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Comment: Re:This is what a right is (Score 0) 128

by hydrodog (#47297671) Attached to: Prisoners Freed After Cops Struggle With New Records Software
What about !@!& paper? The police ought to be able to file these things by paper within 24 hours. Electronically, it should get there in 5 minutes. An expedited form on paper is at the least, a requirement in the event of a blackout. Who are the idiots who came up with this "system" anyway?

+ - Claim Turing Test was Beaten is a Hoax

Submitted by hydrodog
hydrodog (1154181) writes "According this this article, the claim that a computer beat the Turing test for the first time is bogus. First of all because it has been done before. Second, because the method of convincing humans that the computer is human is by claiming it is Ukrainian to explain the odd English in the minds of the observer. Third, because the claim is by Kevin Warwick who has a history of claiming other outlandish things that are not true. See:"

+ - Nanomotors could turn the inside of cancer cells to mush->

Submitted by hydrodog
hydrodog (1154181) writes "IEEE Spectrum described research that shows nanoparticles directed and powered externally can be used to destroy the interior of a cell. This article is talking about cancer, but of course the HMO (or CIA, KGB, Mossad) can also use it to get rid of the patient by being a little less careful with where they target."
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+ - Al Bartlett Posthumously Proves Difficulty of Population Control

Submitted by hydrodog
hydrodog (1154181) writes "Al Bartlett, an emeritus physics professor at the University of Boulder in Colorado was for decades a strong proponent of population control, and of understanding the limits of finite resources such as oil and coal. His video on youtube has been seen millions of times:

Yet his obituary in a local Boulder paper shows how difficult the problem is, because the man who discussed the dangerous of exponential growth and doubling times himself had 4 children.

It appears the only way to stop growth is, as in Japan, when everyone is so miserable already they can't conceive of supporting a child. That does not bode well for the world."

Comment: Loved "Misenchanted Sword" (Score 1) 2

by hydrodog (#39269399) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Forgotten Fantasy & Science Fiction Novels
The worlds constructed by Lawrence Watt Evans is one of the best, a fresh, original take on magic. I also really like Saberhagen's Sword's series, though the first trilogy is best, it gets a bit old by the 9th one. I don't know whether time has forgotten it, but for science fiction, Dragon's Egg and the McAndrew chronicles are at the top of my list, hard science, beautifully written.

Comment: bizarre nonsense (Score 1) 730

by hydrodog (#36153378) Attached to: Can Computers Be Used To Optimize the US Tax Code?
Just because you can use genetic optimization to modify the tax code doesn't make it optimal to do so. If you want to reform the tax system, reform it. Don't simply take the current mess and reduce complexity slightly. Because if you do, all those accountants out there would have to study the new system. There would be huge mistakes. Remember that in any given year, the tax code doesn't change that much. To suddenly release a computer-generated 5000 page tax code would be a huge, expensive shock to the system.

No, a radical change to the tax code must be a radical simplification, or you can't afford to do it.

I agree with the common sentiment (@bryan1945) that taxes should be drastically simplified. But there is a definite reason for deductions. It isn't fair to tax you on money you don't have, and for example, a company may take in lots of cash but have to spend money on R&D. The travesty is that companies are far better able to deduct than people. If Intel gets to deduct for R&D, the notion that people don't get to deduct for a degree program is absurd. And of course, there is all sorts of special one-off legislation protects specific kinds of companies and individuals. But the notion that deductions are somehow evil is not really a good idea.

The mortgage deduction has been criticized for simply encouraging too much home ownership. It is in the interest of the government to promote home ownership because it makes for stable prospering communities. On the other hand, an unlimited home deduction supports ever-bigger houses. However, in the current housing climate, no one wants to kick housing, because it's unclear just how much further prices might fall as a result, and we have enough problems in that sector already. The mortgage deduction is hugely skewed in favor of the rich of course -- the more your house is worth, the greater your deduction. One idea is to cap the mortgage deduction, so you only encourage minimal home buying.

Another proposal from a couple of congressmen caps deductions to 2%. I don't know about the percentage, but it's a reasonable idea. You have a basic standard deduction, and if you exceed that, you can itemize, but only claim up to a fixed percentage. That would force people to take the best deductions -- want to install solar to your house? You can, if that's the best economic course this year, but you can't deduct for something else at the same time. It would force you to pick and choose (or pay for it yourself).

The fundamental unfairness is that corporations play by completely different rules. But it's not trivial to clear that up. Should Intel, or drug companies, be taxed on their gross when they spend billions in R&D? It's not fair, because in a business like grocery stores, there is no R&D. Why shouldn't they be allowed to deduct their legitimate expenses? But the minute you agree that makes sense, definition of "legitimate" gets hazy. The system starts getting abused, which is why we have million dollar parties for the sales staff, the chairman flying in a private jet after retirement, all the abuses that we hear about. I don't have a solution, but it isn't a simple problem.

And Bryan, if you only spend 4 hours a year on your taxes, you're very, very lucky.

Comment: Numbers don't add up (Score 1) 673

by hydrodog (#35792230) Attached to: Japan Raises Nuclear Plant Crisis Severity To 7
There are towns outside the radius that were getting 70 - 80 uSievert/hr. That's 1.6 mSievert/day. Saying they are worried that they will exceed 20mSievert a year is a joke, they exceeded that in the first 12 days once the radiation spiked. By my count that's the equivalent of a CT-scan every 3 days or so. Presumably indoors is not as bad, but the people have to eat and drink something, so that's not their only radiological load. And the readings have been climbing. As of April 11, there are now hotspots outside the 20km ring that are getting 100uSieverts/hr. I haven't superimposed their map of readings on the map showing population centers, so hopefully most of the hotspots are relatively uninhabited.

+ - Why not filter radioactive water?->

Submitted by hydrodog
hydrodog (1154181) writes "CNN among others are reporting that the radioactivity of water found is fairly high, yet Tokyo Electric is just dumping it in the ocean, saying that dilution will take care of the problem. I want to know, what's so hard about filtering through sand and/or activated charcoal? With a big dumpster of filter and a pump dumping water into one end, how much could you expect to be trapped, and is there some technical reason not to at least try? I'm assuming there's no way you're going to get a critical mass...."
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New crypt. See /usr/news/crypt.