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Comment: Re:Structure vs Outcome (Score 1) 391

by EmagGeek (#46765721) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

Yep. Intelligent, educated, gainfully-employed people are breeding much less because they cannot afford to do so. So much of their money is being confiscated and given to unintelligent, uneducated, unemployed, unproductive people to breed like bunny rabbits and create an overwhelming population of voters who will keep the power mongers in power.

Comment: Happens in hardware, too (Score 1) 164

by EmagGeek (#46765651) Attached to: How 'DevOps' Is Killing the Developer

In a past life, I worked for a company that developed control hardware. I loved designing hardware and software, and I could focus on it. When the time came to build prototypes and manage BOMs and shop vendors for parts and all the niggly crap that surrounds actually building something, there were people who did that.

One day, all of those people were laid off, and we engineers had to start doing all of that work ourselves. Suddenly I was spending 20% of my time doing my job, and 80% on my time doing the jobs of all of the support people who got canned.

I didn't stay too long after that, and neither did any other engineer who was good enough to get a job during a recession.

Comment: I mail them a check (Score 1) 368

by EmagGeek (#46756655) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

I send in my pound of flesh yesterday.

Some third party companies accept credit and debit card payments on behalf of the IRS for a fee. I think you can also just put your routing and checking number on your 1040 form and they will debit your payment directly via ACH.

As far as filing, my accountant prepares the 50 or so schedules and forms that I need to send in every year...

Sci-Fi

Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful? 720

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-the-end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it-and-i-feel-disenfranchised dept.
An anonymous reader writes: "Young people, when choosing a profession, are often told to 'do what you love.' That's why we have experts in such abstruse fields as medieval gymel. But let's talk hypotheticals: if there's a worldwide catastrophe in which civilization is interrupted, somebody specializing in gymel wouldn't provide much use to fellow survivors. In a post-apocalypse world, medical doctors would be useful, as would most scientists and engineers. The bad news for Slashdotters is that decades without computers would render computer science and related professions useless. What do you consider to be the most useful and mostly useless post-apocalypse professions? How long would it take for society to rebuild enough for your profession to be useful?"
Earth

Study Rules Out Global Warming Being a Natural Fluctuation With 99% Certainty 836

Posted by Soulskill
from the let's-blame-the-dinosaurs dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A study out of McGill University sought to examine historical temperature data going back 500 years in order to determine the likelihood that global warming was caused by natural fluctuations in the earth's climate. The study concluded there was less than a 1% chance the warming could be attributed to simple fluctuations. 'The climate reconstructions take into account a variety of gauges found in nature, such as tree rings, ice cores, and lake sediments. And the fluctuation-analysis techniques make it possible to understand the temperature variations over wide ranges of time scales. For the industrial era, Lovejoy's analysis uses carbon-dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels as a proxy for all man-made climate influences – a simplification justified by the tight relationship between global economic activity and the emission of greenhouse gases and particulate pollution, he says. ... His study [also] predicts, with 95% confidence, that a doubling of carbon-dioxide levels in the atmosphere would cause the climate to warm by between 2.5 and 4.2 degrees Celsius. That range is more precise than – but in line with — the IPCC's prediction that temperatures would rise by 1.5 to 4.5 degrees Celsius if CO2 concentrations double.'"

Comment: It's not a license to speed (Score 5, Insightful) 322

by EmagGeek (#46730099) Attached to: Can You Buy a License To Speed In California?

It's the cops extorting money. It's not just speeding. This creates the appearance that, if you do not buy the membership, you'll be stopped and shown absolutely no mercy, and may even have charges trumped up against you - or otherwise be punished.

This is tantamount to soliciting bribes.

The Almighty Buck

Can You Buy a License To Speed In California? 322

Posted by Soulskill
from the downside-is-that-you-have-to-be-in-california dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: "Alex Mayyasi reports that in the parking lots of Silicon Valley's venture capital firms, expensive cars gleam in the California sun and a closer look reveals that the cars share a mysterious detail: they nearly all have a custom license plate frame that reads, 'Member. 11-99 Foundation.' Are the Bay Area's wealthy all part of some sort of illuminati group that identifies each other by license plate instead of secret handshakes? The answer is the state highway patrol — the men and women that most people interact with only when getting ticketed for speeding. A number of the frames read 'CHP 11-99 Foundation,' which is the full name of a charitable organization that supports California Highway Patrol officers and their families in times of crisis. Donors receive one license plate as part of a $2,500 'Classic' level donation, or two as part of a bronze, silver, or gold level donation of $5,000, $10,000, or $25,000. Rumor has it, according to Mayyasi, that the license plate frames come with a lucrative return on investment. As one member of a Mercedes-Benz owners community wrote online back in 2002: 'I have the ultimate speeding ticket solution. I paid $1800 for a lifetime membership into the 11-99 foundation. My only goal was to get the infamous 'get out of jail' free license plate frame.'

The 11-99 Foundation has sold license plate frames for most of its 32 year existence, and drivers have been aware of the potential benefits since at least the late 1990s. But attention to the issue in 2006-2008 led the foundation to stop giving out the frames. An article in the LA Times asked 'Can Drivers Buy CHP Leniency?' and began by describing a young man zipping around traffic — including a police cruiser — and telling the Times that he believed his 11-99 frames kept him from receiving a ticket. But the decision was almost irrelevant to another thriving market: the production and sale of fake 11-99 license plate frames. But wait — the CHP 11-99 Foundation also gives out membership cards to big donors. 'Unless you have the I.D. in hand when (not if) I stop you,' says one cop, 'no love will be shown.'"
Government

Cost Skyrockets For United States' Share of ITER Fusion Project 172

Posted by Soulskill
from the burning-plasma-and-benjamins dept.
sciencehabit writes: "ITER, the international fusion experiment under construction in Cadarache, France, aims to prove that nuclear fusion is a viable power source by creating a 'burning plasma' that produces more energy than the machine itself consumes. Although that goal is at least 20 years away, ITER is already burning through money at a prodigious pace. The United States is only a minor partner in the project, which began construction in 2008. But the U.S. contribution to ITER will total $3.9 billion — roughly four times as much as originally estimated — according to a new cost estimate released yesterday. That is about $1.4 billion higher than a 2011 cost estimate, and the numbers are likely to intensify doubts among some members of Congress about continuing the U.S. involvement in the project."

FORTRAN is for pipe stress freaks and crystallography weenies.

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