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Comment Re:environmental impact (Score 2) 161

The same impact as the last 3 centuries. The US used to be composed of mostly farmers and agricultural workers (slaves), something like 90% of the population

Today, agriculture employs less then 3% of the populace. Now, in absolute terms, the number of farmers has gone up, but the population they support has gone far higher.

Comment Re:Still sucks (Score 1) 467

Seriously this. I still do not understand why people thought it was ridiculous that Finn almost beat Kylo, after the movie amply demonstrates

1) Chewies Bowcaster hits like a truck. Repeatedly shows Stormtroopers being throw off their feet from a single shot
2) Kylo hammers on his wound prior to the fight and the movie shows a pool of blood on the snow, showing how badly Kylo is bleeding out

The fact that Kylo nearly beats both Finn and Rey is a testament to his hatred/dedication.

Comment Re:Weights and Measures! (Score 5, Insightful) 124

Seriously this. Weights and Measures are the ones who keep honest people honest, by auditing and randomly testing anything that relies on metering. They are one making sure out of town people are not being cheated at the gas pump. If Comcast wants to measure and meter data usage, then they should be compelled to install a tested and sealed device that spits out the data usage to customer on premise.

Comment Re:Greatly prefer Netflix model anyway (Score 2) 71

What you speak of when it comes to siding with the consumers and breaking bundling is great in theory, but this is an example of prisoners dilemma. Any one cable company knows they can't take on Disney/Turner/etc in forcing unbundling because Disney can just smile, drop ESPN, and watch the cable/satTV customers go racing to one of the satellite TV providers or back to cable, and leaving the cable/satTV company screwed. Disney is the worst of the bundlers because they have ESPN, so they force all the other shit down the cable/sat companies throats.

Until the FCC rules such bundling to be illegal, the content companies can continue to play the various cable companies and sat TV companies against each other. This is the main idea behind the various mergers in providers, to reduce the number of entities that can played against each other. In terms of customer choice, it is awful, and is bullshit. But from a content negotiation point of view, the bigger you are, the bigger the club you can wield, and the content providers are effectively a cartel, so the transport providers are bulking up as well.

For this reason, Netflix and other streamers, once they overtake cable/satTV in terms of viewers, will get the harsh end of this same stick. Mind you, they know this, hence both Netflix and Amazon are becoming content creators themselves, to avoid the same fate of being held over the barrel. Disney could easily play Netflix against Amazon, and force bundling on both of them.

Comment Dune and the Spice (Score 1) 475

Someone apparently hasn't bothered to read Dune yet. Or take a civics course.

Could we theoretically get off fossil fuels? Yes. Could we do it overnight? No. The spice must flow. To unilaterally end the usage of fossil fuels in transportation would be to "End all commerce among the Great Houses". There simply is no replacement for fossil fuels when it comes to transportation. Especially once you consider the infrastructure.

This doesn't even begin to cover the power of fossil fuels, specifically oil, when it comes to medical technology. Did this kid get a vaccine? If so, he has benefitted from fossil fuels. Has he ever been to a hospital or a doctors office and been examined or received a physical? Again, fossil fuels made this possible to do. Before plastic, many many many kinds of procedures were simply not possible to do safely. Lost large amounts of blood? Die well, either from the blood loss or from playing Russian roullette with a blood transfusion (did these even exist prior to refrigeration and plastics?).

We may reach a day where we do not rely on fossil fuels for transportation. I very much hope so. But Rome was not built in a day, and neither will this effort to reduce fossil fuel usage. Fossil fuels have built over the last 2 centuries, they won't be undone in 1 decade.

Comment Re:In other news (Score 1) 291

Why would people "not have any money"?

Because they just got laid off? What people are trying to get across is that if you layoff 50% of your workforce, and reduce your price by 50%, you are creating a net loss, because the remaining 50% pay 50% less, and the other 50% you laid off pay NOTHING, because they now have 0 income, so the cost reduction does not benefit them what so ever. So yeah, you get some extra profit from reducing your cost by half, and yoru price by something less then half, but then you lose a ton in the volume side, when people stop buying your stuff entirely, being unable to afford it. This is most reflected in the F2P games, where it is EXPECTED that 60% or so of the playerbase will pay nothing, the 10% at the top will provide 50% of the revenue.

Fundamentally, with technology, we keep raising the bar on what is required to even participate in the market. There was a time a child could work and get a wage of some kind, and required almost no training. Now, many jobs require a ton of training and learning on the go just to become productive. All the main professions (Engineering, Law, Medicine, Accounting) take anywhere from 5-10 years to get fully up to speed to be productive. Trade based stuff takes almost as long, just getting the experience. Programming is nearly as bad, just masked by the fact that you can start it relatively early, but doing actual good software design is like a trade, it takes experience and some people have a talent for it.

Comment Factions and their real world representations (Score 5, Interesting) 485

I always felt Star Trek politics were pretty cut and dried, as each race either directly represented a specific country or ideology Federation: Western world, especially the US, given the diversity of participants. Romulan Empire: Soviet Union, semi paranoid society, fairly closed, state security is fairly powerful and ever present (Tal Shiar = KGB). Mix of military power and secrecy to further their agenda (The plot line of supplying weapons to the Duras is straight out of the Soviet playbook of arming allies with Soviet weapons, AK-47's being the most common). Cardassian Empire: East Germany. Odo is quoted as saying "Not even the Tal Shiar can match the Obsidian Order" in the episode The Wire. Poor, even more paranoid, uses miltary expansion to acquire resources. Obsidian Order = Stasi Ferengi = Captialism/Wall St. where everything has a price. Tholians = Japanese. Exotic technology, very advanced, but xenophobic to the extreme. Borg = China. More intent on taking then innovating, seen as homogeneous mob. Suppresses dissent for the collective/society good. Dominion = Middle East. Average religious fanatic = Jem Hadar (believe in a god and is willing to die for them). Vorta = Mullahs (use the belief of the founders to enforce their will). Founders = Typical Middle East dictator/monarchy, who use religion purely as an excuse to maintain control, and don't care what so ever about their people and throw them away with little regard. Bajorans = Israel. Home occupied, people murdered, scattered to the wind. Rebuilds. Klingon Empire = Probably West Germany, due to overarching militarism, and pride. As seen in TNG, battleground for the ideologies of Romulans and the Federation, similar to the ideological battles in Germany, symbolized by the Berlin Wall. But really any place where there was combat over the ideolgies could represent here (Vietnam, Korea)

Comment Re:Oh slashdot... (Score 1) 503

I would have to disagree. The Soviets were the Romulans. Large military power, relies on stealth and maneuvering to achieve foreign policy objectives (supplying the Duras sisters to undermine the Klingon Empire). Paranoid population where the intelligence service was also the secret police (Tal Shiar = KGB). The Cardassians were the East Germans. Odo remarks that the Obsidian Order was even more ruthless and feared then the Tal Shiar, just as the Stasi were considered more dangerous/ruthless then the KGB. Also, like East Germany, the State was everything and the country was resource poor and relied on conquest/military rule to keep things together.

Comment Re:I can agree to that... (Score 1) 176

If he was assassinated in Russia, the Russians would probably have a word or two. Not to mention that it would open Pandora's box, because then they would have the moral justification to start killing any dissidents in the US (and the Chinese would do the same), basically declaring a free for all on political enemies world wide.

Comment Re:11 Trillion Gallons of Water Needed to Water Ri (Score 5, Informative) 330

Actually, the main crop that is quite profitable but requires vast amounts of water is not rice, but nuts, specifically Almonds. Rice isn't a problem because the delta around the Sacramento river normally floods, so it doesn't take a ton of effort to rice farm up there. The issue is irrigating both snowmelt and river water to the central valley to grow almonds and other crops.

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