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Comment Re:That needs a stable solution, not a chaotic one (Score 1) 557

> The problem is, how do you determine who's disadvantaged?

Money, as it can be used to obtain pretty much all other advantages.

> but when you start to look at it carefully there's all sorts of possible issues. Some families are better at budgeting than others, so a family with lower income might have more money available for the kids than a family with higher income

This is not an inequality that we can (or should) correct for. People who work harder have a natural advantage. It's not right to take that away, as doing so hurts everyone. It was by gaining enough advantages to live lives where people could spend their time studying things like science that we obtained what we have now. We would all be worse off without this.

> It's a lot easier to tell if somebody is from X or Y group than to determine their level of disadvantage and what's necessary to help equalize their opportunities.

I disagree both with the idea that it's easier and the idea that it advances any sort of good for society.

Comment Re:Feminist vs egalitarian (Score 1) 557

There's a stable solution for that: help everyone who is disadvantaged, regardless of what they were born as. This will fix the bias over time without creating new victims.

Somehow it never gets put forth as an option, because enough people are more interested in their self-interest than in equality for everyone.

Comment That needs a stable solution, not a chaotic one. (Score 1) 557

In that case, you add x kg to the lighter side. But that's not at all what gets advocated. They advocate adding x kg to the X group or the Y group or whatever, rather than helping all disadvantaged people equally. If we always help those who are disadvantaged equally--regardless of whatever traits they were born with--the scales will tend towards balancing and the group interests will tend to be more aligned, as we're not deciding which groups are worthy or not worthy of society's support.

If we're always trying to figure out which group is or isn't disadvantaged based simply on group membership, rather than any observable facts, we trend towards a world where the group interests are in perpetual conflict. This is why equality cannot be achieved by perpetuating inequality against future generations. As shown, there's a way to address past inequality without creating new injustices that's stable over time.

I don't know about you, but I don't want to live in a world where society decides that you have less rights than someone else because of how you were born. Anyone who advocates treating others as lesser due to how they were born is some kind of KKK-level scumbag in my book.

Comment Are we reading the same US code? (Score 4, Informative) 93

No, if you haven't registered the work, you're only able to get actual damages (which is something like your 'customary rates' but it depends on what you can prove) rather than statutory damages and attorney's fees. Actual damages are close to what you said, but statutory damages are not "punitive" damages at all.

But don't take my word for it, read the actual law on the subject.

Oh, and it so happens that you can register just before filing suit, but a registration that isn't timely doesn't have the same presumption of validity that it would if you were registering long before there was a lawsuit close on the horizon.

Comment Re:Bullets are OK, but... (Score 5, Informative) 247

> One of the features of safety glass is that when it breaks there aren't (or many) pointy edges created.

Which kind of safety glass?

They were talking about windshields, those are laminated glass. That means you have two sheets of ordinary annealed glass (which DOES break into big, dagger-like sharp pieces) with a plastic sheet in between (which prevents those sharp pieces from going anywhere). Presumably, given an appropriate substrate, you could make laminate out of any glass-like sheet.

The other kind of safety glass is tempered. This causes the glass to be stressed along the edges so that when it does break, it breaks into a million tiny pieces (all of which are very, very sharp). It may also simultaneously pop, especially if hit along the edges. It's less dangerous because the pieces, while sharp, are simply too small to do any real damage even if, say, a piece explodes while you're holding it.

Source: I worked for a cut & temper operation, I've dealt with all kinds of glass.

Comment Re:In the name of Allah ! (Score 2) 1350

I don't want to discount the threat of fundimentalist religious lunatics(of any stripe), nor would I stand in the way of reasonable efforts to put them down, but lets be real here, and not blame an entire reliegon of 1.2 billion people for a handful of incidents, and fringe groups.

You a mixing a religion with it's followers. I have see no problem in blaming the religion of islam for what happened today, but I wouldn't dream of blaming the 1.2 billion followers of islam for it, as 1.199999999999999.. of them didn't have anything to do with it. The religion itself, however, have deep traditions of violence toward those who critizise or mock it, starting with the founder of the religion who himself ordered the killings of lots of poets writing critical poems about him, as well as others who dared question his legitimacy as god's prophet or in any ways mocked or disrespected him. As the prophet Muhammad is seen as the most perfect human being who ever lived, incapable of doing wrong, and is seen as an example to follow for all muslims(with his actions forming the basis of the Sharia laws), saying that what todays gunmen has nothing to do with islam is either dishonest, delusional or unfathomably naive.

Comment Re:islam (Score 1) 1350

I don't think it's Islam per se that's the problem here.

I do. Killing as a response to mocking is a tradition that was established by the prophet Muhammad himself. He ordered the killings of several poets for doing nothing else than writing negative poems about himself. Anyone who does not see how this is the reason for the killings today, considering that Muhammad is seen within islam as the most perfect human being ever and an example to follow for all muslims, is either delusional or extremely naive.

Comment Re:Real reason for suing peace.... (Score 1) 398

V2 had nowhere near the payload capacity for an early nuclear device. One tonne / 300 kilometers. Compare to more than four tonnes for little boy / fat man.

Also, Japan just didn't have the industrial capacity to wage war any longer-- it's just a question of how costly invasion was going to be. You can't tool up to build V2's and nukes in the face of invasion.

Also, there's the question of how many more times we would have nuked Japan in the meantime. We were about to be producing three per month. Probably would be good to build a stockpile, so maybe drop one every couple of weeks?

Comment Re:How surprising... not (Score 1) 110

> It's also much smaller than Earth and Venus, so the area exposed to the sun (from the sun's point of view) is around 12% of Earth's. So it gets much less heat.
And light.

It's dimmer on Mars because of the inverse square law, not because of Mars being smaller. Mars being smaller doesn't have much of a direct effect on temperature, either.

> The images we see from Mars are not what we would see if we were there - the cameras are adjusted for less light, and exposure pushed up so we can see things clearly.

I think you -severely- underestimate the dynamic range of the eye compared to practical cameras.

Comment Re:no (Score 1) 437

... Real airliners have fielded automated systems to avoid birds? Nope...

I am a big airplane nerd, have a license and many type ratings for interesting aircraft. I also do a lot of systems engineering. There are not many systems that intervene and take action on behalf of a human. You can find various kinds of fairly-static control loops on aircraft (autopilots, pressurization systems). There's some things that take immediate protective action, like circuit breakers. You can find things like stick-pushers that will apply forward pressure to the stick/yoke after some time of warning of an incipient stall.. You can also find things like envelope protection / more advanced "do what i mean" control laws on Airbus.

But when there's a fire on an airliner, it's almost always the flight crew that pushes the button to discharge the fire bottle. When there's an incipient collision, it's a flight crew who listens to the order from TCAS and decides whether to comply.

The thing is, yes, computers are really good at responding to understood, common failure modes. Aviation accidents have progressed beyond understood, common failure modes to esoteric strange events. This is because we've augmented human ability with CRM, automation of routine things, additional alarms and alarm prioritization, etc, etc, etc. Remaining failure modes exercise the redundancy in unanticipated ways-- like someone taping over (and not removing the tape from) all 27 static ports on the aircraft and the static ports leaking air out but not allowing air in. People are good at problem solving and figuring out what is going on in those types of circumstances. Machines are very bad, currently, at that type of anomaly detection and resolution.

There are times that having a human in the loop means a human does something stupid and kills everyone aboard. E.g. AF447 (though I wonder how well a machine would do, because the Airbus fell out of the more sophisticated control laws to a base level of automation because of the contradictory sensor readings). There are also more times when a human with a high level of systems knowledge and troubleshooting.

Overall, the philosophy is this-- We make the flight crew behave like a machine under ordinary circumstances, with a lot of automation of routine flight and decision support and checklists. When things go wrong and off the scripted checklists, we instruct the flight crew to use the automation if possible (autopilot, etc) and to troubleshoot systematically, to communicate with each other and divide up manual responsibilities, and to effectively question each others decisions while keeping on the problem.

This is what the human factors crowd and the NTSB have decided is the best path for aviation for the foreseeable future. Perhaps you know better? Even Airbus, who is on the leading edge of having the computers do more and more, doesn't go anywhere near as far as you describe.

Comment Re:Very Bad Precedent (Score 1) 225

No, I think the rules are broken.

The policy justification behind AMT was to force people to pay at least a certain minimum rate of tax on actual income. To catch some of the various tax avoidance strategies, it considers different timing for when gains are actually recognized.

If you have 100,000 stock options for $0.01, and the stock is at $100.00, and you exercise those options-- you now hold stock worth $10,000,000 and paid $10,000. If the stock then goes to 0, you just missed out on $10,000,000 you could have had by selling earlier. You have a $10,000 capital loss. But the IRS will show up saying you owe $2,600,000. But hey, they're generous-- you can apply what you're able to pay against future years' taxes.

On the other hand, if you buy 100,000 shares of stock for $0.01, and then the stock goes to $100.00 and then down to $0.00, you have a $10,000 capital loss.

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