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Comment Re:Tender (Score 4, Interesting) 119

Are they just competing on price, or does quality get factored in somehow? Otherwise, I'd like to make a bid: for only a quarter of what the Met Office was charging, I will provide a forecast for England every day. Rain in the morning, followed by rain in the afternoon, then some more rain in the evening and during the night. Can't go wrong with that. Where do I apply?

Comment Re:4/5 in favor (Score 4, Insightful) 751

Unemployed people already get paid (far too much) in most European countries. Like I said, you sometimes even lose money by accepting a job (minimum wage not far above unemployement, and having to pay for car and other expenses, for example). So if anything, it's the current system that's making people stay at home. With the new system, you can accept any job and increase your income right away. If you don't like the job, quit and look for a new one. With the current system, if you accept a temporary job which you don't really like and then quit afterwards, you have to go through a waiting period again. So people don't accept those jobs for fear of losing money instead of making more. With the new system, there's no such fear. Accept any job, quit if you don't like it, look for something new, no paperwork, no hassle, no risks. People will work more.

Comment Re:4/5 in favor (Score 5, Interesting) 751

It's not as bad an idea as it might seem at first sight, at least if it's implemented correctly. If everybody gets a certain basic income and can then work to add more money to that income, that guarantees a difference between working and non-working people and therefore provides an incentive to work. Right now, in many European countries, you may actually make less money by working than by sitting at home unemployed. Certainly if you factor in daycare, transportation expenses, etc.

By just giving everyone the basic salary, then letting them earn as much as they like above that (paying tax on those earnings to pay for the basic salary, obviously), you greatly simplify the system. No need to check whether someone is really unemployed or not before sending them their unemployment benefits, just send the same basic salary to everyone. Apply a flat tax to all extra income, and this automatically emulates the older system of progressively rising taxes. Also, it becomes cheap for companies to hire people for smaller tasks, since there needn't be a minimum salary anymore. If someone wants to do some job for $200 a month (on top of his basic salary), no problem.

Of course I'm oversimplifying and there will be a few caveats, but still, it's not as stupid or communistic as it seems.

Comment Re:Moon Zero? (Score 1) 147

How about a double dome? The outer dome's translucency is changed so the amount of sunlight coming through is the same as on Mars, and the pressure, temperature and composition of the air between the domes is carefully maintained to resemble Mars as much as possible. Then the self-sufficient system has to recreate earth-like conditions inside the inner dome. You can use all sorts of tricks and as much energy as you like to maintain the Mars atmosphere between the domes, but the inner dome has to be self-sufficient. The only thing that doesn't match Mars conditions then, is gravity.

Comment Re: What problem? (Score 1) 212

I think a lot of people here got the problem the wrong way around. Google is not refusing to pay him because the video is in the public domain, quite the contrary: they are refusing to monetize the video UNLESS he proves it's in the public domain. So if he can prove it's public domain, they will pay him.

Comment Re:With those figures ? (Score 2) 131

Can't they set up some kind of peer to peer system between universities? Set up some central server keeping track of everything published at all those universities (or use some kind of distributed consensus system), host the articles themselves on the universities' own servers (must cost less than the millions they are currently paying Elsevier et al), and let researchers vote for each other's articles (score based on some formula taking into account how many people from different universities voted). And count the number of cross-references to increase an article's score (like Google's index). Instead of promoting people based on the number of articles published in some magazine, base it on the score they get on their published articles.

I don't understand why universities haven't taken things into their own hands yet. It's not like they haven't got any smart people to figure this out.

Comment Re:DMCA reform (Score 1) 224

You can't seriously qualify a blanket grep for "pixels" as "good faith belief". It's reckless at the very least, and I can't see a judge actually agreeing with the "good faith belief" defense. Hey, I'll just start killing all americans because I have good faith belief one of them is going to try and kill me!

Comment Re:Good riddance, Tesla (Score 1) 232

According to this site, it takes more electricity (yes, actual electricity, not "energy" in general) to produce gasoline for a regular car than it does to drive an electric car. So when you've finished filling up your gas tank, you've already used the same amount of electricity and you haven't even started burning the stuff yet.

It's gas cars that need to die soon. Stop polluting in the middle of the city, in front of schools, etc.

Imagine for a minute living in a world where all cars were electric already. Now imagine someone having the great idea of introducing a new car that burns fossil fuels and just throws out its carcinogenic exhaust fumes wherever it's driving. You would smell it whenever one passed by (you can't now because you're so used to it). People would say it's scandalous that those things were allowed anywhere near population centers. So why are we still accepting this as normal?

The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

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