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Comment: Re:How about import duties? (Score 1) 350

I know it isn't a personal checkbook, but that does not mean money can be printed with impunity.

While in the short term it pays the bill, it does so by deflating the currency, reducing international purchasing power, harming businesses that rely on international trade (which is almost everyone these days), triggering money market changes. In practice countries who attempt that type of manipulation for significant values quickly approach currency collapse. Short term it may seem like a strategy, but long term even a small amount of that destabilizes governments. Small adjustments cause nasty ripple effects through global currency markets and exchange rates, and anything more than tiny adjustments leads to a death spiral. It can take decades to fully recover.

When the US played that game nineteen months ago, not only were global currency markets disrupted and the US buying power significantly decreased by far more money than the debts adjusted, it also resulted in the nation's credit ratings dropping and the rates paid on short-term money increased.

If the congress critters and federal reserve attempt it again this decade we probably would see an even larger drop in global parity. So while they COULD authorize and generate some "trillion dollar coins" to resolve it, the results would be disastrous for both the national and the global economy.

Comment: Re:Am I the only one... (Score 2) 117

When I talked to one of our VAR's he said that one of the local hospital chains was one of his best and worst customers, best because of all the expensive gear they bought, worst because they were so demanding. They actually paid to have trenching done to make sure that their backup link at one facility went out a different CO which was on a different uplink facility (ie truly divergent paths with no single mode of failure), and that was just for PACS, not telesurgery.

Comment: Re:How about import duties? (Score 1) 350

Debts and budgets are not contradictory. You can have debt AND have a balanced budget.

Organizations, businesses, individuals, even governments do it. They take on debt, get loans or bonds or other money, and have a budget to pay the principle and interest in a certain period of time. Many states even have balanced budget provisions in their state constitutions and routinely get some debt for capital funds to build new schools, zoos, parks, and more; then they make payments and after a few years fulfill the debt obligations. They have debt and a balanced budget.

What groups cannot do is survive in the long term with a budget deficit. When your expenses exceed your income for enough time, eventually your resources will dwindle and fail. That applies to individuals, to businesses, and to governments.

Deficit spending works for a while when you have money in the bank, and it works when you have other resources available to offset the money. You can have debt but still afford to make payments on the loan. But in the long term eventually the groups will reach the critical point where they cannot afford the debt payments, and the US is rapidly reaching the critical tipping point.

Comment: Love how headlines have evolved over the day... (Score 1) 66

by Frobnicator (#49796575) Attached to: Live Anthrax Shipped Accidentally To S Korea and US Labs

I absolutely love the example of how news reports represent things.

This morning they started out "Live anthrax shipped to nine labs and Korea". The quotes talk about an abundance of caution and that spores were "detected". Since I happen to have read about it before, I already knew live anthrax is already shipped around the world in sheep and other livestock. So I wondered why the media would be on this so much.

Later in the day, different headlines "Live anthrax detected in possibly ten labs".

Now at the end of the day, different headlines, "Live anthrax detected in a single shipment, others under investigation", with details "the containers were properly packed and there is no risk of exposure to anyone but those on the base; all military personnel are given anthrax vaccinations when they join the service..."

The latest news stories have the base commander saying procedures were followed and the CDC saying it was only one sample that was mostly, but not completely, sanitized by irradiation, so the few live spores continued to grow.

While anthrax is potentially deadly, so are diseases like influenza. Anthrax is common in lots of animals, including livestock around the world. It is only when the bacteria is weaponized into an aerosol that it becomes extremely deadly. And this stuff wasn't.

Lots of hype about a virtually non-issue. End result is the protocol gets adjusted, run it through the irradiation machine three times.

Comment: Re:Tesla enables Edison to win the endgame? (Score 4, Informative) 550

by afidel (#49794491) Attached to: How Tesla Batteries Will Force Home Wiring To Go Low Voltage

The parasitic losses of DC over long distance is reason enough that it's not done

Siemens quotes 3.5% loss per 1,000km for +-800kv DC vs 6.7% for 735kv AC systems, exactly the opposite of your claim. I think I'll trust one of the biggest names in power over someone with a free bitcoin scam in their signature.

Comment: Re:Tesla enables Edison to win the endgame? (Score 4, Informative) 550

by afidel (#49791571) Attached to: How Tesla Batteries Will Force Home Wiring To Go Low Voltage

HVDC works well for long trunk lines between a distant large power source and a population center, but it much less useful for a grid system with many interconnect points. That's why the primary usage has been between hydro plants and distant cities and for international interconnects (especially where the local grids of the two sides do not share a common standard).

Comment: Re:Disappointing (Score 2) 103

by afidel (#49786371) Attached to: Microsoft Edge To Support Dolby Audio

LOL, more like it's audio for people who care about the quality of audio. I use the DTS HD-MA or TrueHD track with my receiver in pure direct mode so that I don't get all sorts of crap filtering and can just listen to the audio as it was intended to be presented (and how you'd hear it if you saw the movie in a theater, though generally with fewer tracks)

Programmers used to batch environments may find it hard to live without giant listings; we would find it hard to use them. -- D.M. Ritchie