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Comment: "retirement" == terminal unemployment (Score 2) 229

by erice (#46781097) Attached to: I expect to retire ...

Given the volatility of the job market and age discrimination, I will probably "retire" when it becomes clear that I will never get another job. I hope have enough saved up to survive when that happens but I'm not real optimistic. There's a good chance that much of everyone's retirement savings will evaporate as economy rebalances to the inequity of too many people not working and living off of "investments" and not enough people actually producing.

Comment: Social security is wealth transfer, not savings (Score 2) 229

by erice (#46780979) Attached to: I expect to retire ...

That's exactly why we have Social Security - it forces people to put aside money so that, no matter what, they have something by retirement.

It does no such thing. Social Security forces working people to pay for the retirement of those born earlier. While there are rules that require paying in in order to collect, those rules have little to do with where the money comes from and the actual dollars you pay in have nothing to do with the amount you collect. What you collect depends on how much money is coming in at the time you collect and politics. There isn't any "no matter what". You always get out of Social Security whatever politicians can and are willing to give. Population demographics means that if you are post-Boomer you will likely pay a lot and get nearly nothing.

Comment: No mysteries solvable within a lifetime (Score 1) 292

by erice (#46720727) Attached to: Nat Geo Writer: Science Is Running Out of "Great" Things To Discover

If you take the Nobel prize evidence as having fundamental meaning (and I'm not sure it does), what it seems to suggest is not that we have only loose ends to tie up. It is pretty obvious that there are still big mysteries left to solve. However, it may be the the remaining mysteries just too difficult to solve within a human lifetime. If the easy problems are solved first and the remaining puzzles become progressively more difficult then, without some sort of intelligence expansion, the inevitable result is that problems can no longer be solved by any sort of directed action. Rather, generations work on a problem until someone randomly stumbles on a solution. Eventually, solutions can not be recognized or understood, even when found and progress stops. The universe might still have mysteries but none remain that we have the capacity to solve.

Comment: Loss of culture for those left behind (Score 2) 509

by erice (#46709813) Attached to: How Cochlear Implants Are Being Blamed For Killing Deaf Culture

Putting aside the radicalism, there is a legitimate issue: the fix does not work for everyone and those left behind will face a diminished culture as their numbers dwindle. Specifically, those profoundly deaf who reached adulthood never able to hear will never learn to speak even if they get the implant. There are probably others who are medically not able to accept the implant but the articles I have found do not discuss this issue.

Comment: It is a crude marketing trick (Score 3, Informative) 1482

by erice (#46632869) Attached to: OKCupid Warns Off Mozilla Firefox Users Over Gay Rights

But the page changed on April 1, right?

No. It changed on March 31. I think it is simply a marketing trick. Pretend to take a stand. Gets lots of buzz for free. Give the impression that you are still hip. Never mind that for the last year or two, Okcupid has been showing that they don't even care about their own user community. Function has been reduced drastically. Non-mainstream users have been marginalized. Forums are no longer monitored. The only communication that comes out is the occasional obvious lie. "We are working hard and making the site better for you!" (my removing all the features that you used and adding virtually nothing)

Comment: Or maybe heart shape is distorted by gravity (Score 1) 113

by erice (#46626789) Attached to: Astronauts' Hearts Change Shape In Space

If hearts became more rounded through increased muscle mass then that could be evidence that hearts performance inefficiently in zero-g. Unfortunately, the teaser articles doesn't say that. Just changing shape could simply mean that heart development is normally distorted by gravity and without gravity, you naturally get a more rounded shape. A third possibility is that the longer shape is muscle mass needed to counteract gravity. Without gravity, there is no need so that extra muscle is lost. I suppose that could be a form of inefficiency since it means that heart is overbuilt for the task.

I might be interesting to study the hearts of hearts of people who stay horizontal. Generally these with be comatose or otherwise bed-ridden without sitting up. Not a perfect analogy, though, since these patients are not getting any exercise while the astronauts are.

Comment: Re:Meet the new boss: (Score 2) 134

by erice (#46589363) Attached to: GNOME 3.12 Released

Session Saving in gnome-terminal was as reliable as anything else in Gnome and highly useful. Where session saving was not reliable is that it didn't work for all apps. But removing the code from gnome-terminal doesn't help that cause. Gnome-shell still supports session-saving which means you it still saves state for Firefox and Thunderbird. (window location and size, mostly. Firefox has it's own session saving ability)

Comment: Re:Meet the new boss: (Score 5, Informative) 134

by erice (#46588467) Attached to: GNOME 3.12 Released

Meet the new boss: same as the old boss.

You mean: "Meet the new boss, worse than the old boss". Gnome keeps removing features. Session saving for gnome-terminal was removed several versions ago supposedly because they have a new way of doing this. Only they didn't actually implement the new way. They just took out the old and left it.

Comment: Re:Because no analog system has (Score 2) 245

by erice (#46513713) Attached to: Is Analog the Fix For Cyber Terrorism?

No, it is not. If the remote analog access is by a dedicated wire (and that is what you do in analog), then the attacker has to have physical access to that wire

And that dedicated wire could control digital circuitry or even a conventional computer running software. So what is your point?

The only advantage of analog is that control methods are generally so limited that doing something stupid like sending a critical control signal over the Internet is not possible. However, the cost is very very high and it doesn't do anything that following a policy of never sending controls over the Internet would not do. Further, without such a policy, the security advantage is lost the first time someone gets the bright idea of inserting a repeater.

Comment: Just in time to be obsolete (Score 2) 74

It is LTE. LTE-Advanced (the real "4G") is supposed to start rolling out this year.

The average vehicle life is 11.4 years. That means this car will have an obsolete wireless connection for nearly 11 years. At the rate that new standards come out and frequencies shuffle, you may not be able to get service at all in the last couple of years.

Comment: Re:so much hate (Score 1) 310

by erice (#46439843) Attached to: Daylight Saving Time ...

I just wish they'd pick one time -- Daylight Saving or Standard, I don't care which -- and keep that year round

That is equivalent to abolishing Daylight Saving Time. Day Saving Time only works (for rather feeble values of "works") if the time changes. If it stays the same, schedules will simply readjust over time to follow the sun. A good example of this is Easter Island: the official time is two hours ahead of solar time. Therefore businesses open and close two hours "later" than they do on the mainland.

Comment: Re:Not a subsidy? (Score 4, Insightful) 126

by erice (#46432701) Attached to: NASA Admits It Gave Jet Fuel Discounts To Google Execs' Company

Right. It looks like NASA was simply selling fuel based on their own cost. They may have long term contracts and/or just not buy fuel all that often so it is possible for that on any given day, their costs are askew with average retail rates. Now I guess they will hire someone to monitor retail fuel prices every day to make sure they don't undercharge startups resident at Moffett Field when they occasionally buy fuel. Maybe this will make a little bit more money for Federal Government. Maybe the extra revenue will be lost in the extra overhead.

Comment: Re:Or maybe... (Score 1) 149

by erice (#46337317) Attached to: Facebook Shuts Down @Facebook Email System

Definitely. Facebook email is an awkward and crippled parody of email. It is something to put up with for communicating with people who don't use use real email or who you don't trust with your real email address. But, seriously, why would anybody want to use Facebook email for communication that doesn't involve Facebook?

Comment: Re:What's this story doing here? (Score 1) 304

by erice (#46329717) Attached to: Oklahoma Schools Required To Teach Students Personal Finance

Consider what they may not be teaching in order to cover topics that are

state-specific: bankruptcy, the financial impact of gambling and charitable giving

The school year and the material that can be covered in it is finite. If you add hefty new requirements, something else will have to be dropped. Maybe they can trim out all the "controversial" science.

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