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Comment: Re:Cash Needs To Go Away (Score 1) 465

by MightyYar (#47447641) Attached to: Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

While government certainly does enable giant chain corporations, I think you are overlooking the more obvious culprit: limited liability. Without the invention of "the corporation" - and the limited liability aspect in particular - nothing like Walmart would have ever scaled to that size. Hell, if all that was holding Walmart back was a common currency, we'd all be using "Wally Bucks" right now.

Comment: Re:Hardly viable... (Score 3, Insightful) 79

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47447393) Attached to: Scotland Could Become Home To Britain's First Spaceport
If it is political theatre, 'spaceplanes' are doubly convenient: not only are they the new-and-cutting-edge-hotness, they also have ground requirements much closer to 'airport with atypically long runway' rather than the sort of expensive and specialized apparatus that very large vertically launched systems often do (the KSC's Crawler-Transporter vehicles are undeniably endearing; but not something I'd want to cost-justify...)

If the PR renders are anything to go by, you can pretty much take an existing airfield, knock down any ugly buildings that the media might see, and replace them with cool, ultramodern equivalents, and you've got a spaceport.

Comment: Re:Rather far north. (Score 1) 79

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47447371) Attached to: Scotland Could Become Home To Britain's First Spaceport
Does the UK have the same 'economic interest wrapped in the flag' rituals surrounding potential military base closings that the US does? (I'd assume so; but I don't know.) If so, the base's post-cold-war use patterns certainly look like those of a base in search of a mission... On the plus side, if any of the rumblings about radium and mustard gas having been improperly landfilled in the area are true, they'll barely notice an extra dash of hydrazine in the local water supply.

Comment: Re:Connotations (Score 2) 98

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47446869) Attached to: Public To Vote On Names For Exoplanets
"Mythology" is the polite term for a religion's corpse.

The distinction between religions that are dead and ones that aren't is certainly relevant; but I do get the impression that some prefer to imagine that 'myths' have always been somehow fundamentally different than 'religions', rather than being different now because some of the 'religions' didn't survive.

Comment: Re:Cash Needs To Go Away (Score 2) 465

by MightyYar (#47445979) Attached to: Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

The other other point of view is that a uniform means of economic exchange with no additional cost is public service that the government should be doing.

I agree that a common currency is a core government concern. I wasn't advocating that the government should be out of the currency business, just positing that cash usage probably has some correlation to government's interaction with your daily life. There are some pretty large cash payments taking place to avoid taxes, or because the government makes sure it is hard to use credit cards for your illegal transaction.

China

Chinese Couple Sells Children To Support Online Game Addiction 114

Posted by samzenpus
from the think-of-the-children-no-really-think-of-the-children dept.
hypnosec writes After several controversies arising about in-app purchases, a Chinese couple has done the unthinkable by selling their sons to buy in-app items. An unmarried couple, A Hui and A Mei, severely addicted to online games, were accused of selling their sons and were arrested. In an interview with Guangdong TV, they revealed that they chose to sell their sons to child traffickers. A Hui said A Mei is fond of playing online games and likes to buy game items. As he could not give up his in-app purchases, he was not able to support his first son and they sold him to Fujian-based child traffickers. When the wife bore another son, they felt they would not be able to support their second child either, and they again sold him to the traffickers.

Comment: Re:What's the point? (Score 4, Interesting) 119

Less exciting; but sufficiently dense pixels might also make subpixel defects less obnoxious, even if the actual resolution requirements are low enough that multiple physical pixels are driven as a single logical pixel to reduce computational costs or display link bandwidth. And more acceptable defects means fewer scrapped panels.

Comment: Re:because drinking water is so pristine (Score 2) 234

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47439187) Attached to: Texas Town Turns To Treated Sewage For Drinking Water
The drugs are often exotic molecules we've cooked up for the purpose; but hormonal birth control exploits the same hormones that would naturally show up, since those are the ones that there are receptors for and that cause the desired changes. The quantity that a dense human population will put out is something quite different; but the chemistry won't be markedly different between humans and other placental mammals.

Comment: Re:Not new, and not shocking. (Score 1) 234

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47439137) Attached to: Texas Town Turns To Treated Sewage For Drinking Water
There might be an RO system somewhere that uses gravity and an input reservoir at higher altitude than the output to supply some or all of the pressure; but I don't think that that is anything like the typical configuration. Cleaning up after a leak in zero gravity isn't going to be lots of fun; but everything else should work largely as planned.

Comment: Re:Subject bait (Score 4, Insightful) 325

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47438915) Attached to: A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System
In the case of SDI the PR might actually be worse than useless (playing mutually-assured-destruction isn't much fun to begin with; but if one or both sides come to believe the hype about a missile defense system things could really go downhill). In the case of 'iron dome', though, it might actually be helpful. Barring fairly substantial increases in rocket construction expertise, or acquisition of something particularly nasty to fill them with, the attacks it is supposed to defeat are only modestly dangerous; but extremely inflammatory.

Given how lousy the alternatives for appearing to be taking action against the rocket menace are (grovelling through every last hidy-hole in Gaza is militarily doable but a PR debacle and unlikely to turn up more than a few bits and pieces of impoverished machine tools, because low-end rockets just aren't that hard to build. Paying Hezbollah a visit might turn up somewhat more interesting stuff; but that hasn't turned out well in the past) a system that postpones or prevents somebody taking the bait and trying them might be quite helpful.
User Journal

Journal: Milestones 1

Journal by mcgrew

Last weekend Mars, Ho! passed the magic 40,000 words, the number of words necessary for a science fiction work to be a novel.

The reason that every major university maintains a department of mathematics is that it's cheaper than institutionalizing all those people.

Working...