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Comment: Re:Saw it in person (Score 1) 27

by TWX (#49630357) Attached to: SpaceX Launch Abort Test Successful
My wife worked on the spin-motors for the NASA LDSD test platform. Lots and lots and lots of rocket engines do this. Ejector seat motors come to mind- they want the pilot up and out quickly and without burning him up inside of the cockpit. Quick puff and the chair is out. Admittedly the pilot is now almost three inches shorter from spinal compression, but he should recover at least half of that.

Comment: Re:nonsense (Score 1) 270

by TWX (#49629601) Attached to: The Medical Bill Mystery
You're describing one system, not all systems that use single-payer. I can't remember if it was Germany or a Nordic nation that was profiled, but for them you just showed up for GP visits.

No system is perfect. Our system is so far from perfect that there are very few changes that could really make it a lot worse.

Comment: Re:No single payer (Score 5, Insightful) 270

by TWX (#49629165) Attached to: The Medical Bill Mystery
The rich always have the means to seek what they think is the best when it costs more, in any category that they choose to. That's what being rich does for you.

What I want is a medical system where if I get a bill for services, I get one bill , not a bill from the hospital, a bill from the nurse practicioner, and a separate bill from the doctor that's "responsible" whom I never even saw but because the nurse practicioner asked them a question they get in on the action.

One of the real problems that the presence of medical insurance not paid for directly by the patient has created is that the patient is disconnected from the methods of payment, but not disconnected from the ultimate costs. The patient has no idea what a simple hospital visit for a minor at-night injury will cost when he's only there for a few hours, and since there is this disconnect, all of the professionals have figured out how to exploit this to bill, bill, bill!

The clinic should be the only entity to send the bill. The staff working at the clinic should be paid by the clinic. I don't care if it's a walk-in clinic for boo-boos and scrapes or if it's the Mayo Clinic handling open heart surgery, the clinic should figure out the damn bill and send one bill.

Comment: Re:nonsense (Score 1) 270

by TWX (#49629079) Attached to: The Medical Bill Mystery
How is it no options if basically all medical professionals bill to the same entity now, so that the patient can go to essentially any doctor or hospital in the country and not have to worry about some junior assistant to the anesthesiologist screwing them for thousands of dollars for being 'out of network'?

Comment: Re:Hmmm ... (Score 1) 405

by bill_mcgonigle (#49628559) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth

Essentially he has no statistics to back his claims

I don't think you need statistics in a world where Java rules as a primary language for software development.

I've said here for years that Java is a great language for the 80% of average programmers because it tells you what's wrong most of the time, makes you do things right, and generally doesn't fall down unpredictably (J2EE FactoryFactoryFactories might be a different issue).

The top 10% can argue viscously about whether Python or Ruby or Haskell is the One True Language (shut up, LISP fanatics) - but in the meantime millions of developers are cranking out order inventory code in Java.

The top 1% of developers can deftly move back and forth among all of these, to suit the task.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 183

by bill_mcgonigle (#49628455) Attached to: Uber Forced Out of Kansas

and a host of other legal requirements that are supposed to ensure the safety of the passengers.

Supposed to but they don't. Apparently you've never experienced an insane taxi driver.

Uber lets customers easily leave feedback on individual drivers, which is communicated out to the client base, unlike any government model.

As well, the drivers can leave feedback on the passengers, improving cabbie safety. Cabbie murder is a real problem an medallions are not bullet-proof shields.

This bill does real harm because it eliminates the real safety gains of Uber over the government regulation model. The trouble with government models is they only need to have intent, not results. A competitive market does not have that fatal flaw.

Of course if an Uber operator were to try to continue, the police would draw their guns as well - really illustrating the risk imbalance.

Comment: Re:Is this Google's fault? (Score 1) 342

by TWX (#49625671) Attached to: Google Can't Ignore the Android Update Problem Any Longer

How Google can make the updates mandatory, if they keep bumping up the H/W requirements with every release?

They can make it possible if not outright easy to do updates that don't come from the phone manufacturer or the carrier. Ironically, one of the few things that I will say that Microsoft, to this point, has done right on their desktop computers. Whether or not this practice continues is another story.

And in what universe a major OS overhaul still qualifies as an "update"?

Some vendors are pretty active in the Android development, but they simply can't expose themselves to the risks involved in supplanting a whole OS to just fix few bugs. Important bugs - yes. But the risk is the bricking of the whole device, of which Google would bear no brunt, while manufacturers are exposed 100%.

Then make a point to push for a model where every major X. release gets X.Y minor updates and bug fixes. This doesn't mean that the latest and greatest from the app repositories have to work, but do security updates and OS-side functionality patches as support for these arguably production-stable releases for say five years. Maybe being forced to support the products for that long will make Google carefully consider changes to their products.

Comment: Re:your cellphone is a radio (Score 1) 189

by TWX (#49625509) Attached to: Police Can Obtain Cellphone Location Records Without a Warrant
Prior law has made it legal to use encryption in business bands and has also made it illegal to listen-in on analog cell frequencies for the purposes of privacy, to the extent that most of the 800MHz band was off-limits. Clearly there was at least some intention to protect these conversations.

Comment: Re:Every cell phone is a lo-jack... (Score 1) 189

by TWX (#49625485) Attached to: Police Can Obtain Cellphone Location Records Without a Warrant
What's in their head isn't necessarily the same as what's on paper or the electronic equivalent though.

I would still like to see warrants prove necessary for the police to collect information on people from parties that those people have business arrangements with. Consider it a means to ensure that they prioritize using what resources they have for what's truly important.

Money is the root of all wealth.