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Comment Re:No shit (Score 2) 84

Phone numbers are listed in things like telephone books.

Of course. Before I read the summary, I never heard anyone claim that numbers cannot be connected to names, and it certainly wasn't a "key tenet" justifying NSA spying. In fact, being able to trace suspicious calls back to an identifiable person is the whole point.

Comment Re:Gums up the narrative that IP is for everyone (Score 4, Insightful) 185

IP is only valuable & important to a business when it has enough patents to create a stranglehold in their sector.

Or any business that has an identifiable name. Your local "Quickie Laundromat" may say they don't care about IP. But if I open another business right next door called "Quickie Laundromat", and if I copy their ads and signs word-for-word, they might change their minds. IP is more than just patents. It also encompasses trademarks and copyrights. 10% say they care about IP. The other 90% don't understand what IP is.

Comment Re:Why bother? (Score 1) 365

You're still thinking too short term

No, the problem is that you are not thinking. At a 10% rate of return, spending a trillion today is equivalent to spending 17 trillion thirty years from now, when our capabilities in robotics, materials science, and propulsion, will likely be much better than today. If the timeline is measured in "centuries", then investing now makes no sense. It makes far more sense to wait until we have a clue how the "massive positive economic impact" will actually happen.

Comment Re:Why bother? (Score 1) 365

Over the last few decades both public and private planning has become increasingly short term.

Human planning has always been short term. There is no reason to believe this is a "new" problem.

Something like a moon colony is a long term economic investment

The problem is that "long term investment" is often used as a codeword for "spending huge gobs of money on a boondoggle." A moon colony would cost over trillion dollars. To give investors a ten percent return, it would need to generate 17 trillion in income in 30 years. But the likely income would actually be much closer to this amount: $0.

Comment Re:nothing of any us to us on moon (Score 4, Insightful) 365

So unless the idea is to produce stuff that goes further out and not back to Earth,
mining the Moon is just an insanely difficult way to get resources we have plenty
of down here.

Duh. The whole point of mining on the moon is that it is IN SPACE. It is at the bottom of a shallow gravity well, with no atmosphere, so a simple mass driver (way more efficient that chemical rockets) can be used to launch materials into orbit. Other than maybe the Helium-3, no one is going to bring these materials back to earth.

Comment Re:1% (Score 1) 148

Do people really graduate and not know how to do this?

Yes. Including many in your class. They had a friend do the coding for them, or they paid someone to do it. When I was in college, I earned a lot of beer money by writing/fixing code for other students, including trivial programs for graduating seniors.

Comment Re:Why bother? (Score 1) 365

The problem is not technology to go to space, you americans already have this. The problem is will to do this again.

No. The problem is a reason to do it again. We already have a sack of moon rocks. We don't need another. Until there is an economic reason to go back to the moon, the government should be spending our tax dollars on something that matters.

Comment Re:Thanks, California taxpayers! (Score 1) 238

While corporate welfare handouts are certainly "standard practice," that's not equivalent to "good practice"

Indeed. Tax breaks like this are a classic example of the Prisoner's Dilemma. Everybody does it, but everyone would be better off if nobody did it. Congress should use the commerce clause (legitimately in this case) to ban the practice. Or the courts should ban it as a violation of the Constitution's equal protection clause.

Comment Re:He's the President. (Score 1) 312

Modern data centers don't actually generate very many jobs.

After the initial flurry of construction jobs, Apple's $1 billion+ data center in Nevada is going to result in...
200 contractor positions and 35 full time jobs.

35 full time jobs

That is not 35, but 235. A contractor gig is still a job for somebody. And why don't the initial construction jobs count? They aren't permanent, but are still paychecks for six or eight months for a lot of people. And what about the people that build the servers? Do you really think American servers are going to populate the data center in Brazil? And what about the people that work in the power plant, the people that build the AC units, etc.

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