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Comment: Re:I'll believe it when I see it... (Score 1) 44

by Rei (#49764673) Attached to: India Ends Russian Space Partnership and Will Land On the Moon Alone

"Love" is the nice way to put it. "Largess at the expense of all other solar system exploration" would be more accurate. Here's a graph. And it's always the same stupid justifications - how many times can we pretend to be excited about "revelations" that Mars was once in its past a wet place? Or that we're going to stumble into life any time soon in its perchlorate-rich, destroys-organics-on-contact regolith?

And it's not just huge amounts of money that they're wasting - they're also throwing away most of the remainder of our plutonium supply. At least there's money to start making it again, but it'll take time. Plutonium is precious, and it's needed for outer planet missions.

Comment: Re:Twenty five years of science destruction... (Score 1) 44

by Rei (#49764639) Attached to: India Ends Russian Space Partnership and Will Land On the Moon Alone

I hate to be the one to tell you but academia generally pays poorly outside of the US. More so in a country like Russia that is still clawing its way back up from the economic collapse that occurred during the transition from communism to capitalism.

Perhaps if most of the country's wealth wasn't concentrated in the hands of a handful of corrupt oligarchs who live like a modern version of Roman emperors they'd be able to pay researchers a living wage.

Comment: Re:Truth be told... (Score 1) 95

by Smallpond (#49764273) Attached to: Al-Qaeda's Job Application Form Revealed

These 'applicants' would probably never consider the path to jihad if they had a decent job and the ability to earn a living to raise a family

The unemployment rates are 27% with even higher rates for people in their twenties
The application takes advantage of their desires to have a 'real' job and twists it into continuing strife that does nothing to improve their economic conditions

The 9/11 hijackers included an architect, a law student and a school teacher. A significant number of suicide bombers have technical backgrounds, have families and have had a pretty good life. They have found solutions to the problems of jobs, food and home life and choose to focus on a perceived evil in the world that they don't think they can change in any other way.

Comment: Re:I guess that if a Mathematician... (Score 1) 110

by Smallpond (#49763793) Attached to: <em>A Beautiful Mind</em> Mathematician John F. Nash Jr. Dies

When Barack Hussein Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize for doing ... oh yeah, absolutely nothing, the entire credibility of all Nobel prizes took a swift kick in the gonads. Including those based on science and mathematics.

It was to make up for having awarded it to Henry Kissinger in 1973.

Comment: Re:Just wait, Islam will lead us to another one (Score 1) 47

by ultranova (#49763709) Attached to: Universe's Dark Ages May Not Be Invisible After All

Banning Mosques is cultural self-defense.

You mean cultural suicide. After all, it violates the freedom of religion, which is absolutely vital for the marketplace of ideas to exist. That marketplace is the essence of Western Culture, underlaying every currently reigning local ideas.

The only thing mosques do is give the local populace a chance to copy whatever good ideas Islam might have, and of course the other way around. And the only ones it threatens are those who are on top in current status quo and wish it to remain.

Comment: Re:To be more precise, Amazon will collect on taxe (Score 1) 188

by ultranova (#49763423) Attached to: Amazon Decides To Start Paying Tax In the UK

Raise the tax rate to 75% of the corporate profit and see what happens...

Companies will reinvest revenue rather than pay it out as dividends. Also, stock prices fall as future expected dividends are cut by 75%, and then rise again as said reinvestment makes economy grow faster.

Actually, this could be just the stimulus economy needs...

Comment: Re:Ducted fans? (Score 1) 71

by Rei (#49763377) Attached to: The Hoverboard Flies Closer To Reality

You don't need "antigravity" (which in all likelihood is impossible). Diamagnetic hoverboards would be possible... if we could make ridiculously powerful, compact halbach arrays in the board. Also you'd need a clever mechanism to detect and deal with flying over ferromagnetic material, or otherwise it's going to smack into your board really hard.

Comment: Re:To be more precise, Amazon will collect on taxe (Score 1) 188

by ultranova (#49763375) Attached to: Amazon Decides To Start Paying Tax In the UK

The only way to do that is raise prices.

If you can make more profit by rising prices, why haven't you done so already?

If I am unable to raise prices that far, then I'll invest the $10 million of capital somewhere else.

"Somewhere else" is taxed too, so it'll do you no good. You'll simply have to settle for a level of profit the market can offer, the same as everyone else. Of course, you could sit on your $10 million and let inflation eat it away.

If my current profit is $1 million and you now say it will be only $100K due to new taxes, then either my prices have to go way up, or the product/service won't be offered.

In the latter case your profit will be negative due to inflation. $100K is the best option you have. And, should you decide to pass as a protest or whatever, that's okay too, your competitors will gladly expand their market.

Comment: Re:Mark Zuckerburg (Score 1) 103

by ultranova (#49763257) Attached to: Oculus Founder Hit With Lawsuit

Definition of irony:

a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often amusing as a result.

But if you're aware of the concept of irony, and people find it amusing, and that people are fond of posting things they find amusing, this logically means that you're expecting something unexpected, which thus is not unexpected, thus nothing can be ironic to one who knows of irony, not even this very fact.

Comment: Re: This isn't a question (Score 1) 501

by ultranova (#49763217) Attached to: Ireland Votes Yes To Same-Sex Marriage

There is no parsing of the OP that indicates he's talking about suicide.

If you drive someone to suicide, is it really a suicide or a homicide?

Sure, they're dead because they were too weak to deal with your shit, but then again, the guy I shot is dead because he was too weak/slow/unobservant to shoot me first.

Comment: Re:This isn't a question (Score 1) 501

by ultranova (#49763147) Attached to: Ireland Votes Yes To Same-Sex Marriage

Why just two people? That seems like it discriminates against people who want three people in a marriage...

It does, but removing gender requirements from marriage law is much simpler - and thus less likely to have unintended negative consequences - than allowing 3- or n-way marriages. The law doesn't have proper encapsulation or interfaces, thus every change could interact with anything else - but other laws are already supposed to be gender-neutral, so it shouldn't.

Comment: Re:This isn't a question (Score 1) 501

by ultranova (#49763063) Attached to: Ireland Votes Yes To Same-Sex Marriage

But if you're a polygamist who adopted, who gets the kids...Sue or Molly? Who gets the house? Which one makes the call to keep you on a feeding tube while you're in the coma?

Wouldn't these issues be solved by what this post argued for: incorporated marriage? So the answer to all these would be "the legal entity created through the marriage contract", which is controlled by its members.

Comment: IoT -- more gadgets, less intelligence? (Score 2) 191

by swb (#49762803) Attached to: Google Developing 'Brillo' OS For Internet of Things

Some devices like Nest seem to add more intelligence to things we already use, but some devices just seem to add gadgets without actually making things more intelligent.

Where are my outlets with an integrated, network accessible power meter? Or the smart electrical panel that can have circuit priorities and acceptable power source types assigned to it so that when I run off a Tesla PowerWall I get maximum utility from the power? Or even the main power meter that lets me see my electrical utilization in real time?

So much of the IoT just seems to be about adding new gadgets whose utility seems limited while ignoring the rest of the house which is dumb.

What sin has not been committed in the name of efficiency?