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Comment Re:Uruguay Fiber Optic Plan (Score 2) 157

Here in the US we're going to see a 3rd world status in regards to networking by the end of our lifetimes (that is if it's not already that way yet).

No, we are not. People and companies willing to pay for top-quality networking have access to it.

You left of "willing and ABLE to pay". So as long as the rich can get top-quality networking the U.S. is golden? The U.S. is 19th in the world in broadband penetration, and 19th in the world in broadband speed. Can a nation compete economically when it is far behind in the core infrastructure of the 21st Century?

The expectation that rural areas should get equal connectivity at the same cost as urban areas will always keep the average service below the average service in other countries that are willing to pay what it costs.

How dare rural people expect electricity at affordable prices, decent roads like city-folk, mail service, and broadband? Who do the think they are? Real Americans? You would think they were citizens of what claims to be the greatest nation on Earth or something!

Oddly enough those rural people are in deep red state territory, vote heavily Republican, yet the people seem concerned whether they get access to 21st Century technology are those Marxist America-hating Progressives.

And actually U.S. broadband penetration is so poor (22%) most city-dwellers can't get it.

Comment Re:Censored: "secondary market" (Score 2) 338

Citation please? I have never seen any credible source blaming real estate taxes for bursting the bubble, much less pretending that the bubble would otherwise have lasted forever. Bubbles burst because they are unsustainable and they always burst.

In a two year period the price of land in Japan increased 650% (1986-1988). See: http://housingjapan.com/2011/11/10/a-history-of-tokyo-real-estate-prices/

This sort of insane asset value inflation cannot be sustained. The appreciation in real estate amounted to something like $10 trillion (U.S.), then five times Japan's GDP, and almost equal to the GDP of the entire world.

Sorry, taxes are not the root to all evil, and the cause of all ills in the world.

Comment Re:Difficult to understand? (Score 1) 263

Perl is a multi-paradigm language. It doesn't bundle or insist on a particular model - you are free to use whatever model you want.

And herein lies the problem - program maintenance, which is normally counted as 80% of the cost of software life cycle.

Any language that prides itself on having lots of ways of doing any task or operation, and has many programming models to choose from means that when maintaining legacy code, you must asymptotically approach learning all the ways of doing everything, and all the paradigms, often mixed together, because the vanished legions of programmers that came before are the programming equivalent of a million monkeys.

Context dependent interpretation of the meaning of operators combined with operator over-loading creates tremendous problems with reading code others of written with any certainty of correct understanding.

Far too much attention is paid to aspects of tools that making the fun, easier part of programming (writing new code) more fun and easier, while making the long pole in the tent, maintenance, longer and heavier.

The truth is we must deal with middle of the road to lowest denominator programmers and their work constantly, and defenses of languages that they are easily understood when written by gurus (and read by other gurus) is really an indictment not a defense.

I've done a fair amount of APL and Perl programming, rather liked them when writing with them, but am under no illusion that they tend toward comprehensibility or maintainability.

Comment Re:Does not really matter (Score 1) 655

Free market principles are not at all environmentally friendly - there was no move among capitalists to clean up the air, or the water, stop use of environmentally toxic pesticides, eliminate toxic waste dumps, preserve old-growth forest ecosystems, etc., etc., etc. Not until government regulations forced them to change their practices.

Did unregulated capitalism produce good economic outcomes?

For the individual capitalism yes, but the external costs imposed on everyone else was an economic (and health) disaster.

Comment Re:Why would that be the first step? (Score 1) 206

Reagan did not win the cold war, he negotiated a peaceful end to it...

Fair point. (Unlike the other bullshit responses squawking that he had nothing to do with it.) And he couldn't have done it without Thatcher, or John Paul, or probably Walesa.

Even I, no fan of Reagan, agree that this is a reasonably fair statement (though it gives short shrift to GHW Bush who actually negotiated its final end). But the "bullshit responses" were just overstatement refutations to the original bullshit claim that Reagan and SDI defeated the Soviet Union.

Comment Re:Why would that be the first step? (Score 1) 206

Yes, but so far, Obama has beat them all in terms of increasing the debt in only 4 years....gonna be interesting to see him set the bar even HIGHER in the next four....

Well, lets see. The last year Bush was in office (Jan. 20, 2008 to Jan. 19 2009) he packed on $1.435 trillion dollars in debt due to the colossal economic crash he presided over. This was the first trillion dollar deficit in U.S. history, and even after the adjusting for inflation, was by far the largest deficit in U.S. history up to that time (twice the peak deficit of WWII), and he left office with the U.S running regular monthly deficits in excess of $200 billion.

Currently the monthly deficit (from Oct. 31 to today) is just $45.2 billion (check the link below to verify this for yourself), so I'm guessing that without another similar huge deficit assist from the Republicans like he got from Bush, the answer is "no".

Check out how the debt was incurred on a day by day basis: http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/BPDLogin?application=np. The closer you examine how the deficit exploded under Bush, and how it turned around under Obama, the worse the Republican record looks.

NB: since there is an unavoidable lag between any action or policy a President takes or proposes and its effect on the Federal budget or economy it is not reasonable to attribute economic performance and deficits for any newly seated President for some period of time after they take office, the duration of this period is up for debate, but this is an indisputable fact. I am willing, just for the sake of this one post to play the unserious political charade of pretending Obama "caused" the deficit incurred on Jan. 20, 2008 - the day he took office. In fact of course the Bush Crash underlies all of the very high (but steadily improving) deficits we have seen, just as the Hoover Depression under-laid the poor (but improving) economic performance for the remainder of the 1930s. Every month you shift the "window of responsibility" forward from Inauguration Day, the worse Bush looks and the better Obama looks.

Comment Re:Cuts (Score 1) 473

...While I think the USPS pension requirement is being absurdly handled, the spirit of the law is reasonable enough...

If this "feel good" legislation Republican style? I'm sorry. Absurd and obviously harmful laws do not get a "reasonable spirit" exemption. A bad law is a bad law and should be repealed.

Comment Re:More than the Bikini Atoll tests? (Score 5, Informative) 210

The lead-in sentence is certainly incorrect in its current, broad brush form. Immediately after a nuclear explosion the decay of short lived isotopes creates levels of radioactivity astronomically higher than a leaking civilian power plant. But those short lived isotopes rapidly disappear. Eventually you just have long-lived isotopes with half-lives of decades or longer.

Nuclear power reactors burn-up an astonishing large amount of fuel. The biggest fission yield of any nuclear test was no more than 15 megatons, which is the energy equivalent of 880 gigawatt-days (thermal) of nuclear reactor operation. Fukushima Da-ichi produced 29,891 gigawatt-days of power a year, a number 35 times larger. The amount of long-lived radioactivity (i.e. what you have left after several weeks) in Fukushima far exceeded any nuclear weapon.

Comment Re:Good for him (Score 1) 576

Quantizing at the individual vote level would lead to complete ignorance of the rural vote (not a horrible thing in my opinion, but undesirable to many states currently) in favor of large urban centers - candidate who wins most biggest cities wins presidency.

This claim is trotted out every time election by popular vote is discusses but it is not true in any close election (like all recent elections). If the popular vote is closely split, then every vote counts equally where ever it is located, and campaigns have incentive to go after them.

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