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Comment Re: Can someone explain in laymans terms how.... (Score 1) 334

Until recently, we were 100% sure the EM drive was impossible.

That's why this is so cool. If there IS something here - and we need more testing - then there are a lot of things we have to rethink. If it turns out to be true, and we aren't just missing something else going on, we will have to rewrite some chapters in our textbooks.

Comment Re:GigEconomyScam (Score 1) 726

It goes against gross because that is also their "salary". For a normal worker, they pay half of the SS tax on their wages and the company pays the other half. If you are self-employed, you pay both sides. Reference

This is why consultants are ridiculously expensive - they are very aware of their overhead for taxes, and have to compensate for it.

Comment Re:Ayn Rand Jihadism (Score 1) 386

Yes, the $1.5 trillion includes them all. However, it doesn't matter if it is city, county, or state - the people living in California have to pay ALL of it.

1: Agree
2: Not so much - see the cost overruns for pretty much every military procurement project, major software project, and infrastructure development program.

He isn't saying you shouldn't have ANY regulations, just too many. Also, you didn't address, or deny his point.

Again, you didn't address, or deny his point

Third time is the charm, I guess.

Agreement!

Comment Re: Top priority? Always? (Score 2) 146

Or, you know, it's just hard to secure things.

I'm not saying they couldn't do a better job, but there are a lot of competing requirements. For example, for medical information, how far do you lock it down? If there is someone crashing in a hospital, you have to be able to pull up their information - or they might die. For credit cards, not only are there a ton of retailers that have to access them, but they also have to handle companies with shared cards, different state and federal regulators, and a ton of different banks that have to be able to create, issue, and revoke $CREDIT_CARD_BRAND.

Oh, and let's not forget that there is a LOT of money available for that kind of information, so disgruntled employees are also a danger. Or even happy employees, that just want $METRIC_FRACK_TONS of money.

So, sure - they could probably do better; but it is not a simple problem.

Comment Re:Obama already said he can't pardon him... (Score 1) 273

Fine - here is an alternate scenario...

The document signed by the President giving the pardon includes the proper legalese for: "Hey, we came to an agreement - and he plead guilty to everything and he is all cool with that, with the agreement the second page of the document admitting his guilt is the Presidential Pardon."

Comment Re:Buyback deal (Score 2, Informative) 126

I turn in my Jetta TDI on Thursday. All I have to do is bring the car, my key fobs, and the title, and it will take about 30 minutes to do the paperwork. Everything else is how you described it.

All I had to do was, verify my VIN on the website, and tell them if I had a lien or not. Then I uploaded my registration and title to show that I am the sole owner of my car, and got my appointment to sign the paperwork.

Overall, it is going to take less than half the time of buying a new vehicle to return the old one - and that isn't bad.

The reason there are multiple steps is that there are multiple things that have to be done when you are buying or selling a car - including dealing with registration with 50 different states, plus DC, and other protectorates (Virgin Islands, Guam, etc.).

Comment Re:since when has it been a business decision (Score 1) 293

Sorry, but I'm giving the point to OzPeter.

Your underscores does very little to draw the eye to them - but italics does. Also, I didn't even notice your CAPS until I did a preview of my comment.

I think your problem is you believe Your View(TM) of the Universe is the only one, true way of doing things. You are wrong. True mastery comes when you realize that different tools should be used for different purposes.

Comment Re:Pseudoscience (Score 1) 186

The force moving the air in the tube is constant. It is the pressure of the atmosphere multiplied by the cross section of the breach. So, as more air enters the tube, the total mass in the tube goes up, reducing the overall acceleration. Also, near vacuum is not vacuum, and there will be friction between the air and the interior surface of the tube, reducing the effects further. I'm also ignoring turbulence - which is probably the biggest factor. At some point, acceleration will get down to zero, although that doesn't mean there is low velocity air.

The world is rarely simple or straightforward, and there are usually a dozen factors you forgot to account for.

So, consider yourself chastened.

Comment Re:Another step toward tyeanny (Score 1) 258

Except we know that tracking someone by their purchases is trivial. After all, do you plan on having a cell phone? Then, any card used to pay that phone bill will indicate who all of your connections are.

If you just purchase everyday items, you better be randomly wandering the entire city to make those purchases. Otherwise, they will have clusters of locations to have an idea of where you live. Of course, you will have to walk everywhere since taking transit will also use the card.

Now, you are safe IF you can pull of anonymity - but that is a far, far harder task than it seems.

Comment Re:The electoral college is not needed (Score 1) 637

1. What you think is "equitable" in fact is not: the Electoral College as it currently exists places disproportionate weight on voters from states with small populations. Why should their votes have more influence on the outcome than someone who lives in a large city? Each person's vote should count for an equal share in the determination of any voting outcome. That is by definition equal representation and this is not how the Electoral College works.

I agree with you - it isn't equitable on a per person basis. However, what you are asking for is urban areas to be the only ones who "matter" because enough of the population lives in 4 or 5 metro areas that they would decide the election.

So, we talk about Hillary winning the popular vote by 2 million. Absolutely true. Now consider the implications that 1.5 million of those votes came from LA county, and another 1.5 million came from NYC. So, in less than 0.02% of the land area of the United States we got +3 million for Hillary, and in the other 99.98% we have +1 million for Trump.

Do you know what happens when large areas feel their government doesn't represent them? They fight back. In this case, they might stop selling their grain, meat, veggies and fruits to the cities. Of course, the only option for the government at that point is to send in the National Guard - because they aren't going to let 100 million people starve. How well do you think that will turn out?

Comment Re:So... (Score 1) 1321

I voted for Trump. I have a Masters degree in Computer Engineering.

Out of my coworkers, I know 3 others who also voted for Trump. They also have graduate degrees. I also know 2 Hillary supporters, and 2 Gary Johnson supporters.

So, at least in my circle, 50% of people with advanced degrees voted for Trump. Not really an educated vs. blue collar split.

Comment Re:Dear Apple fans: (Score 1) 471

That's crap. We can do a quick calculation to prove that statement.

So, let's send all of our components on commercial air. Right now, for an advanced ticket, Beijing to LA is $310 on Expedia. So, let's bundle our components into the rough shape of a person - and let's say we make it about 200 pounds. An iPhone 7 Plus is just under 7 ounces. We'll throw in some additional packaging around the components, and say it is 8 ounces, or 2 phones/pounds (for easy math).

With our "theoretical" 200 pound person shaped shipping container sitting inside the plane, that is 400 phones worth of components. Shipping for $310. Or, less than $1 per phone

So, adding 50% to the cost? No. Not even close.

Aside: When did tech folks/engineers stop doing "back of the napkin" calculations before taking a position on something?

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