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Comment Re:From a buffoon (Score 1) 721

In my state (Texas) at-the-pump taxes on Diesel are 6 cents per gallon higher than gasoline taxes. Yet the cost of diesel is 30 cents higher than gasoline. So only 20% of the difference in price is due to taxes at the pump and 80% is due to other factors. Of course, there may be some other taxes in the manufacturing and supply chain that this doesn't account for.

Comment Re:Legality? (Score 1) 513

If I interpret those AT&T terms of service literally then the Nike iPhone app violates those terms. It uses "equipment for any other purpose" and "without limitation" using "BLUETOOTH" to send data to the iPhone where the Nike app is running which then forwards the data on via the internet. Sounds an awful lot like what a tethering app does.

Comment Re:Really lost? (Score 1) 290

There is an interesting discussion in Matt Ridley's new book, The Rational Optimist about some cultures losing technology over time. One of the reasons he gave was that their society was too small -- not enough individual members and they were cut off from others by geopgraphy so they couldn't trade with a wider circle of people. He posits that you need enough members in your society so that you have enough people to specialize in all the needed arts. You also need more than one person practicing each art. You wouldn't want your only knowledgable glass blower to die by accident and leave you with no one who knew how to blow glass.

I'm not sure if a "few thousand" individuals would be enough to support even a radio-level of technology. Remember, you need people to grow food, make shoes, sew clothes, prepare meals, collect trash, raise the next generation, and hundreds of other activities that aren't considered high-tech but are needed to support the circuit designers, light bulb makers, wire drawers, and other high-tech practitioners.

Comment Re:Imagine if you had to Hack Windows to run on a (Score 1) 453

Sure, but that was just Bill Gates demonstrating to Intel how he could bring down the sales of Intel chips by offering his OS for other chips like PPC or DEC Alpha. All because Intel said they were interested in supporting Java in hardware. When Intel backed down (see page 14), suddenly Microsoft lost interest in other chip architectures.

Comment What I want... (Score 1) 69 to pay for postage online, print out the stamp/code/whatever, affix it to my letter, drop it in the mail. I don't know if such a service is available in other countries, but here in the USA it's only available (AFAIK) from outfits like where you have to pay $15.99 a month before you pay for any postage. The postal service does offer Click-N-Ship, which is about what I want, but it's only available for Priority Service, not First Class or parcel service. So, what is so hard about online postage?

Comment Re:How long will that last? (Score 1) 690

But guess what? If you don't sell it, it isn't commerce.

You would think that, but you'd be wrong. The landmark case on the topic is Wickard v. Filburn, where the SC ruled that Filburn's wheat he had grown and consumed on his own land was subject to regulation under the Commerce Clause.

It's a horrible and illogical ruling because, according to the Court's logic, any activity can be classified as interstate commerce. Yet it is clear that the framers meant that only certain kinds of commerce fell into congressional jurisdiction. That's why they added the adjective "interstate" in front of the word "commerce".

Comment Re:Put that in yer pipe and smoke it! (Score 1) 690

The overreaching interpretation of the commerce clause is probably one of the SC decisions that it most obviously far from the framers intentions.

Brilliantly insightful.

The beginning of the evil was Wickard v. Filburn, a most logically twisted ruling. Every Commerce Cluase case since then cites this grand daddy of all Commerce Clause cases. Thanks for packing the court with your patsey judges FDR.

Comment Re:makes sense (Score 2, Informative) 776

It's not like the right isn't offering any positive ideas, they're just being ignored by the left. Senator Baucus's panel took up 61 amendments this week. They accepted 4 from Republicans and rejected 28. They accepted 20 from Democrats and rejected 1. source

The reason you don't hear much about this is obvious to me. If you're a news director or editor, which do you think will play better among your news consumers -- "DEATH PANELS" or a list of 28 rejected Republican amendments?

Comment Re:anti-solar prejuices, prior neglect (Score 1) 243

The page you refer to does not seem to answer the complaint raised in the random, trendless data simulations. It talks mostly about the data used for a "training period." That was something I had not heard either side discuss before. There is one or two sentences at the end of the page you cite which talks about the random data, but just acknowledges its existence and concludes with a dismissive "who has the patience?"

I'm not a climate scientist or or any other kind of scientist, so I'll admit maybe I just don't "grok" it, but the page you referenced in answer to my Monte Carlo query seems almost off-topic. You've been kind in your responses, so maybe you can indulge a non-scientist just a bit more.

Comment Re:anti-solar prejuices, prior neglect (Score 1) 243

Thanks for the link (in Point 5, Part II). I also read in point 8 that "If you use the MM05 convention and include all the significant PCs, you get the same answer. If you don't use any PCA at all, you get the same answer. If you use a completely different methodology (i.e. Rutherford et al, 2005), you get basically the same answer."

It is asserted that if you use random, trendless data, you also get the same answer. See the graph near mid-page at

Do you have any comment on the link I gave regarding the Nature correction?

Comment Re:anti-solar prejuices, prior neglect (Score 1) 243

But it's ludicrous to suggest that the scientific community as a whole is somehow unaware of these issues or engaged in a massive conspiracy to suppress them.

Then why Nature's soft-pedaling of the correction to Mann? McKitrick and McIntyre detail their experience of trying to deal with Nature to get a correction here. Interesting reading.

And the referees throwing up their hands and saying "this is too complicated for us to evaluate in 2 weeks" shows a weakness in the process.

Comment Re:And yet... (Score 1) 509

I work for a company that submits lots of eBooks to the Apple store. We get a lot of rejections and we get a lot of acceptances. We can't figure out any pattern. It appears completely random to us. These are all mainstream books from mainstream publishers such as you would find at a book store like Borders or Barnes & Noble. The rejected books don't have more violence, harsher language, more sex, or anything else that we can detect. The code wrapper we use is the same for all our books. Apple's rejection notices are completely unrevealing and you can't talk to real person there. Often we just repackage the app with the same content and resubmit it and it will get accepted. We waste a lot of money on this activity so, believe me, if we knew what Apple's criteria was we could modify our process to fit them. Like I said, our only conclusion is that it is completely random.

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