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Comment: Re:Wow. (Score 1) 117

by Rei (#47443739) Attached to: Rocket Scientist Designs "Flare" Pot That Cooks Food 40% Faster

Are you talking about a Hennessy? I love mine. And I live in Iceland, where it's harder to use. I have no clue where you're getting that they're heavy. Unless you're comparing the regular nylon version to a silnylon tent, rather than nylon to nylon, silnylon to silnylon. The one-man silnylon versions are in the ballpark of 800 grams, including the fly. You kind of have to adapt them to use them as tents on the ground, though, they're not designed for that (but it is possible). Another criticism of them I have is that underside insulation seems to be an afterthought, and I'm not a big fan of their insulation kit (there's no reason it should be foam, I'd like a self-inflating mat). Their snakeskin packing system works well, but you can't pack up the hammock with the insulation on it; honestly, I'd love it if I could have my sleeping bag, hammock, and insulation all roll up as one element. And if had been designed to work both a tent and a hammock from the beginning, the insulation could double as a sleeping pad.

Comment: Snowden / Binney 2016 (Score 2) 27

by Bob9113 (#47443637) Attached to: NSA Says Snowden Emails Exempt From Public Disclosure

Snowden / Binney 2016!

That image is my original artwork (with friendly tips from Slashdot user Indigo), copyright 2014 Robert Bushman, licensed under CC by-nc-sa. It is properly sized for a 2.75" by 5" sticker with .125" bleed at 300 dpi. I'm getting them printed at (I recommend doing a search for "vinyl bumper stickers", since they often have a coupon running on Duck Duck Go). I haven't seen my physical proofs yet, but the on-screen color conversion looked good to me. Please feel free to print a stack and spread them far and wide.

Comment: Re:Wow. (Score 4, Insightful) 117

by Rei (#47442911) Attached to: Rocket Scientist Designs "Flare" Pot That Cooks Food 40% Faster

Not to mention that as a mountaineer, I'd think he'd care more about cooking efficiency than cook time. And while it's great to utilize the flame energy more efficiently, there's a far more significant optimization one can do - make insulated cozies that fit your pots. Bring to a boil, shut off the heat, put the pot it in the cozy and let it cook. For my pots, I made an underpiece and a lid that fits over each other, both out of aluminized foam; it works very well.

(Of course, he could be one of those people that doesn't eat any "cooked" meals, only the "just add boiling water" meals. In that case, then I guess it's all about the efficiency of using the energy from the flame

What I want to see in backpacking is a full integrated system. Where the tent is a hammock is a backpack is a ground cloth is a pack cover is a camp chair and so on down the line, where most components serve multiple uses. When I think about how much "fabric" and "rigid structures" I carry with me that if designed properly could be eliminated, it just seems like a waste.

Comment: Re:Yay big government! (Score 1) 302

Far to many Americans these days don't care how much it hurts government funding as long as it hurts people better off than them.

And far too many remain emotionally attached to laissez-faire despite extensive empirical evidence that in the real world it does not match the theoretical ideal free market.

Naturally, GDP growth is all that matters long term. Heck, even in just 20 years, the difference between 2% and 4% growth makes more difference in our day-to-day lives than anything else the government can do. But so few people seem to care.

The hardest thing for me to do when I did a deep dive on the data was to give up the preconception that I was hoping to prove. I went into it believing that the shift in the level of the top tax bracket had caused the reduction in long-run GDP growth by increasing friction on the entrepreneurial class (roughly P90 - P99 income range). While the data did not support my belief, it gave me an extraordinarily detailed picture of what did happen. I am an economist and an empiricist; my only rational choice was to abandon my belief in favor of the truth.

Comment: Re:Ted Postol very bias opinion. (Score 3, Insightful) 281

by Rei (#47440615) Attached to: A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

Actually, the key thing for them is "cheap". They need to keep costing sub-$1k missiles in the ballpark of these Iron dome systems - the more, the better. They might as well just omit the warheads to save money and increase range. Every $50k shot Israel fires with those systems costs 25 Israelis' annual tax contribution to the IDF. Every $55m system they deploy costs 27.500 Israelis' IDF tax contributions.

Palestinians are poor, but they're not *that* poor that they can't leverage those kind of lopsided financial ratios.

Comment: Re:Yay big government! (Score 1) 302

Oh, and one more thing:

who really get screwed by attempts at social justice through the tax code.

Don't pull that "social justice" crap on me. I have made it exceedingly clear that my only concern is long-run GDP growth. I believe that the only possible "social justice" coincides with maximizing the income of the highest earners -- which happens to be achieved by the exact same path as maximizing the income of the lowest earners. The only path to that end is maximizing long-run GDP growth -- it's a math thing, you can't maximize anyone's income without maximizing long-run GDP growth. And maximizing long-run GDP growth necessarily maximizes everyone's income in the long run.

Comment: Re:Yay big government! (Score 1) 302

While too much income concentration can certainly be a problem, it's not what the tax code is for.

It is exactly what the tax structure is for. The idea is to gradually increase the friction as compensation packages increase in size, so that the government cannot specify who gets paid how much, but can have an influence on the broad distribution of income (in my opinion, which power should only be used to maximize long-run GDP growth rates).

Taxes are for funding the government

That's what the overall tax rate is for, not the tax structure.

(And those with very high income have great flexibility as to when, where, and how they receive compensation - it's those in the "Second 1%," small business owners, doctors, lawyers, and top-tier salaried workers, who really get screwed by attempts at social justice through the tax code. The executive making $500k has other options to dodge taxes, such as getting paid in Ireland, or get pay spread over 5 years, or whatever.)

That is an extremely good point. It is a critical flaw in our tax structure that is actually a direct cause of the reduction in tax progressivity that started before Reganomics. I'm not sandbagging or trying to trick you; you really have hit on one of the most important problems with our tax structure.

Prior to 1993, our marginal tax rate thresholds were not adjusted for inflation. In 1934, the top tax bracket started at $1m nominal, $13.9m real (2014) using the GDP deflator (feel free to use a different deflator for your own calculations, as suits your context, of course). In 1936 it was upped to $5m nominal, $67.1m real. In 1942, it was cut to $200k nominal, $2.3m real. In 1954, there was a major update but the top marginal level remained at $200k nominal, which inflation had dropped to $1.4m real. In 1986, it was still at $200k nominal, which had fallen to $430k real. And in 1993, it was finally set to track inflation, and was set to $250k nominal, $407k real.

So, from 1934 to 1954, the top marginal bracket moved from the truly extraordinarily high earners to the merely exceptional. From 1954 to 1986 (particularly during the massive inflation in the wake of OPEC driving up the price of oil in the early 1970s) it dropped from the exceptionally high earners to hit a really wide range of C-execs, VPs, and even officers in small to medium enterprises. This is when the high top marginal rate, which had been a healthy moderating influence (according to the empirical data) on a tiny fraction of society, started to really pinch the broad "got there on hard work and talent alone" class, including entrepreneurs and people who worked their way up from the blue collar families. That provided the pressure that galvanized Reagan to lower the top marginal rate, but we had already put in a major reduction in 1963.

Which all is to say, the top marginal bracket is much too low. In fact, I believe that if we increased the top marginal rate without moving the top marginal bracket right now, it could very well harm the economy. But the data still says that a higher top marginal rate is better for long-run GDP growth. If my belief that keeping the top marginal bracket at this level while raising the top rate the same would be harmful is correct, then the policy we should be testing -- if our objective is to maximize long-run GDP growth -- is to increase both the top marginal rate and the level at which it kicks in.

That is what the empirical data says is best for everyone, rich, poor, and middle class alike; regardless of what our hearts might believe.

Comment: Re:Subject bait (Score 3, Insightful) 281

by Rei (#47440537) Attached to: A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

No, in the case of Iron Dome, that's only PR too. They're shooting $50k+ missiles at $800 rockets. Even after factoring in that Israel's per-capita GDP is 20 times that of Palestine's, that's still a losing proposition, even *if* they had a 100% hit rate (which this article is suggesting it's anything-but) and assuming that you get the launcher, radar, etc for free instead of the actual $55 million per unit. It's in Palestine's best interests that Israel deploy as many of them as possible and try to shoot down every last rocket, because every shekel they spend on Iron Domes and missiles is a shekel they don't spend on jets, tanks, and bombs.

Comment: Slashdot Asks v. Ask Slashdot (Score 4, Insightful) 331

by Bob9113 (#47439597) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: Do You Want a Smart Watch?

Changing the name from Ask Slashdot to Slashdot Asks seems a rather telling display of your character. You see yourselves as Slashdot, and the commenters as ... what, customers? the audience?

The next Beta Sucks is coming, it is only a matter of time. Until you realize that we, the commenters, are the site -- that we create the value you sell to the readers -- you will never be out from under that hanging sword.

Do me a favor; go to YouTube, Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, Ars, and half a dozen other sites, and read some comment streams. Do you see how vacuous they are? Do you see how much chaff you must wade through to find one or two poignant insights?

The moderation and metamoderation systems here have generated a unique community (well, not entirely unique, with SoylentNews cruising along in the wings). It is the community of commenters that you have the privilege of monetizing. But only so long as you don't piss it away with your narcissism.

Comment: Re:We need (Score 1) 272

by Bob9113 (#47437523) Attached to: William Binney: NSA Records and Stores 80% of All US Audio Calls

Here's Snowden/Binney. I'm a little frustrated with the extra negative space below the "den" in Snowden, because Binney's name is too short, and the tall "i" and hanging "y" are messing with me, and I'm not a graphic designer. I've moved and resized everything but I keep coming back to the original layout. I'm tempted to change their roles on the ticket because Binney/Snowden fits great. grumble grumble

I guess I just have to remember that I'm making a statement, not an actual political campaign -- it need not be perfect to achieve its goal.

Comment: That said... (Score 4, Informative) 57

by Rei (#47437451) Attached to: Sand-Based Anode Triples Lithium-Ion Battery Performance

... the greater your capacity, the less cycle life matters. If you want an EV that battery that will run a 250Wh/mi vehicle for an average 20 miles a day for 15 years, then you want it to cycle through about 30MWh. If you use a 100 mile (25kWh) battery pack, then that's 1100 cycles. If you use a 200 mile (50kWh) battery pack, then that's 550 cycles. If you use a 400 mile (100kWh) battery pack, then that's a mere 275 cycles. Actually, the improvement is even better than that in the real world, because the greater your capacity vs. how far you're actually driving, the more you can cycle the cells through a less destructive state of charge range rather than doing deep discharges.

A lot of people picture battery packs in EVs backwards, they think that things like hybrids stress the packs the least, PHEVs moderately, and EVs the worst. But it's reversed. If you look at how big hybrid packs are vs. how much electric range they hold, you'll see that they're disproportionately large, even after you factor in any differences in Wh/kg. The reason is that because hybrid packs get cycled so much, they have to keep the cycling in a very narrow state of charge range, only allowing shallow discharges. So if you only have a narrow discharge range, you have to make your pack bigger to make up for it. EVs can discharge through much more of their pack because they need fewer total cycles and only rarely go down toward the lower end of their allowable discharge range. Some EVs also let you limit the max that your pack charges up to to further extend lifespan (it's usually destructive both to use the very top end and the bottom end of the discharge range).

"Marriage is like a cage; one sees the birds outside desperate to get in, and those inside desperate to get out." -- Montaigne