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Comment: Re:If You Had An Electronic Currency (Score 1) 602

by jwhitener (#48578401) Attached to: UK Announces 'Google Tax'

You could just tax every transaction made with that currency at a fairly low percentage of the total transaction and do away with all the other taxes. Credit card companies figured this out decades ago.

Yeah, we could. However a sales tax alone is a very regressive form of taxation. Our society (USA) explicitly does not want regressive taxation.

Comment: Re:There is no single "fair" value. (Score 1) 602

by jwhitener (#48575377) Attached to: UK Announces 'Google Tax'

"What I don't like is when the government becomes an engine for wealth redistribution"

If a government providing fire service free to poor person B by taxing rich person A is wealth redistribution, then I would argue that wealth distribution is an unavoidable part of any functioning society. The question that left/right always debate, is the level of redistribution. How much is too much? I haven't heard any serious politician say that zero redistribution is a viable option, have you?

Comment: Re:we ARE different (Score 1) 355

by jwhitener (#48551485) Attached to: James Watson's Nobel Prize Goes On Auction This Week

But if researchers correct for these factors, and compare whites and blacks in similar socioeconomic circumstances, and look at black children adopted and raised by white families

Was that Rushton and Jensen's work in 2005 or are you referring to another researcher? I can't seem to find anyone else claiming a significant IQ difference when all factors are controlled for.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._Philippe_Rushton#Unfavorable - Sure seems like a lot of people people are highly critical of his science.

Comment: Re:we ARE different (Score 1) 355

by jwhitener (#48551411) Attached to: James Watson's Nobel Prize Goes On Auction This Week

This clearly does not make sense as the same group of people tends to do just fine when being raised in a first world country.

Not true. There is a 15 to 18 point gap in IQ test scores in America between blacks and whites. That is about one standard deviation. Similar gaps exist in other mixed race countries.

I don't have time to read the entire thing. But my first thought was this: "I bet the studies didn't control for economic or social issues..."

Sure enough, I found this in the paper:

The question that still remains is whether the cause of group differences in
average IQ is purely social, economic, and cultural or whether genetic factors are
also involved.

http://www.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/30years/Rushton-Jensen30years.pdf

The average black person has lower income, less opportunities, trapped in poverty cycles, etc... Of course if you don't control for those factors you'll see testing differences.

Is there a study that strictly controlled for factors like family wealth and educational opportunities?

Comment: Re:'Decommissioning' is a made-up scenario (Score 1) 235

by jwhitener (#48527317) Attached to: Renewables Are Now Scotland's Biggest Energy Source

Every renewable dream has us whizzing around in electric vehicles. But this could come true only if the future is nuclear.

People on slashdot make that statement, but I have yet to see any proof of it. Meanwhile, it is factually true that the Sahara desert contains 18 times the solar energy required by the entire world. Spread out over the worlds' deserts, that isn't terribly hard to imagine.

Or are you mainly referring to things like energy storage? Because theoretically renewables can provide many times over the energy that we need. Storage and grid management are mainly political will issues (how much do we want to spend, how much will we force energy companies to upgrade), not technical ones.

Comment: Re: How about over 10 years? (Score 1) 291

by jwhitener (#48502955) Attached to: Is Ruby On Rails Losing Steam?

...because you don't "write" html. you get something else to write it for you.

Hand coding your own HTML pages is a lost art these days.

What sort of systems are you guys involved with that you don't have to manually modify HTML structure to line up with what your CSS/JS guys need or want?

Some HTML output is automated, but you still need a thorough understanding of what the HTML tag options are, what needs to be in the HEAD section, the overall flow of the page html for ADA checking, etc..

I use php, java/jsp, coldfusion, velocity templates/Liferay portal type systems, etc.. and still need to carefully think about html structure in my projects. What sort of workflow using what sort of framework/language allows you to produce a finished and styled web application without tinkering with HTML tags?

Comment: Re:Can Iowa handle a circus that large? (Score 1) 433

by jwhitener (#48502677) Attached to: Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Considering US Presidential Run

"American political norms" have shifted tremendously over the last 30 years. I am of the opinion that the Overton Window has shifted towards the right. We can probably argue all day why/how that happened, but the bottom line is that Reagan would be pretty center... even perhaps slightly liberal on some issues (like immigration) in today's politics.

A tea party person considers Hillary Clinton liberal.
A liberal/moderate person considers Hillary Clinton center.

Mainstream news doesn't really make any fine grained distinctions other than blue/red. So yeah, Hillary is lumped into the 'blue' category, but that is just an arbitrary bucket. In terms of the history of political policies in this country, Hillary is pretty middle of the road. Just like her husband.

I'm sure that Hillary/Bill would have had more liberal policies if they thought they could, but they both seem to be pragmatists and not idealists when it comes to actual actions, not speeches.

Comment: Re:Can Iowa handle a circus that large? (Score 1) 433

by jwhitener (#48502505) Attached to: Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Considering US Presidential Run

You must have missed the last election. Democrats were shellacked.

You must have missed the last election. Low turnout, which always favors Republicans, but every minimum wage increase passed, pot legaization passed, person hood amendments failed etc. In other words the liberal agenda made lots of progress. Here's a nice analysis by a GOPer:

http://blog.chron.com/goplifer...

"Democrats were shellacked"...through the power of gerrymandering and record low voter turnout. I think we are going to continue to see these contradictory election results (over 50% of a State's population is liberal, but over 50% of a State's elected candidates are conservative) until the districts can be redrawn in 2020. Of course, the Democrats need to have control in 2020 to redraw the boundries.... chicken meet egg.

Comment: Re:Thats science for you .... (Score 1) 252

by jwhitener (#48463497) Attached to: Doubling Saturated Fat In Diet Does Not Increase It In Blood

Hell, we look at the start of society by farming of a carbohydrate source.

Given that modern humans were around for 100,000+ years with little population to show for it, until 10,000-8000 BC'ish when farming took off, says to me that we need to be careful with carbs more than anything. It is any extremely easy way to get a lot of calories fast. That was great for ballooning the population incredibly fast (in evolutionary time frames), but it makes sense to me that it is equally likely to balloon your waistline just as fast.

Comment: Weather (Score 1) 454

by jwhitener (#48461699) Attached to: In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

Once cars become cheap, automated, electric, and widespread in all parking lots, I think it is true that many people may give up owning a car.

But that is a much more likely scenario in moderate to hot climates, like California. I can't picture that happening for a long time in snowy parts of the country.

Comment: Re:Squarer is better. (Score 1) 330

by jwhitener (#48461641) Attached to: Eizo Debuts Monitor With 1:1 Aspect Ratio

Also, some gaming would benefit from a screen like this. One that comes to find is Everquest. You use a lot of vertical space for chat windows, spell bars, both on the top and bottom of the screen typically. You want those chat boxes and spell bars to be as central to your vision as possible, not pushed way out into your peripheral vision.

Comment: Re:From Experience (Score 1) 561

by jwhitener (#48461435) Attached to: "Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

That is the trouble with IT in general. There is no guaranteed level of professionalism that comes with any title. System Analyst, Business Analyst, Network Engineer, Software Engineer.... none of those guarantee any sort of particular set of knowledge or skills. Widely varied business to business.

Comment: Re:They WILL FIght Back (Score 1) 516

by jwhitener (#48452743) Attached to: Rooftop Solar Could Reach Price Parity In the US By 2016

It lasted six years dude. The effects were even more obnoxious than I listed; I remember dusting the house every bloody day because they were stirring up that much dust and dirt. They destroyed our local roads and paid nothing towards the repair of them. I moved out of that area a full year after they completed construction and the streams still weren't clear. That's what happens when you clear cut thousands of acres of forest. The out-of-towners they trucked in for the job showed no respect to the local community. The complaints ranged from the trivial (speeding, ignoring stop signs) to the obnoxious (unnecessary jake braking at 3am, sexual innuendo on their CB radios) to the criminal (assault and rapes tripled in Wyoming County during this project). ......
I'll repeat: Wind power is a joke.

None of your complaints have anything to do with Wind Power as a technology. It sounds like a poorly run project, with uncaring and inconsiderate project leaders. That has nothing to do with Wind as a power source.

I travel back and forth along the Columbia River all the time. There is a huge amount of wind power and ongoing construction. I've never been inconvenienced. Never had a road closed. Never seen any large amounts of dust. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-_z61PskCFZU/Tf5MQLBMofI/AAAAAAAABMA/_iJDGCRxHSw/s1600/DSCF2258.JPG

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