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Comment: Re:Of 1000? (Score 2) 457

by starless (#46773401) Attached to: Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

I am not sure if accumulating $1M over a lifetime counts as "rich". I started working 35 years ago. I immediately started regularly and automatically putting a little from each paycheck into my IRA, invested in an index fund. The monthly payroll contribution was less than my car payment. Yet, today my IRA has over $700K. Unless there is a market crash, it should be over $1M by the time I retire.

The usual estimate of how much you can withdraw from your savings per year without having too much chance
of drawing down your capital is 4%.
So, $1M gives you an annual income of $40,000, not exactly a high salary, even adding in ~$30k in social
security income won't make you especially well off.

Comment: Re:Procedural Rules? (Score 1) 128

by starless (#46770989) Attached to: Lavabit Loses Contempt Appeal

You want right and wrong? Talk to a priest/rabbi/pastachef. The law, and the courts, are all about rules, and the interpretation of them, and they should be. Otherwise, we'd be making decisions like "yeah, he was illegally wiretapped, but he was a bad man, so we're going to convict him anyway."

The US justice system is unique in the world in completely throwing out a case if there is a procedural error:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07...
While I'm sure many will defend the way things are done in the US, it seems that this is something
that at least merits some discussion of the pluses and minuses of each way of doing things.

Comment: Re:PR smackdown (Score 1) 314

The other fire involved tripping over a 50 pound metal spike at 70mph, causing it to upend violently and drive itself through the underside of the car with the force of a cannon.

This one's easy to spin: "Tesla hits piece of metal on the road, catches fire." Problem was it hit a piece of metal on the road while going incredibly fast--[...]

I don't believe 70 mph really counts as "incredibly fast".
If you're driving at 70 mph on may roads around here (Washington DC area), you'll be passed by many other vehicles.

Comment: Re:Associates (Score 1) 246

A Bachelors of Arts in anything scientific generally implies that you're not going to get enough exposure to anything you'll actually be doing,...

Or else that you went to Oxford University (for example) which doesn't award a Bachelor of Science degree:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D...
(And Oxford still managed to produce 5 physics and 11 chemistry Nobel prize winners.)

Comment: Re:Dating Sites (Score 1) 183

by starless (#45831083) Attached to: How Machine Learning Can Transform Online Dating

As somebody who became single in his mid-50s I strongly second the recommendation for meetup groups.
They aren't exclusively for single people, but singles are very "over-represented".
Obviously you want to choose the groups with a large number of people of your favorite gender group.
For me (looking for a woman) the hiking and the arts related groups were good.
Even if you don't find dates, you'll likely have a good time and meet new friends.
Meetup groups give you a low-stress way (because they're not primarily dating in general) to interact with many people
face-to-face.

Also, in response to a different comment. I think that lots of women in their 50s are actually rather
computer literate. (At least the educated women around the major city I live close to.)

(My personal experience is that I met someone via a meetup group, but I wasn't ready for something
as serious as she was looking for at that time. Shortly after that I met someone on OKC and we're still
together 2 years later.)

Comment: Re:Do Away With This Disease? (Score 2) 209

by starless (#44519231) Attached to: Malaria Vaccine Nearing Reality

The demand for a malaria vaccine in rich countries is pretty low.

Except at very least the rich countries would want to have their military personnel vaccinated, which would be
a fair number of people.
e.g. over 2 million active and reserve in the US alone.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Armed_Forces

Comment: Could a 100% effective vaccine eradicate malaria? (Score 3, Interesting) 209

by starless (#44518993) Attached to: Malaria Vaccine Nearing Reality

My attempts at googling the answer to this have not been successful, so I ask here... (crazy, I know).
Anyway, if there was a ~100% effective vaccine taken by almost everyone, would that eradicate malaria itself, or
could the malaria parasite continue to exist?
i.e. are humans a vital part of the life cycle of the malaria-causing parasites?

Thanks!

Comment: Re:non sequitur (Score 3, Insightful) 780

by starless (#44489229) Attached to: NRA Launches Pro-Lead Website

Has it? As a percentage of households, yes. However, you need to account for population growth over the same time period. If you do you'll see the number (not percentage) of households with firearms has stayed fairly steady over the decades.

Without taking a position on the issue of guns vs. crime itself, comparing rates is exactly what should be done statistically.
i.e. the "rate" (fraction) of gun ownership (number of guns per household) should be compared with the crime rate (e.g. murders per 10,000 people per year.)

However, it may be debatable whether the appropriate number for guns is guns/household or percentage of people who own guns.
(The mean and median number of people per household is probably changing.)

Comment: Re:Waste of Time (Score 3, Informative) 62

by starless (#44479889) Attached to: Radical New Icebreaker Will Travel Through the Ice Sideways

While the z0mg!panic! was stupid, there is an issue here. Meltwater ponds reflect less sunlight than bare ice, so warm the ice underneath much quicker (until it cracks and the pond drains out.) [...]

Refereed article on this can be found here:

http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate1963.html
The surface albedo of the Arctic sea-ice zone is a crucial component in the energy budget of the Arctic region1, 2. The treatment of sea-ice albedo has been identified as an important source of variability in the future sea-ice mass loss forecasts in coupled climate models3. There is a clear need to establish data sets of Arctic sea-ice albedo to study the changes based on observational data and to aid future modelling efforts. Here we present an analysis of observed changes in the mean albedo of the Arctic sea-ice zone using a data set consisting of 28 years of homogenized satellite data4. Along with the albedo reduction resulting from the well-known loss of late-summer sea-ice cover5, 6, we show that the mean albedo of the remaining Arctic sea-ice zone is decreasing. The change per decade in the mean August sea-ice zone albedo is 0.029±0.011. All albedo trends, except for the sea-ice zone in May, are significant with a 99% confidence interval. Variations in mean sea-ice albedo can be explained using sea-ice concentration, surface air temperature and elapsed time from onset of melt as drivers.

Comment: Re:AAAS not AAAS (Score 2) 124

by starless (#44402043) Attached to: US Academy President Caught Embellishing Resume, Will Resign

It's easy to get these guys, The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, mixed up with with these guys, The American Association for the Advancement of Science. They're not the same. The latter are the ones that publish Science, the prestigious scientific journal. The former, I'm not sure who those guys are.

Aren't they the people who award the Oscars or something...?

% APL is a natural extension of assembler language programming; ...and is best for educational purposes. -- A. Perlis

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