding or spending five $100 bills than twenty-five $20 bills. I like the $50 even better. It's all about the Grants, baby.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Angua » Thu Feb 18, 2016 6:59 am UTC

commodorejohn wrote:
sardia wrote:I don't suppose both parties paid the relevant taxes on that sale that was so big that you needed $100 bills to carry it inconspicuously? On big stuff, I usually do a credit card>electronic transfers>cash>check>blood diamonds in order of convenience.

I don't suppose it's any of your or my business what the seller did about taxes. Presumably that got filed under miscellaneous income the way it's supposed to be, and if not, it's not my problem. As for the above, no private parties take credit cards (is there even any kind of method for non-merchants to claim payment with them?) Electronic transfers (at least on services that anybody uses) come with hefty fees (which, as noted, the seller will take out of the buyer if given the opportunity.) And nobody takes personal checks for large sums without either asking for about six different forms of ID and a blood sample or holding up the entire transaction for days until it clears. About the only other workaround I can think of is cashier's checks, which still have fees, but significantly less ridiculous ones.

Is direct debit not a free service in the states?
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby sardia » Thu Feb 18, 2016 2:48 pm UTC

For the ones with banks, it is an option but I believe he's referring to trade in the underground economy, most likely with strangers. Like I've done various levels of private transactions but with trusted confidants. You can't do a lot of those things with strangers. Sometimes you can't beat sliding a suitcase of cash under a table.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Yablo » Thu Feb 18, 2016 8:14 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Sometimes you can't beat sliding a suitcase of cash under a table.

This is how I like to complete even my legitimate transactions.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Sheikh al-Majaneen » Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:48 pm UTC

Monkey drinks rum, chases bar patrons with knife.

Spoiler:
Furious George: monkey in Brazil drinks rum and chases bar patrons with knife

Capuchin was eventually captured by fire department and released into wildlife reserve – only to be recaptured for harassing local children



After sampling some alcohol from patrons’ glasses, a monkey picked up a knife and chased customers around a bar in Paraiba, Brazil, it has emerged.

The capuchin monkey drank remnants of cachaça, a distilled spirit popular in Brazil, from glasses around the bar. The animal then chased the men in the pub with a foot-long knife but left the women “to drink in relative peace”, according to the Mirror.

“It was a bar staff oversight that ended with the monkey drinking some rum and taking the knife,” fire department Lt Col Saul Laurentino told aRede.

A video posted to YouTube on Wednesday allegedly shows the monkey stabbing sporadically at the roof of the establishment as people look on.

The monkey was then captured by the local fire department before being released into a nearby environmental reserve, according to the Huffington Post. But when the animal stirred up more trouble, scaring children and residents of the area, he was captured once more.

“We had to recapture him because he was causing problems and threatening children living near the reserve,” Laurentino said.

“We will forward it on Saturday to the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) in Sousa. There, they will evaluate whether the animal is able to return to the environment or if it will need to live in captivity.”


I was expecting the monkey to have an eyepatch. Seriously, how do you not think 'pirate' from that headline? Monkey. Caribbean (sorta). Drinking rum. Swashbuckling. Pirate monkey.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby sardia » Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:50 pm UTC

Hehe, furious george.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby commodorejohn » Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:33 am UTC


Somebody get this monkey a movie deal.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby elasto » Fri Feb 19, 2016 2:06 am UTC

commodorejohn wrote:"Pretty common" is fine and dandy for services that provide an additional choice of options. It's when people start working off the assumption that "oh, everybody has one of these, they can just use this, so it's okay if we take away (option that doesn't require the purchase of a $x99.99 device and software)" that I start taking issue.

Again, 'smartphone' does not have to mean a $x99.99 device; A $4 smartphone is being launched in India. (Might be a scam, but you can legitimately buy such phones for $50)

Spoiler:
- 4-inch, 960x540 display
- 3MP rear camera, 0.3MP front camera
- 1.3 GHz quad-core processor
- 1 GB RAM
- 8 GB of storage, expandable to 32 GB with SD card
- 1450 mAh battery storage (same as iPhone 5)
- Android 5.1 Lollipop

A few years behind the times spec-wise but still perfectly decent)
And WeChat in China allows free person-to-person transfers of cash and only a 0.1% fee for withdrawing money to a bank account.

The US is a highly backward market compared to the so-called developing world, with huge price gouging by the big established players. But this is why it annoys me when people talk as if iPhones are the only kinds of smartphones. They may be the market leader but where they go - and the flaws their phones have - isn't indicative of where we will all end up. The future is bright, not scary.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Coyne » Fri Feb 19, 2016 3:50 am UTC

elasto wrote:The US is a highly backward market compared to the so-called developing world, with huge price gouging by the big established players. But this is why it annoys me when people talk as if iPhones are the only kinds of smartphones. They may be the market leader but where they go - and the flaws their phones have - isn't indicative of where we will all end up. The future is bright, not scary.


Whether the US is a highly backward market depends on what your priorities are. If your priorities are enormous "big establishment player" profits and customer control (lack of customer choice), we're the most advanced in the world.
In all fairness...

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby commodorejohn » Fri Feb 19, 2016 5:21 am UTC

elasto wrote:
commodorejohn wrote:"Pretty common" is fine and dandy for services that provide an additional choice of options. It's when people start working off the assumption that "oh, everybody has one of these, they can just use this, so it's okay if we take away (option that doesn't require the purchase of a $x99.99 device and software)" that I start taking issue.

Again, 'smartphone' does not have to mean a $x99.99 device; A $4 smartphone is being launched in India. (Might be a scam, but you can legitimately buy such phones for $50)

Okay, so call it $49.99. Point is, you still have to purchase somebody's product in order to use that payment system. Which is perfectly fine for things that merely provide an alternative to an existing system with no barrier to entry; it's when people start vaguely nodding in the direction of making that sort of thing the default (in effect, requiring everybody to buy something they don't otherwise need in order to participate in basic commerce) that I take issue.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby elasto » Fri Feb 19, 2016 6:00 am UTC

commodorejohn wrote:Okay, so call it $49.99. Point is, you still have to purchase somebody's product in order to use that payment system. Which is perfectly fine for things that merely provide an alternative to an existing system with no barrier to entry; it's when people start vaguely nodding in the direction of making that sort of thing the default (in effect, requiring everybody to buy something they don't otherwise need in order to participate in basic commerce) that I take issue.

Ok, but to claim that abolishing E500 notes is some kind of slippery slope to abolishing cash itself is absurd. Anonymous brain-to-brain transfers of e-cash will probably exist before that day ever arrives...

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby commodorejohn » Fri Feb 19, 2016 6:04 am UTC

It's not so much that it's a slippery slope as that people were holding up systems that require an $x9.99-x99.99 gadget to use as essentially equivalent alternatives, that's all.
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Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 1:58 pm UTC

Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Feb 19, 2016 6:17 am UTC

Just an FYI: Credit Cards charge a % based fee + small amount per swipe. So even though the consumer doesn't "see" the costs, its still there. The business taking the credit card has a lot of costs associated with it.

Of course, the same is with cash to some degree (except its an armored truck that the business has to pay for).
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HES
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Location: England

Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby HES » Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:09 am UTC

What about debit cards though?
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