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Comment Re:Yellow Journalism (Score 0) 208 208

Actually, it's more like drama and conflict. A lot of these stories are neither sensational nor sensationalized. But they're little vignettes of drama and conflict that, taken together, make people think the world is a mass of horrors. Sensationalism does happen, but it's usually a reporter (or often headline writer) who wants to sharpen the focus or drive a point home. That pulls things out of context or balance and when people who know about the story see the article/video, they say it's sensationalized. Really, it's just been made more dramatic. I know: a distinction without a difference. But this is what I do.

Comment Re:News For Nerds? (Score 1) 401 401

>Only a pittance of it compared to the massive payouts made to other entities. And even then, it was only a small start, while the rest has snowballed on its own. That's by design to promote U.S. industry. The military does R&D that's so expensive or risky -- or so military-specific -- that industry can't or doesn't want to do it. Then it turns the technology over to industry to use it and eventually build what the DoD needs and then the DoD gives them a bunch of money for what they build. The government doesn't want to compete with industry, it just wants them to build what it needs. The rest, for example most of the technology in the iPhone, is gravy for the industry and the country. Full disclosure: I work in the clanking heart of the military-industrial complex.

Comment Re: News For Nerds? (Score 1) 401 401

Because 369 of them are to repeal Obamacare and the other one is stupid for different reasons. Remember, the government was set up so that the various parts could check and balance each other. One Senator can stop a bill if he wants to badly enough. The House, because it controls the money, can stops things as well. And if those two agree the president can veto it. And if all three agree, the courts can still kill it. The founders did that on purpose.

Comment Re: News For Nerds? (Score 1) 401 401

It's not that the Democrats are afraid (I don't think), but that this agreement has become how the Senate does business. They used to force the guy to get up and talk for however long, but now they just take it as a given and move on (except for the pre-arranged show Cruz put on). It doesn't matter what Reagan's situation was. The parts of government compromised back then. Now they don't. McConnell said it up front: our job is to make sure Obama is a one-term president. The whole tea party movement was predicated on stopping Obama. They did everything they could to ensure that and failed, but they've doubled down ever since. The other reason it doesn't matter what Reagan did is that we ought to look at successes, not failures.

Comment Re:News For Nerds? (Score 1) 401 401

Because fiscal bills have to come from the House and the Senate kills anything any single senator mentions in the same sentence as the word filibuster, the Republicans have had the power since 2010. Check Senate confirmations. Check budgets. Check government shut downs. So what is there to tell the Democratic Party to shut up about? And really, look at the news, the Repugnicants make all the best noise anyway. It's like watching morons channeling sociopaths in a shouting match.

Comment Re:Prepare Now (Score 1) 142 142

I keep bringing this up to my "you can get a job if you want one" friends and their eyes glaze over. It's inevitable, and at the same time unthinkable. Even my more liberal friends respond with the more of the same of what they think we should be doing now. The only person who seems to understand is a brother of mine who believes the "elites are going to depopulate the world" theory. I think guaranteed income is a start, and cutting the hours in a work week is a good step. But in this climate (in the U.S.) that's a laughable pipe dream. I think we should go to a freemium concept. You get a 3D printed house and a certain amount of food grown by agricultural robots on federal land. And maybe basic TV and ubiquitous wifi. Anything above that and you have to get a job and pay for it. There are a certain number of people who will just spend their time lying about doing nothing, but I think the majority of people will want something enough to get a job. Also, people who don't have to slave away at something crappy will have the freedom to try something creative. I think a world full of boutique shops -- like etsy but on carts or store fronts -- would spring up.

Comment Re:How many don't use the chrome part? (Score 2) 321 321

I bought one of the 11.6" Samsungs last Christmas. It's the machine I take to work/on travel, etc. I also use it like my wife does her iPad -- downstairs in front of the TV, up in the bedroom before bed, etc. For me, it's small, decent to type on and has no fans. I had an iPad at work and a hand-me-down Kindle Fire, but tablets are useless without a keyboard, and then you've essentially got a chromebook. I have a desktop running Slackware 14.1, and until a few weeks ago a big ol' Dell Precision laptop running Crunchbang. I could put something else on the chromebook, but why? I'm all-in on the google services. At $250 it was a convenience I could afford.

Comment Re:This isn't news; this is Fed end of year (Score 1) 286 286

This is even more true this year, when the departments were trying to save every dollar to cut the summer furlough as short as possible. If you're in the war business, you want to save some until the end of the year in case you need to, I don't know, bomb Syria just before year's end. Full disclosure: I work for one of the commands in this business.

Comment Re:No real details about these... (Score 3, Interesting) 74 74

These things tend to make their way into industry, but it'll take a while. ARO funding university work is usually a first step in the process, but at the end, if it works out, it gets transitioned to industry in one form or fashion. For example, flexible display research started out with Army funding and there was a consortium with universities and industry. Here's a story. You can see they started working on it in '04, the article is from '08 and they're not at Best Buy just yet. Full disclosure: The Army Research Office is part of the Army Research Lab, which is part of the command I work in, the Research, Development and Engineering Command. We taxpayers fund a lot of research.

Comment Re:I say cut the F-35 (Score 1) 484 484

I know it might seem trifling, but we are still engaged in active combat operations halfway around the world. If we still had a draft I think you'd be acutely aware of that.
And if you look into technology that transitions from Defense into the civilian economy, you'll find quite a bit. Right now we have defense employees working on quantum teleportation, neural computing chips, all kinds of power and energy technologies and so on. Companies come in, or start up, and do good business making products and services off things the government paid for. ENIAC was an Army program to figure out artillery azimuths. GPS, the internet, etc. It still goes on all the time.

Comment Re:I say cut the F-35 (Score 1) 484 484

" Though, even SS isn't so bad, since, in theory, it is already paid for."
Your largess is stunning.
On another note, social security becomes a de facto retirement plan because the economy needs people to spend pretty much all their damn money to fuel the ever-upward corporate spiral. Then government raids the social security pot to pay for the other side of the ever-upward spiral. The problem is we can't settle for a sustainable reality. If you owned a company employing 10, 20 or 30 thousand people turning $500 million in profits with a solid outlook for that to continue -- but not grow -- for the next 50 years, Wall Street would ignore you. It's all about potential for growth, not actual performance. Then they tie executive pay to stock performance and boom! Stupidity is mandatory.

"Summit meetings tend to be like panda matings. The expectations are always high, and the results usually disappointing." -- Robert Orben