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Comment Re: Who's to say? (Score 1) 97

Well, if you want to be pedantic (of course you do), heat isn't radiation. Black body radiation is a consequence of heat. And in point of fact the ionizing spectral components of the Sun's radiation generates over seventy-thousand cases of cancer in the US annually, and over ten thousand deaths. If there were an artificial radiation source that was that harmful we'd be right to be very concerned about it, that's substantially more than 3x the number of people who perished in 9/11 every single year.

The real issue here isn't people using linguistic short hand like "radiation" that Internet trolls can play "gotcha" with; it's people not understanding the difference between radiation per se, ionizing radiation, and radioactive fallout. Maybe you don't need to be a Nobel Prize-winning physicist to run the DoE, but you should at least be able to explain the difference between these things. And you'd certainly want anyone working in government to know the difference between preventable and non-preventable deaths.

Comment Re:i think its simpler than we're making it out to (Score 1) 475

And if Hillary was a turd, I'm curious if the dictionary contains a word for Donald.

Calling Clinton a turd shouldn't be construed as an endorsement of Trump, but Clinton is probably the only possible candidate that could have lost to Trump. Of course, the followup to that is that Trump is the only candidate that could result in a close election with Clinton. They're both utterly shit choices.

Comment Re: Obama has no right to do this (Score 2) 475

That's fine, then someone should write up an amendment, get it passed and ratified by 2/3 of the States. Nobody is really a 'proponent' of it, as far as I know, it just hasn't had any real congressional Opponents who weren't only griping about losing elections. It's just not been changed because that's the way it has been, and changing it is hard.

Well, the small or less populated states that would lose their influence (or, as they see it, representation) are proponents of it. Getting 2/3 of the states to ratify such an amendment wouldn't be easy, when it would mean that most of those states would have to accept the presidential choice of California and a few northeastern states every election.

You'd be asking them to ratify an amendment that formalizes their insignificant role of "flyover country".

Comment Silly argument (Score 1) 188

This argument is silly "We do not want to make it impossible to contact family, first responders or medical professionals in an emergency situation.". The people that have not turned in their Note 7 and gotten a replacement phone that won't explode would be able to contact family, first responders, or medical professionals IF they did turn in their phones. The phone is dead people! There are no software updates, no new versions of Android, no new features, no support whatsoever. Just turn in the phone, get a new one and when Samsung releases the next version of whatever BIG ass phone you want, get it.

Comment Re:Welcome to the Trump future... (Score 1) 472

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) 336

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) 186

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: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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