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Comment Re:Yawn... (Score 1) 136

We don't have flying cars for a number of reasons. Efficiency, reliability, user safety, public safety, supporting infrastructure (where to land), new complex regulatory requirements. eg, what about cars flying over your house.

Sure we do, they are called helicopters, they are just not practical for most people.

Comment Re:Assuming all goes well... (Score 1) 101

Actually, all of the ground landings take place right next to the ocean.

It's not that hard to conceive of a rocket booster coming back to Earth going off course by a fair distance and "landing" where it shouldn't. Definitely less chance of harm to property if this happens over the ocean than over land. It's not a worry that keeps me up at night or anything but it's certainly among the possible outcomes.

Have you ever been to Cape Canaveral?
The little pointy bit is an Airforce base, and basically the rest of it is owned by NASA, mostly devoted to a secure zone/wilderness preserve.

Then you have a nice long causeway with a lots of water as a further buffer before you get to anything like privately owned land.

I am pretty sure that SpaceX has some means to destroy the returning booster before it gets close to the ground the 10+ miles off course it would need to be before getting close to private property.

Comment Re:Very disappointing. (Score 5, Insightful) 244

Musk must be engaging in some serious 1984-esque doublethink here. Or maybe Trump is blackmailing him in some way?

It would be suicidal for the CEO of any company which has government contracts as a major part of its revenue(SpaceX) to snub the president elect.
Not to mention the foolishness of refusing to advise a president who is probably looking at ending subsidies that makes another of your companies more profitable(Tesla).

There is also the angle of advising the president towards actions that reflect your world view, even if that world-view is not shared('we should push LED lights because they last longer and are safer than either incandescent or compact florescent, not to mention delaying the need to build more expensive power plants and power network upgrades' without even mentioning that the reduced power requirements could help fight global warming for example)

Comment Re: Trump 2016!!! (Score 1) 2837

Actually, I'm pretty sympathetic to the (mostly real) grievances of Trump voters. My biggest problems with Trump are, in descending order:

- His general disdain for constitutional rights. People think it's no big deal now because they aren't the target of his disgust, but wait until the day you disagree with him.

His threatening remarks against that publisher are worrisome, but it was not a recurring theme as far as I am aware, so I am hopeful that it was just blowing hot-air.

Of course Hillary and Obama have plenty of public policy history that shows she cannot be trusted with any sort of power or authority, so it is sort of a fart vs hurricane type situation.

- I think he has given license to political and racial violence.

As opposed to the democratic party that paid for the mentally ill to wave inflammatory signs at trump rallies and allies itself with BLM?
I am also pretty sure that Trump did not fire-bomb his own offices...

- And I don't think for one minute his tax policy will do anything other than benefit the very wealthy at the expense of everyone else.

But hey, maybe I am completely off-base here. Maybe everything is going to be fine, and His Trumpiness will bring peace and prosperity to all Americans. If that happens, I'll vote for him in 2020. It wouldn't be the first time I switched my vote based on a president's job performance.

As best as I can tell, Trump treats his employees well and finds highly capable people to put into positions of authority so he can be free move on to his next project.
If he maintains this behavior with the presidency, it could be a major boon for the country.

At best he will bull-doze his way through the legislature to push through things like a term-limit amendment for us to vote on and a Reganesque tax policy.
If not, it is not unlikely he will get fed up with the sausage-making in DC and hand everything but the title over to Pence.
At worst he will be ham-strung by the Washington establishment and not get much of anything done.

Either one sounds better than letting Hillary sell our government to the highest bidder.

Comment Re:Why is this a controversy at all? (Score 1) 248

2. There is no federally issued or even state issue (to my knowledge) photo ID in the US. This is the biggest reason voter photo ID laws are regularly overturned as a form of voter suppression. If the government either at the state or federal level had a system for the distribution of free of charge photo IDs, these laws would be okay. However in this grand old free country of ours no such thing exists. You must pay for a driver's license and or state ID or a federally issued passport. Many low income individuals have no need for these and in many cases could not afford one if they wanted it. If the government makes getting a passport as free and easy as your social security card, which as it happens is an acceptable form of non-photo ID for voting, then this issue would be different.

To the best of my knowledge, every state that currently requires and ID to vote (like Texas) has a free state photo ID available.(Free Texas ID: http://www.dps.texas.gov/drive... )
In the past, these free IDs have not been adequate to counter the cries of 'voter suppression' that have often managed to get voter ID laws removed.

Comment Re:Long term plan (Score 1) 93

... and then go on to build a base on the Moon - and dare we hope, on to Mars? They have taken the lead, simple as that, and the rest of the world will follow.

They're slightly ahead of SpaceX in the heavy-launch department, but they're behind in reusability and cost. As long as Musk doesn't meet an early demise, I believe that SpaceX will easily win the race to Mars.

Considering the population and finances of China as compared to the resources Musk has at his disposal, if China has the political will to do so, they can easily beat Musk to mars.

I'm kind of hoping for a new space-race with NASA backing Musk against the Chineese, as that seems like the best way to ensure there are both resources and political will for both sides to move forward at a brisk pace.

Comment Re:How about just (Score 1) 95

looking at driving record (moving violations) as well as claims (at fault, no fault) and geographic area for accidents and claims. Pretty easy and doesn't create a ton of Orwellian privacy issues.

That is a good approach so long as the person in question has a driving record.

According to the summary:

[...]to help set insurance premiums for first-time drivers.

So that makes it a little harder to look at a their driving record if the person in question has no record to consider.

Comment Re:Fucking Yanks, world police. (Score 1) 209

The US goobermint spends more per capita on healthcare than the UK's one.
The UK system covers everybody.
The US system covers veterans, the very old and some of the very poor.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

While it's true that some countries don't pull their weight defence wise, it would appear that it's something else that's stopping you having something like the NHS.

Take a look at our political system, and who it puts in charge.

I have a hard time finding a nationally elected US politician that I would be willing to put in charge of the contents of my trash can, let alone anything actually relevant or important.
Especially when looking at the presidential election this year, would you trust *either* of them to actually spend the money on proper health-care instead of using the money to buy votes or line their own pockets?

Comment Re:Oh dear, poor SpaceX. (Score 1) 55

"But what SpaceX are attempting to do has the potential (at very least) to bring about significant changes to the history of space travel."

I seriously doubt that. Lauching might become cheaper but thats all. Until a completely new type of space drive system is invented that doesn't rely on chucking mass backwards to move forwards humans won't be going much further than the moon again anytime soon. Even trips to mars are a pipe dream due to it being a one way trip.

All Henry Ford did was make automobiles cheaper. Clearly that had no real impact on the history of cars.

Once you get costs cheap enough, all sorts of unrealistic things become possible.
Why don't families go to an orbital space station for a holiday? noon could afford it
Are there manufacturing processes that work better in micro-gravity? Yep, but none are currently cost effective.
Why don't we mine asteroids instead of strip-mining earth? it is cheaper to mine on Earth.
etc.

If you make it cheap enough, space will no longer be the domain of governments and the rich, but something everyone can make use of, and there is no telling what people will come up with.

Also, the only reason Mars is currently a one-way-trip is because it is too expensive to launch the materials for a round trip.

Comment Re:The last set showed laws broken by DNC (Score 1) 333

How about: 5. The RNC is too paranoid to use email for these kinds of arrangements/conversations

I prefer:
6. the RNC is so divided that all the dirt of any relevance they can find is already being flung, so by the time hackers find anything juicy, it is already plastered across CNN

A little like 2(The RNC can be hacked, and is clean.), but more realistic.

Comment Re:Check out Modest Needs charity (Score 2) 618

Sounds a lot like the St. Vincent de Paul society. http://www.svdpusa.org/
They seem to have chapters at just about every Catholic church I have been to.
You go to the church asking for help, the put you in contact with St VdP and you explain your need to them.

From what I understand there is usually a home-visit checking for things like 'I can't pay my electric bill because I spent all my money on a new $500 TV'
Then they help you pay the bills you need help with.

Aside from checking for frivolous expenditures, the only requirement I am aware of is you need to go to the church which serves your geographic location(your parish). As far as I am aware there is no requirement related to your religion, but it would probably be a good idea to take down any symbols or decorations around your house that may leave a bad taste in the mouth of those coming to see if you would make responsible use of the money you are asking them for.

Comment Re:Spare $1,500/month for new immigrant won't work (Score 1) 618

Everyone with a salary or hourly wage is required to pay pay-roll taxes, and above a minimum threshold, income taxes as well.(billionaires included, but few of them have this sort of income)

There is also the Capital Gains tax(~15% I believe) on any income from investing back in the economy(this is where most billionaires get income)
In theory this is to encourage investments in the economy as that increases the GDP and helps there to be more for everyone.
This was more valid back when the stock-market had more to do with capitol investments in companies and less to do with High Frequency Trading.

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