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Comment Re:I'm debating if this thing really counts as a c (Score 1) 242

While I agree with you that it could be argued that this vehicle is indeed a "car", it's a valid point that the unconventional design of the vehicle and its limited purpose make it border on becoming not what the average person would consider to be a car in terms of an automobile.

Keep in mind that streetcars, subway cars, monorail cars, and railroad cars are still "cars" because they also cross terrain, though they require tracks of some sort for their function. (even an elevator car is a "car") This new car requires nearly perfectly flat land, a rocket for propulsion, and very specific aerodynamics to adhere to the ground to reach its top speeds. It likely won't allow for much steering at those speeds, so it will have to mostly go perfectly straight as well.

At what point does such a specialized craft no longer qualify as a "car"? Technically, I could put a large rocket with a small compartment for a human being at the tip of the rocket on an elevated track and still call it a "car". If there were a requirement that it have wheels, I could put wheels on it that touch the ground, but they'd be rather unnecessary. Is there a rule against tracks? Possibly, but if so, it's arbitrary. At some point, someone defined the rules for qualifications for the fastest land speed record of this type, but I would argue that the spirit of the rules has been skirted long ago. This is really a rocket with wheels that has been crafted to hug the ground so as to stay within the letter of the rules of being a land vehicle.

Comment Re:Supply and demand? (Score 1) 324

You do realize that trade agreements, tariffs, bans, etc. are all bargaining chips in diplomacy & that when it comes to bargaining w/ China, we have to use these tools very delicately, right? Banning trade with China makes about as much sense as shooting your conjoined twin through the heart you both share. One ban in one area on one thing leads to retribution in another area and possibly escalation & so on. Trade barriers almost always lead to higher prices on goods, so there's another side-effect as well.

China has 1.3 billion people and zero care for the environment. That is not going to change anytime soon. They did a decent job cleaning up for the Olympics, but that was only temporary & for show for visiting countries (& to make the air clean enough for athletes).

Our options are limited & our bargaining power to force change in China is limited, so get used to the status quo or come up with a viable alternative. Do you know WHY we choose to buy our goods from China? It's because they have low wages, no benefits, and no environmental policies, so companies can afford to set prices low. It's cheaper to ship raw materials to the other side of the planet to be processed & then shipped BACK than to have them processed here in the US with US labor. I kid you not. We send wheat & flour to China to be processed into noodles & shipped back.

Why choose environmental policy as a stance for trade barriers? Why not human rights or worker conditions or even minimum wages? If you're going to get upset over subsidies, we subsidize food which we export & we and other countries subsidize banks, auto-manufacturers, etc. etc. It's much more blatant than lax environmental laws, too.

Why don't we just ban all trade w/ everyone but democratic 1st world countries with high environmental and working standards? -- Because the cost increase on goods will be astronomical, that's why!

If you're going to be all high minded and idealistic about our trading policies & threaten sanctions on our biggest trading partner and investor, you'd best be ready to back it up & have a backup plan for the consequences...

Comment Re:Yes. (Score 1) 259

Unless you live in a mobile home where the mortgage company owns the title to your home until you complete the terms of your contract, your mortgage company does not own any part of your home. Your home is merely collateral which can be seized to repay any portion of the amount of your contract you are unable or unwilling to pay.

Comment Re:Not quite (Score 4, Informative) 259

Nope... you and whomever modded this as +5 informative needs a course in business law. Owning 51% or more in a company gives you complete and unquestionable authority over what actions a company can take unless a signed contract says otherwise or your shares are specifically "non-voting" stock. If the Fed. govt. as 80% owner decided to release all documents or even liquidate the company, the owners of the other 20% would have no say at all and no legal recourse.

Comment Re:Google is suffering from success (Score 1) 155

You do have a point about the apparent fragmented strategies of Microsoft and Google. (I say apparent b/c we truly do not know their master plans, so perhaps the pieces will all fall into place one day and amaze us.) However, not all big, expensive companies have such fragmented strategies and large R&D departments. Microsoft and Google are competing in areas with rapid change and innovation, so I can't blame them for trying to stay ahead of the game. Often, R&D leads nowhere... or failed products, but it's difficult to know which ones will succeed. Much like a venture capitalist, large R&D departments spend a chunk of change on lots of projects in the hopes that one out of 100 will become huge successes. In short, they have both the cash and the NEED for the spagetti gun approach. lol. Not to mention, they learn quite a bit from their failures as well.

I think Google's just beginning to coalesce its many projects into one service... phone and/or netbook with andriod/chromeOS running chrome and accessing gmail, google calendar, google docs, google maps with GPS-like capabilities, etc. etc. Microsoft is slowly but surely spreading its empire as well. I never would've dreamed they'd be so successful with the XBOX. They have plans for a multimedia set-top box as well. Perhaps we simply don't know the 5 to 10 year plans these companies are reaching for and their releases simply seem fragmented b/c we don't know the long term plans.

As for dividends, I'm not sure why you prize them so highly. You spend money to buy stock b/c you believe it to be a better investment than actual money in a savings or money market account, yet you'd rather get money in the form of dividends from the company stock than have the stock rise in value? Every publicly traded company has a duty to "maximize shareholder wealth." By giving out a dividend, a company is basically admitting that you could invest that money better than they could, so they're giving it to you. It's insane... especially since they assume that company stock is a good investment and you should turn around and spend that money on buying more stock... so why incur fees buying more stock instead of simply allowing your stock price to rise to reflect the cash/investments/whatever within the company? If you believe the stock isn't a better investment than you could find elsewhere, then why not simply sell your stock and collect the money from the sale?!?! Dividends often lead to trouble down the road b/c once you start paying one, people expect you to continue and will see a halt or lowering of dividends as a bad sign, thus lowering the value of the stock... so once a company begins paying them out, they have to continue forever -- through good times and bad... even when it hurts their bottom lines.

I really don't understand why you would want a dividend.... if you want a return on investment in the form of a check, then perhaps a money market fund would be better. The point of owning a stock is to own a piece of a company in the hopes that it will be successful and make your shares worth more for when you finally decide to cash out. Typically, one should invest with an intent not to sell the stock for at least 5 to 10 years -- perhaps many decades for retirement. (day traders should be shot imho) With this in mind, one would want a good company to re-invest its profits within itself to grow bigger and even more profitable over that time. If one doesn't have faith in an individual company, then probably an index fund would be best... but I digress.

Point being... a company's profits are the shareholders' profits... whether they are re-invested or distributed as dividends. If a company holds on to the money in the form of cash or equivalents, then the stock price will rise to reflect that... in which case, if you wanted cash, you could sell the stock at a higher price instead of getting a dividend... however, the company should invest the money into R&D or expansion, or some other strategy to yield even more profit down the road. You're really better off choosing to either keep the stock without the dividend or selling the stock and putting your money elsewhere where you believe you'll make money.

Comment Re:Unfortunately not (Score 1) 978

I think you're confusing the word "metabolize" with "atrophy." Unused muscle will atrophy, and unused muscle while your body is in starvation mode will atrophy even faster... but the body doesn't choose to metabolize it for fuel as it does fat from fat cells. Body builders have an insane amount of muscle mass, so naturally that muscle will atrophy unless they continuously work out to prevent atrophy. This is a different mechanism than metabolizing protein, which does not happen unless all fat reserves are depleted.

Comment Re:Hackers Diet FTW. (Score 1) 978

I'm not sure where you picked up this myth, but you don't lose muscle unless it atrophies from either age or not using it in general. What you lose first from cutting calories is water weight. Your body stores sugar water in the liver, and since the body generally prefers to burn sugars over fats, it'll deplete the sugar reserves first before moving to a more balanced mixture of sugar and fat burning... so before you lose fat, you lose that sugar, and the body expels the excess water that was holding the sugar. For some people, that can be several pounds.

So, typically what happens is people cut calories, watch a few pounds drop off over the course of a week, then get discouraged when the pounds don't keep coming off at that rate... thinking they lost fat when it was really just water weight

Perhaps this myth comes from the look of loose skin on people that don't replace muscle with fat.

Comment Re:It's not that simple (Score 1) 978

I'm not sure exactly what your point is, but your statement is a bit misleading. As such, I'm not sure why it's +5 Informative. If you are trying to say that cutting calories alone could lead to a slower metabolism causing lethargy and thus lead one to exercise less and therefore lose muscle mass due to atrophy, then yes... that's a possibility, but it's not a common occurrence and would depend on how extreme the calorie reduction was (and it would depend on how far their calorie intake was below the number of calories required for an individual to maintain their current weight given age, gender, muscle mass, fat percentage, activity level, etc).

You're quite right that the body isn't a simple machine. It's extremely complex and still mysterious in many ways, but it does conform to the laws of physics. In this case, energy in (Calories) - energy burned (Calories) = energy gained or lost in the form of fat (Calories).

"Resting metabolism" may change somewhat initially as one's body switches from predominantly burning sugars to burning a mixture of sugars and fats, but as a percentage of daily calories burned, it's very minor. An individual may feel more lethargic, but it still takes about the same number of calories for them to walk, talk, eat, breathe, heat their bodies to 98.6 degrees, maintain bodily functions and provide fuel to all their cells, etc. Unless one takes in such few sugar calories that their brains cannot function properly (the brain requires sugar to function.... fats don't cross the blood/brain barrier), this is really more of a mood issue than a change in how well one can burn calories. As one loses weight, resting calories burned (not overall metabolism) always drops unless muscle is gained. Less mass, less energy required to support the body.

You say that "how much you eat impacts how much you use..." I'm not sure what you mean by this. Olympic athletes easily eat 3 to 10 times the number of calories of your average person, but so do morbidly obese individuals. Their use is entirely different. Granted, you didn't say there was a significant correlation, simply that there's an impact... but as long as one takes in more than 30% less than their daily caloric needs, there really isn't much impact assuming they have fat reserves to burn.

Now about metabolizing muscle... Again, if you mean to say that muscle will atrophy if it isn't used, then yes, that is absolutely correct... but "metabolized" usually refers to breaking something down for a purpose -- like for fuel. The body will NOT cannibalize muscle or proteins for energy until all sugar and fat reserves are depleted.

So, to break things down if I take your post literally and not for what I assume you might mean:

Your body is not a simple machine. Yes, it's a complicated machine

How much you eat impacts how much you use Not really, except in extreme cases

; simply cutting calorie intake will just cause your resting metabolism to drop. No, not really.... it's not significant

Worse, you might start metabolizing muscle. No, you'd have to be extremely malnourished with zero body fat for this to happen

Comment Re:A theoretically practical solar-powered car (Score 4, Insightful) 318

Normally I don't reply to trolls, but I found your post spectacularly wrong in so many ways, yet peppered with enough economic and statistical jargon that you might actually convince some people of your false logic should they read it.

First, you fail at economics. Clearly you've taken an undergrad course and heard a few terms. I encourage you to go back and take a few masters level courses so that you understand them a bit better. You also fail at psychology if you truly believe there will be rioting and assassination attempts over the tripling of the price of anything which has substitutes in the marketplace. Just as an example, gasoline has extremely inelastic demand and has quadrupled in price over a few years without any rioting in the streets. Sure, there have been congressional hearings about gas prices because speculators have manipulated the pricing more than OPEC ever has of late, but there are no riots over congresses inaction in passing legislation to encourage the price of gasoline to go down (lower fed. tax rate, drill for more oil, give tax breaks to build a new gasoline refinery, make it illegal to hold futures contracts without a location to store the oil, etc. etc.).

"Meat" includes many products which will be affected differently by any price increase because they will have different elasticities of demand... however, since you've mentioned steak, I thought I'd point out that most economics professors would indeed classify a "standard steak" as a luxury good. It's not as much of a luxury good as say... lobster, but it's up there. Bologna would not be considered a luxury good, but it is a meat product. If a pack of bologna were to triple in cost from $1 to $3, demand would likely drop somewhat and shift to other cheaper sources of protein like soy products. If steak were to also triple from $12 per serving to $36 per serving, demand would likely fall more drastically and shift to other cheaper sources of protein... perhaps even bologna, hot dogs, and hamburgers instead of steak.

You make a LOT of assumptions. I have no idea what sort of tax would have to be imposed on meat products to include the full cost to society and environmental damage, but you assume it would triple the cost of meat in general (wild assumption... could be only a 10% increase which would have little economic impact.) You also assume surpluses and shortages and prices rising or falling, but don't state time frames. In economics, short term, long term, and extreme long term results for shifts can be very different, so your post is vague and sounds a bit like gibberish when you discuss these things. You assume that meat substitute prices will skyrocket without any facts to back up that hypothesis, then go on to say that they may become scarce with a shortage so some people will be forced to buy meat at high prices (another assumption). Do you realize that soy products are cheap and could easily provide a meat substitute even if demand for soy skyrocketed at a very reasonable price? even in the short-term? Have you even heard of price elasticity of demand? Did they not teach you that term in undergrad econ?

On a personal note, I am definitely a fan of meat... but I'm also a fan of taxing the hell out of things that have hidden environmental costs. You'd be surprised at how quickly businesses change their processes to produce less waste when they actually have to pay to clean up that waste. There are economical ways for all businesses to clean up their environmental waste and have a reduced impact on the environment (Note that 100% cleanup would likely cost an infinite amount of money because it is difficult to have exactly zero waste, but perhaps an 85 to 95% reduction might be feasible for some businesses). Yes, prices might rise on goods as companies pass along environmental cleanup costs, but I have no idea how much -- and nor do you unless you've done an environmental impact study on the matter.

Frankly, when you remove the gibberish and wild speculation from your post, it simply reads as "Waaahhhh... I love my meat and I don't want to have to pay more for it!" As you've posted as an anonymous coward, perhaps you already know this is the case.

Comment Re:I can see it now (Score 1) 554

This is exactly what I use tabs for -- loading a lot of pages like comics at once, then I read and close each one out one by one.

I also read articles and open links that look interesting in new tabs while I continue reading the page I am currently reading. This allows me to continue my reading enjoyment while loading other pages that might interest me.

At any given time, I have 4 or more windows of firefox open each with 20 or more tabs in a related subject. (window with 20 comic strips open in tabs, another window with social networking sites like facebook in tabs, yet another window with work-related info in 30 tabs, and another with news aggregators with articles open in 50 or more tabs).

I often browse FARK and right-click to open interesting articles in new windows while I scroll down the links for the day. Sometimes I'll have 100 or more tabs open from FARK links.

Why is the firefox team looking to reinvent the wheel again? I already change the default behavior of closing each tab with an X to having an X at the END of all tabs (like they used to have as default) to make my browsing faster and more sane. (off topic, but why on earth do we need an X on every single tab? Why doesn't one X for closing the current tab work better? *shrugs*)

Tabs are fantastic... if they change the behavior without an option to revert back, I hope someone forks the code. There's a reason firefox, opera, IE, and others have tabs and while I welcome innovation in this area, the user should have the option of using whatever method works best for them. Please don't remove my awesome tabs guys!

Comment Re:Most of them... (Score 1) 207

Sun could just as easily match the trade-in for services. Sun could even offer a trade-in for IBM's hardware or service contracts. IBM is being aggressive, but not anti-competitive. If IBM were a monopoly, then there might be anti-trust issues, but for right now, it's perfectly legal and not very uncommon. For instance, Cable companies often have deals where you can turn in your old satellite dish for money off your cable bill.

Comment Re:Most of them... (Score 1) 207

What the heck? There are half a dozen other posts saying the same thing I did and they're modded as "3" and "4" insightful. This wasn't a troll... it's perfectly true in the legal and business world in the USA. I hope whoever modded me as Troll gets their mod points removed permanently by meta-mods.

Comment Re:Most of them... (Score 1, Insightful) 207

It's just an incentive program. Perfectly legal. Also, discriminatory pricing is completely legal in most cases as well (think movie theaters... one price for kids, another for adults, yet another for seniors... and other discounts for college kids and military)

It's not anti-competitive. It's actually aggressively competitive. Sun could match the discounts for new equipment or even raise them. Some companies do this for old products... return your old one for a certain percent or flat rate off the next purchase.

Not only is it legal and clearly NOT anti-competitive, but IBM is also not a monopoly. This is a strategic move by IBM to claim market share... which is what companies do. Like survival of the fittest in nature, there is no mercy for the weak in business. IBM is taking advantage of a competitor's weakness and using their own strengths to gain new customers. That's how capitalism works.

Comment Re:Not the programming (Score 4, Informative) 334

This bit on the Boston Tea Party simply isn't true. While the British did reduce taxes on the East India Trading Co. in Britain to help reduce losses due to the smuggling of tax-free tea from the Dutch, the Tea Party was actually in response to multiple factors including the Townshend Acts which levied NEW taxes on the colonies (including one on tea) by the British Empire.

The Boston Tea Party had little to do with smugglers and more to do with a tax imposed on the colonies by an empire in which they had no representation and the fact that the taxes were used to pay local officials (which made colonials question their loyalty b/c they were paid in part by the crown) and the monopoly on tea held by the East India Trading Co.

For further evidence, there were protests over the Stamp Act and other similar laws imposed on the colonials by the empire. To imply that the Tea Party was a response by smugglers over losing profits instead of the culmination of years of anger by protesters over taxation rights is a gross misrepresentation of history. I suppose next you'll blame cause of the American war for independence on the opium trade.

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Things are not as simple as they seems at first. - Edward Thorp