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Comment Re:Can it beat the doctors (Score 1) 138

Yes, and we already have that. There are people who die every day waiting for a transplant organ. There's a limited amount available so they must be rationed and someone (or a panel of people most likely) has to determine where the limited supply will do the most good.

That's what other western countries do. The US goes by who has the best health insurance, like how big of a bill can we justify sending...

Comment Re:Down with Putin - Down with Trump (Score 1) 190

Yes. Timing is the key to understanding it. Sanders would have defeated Trump easily. The timing of the releases were carefully placed so as to build suspicion with independants while not hurting her primary bid. Then once she clenched that, proof that it was a rigged primary sent a lot of independants away from the DNC to either Green, Libertarian, and even a number to Trump. If they had released it all in the beginning, we would be swearing in Sanders tomorrow.

Let's not forget that the DNC wanted Trump to win the Republican nomination. So first Trump let Hillary drag him center stage as the enemy, then he let her eliminate Sanders before landing a final blow nobody saw coming until late election night? If all of that was planned Machiavelli could take lessons from him. If could simply be that they know the media has the attention span of a humming bird on speed, let's just pace this out so we get a good buzz and can keep it going until the election and that the rest was plain lucky. It's either that or we're in a Bond movie.

Comment Re:The two seem very related... (Score 2) 276

I won't provide an example, but it is fully possible to be honest and considerate at the same time, for example, just like it is possible to express even severe anger and dissatisfaction without shouting or getting into a fight.

Language is communication, you may think you're expressing it but does the recipient comprehend it? I've met the kind of people that seem to think if you're not shouting and cursing at them, you're not really angry. It's like they just hear "blahblahblah" but if you were really angry you wouldn't be calm and collected, so evidently you're not. There's no doubt that some people not only bubble wrap it but shy away from the truth in their quest to be considerate. See the Florence Foster Jenkins movie, she could have used some honest feedback before she booked Carnegie Hall...

Comment Re:Explore the ocean depths (Score 1) 95

The dream of space exploration & colonization is that it's a stepping stone towards other worlds and a vast spread of humanity across the galaxy. Not simply a one-time deal that adds a new region of Earth for humans to live in, but at great expense & difficulty.

Earth to Mars (shortest): 56,000,000 km
Earth to nearest star after the Sun: 40,000,000,000,000 km

I think you need to make the same kind of leap as going from horse and carriage to the Saturn V to go from interplanetary to interstellar. Sure keeping people alive is an interesting challenge, but somehow I don't think generation ships that take ~70000 years is the solution. For that we need a revolution in propulsion technology that we're not going to get from Falcon Heavy, SLS or even Musk's ITS. A bit like if I wanted to lift 100kg, I could do that with exercise but none of those plans or experience really bring me closer to lifting 10000kg.

Comment Re:Only a fraction of US munitions... (Score 1) 197

In this case, their grievance is that we exist. ISIS wants a new caliphate to control the entire Middle East and they want to pursue holy war, you can't really negotiate around either of those even if they wanted to.

I think you misspelled "the world", basically their strategy is to generate so much resentment towards Muslims (you know, 1.6 billion people - bigger than declaring war on China) that they get two new recruits for every one that's killed. The only reason it's not working is that so far we haven't taken the bait. We grieve for the dead, increase the military effort but we don't lash out in revenge. I sorta expected some militant nutters to go postal in a mosque or to burn them to the ground but apart from a lot of very vivid commentary there's been very few actual attacks on Muslims in general. If we were as short-tempered as they are like going ballistic over drawings we'd be in WW3 by now.

Comment Re:It's about landmass (Score 1) 456

If you regularly need to travel 2-3 hours away from home, the time loss from long mid-trip recharges is not small.

True. But unless it's their day job, how many regularly spend that much time in a car anyway? If you're working eight hours a day - low for the US, I hear - and sleep eight hours you've go no life left with that commute. On the weekend I suppose if you have close relatives or a cabin that's just in the sweet spot it could be a regular thing, but if it's two-three hours one way and you're staying can get destination charging. Or not if it's a remote cabin, but then EVs aren't for you. Don't get me wrong, I've driven much longer but those were hardly trips I'd make every week or every month. If you divide number of cars by number of miles driven it seems to me a lot of cars don't actually go very far.

Comment Re:One can hope (Score 1) 124

I like Red Hat and I appreciate all they've done for open-source in the enterprise, but the desktopification of core Linux aspects is a bad thing.

Uh you realize Red Hat only has one little side project for workstations and it's essentially the server version with a GUI and a cheaper license? Fedora is just their testbed, they don't care about the desktop. For me it's pretty clear that the core feature of systemd is resource management for containers and other forms of light virtualization. If you run a dedicated server, you don't need it. If you use a hypervisor and full VMs you don't need it. If you want to "app-ify" your servers with Docker then systemd is the management tool around it. It's a huge selling point to cloud providers which is core business for Red Hat. They're not doing it to compete with Linux Mint...

Comment Re: He cheated OTHER players (Score 4, Insightful) 398

The players cheated.

They did not mark any cards, they noticed a flaw that could be used as a mark. No rule of the casino was broken, they're nullifying it because state law says the presence of marked cards means the game is not lawfully played and thus void regardless of whose fault that is. But this means that all games played with this deck should be declared void, every win and every loss. Otherwise you're saying the casino can write the values on the back of the card, they win it was a fair game but you win and they call foul. So I'm actually with Ivey on this one, he's played with the same deck under the same rules as other players but they're cancelling just his games because he won. That's not a legally sound reasoning.

Comment Re:Internet access in Cuba (Score 2) 70

The cost of access has dropped to $1.50/hour, but that's a lot of money in a country where the average monthly income is $25.

Then maybe it's a good idea to do something about the latter instead of the former... I've paid more than that back in the dial-up days and that wasn't on an island that doesn't have any cheap ways to connect to the rest of the world.

Comment Re:Busses, Street Sweepers and Garbage Trucks (Score 1) 79

They drive the same route day after day, they don't need to go fast, they are either owned by the city or by companies that have major relationships with the city so they can avoid major regulatory hurdles. These are the obvious first adopters of driverless technology.

No, but buses are big and most needed during rush hour. The moment something doesn't work you're likely to inconvenience a lot of people on the bus and on the same road. Garbage trucks are better, but usually noisy so people want collection in daytime with other traffic and you'd need a lot of technology to automate emptying the containers to really automate it. I think sweeper cars would be perfect, nobody would care if they drive at 10 mph with the yellow warning lights say 01-04 AM, if they get stuck or have a breakdown you have time to send a mop-up crew to collect them before the morning rush.

Comment Re:That's not how it works... (Score 1) 221

That's a broken financial model. The intersection of people with the capabilities, ideas, enthusiasm, and available time is extremely small. Actually, the highly skilled people are least likely to be available because they are most likely to be working already. My apparently crazy idea is that we need better financial models first. My favorite pipe dream is a kind of a crowd-funding model around clear project proposals.

No, ideas are a dime a dozen. That's the delusion most of these proposals have, that if only they got to share their great proposal with the world lots of people would come help pay for it and lots of developers would come do it for little or nothing. Your proposal sounds extremely similar to other crowdfunding / bounty / donation proposals that have been done, but most of them amount to "Now I've made a tip jar and put in the first $5, why is nothing happening?"

If you're real lucky you find a project where you put in a feature request and somebody says that's a great idea, I'll do it. If you're hiring at full commercial cost, there's tons of contractors willing to do it. Between there you might find people willing to work on it for everything from beer money to paying the bills, but then they mostly work on what they want, not what you want because they're contributing most of the value. The good thing is that they're usually in control of the scope and complexity of the tasks they agree to, so you usually get what you pay for. Still due to whiny brats it's best to put up a tip jar with no guarantees.

If you're looking for someone to create something that doesn't exist and thus probably is nobody's itch, you probably have to get close to commercial funding. Maybe some will do it for somewhat less since it's non-profit and for open source, but not beer money cheap. That means you have to get lots of people on board, which means mediating between all their pet ideas. And when push comes to shove you have to actually have to both get the funding and find someone willing to do it.

What you describe is the perfect waterfall spec, everything is described up front down to the smallest detail. Everyone who's worked with it in the real world knows it's a giant pain in the ass to create, which is why they go agile. Most likely it will have flaws and then the fun starts dealing with your co-sponsors and developer complaining about any inaccuracy in the spec, delay in delivery and what actually constitutes fulfillment. And you don't have any budget or power to approve change orders. Worst case you have a lawyer on your ass because the developer is fed up and wants to get paid.

...at which point 99.99% of the people with ideas will have said "shit I didn't want all this crap, I just had this great idea.... you fix it" and disappear in a puff of righteous indignation that the world didn't just take their great idea and ran with it. I mean that was the hard part right, like coming up with the script for a movie. Once you have that, actors, directors, producers and camera men will come running... or maybe not. I think you can build any platform you want for script writers and movie producers to meet each other, but it won't change the fundamentals. Same with idea people and open source developers.

Comment Re:Coast Starlight (Score 1) 408

Because Amtrak is a corporate welfare basket case that will never come close to justifying itself economically. We have aircraft now. Passenger rail is for short-distance commuting, and it's barely cost effective at that.

Aircraft can't bring you city center to city center. If you add up travel to and from the airport the break-even is usually 3-3.5 hours. The question is whether there's many enough passengers to justify it, laying down rail costs almost the same no matter how many travel. Airplanes are much closer tied to number of flights = cost of delivering service.

Comment Re:Well Trump has one thing right (Score 2) 536

The language you use to describe the problem is hurting your ability to solve the problem. You could as much call it crony socialism and be describing exactly the same thing, but the solutions that would get proposed would look somewhat different (and would invariably fail to eliminate the crony component, which is the actual loathsome bit.)

Well crony just means "a close friend especially of long standing" so basically you could use that to describe all forms of "I'll scratch your back if you'll scratch mine" relationships. If people with an Ivy League degree only hire people with other Ivy League degrees it's a form of cronyism. Crony socialism would be "some animals are more equal than others". However "crony capitalism" as a combined term has been refined past "cronyism in capitalism" like an old boys club of rich white men sitting on each other's boards to a rather specific term for capitalists who influence and manipulate the political system to create unfair business conditions towards their customers, competitors and employees.

Basically it's a 21st century word for the collusion between business and government, without the authoritarian government of fascism. You do as our lobby group wants, we make lots of money and give you a fat campaign contribution and you get to blast the public with PR campaigns and be/stay in office. Win-win for both of them. I don't think you can do away with the intersection between business and government, for example I don't expect the Greens and the shale oil industry to agree any day soon. The question is more what are legitimate and illegitimate ways for them to interact. A trade association is legal. A cartel is not. What makes one different from the other? The exact nature of the interaction.

Comment Re:No Gut no Glory (Score 1) 67

A previous launch failure was due to a third-party strut failing under load -- again SpaceX cut corners by not testing each and every component, accepting the risk of a failure rather than spending time and money on eliminating a one in a million possibility.

They had a contract with a third party to supply parts built to certain specifications, they were supposed to do the testing. I really doubt they had any acceptable failure rate in that contract, like you might have with consumer toys. SpaceX had to backtrack and say "if you want it done right, do it yourself" but it's really contrary to what they want because that's the way you end up with massive vertically integrated behemoths and NASA-certified screwdrivers that costs 100x what a normal screwdriver costs.

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