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Bitcoin

Bitcoin Hits Highest Levels In Almost Three Years (reuters.com) 65

Digital currency bitcoin hit its highest levels in almost three years on Friday, extending gains since India sparked a cash shortage by removing high-denomination bank notes from circulation a month ago. From a report on Reuters: Bitcoin was trading as high as $774 on the New York-based itBit exchange, up almost 1 percent on the day and the highest since February 2014, having climbed almost 9 percent in the past month. It has climbed around 80 percent so far this year, far exceeding its 35 percent rise in 2015.

Comment Re:So do the employees get to write that off? (Score 2) 343

I'm sure Alphabet wrote it off on their taxes. So your present was a donation to charity and a tax break for your parent company.

Well, it's a writeoff either way. Spending money on employees or donating cash to charity, either way it reduces a company's net profit and reduces tax liability.

Mars

Mars One Delayed Its Mars Mission -- Again (time.com) 89

Mars One says its project to start a human colony on the Red Planet will be delayed by five years. The Dutch company says it will send its first crews to Mars in 2031 instead of its previous target date of 2026. From a report on Time: The venture is delaying its missions so it can raise more money, according to CEO Bas Lansdorp. "Of course the whole Mars One team would have preferred to be able to stick to the original schedule, but this new timeline significantly improves our odds of successfully achieving this mission roadmap," he said in a statement. This is far from the first time Mars One has delayed its project. Despite Lansdorp's confidence, other scientists have expressed significant doubts about the mission's feasibility.

Comment Re:Google, Motorola, Intel . . . (Score 1) 262

Every GOP dominated state has severely failing economies. See Kansas as a perfect example.

Define "failing". Red states, by and large, have lower economic growth because they are more rural, and urban centers generate more economic activity. That's a generality, though. If you look at a list of states by GDP per capita, some red states rank very highly. https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Li....

If you're talking about fiscal responsibility, it's pretty much exactly the opposite of what you say. The states that are on the edge of bankruptcy are nearly all blue states, while those with the healthiest governments are red states. https://www.mercatus.org/state...

Kansas, BTW, is firmly middle of the pack on both measures. Kansas is #25 of 50 in terms of GDP per capita, and according to the Mercatus rankings, they're #27. So Kansas isn't a perfect example.

Comment Re:Google, Motorola, Intel . . . (Score 0) 262

1) money will come back into the US and help our economy

False. Many of those who brought money back into the U.S. cut jobs. From the U.S. Treasury itself:

In assessing the 2004 tax holiday, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service reports that most of the largest beneficiaries of the holiday actually cut jobs in 2005-06 - despite overall economy-wide job growth in those years - and many used the repatriated funds simply to repurchase stock or pay dividends.

Also, as the New York Times pointed out, using the government's own reports:

About 92 percent of it went to shareholders, mostly in the form of increased share buybacks and the rest through increased dividends.

In other words, no help to the economy.

2) whoever does it will be crucified for being easy on big business income taxes

Which Bush was but then again, this was the same guy who handed over $700 billion of taxpayer money to banks and Wall Street firms so they could pay out their bonuses. Obviously he didn't care about being crucified or what the people thought. It wasn't his money.

Comment Re:More likely medical practice, not evolution (Score 1) 273

What I considered really interesting was the question: if cesarean became the normal method of delivery for an extended period of time (many generations) could humans end up at a point where natural birth was not possible?

I think it's likely that before too many more generations the normal process will be to grow babies in artificial wombs, and that could eventually make it so that a significant percentage of women become unable to bear children the old-fashioned way. Although we'd lose the evolutionary pressure for wide hips for birthing, it doesn't seem like there are any evolutionary pressures against wide hips, so I don't see why they'd disappear.

Comment Re:People use this? (Score 1) 73

Anyone who defends this convenience-over-privacy should download and print Jihadi-type information, nuke plans, bio-weapons info, etc. through this service and see how long it is before there is a knock on their door.

Sure. Got a link? I have absolutely zero concern about any sort of problem like that.

Comment Re:People use this? (Score 1) 73

I can't believe people willingly send their documents to Google where they will be processed by their systems and stored for however long.

I love it. It's super convenient to be able to print to my printer from any device, anywhere. Even when I'm printing from a computer rather than my phone or tablet, I frequently find that the native print drivers are unreliable and buggy over the network, and especially over Wifi. Not so much that I can't get it to connect and print with a little fiddling but Google Cloud Print just works, every time. As for Google "processing" the documents, (a) I'm fairly certain they don't data mine Cloud Print data and (b) I don't care. Most of what I print I either created in Google Docs or received in Gmail anyway. And even where that's not the case, the only thing Google would do with anything learned from my print jobs is to make better choices about what ads I might find interesting.

However... my printer is an Epson, and it was bootlooping a couple of days ago (I turned it off). I assumed the printer itself was having some problem and was planning to investigate when I have time this weekend. Sounds like I just need to wait for Google to sort this problem out and I'll be good.

Note that I work for Google, though not on Cloud Print. I'm just a (usually) happy user of Cloud Print.

Comment Re:Almost never go... (Score 1) 335

I almost never go to the cinema. It's useful when you're a kid wanting to date as neutral ground (although from what I understand kids don't date anymore- just hook up).

I'd much rather watch in the Living room than the cinema. No overly loud sound. No uncomfortable squished together seats. No popcorn stuck to the floor. The cinema isn't exactly a positive experience.

We must have much better theaters where I live than you do. Here it's all big, comfy stadium seating and they do a great job of keeping the floors clean. We tend to go to early shows (4-5PM usually), so we often have the theater to ourselves. At most there are few dozen others. And even when we do go to a later show where the house is closer to full, I can't remember the last time noise was a problem.

Anyway, my answer to the question is: Absolutely not. My wife and go see a movie pretty much every week. We have a weekly date night and we like movies. There's absolutely no way we'd want to watch those movies at home, because the primary motivation for the date is to go out, to get away from the house, the kids, etc. If the theater were an unpleasant place, we just wouldn't watch movies at all because we'd find something else to do on date night and we don't have a lot of spare time for movie-watching the rest of the week.

That's just me, of course, but judging by the people I see at the theater, I'm far from alone in that. Lots of people like going to the theater. There's a lot more to it than just watching the movie.

Comment Question (Score 2, Interesting) 63

I know amber is fossilized tree resin, but at this point is it possible to somehow dissolve the amber without destroying what's inside it?

It would be interesting if it could be done so we could see the tail and feathers in real light without the amber being in between.

Also, from the picture, there are bits and pieces of vegetation not to mention at least one ant inside the specimen which could be recovered.

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