Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
What's the story with these ads on Slashdot? Check out our new blog post to find out. ×

Comment Re:Who has the rights to the moon's resources? (Score 1) 214

In other words, the law is extremely unfair and biased.

If you believe that this law is unfair/biased in the favor of mining companies, I suggest that you start one.

The laws are structured in the same manner as many others: if you can take it, its yours. The oil in the middle of the Pacific doesn't go to "the citizens of all involved countries [on the planet]", it goes to the first to claim it. The "gold in them hills" belongs to the first to grab it.

Comment Re:Indicative of General Attitudes (Score 1) 153

Certainly, and that is borne out in the numbers.

I've been having a hard time figuring out where I stand on this. The $ rate for researchers is roughly equivalent (100K average for senor scientist, 89K average for normal,, so there is a good argument to be made for the NIH grant decision authority: "if I can pay someone with 10 extra years of experience for roughly the same money, why shouldn't I?". There is also a good argument for young scientists who claim "we have less than half the economic opportunities which were presented to the previous generation; this is unfair, and 10 years worth of scientists will be lost."

Comment Re:Indicative of General Attitudes (Score 4, Informative) 153

Parent is likely a troll, but I'm going into the numbers.

From 1980 to 2008, the average investigator age at NIH has gone from 39 to 51. Source:

In 1980, I had to derive the damn number (, the median worker age is approximately ~31, while the 2013 average worker age is 42.4 (

The average age of workers has increased by 11 years while the average age of investigators has increased by 12 years.

Research grants are a "winner take all" system where the total amount of research money is roughly constant ( Essentially, the older researchers are displacing the younger ones in the field through simply outcompeting for funding and working longer careers. Younger researchers, without funding, simply leave the field, as the old eat the young for breakfast.

Comment Re:Disturbing (Score 1) 331

Florida here.

Here is a minimal sample plan for in-state Florida college (where we didn't screw things up):
Insurance - covered at the student health center (catastrophic covered by parent)
Food - $100/month, rice/beans (my budget as an adult) - $1200/year
Tuition - 39credits/year @ 212.28/cr = $8.2K/year (source:
Transportation - Bicycle, SERIOUSLY
Housing - offcampus w/shuttle @ $600/month (includes utilities and roommates, "luxury living" source: - $7.2K/year
MISC - haircuts, bike repairs, incidentals, pocket money, $100/month = $1200/year

Cost - 17.8K/year.

But how will someone ever pay for this?

Part time job at campus library at lowest-salary-university-will-pay-you. 20hours/week @ $8/hour = $8K/year.

Assuming that tuition never goes up and the student never obtains a marketable skill (dishwashing @ $10/hour, CAD drawing at $12/hour, copywriting @ $15/hour, freelance website design @ $20/hour, etc.), college costs about $10K/year, or $40K for the total package.

Note that a "student paying their own way, working their through college on minimum wage" is actually an option. Minimum wage is nearly $8/hour. 40 hours of minimum wage is $16K/year, which is just enough to cover college when considering the Earned Income Tax Credit and Making Education Pay Tax Credit.

Additionally note that no scholarships were to be had in the above calculations. Florida has a program called "Bright Futures" whereby a student with 1170 SAT score can get tuition 100% covered for all 4 years of college (cost reduced to $10K/year).

Comment Re:America Cannot Compete (Score 2) 324

Certain country's tax codes are upending the world trade structure.

The way things should work: profits made in a country are taxed in that country.
The way things should not work: a company doing business abroad pays taxes both at home and abroad.
The way things break: subsidiary company makes "no profit" (no tax) because it pays hefty license fees (100% net income) to my headquarters company in Ireland. Ireland does not tax licensed technology abroad. I pay effectively no taxes (and instead pay clever tax accountants, who are cheaper).

This is an article is an attempt to remedy the situation where companies can chase low tax structure to literally any country which will offer a favorable deal. It is understood that you can't do it one at a time ("we'll just fix Ireland because they're the problem"), because there are many countries willing to offer such arrangement (Bermuda, Curacao, Panama, Iceland, etc.). This is an attempt to get to the 1st and 2nd point, while disallowing the 3rd.

Comment Re:TFA bad at math? (Score 1) 146

Because the graph breaks it down by occupational category, rather than by population within a category.

A friend of mine once said that it was a travesty that 25% of the vehicles on the road were SUVs. Another claimed that this was sensible, as there were four categories: cars, trucks, vans, SUVs. The second person assumed an even distribution among vehicle classes, which is obviously untrue.

You are assuming an uniform distribution of professions where none exists; there are likely more people in "management" or "sales" (45% by 0730). This offsets the numbers significantly.

Comment Re:Classic Khan pseudoscience (Score 1) 243

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the "growth" that they are referring to is the "growth mindset":

The short version of the "growth mindset" is: "the children who believe that their brain grows in response to effort/stimulus have a tendency to perform better at cognitive tasks". The alternative to a "growth mindset" is frequently self-defeatist ("I'm not smart enough to do math", "I'll never get it", "I already know all of the information I can and cannot handle anymore", etc.). The "growth mindset" is independent of any neuroscience, and doesn't pretend to be related.

From a recent conference: "it is actually unimportant whether the brain 'grows' as it learns more or not, the children who believe that it does learn more, quicker".

"Don't tell me I'm burning the candle at both ends -- tell me where to get more wax!!"