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Comment Re:Why subsidize? (Score 1) 1030

We should be encouraging:

1. Thorium nuclear - Difficult to weaponize, readily available fuel, reduced waste, economically viable in smaller reactor sizes
2. Other Nuclear - Regional fuel access, proliferation issues
3. Solar - Can use "dead" space (like rooftops) which reduces NIMBY issues
4. Wind - more limited in location and NIMBY issues

Comment Keystone Pipline (Score 2) 1030

Umm, what about the Keystone XL Pipeline... That single project is receiving between 1 and 1.8 BILLION dollars in subsidies.

For reference ALL renewable received $5.93 billion.. over a 15 year period...

Plus the real benefit that oil, coal and natural gas receive are liability protection from spills, poisoning etc plus eminent domain lad purchases for pipelines etc.

These issues are not represented in the typical accounting of subsidies and easily doubles the value.

I remember reading that is all benefits were removed from oil than the price of gas would be between 12-15 dollars a gallon!

Comment 20 Counts (Score 1) 491

He was charged with 20 counts NOT 10,000. Prosecutors don't need to read all 10,000 they only needed to read 20.

Just because you kill someone in self defense doesn't mean that you can kill anyone you want.

Even if 9,880 documents are evidence of war crimes, he is still guilty of releasing sensitive information the SHOULD be kept secret.

Comment Read up on Histones (Score 2) 272

Not true. Histones, the proteins that keep DNA ordered, are some of the earliest proteins. They provide an extremely accurate clock for when species diverged.

While on a short term, a few million years, you are right when you say the rate of genetic drift is not predictable. However, over a longer period of time the rate SEEMS to be fairly consistent. That is the point of the article.

You seem to be confusing genetic diversity with Phylogenetic diversity. Phylogenetic diversity describes how genes change physical differences while genetic diversity talks about the complexity of the genes themselves.

You can have genetic diversification without the physical structure of the organism changing, especially if there are environmental restrictions.

Comment Re:Wht not sound? (Score 1) 128

>> Different mixes and levels for different apps

Weird... I wanted that feature, and that's exactly why I was installing PulseAudio for a year before Ubuntu picked it up as a standard. PulseAudio makes per-app mixing just work, whereas before Pulse came around I had never seen any OS do that since the BeOS.

Comment Re:North Carolina (Score 0) 108

> I live in Raleigh, NC, and for those who have a jaundiced perspective of the south I would like to say that this region is booming in terms of technology-centric business

You know, maybe it's because I've always lived to the south of you (Atlanta), but I never really applied the negative southern stereotype to North Carolina, not until you amended your constitution just a couple weeks ago.

It will be interesting to see how that decision affects the state in the medium term... stereotypes and reputation like that can have a lot of impact on whether companies choose to set up shop there.

Comment Electric Drive Train? (Score 4, Insightful) 582

You are assuming that EV will simply replace the current engine and fuel tank with an electric engine and battery... This is not what has to happen.

Currently engines are big and heavy so you only have one. You then have to transfer the rotational energy of the engine to the wheels. But Electric motors are very light and tiny. So why not have 4?

Put a small electric engine in each wheel and you eliminate the entire drive train... no more drive train losses and EV's are back up to 90%.

Your 72% efficiency only applies to ICE cars that have been converted to EV's.


Mitt Romney, Robotics, and the Uncanny Valley 501

Hugh Pickens writes "Brian Fung writes in the Atlantic that one of Romney's electoral problems is that he occupies a kind of uncanny valley for politicians, inexplicably turning voters off despite looking like the textbook image of an American president. Just as people who interact with lifelike robots often develop a strange feeling due to something they can't quite name, something about Romney leaves voters unsettled. As with the robotic version of the uncanny valley, the closer Romney gets to becoming real to a voter, the more his likeability declines. 'The effect is almost involuntary, considering the substantial advantages Romney enjoys from appearance alone,' writes Fung. 'But in person, his polished persona gives way to what appears a surprisingly forced and inauthentic character.' Political commentator Dana Milbanks adds that although Romney is confident and competent, in casual moments his weirdness comes through — equal parts 'Leave It to Beaver' corniness and social awkwardness. 'Romney's task now is to work his way out of the uncanny valley toward a more compelling style of humanity,' concludes Fung. 'But every day he lingers in it, the hill grows steeper.'"

2011 Was the 9th Hottest Year On Record 877

The Bad Astronomer writes "Last year was the 9th hottest year out of the past 130, according to NASA and the NOAA. That's no coincidence: nine out of the ten hottest years on record have been since the year 2000. It's long past time to face facts: the Earth is getting hotter, and to deny it is an exercise in fantasy."

Comment Re:Take that... (Score 1) 257

Direct observation of quasars and other celestial objects.

We can deffinetivly identify the direction of rotation of pulsars as well as a variety of other objects with accretion discs. From these observations we have determined that from our perspective, the orbital plan is esssentially random.

Since we know that angular momentum is conserved, it is safe to assume that the original stars that formed these objects had a random distribution of orbital plans relative to us.

Since we know stars have a random distribution of orbital plans, it is safe to assume that the planets round thoes stars do as well...

All based on direct observation.

Comment Re:And now lets word it to screw the little guy. (Score 2) 694

Actually, the military spending (Not just DOD) is actually ~60% of federal spending when you include everything related to defense including homeland security, CIA etc, military projects at NASA, veterans affairs etc plus the interest on the debts directly related to these projects.

Right now the DOD (only about half of all defense spending) is fully 50% of the world spending on military. The US is only 20% of the world GDP. therefore the CORRECT spending on the military is actually about 25% of what we actually spend...

Social security is not a problem. It is completely funded through payroll taxes.

Medicare IS a problem but the solutions is politically unpalitable... True comprehensive coverage of every single person with a reduction in actual benefits (primarily not offering MRIs when X-rays are sufficient)

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