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Comment: Re:We don''t do tax returns in the UK,you insensit (Score 2) 379

by riverat1 (#46762739) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

I still can't figure out why everyone complains so much about taxes.

It's mostly because politicians tell them they're taxed too much and should complain. It has nothing to do with actual tax rates, just a way to make political hay that sounds good to a lot of low information voters.

Comment: Re:huh? (Score 1) 318

by riverat1 (#46758727) Attached to: Netflix Gets What It Pays For: Comcast Streaming Speeds Skyrocket

Well, I haven't been streaming Netflix on Comcast but lately both my (Comcast supplied) television reception and internet connection have been showing a lot more short drop-outs and picture defects. Wonder if there's a connection?

What pisses me off the most is sometimes I'll pause a radio stream that I'm listening to and I'll come back in a half hour or so and it got disconnected so I lost the show that was paused.

The one thing that would improve internet access the most in the US would be to declare the wires/fibers that deliver the content as common carriers totally separate from the providers of content.

Comment: Re:Gotta board this train soon (Score 1) 423

by riverat1 (#46753627) Attached to: UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

As defined by the World Meteorological Organization the classical climate period is 30 years, long enough for the short term variations to average out but short enough for longer term variations to be discerned. So a reasonable judgement would be how well the model output matches the 30 year running mean of global temperature. You'll have to wait 15 years to see how well they match 2014.

Better yet you can learn a bit more about how climate models work by reading these FAQs written by Gavin Schmidt, one of the principles for the NASA/GISS Model E, one of the worlds major climate models:

FAQ on climate models
FAQ on climate models: Part II

He also wrote a post On mismatches between models and observations that is very interesting. It shows that he understands very well the issues involved in models and data collection.

And finally here is an Ars Technica article on Why trust climate models? It's a matter of simple science.

Comment: Re:Solar and wind compliment, not compete (Score 1) 423

by riverat1 (#46751415) Attached to: UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

Before the natural gas boom it was still cheaper, faster and more profitable to build coal power plants than nuclear power plants. There are some costs in the government paperwork but coal plants have plenty of paperwork of their own to go through. The paperwork for a nuclear plant may be excessive but given that the American taxpayer is on the hook for any major nuclear accident (see the Price-Anderson Act) I'm not complaining about it. Better too much rather than too little. It's a little hard to pin down the costs of the Fukushima incident cleanup but it looks like it's sure to be over $50 billion and counting.

Comment: Re:Ah, the joys of getting old (Score 1) 423

by riverat1 (#46745169) Attached to: UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

It's easy to blame environmentalists for the lack of nuclear power in the US but it really has more to do with nuclear being one of the more expensive ways to produce power. It's cheaper and quicker to build a coal or natural gas plant and you don't have to get government loan guarantees or government provided liability insurance to do it. If nuclear really were cheaper than coal there would have been more nuclear power plants built despite the cries of anti-nuke environmentalists.

Nothing is rich but the inexhaustible wealth of nature. She shows us only surfaces, but she is a million fathoms deep. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson