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Comment Re:Mostly right. (Score 4, Insightful) 681

What you're describing isn't scientific illiteracy; it's mere ignorance of certain specific scientific facts. Big deal. Nobody knows more than the tiniest fraction of true facts about the universe anyway. And unless you're an actual physicist or cosmologist, knowing that E^2=m^2c^4 + p^2c^2 isn't going to give you a leg up on some poor fool who only knows the standard coffee mug equation.

By way of comparison, not knowing what an Oxford comma is or how to define a subordinate clause doesn't make you illiterate. Not knowing how to read is what makes you illiterate. Similarly, people are scientifically illiterate because they don't know how to "science." They're clueless how to separate fact from propaganda, good science from mumbo jumbo.

Comment snik - wah - thosewerethedays - buff - tink - tada (Score 1) 790

The really satisfying *snick* sound (and smell!) of pulling Polaroid film out of the camera.
The whine of old analog police sirens.
TV theme songs that were actual songs with singalong vocals.
The "buff buff buff" of a shoe shine.
The tinkling of coins in a street pay phone.
tada.wav

Comment Re:How is this good? (Score 1) 172

AIDS already has a ridiculously long latency period, about 10 years. Far longer than incubation periods of Ebola (2-3 weeks), TB (10 weeks) and rabies (usually around 8 weeks). So it's already hard to detect externally, unless you happen to notice the initial rash and fever symptoms. Stretching out the latency period further won't infect more people, just add more years to people's lives and make it easier to manage the viral load with less medication.

Comment Re:Forget the Space Station (Score 1) 236

It's R&D. If we already knew the exact benefits, we wouldn't have to do the research.

One of many worthwhile goals is in developing expertise in the areas of construction and industrial development in a vacuum. This is not something you want to learn at the last minute. And since it will require new methods and materials, there's a possibility we'll learn something that will accrue benefits back on Earth. Even a tiny improvement in a process that would work back on Earth could be beneficial to the tune of billions of dollars. Other goals include He3 mining, using the moon base as a launchpad for further space exploration, and pure science (astronomy etc.) and from the American POV, wanting to get there before the Chinese establish a presence and attempt to lay exclusive claim to the above resources. Besides all that, when you start looking at the long term survival of the human species as a goal, it's not really clear that cost/benefit in monetary terms should be the exclusive metric used to examine the situation. Money is a tool that loses its accuracy over time, and a moon base could take generations to come into its own.

Comment Re:Unethical? (Score 5, Informative) 187

Not saying I agree, but from a link in the article:

Dr Herridge questioned "whether or not the justifications for cloning a mammoth are worth the suffering, the concerns of keeping an elephant in captivity, experimenting on her, making her go through a 22-month pregnancy, to potentially give birth to something which won't live, or to carry something which could be damaging to her. And all of those aspects... I don't think that they are worth it; the reasons just aren't there."

Comment Re:An Illiberal's solution to every problem - taxe (Score 4, Insightful) 554

The USPS hasn't raised prices several-fold. The price for a stamp has gone down in inflation adjusted terms since 1975. And we all know WHY the USPS is broke. Not because it can't deliver letters, but because it's being forced by Congress to prefund its pension/healthcare/workers comp funds to an absurd extent, and not permitted to invest in anything but government bonds.

Why can't bridges compete with each other?

Bridges have a natural monopoly over their local environment. In fact, in NYC there are completely free options to get out of the city, but most people still use the toll bridges because time equals money, and most people aren't willing to drive five miles out of their way in traffic to save $7.50 or $10.00. With that in mind, why would a private bridge owner have any incentive to lower prices? They would be like cable companies, using their monopoly to gauge consumers to the greatest extent possible. Prices would likely go up since the owners would be completely unaccountable to their customers.

And btw it might be decent in some parts of the country but $30/hr is a shitty wage in NYC.

Comment Re:Meet somewhere in the middle (Score 1) 179

Your contract's already over after the agreed upon time (which is generally a year or two years.) After that yes, you're automatically in a month-to-month agreement, and your explicit consent to the terms of that agreement is indicated by continuing to pay your bill. Those terms may be different from what you originally agreed to. I'll refer you to the terms listed in their Service Agreement:

Term of Service. Your Agreement begins on the day we activate your Service(s) and continues through the Term of Service, typically a 12 month or 24 month period (“Service Commitment”), specified on your Customer Service Summary. At the end of your service commitment, this Agreement will automatically continue on a month-to-month basis. If your Agreement has no Service Commitment, it is a month-to-month Agreement.

- - - -

After your Service Commitment ends and you are on a month-to-month Agreement, AT&T may terminate your Agreement at any time with 30 days notice.

1.3 Can AT&T Change My Terms And Rates?

We may change any terms, conditions, rates, fees, expenses, or charges regarding your Services at any time. We will provide you with notice of material changes (other than changes to governmental fees, proportional charges for governmental mandates, roaming rates or administrative charges) either in your monthly bill or separately. You understand and agree that State and Federal Universal Service Fees and other governmentally imposed fees, whether or not assessed directly upon you, may be increased based upon the government's or our calculations.

IF WE INCREASE THE PRICE OF ANY OF THE SERVICES TO WHICH YOU SUBSCRIBE, BEYOND THE LIMITS SET FORTH IN YOUR CUSTOMER SERVICE SUMMARY, OR IF WE MATERIALLY DECREASE THE GEOGRAPHICAL AREA IN WHICH YOUR AIRTIME RATE APPLIES (OTHER THAN A TEMPORARY DECREASE FOR REPAIRS OR MAINTENANCE), WE’LL DISCLOSE THE CHANGE AT LEAST ONE BILLING CYCLE IN ADVANCE (EITHER THROUGH A NOTICE WITH YOUR BILL, A TEXT MESSAGE TO YOUR DEVICE, OR OTHERWISE), AND YOU MAY TERMINATE THIS AGREEMENT WITHOUT PAYING AN EARLY TERMINATION FEE OR RETURNING OR PAYING FOR ANY PROMOTIONAL ITEMS, PROVIDED YOUR NOTICE OF TERMINATION IS DELIVERED TO US WITHIN THIRTY (30) DAYS AFTER THE FIRST BILL REFLECTING THE CHANGE.

- - - -

Unlimited Data Customers. If you are a grandfathered AT&T unlimited plan data service customer, you agree that “unlimited” means you pay a fixed monthly charge for wireless data service regardless of how much data you use. You further agree that “unlimited” does not mean that you can use AT&T’s wireless data service in any way that you choose or for any prohibited activities, and that if you use your unlimited data plan in any manner that is prohibited, AT&T can limit, restrict, suspend or terminate your data service or switch you to a tiered data plan.

I'm not advocating in favor of AT&T. I agree with gurps_npc. Hopefully, the FCC will snag them for their unorthodox use of the term "unlimited," which is not how a normal person would interpret that word. They should be required to call it something else other than unlimited. But let's not pretend the contract is different from what it is. Basically the contract amounts to, "we the corporation can do whatever we like, whenever we like, and if you don't like it, you may leave."

Comment Re:Meet somewhere in the middle (Score 1) 179

Is AT&T actually offering you an unlimited *contract*? Or did you have a 2 year contract which ended some years ago, but you decided to stay on month-to-month? Normally, after your contract is over, by continuing to pay, you're agreeing to whatever current terms are in effect, which might include throttling.

Comment Re:How is this different from a virus? (Score 1) 46

Viruses by definition contain genetic code from outside the host organism. They're invaders who hijack natural reproductive cellular processes, so of course you're going to be able to point to things that cells do that viruses also do. That doesn't make them the same. Proviruses may employ a very-superficially similar mechanism to what is outlined here but lytic viruses work totally differently, i.e. basically exploding the cells they infect by their rampant copypasta.

Comment Re:Automation and jobs (Score 1) 720

So what if they leave? They would still be getting taxed on their American income even if living abroad. If they renounce their holdings, we hit them with a juicy expatriation tax, and whoever buys their business will step in and be similarly taxed. If they just take their dollars with them, eventually they will have to exchange them for euros or whatever, and their money will be repatriated and taxed anyway. It's true that they will be able to take some wealth away with them, but in a consumer driven economy their wealth comes from the spending of consumers. As long as the consumers are here, this is where the bulk of their wealth will be.

"Pok pok pok, P'kok!" -- Superchicken

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