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Comment: Re:Let me get this right (Score 1) 832

by tendrousbeastie (#48161929) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

In the UK we have VAT (Value Added Tax), currently at 20%.

It is not applicable to food, clothing, utilities (electricity, gas, etc.) and a very few other things, but is applied every other consumer retail transaction (things you might buy with cash or credit card)

In principle this exempts the bare necessities, but includes everything else.

It does not apply to capital spending, investments, property, etc, but then these fall under other tax categories (stamp duties, capital gains, etc.)

Just trying to give some context to the discussion.

Comment: Re: What's wrong with Windows Server? (Score 1) 613

by tendrousbeastie (#47882915) Attached to: You Got Your Windows In My Linux

It is though in part an issue of reputation - nobody claims that IE6 + 7 and older were secure; even Microsoft accepts that they are insecure.

But OpenSSL gets/got an implicit guarantee of security from its OSS nature.

Everyone knew IE6 was awful at security. People just trusted that OpenSSL was OK because of the OSS argument.

"Many eyes make all bugs shallow" is true, but relies on there being many eyes looking our for all of the bugs (not just those in the most obvious of systems).

Comment: Re:Empirical Data Trumps Information Theory (Score 1) 211

by tendrousbeastie (#47874615) Attached to: Information Theory Places New Limits On Origin of Life

Information does travel through space at a velocity faster than c - see the EPR paradox, which was subsequently questioned by Bell, and then experimentally tested by Alan Aspect (sorry I don't know the correct French spelling for his name).

Based on the evidence, quantum information does seem to travel faster than c.

Given the paradox of the wave-function collapse within the Copenhagen interpretation of QM (once a particle is measured it takes on a definite set of properties, which means that the wave-function must collapse everywhere simultaneously) it suggests that quantum information is transfered instantaneously.

Comment: I love this debate (Score 1) 427

by tendrousbeastie (#47864185) Attached to: UN Study Shows Record-High Increases For Atmospheric CO2 In 2013

I agree with you entirely, rational debate about the facts and their support is entirely subsumed by the factional rivalry. But, there is a great and similar split in the followers of String Theory - those that assume it to be the only and obvious explanation of the world vs. those that don't even consider it science. The only difference is that because ST doesn't touch upon public policy there is a larger third community - those who don't care.

I think that fundamentally the difficulty with the AGM debate is that it is very hard (i.e. impossible) to separate the policy issues from the science issues.

Comment: Re:Time for GATT Article XX tariffs (Score 1) 427

by tendrousbeastie (#47864135) Attached to: UN Study Shows Record-High Increases For Atmospheric CO2 In 2013

Surely, when the UK has a population of around 65 million, and China has a population of around 1400 million it makes a difference. We are talking about influencing government policy. So, we spend a huge effort changing UK policy, and at most we can effect a reduction in an output of:

7.7t * 65m = 500.5 million t ... while at the same time China is outputing:

7t * 1400m = 9800 million t.

The entire UK output is 5% of China's. If the UK can reduce its output by 20% (hugely unlikely, as just holding steady seems impossible to do), while the Chinese increase theirs by just 1% then the two effects cancel out (to some rounding error that I can't be arsed to calculate).

Focusing on those countries who are both raising their output the most and also have the largest populations (hello too India) seems perfectly sensible.

Comment: Re:Negative mass is weird (Score 1) 214

by tendrousbeastie (#47477261) Attached to: Cosmologists Show Negative Mass Could Exist In Our Universe

Out of interest, if there were pair creation events of involving particles of negative mass/gravity how would we detect them?

I'm not being critical, I'm curious - how would a particle accelerator, or a bubble chamber or whatever, look different with a negative mass particle?

Comment: Re:Steve Jobs Was Ruthless, so cry ... (Score 1) 288

by tendrousbeastie (#47082991) Attached to: HP Makes More Money, Cuts 16,000 Jobs

"but go back to our grandfather's days and you would find social responsibility (which was hard fought for, during the union days). companies DID care and they DID shoulder the burden during hard times, because they saw value in the INVESTMENT in their work force! it was common for people to work at the same company for 20, 30 even 40 years!

find anyone like that today. I dare you. if you find someone working 20 yrs at the same place, its extremely rare."

It works both ways though. Most companies know that a great majority of their workforce will leave for a better job if they have the opportunity to do so. It is rare for people to spend 20 years at the place even when they have the chance.

Employers might not have much long term loyalty but neither do employees - I'm not sure in which direction (if any) the causality works.

Don't sweat it -- it's only ones and zeros. -- P. Skelly