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Comment: Re:To be more precise, Amazon will collect on taxe (Score 4, Insightful) 227

by swillden (#49762097) Attached to: Amazon Decides To Start Paying Tax In the UK

That assumes that the business can raise prices without consequence, which is an invalid assumption.

Only if the competition can avoid the taxes. If all of the players in the market get hit with the same taxes, then all of them absolutely can and will raise prices, and there will be no consequences.

Taxes are a percentage of profits, and are not deductible from revenue when calculating profits. So if Amazon raises their prices (and, assuming no change in consumer behavior, their revenue) by 10%, they also increase the amount of taxes they owe by 10%. So now they have to raise their prices again to cover the additional tax, lather rinse repeat.

This is a standard financial calculation, and a trivial one. The tax is 10%, so the increase is 10%, but there's 10% tax on that, so 1%, meaning the increase needs to be 11%, continue ad infinitum (literally). In other words, the new price needs to be 11.1111...% higher than the old one to keep profit margins unchanged. More generally, the increase needs to be the sum of the infinite series with terms r^n. This series is convergent if r < 1, and converges to 1/(1-r). So for a 25% tax, the company needs to increase prices by 1-1/(1-.25) = 33.333...% to keep profit margins unchanged after accounting for the new tax.

Of course, it doesn't quite happen like that. In practice, companies don't instantly raise prices. They do take the hit for a while, where it gets absorbed by the investors, not the customers. Then they allocate a portion of the losses to employees, in the form of reduced raises, or benefits. Then they raise prices. But eventually they get back to a steady state of roughly the same return on assets that they had before the tax hike.

Comment: Re:To be more precise, Amazon will collect on taxe (Score 5, Insightful) 227

by swillden (#49762053) Attached to: Amazon Decides To Start Paying Tax In the UK

Specifically, all corporate taxes paid come from three categories of individuals: consumers, who pay higher prices for items to cover the taxes; employees, who make lower wages to cover the taxes; and shareholders, who earn lower returns (and note that the two former categories are often also shareholders, via their pension plans). Suppliers can also lose, but they're generally corporations as well, with their own employees and investors who actually eat the loss. In the long run, though, the investors don't lose because capital flows away from lower returns and towards higher ones. So companies must find ways to keep their returns up to somewhere near the mean rate of return.

Once you understand that no taxes are paid by corporations, ever, then you should also recognize that corporate taxes are not only ultimately paid by individuals, but the individuals almost never realize they're paying it. How many people know their prices would be lower, wages higher, or pension more secure, if it weren't for corporate taxes? And, therefore, how many voters have any interest in opposing corporate taxation? To politicians and voters, corporate taxes look almost like free money. Ratchet up the corporate taxes and no people get hurt, just those nasty corporations. (Actually, politicians sometimes get even more value out of threatening corporate taxes than enacting them, since it tends to encourage said corporations to buy off, er, donate to their re-election funds.)

I assert that while taxes are necessary, the electorate should see and understand exactly what they're paying, so they can evaluate the value they're receiving for the money they're paying. Hidden taxes are evil, and therefore corporate taxes are evil, and should be abolished, not raised.

Comment: Re:Good thing climate change isn't real! (Score 1) 293

by tbannist (#49761515) Attached to: Larson B Ice Shelf In Antarctica To Disintegrate Within 5 Years

Didn't you criticize me earlier for "smear attempts" and "ad hominems", saying it was a "dick move"?

Indeed, I did. But an "ad hominem" is not always a dick move, and not always falacious. It is acceptable to offer valid, topical criticism of a person's character or skills when it is material to the argument and the person has been offered as an authority. In other words, when you offer Dr. Spencer as a scientific expert, you make his credentials as a scientist fair game for criticism. So, in this case, offering evidence that Spencer may be a poor scientist is not only acceptable, it is generally expected as a rebuttal. You, on the other hand, wrote "SkS is a really, really bad site." That's not valid or topical criticism, and therefore is actually a fallacious ad hominem. So because you failed to provide valid criticism, it is in fact a "dick move". Eventually, you provided some weak criticism of a highly acclaimed paper by some of the people at SkS as justification for this evaluation, but even if I accepted that the criticism were in good faith, which I do not, it would barely be relevant.

Frankly, you seem to have a problem with understanding context and circumstances.

Additionally, I linked to three non-SkS sites that detail gross errors in the construction of that graph or the similar graph it was originally based off of, and your response is an article that mistakenly criticizes an SkS article that criticizes Spencer for errors made in a completely different forum, and claims their response to a different event contains cherry-picked data because it does not start in the same year as a graph which they make no reference to. Frankly, the article you cited appears to be written by someone who takes very little care in his writing or his reasoning. For example, it really looks like couldn't even be bothered to read the title of the article he's criticizing because the title clearly says they are debunking mistakes that Spencer made in a public appearance. One can only assume the author is grossly incompetent or grossly negligent. Of course, none that really matters, because I didn't link to that article on Skeptical Science in the first, so his invalid criticism actually has nothing to do with any of the valid criticism I provided that explains how Dr. Spencer has (intentionally or not) manipulated the data in that graph to make his position look better, and in the process produced a very misleading graph.

And according to the article you linked, if you really believe it, you should believe that the new graph that you linked contains cherry picked data (and is therefore invalid) since it also does not begin in 1979, but expecting any sort of consistency from you is clearly expecting too much.

Comment: Re:Pot, meet kettle (Score 1) 227

by swillden (#49756299) Attached to: Asteroid Risk Greatly Overestimated By Almost Everyone

Global warming is a sloooooooooooooooooow process

Not necessarily. Greenland ice core records show that in the past the planet has seen temperature shifts of up to 7 C in as little as 30 years. 7 C is huge. It's like transporting Moscow to Rome. Of course, we have no idea what caused such rapid changes in the past. It wasn't CO2 levels, or particulates.

Comment: Re:Good thing climate change isn't real! (Score 1) 293

by tbannist (#49756289) Attached to: Larson B Ice Shelf In Antarctica To Disintegrate Within 5 Years

Unfortunately, Dr. Spencer has a history of getting these graphs wrong.

Additionally, it should be noted that Dr. Spencer is a signatory to An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming, which states that "Earth and its ecosystems – created by God's intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence – are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting". His use as an expert on climate matters is significantly diminished by that public declaration that "god will fix it for us". If his signing of that declaration is sincere, he is no longer performing scientific research.

Comment: Re:Math (Score 1) 227

by swillden (#49756245) Attached to: Asteroid Risk Greatly Overestimated By Almost Everyone

i would not be surprised if humans died off within a couple centuries after that.

I would. If one or more isolated populations managed to survive more than a couple of generations after the event, I think it's highly likely that they'd continue to survive indefinitely. The worst of the changes would be past, and they'd clearly have learned how to survive in the new environment, else they'd have died sooner.

Human intelligence makes us highly adaptable, as evidenced by the extraordinary diversity of environments in which we live, and lived even before the advent of modern technology. Humans who lack the necessary knowledge of how to survive in a particular environment are at severe risk of death any place on the planet, but if they manage to survive for even a year or two, odds are that they'll have learned enough to be able to extend that time almost indefinitely.

Comment: Re:Good thing climate change isn't real! (Score 1) 293

by tbannist (#49754747) Attached to: Larson B Ice Shelf In Antarctica To Disintegrate Within 5 Years

Lol. Your interpretation is baffling. If I say it is "extremely likely" that you will get more than half your money back, would you interpret that to mean you are likely to get 100% of your money back? Or that you are likely to get at least 50% of your money back?

If your lawyer tells you that is "exetrmely likely" that you get more than half your money back, and that his best estimate is that you'll get all of it. Do you then conclude that you'll only get half?

Your problem is you are applying informal English assumptions to a formal document, and then using that to try to discount the very next sentence in the same paragraph.

Comment: Re:Good thing climate change isn't real! (Score 1) 293

by tbannist (#49754393) Attached to: Larson B Ice Shelf In Antarctica To Disintegrate Within 5 Years

"More than half the warming" since 1950 is their official, quantified position. You are ignoring the words right there in front of your face.

Read it again:

The evidence for human influence on the climate system has grown since the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in GHG concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together. The best estimate of the human-induced contribution to warming is similar to the observed warming over this period (Figure SPM.3).

The words "Extremely likely" qualify that there is a between 90% to 100% certainty that the statement is accurate, and as you should be aware, 100% is more than half. You are merely pretending that there is a different meaning because you don't want to acknowledge that you are incredibly and spectacularly wrong and that you are embarrassing yourself in public.

"God-damned idiot"? Weren't you saying something about "smear attempts" and "ad hominems", and how those are "dick moves"? And I used to think right-wingers were inconsistent hypocrites...

That's not an ad hominem or a smear attempt, it's an insult, because you are a ridiculously stubborn moron. I can only imagine how much trouble you have typing due to the puddles forming on your keyboard. How anybody conclude that you are anything but an idiot? When you are presented with clear evidence of your error, you choose to pretend the words don't mean what they mean, instead of admitting that you made a mistake. Frankly, I'm giving you more respect that you deserve.

Comment: Re:Good thing climate change isn't real! (Score 1) 293

by tbannist (#49753589) Attached to: Larson B Ice Shelf In Antarctica To Disintegrate Within 5 Years

I find it amusing that you are still capable of defending Sks after the travesty they produced. Much of the content on their blog is the same - but at least it's not masquerading as a scientific study!

This is nothing more than vapid posturing. You don't like the site because it's regularly used to prove how wrong you are.

I do agree that there seems to be some ambiguity in the report.

The is absolutely no ambiguity in the report you complete and utter moron. It's right there in black and white. You just choose to ignore the words in front of your face because you are a god-damned idiot.

Comment: Re:Good thing climate change isn't real! (Score 1) 293

by tbannist (#49750287) Attached to: Larson B Ice Shelf In Antarctica To Disintegrate Within 5 Years

You are reading the 2007 "summary for policy makers" (I'm sure you'll be surprised to discover that the summaries are often at odds with the reports themselves).

Given you demonstrated inability to read an understand entire paragraphs, I sincerely doubt that the summaries are at odds with the reports as often as you believe them to be. I find it more likely that are motivated to see disagreements where there are none.

Here's a link to the latest report (pdf):

It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in GHG concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together"

I put that last bit in bold so you can see they are indeed talking about "the sum total of all anthropogenic factors".

Did you finish reading the paragraph? Apparently not. The next line says:

The best estimate of the human-induced contribution to warming is similar to the observed warming over this period (Figure SPM.3).

Then did you look at the graph? Apparently not. The graph shows total anthropogenic warming as higher than observed warming.

It's clear you've never read the consensus report (couldn't even find it!) yet you have the gall to say I'm an ass?

What else should I call someone who takes a single sentence out of context and tries to use it to prove the exact opposite of what his source says? You are categorically, 100% wrong. The source you chose to support your argument explicitly and in plain english says that I am right and you are wrong. Then they put a graph next to it to reinforce that fact, and somehow you manage to miss both? You're wasting my time, jackass.

Why can't we just have a normal conversation about this?

Because you choose to act like an ass? Your only source explicitly says you're wrong, so why are you wasting my time?

Most of the predicted heating comes from climate sensitivity estimates, not CO2 directly. And the climate sensitivity estimates keep getting lower. Example:

Here's a tip: If you want to provide evidence of a trend, you need more than 1 data point.

So do the impacts from aerosols. Example:

Same here, this is a claim of a different trend with exactly one data point.

In other words, the latest research suggests even less warming than what the "muted" IPCC report predicts.

Personally, I wouldn't use a blog post that speculates about what a not-yet-released report might say as evidence for my case.

Obviously you have not done your research here either, although I can understand why a person might think that at first glance. They were behind that "97% agree" study that was quoted by Obama. Unfortunately it a was really really bad study. I like to think that even people who disagree will call out really really bad science when they see it, but apparently not. Integrity of science be damned.

The problem is that people like you who apparently wouldn't know science if it bit them on the ass, keep claiming that good science is bad and bad science is good, then you accuse anyone who disagrees with you of having no integrity...

Here is one of many scathing indictments of their "work":

That is one very long bitch-fest with a lot of argument by anecdote. The author is clearly angry and ranting, but frankly, I didn't see any point where he quantified the impact of his findings. The approach seems to be to throw accusation after accusation and then claim that the study must be garbage because of the number of accusations thrown at it. Additionally, when the author immediately makes the accusation of fraud whenever he discovers an error, it only serve to discredit his position and demonstrate a strong bias. I strongly suspect the reason why the author has gotten very little response from the journal is that he failed to show that the errors that he discovered were material to the results. Almost 12,000 papers were categorised, if 20 of them were categorised or improperly included then that's an error rate of 0.16%, which is an acceptable margin of error for most endeavours. Lastly, the author of that rant seems to engage in the same kind of selective reading and selective reasoning that you demonstrate here as well. The paper explicitly says that "Raters were then allowed to compare and justify or update their rating through the web system, while maintaining anonymity", and yet much of the linked blog post is ranting about the SkS people talking about comparing and justifying their ratings. I looked at a number of the accusations and what I found was that the sentences were often taken out of context and blatantly wrong accusations made about them, which frankly makes it look like the author is significantly more fraudulent than the fraud he's claiming to have found.

Additionally, you moved the goalposts here, I was talking about the SkS site which you claim is "really, really bad" but to show that you had to link to a site criticising a paper produced by some of the people at SkS. A study and their entire site are not the same thing at all, which just makes this seem like a smear attempt, an ad hominem, if you will. Dick moves like this are why you don't get respect, you just come off as an asshat who's trying to "win" at any cost.

Comment: Re:finally, some responsibility (Score 1) 545

by tbannist (#49744641) Attached to: California Senate Approves School Vaccine Bill

Interestingly enough, I just heard about a study of the effect of the measles vaccine in a country that recently started vaccinating against measles showed a 50% drop in child mortality after the introduction of the vaccine. It has long been known by the experts that measles is a "gateway disease" in that wild infections of measles re-tune your immune system to fight measles and only measles. This leads to an increased mortality rate from secondary infections because the survivors are effectively immune system compromised against anything that is not measles. However, the study found that the effect doesn't end between 6 months to 12 months after the infection as was previously thought, but continued at a less severe level for addition 4-5 years according to the epidemiological data they gathered.

Even if measles itself isn't fatal, being infected can make you more susceptible to other diseases and more likely to suffer the more severe effects of those diseases. So yes, we should continue vaccinating against a disease that we have eradicated in North America because it might be re-introduced into the population by someone from a different country. The risks do justify the precaution.

Comment: Re:Melting is normal (Score 1) 293

by tbannist (#49744573) Attached to: Larson B Ice Shelf In Antarctica To Disintegrate Within 5 Years

You know what does get graphed though? The proxy reconstructions up till the year 1900 are graphed, and then the instrumental record is graphed from the year 1900 onwards. As you have observed, it makes for a very, very scary and compelling looking graph. Starting after the year 1900 the trend radically changes, so much you would almost wonder if there was a methodology change starting at that point on the graph... Then you realize it's not just human emissions that started roughly then, but the methodology cut over. And Mann has been selling that straight faced to people for over a decade now.

We don't need to use proxies to estimate the termperatures when we have actual temperature records. It seems like you're trying to make something sinister out of using the best available data.

In addition to the availability of actual direct measurements since the 1900s, which greatly reduces the value of more recent proxy values, there are also some problems with getting recent data from some of the proxies. For instance, there is the divergence problem in dendroclimatology which seems to show that pollution (or other factors) may be inhibiting tree growth since the industrial revolution. I imagine there's probably some difficulty with ice cores as well, since it may be difficult to get recent temperature measurements from glaciers that are shrinking.

Of course, there are actually people studying these problems and even the quality of the calibration period which is used to match instrumental records to proxy values, you might want to try searching with the "proxy calibration" keyword, or reading up on the divergence problem in dendroclimatology.


Pre-Orders Start For Neo900 Open Source Phone 134

Posted by timothy
from the hello-operator dept.
New submitter JoSch1337 writes: After a year and a half of development, the Neo900 project now opened its web shop for the down payments of binding pre-orders for either a full Neo900 phone or the bare circuit board to upgrade an existing Nokia N900. The up-front down payment is necessary to now secure expensive "risk parts" like the modem, 1GB RAM and N900 cases. Thus, without pre-ordering now, there might not be enough parts left after the first batch.

The Neo900 is the spritual successor of the Nokia N900. The new circuit board can be placed into an existing N900 for better specs (faster CPU, more RAM, LTE modem) than the original device while still maintaining fremantle (maemo 5) backwards compatibility. Alternatively, a fully assembled phone can be purchased as well. The Neo900 will be fully operational without any binary blob running on the main CPU. While the modem still requires a non-free firmware, it is completely decoupled from the rest of the device (think of a LTE usb stick you put in your laptop) and can reliably be monitored or switched off by the operating system.

You can follow the development of the project in the maemo forum, read about the specs of the device or consult the FAQ

MATH AND ALCOHOL DON'T MIX! Please, don't drink and derive. Mathematicians Against Drunk Deriving