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Comment Re:Plate boundary (Score 1) 211 211

Until the next earthquake, and then you fix it. A hell of a lot more straightforward than making something last in the violent and frozen marine environment. I hope there is no metal in it. Or concrete. This thing has to compete with giant ships lumbering across the ocean - it will be a challenge.

Comment Re:And the purpose of this exercise is? (Score 1) 211 211

But not cheaper and faster. A boat from China or Japan takes 10-14 plus loading and unloading time (which, if you're sharing a boat with a bunch of other companies, can potentially add weeks of delay before the boat leaves the dock), and air shipping is relatively expensive. With two or drivers trading off, you could potentially do California to Japan by truck in about a week.

Having a bridge between North America and Asia could be absolutely huge for shipping, as a potential midpoint between the two shipping methods. Whether it will be or not is another question.

Comment Re:Casino Noise (Score 1) 119 119

And in any case property tax does end up being a tax on economic activity also, or at least on economic value, which is determined by economic activity.

The Broken Window Fallacy is the classic counterexample. Among other things, it's a means to disengage (and of course, tax) economic activity from the value of property.

I agree that the Broken Window Fallacy is a fallacy. I don't see how it's a counterexample to the claim that property tax is a tax on economic activity. Can you elaborate?

Comment Re:wft ever dude! (Score 1) 186 186

So "as long as you do nothing wrong you have nothing to worry about"...is that REALLY your position? You DO know you are a felon, right? You are, I am, pretty much everybody is as You commit three felonies a day and the ONLY reason they do not go after you is how much work it would take. Now you have all these SJWs pushing for pretty much anything they find personally offensive (oh I forgot "trigger warning") to be labeled as "hate speech", you have people being investigated by Homeland for making a bad joke or daring to be seen with a sign at a protest, you have CEOs of media cartels saying every song you listen to without giving them money is theft...you really think we should make things EASIER for the state and the cartels?

If you are gonna keep that position I hope you are VERY careful with what you say, what you write, and watch, because all it will take is someone with a tiny bit of power deciding they do not like you. I personally don't have nearly as much faith in the government and cartels as you do, so I'll pass for as long as I can and buy a VPN to idoncareistan when I no longer can, thanks anyway.

Comment Re:clipboards? (Score 2) 58 58

Clipboards have a bunch of known deficiencies.

Your post is informative and makes a lot of sense. On the other hand, I think there are plenty of new types of errors which can be created with electronic systems. In particular, when you abstract data from records and substitute codes in, you make it easier for people to stop looking at original records. Those original records might also contain contextual information that would prevent some errors. In most cases, I imagine the benefits of electronic records outweigh the problems, but when you depend on a computer system to check a bunch of codes, it's harder to realize there's an error in the coding compared to a paper record with context.

Finally, it's really hard to bill correctly if all of your documentation is on paper. If the coder going over the clipboard misses a charge, the hospital loses out on money. If the coder invents a charge, you lose out on money. If the coder can't find whatever documentation a kafkaesque insurance company demands to justify a procedure, you both lose out on money. Also harder to reject a claim for not being written in blue pen with block caps when the claim is electronic.

I'd actually like a citation showing the medical billing has improved since the system became all-electronic. Most studies seem to agree that the majority of medical bills these days contain errors. I never realized how bad it was until I switched to a high-deductible plan (for various reasons) a few years ago. Since I had to pay out-of-pocket for almost everything, I started paying detailed attention to medical bills.

And out of all the interactions my family has had with doctors in the past 3 years, at least 75% of them have had billing errors. And it's not just your "kafkaesque insurance company" -- I think we've seen at least 8 different providers, and the majority of them have made billing errors. I'd say the insurance company was responsible for maybe 1/3 of errors at most... it's primarily the providers.

As part of my plan, I'm supposed to receive a free annual physical. The first year, my doctor's office filed the claim FOUR TIMES and each time made different coding errors. Finally, the last time they ended up double-crediting me on something, and I ended up $5 ahead of what I was supposed to pay, so I just gave up. Last year, I tried to fix this problem by bringing in a copy of the relevant page from my benefits booklet explaining exactly what was covered in a routine exam, and requesting that the office ONLY perform those procedures. They still screwed something up. A family member saw a different doctor and did the same thing, and both the insurance company and the doctor's office made errors -- which combined resulted in four charges we weren't actually responsible for.

Medical billing in the U.S. is a disaster. I don't think most people seem to notice, because insurance "covers it" and so people just pay their $20 co-pay for most things and moves on. For those poor people who actually need to pay bills (and people who elect to through a high-deductible plan), it's beyond kafkaesque.

I'm not saying clipboards would fix this problem. But if documentation were actually attached to most things, rather than existing only as random billing and procedure codes, I'd imagine it would be easier to track things down. As it is, I find it next-to-impossible to even resolve billing errors because all the statements I receive from the physician and insurance company have a bunch of numbers and too little explanation of what they are actually doing. I have spent hours examining the bills, matching up charges (since they aren't reported the same), then querying the insurance company (who, when pressed, will actually tell me what the diagnostic codes mean), which I then have to call the doctors office and force them to code them correctly, rather than using some random diagnostic code for something I didn't even have.

I've talked to other friends and family members, and for those who actually pay most of their own medical bills, I hear similar stories. Medical billing is a disaster, and I can't imagine the abstraction of electronic codes without context has actually improved things... except to make it supposedly "cheaper" for doctors offices and insurance companies who no longer have to pay any attention to context for billing. (And yes, I know most of this is the result of our screwed up insurance system, but unless we get a single-payer system, that's not going to change anytime soon.)

Comment Re:They're going to be charging money for the OS s (Score 1) 268 268

That is because being "Windows ME Ready" meant that you had all WDM drivers. You see what I found the fatal flaw with WinME was some numbnuts at MSFT decided that BOTH WDM and VXD drivers should be supported...what a fuck up! If you mixed WDM and VXD drivers? It was pretty much guaranteed to shit itself and BSOD then only question was WHEN it would happen. I saw PCs at the shop (those Mini HPs with the CD holder on the top, can't recall the model ATM) that you could literally set your watch by, it would crash ME in less than 20 minutes from first boot every time. Replace the VXD only built in sound with a WDM card? Magically ran just fine.

So count yourself lucky, all WDM was a rarity when it came to ME thanks to all the Win98 parts the OEMs had, most were a mix of the two which is why IMHO Windows ME became so hated.

"If a computer can't directly address all the RAM you can use, it's just a toy." -- anonymous comp.sys.amiga posting, non-sequitir

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