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Comment: So Much Fail (Score 1) 456

by sirwired (#46778731) Attached to: Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

1) A typical well-diversified index fund delivers returns over the long-term well over the interest charged on mortgages or car loans if you took out those loans when you have decent credit. It makes utterly no sense to lose the ability to take advantage of tax-advantaged investments in order to pay off low-interest loans at a vastly accelerated pace. It's a worthy goal to have your house paid off by the time you retire, but no need to be crazy about it. (Yeah, credit cards do suck and you should pay those off ASAP after you get your max 401(k) match, if offered.)
2) You should be taking advantage of every tax-advantaged investment you have available. That means dumping the max into an IRA, and if your employer has one available, also dumping the max into their 401(k) program.
3) Even if your employer has a lousy 401(k) program, once you've maxed out your individual IRA limit (which doesn't take much if your employer offers a 401(k)) it still makes sense to dump as much money as you can into it. The next time you switch employers, you can roll over your 401(k) into your IRA. (My employer's 401(k) is quite good, with expenses of only 0.12%/yr, so there's no reason ever to take my money out.)
5) If your employer offers a 401(k) match (even 50 cents on the dollar), you'd have to be a complete blithering idiot to not take advantage of it.
6) Seriously? You claim your investing acumen is SO good, that you can routinely achieve 20-50% returns in a month in a practice portfolio, but you don't invest because a five-page Schedule D is your idea of too much work? (Especially since most of the "work" is nothing more than copying the data from your statements into a tax program.) I call B.S. That kind of return would make Warren Buffet look like an amateur and the finest hedge fund kingpin look like he was running a lemonade stand.

Comment: You Insensitive Nazi Clod! (Score 4, Funny) 44

by sirwired (#46767065) Attached to: Mt. Gox Ordered Into Liquidation

By glorifying MtGox's collapse, you have shown yourself to be a Thuggish Tool Of The Oppressor! You would have made Hitler and his minions proud with your slavish dedication to the status quo.

Maybe you should open your eyes to the real world instead of digging yourself into a bunker of group-think as part of the great mass of sheeple and perpetuating hysteria and hype.

(c) All Politically Frothy Slashdot Commenters, MMXIV, All Rights Reserved

Comment: Seriously? (Score 1) 71

by sirwired (#46716617) Attached to: The Amoeba That Eats Human Intestines, Cell By Cell

Often, the tests for intestinal parasites (usually from a series of stool samples) don't actually work. While false positives are rare, false negatives are quite common.

Given that cancer is usually an actual tumor (or, at the least, something that is blindingly obvious on a microscope slide), the odds of getting treated for cancer when you really had a parasite is pretty much zero.

And likewise, the flu has pretty distinctive symptoms (and a somewhat reliable test) that you are unlikely to be treated for influenza but be suffering from a parasite.

A mandatory test for any given parasite would be a fantastically expensive waste of money for relatively little benefit. And of course there are a crazy number of parasites it's possible to infect a human with; which ones do you test for?

Comment: Those numbers are complete B.S. (Score 2) 101

by sirwired (#46712349) Attached to: Intel and SGI Test Full-Immersion Cooling For Servers

Air cooling is inefficient, but it's not so horrible that that inefficiency alone accounts for 90% of data center power usage. Heat is heat, and Watts is Watts; they gotta go somewhere.

And the "tons of water" that data centers use is generally used to spray the outdoor condenser (think cooling tower at a power plant); changing the servers to liquid cooling won't fix that.

Liquid cooling makes less sense for smaller servers, as going to all the trouble to plumb a pizza box is generally more trouble than it's worth. Big Iron is already frequently liquid cooled, if not in an immersion bath.

Comment: That's not what homeopathy says (Score 1) 408

I didn't say that prevention was bad vs. treatment. I'm just saying that the statement by these clowns directly contradicts what homeopathy is supposedly about. They likely made this ridiculous statement because unsupported woo-woo is what you resort to when actual science says your "medicine" is a steaming pile of B.S.

If you actually read information about homeopathy, it makes no vague wishy-washy claims about "overall health and wellness", it's all about treating specific symptoms. There are very detailed reference works (referred to as "provings") listing which specific "remedies" are to be used for this or that symptom. (In the U.S., remedies listed in the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia of the United States are specifically exempted from FDA regulations regarding efficacy.)

In this sense, Homeopathy is very different from "natural remedies" at least in the US. In the US, natural remedies that have not gone through the drug approval process cannot claim to treat specific diseases and must make vague claims about health and wellness. Because of their very specific legal loophole, homeopathy need jump through no such hoops; they can claim to treat all manner of illnesses.

(When this loophole for homeopathy was written back in the '30's, giving homeopathy a free ride was actually a good thing, as water was generally quite a bit healthier than many of the "drugs" available at the time, which made liberal use of all manner of horribly toxic substances.)

Homeopathy may be commonly prescribed by people claiming to practice "holistic medicine", but that is independent from homeopathy itself.

Comment: You know what thay call "alt medicine" that works? (Score 2) 408

Haven't you heard the joke?

What do you call "Alternative Medicine" that's actually supported via good evidence?


There's nothing controversial about the idea that certain herbs and natural substances, diet changes, etc. can treat illness. A doctor that doesn't use all the evidence-based approaches at his disposal is simply a bad doctor. A doctor that does use evidence-supported natural-based remedies as appropriate isn't practicing "alternative medicine", he/she is simply being a better doctor.

The idea of using porcine-derived thyroid hormone isn't "alternative medicine" at all... you can get a prescription for it and have it filled at any pharmacy; the brand name is "Armour Thyroid". I'll certainly take an FDA-approved Rx procine thyroid over some unregulated junk at the local Health Food store.

Comment: Wow, that's some high-grade B.S. there! (Score 1) 408

" 'What they have looked at is systematic trials for named conditions when that is not how homeopathy works,' he said. Homeopathy worked on the principle of improving a person's overall health and wellness."

Wait a minute, Homeopath is only good for "overall health and wellness" but can't actually cure named diseases? I thought that was, in fact, the exact opposite of the "science" of homeopathy... I thought the way it worked is that you treated "named conditions" by ingesting a ridiculously diluted amount of a natural substance that causes the same symptoms. (i.e. treat hyperactivity with crazy-diluted caffeine) And that there were vast tomes available that map specific symptoms to specific "remedies". That's kind of the opposite of improving only "overall health and wellness."

Comment: This is how video production works (Score 1) 544

by sirwired (#46650215) Attached to: 60 Minutes Dubbed Engines Noise Over Tesla Model S

Unless the camera is pointed at somebody's face or the segment is live, very little "live" sound is ever used on TV or in the movies. Even from nice microphones, the audio from a "field" rig is rarely good enough to use in a broadcast when you don't have to. (Many movies make extensive of "Additional Dialog Recording", where the actors essentially dub their own dialog so it can use dialog from a sound studio instead of the set.)

It would not surprise me if the editor, when needing some "car moving" footage didn't even have the audio turned on in his editing console... and just had his library of stock sound effects ready to splice in.

Comment: "Enormous" effect? (Score 1) 166

by sirwired (#46491551) Attached to: Goodbye, Google Voice

Google Voice is a rather tiny product that a relatively small portion of the user base ever uses. Which is good, because they'd almost certainly kill it if it did take off, since it makes pretty much no revenue, and almost certainly loses quite a bit of money per user. (Really, I'm not sure why they keep it going at all... I don't even see a glimmer of a viable business plan here.)

I really doubt anything Google does to Google Voice (including simply pulling the plug) would have an "enormous" amount of bad PR.

Comment: What a joke (Score 3, Interesting) 116

by sirwired (#46481159) Attached to: Conservation Communities Takes Root Across US

16 acres of water-thirsty crops outside Phoenix in a development with 452 homes? This isn't a farm, (much less something you could call a "conservation community") it's landscaping that happens to produce something you can eat. Better than a golf-course, I suppose, but still a bit "slacktivist."

Comment: When you asked for it and they couldn't provide (Score 2) 263

by sirwired (#46477607) Attached to: Mt. Gox Knew It Was Selling Phantom Bitcoin 2 Weeks Before Collapse

Well, when this happens to an actual bank, you have $5k up until the day the bank stops paying withdrawals, at which point you have some amount less than $5k. How much less is determined by value of the assets that remain on the books, which is usually much higher than $0. When an FDIC-insured bank fails, usually depositors eventually recover some amount over 90% of their uninsured assets as the government "winds down" the bank by selling off the loans at market value and distributing the proceeds.

Without regulation? I suppose how much in the way of assets they have left to portion out to depositors just depends on how long their cash or credit reserves last... All Mt. Gox had was what a banker would call "reserves", and they ran those down to $0 before shutting the doors. In that case, you have $5k up until the point they couldn't pay out withdrawals, at which point it instantly went from $5k to $0.

Comment: Math doesn't add up (Score 1) 545

by sirwired (#46445313) Attached to: Meat Makes Our Planet Thirsty

If it takes 4M gallons of water to produce one ton of beef, I'd think my water savings by swapping out half my meat product consumption with vegetables would save a LOT more than 30% of my water footprint, if the figures for water consumption by vegetables are also accurate.

I think their numbers for vegetables are good, but the numbers for cattle are WAY overblown. According to helpful calculations provided by the USGS, "You would need to build a pool about 267 feet long (almost as long as a football field), 50 feet wide, and 10 feet deep" to hold 1M gallons. The idea that it takes four of those (weighing a total of 16,000 tons) to produce a single ton of beef is beyond belief. I know forage crops are not always the most water-efficient, and cattle feed isn't the most efficient use of crops, but it's not THAT bad.

Comment: How is unemployment a "political fiction"? (Score 2) 187

by sirwired (#46424133) Attached to: Is Traffic Congestion Growing Three Times As Fast As Economy?

Of all the economic statistics, the unemployment rate is the easiest to understand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics calls or visit a randomly selected sample of Americans, ask them if they are employed, and if they are not, are they looking for a job. While they ask some other questions, those are the basic ones used to determine the widely-publicized unemployment rate. This is not a complicated statistical formula here, subject to all sorts of evil manipulation.

Now, you could argue that the labor participation rate is more useful, or perhaps include people that aren't working as many hours as they'd like, or include people that would like to work, but have given up looking. And they publish those numbers also for any that care to read them, so you can hardly argue that they are a big secret that The Man is trying to hide from you. But it's silly to call any of them "fictitious." And these formulas hardly seem "politically derived." (In fact, the BLS and their counterparts in the GAO are quite fiercely independent; the statisticians are all civil servants that don't really give a *bleep!* what congress or the president want the numbers to end up at.)

Inflation is much the same way; they publish numbers that are perhaps not as useful as we'd like them to be, but they have proven to be pretty free of political whims. It's a drawn-out, very public, process to fiddle with those formulas. If there was a hint that they were bowing to political pressure when calculating them, you'd know about it.

Those who can, do; those who can't, simulate.