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Comment Won't buy from Motorola or Verizon again! (Score 4, Interesting) 122

How do I inform Verizon and Motorola that I won't buy an android phone from them EVER AGAIN until they start supporting their products with security patches?

My phone STILL hasn't been patched from the first stagefright vulnerability. I've disabled functionality on the phone in order to protect it.

I'm downright upset about the lack of security fixes from Motorola/Verizon.

Seriously, how do I let those two corporations know in an effective way that they'll NEVER get another phone purchase from me until they've changed their do-nothing security practices? Not one penny!

Comment Numbers for C given, no numbers for V (Score 4, Informative) 144

Energy stored is C * V * V / 2. Telling us C without V is sort of like measuring the capacity of a gas tank by giving you the length, but leaving out the depth and width.

They report capacitances in the 1000 millifarads for a "centimeter scale" device.

If the maximum voltage is 1V, then we have an unimpressive energy storage of 0.5 J in their "centimeter scale" device.

AAA batteries can store about 5000 J, by contrast. To match that, these would need to be charged to 100V.

Without the V number this article is disappointingly uninformative.


Comment The world is crying out for better pain killers (Score 2) 174

Medical marijuana has a lot of promise as pain management.

Acetaminophen (paracetamol) doesn't work all that well and can kill your liver if you have a relatively mild overdose.

Ibuprofin and NSAIDs don't work all that well for severe pain and also can have nasty side effects like stomach ulceration.

Opiates do work well, even for severe pain, but they have lots of very nasty side effects, lose effectiveness, and become addictive. These are really horrible drugs.

Humanity is crying out for better painkillers, and marijuana, yes, medical marijuana, has promise there. Or do you not consider management of severe chronic pain a valid medical reason?

And there are not a "tiny number" of people with chronic pain. I'd argue ALL the other drugs are as bad or worse than marijuana for that application.


Comment "send in a check" (Score 1) 1291

People keep saying "why don't you send in your money, then?"

What's wrong with wanting to live under the same rules as everyone else? Obviously, this person could make a martyr of himself and pay a greater share than rightfully belongs to him of what needs to be done to maintain a civilized society, but is that fair?

How well do you think a Government by contribution would work? D'you think it could actually provide for a common defence? No?

OK, so what's the big deal with requiring everyone to contribute to that? OK, now what else is worthy of a required contribution? That is what we decide as a society. He's arguing that we need to be taxed more for better roads and healthier, educated kids. If we, as a society, decide that we want to pursue these goals, why is it *fair* that only those who care about those things be made to pay for them, instead of everyone who benefits, either directly or indirectly?


Comment Wrong situation, one owner and one worker (Score 1) 1291

Consider two people on a desert island. One owns the island and gets to decide the disposition of every single resource. The other owns nothing and has to work for everything he gets.

The worker converts the capital into the food for the owner, and the owner refuses to work because he owns everything.

Or, the owner decides to do the work himself and graciously allows the worker to starve to death.

Now consider labor in 1970's. Labor got 2x the share of corporate productivity then that labor gets now in terms of purchasing power. The owners have now decided that labor gets 1/2 the share of corporate productivity, or less purchasing power that they got in 1970's. Soon, owners will decide that labor gets 0% of the purchasing power.

Get it now? Who is more deserving, the worker or the owner?


Comment Provide reference, please (corrected) (Score 1) 1291

I challenge your claim that entitlement programs are 2/3 overhead.

(corrected due to technical problems)

Social security overhead seems lower than 2%.

Medicare, 1.4%.

SNAP lower than 1%.

Maybe you didn't bother doing any checking of the claim before repeating it?


Comment Provide reference, please (Score 1) 1291

I challenge your claim that entitlement programs are 2/3 overhead.

Social security overhead seems

Medicare, 1.4%.


Maybe you didn't bother doing any checking of the claim before repeating it?


Comment The masses won't have a 3D printer (Score 1) 1291

Because they won't command the resources to buy a printer or the resources to feed it raw materials it requires. They won't have land to live on or food to eat.

If you're a serf, you have nothing except what your masters let you have, and the masters will insist upon controlling 100% of the resources, 100% of the land, or at least, that's what seems to be the trend in this country.

In the seventies, labor got 2x the share of corporate productivity that labor gets now. As more workers bid on the same job (automation ensures this), labor will get even less of the pie.

The trend is that if you don't already command resources, you are screwed. The poor won't have 3D printers, they won't have a place to put a 3D printer, and they won't have raw materials to print 3D stuff with either, and they won't have an education to know what to 3D print even if they had a 3D printer.


Comment A lowering tide lowers all boats (Score 1) 1291

*All* labor is going to be hit, and already is being hit. What happens if there are no factory jobs? Then everyone gets a college education and goes after the higher level jobs. (This has happened.) What happens if there are not a lot of higher level jobs? Then it becomes a race to the bottom, people desperate for work underbid everyone else's wages.

If labor got the same share of corporate productivity today that labor got in 1970, everyone would be getting paid twice as much in terms of purchasing power. However, wages have been held down and the fruits of corporate productivity has been going to the rich instead. It's only going to get worse as labor supply increases due to automation of ANYTHING else.


Comment $250k per homeless person per year in services? (Score 1) 1291

Why is this not a completely winning argument in favor of a safety net for the homeless? I genuinely want to know.

Is it because attempts to house the homeless result in unlivable high crime slums that the homeless would rather be homeless than live in?

Is it because those in charge really want people they feel better than to suffer so badly that they're willing to pay MORE in order to ensure that happens?

Based on your numbers, I'm inclined to side with you, however, d'you have any references/URLs to point at? They'd be useful for winning over others who can be persuaded by facts (it's of course hopeless to use facts on many people.)



Comment It's actually not hard to make people smarter (Score 2) 112

Average intelligence of people worldwide today is higher than it was.

1) Better nutrition
2) Better medical care
3) Reduced disease burden
4) Elimination of environmental toxins (lead for one!)

So no, it's actually not impossible AT ALL to make people smarter, though it may be impossible to make an individual such as yourself smarter..... But who knows, in a few years there might be a pill.


Comment Need legislation to fix ID theft NOW (Score 4, Insightful) 71

The fact that ID theft is a problem for consumers is mostly CROCK.

Why should lenders be allowed to commit libel WITH IMPUNITY against innocent consumers?

It is THEIR fault they didn't bother doing MINIMUM DUE DILIGENCE before loaning someone money!

What kind of IDIOT gives out money without VERIFYING who they are giving it to? Does ANYONE think that a SSN and DoB are "verification" of identity?

Companies and people should NOT be able to use credit reporting agencies to libel someone whose identity they haven't positively established with IMPUNITY.

Congress should IMMEDIATELY pass a law that if a lender can't provide POSITIVE PROOF that the person whose reputation they are trashing is in fact the SELF SAME person who they loaned money to, they should not be allowed to:

1) Put ANY adverse information in their credit report
2) Make ANY attempt to continue collection after the person asserts ONCE that he wasn't the person they loaned the money to

It should NEVER have been allowed that lenders get a free pass to be careless with THEIR money and then impose ANY of the cost of being defrauded due to THEIR OWN NEGLIGENCE on the innocent.

Write Congress on this one, folks!

Also, lawyers, how about a class action lawsuit against lenders for libel?



Comment How about floating solar cells? (Score 1) 234

Float solar cell rafts on top to shield the water from the sun and limit evaporation somewhat. And generate power at the same time.

Not my idea: someone proposed that we do this on Lake Powell, which loses enough water every year to fill the water needs of a pretty large city, maybe even Phoenix.


Comment Does Lockheed believe in that design? Where's $$? (Score 5, Insightful) 337

At the ICOPS conference (International Conference on Plasma Science) I asked a couple of professors what they thought of this.

They thought it was pretty telling that Lockheed wasn't investing a lot more money in this concept than they are.

If Lockheed isn't putting significant money into it, maybe you should think twice about putting your money (figuratively speaking) into it.....

That said, I really hope Lockheed does succeed with this, and starts shipping units like crazy and displacing coal power production worldwide.


C++ is the best example of second-system effect since OS/360.