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Comment: Re:Lies and statistics... (Score 1) 517

by Shakrai (#47568823) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Pre-existing condition exclusions are required because of adverse selection. Flood insurance works the same way; you've got no coverage at all until the policy has been in effect for 30 days. If your house washes away on Day 29 you're SOL.

In any case, I didn't share my story to indict the insurance companies. It was more of an indictment of the healthcare system in general. There was one unavoidable expense: the $4,500 immunoglobulin shot. Why then did the total bill come to nearly $7,000? It came to that much because treatment was routed through the most expensive delivery system (the ER) available in our healthcare system. Why is that? The rabies series is not time sensitive, waiting a few days causes no ill effects. The taxpayers ostensibly pay for it anyway so why not just have it at the County Health Department Monday through Friday?

I try to route my healthcare through my PCP, because 1) I like him, 2) It's cheaper (both for me and society) than the alternatives. Of course, we're killing the PCP providers, they're barely paid cost as it is (less than cost for medicare patients) and there's no incentives for med students to pursue primary/family medicine as a specialty. The ACA didn't do anything to address this either, a fat lot of good having insurance for the first time is going to do you when you can't find an MD that's taking new patients.

Comment: Re:Lies and statistics... (Score 1) 517

by Shakrai (#47566549) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

That's a valid point but you kind of missed the bigger picture. With my history and health status they shouldn't be on the hook for more than $300-$500 annually. That's the cost of an annual physical and standard blood/urine lab work. All it took was one incident to largely wipe out their earnings on me and in this case the costs really weren't inflated all that much. Despite what the other poster thinks, the immunoglobulin really is that expensive. It has a very short shelf life, production is a bitch, and there's little economy of scale because it's so rarely needed. Socialized medicine won't fix any of that....

Comment: Re:Lies and statistics... (Score 5, Insightful) 517

by Shakrai (#47562169) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Yes, since the bills would be covered by insurance.

After the deductibles and co-pays. I have a "platinum" plan through my employer; better insurance than anyone else I know and the co-pays still total up to a considerable amount. No deductibles for in-network on my plan, which makes me extremely fortunate. As a single guy I can afford the co-pays even with my modest salary but I can see how quickly they would bankrupt someone with a family, particularly if said family had one or more members with a chronic illness.

Incidentally, I was just exposed to rabies a few months ago:

Strike One: The only place to get the immunoglobulin is the ER, because it's very expensive (>$4,500) and has a short shelf-life. ER co-pay: $150
Strike Two: There's a set schedule for the vaccine, Days 0, 3, 7, and 14. You can get the vaccine from your primary, in theory, but of course my primary has a months long waiting list because we're driving PCPs out of business. Bottom line, I can't get appointments with them for Days 3 or 7, so that's two more trips to the ER. Additional co-pay total: $300
Strike Three: New York State ostensibly has a fund to pay for out of pocket expenses related to rabies exposures, but they only reimburse for the rabies vaccine and immunoglobulin. Since the ER decided to give me a tetanus shot on Day 0 NYS won't reimburse me, even though my out of pocket would have been $150 with or without this extra shot. Hooray for bureaucracy!

Totaling all this up, that stupid bat that found its way into my apartment has personally cost me $465 ($450 of ER co-pays, $15 of PCP co-pay) while my insurance company is on the hook for close to $7,000. My annual premium is about $6,000. So this one incident wiped out every penny they made on me and then some. I'm an otherwise healthy 32 year old marathon runner that ought to be subsidizing those who are less fortunate. Now imagine a family of four that were all exposed to the same scenario I was.....

Comment: overstate things much? (Score 1) 175

by Shakrai (#47516869) Attached to: Privacy Lawsuit Against Google Rests On Battery Drain Claims

MUCH more importantly, though, ads are draining your BANDWIDTH. It's important, because it's also a simple demonstrable harm. If you pay $30 per month for your internet bandwidth, and the ads use up half of it (conservative estimate)

In which universe do you live where ads on a webpage total up to half of the bandwidth to deliver said webpage?

Because Google purposely don't allow you to block the ads in android (*)

They don't make it easy but they don't make it all that difficult either. Buy a Nexus, Developer Edition, or one of the multitude of carrier branded phones that are rootable. Install one of the multitude of ad blocking apps that are available, AdFree being my personal favorite. Problem solved.

Comment: Re:Where were you when the Eagle landed? (Score 1) 211

by tragedy (#47505721) Attached to: Apollo 11 Moon Landing Turns 45

From the article you link to:

Before the war, Bush had gone on the record as saying, "I don't understand how a serious scientist or engineer can play around with rockets",[56] but in May 1944, he was forced to travel to London to warn General Dwight Eisenhower of the danger posed by the V-1 and V-2.

So, it looks like he wasn't a fan of rocketry in general, which wasn't really particularly visionary of him in retrospect.

Comment: hybridized start menu = half-assed fix (Score 2) 346

by kimvette (#47452783) Attached to: Leaked Build of Windows 9 Shows Start Menu Return

On a system that isn't a tablet, I DO NOT WANT A TOUCH INTERFACE, or even a hint of it unless I get a touch sensitive monitor and explicitly turn it on (a prompt asking me if I want to would be fine, too). For desktops and laptops, Windows 7's start menu is absolute perfection.

Don't try to improve perfection. I don't want to see any trace of the formerly-known-as-metro style interfaces anywhere on a desktop OS. Don't try to sell me a Windows tablet and think that shoving a touch interface in my face on the desktop is going to get me to buy. Android is where it's at for tablets. Trying to force that crappy UI on me will make me not even consider Windows tablets even IF you make it far superior to Android.

All you've done is alienate customers with Windows 8, and you're still trying to shove that loathed (loathed isn't even the word for it) abortion of a UI in people's faces. I'm going to be buying a bunch of Windows 7 licenses while it's still available because Windows 9's isn't shaping to be much better than Windows 8. If I have to run 9, I'll be installing classic shell on it, like I do on Windows Server when I have to work on Windows servers (who the FUCK thought it was a good idea to put a tablet UI on a server OS anyhow?!)

Oh, and while you're at it bring back glass. Knock it off with that Windows '80s flat look.

Comment: Re:Wait a minute... (Score 4, Insightful) 162

by Shakrai (#47430023) Attached to: Hair-Raising Technique Detects Drugs, Explosives On Human Body

I don't know about Acetaminophen, but I've heard compelling cases made that if Aspirin were discovered today it would be a prescription drug. Think of the side effects, the modern day "think of the children!" attitude, and pathetic need of the body politic to feel "safe" from any and everything.

Comment: Re:Not about jealousy, but ... (Score 1) 265

by tragedy (#47423627) Attached to: Dubai's Climate-Controlled Dome City Is a Dystopia Waiting To Happen

It's not necessarily as bad as you make it out to be. Let's say that you have a hemispherical dome covering 4.3 square miles, which I think is what the summary is trying to say. That's a diameter of 3766 meters and an interior volume of about 14 billion m^3, which is something like 17.15 billion kg of air. It's around 1000 joules per degree celcius for each kilogram. So, if you start with a very nasty 45 degrees celcius and get it down to a comfortable 20 degrees celcius, that's 428 terajoules. Obviously Air conditioning is not perfectly efficient. We'll assume an EER rating of 13 for the air conditioning, which may actually be a bit low for a huge commercial system. That's about 38%, so it would take 1.121 Petajoules. Let's say we're powering by gasoline. There's around 120 megajoules per gallon of gas, which translates to around 24 megajoules of electricity per gallon at 20% efficiency. So, that's around 46.7 million gallons of gasoline. Gas is around $2 a gallon in Dubai, so that's around $93.5 million. That's not very much compared to the initial construction costs of such a structure.
That's just the initial cooling, of course, there's still the matter of keeping it cool afterwards. With such a large structure, heat transfer from the outside is almost negligible with proper design. It's a huge number compared to a regular home, but it's very small relative the the massive volume. Then there's the heat generated inside. A typical human puts out around 100 watts of heat just by being alive, then there's all the lighting, cooking, and every other use of power. Guessing a kilowatt of heat generated per person wouldn't be too far off. From the numbers I've found, I'm estimating that they're expecting an upper limit of about 4 million people continuously (180 million visitors per year, guessing they will stay for a week, plus some permanent residents), so that's 4 gigawatts of cooling, or 126 petajoules per year. Going by our previous figures, that's around $10.5 billion dollars per year. That seems like a huge sum of money, but that's only $58 per visitor if they have 180 million per year (and it obviously scales down somewhat if they have fewer visitors).
These numbers are all rough, of course, and use naive assumptions about the shape of the dome, energy consumption, design efficiency, source of power etc. Obviously powering by gasoline would be crazy from an ecological standpoint, but there's an abundance of solar power available there, and the gasoline cost is just a stand-in. The numbers I gave are skewed towards the worst-case scenario, and they're still reasonable. There's nothing impossible going on there. There may be plenty that can go wrong with such a project, but making out the air conditioning in to a near-apocalyptic problem is a bit hyperbolic.

Comment: Re:the length of a 10-passenger limousine (Score 1) 55

by tragedy (#47416011) Attached to: Ancient Bird With Largest Wingspan Yet Discovered

It all depends on exactly which definition of "dinosaur" you use. Many, if not most, modern palaeontologists consider birds to be dinosaurs. Even if you use the traditional definition of dinosaur that restricts them to the Mesozoic, there were birds during the Jurassic and Cretaceous, so you would be saying that birds who didn't survive the era were dinosaurs, but those that did aren't. Which would make it weird for any bird species that survived unchanged well past the extinction. Would that single species be a dinosaur species up to the end of the Mesozoic, but cease to be right at the boundary? Would they just retroactively not be dinosaurs?

For every bloke who makes his mark, there's half a dozen waiting to rub it out. -- Andy Capp