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Comment Re:It's The American Drean (Score 3, Informative) 1313


It's a percentage, look it up on wikipedia. You'll see that percentages are an ancient way of making things relative, regardless of their absolute value. "Per" means divided evenly, and "cent" means 100. You take some absolute number, break it up into 100 equal parts, and then you can compare it to other equally divided number w/o being concerned about the absolute amount.

And, some basic necessity things don't scale well with the income level of the people who use them. It's much easier for a wealthy person to buy food, even expensive, organic, hand picked food, than it is for a poor person to buy horse meat and high fructose corn syrup.

Comment Re:Irony! (Score 1) 210


I like Jewel's music.

I like Alanis' music.

People will judge, they always do.

Both artists write good lyrics, and have some pretty infamously bad examples of using the wrong word at the wrong time.

So, to set the record straight:

Alanis: Sang "Isn't it ironic?" when, in fact, few, if any of the scenarios she mentioned were irony (implied meaning in opposition to the literal meaning)

Jewel: Sang "...with such casualty", when she actually mean casualness (i.e. not death, but with little regard)

So there, that's settled.

Comment Re:They're stupid (Score 1) 1025

Though I'm no imunology scientist, I'd think that from an evolutionary standpoint, the newborn immune system is running at peak performance just after birth and for the first few weeks/months of post-natal life. The whole thing has been refined through evolution to find novel, harmful things in the body which came from the external environment and to do the job of putting together killer molecules to stop those harmful things. It's like saying a racecar is stressed out by accelerating at the start of the race. That's what the thing was meant to do, for crying out loud!

Comment Re:Angular resolution (Score 1) 122

This is my feeling as well. This is surely _NOT_ fingerprint imaging as they would have you believe. My quickie calculations say a 0.1mm ridge is about 3.5 arcseconds wide at a 6m distance. And that's if you assume perfect edges and a static finger. This is likely some pattern recognition on the shape, size, and orientation of the parts of your finger. Tip radius, length to knuckle, width, etc. Sounds like typical misleading marketspeak to me.

Comment Re:Why would I? (Score 1) 244

The proof of this is in your comment. Why didn't you post the whole sequence? If it's too long, a or drobo link would do fine.

Just as it's not terrible for the public to know you have red hair, or live in Kalamazoo, or green eyes, or a broken nose, or a swarthy pirate accent, individually, the more true bits of data about you that can be correlated, the less anonymous you are. Worse when those bits can't be changed at your leisure. Worse still when they can be (rightly or wrongly) linked to ideas of race, intelligence, health, purity, etc.

Comment Re:Why would I? (Score 1) 244

I'm certain this will be exactly how the insurance companies would use the information. You rate would be 100% lower, in fact, as it's still currently illegal for them to charge you after they've dropped your coverage. After all, it's far too risky for them to continue insuring you, now that they know you are 0.0001% more likely to have long ear hair in your elder years than the average population.

I dunno, though, since they'd have your DNA info, they might be able to charge you some data security or "stewardship" fee, "to protect you".

Comment Re:Elevator to the Moon (Score 1) 176

This is an awesome idea!

I know they're probably pretty near and dear to your heart, and you wouldn't want me to get a jump on your own development, but could you share some paltry details of your system to "fine tun[e] the asteroid orbit and rotation speed" in a time frame suitable to more than one launch per generation? I don't want too many secrets, just tell me the material you'll use for the major components, or list those components' rough dimensions, or even what order of magnitude your energy budget is.

Engineering is HARD. No, really, really, really difficult. Even more difficult than writing a fascinating and intriguing science fiction story (which very few people can do, I might add). Why don't you spend a decade becoming a very well received science fiction writer, and then decide if there's still enough genius left in your mind to become an engineer?

Comment Re:Don't blame Amazon (Score 1) 295

And those charitable causes are their billionaire friends' yacht attendant apprentice program, and the art museum donor's ball fund, and the prevent wind turbines from spoiling the scenic views from my 30 acre yard campaign.

Newsflash: Billionaires get that way specifically because they can make more money than they spend. All of those charitable donations are rigorously chosen and delicately balanced to scratch the backs of other big donors and their own causes. It's not going into a general tax fund where citizens (nominally) get to decide how and where the money is spent. It's not the same.

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