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Comment: Re:Over 18 (Score 2) 630

by chihowa (#46759381) Attached to: IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

Reading back through the thread, it looks like most everyone is thinking the same thing but disagreeing because of different terminology. The key misunderstanding in this thread relates to the situation where the liabilities are equal to, or larger than, the assets and the heirs-to-be want some of the assets.

You and Cyberax are calling the situation "inheriting debt", whereas I think it's more realistically described as accruing new debt in exchange for certain assets otherwise owed to the creditors. If you choose not to accrue this new debt to retain the estate's collateral, there's no way the estate's debt would pass on to you. The debt belongs solely to the estate and can't be inherited.

Comment: Re:Over 18 (Score 1) 630

by chihowa (#46759047) Attached to: IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

Nursing care debts are only passed on if (and because) the descendants sign as guarantors or cosigners when the parent begins to accrue that particular debt. That's more common with end-of-life services, but it's contractual and not statutory. In this particular case, the debt isn't inherited so much as it was shared with the children from the start.

Again, you're confusing "estate" with "heirs". All (most) debts are settled from the estate before any assets pass on to the heirs. In the US, if the assets of an estate are exhausted before the liabilities are satisfied then the remaining creditors and the heirs get nothing. The slate is then wiped clean.

Comment: Re:Over 18 (Score 2) 630

by chihowa (#46756537) Attached to: IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

The estate is the remaining assets and liabilities of the deceased. Once assets are inherited, they no longer belong to the deceased's estate (as the estate, a legal construct, ceases to exist once liabilities are settled and assets are transferred).

In the US, at least, the only time you have the appearance of inheriting debt is if you inherit property that is collateral for a debt (eg, a house with a mortgage). The bank could take the collateral from the estate, as it is entitled to do, but can let you keep the collateral in exchange for continuing to pay down the debt. Is that what you are talking about?

Comment: Re:Easy fix (Score 1) 322

by chihowa (#46708825) Attached to: LA Police Officers Suspected of Tampering With Their Monitoring Systems

Are you seriously comparing most people's "imperfections" with "accessory after the fact" and "conspiracy to X", where X is bribery, battery, murder and the like?

Covering up for fellow officers' crimes is not even in the same ballgame as promising to take out the garbage and forgetting.

Comment: Re:Here we go again (Score 2) 179

Your scenario is even more obnoxious on awful PC ports (way too many recently) of console games where you're sitting in front of over a hundred buttons and every action possible is mapped to 'E'. Paired with fuzzy interpretation of inputs from your hyper-precise mouse and keyboard, you're constantly fighting the game engine instead of the game.

This isn't a new phenomenon, either. Many Nintendo hard games of yore required input precision greater than the controller was capable of predictably providing. In fact, Nintendo hard is a prime example of what TFS is describing. There was a lot of video game provoked aggression back then (the controllers probably took the brunt of it, but they were pretty hardy things).

Comment: Re:It's a start (Score 1) 294

by chihowa (#46698463) Attached to: Windows 8.1 Update Released, With Improvements For Non-Touch Hardware

Windows gadgets were essentially borderless IE windows that ran in the local zone. This means they could CreateObject(...) ActiveX libraries via scripting that could do, well, anything to your system. The sandbox didn't matter at that point.

Well, that seems like a pretty easy thing to fix. Why ditch them entirely?

Comment: Re:Pseudo-science in the Survey! (Score 1) 470

by chihowa (#46683889) Attached to: It's Time To Bring Pseudoscience Into the Science Classroom

Good call on the de Broglie wavelength correction. I had misremembered it and if I'd given it a little more thought, it would have seemed obviously wrong.

It does serve to highlight how you're stating this incorrectly, though. The wavefunction doesn't represent the "size" of a particle in any meaningful way. If anything, psi squared describes the probability of finding a particle at a particular location. Analogously, if I describe your location as somewhere within the 1200 block of Broad St, it doesn't make sense to interpret that statement as saying you are actually the size of a city block. The QM wave description of matter has nothing to do with size (in any distinct and meaningful sense) and everything to do with location.

Quantum mechanics describes particle interactions in terms of waves, but it is not a statement that the wave-particle duality doesn't exist. Any actual interaction between particles requires decoherence and a collapse of the wavefunction to a more classical-like particle.

Comment: Re:Pseudo-science in the Survey! (Score 2) 470

by chihowa (#46670845) Attached to: It's Time To Bring Pseudoscience Into the Science Classroom

What you're describing here are pedantic objections, though, of which there will always be some to any question that isn't qualified to absurdity.

For your example, the rest mass of an electron is smaller than the mass of any atom, so the wavefunction of any electron will be smaller than that of any atom at the same velocity (de Broglie wavelength) and in the same environment (the "state" you describe is a function of being part of an atom, it doesn't apply to free electrons). Or simply, since an electron is a component of an atom, any constituent electron will be smaller than the atom it inhabits.

If you contrive a complex and unreasonable enough scenario, you can change the answer to most any question (e.g., is an electron smaller than the Earth). For most exams, reasonable assumptions are expected unless otherwise stated: at standard temperature and pressure, in the ground state, etc.

The correct answer to the question is that, yes, an electron is smaller than an atom.

Comment: Re:They talk very big (Score 1) 62

Modern magnetometers in phones are pretty robust. After calibration, the one in my phone works fine right next to a 500 MHz NMR (~12 T [for reference the earth's magnetic field is around 50 uT]). The magnetic locks won't be moving around much, so the field it sees from them will be pretty static.

Comment: Re:Here's a thought (Score 1) 303

by chihowa (#46653367) Attached to: Ad Tracking: Is Anything Being Done?

In that same line of thinking, I'm surprised that advertising to children (specifically, as in ads designed for children) is legal.

It's hard to think of a team of trained psychologists, armed with extensive market research and determined to manipulate minors for their own profit, as anything but despicably evil.

Administration: An ingenious abstraction in politics, designed to receive the kicks and cuffs due to the premier or president. -- Ambrose Bierce