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Comment Re:Save 30%, retire early (Score 1) 525

I recognize that it's silly, however I didn't create the conditions for this silliness - alimony and child support laws did. Before you get up in arms over 'not supporting your kids' bear in mind that by law support only needs to get paid to the woman. What she does with it is largely, or entirely in you're in CA, not their worry. So in essence kids often don't get the support anyway. I estimate on a good day my kids might see $.25 on the dollar.

If you are concerned about your kids not getting support, why not seek full custody? I understand this isn't always feasible (and doesn't totally eliminate alimony), but you gotta do what you gotta do for your kids, right?

OTOH, I realize the not every couple is cut-out for marriage, and probably someday the US will be more like some European countries where getting married is becoming less common (even with kids), but I for one will be sad when that day comes... I know a few couples that did it that way (mostly for marriage tax penalty reasons), but it seems to me that it really puts a big barrier in their relationship to continually have to sign contracts/agreements/documents to remind them of their status and shared responsibilities (kids, mortgage, insurance, etc) year after year. Maybe I'm a hopeless romantic that's gonna get screwed some day, but at least for now, I can enjoy the fiction of assuming most of my fellow men/women would share a general sense of equity and reasonableness. It's a world view that I'd hate to lose. I'd rather just get a prenup/postnup than be reminded year after year...

Comment Re:My BS detector is going off like crazy (Score 1) 252

Gee, without a stent I would be dead since your coronary collapses and without it your heart dies.
So I guess I and other stent recipients are alive for some other reason such as __ fill in the blank.


Unfortunately, a stent is often kind of a stopgap which can be used in some situations to attempt to avoid bypass surgery. Your cardiologist should have told you that stents are primarily inserted to provide symptomatic relief from angina and chest pain related to coronary artery disease and blocked arteries. Medical studies like this one have not shown that they actual reduce the rate of Myocardial Infarction (aka heart attacks).

Also, long term studies of stents show that 35-40% suffer restenosis (a bit better with a drug-eluting stent). The jury is out if a stent will actually save your life in the future or not relative to this risk.

Comment Re:Michael Phelps diet (Score 1) 252

It really doesnt matter what you eat. All diet fads are bullshit.

The important thing is burning off what you consume. Farmer John could eat lots of fat and meat then work the fields for 12 hours, and be thin and healthy. But if Desk Jockey Julie does that she'll weigh 400 pounds and be sick.Common sense.

Swimmer Michael Phelps ate 12,000 calories a day, consisting of fried-egg sandwiches, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, fried onions, mayonnaise, coffee, omelets, grits, french toast, powdered sugar, pancakes, pasta, ham, 2,000 calories worth of energy drinks, and pizza.

I'm no doctor, but he seems pretty healthy.

Maybe Michael Phelps' isn't the best example here.

As to the extreme nature of his diet, he's a known pot head and has been diagnosed with ADHD so who knows what part of the calorie consumption is cause and effect (some drugs that are used to treat ADHD are basically stimulants)... As to "health", he also is a recovering alcoholic and likely suffers from Marfan Syndrome...

Of course he does burn a lot of calories, but most people aren't training for the olympics (nor does Mr. Phelps eat that much anymore since '08 and now that he is older, and he never at that much unless he was actively training). Given all that, I don't think he's anywhere near the center of any bell curve that is relevant to other people's metabolism...

Besides, the relationship between weight and calories is complex. What specific foods you eat and the schedule that you consume food can greatly effect this relationship (as with the standard obvious stuff like metabolic rate)...

Comment lack of socialization: evolutionary disadvange (Score 1) 106

In the long term, I don't think we need to worry too much about the human population losing the "urge" to socialize. I suspect such negative trait aspects to be bred out of the population gene pool in a few generations...

It may be a few lonely generations for a few folks though, but I'm sure computers will take care of that well enough to bridge the gap...

Comment Re:Save 30%, retire early (Score 2) 525

Plus the most important one - never get divorced as that is the most common setback people will face. My advice to my kids is to only marry someone who makes as much or more than you.

If we apply these rules across the board, basically internet match services will only need 2 criteria: sexual orientation, and monthly salary. They would then only need match those that had equal salary (within some tolerance) and compatible sexual orientation.

I had a similar discussion with a relative of mine the other day that insisted that her kids would need to "marry-up" or she would disown them. My response was how could that possibly work? Why wouldn't your future in-laws cut-off their kids for "marrying-down"? She was not happy with that response.

Comment Re:Be ready to pay more for internet (Score 1) 195

Yeah everyone's Netflix, Amazon, Apple and/or other internet costs are going to go up. Because ISP's are going to force them to pay more for the same bandwidth.

But this will somehow increase competition, because a lot more internet providers are about to come into your area. Because somehow this was holding them back...

I'm advocate of some types of net neutrality, but that's not the problem here.

  IF ISPs force Netflix/Amazon/Apple to pay more for internet, it would likely enable more competition as other companies might be in a better position to charge enough to survive (now the price of Netfix/Amazon is so low as to make low-cost disruption uneconomical).

However, this is not a likely outcome of deregulation. It is more likely is that Netflix/Amazon will use their market position to purchase monopolies on capacity from ISPs making the capacity unavailable to potential competitors. For example, zero-rating Netflix/Amazon would make it very compelling to use Netflix/Amazon vs some competing service that would count against your monthly data cap. This is the problem that needs some form of net neutrality to solve. But simply making them title II common carriers isn't the answer either...

Comment Re:Yes but (Score 1) 711

He is an engineer. But he didn't say he's a registered/ unregistered / official/ unofficial/ practicing / not practicing / civil / electrical / software / science / industrial / computer / oregon / out of state engineer.

Also, if "declaring yourself an engineer is a violation of the regulations in most states", engineer visitors are surely fined and kicked out when they have to answer "what are you working as?" at the boundary gate.

This is just another stupid case. Whoever has more money will win this.

The relevant statute in Oregon is listed below. Simply by verbal claim implying you are a registered profession engineer, you appear to be violating the statute...

672.007 Acts constituting practice of engineering, land surveying or photogrammetric mapping. For purposes of ORS 672.002 to 672.325:
            (1) A person is practicing or offering to practice engineering if the person:
            (a) By verbal claim, sign, advertisement, letterhead, card or in any other way implies that the person is or purports to be a registered professional engineer;
            (b) Through the use of some other title implies that the person is an engineer or a registered professional engineer; or
            (c) Purports to be able to perform, or who does perform, any service or work that is defined by ORS 672.005 as the practice of engineering.

Back in my youth (about 30 years ago), one day the company I worked for made all of us change our business cards from "engineer" to "technician" because of these laws. My dad (a civil engineer) somehow convinced me to take the FE/EIT and prep for the PE exam even though my job didn't require it because in his world I got my degree in engineering and well dammit, he wanted to call his son an engineer.

FWIW that whole licencing experience was bunk for computer engineering. At the time, the exam for electronic engineering specialty wasn't up to date at all (mostly 3-phase power, pentode amplifier questions) and completely irrelevant for computer engineering (except for a couple Fortran programming questions). Of course the exams are more updated now and include computer engineering, but I suspect they are still not remotely "current".

To top things off, even after I "passed" the FE/EIT, I then discovered that my university was unaccredited** and the "pass" was actually a conditional pass which required me apprenticing for 6 years before being allowed to call myself an Engineer in Training and to sit for the PE exam. Since nobody in my company was a licensed engineer that certainly wasn't gonna happen. So I immediately dropped that whole idea of becoming a professional engineer just to put it on my business card and never looked back. I just call myself a computer architect (to the horror of my father) and that's that...

**I didn't graduate from a diploma mill, I graduated from a student mill (called Caltech) which is sorta accredited, but apparently not accredited enough for ABET ...

Comment Re:Maximize profits (Score 1) 68

If I'm going to spend extra just to keep money in the country, I'd rather it be taxed from me and redistributed as welfare rather than charged as a premium on products handled by a make-work project.

With welfare you're not enriching the already-rich at the top of the corporate structure, so you're giving much more efficiently to the people who need it.

That's an argument for a high-tariff structure (aka protectionist) economy. Basically raise the price of products so you no longer have an incentive to buy imports unless they aren't available locally. If you are fine with that type of economy, that's another way to go... Seems like we are headed that direction as countries are abandoning free trade agreements recently...

Comment Re:Maximize profits (Score 1) 68

Since we're all human, I don't really have a problem with leveling the playing field, so long as it happens slowly enough it doesn't disrupt my life on noticeable timescales.

History has shown that disruptions like this occur on noticeable timescales.

In North America in the 1980's, the Japanese car disruption happened on a very short timescale and directly displaced 185,000 automotive jobs between June 1981 and November 1982 (not counting the indirect jobs lost because of the economic multiplier effect) before things began to stabilize. A voluntary trade restraint was negotiated between Japan and the US and of course Japan started manufacturing of cars in North America which contributed to the stabilization of the employment situation and return to '70's level of automobile industry employment (and of course it's been in a much slower decline since then).

Of course maybe for a short while, your life will be isolated from this type of disruption, but you might consider your neighbor that loses their livelihood is as human as someone across the globe, so I would think they also deserve some small amount of consideration too, right? Maybe you might give a few seconds pause about that the next time you bypass the middle-man companies to buy direct from China using Ali-Express... At least Walmart keeps a few folks gainfully employed locally (and that is a very low bar)... Who knows, maybe that local person is the parent of a schoolmate of your kids (or your friend's kid, if you don't have any kids). Aren't they human too?

Comment Re:Nuclear Power - Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (Score 1) 43

The missing piece of this article is that China is dumping a lot of money into developing thorium nuclear power. In comparison, Uranium is expensive, hard to dispose of, way too radioactive, and terribly inefficient.

You mean the one that the US Dept of Energy** is helping them build because they can't convince the US government to fund it?

In the meantime, overcapacity, cost overruns due to mounting safety requirements*** have delayed China's near term nuclear efforts. Maybe their future Thorium nuclear endeavors will go more smoothly...

It's good to have optimism about new things, but sometimes thorium cheerleaders seem to have unwarranted optimism given the issues surrounding nuclear projects in the short history of nuclear power.

**Isn't that department headed by Rick Perry who as a candidate wanted to eliminate that department, but apparently couldn't remember it's name...

***The same cost overruns that have basically pushed Toshiba near bankruptcy and Areva towards a french government bailout

Comment The number is of little consequence to most (Score 4, Informative) 352

The actual number is of little consequence most.

In most bay area locales, Section 8 housing is basically unavailable for new applicants. Wait lists are estimated to be greater than 8-10 years or simply closed to new applicants until further notice because of essentially unbounded wait times and basically zero new section 8 housing inventory.

AFAIKT, the increases of these income threshold numbers only serve to keep a small amount of existing people (the vanishingly small fraction of the 17,000 total served by section 8 with reasonable jobs near the limit) from being kicked out of Section 8 housing simply by getting cost of living raises at work and forced to fend on their own...

Basically, section 8 is totally broken in the bay area and is a non-factor in housing. This adjustment doesn't really do anything either way to change this...

Comment Re:Mayer's failure actually WASN'T a failure... (Score 1) 156

Now, you can argue that some other CEO would have done better, or that the main reason for Yahoo!'s success under her tenure was the decision to invest in Alibaba, made by her predecessor, but speculation about what someone else might have done is unproductive, and she decided to stay with that investment.

I think you may have forgotten the details of this event where she sold 1/2 of their Alibaba shares to provide the funding for the turn-around attempt.

She also tried hard to create a tax-free sell/spinoff the rest of the Alibaba investment to Yahoo investors via an ill fated Aabaco manuever, but that didn't happen and what resulted in the end was Yahoo itself was sold off to Verizon leaving the shares Altaba (aka RemainCo which is Yahoo's remaining investments in Alibaba and Yahoo Japan essentially forever tied together in a under-performing tracking stock).

Meanwhile, the uncertainty of this ill-fated tax-free spin-off attempt clobbered most of the remaining value for shareholders until the sale. I'm not so sure this whole episode qualifies as a success under most metrics...

A better outcome (maybe it could be called successful) would be if she had executed the Aabaco tax-free sell/spinoff of the Alibaba shares to investors something that she didn't pull the trigger on even though most tax advisers thought it would work and provide the best stockholder value.

Comment Re:Missing the point (Score 3, Informative) 102

Sorry Bram, but you are missing the point. Hashing is used in bitcoin precisely because it is useless. It can't be faked, and it can't be stored for later. It is an irrevocable commitment right now.

I wish you luck with monetizing distributed storage, or decentralized distribution, or whatever your new project ends up as. But the design of bitcoin is not a programming challenge for you to solve. It is a carefully interlocked design, made by someone (or some people) who has (or have) a far beyond average understanding of money and cryptography. Many people with less insight have attempted to "improve" things, and all have failed.

Well, I'm not defending Bram on his quest, but I would say that based on this presentation at least he seems to know enough to know that he doesn't know how to do it yet (which is one step above those that don't even know what they don't know yet)...

It all may be a failure in the end, but at least there is a germ of an idea in there (which is more than I can say for most snake oil).

Comment Re:Can't a magic 8 ball replace most CEOs? (Score 1) 287

A "right" decision is generally a function of perspective. Most people (including CEOs) make "right" decisions most of the time, but the reward function under which they evaluate "right" is not at all what you might expect and generally has very little to do with vendors, customers, employees, or shareholders.

Sadly, to the winner go the spoils...

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