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Comment: Re:Who watches the watchers (Score 1) 212

by TheLink (#46803669) Attached to: Google and Facebook: Unelected Superpowers?
Term limits are:
1) Undemocratic
2) Stupid
It takes a while to do anything, so while you may make it harder for elected leaders to do bad things but you also make it harder for elected leaders to do good things.

The smart power hungry sociopaths will just create or move to positions of power where the term limits (and elections) do not apply to them and continue influencing the incompetent figureheads and ruling over voters. Becomes less democratic that way too.

Which seems similar to what is happening now, only more so.

People deciding who they want as leaders is democratic. Term limits restricting their choice is not democratic.

The real solution is the smart people taking the time to educate the stupid and ignorant ones rather then going "Oh Noes, the voters are too stupid, we should remove choice from them - even the choice of re-electing someone they want for another term".

It seems to me that 98% of the US voters who bothered to vote prefer either R or D, instead of the other alternatives. If you think they shouldn't then you shouldn't be trying to stop them against their will. You should be trying to convince them.

Unless of course there are no better alternatives. In which case, Democracy is working as well as it can, and your real problem is elsewhere.

Comment: Re:I would think (Score 1) 339

by TheLink (#46803583) Attached to: OpenSSL Cleanup: Hundreds of Commits In a Week

Taking any significant amount of time makes measurement easier, and errors smaller, and hence this type of attack easier.

Unless you only respond after X + random Y milliseconds, no matter how long it actually takes to do the calculation (where X milliseconds is longer than the max time it takes to do the calculation).

Takes more time, but makes timing attacks a lot harder.

Comment: You already have a scouting drone for driving (Score 2, Interesting) 35

by SuperKendall (#46803191) Attached to: Drones On Demand

I wish my car had a drone for instant scouting of traffic-jam alternates.

You do, it's called the Waze user that is ten minutes ahead of you down the road, mixed with many road sensors reporting traffic flow rates.

If you are using navigation many mapping applications automatically route around traffic issues (including Waze). I personally just have it up while driving, not really using navigation but just to keep an eye on traffic rates and issues. I've turned off many a highway before to avoid a Waze reported issue and taken a pretty obvious alternate route you could see at a glance on the map.

For anyone that has not tried leaving modern mapping applications open with traffic status enabled, I highly recommend it - just get a decent car mount so it's easy to see the display. I recommend Waze in particular only because it's one of the best at taking in user reports as to police or road hazards (like chair in right lane! just one example of something I have reported in the past).

Comment: It is possible to know (Score 1) 186

by SuperKendall (#46803131) Attached to: $42,000 Prosthetic Hand Outperformed By $50 3D Printed Hand

It's probably impossible to know until you are actually in the same situation.

It's possible to know because you know how it is from the side of people noticing things. I find artificial hands immediately obvious, as much so as a robotic hand would be.

I think either would fare just as well in terms of not attracting notice when covered by a glove. Why not, then you would just look a little odd in summer...

Comment: Re:10% ethanol also means 20% MPG lost (Score 5, Informative) 109

by dgatwood (#46802585) Attached to: Biofuels From Corn Can Create More Greenhouse Gases Than Gasoline

E85 is 85% ethanol, 15% gasoline, not the other way around. A 10% ethanol blend (10% ethanol, 90% gasoline) is called E10, not E90. Using E10 reduces your fuel economy by about 3–4%, and a 15% blend reduces your miles per tank by about 4–5%, assuming a modern, fuel-injected engine. I would expect the impact to be worse for an engine with a carburetor, but I don't know for certain. Either way, I'm pretty sure it's nowhere near 20% even with older engines.

Yes, if it were legal to sell E90, it would reduce your fuel economy by somewhere in the neighborhood of 20%. Of course, your car wouldn't start in the winter, and in most cars, parts of your fuel system would likely rust out pretty quickly, spewing fuel all over the hot engine, thus ending your life in a blaze of glory, so fuel economy would be the least of your problems....

Comment: Re:It's a tax. Not a fine (Score 1) 76

by Rich0 (#46802103) Attached to: Preventative Treatment For Heartbleed On Healthcare.gov

The vast majority of medical spending is on chronic illness for the elderly. You should have your argument focus on this type of common outcome rather than "suddenly gets sick/hurt".

Sure, but it doesn't really change anything. In fact, most people become elderly so it only stands to reason that most people are going to need insurnace, and the money they pay in when they're young makes up for the money they take out when they're old.

Comment: Re:It's a tax. Not a fine (Score 1) 76

by Rich0 (#46802085) Attached to: Preventative Treatment For Heartbleed On Healthcare.gov

Required purchase of health insurance is NOT Socialism!
Many will still not be able to afford it or obtain sufficient assistance to do so.

True, on its own it isn't. ACA does include subsidies for the poor which is a form of socialism, though limited in scope.

Prices will continue to go up.

Well, they don't have to under a system like this if it is done right (aside from inflation, or rising levels of service). I don't think the ACA was really done right - it was a compromise all-around. The US health system is a nest of problems, and ACA really only hits a few of them. There is no one thing that you can do to fix it.

Comment: Re:oh, sorry (Score 2) 76

by Rich0 (#46799739) Attached to: Preventative Treatment For Heartbleed On Healthcare.gov

What happens if you have no insurance for 20 years, and never get sick. Then you sign up for insurance and pay your bills for 5 years. Then you get sick. What is the fine, and what happens if the person doesn't have the money to pay it at this point?

Do you even understand this question? What happens if I purchase insurance for 2 months and get sick. It doesn't matter, I purchased the insurance just the same as if I purchased it 20 years ago.

The whole point of insurance is that in order for it to work, people need to pay MORE than they consume on average. If people wait until they're sick to sign up, it can't work.

This is INSURANCE. The whole point of insurance is that you don't know when you'll need it, so you pay money now so that in the event you need it you know you'll have it. I "waste" money on fire insurance every month. My house will probably never burn down, and thus I'll probably never get anything back. However, if my house does burn down, then I get a new house for very little money.

And some people do not and will not need it. Why are they forced to pay for it when they do not want to? Why are normal law abiding citizens being told they are no longer free and must do as the government says and purchase something from a third party when they do nothing wrong?

So, your choices are force everybody to buy insurance even if they don't "need" it, or let people die when it turns out that they needed it after all.

In most cases insurance is voluntary, but then you suffer the loss if you don't have it. That's how health care was supposed to work before the ACA. The problem with that is that insurance companies were scumbags and if there was any lapse in coverage they assumed that your sickness started during the lapse and denied coverage. On the other hand, if you get rid of that loophole then everybody else behaves like scumbags and avoids paying for insurance until they start to feel sick.

What happens when some gun nut tea party gets elected and declares that anyone who doesn't own a gun has to pay a $2000 a year penalty?

If people who didn't own guns cost the average citizen money, then I'd be fine with such a law. People without health insurance DO cost others money, unless we as a society choose to let them die.

The only way to allow people to not buy health insurance is if we as a society refuse to provide care for them when they get sick unless they can pay the full bill themselves. If we were all sociopaths that system would work just fine, and people WOULD buy insurance because they would understand the consequences if they didn't.

lol.. so the last 200+ years of this country didn't happen and everything starts right now because you though of something you pretend is the only possible logic?

Yeah, I guess everything being peachy is the reason Obama won the election... The previous system worked reasonably well for anybody with a job with a large employer. The problem is that costs are spiraling out of control and the model just wasn't sustainable, and MANY people had no healthcare at all.

They would call 911 with chest pains, the call center would be set up to do an automatic insurance/credit check, and the guy on the phone would tell them that if they'd like an ambulance they need to get somebody else to provide a credit card number if the credit check isn't good. That isn't the society most voters want to live in.

And that happens every day in the previous 200+ years of our country's existence? Am I right or are you making things up in order to justify your worldview?

200 years ago if you dialed 911 you wouldn't get an answer, because you didn't have a phone. We hardly have 200 years of experience with modern medicine. Go take a look at the average inner city hospital and tell me that the previous status quo made any kind of financial sense.

And such issues don't cost that much money to treat or are incredibly rare, which is why regular insurance plans don't cost that little. What was your plan if you got diabetes or kidney failure? Is that when you sign up for the $110/month plan and stick everybody else with the bills since you didn't pay the $80/month they paid for the previous 20 years when you weren't sick?

How is signing up for a more expensive plan sticking everyone else with the bill? There is your logic flaw, if I purchase insurance, they do actuary studies and quote my prices based on my factors. It has nothing to do with you paying my expenses. Insurance is not some bank you put money into in order to get billions out later when you need medical care and that billions will disappear if someone else gets sick. I think someone has fooled you or something.

The problem is that normally you can't change insurance plans AFTER a problem happens and have them pay at the higher level of service. Most insurance applies to point-in-time events like fires, accidents, etc. You can say that on one day you had a house, and on the next you had a pile of ashes.

With something like diabetes you just get gradually sicker. In the first year your costs are barely higher at all. So, you can get a cheap plan today, and switch after you get sick. If you did that with fire insurance they wouldn't pay a dime towards your pile of ashes. With health insurance the company is forced to pay for pre-existing conditions under the ACA. Previously they wouldn't have, and as I already said that model is perfectly valid but subject to abuse.

You have a very nice local hospital. Most would have given you a steep discount and charged you only $50. However, no insurance company would pay the $95 - there is a good chance they might not even pay the $22 (though as I said you got a decent deal). Usually the hospital cash discounts are actually more expensive than what the insurance company pays, because the insurance company can basically shut the hospital down if they don't like the rate. I don't have a bill that just covers A1C, but a bill I recently paid included a $71 (list price) A1C test in a set of tests that cost $286 total, and the cost to me and the insurance was $47. That is pretty typical - insurance companies only pay 20% of the list price for most things. When the hospital cuts 60% off the bill for a cash customer they love to go on about the deal they got, even though they paid twice what most people pay.

...when you offer to pay cash, you get their corporate discount, a cash discount and an early payment discount which I am told is standard to all customers who pay before 30 days.

Most hospitals will not offer this much of a discount to cash customers. Also, looking at our bills it looks like I paid a lower percentage of my cost with insurance than you did with your cash discount. The figures are close enough that it is hard to compare, but most people pay substantially more when paying cash. True, they don't pay list, but most people can't negotiate the deals insurance companies get.

I pay more than your health insurance bills every year for fire insurance on my house (a rather modest one at that). I spend $0 on repairs caused by fire. Sounds like I'm getting ripped off! Except, if my house burns down when I'm age 55 I won't be homeless for the rest of my life, or dependent on my fellow taxpayers for welfare or charity.

Most likely you are paying that because you had to barrow money to purchase the house. Either way it doesn't matter because for what ever reason it is what you chose to do with your money. I didn't demand you purchase fire insurance, I didn't demand you buy the house. What makes you think you can demand I spend my money a certain way when I cost you nothing, have no loans with or without conditions from you nor do I really care about you in any way? Why are you so greedy that you think if I don't have insurance there might be a chance I might not be able to cover my own treatment and you might have to pay slightly more for coverage so I must without ever indicating I couldn't provide for myself, spend my money the way you want me to? That's pretty selfish of you isn't it?

I'll be the first to agree that normally insurance is voluntary, and that is really where it makes the most sense. I can choose to get fire insurance or not. Of course, if I don't get it nobody will buy me a new house when it burns down.

Society for whatever reason has decided that you have a right to medical treatment if you get sick. Heck, it is illegal to kill yourself.

So, if society is not willing to let people die, then it has to have a way to pay for people not to die. That means somebody has to pay the bills. An insurance mandate is just a way to force those with the means to help pay. Other countries don't require anybody to "purchase" insurance as it is all tax-funded, but you still don't get a choice to participate.

It is basically socialism. You can love it or hate it, but either way it only works if you're forced to participate. Welcome aboard, comrade!

Snip a bunch of debate about a point you claim you didn't make

Who said anything about charging only people who collect from insurance?

You did. You said that people shouldn't be penalized if they didn't get insurance. Instead they should only be penalized when they sign up after they're sick. If you aren't claiming that, then fine, but that was about half of your previous post...

85% of the population had coverage before the ACA became law, we were only talking about needing to get around 45 million people covered or 15% of the population who either couldn't afford health insurance or didn't want it. What in this world makes you think that those 85% or 270 some million people would all the sudden cancel their insurance when they didn't cancel it before the law mandated it?

I never claimed they would. People who stay insured pay no penalties. Those who do not pay a penalty immediately, but one that is way too small. Thus, the ACA is fairly likely to fail unless it is adjusted.

My original statement was a simple one. Either you have to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions (which is how things worked before the ACA), or you have to force people to buy insurance. That's just a matter of how insurance works. You're making it into some kind of overall debate about the ACA.

Show me any insurance program anywhere which allows people to submit claims for pre-existing conditions without a mandate to buy insurance. You certainly won't find one anywhere in the last 200 years of history of the US that you keep going on about.

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