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Comment Re:Pay us or the suit gets it! (Score 2) 106 106

having said that, WHY isnt there a breakdown, line item, for all costs that our government spends?

There is, but you're clearly too lazy to look for it and almost certainly too lazy to actually read through it.

http://www.si.edu/content/pdf/...

That took all of 5 seconds on Google. That's FY2013 but it's hard to imagine anything significant changed for FY2014.

Reports similar to this are available for just about every government agency. The budget omnibus that congress passes is a matter of public record as is the requests that each government agency submits (which the budget omnibus is based on).

Of course they aren't going to just mail these reports to you on a subscription basis - you actually have to get off your ass and find them or... god forbid... ask for them!
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Comment Re:Rubbish (Score 4, Interesting) 159 159

https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

Fake acupuncture, where the skin isn't penetrated at all, was found to be much more effective than real penetrative acupuncture and acupuncture improperly applied (needles in the "wrong" locations).

And the tests were done on human volunteers. Citations in the video description.
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Comment Re:"Replace large-scale coal generation"? With WHA (Score 2) 188 188

And it's not just replacing current electrical generation - there would probably have to be a two or three ORDER OF MAGNITUDE expansion of electrical generation capacity.

100 to 1000 times more electricity? Really?

2014: 136.78 billion gallons of gasoline consumed.

At 33 kWhr/gallon, that's 4,514 billion kWh if you completely ignore any differences in efficiency.

2014: 4,093 billion kWh of electricity produced.

So at the absolute WORST case, it's a little more than double. But when you figure that an electric vehicle uses that energy nearly three times more efficiently, it's under 50% more.

And that's if you go ahead and replace *everything* that burns gasoline with electric, which of course you wouldn't.

Then after all that, producing ~50% more kWh does not translate into needing ~50% more power plants. You would need to factor in some diversity factor as not all power plants are running all the time nor at full capacity.
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Comment Re: Chapel Hill/ Carrboro North Carolina (Score 1) 654 654

Written like someone who's old, bitter and crippled.

So what? The able-bodied people will fill those cars, because there will be fewer passengers in them at the start. And if it's really bad there is already priority seating for people with mobility problems, which is enforced by the train staff.
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Comment Re:Chapel Hill/ Carrboro North Carolina (Score 1) 654 654

It's not easy to add cars because you'd have to extend existing platforms to accommodate longer trains, which is usually expensive and time consuming.

It IS possible to move between cars once you're on the train, you know, and from my experience with taking the train to and from NYC, some people seem willing to walk the entire length of the train in search of a seat that doesn't have anyone sitting next to them.

There's even two stops on the line I take where the platform isn't long enough, and there's an announcement explaining that long in advance in addition to the warning being on the schedule itself. At one station the last two cars do not platform, at the other ONLY the last two cars platform.

Not to say there isn't an upper limit to the number of cars you can have, but you can easily have like six cars more than the platform can handle assuming there's another room otherwise. Walking three cars isn't terribly difficult and doesn't take a lot of time.
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Comment Re:A better solution (Score 1) 178 178

Already done, decades ago:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

The tune was written to avoid said copyright, and the writer (Mike Jittlov) allows anyone to use it royalty-free. I don't think it's been properly licensed as such, though, since CC didn't exist at the time.
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Comment Simulations never work right (Score 1) 654 654

I've simulated this exact scenario for hours, and I've gotten the same results from this study; moderate increase in usage but not enough to really address inner-city congestion.

They probably spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on their study, too - this only cost me $20 during the Steam Summer Sale. Stupid government!
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Comment Re:Cry More (Score 2) 139 139

You evidently didn't read the last line in TFS. FOIAs aren't free to file.

Your UserID is low enough to know that TFS is often dead wrong.

FOIA law does not specify any fees, but it allows each agency to establish its own fee structure for filling requests.

Generally speaking, if filling the request takes minimal effort, there's no fee. This has always been true (in my limited experience) for electronic copies of electronic records; if all someone has to do is copy a file or whatever, no problem.

If you're going to start requesting printed copies of records, they're likely to start charging you at some point. A few pages probably isn't too bad, but the idea is to prevent some jerk from tying up the system asking for 50,000 prints from microfiche archives and not having to invest anything in such a request. Usually the fee is in line with expected costs (e.g. 10-15 cents per page or whatever, plus hourly rate for a worker to do it.)

If your local government whatever is charging a fee simply for filing a request, let alone providing the data, you might have a case for a lawsuit.
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Comment Re:Bogus (Score 1) 59 59

But in the dirty air model, the dark veil over the plain soaked up much of the sun's warmth high in the atmosphere, while simultaneously cooling the streets and fields below. This altered thermal structure stabilized the daytime atmosphere and suppressed rainfall.

But as night fell, the moist air mass moved northward toward the Longmen Mountains, which tower some 2000 meters above the basin. The weather system that had been building energy over the plains for 12 hours was driven upward as it collided with the range's steep contours, triggering the postponed convection. A day's worth of rainfall from the plains was focused into a few hours over a handful of mountain valleys.

I know, I know... "Read the article" blah blah...
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Comment Re:it could... (Score 4, Interesting) 148 148

The [lack of] precision in the bearings is much more significant than angular precision.

You solve that with better manufacturing techniques.

Harmonic drives are already used industrially and commercially. This is essentially a double harmonic drive driven with a planetary gearset. Nothing some good precision manufacturing couldn't create something amazing with.
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Comment Re:This is shortsighted (Score 1) 35 35

In fact, having wheels is a feature, not a bug.

Until you encounter a steep set of stairs, then simple wheels might not be sufficient. You'll either have to develop special wheels or tracks - which might not be that great at other non-stair-like terrain - or try a more universal mode of locomotion.

Ever see those photos of mountain goats climbing the nearly sheer face of a dam? I'd love to see a wheeled robot do that without grappling lines!
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