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Comment Re:If it bother you that much (Score 4, Informative) 944

The average incandescent bulb lasts about 1000 hours. Currently, the average cost per kilowatt hour is 12 cents in this country. So a 100 watt bulb run for 1000 hours costs about $1.20 in electricity. The bulbs cost about $0.57 each. An equivalent LED bulb costs $36 per, and consumes only 13% of the energy used by an incandescent. They say these will last approximately 50,000 hours.

Except your math is off by a factor of 10. 100 watt is 0.1 kW, times 1000 hours gives 100 kWh, which is $12 dollars of electricity not $1.20. That changes pretty much everything.

I agree about the toxic waste stuff, but if you're worried mostly about energy (and that's what policy mostly focuses on) then incandescents don't make sense.

Comment Re:California is too large (Score 1) 489

I get what you're saying but the political centralization of the USA is also the reason for its incredible stability over the past century. Europe learned that lesson only after nearly wiping itself out.

The thing is, you can't just keep an area stable just by doing nothing. If you want an area to remain relatively stable and prosperous you need to make sure all parts develop at roughly the same rate. Hence, the idea of a common economy with a common currency and free movement of people and goods. But if you're going to have a common economy then you also need to harmonize your fiscal policy or else the debts of small states that live above their means risk destabilizing your whole economy. But that also means that you need to put restrictions over spending. The inescapable consequence of all of this is that the union is going to have more and more say over what the individual states can do and you'll end up with a centralized government.

Still, as grim as it sounds it's still way better than endlessly warring states.

Comment Re:Bitcoiners on reddit are completely delusional (Score 1) 475

Wake up people. This "currency" is never going to have anything close to wide adoption. The inability to charge back is the #1 reason that prevents any consumer from perceiving it as a safe currency against vendor fraud.

Do you feel the same way about cash?

With cash I can see/touch the goods I'm buying before paying for them. I have to physically meet the person selling the goods. Unless I'm paying for something illegal there's little chance of getting screwed over because it would be too risky for the other party.

Comment Language Fads (Score 1) 230

Chinese (Mandarin to be precise) is the current language fad. I remember when about a decade ago everyone was into Japanese and before that there was Russian. There are many good reasons to learn foreign languages from an early age but frankly the whole "economic relationships" argument is BS. The truth is that the current world lingua franca for business is English and it's going to stay that way for a while.

Comment Re:The Worlds worst nuclear accident (Score 1) 149

I agree with your post in general, except:

We just need to handle it sensibly. Put a 25 mile exclusion zone around them. Site them away from centres of population.

In the US maybe, but in Europe this is hard to do as population density is pretty high everywhere except way out in the North. In a country like Germany you won't find a large mostly empty area far from any population. But if you ask me I'd rather live next to a nuclear reactor than next to a coal power plant.

Comment Re:Update on this story (Score 1) 377

Dear Lover of 1984-Style Government (aka, a liberal):

I'm always amazed how distorted the political name-calling has gotten. White means black and black means white. From http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/liberal:

liberal
Etymology
From Old French liberal < Latin liberalis ("befitting a freeman") < liber ("free").

1. (now rare except in phrases) Pertaining to those arts and sciences whose study was considered "worthy of a free man" (as opposed to servile, mechanical); worthy, befitting a gentleman.

2. Generous, bountiful.

3. Generous in quantity, abundant.

4. (obsolete) Unrestrained, licentious.

5. Free from prejudice or narrow-mindedness; open-minded, open to new ideas, willing to depart from established opinions, conventions etc.; permissive.

6. (politics) Open to political or social changes and reforms in favour of increased freedom or democracy.

Comment Re:Plane (Score 1) 97

Yes, but we also know exactly what's the probability of detecting a planet in our plane of sight. The point of the Kepler mission is to examine hundreds of thousands of stars and determine which ones have planets and what kind of planets they are. Then using probability we can then extrapolate how many such planets exist around other stars (not in our plane of sight). The sample size is what makes this extrapolation valid.

Comment Re:Excellent (Score 1) 224

The energy required would probably be higher than what you could get out of the nuclear fuel. Remember: shooting something into the Sun doesn't cost zero energy. The Earth's orbital speed is about 30 km/s and there's no atmosphere to loose that velocity.

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