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Comment: a couple of points (Score 3, Interesting) 108

1) First, the silliness with bill names really needs to stop; one imagines a giglling kindergartner sitting "playing" Congressman typing out stupid acronyms while lobbyists sit in the background actually crafting the legislative language.

2) Then again, there are so many vagaries in the language of this bill, it's almost comical that it would be presented as legislation.
First, the bill keeps referring to "asteroids in outer space" - WTF is "outer space" precisely? Anything ex-atmospheric? Above the Karman Line? Anything in orbit? Anything outside lunar orbit?
Second, I believe even astronomers are having Platonic debates over the precise meanings of such terms as 'asteroid', 'planetoid', and 'moon'. Heck, in wiki's intro to "asteroid", the bulk of the opening paragraph sort of dissolves asymptotically trying to grab specifics. This document constantly references asteroids without bothering even to define what they're talking about. It might include Ceres or Vesta, but could it include the Moon? How about Phobos? Pluto?

Of course, most people have comfortable working definitions of the above, insofar as they care. But when the first rover starts drilling into the Moon, or Mars, or heck, taps into an agglomeration of someone else's space junk asserting it's "space debris that's formed an asteroid" these sorts of vagaries cause massive legal issues.

More evidence - as if the US public needed it - that our congressvermin are just idiots.

Comment: Orwellian (Score 1) 74

by argStyopa (#47430967) Attached to: Google's Experimental Newsroom Avoids Negative Headlines

Frankly, I have to say that this is even more Orwellian and pernicious than government-backed spying.

The idea that an ostensibly-objective source in the private sector - simply by the good fortune of it's overwhelming market power - can ensure that we all have happythink by subtly 'managing' the news feeds... is terrifying.

Comment: why? (Score 2) 417

a) most peoples' computers are making so much noise (fans, etc) that the only way you're going to have a chance to hear the difference will be with $1000 totally-closed cup headphones - do a lot of people have them on their computer?
b) otherwise, even if their PC is silent, their speakers are usually craptastic 3" logitechs, *maybe* with a cheapo sub buried in the shag carpet (ie a somewhat sub-optimal listening environment)
c) finally, last time I checked *most* people are listening to relatively crappy lossy mp3s ripped from youtube videos. It really, truly, doesn't matter how lovely a board you're sending crap sound data through: GIGO.

So I guess these boards are still relevant to the microniche of audiophile enthusiasts that have a nearly-silent PC and hardware, floor-scale speakers connected to their system (or 4-digit $ headphones), and who listen to audiophile-caliber audio....meaning nearly nobody.

That might explain why Creative Labs stock ($36.63 in March 2000) is $1.78 today.

Comment: Re:I'll enjoy this.... (Score 1) 526

by argStyopa (#47406777) Attached to: Foxconn Replacing Workers With Robots

Not sure how this materially affects the main point.
Sure, it won't be $15/hour until 2017.
Do you think the cost of electronics/processing power/etc will go up or down over that time?

If anything, that $15/hour job (=$30k/year) will buy a far more capable robot in 2017 than today, so replacing that person will be even more attractive. For $30k/year you can have:
- a high-efficiency robot that is able to work 24/7 (ok call it pessimistically 20 hours a day assuming significant maintenance downtime), can be instantly programmed fleet-wide to conform to new standards/processes perfectly, or
- a low-intelligence, low-motivation, nearly-skill-less slacker who not only can work very limited hours in a day, but also wants vacation, smoke breaks, toilet breaks, will forget to wash their hands (e coli for everyone!), and will eventually whinge that they need more money, more benefits, and nicer uniforms before quitting the moment they ever develop any actual positive work habits, motivation, or determination?

Compelling choices, indeed.

Comment: Re:There's belief, there's facts and there's polit (Score 1) 688

by argStyopa (#47398477) Attached to: When Beliefs and Facts Collide

Curious that you rant about stupid/ignorant people, yet ignore the direct refutation of your own statement. Et tu, Democrat?

You said: "The Republican Party won't have you."
I illustrated that not only am I in the party, I'm an active and positive participant.
But please, don't let facts get in the way of your quasi-religious beliefs.

FWIW, the Left cheerfully ignores science when it wants to as well. Shall we talk about GM foods? Nuclear power?

But I understand. The world is much, much simpler when you can just castigate people who disagree with you as "stupid", right?

Comment: Re:There's belief, there's facts and there's polit (Score 1) 688

by argStyopa (#47397201) Attached to: When Beliefs and Facts Collide

"But you can't. The Republicans won't have you."

I believe in human induced climate change, and I'm a Republican - in fact, I''ve been a delegate to the last 3 conventions.

What was your point again?

I'd be curious to hear/meet any Democratic delegates who DIDN'T believe in anthropogenic climate change?

Comment: well, of course (Score 1) 551

..if Louis del Monte says so, it +must+ be true.
I mean, it's not as if he is resurrecting a science fiction trope that's been extensively explored in hundreds, if not thousands of science fiction novels and short stories before this, right?

We need panic, and we need it now people.

Comment: Re:for christ sake stop comparing things to NASA (Score 1) 225

by argStyopa (#47376705) Attached to: Senate Budgetmakers Move To End US Participation In ITER

You strike me as the kind of guy who has a 100k salary, commits to buying a house with payments of $10k a month and then tells his wife to "stop WASTING all our money buying a lottery ticket for $1" ...just because it's "mandatory" spending doesn't mean the promise was a wise one in the first place.

Comment: Re:for christ sake stop comparing things to NASA (Score 2) 225

by argStyopa (#47376165) Attached to: Senate Budgetmakers Move To End US Participation In ITER

You mistakenly (or disingenuously) left out that you only list 'discretionary' spending.

Mandatory spending - 2/3 of the budget - has bigger numbers:

Social Security -- $860 billion budgeted, and $852 billion was spent.
Medicare --$524 billion budgeted, $513 billion spent.
Medicaid --$304 billion budgeted, $308 billion spent.
Interest payments on national debt -- $223 billion budgeted and spent.
All other (mostly social programs like unemployment, etc.) -- $497 billion budgeted, $560 billion spent

Essentially, 'social spending' is nearly $2 trillion.

So while I understand the clearly political motivation behind the list you made, if we say spending explains our priorities, what does this do to your tendentious conclusion?

"Right now I feel that I've got my feet on the ground as far as my head is concerned." -- Baseball pitcher Bo Belinsky