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Comment elasticities (Score 1) 720

That depends *entirely* on the price elastic of demand--the decrease can be either less *or* more than 1%. And in the (bizarre and hypothetical) case of the "Giffen good", demand could actually *increase* (but no-one has ever shown an example of such a good.)

hawk, now taking his economist hat back off

Comment it's the mouse, not something else, being changed (Score 1) 299


Virus that can infect multiple species aren't even uncommon enough to raise interest.

This is about the *gene* jumping species, which is nonsense for animals (plants are another matter, and I can't even guess as to other kingdoms).

That is, they're editing the genes of the released mice, not infecting the mice.


Comment Re:People last, right? (Score 1) 299


The Chinese have been doing this to themselves quite effectively.

One Child Per Family has led to aborting females en mass, and has already tweaked the sex mix. This in turn affects the next generation, even if you drop the policy, as with a, for example, 55% male generation, the average female needs to produce (50/45)*2, or more than 2.2 children for break-even.


Comment Re:Something is missing (Score 1) 357

Perhaps a month or two ago, Apple started regularly offering me to change to a shorter route while driving. These have been great (one pulled me off the freeway for three miles before jumping back on) except . . .

A left turn off a major street, around the block , and a left turn back on to the same street . . . uhh . . .


Comment Y2K overstated (Score 1) 600

What most people miss on Y2K is that given the constraints at the time most of those programs were written, the cost of avoiding the problem would have been roughly triple (in real terms, discounted dollars, etc.) as ultimately fixing it was.

Yes, economists went back and actually measured, estimated, etc. Also, most of the code from the era did not, in fact, make it to Y2K, and would have incurred the costs without receiving a benefit.

Although the resources would be negligible today, we are talking about the extra labor to punch two more digits on each and every 72 column card, the limited number of digits on those punch cards, memory for which it was a break thought when the *rental* price dropped down to a buck a byte a month, the extra processing time to handle three or four digits, etc.

It also didn't help that so many (a strong majority?) coded in the year ending in 00 exception to leap years without including the divisible by 400 exception to the exception . . . other attempts to accommodate 2000 might have had similar blunders.


Comment Re:I *did* pay more for engineering. (Score 1) 537

Over the last two decades, schools have increasingly come to see the law school as a cash cow, to turn profits for other university projects.

Tuition has been doubled, tripled, and more, which is possible due to the instant availability of huge student loans (similar to how sloppy underwriting and loan-flipping was the primary cause of the housing bubble).

Students now leave law schools with hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, and payments that suggest burger flipping might have been a better idea.

hawk, esq.

Comment Re:Maybe voice activation is overrated? (Score 1) 210

25 years ago, sheets of forced air were common in Las Vegas grocery stores as a way to leave the cavernous doors open and form *some* barrier to the AC getting out into the desert heat.

Today, they're rare, generally replaced with automatic or manual doors. When you do see (err, feel) one, it's usually in conjunction with an automatic door.


Comment Re:Maybe voice activation is overrated? (Score 1) 210

>BTW, the part about knowing who's going to use the
>door and who isn't is probably doable with cameras
>and enough processing power.

Rule 1: if it isn't touching the ground, don't open for it . . .

Side effects would included positive (not opening for drones and birds), and negative (being sued for not opening for the differently gravitationalized, avian-americans, and so forth).


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If I'd known computer science was going to be like this, I'd never have given up being a rock 'n' roll star. -- G. Hirst