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Comment: Re:Behind the curve (Score 1) 1040

by (#47159187) Attached to: Seattle Approves $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage
LOL, first who cares about unemployment among 16-18 year olds, aren't they supposed to be in school, or 18-22 year olds who are in college. I care more about unemployment overall and wage levels. Second $15 an hour still doesn't get your far in an expensive city like Seattle, only a small number of workers benefit and I can tell you I see plenty of older faces working at fast food joints. Third, despite all that, I'd take that bet if there was a real way to enforce it. Retiring Boomers basically guarantee a labor shortage over the next few years. And the secret 4th, remember a city has to pay for services for all residents, so driving out low paying businesses can be a net benefit for a city. Sure you may reduce raw numbers of job growth, but you cultivate better paying jobs, read better tax base.

Comment: Re:82% was always suspect (Score 1) 557

by (#46940225) Attached to: Actual Results of Crimean Secession Vote Leaked
There was never a general vote of the whole population of Texas on independence, if there was it very likely would not have been above 75% because about 25% of the population was Mexican nationals vs. U.S. settlers. Also note it was a two step process, the original vote was for independence not joining the U.S. a much smaller incremental change. Had that been the vote at the start I suspect the support would have been even lower, though the net result may not have changed. Denmark is united with Sweden the same way Greece is united with Belgium under the E.U. Despite this I suspect most Greeks don't consider themselves Belgian.

Comment: Re:82% was always suspect (Score 2) 557

by (#46931797) Attached to: Actual Results of Crimean Secession Vote Leaked
My first comment on the election results were this, I said it was a shame that Russia had obviously faked the results because there probably is some real underlying support for unification with Russia, but this fake vote will undermine legitimacy long term. Maybe I was lucky, but it sure seems like I was right. If about half of those who participated voted to join with Russia, there is obviously real underlying support for unifying. I never doubted this. The problem was so many people would never vote for such a radical change. Russia could probably have managed a plurality between stay with Ukraine, independence or Russian unification. Maybe they could have even pulled of a narrow majority in a mostly honest two choice vote. But that kind of support was too obviously fake.

Comment: Re:82% was always suspect (Score 1) 557

by (#46931659) Attached to: Actual Results of Crimean Secession Vote Leaked
I think you are missing it. Of course LOTS of people in Sweden don't want to start driving on the opposite side of the street, in other words they voted for no change. The vote here was about both leaving your current country AND joining another one. Make no mistake, even if as many as 15% of your citizen want to join another country (if only 30% participated in the election it is safe to say that number is approaching 50%), that is a really big deal. Imagine if even 40% of Sweden wanted to unite with Denmark! But the reality is you will have people who wan to join Russia, those who want to become fully independent and those who want to no change, well and who knows what else. There is no way that many people would genuinely support such a huge change. Kind of like why Puerto Rico is still a territory of the U.S., you can't get enough people to agree on one plan (statehood, independence) so the status quo stands. As someone else said, voting for more autonomy in such a divided society is one thing, voting to join another country is something else.

Comment: Re:All about the Eurasian Union (Score 2) 557

by (#46931477) Attached to: Actual Results of Crimean Secession Vote Leaked
Sorry to double post but I have to add, the very fact the countries feel they have to choose sides tells you about their relationship with Russia. If they were confident they could be left alone and not get invaded on a pretext, they could have great trade ties with Europe AND Russia, which probably IS what they would really prefer. Russia's ham fisted handling of this crisis is digging their own grave.

Comment: Re:All about the Eurasian Union (Score 1) 557

by (#46931399) Attached to: Actual Results of Crimean Secession Vote Leaked
Sorry and no way. There may well be elements in the former Soviet Union that would like some updated Eurasian Union and the Russians may tell themselves the idea will fly, but there is a huge wellspring of resentment against Russia and many, many, many who fear Russia reestablishing dominance and view the European Union and/or NATO as the only real guarantee of long term independence. You are likely reading too much Russian propaganda.

Comment: 82% was always suspect (Score 1) 557

by (#46930695) Attached to: Actual Results of Crimean Secession Vote Leaked
In addition to the massive difficulty in running an honest vote on such short notice, I have never found 82% of humans to ever agree on something so controversial. When I heard that number it was obviously and blatantly fake, even if a majority of people wanted to rejoin Russia there was no way that many people would agree to such a radical change.

Comment: Re:"Gun Jammers" are the problem (Score 2) 1374

by (#46890533) Attached to: "Smart" Gun Seller Gets the Wrong Kind of Online Attention
It is very hard to jam a signal between two devices in such close proximity, also since different manufacturers would have different locking systems it would greatly increase the complexity of an effective jamming system. Further if it ever really became an issue, a variety of techniques, like frequency hopping, could make jamming almost impossible.

Comment: Plenty of use cases (Score 1) 1374

by (#46889927) Attached to: "Smart" Gun Seller Gets the Wrong Kind of Online Attention
I can see that smart guns are not for everyone, but for many owners they may be just the thing. What a smart gun can do is put the owner is control of who can use the gun or who it can be transferred to. I could easily see the military and police, as organizations, being very interested in them even if individual members find them an extra hassle. Basically it proves accountability, no "the guns were stolen/misplaced", now you can prove and track authorization and transfer. So sure a beat cop may view it as a annoyance, but the police chief may view it as valuable feature. The locking system can probably be hacked, but it still makes the gun less valuable to the black market because it requires extra effort and no legitimate gun shop will deal with at afterwards.

Comment: My experience with weight loss (Score 1) 499

by (#46870885) Attached to: You Are What You're Tricked Into Eating
Here I what I experienced. After college I had a live-in Japanese girlfriend, which basically meant I was eating a Japanese diet, along with a job that required some amount of walking. I lost weight below my college weight with NO effort or thought on my part, and I wasn't that heavy in college. Today, years latter and many pounds fatter, I am again able to lose weight but to do so I have to count every calorie on my FitBit and typically walk around hungry all the time, to the point where I have even sat around not eating during extended family meals, and of course I have to dutifully record everything I eat very carefully. So manually overriding my bodies food desires is possible, but the healthy diet choice simpler but not in my case easier. Nuts do seem to help some. This seems to match other research that has shown exposure to US food products result in obesity in nearly identical population along the U.S.-Mexico boarder.

Comment: Re:The flaw in the Fermi Paradox (Score 1) 608

by (#46842007) Attached to: Are Habitable Exoplanets Bad News For Humanity?
No, it wouldn't. We would only be able to discover civilizations at a similar level of development at a distance of less than 1 light year I understand. That is the core of my point, we know we are using a technology that won't work right now. The whole SETI program is kind of based on the assumption aliens will know we are using inferior technology and go out of their way to use their advance technology to broadcast a signal we can discover (e.g. the planet sized alien signal detector and transmitter in Carl Sagan's book First Contact). The Fermi Paradox is interesting in terms of why aren't aliens walking around on earth right now, maybe there is a great filter preventing that, but means very little in terms long term fate of intelligent life.

Comment: Re:The flaw in the Fermi Paradox (Score 1) 608

by (#46838465) Attached to: Are Habitable Exoplanets Bad News For Humanity?
I have to add another point, on the time scale for a cross galaxy trip we have VERY strong evidence to suspect that a space faring race would evolve in some way to live in space (either natural evolution or as artificial machine based life), basic evolutionary theory demands it. So why would they come down planet side at all? I just think we have too many unknowns to really take the paradox seriously.

Comment: The flaw in the Fermi Paradox (Score 3, Interesting) 608

by (#46836585) Attached to: Are Habitable Exoplanets Bad News For Humanity?
The basic problem with the Fermi Paradox is this, we don't really have a technology we ourselves would reliably use to communicate between stars, thus the fact that we can't find alien civilizations using a technology we wouldn't use proves nothing. Arguably the whole radio search is a waste of time since we have no reason to believe we will find anything, indeed we have one reason to believe we won't! For all we know, there could be lots of miniature alien probes all over our solar system right now, or maybe they communicate with wormholes, or it is impractical to communicate long distances, or who knows? Basically, we really don't even know what we are looking for in the first place, so the Paradox falls on it's face for lack of information.

Comment: Wealth is electrons, Money is holes (Score 1) 91

by (#46626141) Attached to: Book Review: Money: The Unauthorized Biography
Once upon a time, gold money may have been wealth in itself, but today that quaint method of business is long gone. Money, holes, facilitates the movement of wealth, but is not wealth itself. Frankly the last thing any rich person wants is a big pile of money sitting around doing nothing. To a large degree our fascination with money has caused us to lose sight of the wealth it really represents. Money today is just a measuring stick of wealth, and an elastic one at that. Had more people looked not at the loans, but at the real property and wealth it represented, the real-estate bubble could have been avoided. Indeed most bubbles could deflate if people better understood what they really had bought.

Those who do not understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly. -- Henry Spencer