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Comment The big issue (Score 2, Insightful) 158

The Superdelegates were for Hillary, but we probably would have had a situation where Bernie got the popular majority but Hillary got the nomination, if the DNC had played neutral.

Don't lose track of the big issue.

You make some good points, there's lots of insightful analysis that can be done, but the big issue is...

Despite any analysis, he *might* have won the nomination. That $61 million extra given to Hillary by the Democrats is a lot of money, and represents good-faith donations of hard-earned cash gone to waste.

Ultimately, Bernie never got his chance!

Comment A funny story (Score 5, Informative) 158

This election is rife with hilarious situations, if you know where to look.

Technically, Sanders raised more money than Clinton did in the first 3 months of this year. As an example, at the end of January Sanders raised $67 million compared to Clinton's $27 million.

The maximum one can donate to Clinton (or any one candidate) is $5400, but you can donate to other Democratic campaigns in various amounts. So the "Hillary Victory Fund" held a number of campaign contribution events supposedly for local democratic campaigns. The fund transferred the money to local committees, but then moved the money from there directly to the Clinton campaign.

From the Rolling Stone report:

As an example, take couples who paid or raised $353,400 to sit at a table with George Clooney, a sum that Clooney himself called an "obscene amount of money." The figure represented the maximum allowable donation given the structure of the Hillary Victory Fund, a joint venture between the Clinton campaign, the DNC and 32 state committees.

Donors can give a maximum of $5,400 per election cycle to Hillary's campaign, $33,400 per year to the DNC, and $10,000 per year to each of the 32 state committees in the fund.

If you assumed that the Clooney guests had already given their maximum $5,400 to the Clinton campaign, that left just over $353,000 for the DNC and the committees.

But Vogel and Arnsdorf found that less than 1 percent of the $61 million raised by the Hillary Victory Fund went to the state committees.

[...] The money sometimes came and went before state officials even knew it was there. Politico noted that the Victory Fund treasurer, Beth Jones, is also the COO of the Clinton campaign.

[...] Vogel-Arnsdorf also noted that of the $23.3 million spent directly by the fund, most "had gone toward expenses that appear to have directly benefited Clinton's campaign, including $2.8 million for 'salary and overhead' and $8.6 million for web advertising that mostly looks indistinguishable from Clinton campaign ads."

So the Democratic party took all the Bernie Sanders money and matched it with an equal amount of money drained from local democratic elections, and like matter and anti-matter both sums annihilated in a flash of political advertizing!

All that effort and money and work you Bernie Sanders advocates put in came to naught, because the Democrats simply didn't want Sanders to win.

(I don't care *who* you are, that's funny right thar :-)

And nothing will be done about it.

The Democrats probably violated FEC law, possibly violated money laundering law, and absolutely betrayed your trust in a fair and honest runoff between candidates...

All this was noticed in May , and there's been no call for investigation, no call for prosecution, nothing.

Bernie got roughly 43 percent of the popular vote.

Do you think that those extra campaign funds might have tipped the balance in favor of Hillary?

It gets better.

The polls at the time showed that Bernie had a better chance of beating Trump than Hillary.

And by siphoning money away from local elections, the Democrats have probably thrown many local elections to the Republican side!

That's hilarious! :)

Sanders and the rest of the party are calling for *everyone* to support Hillary. They're effectively asking all the Bernie voters to "forget that we just betrayed you in the worst possible way, we have to stick together or Trump will win!". Keep party unity! Don't let the Republicans win!

And they're absolutely right! If Bernie runs as a 3rd party, Trump will win. If Bernie supporters switch to Trump, Trump will win. If Bernie supporters get discusted and decide not to vote, Trump will win!

The Democratic party completely screwed the Sanders supporters, and there's nothing they can do about it!

I get a chuckle every time I think about the current situation.

Trump was all over the news yesterday for calling on Putin to release hacked Clinton E-mails. No one was talking about Michelle Obama's "slaves built the white house speech" (which was powerful, clever, and well delivered), no one was talking about Bill Clinton's "I married my best friend" speech (which was powerful, heart-warming, and well delivered).

No, the only thing people thought about were Trump, Clinton, Putin, and hacked E-mails.

And no one seemed to notice that Trump just let the air out of the Democratic convention.

About 43 percent of Democratic voters, the Sanders supporters, got screwed.

You got screwed from the front by Trump, you got screwed from behind by your party, and you were the ones who paid for it.

There's a lot to laugh about in this election, if you know where to look.

Comment Missing a big point (Score 5, Insightful) 599

I think people are missing a rather big point here.

The NTSB is investigating the accident, and will post a reasonably fair and accurate assessment of what happened.

Tesla will make some changes to ensure that this type of accident is avoided in the future, and push at the next update.

All teslas will become safer because of the analysis. In effect, the collective software will have "learned" from a mistake and corrected. This is not something that the driver of a fatal accident can do, nor other non-involved drivers.

With enough data, enough mistakes and near-mistakes corrected, the software will quickly evolve to be safer than any human driver.

From a machine-learning perspective, this has enormous benefits.

Comment What's the return? (Score 1) 176

Looking at their numbers, I note that:

$100 will grow to $265 in 10 years with an annual interest rate of about 10%

$100 will grow to $365 in 10 years with an annual interest rate of about 14%

This seems *extremely* generous, given the market. And there were commentators in a previous Slashdot thread that stated "the age of 7% returns has long passed".

If this study were accurate, the authors should have kept their results close to the vest, and begin investing in the market!

Am I right to be sceptical here? What am I missing in this calculation?

Comment WARNING: Stay out of Philadelphia Mr. Snowden! (Score 1) 52

We know you have managed to elude the most powerful intelligence apparatus on Earth, and we see your Telepresence bot rolling around. It must be really cramped in there. But you're no match for Philadelphia Mr. Snowden! Stay away!

On August 1, 2015 Hitch-Bot met its end in a pool of its own of torn circuits in a place called corner of Elfreth's alley.. Some of us who realize that robot lives matter, will never forget.

Which is why I updated the Wikipedia page for Elfreth's Alley 'History section' to also note the simple fact that "The Hitchbot was murdered here." But this historical fact was CRUELLY REVERTED by user 'Beyond My Ken'. When you visit grand old Philadelphia you are surrounded by revisionist history guarded by bastard liars. Spit on those despicable old bricks in remembrance of Hitchbot.

Comment View from on high (Score 5, Insightful) 239

I used to make firmware that goes into aircraft instruments. The FAA has some guidelines on this.

Unnecessary code is generated machine code, and the rule is that you can have none of it. Source code doesn't matter, if it's ifdef'd out it's the same as commentary.

The theory is that if execution takes an unexpected jump, it can't land in anything that isn't specific to the purpose of the device. Some people take this to extremes, writing new versions of printf() that omit the floating point and pointer output formats when they're not used in the system.

However, if a buffer overflow causes the program to jump, it can't land in the middle of the pointer formatting section and send a pointer to the airspeed computer instead of the decimal altitude.

What the OP is talking about is unnecessary source, which is a different matter.

IBM did studies of bug frequency, and concluded that the number of bugs in a program depends on the number of source lines a programmer can see at any one moment. Big screens allow the programmer to view more lines of code at once, little screens require reading the code through a soda-straw.

Their studies showed that simple code-tightening techniques reduced the number of bugs. Placing the brace on the if-statement, for example, allows one more line to be viewed in the window. Omitting braces altogether for single-statement "if" saves another line. Using 120-char width lines instead of 80 allows fewer wrapped lines, and so on.

There is a competing goal of readability, so tightening can't be taken too far. The complex perl-style or APL-style "everything on a single line" construct goes the opposite direction - too much info and it becomes hard to understand at a glance.

Typical C-like syntax with line-tightening techniques is easy to read, and presents probably an optimal view of code to the engineer.

Braces on their own act like vertical whitespace. Requiring one-and-only-one exit from a subroutine leads to convoluted and chevron code (where the code looks like a big sideways "V" and the hints of indenting is lost). Requiring all definitions at the top of the module requires the reader to flip back-and-forth, and requiring Hungarian notation makes the code look like gobbledy-gook.

Dump it all.

Name your variables clearly, using nouns for objects and verbs for actions. Name your subroutines after their functions. Tighten your code to make it terse, but keep it readable.

Comment Re:Probably Trump (Score 1, Insightful) 180

Tell me, why do you want to encourage the election participation of people who are too irresponsible to come up with $35* every five years? Is it because your platform sells well with people who can't think past tomorrow?

I'm a conservative, so encouraging poor people to vote actually hurts my party goals.

The problem is that I'm also a staunch defender of rights, and I feel that everyone should be allowed to vote as a right, and not some based on some arbitrary cutoff of responsibility.

[...] but go ahead and keep making the case that it's absolutely vital that people too stupid to get an ID every 5 years should be encouraged to vote.

To quote Malcom Reynolds: "who will speak for these people?"

Comment Do the math (Score 1, Interesting) 1140

Ok... aside form the possible tax implications we may or may not have to deal with...

We've de-funded NASA, the National Endowment for the Arts, education in general, and the state university system.

All we'd have to do is fund those items fully- and ten years later we *might* be able to consider some form of UBI. But not before the infrastructure needed to support it is in place. And it's probably a bad overall idea.

This seems a better investment to me: Make education easier, fund creativeness (a singular American strength), fund science, and fund space exploration.

That's a winning combination for any economy.

UBI is a nice idea for countries who have their economy in order with the goal of long term prosperity. The USA does not manage it's economy for long term goals. It simply tries to survive....

(As a note I do support social security and disability benefits for those who qualify for it.)

Assume that a basic income is $50,000.

Deposit $1 million in an index fund and expect 7% annual return averaged over 40 years.

Discount 2% for inflation, that means the original $1 million deposit will yield $50,000 in perpetuity.

Do this incrementally.

Example: We have 10 aircraft carriers, and 2 under construction. Suppose we fix on only having 10 carriers, and at any one time one is under construction (to trade the older ones out due to obsolescence).

That's $6.5 billion savings in hardware costs, which would pay for 6,500 UBI accounts. Have a lottery, start taking people out of the workforce.

It costs $7 million per day to maintain any one carrier. Saving that money would provide for 2,500 UBI accounts annually.

Any savings in federal spending - any of it - could be funneled into the UBI lottery system. It doesn't need to give everyone a UBI right now, it only needs to go incrementally towards that goal.

Note that companies are testing autonomous tractor trailers in Nevada right now. By my estimate, autonomous vehicles will put 5 million Americans out of work almost immediately.

Note that Hillary wants to enforce Obama's executive order granting amnesty to illegal immigrants, which would put 7 million more job seekers into the market almost instantly. (And we'd have a massive influx of illegals after.)

Note that Amazon and WalMart are experimenting with automated order fulfilment and delivery. That will put a bunch more Americans out of work.

Note that fast food restaurants are automating their process right now. That will drop another 3.6 million job seekers into the market.

Fewer people starving for lack of a job means less chance for armed revolt.

Do the math.

Comment Re: Probably Trump (Score 2) 180

New Hampshire DL renewal costs $50, and lasts 5 years IIRC (couldn't find the expiry term in a quick search).

Note that presidential elections happen every 4 years, so that comes out to $40 to vote in any one election.

Using your numbers, voting in any presidential election would be either $35 for that year, or $7 x 4 = $28 for each election.

Comment Re:Probably Trump (Score 3, Informative) 180

Voter restrictions of various stripe tend to affect poor and minorities more than other groups.

What restrictions would those be? I'm not American, but from a quick google, it seems that all you need are:

1. Citizen of at least 18 years old
2. Driver's license # or last 4 digits of SSN

Why would this be troublesome for any particular group of people?

Getting an ID costs money in the US, so requiring an ID puts more strain on the poor than the working class.

The annual fee for a drivers license is around $35, a state-issued ID is around $30, and a passport costs $100.

When you're poor, that $35 could pay for 7 meals frugally made.

Social security cards are given out and replaced at no charge, but aren't generally accepted as an ID because they lack pictures.

Comment Probably Trump (Score 5, Insightful) 180

(1) what have they got to hide by not being transparent ?

(2) who gains by restricting observers ?

At a guess, from recent political decisions (disjoint from the election), it will benefit Republicans. Indirectly, that means Trump. I'm not suggesting that Trump has anything to do with this, only Republicans in general.

Voter restrictions of various stripe tend to affect poor and minorities more than other groups. Those groups typically vote Democratic.

This election there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth, lots of voter fraud, but nothing will be done about the election results. The people in charge will publish boilerplate politically correct statements about things being "regrettable", no one will take responsibility or blame, everyone will promise to fix the problems for the next election, and the issues will be dropped.

Such as the Democratic primary voter fraud (unrelated to Hillary or her campaign).

I remember 8 years ago, people wanting to vote fro Ron Paul in my state were told that he'd dropped out of the race (this was for the actual election).

Then some town published vote tallys showing 0 votes for Ron Paul, seven people called in and complained that they had voted for Ron Paul, the town released a statement saying "oops, it was a typo, the correct number is seven".

There's a ton of voter fraud in the US, and the only reason it stays anywhere near fair is because the winner wins by more than the margin of fraud.

At least, statistically that seems like it's *probably* the case...

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