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Comment: Re:DoB, SSN & Filing Status?? (Score 1) 64

by CrimsonAvenger (#49777857) Attached to: IRS: Personal Info of 100,000 Taxpayers Accessed Illegally

I thought I heard they started generating DL numbers for everyone though, so what's with your assertion?

Purely anecdotal evidence. I've lived in (I think) eight States in my life. Exactly one of them didn't use SSN as DL number by default. Admittedly that belief is time-biased - I've only lived in one State this past decade, so if the several States have changed this century, it's possible that I would have just missed it....

Comment: Re:Well there's the problem... (Score 1) 185

by CrimsonAvenger (#49777553) Attached to: Court Orders UberPop Use To Be Banned In All of Italy

Quite possibly.

However the 13K taxis is the number of medallions (or whatever NYC calls its equivalent), so there are NOT more than 13K-odd taxis.

The 5M or so was estimated from statistics I pulled randomly from the interwebs which stated that while (slightly) fewer than half of New Yorkers even owned cars, 30% of New Yorkers drove them to work (as opposed to public transportation).

Since most of us go to work at about the same time, I am assuming that NYC's streets are designed to handle their peak load (people driving to/from work) reasonably well. During that peak load (we call it Rush Hour down here, what do you call it up there?) there will be ~5M cars on the road in the City (note that NYC does not just include Manhattan), of which only 13K (max legal number) are taxis.

Note that your suggested "possibly even two" orders of magnitude error implies only 50K cars on the streets of New York at Rush Hour (the 13K taxis are hardcoded into the equation - there cannot be more legally). Since that's fewer cars than we see in New Orleans (a city about 2% of New York's size) on an average commute, I suspect that you're...mistaken.

Comment: Re:Well there's the problem... (Score 4, Interesting) 185

by CrimsonAvenger (#49775195) Attached to: Court Orders UberPop Use To Be Banned In All of Italy

Let's take NY, Imagine NYC with twice as many taxi's on the road.

Hmm, let's do that...

So, we double the 13000-odd taxis to 27000-odd taxis.

And then we compare that to the 30% of New Yorkers who use private autos to commute to work. So, 30% of 17+ million is about 5 million privately owned cars on the road daily.

Now, it seems to me that 13K taxis is about 0.25% of the total autos on the roads, so when we double the number of taxis, we should have about 0.25% MORE vehicles on the road in NYC.

Somehow I don't see one extra car for every 400 currently on the road to be a meaningful issue....

Comment: Re:You realize... (Score 1) 185

Perhaps I should have clarified that things going extinct is universally bad for humanity.





So, it would be universally bad for humanity if those died out? If so, why all the efforts to immunize people against them?

Or did you mean that "Cute things going extinct is universally bad for humanity"?

Comment: Re:I'll believe it when I see it... (Score 1) 117

Its not that simple. You can't just recover it from nuclear reactor waste because it's mixed in with other isotopes of plutonium, and isn't in that great of quantities to begin with. So first off you have to reprocess nuclear waste to extract the neptunium - which again, itself isn't in very great quantities, it takes a lot of waste, and most places don't want to do waste reprocessing to begin with due to cost and liability issues. You then have to make neptunium targets and expose them to a neutron flux - that is, using neutronicity that could otherwise be used for power generation or other valuable purposes (it takes a lot of neutrons to make a tiny bit of Pu238). Pu238 should be more thought of as a manufactured product than as a byproduct of particular types of nuclear reactors.

Yes, I know it's not all that simple. Never suggested it was.

However, the first step in the process is still more reactors. Without the reactors, you're not going to have the radioisotopes you want for other purposes, like, say, powering deep space probes of one sort or another.

It's just another reason why we really need to get over this phobia of the word "nuclear"....

Comment: Re:I'll believe it when I see it... (Score 1) 117

they're also throwing away most of the remainder of our plutonium supply.

Easy solution to this - start building more reactors that can manufacture Pu238, rather than listen to the whinging of the NIMBYs.

That gets us Pu238 for space probes and carbon-free power at the same time....

Comment: Re:And so preventable (Score -1, Flamebait) 176

Its hard to convince Americans in general to wear seat belts.

Really? 87% of Americans wear them as of a couple years ago. Though young knotheads still wear them at a considerably lower rate than the national average, as do African-Americans (the young knotheads I understand, not sure why the African-Americans do it).

Comment: Re:Everyone is going to the Moon... (Score 2) 117

Never mind that mining is illegal [] under existing space treaty.

Actually, no. The Treaty in question makes it illegal for GOVERNMENTS to lay claim to celestial bodies. It doesn't appear to say much, if anything, about what private individuals do in space (probably because noone imagined the possibility of private individuals doing anything in space when the Treaty was made).

Note that it could be argued that property rights are granted by a government and so it is impossible for a private citizen/corporation to do anything in space without government approval, which would be tantamount to a treaty violation.

On the other hand, history is pretty much full of private individuals going out beyond the territories of any existing government, and doing pretty much what they liked there. Note the colonization of the Americas as an example.

Comment: Re:This isn't a question (Score 1) 601

by CrimsonAvenger (#49759973) Attached to: Ireland Votes Yes To Same-Sex Marriage

In the broadest scope I've never understood why there has to be laws concerning marriage. It's a private contract.

Note that there are laws concerning private contracts in most countries.

I agree that marriage is just a contract between two people (note that I disagree with the contention that "love" has anything to do with marriage - no, you don't have to be "in love" to marry, nor does a marriage end just because you stop being "in love").

The devil, however, is in the details. What responsibilities does marriage imply (as a minimum, there are tax issues in most places), and what privileges does it grant (among others, there are medical issues most places - your spouse can make medical decisions on your behalf if you are incapable, for instance)? What are the limits on marriage (so, why limit it to two people, for instance)? And on and on.

Note that while some religions consider marriage a sacrament, there are very few that consider the religious ceremony legally binding in and of itself. And yes, that applies to most Christian sects (I used to belong to a moderately conservative branch of Christianity whose attitude toward marriage was "that's a State issue, but we'll perform the ritual for you AFTER you get the sanction of the State (marriage license))....

Comment: Re:American habit (Score 1) 135

by CrimsonAvenger (#49758485) Attached to: NSA-Reform Bill Fails In US Senate

I'm wondering though if it isn't possible for the senators that want it passed to come back early and sneak it through before the senate is supposed to reconvene. I don't really know enough about procedural rules and whatnot to know if that is even possible.

Unless the Senators you speak of constitute a quorum, not even a ghost of a chance of it being legal. And if they have that many Senators who want to pass this, then they wouldn't need to bother playing games....

It seems intuitively obvious to me, which means that it might be wrong. -- Chris Torek