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Comment Re:Standardization (Score 1) 64

Already done to some degree. See, for instance, the International Docking Adapter that launched last July (and also Feb 2015, but that one blew up). This is NASA's implementation of the international docking standard, and should allow anyone to dock with the ISS. I believe this standard is also meant to be used for berthing, so could potentially be used to join modules permanently.

Comment Re:Edge (Score 1) 132

My similarly-specced Chromebook doesn't, unfortunately. If I leave a tab with gmail open for a week (because who reboots a Chromebook?), just that tab consumes almost half the RAM and slows the thing to a crawl. I semi-regularly have to open the task manager and close any tabs using more than 400 MB.

It didn't use to, so either Chrome has become more bloated or gmail has. Considering it's not just gmail, however, I'd guess the former.

Comment Re:The problem is 21 (Score 1) 201

While I agree that the US drinking age is too high, and that US culture should change to gradually introduce people to drinking, the European picture is not nearly as rosy as you paint it. I'm originally from Belgium and was there in college, and while I never saw a kegstand, we all still drank more than was wise. Blackouts were not uncommon, as was drinking yourself sick, and needing help getting home. I'd say a big difference was the pace - people weren't binging, but they'd start at 22:00 and drink so late they were still drunk when they showed up in class the next morning (not having slept, of course).

But despite this somewhat-bleak picture, no one ever even had to go to a hospital that I saw or heard of. While there was a lot of drinking, there was at least *some* degree of moderation, and I agree with you that familiarity with alcohol has something to do with it. Lowering the US drinking age to 16 wouldn't fix heavy drinking or alcoholism, but it might reduce poisonings and deaths.

Comment Re:Prepare to be (Score 2) 532

You can't just claim to have a machine that violates known laws and expect to be taken seriously, but if you actually *produce* such a machine and it really does violate known laws, I would most certainly hope that everyone pays attention. Regardless of whether or not that's the case here, if someone makes a conclusive and reproducible observation that violates our knowledge of the laws of physics, then our knowledge needs to be reexamined. To act otherwise would be like saying that Michelson and Morley should have tossed out their interferometer because the results it produced violated the laws of physics known at the time.

As far as the EM drive is concerned we're still waiting on the "conclusive" bit, but we seem to be getting closer and closer.

Comment Re:Amazon is awesome for knockoffs! (Score 1) 347

would have spent is another matter, for another discussion.

better spent is what I took issue with in GP's post. There are definitely things that individuals and the free market are better at judging, but I would not count infrastructure, basic education, and disaster/first response among those, to list a few off the top of my head. Considering that Greece was verging on broke a year ago, it wouldn't have been able to pay for any of its programs whatsoever, including both the waste-of-money ones as well as the essential ones. If the level of tax dodging in Greece really is at the levels that was reported in the media last year, I doubt cutting the waste would have been sufficient to put them in the black.

You can blame debt for the crisis, but debt was merely the acute symptom: the underlying disease was insufficient tax revenue to balance expenses. Whether that would better be fixed by increasing tax or decreasing expenditure is hard to say, but I'd expect it's a bit of both. Cutting waste AND fixing tax enforcement would have done a lot to put them in a better position, more than taking either of those actions alone.

More generally, I don't think the state should do everything. However, there are a minimum number of services it should offer, it being in the best position to do so, and when tax revenue is so low you can't even offer those, then I'd say that increasing taxes will produce a net benefit, in contrast with GP's implication that raising taxes never improves things.

Comment Re:Amazon is awesome for knockoffs! (Score 1) 347

One, your rant is interesting because your sole fix for a really bad economy is taxing people more. Can you name a single example where taxing people more, improved things?

Sure - if Greece had actually collected the taxes due, rather than just saying "meh" and relying on debt, they'd be in a better situation than they are now.

... The rich can always avoid taxes, where the middle class cannot. ...

False. Top 1% pay almost half the taxes in the US. They may have many ways of dodging *specific* taxes, but per capita they contribute far more than anyone else.

bla bla bla Welfare bla bla economic slaves bla bla bla


As for housing, HUD and Government subsidies PROMOTE being locked into poverty. Because if you earn enough money, you get kicked out and lose your subsidies. It is a vicious circle of poverty and dependency, all in the name of compassion (and the voting block for the same policies that you are supporting). Yes, I want to toss grandma off a cliff, and kill kittens (Just getting the inevitable Ad Hominem out of the way).

True - there are definitely some perverse incentives in the system we have today. The safety net has to be remade into a sliding scale, such that starting to support yourself doesn't leave you worse off than you were.

I want people to have opportunity, not guarantees. 40+ years of war on poverty, and we are no better off than before. Repeating the same thing over and over again expecting different results is insane.

The war on poverty I remember from the 90s was global, and on a global level we definitely have improved. Not sure what the US-only statistics are, although I think we're better off than the media and politicians seem to want us to believe.

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