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Comment Re:Welcome to the Trump future... (Score 1) 421

I've been following this story, and I expect we're not looking at the future, but rather stagnation in the status quo for the last fifteen years or so plus statistical noise.

Where things gets interesting when you start disaggregating the trends. If you look at the life expectancy data by county, the disparity is shocking: almost all rural and poor counties saw little or no improvement in life expectancy since the late 80s, but life expectancy has improved dramatically (5 years or more) in urban and wealthy counties. And here's an interesting fact: the gap between white and black life expectancy has narrowed, but this is largely due to stagnation in life expectancy among working class whites.

This indicates to me that poor access to health care advances for working class and rural whites has driven the overall stagnation in life expectancy. This is in part what Obamacare was intended to address, however it can't possibly improve the situation in rural counties without Medicaid expansion.

Comment I'm kind of surprised they don't do more tie-ins. (Score 1) 327

I'm not talking advertising tie-ins, but why not do additional story lines available for streaming purchase? Especially in those big ensemble superhero movies that are always so narratively cluttered because they have to give you a thin slice of so many characters.

Comment Re:Sad (Score 3, Insightful) 185

Well, I dunno. It seems like blaming Fitbit for Pebble's financial failure.

Let's take a consequentialist view of matters. If the rule is you have to buy the whole business and continue to operate it, even though it's losing money, Pebble goes out of business and it's customers and debt holders suffer. If you can sell of just the good bits without the obligation to continue running the failing as before, the customers suffer but the debt holders get some relief. Which approach is better?

Comment Re:Fitbit is next (Score 4, Funny) 185


Who on their right mind is going to spend hundreds of dollars for some minor functionality?

Back in the 1980s, I remember thinking "If only there was a way to have my girlfriend (at the time) send me her pulse so I could feel her love on my own wrist in real-time. Of course the technology wasn't there, and wouldn't be for some time, so I had to settle for her bloody heart in a jar and 25 years in a psychiatric hospital.

Comment Re:Yeah (Score 1) 75

Yep. I have a friend who worked for a now-defunct ad placement firm. They hired people specifically for the purpose of figuring out ways around ad blockers. Of course that was dumb, because for people who are determined not to be tracked and force-fed ads, that simply makes them more determined to find ways to block things.

Comment Re:There are Ads on YouTube? (Score 1) 75

I recently went to renew my /. subscription because it has been some time since I last had. They are no longer offering subscriptions, not sure if it's temporary or not. One of the nice things with it was the option to turn off ads. I still run uMatrix and uBlock Origin on the site but still wanted to support them.

So it seems like they may be going straight for an ad & tracker supported model.

Comment Re:127 Mill Maintenance robot vs 4 Billion AF1 (Score 2) 38

Well, it's actually $3.75 billion. And it's not one, but two aircraft, so that's 1.875 billion apiece. That's to ensure the executive branch can function in a military crisis while one of the planes is being service.

Deduct 375 million apiece for the airframe, and we're talking 1.5 billion dollars in customization for each aircraft, including aerial refueling capabilities, which on a two-off job is a craft job; no economies of scale. Add defense and countermeasure capabilities that Air Force is extremely close-lipped about. Is there a actual escape pod on Air Force One like in the movie? Well probably not, but I'm sure the idea was at least contemplated. However it's pretty certain that if someone locks onto AF1 with a targeting radar the aircraft will have options that a stock 747-8 doesn't.

Next outfit each one so it can function as a replacement for the West Wing and the Situation Room for up to two months -- that's a deducible requirement based on the known fact that the aircraft stores 2000 meals for 100 people. That means three-of-a-kind electronics and communications systems (one for each airframe and one for the actual White House).

Is 3.75 billion too much for that? Probably. But it's hard to think of any weapon development program since WW2 that is less extravagant.

By that standard 127 million for an orbital repair robot is an almost inconceivable bargain, even if you factor in a 5x cost overrun.

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