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Comment Re: Rough edges visible miles away (Score 1) 92

Assuming this is talking about tickets and not boarding passes than I would say the time to retire paper ticketing infrastructure was a long time ago as its not useful and I can't think of really any reason why anyone anywhere needs to use.

While 88% of the US population has Internet, only 77% have broadband. Dial-up would make it hard to shop for, and purchase, plane tickets. Plus, 92% of the population has cell phones, only 77% have a smart phone - which makes it impossible to pull up your electronic documents. Reference

Just because you can't imagine why anyone would need it, doesn't mean there aren't valid reasons for it. You just need a bit more imagination. I mean, we didn't even get into foreign tourists who might not have a cell plan in the US. The elderly. The disabled (ex: blind). Or people who do not use technology for religious reasons (Amish). Or who live where there is no Internet or cell service - at all (Nowhere, Alaska).

Comment Re:Science versus politics (Score 1) 279

Point 1: Scott Adams pointed out that when asked the question "how much of global warming is caused by humans, and how much is natural" in debates and televised interviews, no scientist had an answer.

The answer is 50-70% according to this latest research.

Point 2: Another Scott Adams observation is about the models. Why is there more than 1 model? Shouldn't scientists agree on the best model and just use it? Shouldn't scientists agree on the best *data* and just use it?

Define "best model". For example, one model may be the best method for describing Europe and the Arctic. Another may be the best for describing ocean temperatures. One may be the best for the years 1998-2003, another 2004-20013. The truth is that there is no "one best" model. So, we run them all and plot all of their results and crunch the numbers to try and get the best answer we can.

Point 3: Also from Scott Adams is the observation that NO other complex model has ever had predictive value, and why should we believe that this one does? Why are you disregarding all the other, non-complex models?

The key word you use here is "complex". You see, any time you start adding adjectives, you are starting to cheat/hide/skew the system. For example: Define complex. Define the accuracy for predictive value. Also, why are you automatically disregarding other, less complex models from your consideration?

Point4: From my view, climate change is closely tied with the actions that "we must do to save ourselves!", and those actions are always a) part of the liberal agenda, b) involve reducing our standard of living, and c) negatively impact most people while further lining the pockets of the rich and powerful.

You have a number of ideas here. So, just because a certain group - in this case liberals - advocate a certain action doesn't mean they are wrong. If a member of the KKK said you should evacuate a building that is on fire, just because you don't like the person doesn't mean you shouldn't evacuate. As for (b) - yes, we are consuming too much, and need to knock it off if we want everyone to have a life that doesn't completely suck! Are you willing to air condition a 400 sq ft. home, so the difference in energy compared to what you consume now can air condition a 100 sq ft. room in Africa? No? Well, I don't care - it is your decision. However, a lot of people will think you are a jerk for consuming tens, if not hundreds, of times the resources of someone barely scraping by in some areas of the planet. Plus, the world can't sustain a high standard of living for everyone - at least, not without a LOT more preparation and engineering. For (c), I call bullshit. If you want to claim that, give me some numbers and scenarios. I doubt the executive at Exxon-Mobile are going to make more money by protecting the environment instead of taking actions to maximize their profits. (Or, for that matter, the local Jiffy Lube. They would save a fortune by burning the used oil, or dumping it in a stream.)

Okay, I ran out of motivation to refute all of your arguments. However, even if we aren't 100% responsible for global warming; and the uneaten food from your plate doesn't teleport to the people starving in Africa; and the electricity you don't use doesn't magically turn lights on in some cr*ppy hut somewhere; it doesn't mean we can't do a little bit more to help out other people in the world and help protect the environment.

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.

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