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Comment Re:This wasn't an engineering decision... (Score 5, Insightful) 569

... at one point in time it would have been unethical to not return an escaped slave.
Today's hint: if you have to make ridiculous statements like this to support your point, then you probably don't have a point.

The ethics argument is not about the level of pollution that the cars were emitting: the bigger issue is that they were *lying* about those levels, thus depriving everyone (consumers, regulators, people who breath) of the information needed to make informed choices.

Comment Re:The first question that comes to my mind (Score 3, Informative) 546

Throw enough resources at a[n] encryption problem, it becomes a matter of time until it's cracked.

That is completely wrong, unless you define 'enough time' as 'longer than the age of the universe'.

More here (scroll down to the quote from Applied Cryptography):

Comment Re:Proof (Score 5, Insightful) 546

It seems like their even disclosing the fact they know if the Russians and Chinese had access would be considered a state secret.
This. A thousand times this.

Did MI6 really blow sources in both China and Russia just so they could make Snowden look bad? Why would they do that?

It all sounds like the 'drained laptop' stories from early on in the Snowden saga, which turned out to be just speculation: http://publiceditor.blogs.nyti...

Comment Re:You shouldn't need insurance for most things (Score 1) 739

Where does diabetes fall on the cost-effectiveness spectrum? Testing isn't expensive (sometimes you just need a scale), and complications from untreated diabetes can be extremely costly (and go up if you include disability costs).

A quick bit of googling turned up this article: Preventive Efforts in Type 2 Diabetes Are Cost Effective.

Comment Re:Get ready to submit an itemized cell phone bill (Score 1) 161

I've worked at firms that just gave us a per-diem, so I doubt it's an IRS thing. Here, they indicate that receipts are *not* required (from ):

Documentary evidence is not needed if ... you have meals or lodging expenses while traveling away from home for which you account to your employer under an accountable plan, and you use a per diem allowance method that includes meals and/or lodging.

Comment Re:Poor material choice (Score 4, Informative) 162

they really should have allocated sufficient weight budget for non-aluminum wheels.

In the FA, it notes that the weight of the wheels isn't a stand-alone issue. During the landing, any extra wheel weight would significantly stress the bogies and rockers that hold the wheels, so you'd need much more strength (and weight) there.

The article also notes that they made their decisions based on the surfaces they expected; they found many more 'strongly cemented vertical rocks' than they planned for.

Comment Re:CAGW is a trojan horse (Score 0) 725

Thank you Jay Maynard!
We needed someone in this conversation to serve as an example of the kind of stupidity described in the summary. Thank you for taking the bullet!

why the warming has stopped for the last couple of decades
But you may have gone a bit too far here .... only an idiot would pretend to believe this easily-disproved point. It makes your post look a bit too much like satire.

Comment Re:I think this is bullshit (Score 1) 1746

Many folks have proposed the "government doesn't use the term marriage" thing. It has a few problems.

First of all, it's a bit like Lucy and the football that's she's holding for Charlie Brown to kick. You're effectively saying "sorry gay people - we really don't want you to have marriage, so we're going to take it away from everyone".

But the biggie: it's a tremendous amount of work to solve a non-problem. There are literally thousands thousands of laws, in literally thousands of jurisdictions, that reference marriage. We'd have to change all of these, and somehow convince people to start using a different terminology, to eliminate a confusion that doesn't exist. We already distinguish between the legal status filed at the county courthouse, and the ceremony that may or not be performed at a church.

I protested that this could create a conflict wherein a church could be sued for refusing to allow a gay couple to use the church for a wedding.
Not going to happen. In the US, the Westboro Baptist Church still has tax-exempt status. We still have freedom for religious groups as vile as that one, so churches that only refuse gay weddings won't be an issue.
I didn't rub it in the faces of my gay friends
Is that really the phrasing you wanted to use?

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An engineer is someone who does list processing in FORTRAN.