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Comment Re:Science Fiction Vs Science Fantasy (Score 1) 232

>> Everything is based on current or near term science. I have almost given up on science fiction...

You are looking for "hard science fiction" -

>> Any other suggestions?

Not every author is "hard" all the time. Check out the list of novels, but I'm a little interested to know why you didn't list Clarke.

Comment Re:Nerdgasm (Score 3, Insightful) 232

>> as opposed to the claim that by cutting the taxes of corporations and the wealthy somehow that improves everybody's lives

No, as opposed to the claim that we need to keep raising taxes/fees on middle class working people, which is what actually continues to happen. (Need a recent example? Go see Chicago...and the huge property tax increase they just pushed through.)

Where to cut? How about pensions, which are currently 25% of our total federal spend, and are the line item choking a lot of state and local governments too. Or the military at 22% of current spend. In other words, switch government employees to a 401K systems (even with more pay to make up the difference) or drop a couple of carrier groups from the Navy (maybe kill the F-35), and you'd have billions upon billions to spend on things taxpayers actually want, like NASA.

Comment Nerdgasm (Score 1) 232

>> support is still there from the general public to go and do really challenging missions

Sure, it's there until the next commercial break when we're told we're awful people for trying to pay for it by cutting back on military/social/pork. The answer always seems to be "we need more taxes"...

Comment Re:More like "lack of clue" instead? (Score 1) 203

>> The solution is they need more budget, or the emissions requirements need to be reduced / changed so they can meet them within current budget.

Or...perhaps they could consider more options:
3) Reallocate resources away from other less-pressing issues to this one instead.
4) Replace existing staff with cheaper staff, spend less on salaries/pensions and more on stuff.
5) Outsource the testing to cheaper and more efficient third parties. (More tests, less costs.)
6) Start paying attention to industry trends so things like "the major producer of consumer diesel cars just introduced a 'clean' diesel" don't go unnoticed.

Personally, the whole VW thing doesn't really bother me. Tuning engine performance with electronics is common these days and people who tune for performance in regions that test for emissions (thankfully, not where I live) already know how to flip the right switches to get into compliance for an hour or a day.

Comment More like "lack of clue" instead? (Score 5, Interesting) 203

I bought a VW diesel in 2005, the last year of the "old" line. When VW came back with their "clean diesel" a little over a year later, it came with a huge advertising campaign, and, as posters have noted in other forums, other car manufacturers publicly and privately wondered "how did VW do a clean diesel" without seeming to have changed their technology.

>> Byron Bunker, director of the Environmental Protection Agency’s vehicle compliance program, says: “We can’t do a 100 percent check of every data point for every modelWe focus on new vehicles, new technologies or those where we have a concern.”

So...if that didn't raise a flag for "new vehicle or new technology" in the mid-2000's, one has to wonder what kind of dark place the EPA's head was in then.

Comment Fixed that for ya' (Score 1) 52

>> ...people who specialize in robotics, artificial intelligence, and other areas have an increasing opportunity to get involved...

Lemme fix that for ya': ...defense contractors who can claim they can build out the necessary robotics, AI, and other areas have an increasing opportunity to get lucrative contracts...

Comment Re:Pretty easy, based on criminal records... (Score 3, Informative) 243

>> evidence that we catch (and convict) a representative sample of criminals

You might be looking for something called "clearance" (what percentage of crimes are resolved) and it's tracked by type of crime, region of country, size of population center, etc.

Comment Pretty easy, based on criminal records... (Score 4, Interesting) 243

If you've committed a crime, it's more likely that you, rather than someone who has never committed a crime, will commit the next crime. The term is "recidivism."

If you've never committed a crime, I think it's about a 3% chance you'll commit a serious one. ( However, if you have committed a serious crime, you'll about 40% likely to commit another serious one within 3 years. (

I'm always looking for a new idea that will be more productive than its cost. -- David Rockefeller