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Comment: Re:Nightmare for aerospace (Score 1) 88

by Almandine (#39882311) Attached to: NASA Boss Accused of Breaking Arms Trade Laws
I dealt with ITAR all the time too last year. When you mentioned Germany, I am reminded of a funny situation. Like here, they also have strict export restrictions. For one item that was already imported from there and in our hands, additional paperworked needed to be filled out so it was proposed to ship the item back to Germany and then immediately import it back to the US.

Comment: Re:How about we taxpayers... (Score 1) 161

by Almandine (#39860903) Attached to: "Cyber War" Is Just the Latest Grab for Defense Money
Federal employees have the Thrift Savings Plan, which is similar to 401k plans.
I'd like to see where you get the idea that government employees have higher salaries? The people I know who work for the Fed gov tend to have lower salaries than the people I know that work for corporations. Fed salaries can be found here: http://www.opm.gov/oca/12tables/index.asp
As for insane job security, the people laid off would disagree. http://bottomline.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/01/19/10191199-good-news-for-government-workers-layoffs-easing?lite

Comment: Re:One 92 year old man (Score 2) 650

by Almandine (#39824393) Attached to: WW2 Vet Sent 300,000 Pirated DVDs To Troops In Iraq, Afghanistan
It varies by the base, but the MWR of each base does provide that. A larger base might have a large DVD library (that can be lent), a decent number of Internet connected PCs (only seem to be Windows), Xbox360s (football & FPS games are popular), PS3s, TVs, novels, pool tables, etc. I haven't seen any ereaders but movie players were being sold at some of the commisionaries to watch DVDs (both legit and pirated).
Still, if you have your own movie player, it is much more convenient to have your own DVDs to watch in your tent or while waiting for something.

Comment: Re:Any central authority will do (Score 1) 194

by Almandine (#39774093) Attached to: The Crisis of Government-Funded Science
I'll give an example. Assuming your tax rate is a flat 20% and your income before taxes is $100,000, then your tax bill will be $20,000. If you donate $10,000 to a charity, the $10,000 is tax deductible and reduces your taxable income from $100,000 down to $90,000. At $90,000, your tax bill is $18,000. Therefore, your $10,000 tax deductible donation reduced your tax bill by $2,000.

Comment: Re:Grind to a halt. (Score 1) 194

by Almandine (#39773889) Attached to: The Crisis of Government-Funded Science
The budget for the Department of Defense is being cut though. http://comptroller.defense.gov/defbudget/fy2013/FY2013_Budget_Request_Overview_Book.pdf FY 2013 Base Budget has a reduction of $5.2 billion compared to FY 2012. The budget for Overseas Contingency Operations (which includes Afghanistan and Iraq) has a separate budget request which shows a reduction of $26.6 billion compared to FY 2012.

Comment: Re:hmm (Score 1) 628

by Almandine (#39773493) Attached to: University of Florida Eliminates Computer Science Department
You'll also need servers, a network infrastructure, and personnel to maintain the equipment. Plus, all that equipment needs to be replace or upgraded every so often. And that's only the general equipment. If the department goes into specialized fields within CS, they'll also need special equipment.

Comment: Re:Makes sense (Score 1) 628

by Almandine (#39773309) Attached to: University of Florida Eliminates Computer Science Department
There's the costs of continuously upgrading to the latest high end computers as we can't have the students learning on outdated slow equipment. There's the costs of servers and network infrastructure as modern computer systems are all connected. There's the cost of software licenses for the software running on those computers and these can get expensive. There's the cost of a dedicated IT team to maintain all that equipment, assuming that it is seperate from the general campus IT. For some universities, there's the cost of specialized gear such as virtual reality systems, robotics systems, cameras for computer vision, fiber optics equipment such as lasers, etc. It's not just office space and electricity.

Comment: Re:If this is anything like CFLs... (Score 1) 743

by Almandine (#39714931) Attached to: $60 Light Bulb Debuts On Earth Day
I'll reply to your ancedote with mine. I brought 10 100W CFLs about 8 years ago. Of that, 9 of them are still in use today in 2 locations, each being used between 4 - 6 hours per day. They turn on instantly but does take about a minute to reach their full brightness. My electric bill dropped from almost $40/month down to $28/month when I made the switch. I am tempted to try new bulbs but alas, do not like retiring working bulbs.

Nothing is faster than the speed of light ... To prove this to yourself, try opening the refrigerator door before the light comes on.

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