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Comment Donate your time not your money (Score 4, Insightful) 268

Unless you want to spend several months a year of your life auditing inefficient "charity" organizations and trying to make judgments about whether they're doing it right and spending your dollars wisely...and hey if you think you're good at that you should probably start your own charity. But if you do, everyone will expect you to work for free. It's a viscous circle.

Donate your time, you'll meet people too.

Unless you're a multi-billionaire, then start a foundation and direct where the money goes.

Comment Wrong solution, wrong problem (Score 1) 233

The whole problem strikes me as one of human preferences, not technical requirements. There's absolutely no reason not to use our atomic clocks and just count number of seconds since some starting point. The desire to have the sun directly overhead at "noon" is a human one, divorced from any technical requirement. All of science, computing, networking, telecommunications, would be much happier if we didn't continually redefine time like this.

So let watch manufacturers and clock-app manufacturers deal with this, when reporting time for human consumption. It shouldn't be a problem for NIST and government bodies. NIST should instead be reporting Earth's orbital parameters as time delta from noon, as they change over time, not conflating time itself with Earth's orbital parameters.

This is the way GPS, Loran-C and TAI handle time, and it's the right thing to do.

Comment Re: just what we all love (Score 1) 243

the paperwork involved with understanding and filling out dozens of tax returns in langauges you don't speak would just be overwhelming

But somehow marketing in all these different languages isn't overwhelming enough to stop them from selling their goods in these countries. And if you're worried about efficiency, let's remember that it would be FAR more efficient to only tax corporations, than to tax EVERY SINGLE CITIZEN.

Comment Re:Decentralization, do you speak it? (Score 1) 111

Coffee shop employees are perfectly capable of skimming credit cards so they can perform illicit transactions also. I've had that happen to me too. The technical ability to so easily skim numbers is what enables fraud. There's no encryption there.

"I never authorized that charge" was not sufficient for my bank. So then it's off to court...

Comment Re:Decentralization, do you speak it? (Score 1) 111

Because the courts are the best way to reverse transactions. I've had the scenario you describe regarding road tolls and car rentals, and I challenged it with my bank. Got me exactly nowhere. I suppose I could go to court for a $75 fine, but who has time for that?

Legally some jurisdictions may consider it a one-time charge, but technically they have everything they need to perform a second charge, and it's your blood sweat and tears to challenge the fraud. That waiter skimming cards will not be deterred by your long, expensive, legal-system charge reversal plan.

Comment Re:Decentralization, do you speak it? (Score 2) 111

The non-anonymity of MC transactions is a huge liability. Not only does my MC payment for my coffee allow me to pay for my coffee, but it also allows the merchant to perform future transactions (whether valid or not). It's an authorization not a one-time transaction. This price is just too high and is the source of all CC fraud. There is no reason why any merchant needs to know who I am. If customers choose to disclose their identity to sign up for their email spam, that's their problem, but I should not have to pony up my identity to perform most consumer transactions. The only reason merchants check ID's on transactions is as a flawed fraud protection measure. It protects them, but at my expense.

Anonymous transactions are be better.

Comment Re: s/Identify/Hypothesize/ (Score 1) 103

Him theory is not considered credible by anyone I've ever talked to (I am a theoretical physicist). I can't really say more, I haven't studied it.

And we all hope a method to compute at strong coupling will arise. And if one does, one could computer the bound state spectrum of the dark matter sector, and do the calculation the authors suggest correctly. Maybe their suggestion is even correct, but their calculation is wrong without consideration of bound states.

Comment s/Identify/Hypothesize/ (Score 4, Insightful) 103

No one has "identified" anything. This is a paper with a proposal, an idea, a hypothesis. Behind it lie a rather gigantic pile of assumptions and parameters to fit the data. It's long been speculated that Dark Matter may not be simple, but rather could be as complicated as the visible spectrum (which contains electrons, photons, atoms, and the entire periodic table). But there's a huge problem with making predictions in a strongly interacting theory: you generally can't. "Strong interactions" mean that most computations do not converge. For instance we cannot, from first principles, calculate the mass of any atomic nuclei.

So this means the "dark matter sector" contains essentially a whole periodic table of stuff, and we're hopelessly unable to compute anything. This paper in particular ignores the possibility of bound states (e.g. atoms, mesons, etc) in the dark matter sector, which IMHO is just silly especially with strong interactions.

Comment Re:It's always dark matter. Except when it isn't. (Score 1) 100

Wikipedia is usually a good reference. These two articles talk about it. It's the oldest evidence for "dark matter". Either that or it's evidence that gravity doesn't behave entirely the way described by Einstein. The latter view has fallen out of favor due to the lack of good theories adopting that viewpoint. The former has fallen into favor due to the copious selection of theories containing a particle with little or no interactions (it's easy to do). Neither of these theory-spaces has been proven to be correct (yet).

Fear is the greatest salesman. -- Robert Klein

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