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Comment Re:WOW (Score 2) 142

yeah, where everyone is in a few insurance groups and gets the same basic benefits

obamacare has variable pricing based on history, finances, where you live, etc. lots of business rules to properly price the policy

Actually, no. We can program a high amount of variability in pricing and eligibility based on whatever data is required. And we own a private exchange, so we do that, too. Also, we can implement such a project in 6 months, sometimes less, including the entire reporting requirement.

Comment Re:Sentient machines exist (Score 1) 339

I fear the day we make truly sentient "machines." (In quotes because because I don't know if they will be machines or not.) In order to replicate life as we know it - human, feline, insect, etc. - we must first figure out how to make it want to survive. And once we do that we have created a new competitor in the food chain.

Comment Re:But, what is a singularity? (Score 2, Funny) 339

The singularity, of course, is defined as the point where the function and all its derivatives approach infinity. There is another way to think of a singularity. If you are extrapolating a function based on a power series around a point, you can only expand that power series as far as the closest singularity ("pole") in the complex plane (the "radius of convergence"). You can't extrapolate further than that with a simple power series, even if you aren't trying to solve for the function at the pole itself.

So, thinking science fictionally, we can't extrapolate the future based on the present any further than the distance to the singularity, even if our actual future doesn't in fact pass through the singularity.

So, don't think of the technological singularity as a time when life for humans ends, and robots/artificial intelligences/transcended humans take over. Think of it as time scale beyond which we can't extrapolate the future based on what we know now.

So you're saying I won't be able to fuck a sexbot by 2035?

Comment Re:WOW (Score 5, Informative) 142

Forget about the number of lines of code. I work for a U.S. company that builds healthcare.gov type web sites and the reporting back end for large companies. The estimated price tag of the front end ($150 million or so) is about 20 times what the tax payers should have paid. Add in the back end reporting to the insurance companies and billing, throw a call center in at least two different time zones, main and backup datacenters and instead of the full price tag ($600 mil?), let's say at the high end $20 million for the whole thing. Ongoing administration costs maybe in the 7 digits per year. The whole thing was a sham to get votes and fill the coffers of some cronies.

Comment Re:But that's not all Snowden did... (Score 1) 348

Because the only people who claim that have "harming the US" as a goal.

I don't think anyone should have harming the American people , as a goal, at all. The complete abolition of the American government , on the other hand, is a goal which I think is overwhelmingly in the interests of humanity as an entire species, and in seeking such, the American people themselves should be leading the charge.

So how do you imagine we "abolish the US government" without harming the people? It's easy to point out the "bad", "evil", (and the favorite of the anarchist/libertarian sort) "facist" things the US governemnt does while ignoring the massive good it has done. Of course, if looking through a very narrow lens helps suport your cause, I guess you're free to do that, and somehow get positive mod points for it. Guess you brought friends, eh? Just remember, the evil government is what is allowing you to post negatively about it. Try the same in any of many more oppressive countries out there.

Let's not forget that what most people dislike (or hate) about the U.S. government is something outside the intentions it was founded upon. It wasn't supposed to become a rich man's club running at the behest of other rich people.

Comment Re:Almost... (Score 2) 348

It's not democracy if capitalism has its hooks in every aspect of government.

Capitalism doesn't have hooks it can put in government. A government highly influenced by corporations is cronyism, or straight out bribery. And lest we give "Big Academia" a pass, a government highly influenced by large universities with millions of dollars is also cronyism.

Comment Re:You know... (Score 1) 403

Obi-wan seemed like a real dick after that scene. His former friend and pupil is lying there, on fire and dismembered. Obi-wan can't even be bothered to finish him off and put him out of his misery. Instead he just leaves him there to be horribly scarred and rebuilt into a hate filled cyborg that thinks nothing of blowing up entire planets.

I don't think they had a choice at that point except to make him look like a dick. The story had to continue with him as Darth Vader because that's how it was written 30 years prior. They painted themselves into a corner by trying to tell the story starting way further back than they could hope to tell in three mostly consecutive movies, and then by wasting almost one entire movie (Episode 1) just showing us crap.

Comment Re:You know... (Score 1) 403

Prequel complainers are just full of shit. They cry about movies that are roughly as good as the originals.

Also, anyone who compares Ewoks and Jar-Jar is a moron. The Ewoks actually fought, using old but useful weapons to help defeat the imperial forces. Jar-Jar was running away like a coward and accidentally destroyed an invading force in the process. Both character types aimed at kids? Sure. But they were nothing alike.

Comment Re:You know... (Score 3, Insightful) 403

It's not even that. Look at that quotes list. Awkward quote #1? Just Jar-Jar being Jar-Jar. That was an appropriate quote for the character and context. Quote #5 was a neutral way to avoid an awkward silence. #7 was Anakin being a 9-year-old boy--yes, 9-year-old boys say awkward stupid shit like this. Quotes #20 and #34 were frighteningly insightful: this is exactly what happened after 9/11.

Prequel complainers are just full of shit. They cry about movies that are roughly as good as the originals.

The prequels sucked because they tried to cram foreshadowing into every scene, as if we needed every single event in the prequels to relate to a specific event in the original 3. Then after the second prequel they realized they left so much undone that the third was just two hours of screen wipe-divided vignettes, and right at the end they were like, Oh shit, Anakin only has the one fake hand. So 5 minutes, one ill-constructed fight sequence, and single slashing of a light saber and suddenly he is Darth Vader in all his shiny, black awesomeness. Crap. Crap. Crap.

Comment Re:And any idiot with a soldering iron can bypass (Score 2) 765

I never said bludgeoning a person was easy.

. I said that someone who can and will disarm a person with a gun probably has the skills to then beat the crap out of you with your gun if it for some reason does not fire.

Although it is not "easy" to bludgeon someone to death, it only takes the right kind of strike to knock a person unconscious, at which point the perpetrator can take their time pistol whipping the limp body.

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