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Comment Re:Basic Engineering! (Score 1) 163 163

Or the entire middle east keeps giving Israel the free pass to bomb Iran's missile and nuclear programs back into the stone age,

Israel doesn't have the capability. All it has are fighters, and they can't carry heavy enough bombs. For the buried sites they don't have access to the US "bunker buster" bombs (the only ones capable of doing the job, and even then it will take two precisely landed ones) and nothing large enough to carry them if they did. There are also issues of refueling (limited air tankers), and where to have them waiting for the fighter jets.

Iran is also getting sophisticated ground to air missile systems from the Russians. Even the US stealth planes have never been up against such advanced systems. The Israelis would take a terrible beating and afterwards their air force may not be able to defend Israel.

Comment So much for failures don't matter (Score 1) 184 184

The Silicon Vally ethos is for entrepreneurs to "fail fast, and fail often". Your number of failures is supposed to be a badge of honor on the way to finally hitting it big.

But the truth is that entrepreneurs have to get personally involved in every startup or they will never succeed. It's no surprise that living on the edge like this takes its toll.

Comment This assumes Boeing can deliver on time the EUS (Score 1) 141 141

This problem comes about because it is assumed Boeing will deliver the EUS on time so that the ICPS will only be needed once for a manned mission. But seriously, what are the odds of that???

Chances are there will be delays and the ICPS will be needed for manned missions several times, in which case having it human-rated makes sense.

Comment Denver metro has plenty of open land (Score 1) 940 940

Denver metro has plenty of open land. Denver in particular could easily build to the east. The real problem is that cities here are deliberately not building on open space and forcing close in, packed developments. People may argue quality of life, but sky-high rents really impact your quality of life.

Comment Re:I'm spending 60% of my monthly income on rent (Score 1) 940 940

Even in Manhattan, much of the land is restricted to four stories. Most builders would prefer to go to 25 to 50 stories

The problem with Manhattan is that skyscrapers can only be built where there is bedrock close to the surface. That's why existing skyscrapers are at the southern tip and central Manhattan. In between and north of that the bedrock dips further below the surface. There are techniques for stabilizing a building in soft ground, but they are very expensive.

Comment Re:Who pays estate taxes (Score 1) 297 297

Your comments are full of half-truths. The estate tax is on the value of the estate at death. It's not based on income at all. Otherwise, the federal exemptions on the estate would not make any sense. Trusts aren't established at death; they have to be established before death. The federal estate tax exemption only exempts a few millions, so for hundred-millionaires and billionaires it's just a blip. The same for the annual $15K gifts. One million over a lifetime is a lot for you and me, but Paris probably blows that on one shopping trip. So while the extremely wealthy still use gifts, it doesn't shelter a lot of their money. What the extremely wealthy do have are very expensive lawyers and ways of not having their assets in their name when they die. Standard trusts like you're referring to don't do that.

Comment Re:Manufacturing buisness supported by government. (Score 1) 356 356

Also, much less than the incentives oil companies get.

According to the EIA's "Direct Federal Financial Interventions and Subsidies in Energy in Fiscal Year 2013" page XV, in the US in 2013 oil and petroleum got $2.346 billion in subsidies while all renewables got $15.043 billion (mostly wind and solar). Keep in mind that in 2013 (page XVII) oil and petroleum provided 15,342 trillion BTUs (tBTUs), natural gas 28,353 tBTUs, coal 20,209 tBTUs, and nuclear 8,117 tBTUs, while solar only provided 286 tBTUs and wind 1,549 tBTUs. As a result, per energy output wind and solar subsidies are much, much higher.

Comment Re:AT&T Autopay - Ha! (Score 1) 234 234

What I don't get though is what the heck kind of plan he has. Even if he was online 24 hours a day for 30 days, to get to $15,687, that would mean a per-minute rate of $0.363!!!

There are plans that have no minimum long distance service, local service only. If you do dial a long distance number, you get charged a huge per minute fee. Even a dollar a minute isn't out of line for these kinds of plans.

Comment Re:Help me out here a little... (Score 1) 533 533

If you have one large lake located up high somewhere and can pump water uphill to it, problem solved.

It's not just the overall system you have to worry about, but all the stages in between as well. You might have a massive dump centrally located somewhere to take up the global excess, but if a particular neighborhood has a lot of solar and blows out local transformers sending power upstream, it's not a solution for that neighborhood. The problem of solar is going to require changes at all levels of production and consumption. That's going to take a lot of money and planning.

Comment Re:But not to Nestle. (Score 1) 332 332

Agriculture is the big culprit, taking 80% of the state's water

Nonsense. In the first place, half the state's ground water flows to the sea and is never tapped for various reasons (e.g., recreational and environmental). Agriculture does take 80% of what's left, which means it only uses 40% of the state's water. You have to treat the recreational and environmental uses of water as part of the overall issue. They reflect choices by the state's population, just as having a green lawn does. The environment won't collapse if the delta smelt gets trapped in irrigation pumps, preserving it instead is a choice made by others.

While this has been the worst drought on record, in the past agriculture and the state's urban areas have always managed to get by during previous droughts. What's seldom mentioned, for example, is that California's population has grown since the last major drought, and there have been more mandated environmental diversions. But of course, nobody ever considers these as part of the problem.

If you want food, it takes plenty of land, plenty of sunshine, and plenty of water. It happens that California has some of the best land and sunshine in the world for growing crops. Water was always an issue. But to say that agriculture "wastes" water is nonsense. Even when it's subsidized, it's still a major cost to any Californian farmer. There have always been incentives to reduce its use. I grew up on a California farm from the '60s to the '80s, and saw the advent of drip irrigation, sophisticated monitoring, and other advances. The state even metered the wells in our area in the '80s and eventually started charging for water.

It's easy for people who have never been on a farm to point fingers. But how many of them run the faucets while they shave or brush their teeth, never turn off the shower while they soap up, and over-water their lawns? This is just the tyranny of the majority over a minority -- one which provides a product essential to life.

Comment Re:And the almond trees die. (Score 1) 417 417

If agriculture uses 60% of the water, then how is the greywater produced by the other 40% supposed to supply agriculture's needs? And how would you get it to the agricultural areas from the distant urban areas where it's produced? This also overlooks the fact that many cities in California already recycle their own greywater, and aren't about to give it up. Agricultural water use wasn't an issue until all the people came to California decades later. So why is agriculture the problem? Why should America and the rest of the world give up all the unique crops produced in California because a lot of people just wanted to spend their days by the beach? While this drought is record breaking, a lot of the issues can be traced to California's population growth since the last major drought.

Comment Re:Not particularly useful, unfortunately (Score 1) 204 204

As SSD cells wear, the problem is that they hold charge for less time. Starting new, the time that the charge will be held would be years, but as the SSD wears, the endurance of the held charge declines.

True, but SSD manufacturers say the drive should hold its data for at least 10 years after the drive has reached its recommended lifetime (these drives were well past that).

Comment The NOAA says the CA drought isn't climate change (Score 1) 279 279

This study is interesting in light of the fact that a recent NOAA study found that the current California drought is not caused by climate change. In fact, under climate change California winters are supposed to get wetter, if also hotter. See .

If you think the system is working, ask someone who's waiting for a prompt.