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Comment EU should fine Ireland, but shouldn't hit Apple (Score 1) 302

Ireland made a tax deal with Apple allowing them to pay lower taxes, in order to encourage them to locate certain business in Ireland rather than elsewhere. The problem is, that Ireland has a treaty with the EU saying it wouldn't give such tax breaks. So it looks like Ireland broke their agreement with the EU, and the EU is maybe right to enforce the punishments specified by the treaty. Apple is not party to the Ireland-EU taxing agreement, and should not be included in any EU punishment against Ireland for breaking treaty. In fact, it is not clear that this ruling should let Ireland off the hook for sticking to the Tax agreements it has made with Apple going forward.

Comment Re:The US has not joined the climate accord (Score 1) 163

You say that under international law there are three ways for the USofA to be bound to an agreement. Maybe...Maybe... But under United States law, there is only one way for the USofA to be bound to an international agreement (the 2/3 senate + President). So, the president signed a piece of paper saying we are bound to the agreement even though we in fact are not bound in any sense (and future presidents should feel no obligation whatsoever to recognize that piece of paper and whatever it said)... It seems like the president is sabotaging our relationships with allies and competitors alike by misleading them.

Comment Obama is lying to the world... Not ratified (Score 0) 163

Obama is lying to the world, The United States has not ratified the Paris agreement. We have a constitutionally defined process to ratify any international agreement (i.e. a treaty), which has not happened. Although Obama may have extended his personal promise, the United States of America has not. I think a few Senators should point this out to the rest of the world, so that they are not tricked into expecting that we are honor bound to this agreement. I think it is very evil to try to trick people into thinking you have promised something that you have not actually promised... that is really kind of worse than breaking a promise you did actually make. If Obama wants the United States of America to actually enter into this agreement, he knows what he has to do to make that happen.

Comment UBI might be workable... on one condition (Score 0) 1145

UBI is a recipe for disaster unless... Accepting the UBI means you give up the right to vote in state and federal elections for 4 years. That is the only way it can be self regulating... without that critical detail, it would clearly ruin the country... Every politician would promise an increase in the UBI in an effort to buy votes. But if accepting the UBI means giving up your right to vote, it would be self-limiting and might actually be a good thing.

Comment But is it REALLY more effecient? (Score 2, Interesting) 559

A lightbulb works because the filiment gets really hot and glows with blackbody radiation. All of the electric power that goes into the bulb is radiated. So in some sense, the incandecent bulb is already 100% effecient. the only problem is that most of the radiated energy is at infrared frequencies and doesn't do anything to light the room for human eyes. If you increase the emmisivity of the filiment to 100%, it is not obvious that you increase the effeciency of the bulb one iota. In fact, I would guess that the effeciency of the bulb goes down, since the filiment temperature will go down (since you radiate more power at a given temperature) and more of the radiation will be in the IR. Now, if he can change the surface of the filiment so the emmisivity is very high in the visable but very low in the IR, then and only then will he be onto something. -Rob (and yes, I am in fact a physicist)

Comment Re:Details up front (Score 1) 609

The sticker on the back doesn't tell you how much it uses in practice, it tells you the maximum it will ever use. It's useful for sizing circuits and picking fuses, but not for estimating running costs. The label on the back doesn't tell you if it uses 80W or 1W in standby. It doesn't tell you if the maximum rating applies during normal viewing, or only for two seconds at startup.

To find out how much power something is using you really need a "Kill-A-Watt" meter. Google it. They are quite handy! -Rob

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