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Comment Re:What About Electricity? (Score 1) 337

Not at the moment, but it's being worked on, and it's called "Smart Grid".

The most important difference between Smart Grid and lack of net neutrality is that with Smart grid it's the customer who owns the appliance that gets paid (or refunded) if power isn't available for the appliance. The idea is that you'll be able to plug in your electric car in the evening, and the car will then negotiate for power, so that it is fully charged, at latest the next morning. It's a win for the costumer and the electricity company, unlike lack of net neutrality.

QoS for networks could perhaps learn something from the ideas being worked on in Smart Grid - I wouldn't mind being paid for allowing the internet provider to provide worse services for some packages.

Comment Re:Am I reading this right (Score 1) 172

Sure, no problem.

The probability of a hit in an urban area given a single meteor is 0.3*0.03, i.e., 30% land mass and of that 3% urban area. (Meteors don't impact uniformly over the area of the earth like that and urban areas aren't distributed evenly across the earth, so my assumptions here are wrong. Still I'm only guestimating so it's good enough for now.)

The probability of a miss is then 1 - 0.3*0.03 and 100 misses in a row (2 meteors per year, 50 years) is (1 - 0.3*0.03)^100. One or more meteors (larger than 1 kilton) hitting an urban area in 50 years is thus 1 - (1 - 0.3*0.03)^100.

Comment Re:ObamaCare is a Horrific Debacle (Score 1) 162

I set out to use the GDP per capita of Switzerland and the US (the two first on the list given by GP) to show you how you didn't use the numbers correctly. It turned out that the spendings on health care per capita of the two countries are almost the same*, and the joke was on me.

*(8676.91 $US per capita per year for Switzerland and 8272.64 $US per capita per year for the US)

Colour me surprised!

Comment Re:From TFA (Score 1) 91

One of the important, but often belittled, tasks of science is to investigate the obvious. Some times something "obvious" turns out to be false. On the other hand, if the "obvious" turns out to be true, then we have evidence, and not just common sense to back it up.

Checking and double checking what we think we know is important, and we do it so that we may gain a better understanding of the world we live in.

Comment Re:Did you read the ATL? (Score 3, Interesting) 362

You have a point, but you're a long way from cutting into actual need.

I live in a country where everybody has access to high quality ground water. Our avarage daily water consumption is per capita less than a third of that of a the US, where you don't have access to high quality water. (our tap water is cleaner than bottled water.)

I was shocked by the disregard for water the first time I visited the US. Just as an example, your toilet bowls are huge lakes of water compared to what I'm used to. Flushing all that water just made me feel guilty.

Uncertain fortune is thoroughly mastered by the equity of the calculation. - Blaise Pascal