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Comment: Re:Nuclear Solutions... (Score 1) 419 419

Renewables are far more *energy* efficient, so yes, I do want reduced *energy* use.

If I drive a mile in a petroleum fuelled car, I get (say) 30 mpg, in an electric car, it's >100 mpg(e). So: lower energy.

And heating; it takes a lot less energy to use a heat pump than it does to heat a building with fossil fuels, or nuclear. So again, yes, lower energy.

Energy is NOT the same as comfort, or economics.

And I don't trust nuclear power; and I say this as someone qualified in physics; there's no known way to stop nuclear reactors that are sized for generating power from melting down at least sometimes. They've said that it was 'safe' too many times before, it's like the boy the cried wolf, in reverse.

But it doesn't really matter; renewables are growing far too fast for nuclear to ever see a resurgence. Renewables are growing with double digit growth, nuclear is basically shrinking overall.

Comment: Re:Proof (Score 1) 546 546

Ridiculous why?

He explicitly said that that was what the cache was for; otherwise he would have been assassinated to silence him, but the existence of the cache meant they couldn't do that: presumably someone, somewhere would have released the key if he'd gone missing (i.e. a "dead man's handle").

Snowden deliberately filtered what was released to minimise the risks to agents. That cache is the really bad stuff.

Comment: Re:Proof (Score 2) 546 546

Well, there's a way to know, if they really have cracked it Snowden would be assassinated/kidnapped and repatriated soon. That cache was what was keeping him alive.

Failing that he'd have to go into hiding; and the Russians will be able to tell him whether that's necessary or not.

If that doesn't happen, it probably hasn't been cracked.

So we just have to watch what Snowden does.

Still, maybe it has been, the security agencies would have to be pretty damn stupid to not realise that gaping whole in the plan. But if Snowden doesn't disappear one way or another, then yup; they're that damn stupid.

Comment: Re:Second leading cause of death in the US... (Score 1) 193 193

You're completely wrong on every point, flu is fucking scary to epidemiologists. I had swine flu, that was *awful*; but that was only slightly worse than normal flu.

But flu killed more people in 1918 than the whole of WWI; and there's no reason to think that's worse case. The 1918 flu took fit, healthy soldiers and people and left them dead surrounded by blood they'd coughed up within a day. It had something like a 10% deathrate.

Nobody can even predict earthquakes right now. An accurate series of predictions that were within one on the Richter scale would actually be a great triumph.

And earthquakes don't mutate; the doctors were terrified that Ebola would become more infectious, and then it could have spread into the West. For example, it did reach the West, but luckily when it becomes infectious, it gives obvious symptoms. What if that changed? What if it became more infectious and less obvious symptoms? Then we'd be fucked.

And they thought at one point that the Ebola outbreak had been ended; but it suddenly came back. That also terrified the doctors, when you don't understand your enemy, your enemy can kill you in huge numbers.

You just have no clue what you're talking about.

Comment: Re:Second leading cause of death in the US... (Score 1) 193 193

Cars aren't a contagious disease that grows exponentially.

You might think there's a big difference between 20,000 deaths and 200,000 deaths, but with exponential phenomenon you have to take logarithms, it's the difference between 4.3 and 5.3; the models were only off by 20%.

If the international response hadn't been what it was, it could have been 6 or 7, tens of millions of deaths.

Really, this whole post is the most dangerously stupid thing I've ever read. The modelling didn't fail, and even if you live in the West, if you weren't scared rigid by the Ebola outbreak, you didn't understand what just happened, and if you think the modelling failed, you don't understand what modelling can, and does do.

The Ebola outbreak wasn't just a single disease, Viruses evolve very quickly, and some previous versions of Ebola seem to have been infectious by inhalation. If Ebola had evolved to better do that, it could have been a worldwide pandemic with a 50% death rate.

Comment: Re: We the taxayer get screwed. (Score 1) 356 356

Yes, the definition of 'middle class' is somewhat arbitrary, but the percentile distibution curve of wealth is not.

There's always rich and poor, but it's the proportions.

If the top 1% rich people own 99% of the country, then there's rich and... serfs; and there's a 99% chance you're in the latter category.

Comment: Re:just what we all love (Score 1) 243 243

Amazon doesn't make profit in any country. But hey, would you prefer they sent the money from the UK immediately to Seattle? If the USA and EU were in a single trade bloc then they could certainly do that and cut Luxembourg out of the equation, but it wouldn't make any difference to the UK's tax take.

Amazon doesn't make profit in any country.

That may be true at the moment, because they're plowing most of it back into capital expenditure, but in the long run, it would be expected to not carry on like that. And that's also why Amazon were the first to declare that they're doing this; it doesn't cost them much right now.

But hey, would you prefer they sent the money from the UK immediately to Seattle? If the USA and EU were in a single trade bloc then they could certainly do that and cut Luxembourg out of the equation, but it wouldn't make any difference to the UK's tax take.

If they were making profits it certainly could.

Luxembourg is a tax haven, very low tax rates. But if they were declared in the UK, then there's a bigger tax take there. The UK would also probably claim tax on profits that wasn't paid in other countries like the USA that was due to economic activity in the UK.

Comment: Re:just what we all love (Score 1) 243 243

> Yes, they do. It's called free trade and is generally seen as very desirable, as it reduces paperwork and leads to countries competing to be better places to do business than their neighbours.

With all due respect, if you actually believe any of that, as pertains to THIS topic, you're a fucking idiot.

This isn't any idea of free trade, nor have they been reducing the paperwork- on the contrary they've been filling a whole bunch of extra paperwork.

What they've been doing is performing most or all of the work in (say) the UK and then filling the tax in Luxembourg as if all the profit was magically done there; and this is purely and simply a tax fiddle.

By running two or more different companies in different countries you can "sell" things across the borders at artificial (fake) prices so that, no profit is made in the UK, and all of it is in Luxembourg or Ireland, on paper. There's no free market for those trades, it's all between two companies, controlled by the same people.

If they actually did everything in Luxembourg, that might well be fair enough, but that's NOT at all what's been going on.

This isn't some free trade utopia, it's essentially fraud, they're saying they made no profit in a country, when they really did. It's not totally dissimilar to the types of things that Enron got up to.

Comment: Re:just what we all love (Score 2) 243 243

Yes, prices may go up somewhat.

But if you think about it, at the moment transnational businesses have an unfair tax advantage over national ones.

So companies like Amazon are creating and extending monopolistic positions; not because they're necessarily better companies, but simply because they're able to rig their tax positions; if you don't pay taxes, you can lower prices and take markets that you don't necessarily have any right to.

In other words, tax avoidance of the type they're legislating against is anti-competitive; and that too can raise prices in the long run.

Comment: Re:tried this in NC (Score 1) 256 256

Climate gives an average wind speed that varies from place to place around the world.

Scotland/UK has really good resources for example.

A main factor as to how well suited the climate of a place is for wind power is how well jet streams line up, the UK gets a jet stream over it a lot of the time. Some of this energy filters down to lower in the atmosphere and can be captured, but Denmark is further North. There's also several other weather factors that also make the UK particularly good, and Denmark just not as good; but you'd have to talk to a meteorologist about that.

The bottom line is that Denmark is nothing special.

The real reason Denmark is using wind power is because of Norway; they can use Norway's hydroelectricity to buffer the variations in wind power. On average they use none of Norway's power, but at any given time they can be either borrowing or repaying the energy, or selling spare energy on to other countries to reduce their fossil fuel use. It works really well, and they're expanding its use, but the actual wind resources aren't considered to be very special.

A language that doesn't affect the way you think about programming is not worth knowing.