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Comment Re: The ISS was an experiment, not a settlement (Score 1) 114

But I believe that project is already funded, although about 8x over budget. It will be a great telescope for infrared astronomy though, so I look forward to its launch.

But why should we settle for a single great telescope. There is a lot of science to work on, and while I imagine that the James Webb will be heavily utilized (nearly 100%), there will still be demand for more access to space telescopes for situations where ground telescopes are not sufficient or to complement them.

Comment Re:The ISS was an experiment, not a settlement (Score 1) 114

I'd like a new telescope. At first I thought maybe some of the ISS components could be reused to run the power systems for a new orbital telescope. Sadly the labor in space is more expensive than lifting new components. Having someone spacewalk to disassemble the ISS is probably a no go.

If we had a way to cheaply disassemble in micro-gravity, perhaps with more sophisticated robotics, then we could part out the ISS and sell the components to other projects. Highest bidder gets it and they can work out the price so they can pay less than what it might cost to lift up brand new components.

Comment Australia? Who cares. Worthless futurists (Score 1) 320

It's not terribly important when the entire nation of Australia has a population smaller than some of the world's largest cities (Shanghai, Tokyo, Delhi, and maybe Mexico City). Post some news when Australia is a cashless society, not when they maybe could become one some day. Right now it's conjecture. They still print currency, they still exchange coins.
Sweden is probably further along, but again Sweden's entire population is smaller than Australia's largest city. These are minuscule movements in nations that are almost of no consequence in the grand scheme of things.

When Hong Kong, Singapore, Mexico City, São Paulo and other major world cities take real action to eliminate physical currency, then we can talk.

Comment Re:Alternative media. (Score 1) 285

You can always voluntarily demonetize and say anything you want (that fit legal bounds and are within the terms of service).

Google is a de-facto monopoly on search and video dissemination. So I think there's a reasonable argument to be made if Google impacts search results based on 'objectionable' content. But when their clients - advertisers - say, 'I don't want to pay to see my ad on that channel / content', it doesn't matter if it's hate speech or football talk. The whole point is to target ads at likely buyers. And maybe Pepsi marketing has determined the neo-nazi market isn't worth the trouble. In which case, they get to make that call. And if Google can't meet that customer need, maybe it makes sense for Pepsi to give Google the finger and yank their ads.

I mean, we used to call that a 'free market'. But when you see alt-right wingers whining on about their losing their free speech rights on a corporate platform they don't own, it seems these days things are topsy-turvy. You know, up is down, black is white, left is right.

Comment Re:But remember, basic income is an unfair handout (Score 2) 262

Eminent domain is supposed to be a process to consolidate property for a purpose that serves the public good. It almost never works out that way. Usually a state or local government use the laws to rip people's homes away from them and hand it over to some special interest.

Indeed, I know I don't own my house or the land it sits on. Not only can someone file some paperwork and take it away from me. If I stopped paying my property tax for long enough, I would be removed and my house auctioned off. Private property is an illusion.

Comment This is going to be a train wreck (Score 1) 262

Americans are against getting financial assistance or any other kind of "hand outs", so it will be interesting to see how we adapt to this.

I think it will be a mess, because we're not likely to plug the legal loop hole around robots. You don't have to pay wages to a robot, they don't pay income taxes, they don't spend their earnings in the local community, and the employer doesn't have to buy robots healthcare. The way public companies are legally required to operate in the interests of their shareholders (profit) will probably make it difficult for corporations to not buy robots. If it saves them money on the books and increases productivity, they don't have a choice, it's just good business.

Comment Re:"glass of wine has heathful benefits" (Score 1) 122

A small glass of grape juice has health benefits too. Most of the time fruits and vegetables with dark pigments are powerful antioxidants. While I'm not sure if those antioxidants help with heart disease, it would be interesting to see if non-alcoholic options prove to be beneficial.

Briefly there was a grape juice on the market made with wine grape varieties and it was really good. It's the variety of grape that stands out the most in the flavor of wine, so the juice tasted basically like wine. Maybe not as complex and nuanced as a properly aged cabernet sauvignon or merlot. But it little glass of it with breakfast was a nice treat and I prefer it over orange juice.

Comment Re:What about beer? (Score 1) 122

Dark beers are made by toasting malt, the Maillard reaction. Which at high temperatures can produce carcinogens (acrylamide) that are soluble in ethanol.

I seriously doubt it's in high enough quantities to matter, but it should exist if I understand it correctly. And likely there are beneficial things in a pint of Guinness worthy of research.

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