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Comment: Re:It's already going on... (Score 1) 341

by mbone (#47410521) Attached to: Here Comes the Panopticon: Insurance Companies

Actually, as someone who is a pretty conservative driver, I welcomed the option to let worse drivers subsidize my premiums in exchange for them tracking my driving for a while. I could care less that they know (for example) that I always signal turns and lane changes and don't aggressively accelerate or stop. I could also care less that people who can't demonstrate the same behavior are seen as a higher risk and charged a higher premium.

...except you, of course, since you're on my \. frinds list and all...

Well, if you ever get divorced, better make sure you have never driven anywhere your ex-wife's attorney could make hay knowing about.

Comment: Buy? (Score 2, Insightful) 149

by mbone (#47407471) Attached to: Coddled, Surveilled, and Monetized: How Modern Houses Can Watch You

I haven't bought any of this, don't know anyone (personally) who has bought any of this, and don't know why anyone would buy any of this.

I guess, however, some people may have more money than brains. I wish they would put it into Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Rockethub, instead of this crap.

Comment: Re:Ken Starr is a bad example. (Score 1) 149

by mbone (#47407461) Attached to: Coddled, Surveilled, and Monetized: How Modern Houses Can Watch You

Sure, he did all kinds of dirt-gathering in order to try and impeach Clinton, but no one took him seriously.

Susan McDougal called. She wants to have a word with you.

I predict that if some fine day a Federal prosecutor (independent or otherwise) decides for some bogus reason that they want to hassle you, you will take it very seriously indeed.

I agree Whitewater was, like Benghazi, a fake scandal, but fake scandals can hurt real people.

Comment: Flagship Missions (Score 4, Informative) 45

by mbone (#47395335) Attached to: Cassini's Space Odyssey To Saturn

Viking, Voyager, Galileo, Cassini - these were the so called "Flagship" missions - big, envelope-pushing missions intended to substantially advance our knowledge of the solar system. (MSL is really another, but Mars is special for NASA and so they don't call it that.) They have somewhat fallen out of favor, as they are very expensive and prone to delays and overruns, but it is hard to see how there can be substantial advances, particularly in the outer solar system, without them.

The next mission of this class will, Congress willing, be the Europa-clipper, which is slowly getting to the AO stage. I can hardly wait.

Comment: SMB formation theory is uncertain (Score 2) 76

by mbone (#47388775) Attached to: What Came First, Black Holes Or Galaxies?

Having read the article, I think that "With a Bang" sort of waffled on this. It is hard to see how SuperMassive Black holes (SMB) form in the time available for them to form. (There is a large literature on this, but basically there are problems of the seeds - are the seeds Pop III stars, or something more exotic - and time - how can the mass move around enough to form SMB by z ~ 6?).

I don't really feel you can safely answer the "which came first" question until you know how the SMB actually formed.

A one hour video lecture, Supermassive Black Holes and the Problem of Galaxy Formation, might be interesting to people interested in these problems, but it deals with the galaxy problem more than the SMB problem.

Comment: Re:Both? (Score 1) 76

by mbone (#47388551) Attached to: What Came First, Black Holes Or Galaxies?

Of course, as the "With a Bang" article points out, if you are willing to wait and not have everything be simultaneous, you can have both large scale structure formation and small scale structure formation going on simultaneously, with the small scale going to completion earlier, and both together yielding what we see today.

It is surely a great calamity for a human being to have no obsessions. - Robert Bly