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Comment Re:Stupid Media. (Score 1) 288

I'm also curious specifically on the drinking water pollution- something we should watch. Some people have detected elevated levels of methane in their water around fracking sites. I'm curious how much of this is really from fracking and how much is due to the fact that they only frack in places where there is methane in the ground anyway.

Methane is non-toxic, so it's a bit of a moot point.

Comment Re:Models aren't equal to models (Score 1) 676

Krugman quickly pronounced the Obama Administration's stimulus as far too small and said it would not get the job done.

He predicted that a Keynesian economic policy would fail because it wasn't big enough? So if it fails it reinforces his views, and if it succeeds it reinforces his views.

How can anybody be taken in by this?

Comment Re:Maintenance? (Score 1) 990

And it is at that point that money goes away (though the actual going away part might be exceedingly unpleasant for a time). The rich who own the means to make products have no one to sell them to, and the poor who have nothing either revolt and take back all the resources that the rich have gobbled up or, less likely, get together with the rich and forge a money-less society.

More likely all those products become cheaper and cheaper until they're practically free. At some point it becomes feasible for a small number of talented individuals to provide free alternatives to everyone else -- kinda like the open source community. Heck, we already have people with 3D printers donating time and materials to various causes.

Comment Re:Assange condemns greed? (Score 1) 944

I see your point about Freddie and Fanny, government backing allows people to go to college. Of course this leaves a lull in the service industry, because those that went to college cant afford to work for minimum wage while paying off college loans.

The more salient point that most people miss is that pumping money into the college industry has directly lead to tuition inflation. Thus making student loan debts all the much worse.

This is a recurring theme in government programs. Efforts to make something more affordable just make it more expensive -- kind of like targeted inflation. It can take the form of free loans or grants or tax credits or rule changes... there are lots of ways to screw things up while meaning well.

What we need is some sort of death penalty for government programs or institutions. They should "go out of business" if they screw up too badly. Alas, we seem to be heading in the opposite direction where now certain large corporations aren't allowed to fail.

Comment Re:What's New? (Score 1) 153

By the time they're done shopping their future home has agreed that they'll be exempt from environmental laws or that they'll never pay taxes if they'll please just give a few thousand people a job.

Perhaps a few thousand jobs are worth more than whatever corporate taxes they would have collected? I don't know Marx's stance on jobs, but I've heard they're beneficial to an economy.

Plus, some countries even tax the income from jobs. Strange but true!

Comment Re:The punchline (Score 2) 224

Implementing Pickens Plan would give him rights to build electric transmission lines, and by getting a wider right of way it would allow Pickens to build water pipelines.[53]

Holy shit, transmission lines? Water pipelines?! Thank god this madman was stopped! Sure, some cities in the area might need both of those things, but the important point is this guy wanted to make money off of it. The nerve!

Comment Re:Tax breaks = Subsidize? (Score 1) 123

What is the difference exactly between giving you $100 and lowering your tax by $100? Of course they're the same and that's why the governments favourite way to partially subsidize projects is tax breaks.

Even the politicians are honest about it, when they lower the tax on say food or books they actually say they're subsidising food or books.

I understand where you're coming from, but there are some practical and philosophical distinctions between the two:

  • With an actual subsidy they're directly redistributing money from one group to another.
  • With a tax break it's a lot less clear cut. For all we know it's a net tax gain from the extra payroll taxes, etc.
  • A subsidy can actually prop up a failing business, whereas tax breaks (while helpful) can't help if your expenses are still greater than your income.
  • It's cheaper to give a tax break of $100 than a subsidy of $100, since money tends to evaporate as it passes through a bureaucracy.
  • Ideologically, you don't want to encourage the idea that all income is the government's until they let you keep it.
  • Politicians aren't being honest when they spin tax credits as subsidies or reductions in budget growth as budget cuts (for another example).

Comment Tax breaks = Subsidize? (Score 1, Insightful) 123

"why the government should subsidize such a mature and profitable industry whose main contribution is to create amusing and sometimes antisocial entertainment"

Subsidy: a direct pecuniary aid furnished by a government to a private industrial undertaking, a charity organization, or the like.

So the article writer assumes that not taking money is the same as giving money. That is some screwed up logic right there. It makes me wonder why we're subsidizing this writer (by not taxing his income at a higher rate).

Sure, you can complain about the tax system and about all the tax breaks so-and-so qualifies for, but it's dishonest to say that the government is subsidizing EA. I'd even say it's pandering, since by the second paragraph they mention (and have a screenshot of) Dead Space 2. The implication being that "YOUR TAX DOLLARS" are funding "EVIL VIOLENT MURDER GAMES".

At least it's marked as an editorial, right? Wait, no it's not.

Comment Re:Have other independent bodies endorsed fracking (Score 1) 294

and just how bad it is to get methane in your well water? Is this the sort of thing for which we have a filter?

According to Wikipedia methane is non-toxic, colorless, and odorless.

So clearly Wikipedia is in the pocket of Big Methane. Someone should make a documentary about how Wikipedia has sold out. For citations they can cite this post, and I'm sure you can find enough anecdotes to fill a movie.

Comment Re:Commercial databases (Score 2) 509

(i.e.: select foo from table1 where id in (select id from table2 where criteria='something'))

Haver you tried using a join and if so how well does it work?

e.g. select from table1 inner join table2 on where table2.criteria='something''

Or this might be better, depending on the quality of the query optimizer:
select from table1 inner join table2 on AND table2.criteria='something''

Comment Re:Idiots Experimenting with the Food Supply (Score 1) 1229

1) Not patented.
2) Are marked.
3) Cannot contaminate the biosphere with naturally growing varieties with some of the interesting side effect proteins they produce as part of the GMO process.

So you're okay with GM crops as long as:
1) There's no inventive to research them.
2) They're singled out for no health-related reason.
3) They can't cross breed, but I'm also guessing you'd complain if they're sterile. (i.e. seeds need to be bought each year.)

But for some reason, the large GMO companies don't want you to know what corn you eat is GMO.

GMO companies don't want their products singled out by ignorant fearmongers? You're right, that is a mystery.

If it were up to some people the official GMO symbol would incorporate a skull and crossbones.

Comment Re:MPAA and Google (Score 1) 363

  The quote "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place" reminds me of the position people take regarding privacy and over-reaching government snooping that violates the 4th Amendment. "If you're not doing anything illegal, you should have nothing to hide." "

In that quote, Schmidt was referencing the government's ability to demand your information. Google had recently lost a court case about it, which is why he brought the subject up.

A lot of privacy crusaders seem to mix up private and public information, though. Whatever you do in Wal Mart is public, and you can't demand that they erase all footage of you from their security cameras and make every employee that saw you forget that you were there.

Similarly, if you freely give information to Google, like search terms and your IP address, should you be able to force them to forget it?

Sensitive personal data -- SSN, bank account numbers, etc. -- I can understand special provisions for. But your unhealthy Febreeze obsession? The only thing protecting you there is your obscurity and Wal Mart's desire not to drive you away .

Comment Re:Arrogant Ignorance? (Score 1) 2288

ask some of your friends or relatives how many yards are in a mile.

Nobody remembers because that's not relevant to anyone's day to day life. I mean, who says "880 yards" instead of "half a mile"? And if you ever do need to calculate it, you most likely have the ability to look up the answer at your fingertips.

I was taught metrics in 1st grade, that was back in the 70s, and it's so easy a 7 year old can master it.
This imperial crap almost everyone else in the US uses is rather incomprehensible.

You know what else is needlessly complex? The Japanese language. Why do they use such an over-elaborate system that nobody else in the world even uses? It's rather incomprehensible. /sarcasm

Comment Re:No shit! (Score 1) 235

Yawn, another fine morning at Valve! Shall we slog on with another episode of our popular game franchise for the fanboys, or shall we work a bit harder at our store front that takes 30% of EVERY PC GAME SALE ON THE PLANET?

I think they could hire more people and do both. I mean, I'm pretty sure the Half Life franchise is profitable in and of itself.

All this kinda reminds me of when the government does some trivial bullshit while some bigger problem is happening. People breathlessly complain about it, but I'm pretty sure the government can do more than one thing at a time.

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Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!