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Comment Re:warranty length (Score 5, Informative) 189

I just checked too, and I thought actually putting some numbers down would be informative, rather than just making statements without any backing data. What computer are you talking about that costs $649 baseline (I didn't see anything like that on a quick look on the Apple store).

Germany, Baseline Silver MacBook (Apple.com/de/): €1449
United States, Baseline Silver MacBook (Apple.com): $1299
UK, Baseline Silver Macbook (Apple.com/uk/): £1049 (a lot more flux than normal in this price, due to Brexit and unusually low USD.GBP exchange rates)

Cost of AppleCare = $129 for 3 years. Cost per year then is $43, so two years of warranty would be an added $86.

DE €1449 -> $1600. Minus 19% VAT = $1,344. Plus two years of AppleCare ($86) = $1430
UK £1049 -> $1395. Minus 20% VAT = $1162. Plus two years of AppleCare ($86) = $1248

US $1299. Plus full 3 years of AppleCare ($129) = $1428. Two dollars difference from what what I estimated as the DE price breakdown.

So the German price in Euros seems pretty darn close to me! Did I miss anything?

Comment Re:I'm sure Drump is all torn up over it (Score 3, Insightful) 403

Scott Adams has an interesting take on things.

http://blog.dilbert.com/post/145309172876/the-risks-of-a-trump-presidency

My only question is---if Trump is so racist, sexist, and prone to violent reactions--why hasn't that popped up in his past? Discrimination lawsuits? Sexual harassment cases? Workplace violence or intimidation? Anything like that? I mean everything that comes out about him basically makes him seem like a mild-mannered Steve Jobs or Zuckerberg... As far a celebrity children, his don't seem particularly bad nor attention-seeking (which IMHO speaks well for him).

Comment Re:Pollution (Score 1) 220

No, actually you missed the point. Here's what I wrote (emphasis added):

As we've seen over the last year, there's no such thing as clean diesel, and diesel trucks are notoriously dirty (not to mention clogging up highways, causing accidents, etc.)

My reference to diesel was to talk about Europe's much greater reliance on diesel TRUCKING for moving freight.

Comment Re:Pollution (Score 1) 220

I think you're right. This is one of the areas where the US is greener than Europe.

A much greater percentage of freight in America is carried by train than that carried by train in Europe. European trains are largely passenger, while US trains are largely freight (I've read that less than 10% of European freight is carried by train, versus 40%+ for the US). As we've seen over the last year, there's no such thing as clean diesel, and diesel trucks are notoriously dirty (not to mention clogging up highways, causing accidents, etc.)

See, e.g.: http://business.time.com/2012/07/09/us-freight-railroads/

Comment Re: Dear Everyone Else: (Score 1) 135

I've read a few of your posts just now and the bitterness and despair really makes me cringe--Sounds like you've been burned by some bad companies. I personally can't relate (my work experiences are very different), and I don't work in tech. Care to share any details about the types of job you've experienced? Tech, IT, etc?

Comment Re:robots will just push the manufacturing back to (Score 1) 415

What made it run out so poorly for the South was being attacked by a different country. Don't you know about the War of Northern Aggression?

In all seriousness, slavery had to end and, IMHO it would have ended, if perhaps on a slightly longer timeframe, anyway--soon Slavery had ended pretty much everywhere else, and economic and political pressures would have forced it to end in the south. Maybe things would have been nicer for the South and the North if they had peacefully split. Maybe not. Hard to say.

It's a truism that statists and those whose well-being is embedded in the apparatus of the state will always favor expansive government power. It's why the elites always favor greater centralized authority and are anti Scottish independence, Catalonian independence, Brexit, etc. What skin does Obama have in the Brexit game?

Comment Re:robots will just push the manufacturing back to (Score 1) 415

How is a consumer economy supposed to work given a robotic workforce?

You better be prepared to have a much larger welfare state.

Honestly, I think we need a much smaller society. Big business (profits$$), left-wing groups (votes), and politicians of all stripes (easy economic growth) have pushed open borders and mass immigration for years. Immigration is easy economic growth. But what matters to most people is not aggregate economic growth, it's individual growth.

I view the US as being in a position like a high-end university. We can, in essence, take in anybody we want to. I remember you posted that you were a UC undergrad (I got a grad degree from UC). UC maintains its unique culture and high-degree of excellence because it can select who it wants. If UC suddenly allowed in hundreds of people for the wrong reason, UC would change for the worse. Well, I'm utterly convinced that a robotic future is coming. I'm convinced that within my lifetime, most farm harvesting will be done by robots. (As a side note, imagine a a swarm of tiny agricultural bots that could zap insects without widespread spraying of pesticides--talk about organic.) I thin a lot of driver/transportation jobs will disappear. We've already seen a lot of high-skill/high-training jobs like lawyers disappear over the last decade, though that owes more to sites like LegalZoom.com and RocketLawyers.com than robotics. Doctors are next.

The US does not need lots of low-skill, low-education workers. I fully admit to being purely a pragmatist and not very empathetic the others here, but I do worry about what happens when the need for a lot of low-skill labor dries up.

Comment Re:Dating site ads.... (Score 1) 485

What people find "sexy" is mostly culture.

As I said before, it's not that different societies can have different ideals of beauty or "sexiness", it's that what is "sexy" is almost always exaggerated secondary sexual characteristics. That's what's programmed into us. Interest in phalluses, pudenda, butts, and breasts, is pretty much universal. (Straight male primates are interested in other males' penises too, FWIW.)

No, interest in breasts is not a uniquely western thing (see Kama Sutra, see ancient Chinese figurines and art, medieval Persian art, etc.), for the obvious reason that stimulation of breasts produces an erotic response.

Amongst humans, breast size, penis size, and butt size have all been sexuality selected for. That's evolution for you.

Which is biologically wrong, as the semen of the first one is killing the semen of the following ones. Humans have three kinds of sperms, sperms that fertilize the egg, sperms that build a cocoon like buffer in front of the womb to prevent "enemy sperms" to get in and killer sperms that actively hunt "enemy sperms".

Thus the belief that the "shovel" shape of the human penis is design to scoop out the previously present semen. See, e.g., http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/02/penis-shape-explanation_n_1642613.html

Getting aroused like that much more likely leads to orgies in a tribe like society where everyone has sex with his/her spouse when some one started it.

Interesting, I've never read that speculation (well, other than in Clan of the Cave Bears--the sequels at least) nor read about any precedent in any extant human societies. Could be logical. Give the above belief about the physical structure of the penis, I would still be more inclined to go with the "ready for action" theory.

Comment Re:Dating site ads.... (Score 1) 485

Sexual animals frequently evolve exaggerated secondary sexual characteristics (peacock? Plenty of primate examples, etc). Butts and breasts are the two most common exaggerated traits in humans. My point is not that all humans find the exact same traits attractive but rather that it's programmed into us to be drawn towards these exaggerated traits.

I heard an interesting talk the other day in which the speaker speculated that human males get aroused watching other people have sex because, evolutionarily, men who are ready to spring into action after another male are more likely to procreate successfully. (The physical structure of the penis seeming to be especially good at scooping semen out.)

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