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Comment: Gross or net? (Score 2) 121

by overshoot (#47443465) Attached to: Fighting Climate Change With Trade

The United States exported about $106 billion worth of such goods last year.

It's one thing to export $106 billion more than you import and quite another to export $106 billion while importing $250 billion.

A good rule of thumb is that if an article doesn't explicitly tell you that it's a net export, it's because it's a puff piece with a bias and the truth would harsh the whole slant.

Comment: Chicken or egg? (Score 3, Interesting) 205

by overshoot (#47442191) Attached to: Geographic Segregation By Education

Yes, lots of educated (and wealthy) citizens create markets for better services in cities. But decades of surveys of companies planning locations and of educated workers considering relocation tell us it works the other way around, too.

States like Arizona and Texas that base their plans for attracting high-wage (lots of educated employees) employers on cutting taxes usually do it by also slicing schools and other services.

That seems to be working in places like Austin, where the city makes up for the lack of State support for education (or actual hostility to it) by cranking up local sales taxes -- which fall more on the poor than on the affluent. Which is a sweet deal if you're making serious money as a twenty-something in technology there, but might not look so good when you have kids and you're looking for daycare and primary schools.

We're doing the experiment. Check in again in ten or twenty years to see which way the arrow of cauality runs.

Comment: Re:But you can still (Score 1) 685

by overshoot (#47407515) Attached to: TSA Prohibits Taking Discharged Electronic Devices Onto Planes

Ask yourself: what does the TSA do to detect iron oxide and aluminum? (Much less magnesium! MacBooks, anyone?)

They've known about this for years. They have quite competent "red team" people who think up possible threats, and they're not remotely so stupid as to believe that the Bad Guys can't think up this kind of thing themselves. Ask a classroom of sophomore-level engineering students to come up with ways to get plane-killers aboard and this is one of the first ones -- although it's a very, very long list.

However, stopping thermite from getting onboard is going to be way more of a public inconvenience than their mission statement allows.

Comment: Re:It's the politics (Score 1) 713

by overshoot (#47393185) Attached to: When Beliefs and Facts Collide

Most of the AGW activists are pursuing political agendas that have a limited connection to AGW. Here are some questions to ask yourself - Why are AGW activists not actively pursuing increased hydroelectric power? Why are AGW activists not actively pursuing increased nuclear power?

Mostly because they're not interested in mandating specific aproaches. Instead of the old-fashioned approach of Nixon's EPA, they're going for market-based solutions: putting a price on carbon emissions, for instance. Or a conservative variant on that, George H. W. Bush's cap-and-trade mechanism updated by John McCain for carbon dioxide.

Or the most recent study's proposal: just eliminating taxpayer subsidies for fossil fuels would get us halfway to the 2-degree target.

Comment: Re:Highway Only to Speed Deployment (Score 1) 142

by overshoot (#47388557) Attached to: Autonomous Trucking

First off, the ping rate for auto traffic is an enormous number of pulse durations or return times -- the radar will ignore returns coming back more than a couple of microseconds after it sends its last ping, and only needs to ping every few tens of milliseconds. That's a window of less than 0.1%.

If a car detects a return in a "forbidden" time slot, it can just switch to not using that frequency. Or use the kind of random backoff that Ethernet has been using now for forty years.

And that's just two solutions.

Comment: Re:Strangely enough (Score 1) 150

Give the money to the lawyers, burn it in the street, line it with birdcages, give it to a Colombian drug lord - it's money out of the hands of the entity that screwed over their employees, customers, etc, in the absence of any other action.

If all you want from the case is to punish the conspirators (presumably to discourage them from doing it again) then it would be a good ideat to hit them for at least what they got from screwing the employees. Which, apparently, was something like an order of magnitude larger. $324 million is, like the drug lords put it, just the cost of doing business.

If, on the other hand, there is some remote notion of compensating the people who actually got screwed, a settlement that got them, like, some money might be better. And as other commenters have pointed out, hiring your own lawyer to play Don Quixote against multiple giant corporations is not a winning proposition.

And "Junior" is so cute. I'll have to show that to the grandkids.

Comment: Re:When you can't measure (Score 1) 370

by overshoot (#47294089) Attached to: Age Discrimination In the Tech Industry

The trouble with this analysis (and no argument on most of it) is that the CEO is the one who decides that since the Company needs to put another 70 engineers on the new hot project, the place to do it is in Ghana because engineers in Ghana are cheaper than the ones in Prague or Mumbai.

The details, such as Ghana having no engineers who are up to speed with the technology of the new hot project? That kind of thing is, as you say, below his level of concern. But the total price of the new team? That's his. So you get the top-level decision to move the project to Ghana.

Seen it happen too many times. As the old saying goes, "they know the price of everything and the value of nothing."

Polymer physicists are into chains.