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Comment: Re:Limits of Measurement (Score 2) 127

is the electron ACTUALLY doing that, or was that simply a mathematical/logical proof that correlates highly with what we see?

Ummm. physics has been all about testing for discrepancies between the two for at least a century now. There's a nobel prize waiting for anyone who can show an electron not behaving itself in accordance with the standard model.

Comment: Re:economy bullshit argument (Score 0, Flamebait) 231

by Zordak (#47570091) Attached to: Is the App Store Broken?

Apple users are not the kind of people who drive to a different supermarket because the tomatoes are 5 cents cheaper there.

Exactly. They're the type of people who always shop at the same supermarket, where the tomatoes cost twice as much as anywhere else and have a glossy wax coating, are all the same, approved size, and are utterly free of any flavor. In fact, they don't even know how to cook, and don't know why they're buying tomatoes in the first place, except that the reanimated corpse of Steve Jobs told them to. They buy their precious, shiny iTomatoes and dutifully display them in the crispers of their iRefrigerators. Then a week later, they toss them out and go back to the iGroceryStore and buy the new, upgraded iTomato 5S, with even more shiny and even less flavor.

Comment: Re:Lies and statistics... (Score 1) 559

by Shakrai (#47568823) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Pre-existing condition exclusions are required because of adverse selection. Flood insurance works the same way; you've got no coverage at all until the policy has been in effect for 30 days. If your house washes away on Day 29 you're SOL.

In any case, I didn't share my story to indict the insurance companies. It was more of an indictment of the healthcare system in general. There was one unavoidable expense: the $4,500 immunoglobulin shot. Why then did the total bill come to nearly $7,000? It came to that much because treatment was routed through the most expensive delivery system (the ER) available in our healthcare system. Why is that? The rabies series is not time sensitive, waiting a few days causes no ill effects. The taxpayers ostensibly pay for it anyway so why not just have it at the County Health Department Monday through Friday?

I try to route my healthcare through my PCP, because 1) I like him, 2) It's cheaper (both for me and society) than the alternatives. Of course, we're killing the PCP providers, they're barely paid cost as it is (less than cost for medicare patients) and there's no incentives for med students to pursue primary/family medicine as a specialty. The ACA didn't do anything to address this either, a fat lot of good having insurance for the first time is going to do you when you can't find an MD that's taking new patients.

Comment: Re:Lies and statistics... (Score 1) 559

by Shakrai (#47566549) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

That's a valid point but you kind of missed the bigger picture. With my history and health status they shouldn't be on the hook for more than $300-$500 annually. That's the cost of an annual physical and standard blood/urine lab work. All it took was one incident to largely wipe out their earnings on me and in this case the costs really weren't inflated all that much. Despite what the other poster thinks, the immunoglobulin really is that expensive. It has a very short shelf life, production is a bitch, and there's little economy of scale because it's so rarely needed. Socialized medicine won't fix any of that....

Comment: Re:Lies and statistics... (Score 5, Insightful) 559

by Shakrai (#47562169) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Yes, since the bills would be covered by insurance.

After the deductibles and co-pays. I have a "platinum" plan through my employer; better insurance than anyone else I know and the co-pays still total up to a considerable amount. No deductibles for in-network on my plan, which makes me extremely fortunate. As a single guy I can afford the co-pays even with my modest salary but I can see how quickly they would bankrupt someone with a family, particularly if said family had one or more members with a chronic illness.

Incidentally, I was just exposed to rabies a few months ago:

Strike One: The only place to get the immunoglobulin is the ER, because it's very expensive (>$4,500) and has a short shelf-life. ER co-pay: $150
Strike Two: There's a set schedule for the vaccine, Days 0, 3, 7, and 14. You can get the vaccine from your primary, in theory, but of course my primary has a months long waiting list because we're driving PCPs out of business. Bottom line, I can't get appointments with them for Days 3 or 7, so that's two more trips to the ER. Additional co-pay total: $300
Strike Three: New York State ostensibly has a fund to pay for out of pocket expenses related to rabies exposures, but they only reimburse for the rabies vaccine and immunoglobulin. Since the ER decided to give me a tetanus shot on Day 0 NYS won't reimburse me, even though my out of pocket would have been $150 with or without this extra shot. Hooray for bureaucracy!

Totaling all this up, that stupid bat that found its way into my apartment has personally cost me $465 ($450 of ER co-pays, $15 of PCP co-pay) while my insurance company is on the hook for close to $7,000. My annual premium is about $6,000. So this one incident wiped out every penny they made on me and then some. I'm an otherwise healthy 32 year old marathon runner that ought to be subsidizing those who are less fortunate. Now imagine a family of four that were all exposed to the same scenario I was.....

Comment: Re:There have been attempts before (Score 1) 40

by TapeCutter (#47548219) Attached to: How Bird Flocks Resemble Liquid Helium

Can this claim even be proven or disproven?

Silly question on a nerd site, you don't "prove" anything with science, and Jurassic park was a movie, not a scientific model.

Back then the short cut they took probably saved them weeks in rendering time, and as you say, came out looking realistic. A scientific simulation would be comparing real data points to the output, it would be able to identify the "handful of leaders" that initiate each manoeuvre of a real flock, it would definitely not be a bunch of lab coats looking at the pretty pictures and nodding.

Disclaimer: I like Crichton's stories too, but he tends to write in "false document" style and every story has the same "science gone mad" plot.

Comment: Re:Oh, bore off (Score 1) 571

by TapeCutter (#47546291) Attached to: Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine
Yeah right, the infamous "mushroom cloud" comment was all about chemical weapons. Also I'm old enough to recall the attack on the Kurds, it happened in the 80's long before Clinton was elected. The Bush administration lied about nukes and lied about Saddam's connection to 911 because they wanted to "fix" the ME once and for all.

Sure most people wanted Saddam gone but most people could also see the end was not worth the means. The US should have backed down when it did not gain the support of the UN but they did the exact opposite. The US should have kept Iraq's public service intact but they disbanded them on the third day and the entire nation went on a looting rampage from which they still haven't recovered.

Comment: Re:Australia Deserves it. (Score 2) 125

Yes, the proof is in the pudding, the "land of the free" has the highest incarceration rates in the world, roughly 7X the rate of countries like China, Europe, and Australia. They are even more enthusiastic about locking up their own people than Saudi Arabia and Sudan.

As for TFA, most people outside Australia and many inside of it do not understand why this is a perennial issue in parliament. Neither side are serious about these things, they use the issue purely for political gain in the senate.

Aussie governments on both sides have argued both for and against this type of legislation since video cassettes became popular in the 80's. Malcolm Turnbull is not personally in favour of this legislation and Brandis just made a huge "free speech" fuss about changing the racial discrimination act to give people the right to be a bigot (specifically because his own media attack dog was found guilty under the act). However their personal stance is largely irrelevant since I'll bet that there is a minority "balance of power" senator that wants this, my guess is Bob Day from "family first". They were the ones who pushed this issue under the Labour gov, then spat the dummy when their own anti-abortion web sites started appearing on the "leaked" blacklist.

Both sides of government have used this issue as bait for independent senators, they promise to implement if the senator cooperates on other matters, knowing full well the majority of parliamentarians won't accept it when, or rather if, it comes to a vote. They get the senate vote(s) early in their term, then they have endless inquires about how to implement "stupid idea X", people get stirred up, enquires come back with mixed results, the issue goes quiet before the next election. Independent senator loses seat he was luck to win in the first place and is replaced by a new independent from a different electorate with similar ideas and no experience bargaining with a major political party.

In other words unless the pure political cynicism in keeping the status-quo concerns you, then this is a non-story.

Comment: Re:Hipsterism at its finest (worst?) (Score 1) 288

The local power company sells "Green Power" but, as best as I can find out, they just shove the "Green Power" into the lines and everybody gets some of it. The people who pay the inflated price don't actually get "Green Power"--false advertising and a bait-and-switch.

Do you expect them to track the individual electrons or something? This is exactly how a system like this should work.

Users purchase x kWh of 'green' energy, so the company produces x kWh and puts it on the grid. Sure "everybody gets that energy", but it was funded by and produced for those subscribing to the 'green' power service.

It's about producing power the way a customer wants, not tracking individual joules as they float through wires. That would be madness of the highest order.

Comment: Re:Major disappointment... (Score 1) 95

by TapeCutter (#47519325) Attached to: Finding Life In Space By Looking For Extraterrestrial Pollution
One of the assumptions behind SETI is that aliens want to be heard, we have deliberately broadcast radio messages to nearby stars, SETI are hoping aliens will do the same thing.

The idea of looking for atmospheric signatures of technological life that do not occur in nature (such as CFC's) has been around for a long time. Non technological life can be inferred from an atmosphere rich in both methane and oxygen. People are trying to perform atmospheric spectroscopy on exoplanets but the technology is not quite there yet, I believe someone recently claimed to have detected water vapour on an exoplanet.

Having said that I was taught in 1970's high school that it was theoretically impossible to detect an exoplanet from Earth, but that was before wobble mirrors were invented..

Comment: Re:let me correct that for you. (Score 1) 616

by Zordak (#47519281) Attached to: Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

You consider a world where nobody has to work as a utopia. My observation is just the opposite. If you take effort away from people, they tend to become entitled, lazy, selfish, and (ironically, with more leisure time) miserable.

Where are you getting this from? I detect a very basic failure to either apply critical thinking or reading comprehension.

From your constant insistence, over multiple comments, that under your proposed system nobody would "have" to work. I consider it a privilege to be able to work to provide for myself and my family, not a burden to be cast off at the first opportunity. My ideal world is one where everybody has the ability and opportunity to work for a living wage, not one where everybody gets free stuff.

Nobody's gonna believe that computers are intelligent until they start coming in late and lying about it.