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Comment Re:To put it into perspective (Score 2) 237

It's a good candidate for an 'asteroid redirect' mission in any case, but the mining potential depends on what it's made of. Chances are it made of something that would be useful up there. I would bet that Deep Space Industries and Planetary Resources are interested in this rock. It would give them a chance to prove out the basic technology they'll need in the long term, and which we'll all need for planetary protection.

It's already in a pretty handy orbit, but I'd like to see them send a 'gravity tug' to coax this asteroid into a lower orbit, and try to park it at L2.

Comment Re:Why isn't Apple already buying Google? (Score 1) 100

Let me be the first to second that emotion! America needs more CEO dick fights! Just look around to see how far we've sunk as a nation, nay, as a world! You'll see people working in companies that actually produce physical "goods" instead of financial instruments. How in the world do they expect to survive?! Sure, they may have food to eat, but where are their stock options? Where are their "2 & 20" hedge-fund accounts? People these days seem to have been brainwashed into believing in this mythical beast called a "physical economy". Good grief! Don't they know we've changed all that now? Don't they know the only way to create real wealth is to leverage the shit out of everything in sight, and then foreclose on it later when the markets get a whiff of the vapors?

Just look at these cretins, pining over the loss of 60,000 factories in the last 15 years from American soil. Can't they see that free trade agreements actually help American workers, with strong protections for environmental and workplace concerns? Are they blind to the benefits of mergers & acquisitions that consolidate markets into effective monopolies? Have they not heard that Comcast and AT&T are the most beloved corporations in America?

My heart weeps for America... once the cradle of our "service" economy, which is without doubt the best economic system ever devised by the mind of man. Can they not see that the future lies on the path of everybody delivering pizzas to each other? [sigh!] I am depressed.

Comment Re:Not two, four to Three (Score 2) 879

I would be surprised if even half of the Democrats I know will vote for Hillary ever.

It depends on how Hillary and the DNC choose to deal with Sanders, and how he responds. If they adopt some of his key platform planks, Sanders will probably endorse Hillary and campaign for her. Will he convince all the Bernie-or-bust crowd? Probably not. But it will be enough. I'm a staunch Bernie supporter, but I'll hold my nose and pull the lever for Clinton, just to keep the GOP clown-car out of the White House. (At least she would start slightly fewer wars, and appoint reasonably sane justices to the SCOTUS.)

And when you add up all the demographics that Trump (and the GOP) has insulted, there should be plenty to get her over the top. (Apparently there's a surge of voter registration in Latino communities in response to Trump.) Heck, even some Republicans have said they'd vote for Clinton over Trump.

The real wild card for her is a possible FBI indictment over the email scandal. Director Comey (a Republican) is reputed to have "a dozen agents" working on the case. Like most wild cards, this one is a long shot, but it could throw a serious monkey in the wrench. Hard to say if that would hurt her more or help her, given the obvious framing as a 'political' hit job. But presumably that is why Comey is taking his time to make as solid a case as possible.

Comment Re:Generosity? (Score 2) 224

Exactly. And I'd add that Elon had already "financially saved" the company before NASA awarded the contract. If that fourth F1 flight had not reached orbit, and then NASA had still awarded the contract, then I'd agree with the characterization in the headline. But SpaceX earned that contract based on performance. And experience since then has shown that this was a very smart investment by the government.

Comment Amazing geekdom... (Score 4, Interesting) 70

Given all the troubles the Kepler craft has encountered, I just want to raise a toast to the geeks in charge of this project. They have overcome some incredible obstacles through ingenuity and determination, and yet again they have brought the bird back under some semblance of control... from seventy-five million miles away. Now THAT is a hack.

To quote Wayne & Garth: We're not worthy.

Comment Re:I don't want anything on my wrist (Score 1) 359

A sapphire lens will help, but only until you brush up against a wall that's finished with rough granite. And the thicker the timepiece, the more likely you are to scuff it. I suppose the simplest fix would simply be some sort of 'clam-shell' protective cover. That would give you the convenience without the risk.

But then you're back to the 'why' question... If I were in a high-pressure job that required rapid response to incoming messages, this might be a useful tool. But for most purposes, most of the time, it's just not that big of a PITA to pull out the cell phone, just like everybody else I see on the bus, subway, etc..

Personally, I don't much care for the mini-screen form factor anyway, nor the 'fondle-slab' UI. For anything more than a tweet, I'd much rather have a full keyboard and mouse, with an eye-level display. It's easier on the neck...

Comment Re:I don't want anything on my wrist (Score 2) 359

I gave up on wearing a watch many years ago. Inevitably they get scraped against a wall (etc) and damaged. Bad enough when it's a 20-dollar cheap-o, let alone a "wrist computer" that cost hundreds. In a city like Taipei, you're never very far from a display of some kind, and there's always the cell phone if you're in a hurry to find out what time it is.

I've never seen an Apple Watch in real life, so they don't seem that popular, at least not around here.

Comment Re:This Just In (Score 1) 221

In addition to the Robert Lustig video you linked, I would also suggest Gary Taubes's "Why We Get Fat", and Peter Attia's "Straight Dope On Cholesterol". These three together provide an excellent understanding of the big picture.

As you noted, Lustig's "Sugar: The Bitter Truth" highlights the link from fructose to metabolic syndrome and fatty liver disease. Taubes's lecture (and book of the same name) covers the link from carbohydrates in general to insulin resistance and obesity. Dr. Attia covers the nitty-gritty details of how cholesterol is produced in the body and absorbed from dietary intake. (Over 90% of serum cholesterol is produced by the body itself, only a tiny fraction comes from the food you eat.)

I would also suggest doing some research on Low-Carb / High-Fat diets (just google "LCHF") and ketogenesis.

Comment Re:Futility of "taxing the rich" (Score 1) 644

According to Reuters, "The U.S. budget deficit narrowed to $439 billion in fiscal 2015, the lowest level since 2008." (I don't know where you're getting the 'over $1T' number from.) So your hypothetical 100% top marginal rate would just about cover it.

But let's be more realistic, and say we boost that top bracket to 50%... That would only add another 15% of that $622.8B or $93.4B, which does not eliminate the deficit, but it makes a big dent in it. What else could we do...?

    * Equalize tax rates for investment income and income from work.
    * Eliminate the ability of U.S. corporations to defer taxes on offshore profits.
    * End corporate inversions that allow U.S. companies to merge offshore to avoid taxes.
    * Enact a Financial Transaction Tax on various financial market transactions.
    * End unlimited executive pay tax write-offs.

I'm too lazy to look up specifics, but I believe that's close to another $100B in annual revenue, so we're already near halfway toward eliminating the deficit. Throw in a few other things like lifting the cap on FICA withholding and eliminating subsidies to Big Oil, Big Ag, and Big Pharma, and then add some judicious cuts to, say, the military and the DEA, and you're pretty much done.

It's not that hard to do.

if we raised the top marginal rate to 100%. How much revenue would that generate? Why, all of $622.8B

BTW, for anyone who's not clear on how marginal tax rates work, this hypothetical 100% top bracket would only apply to the portion of income above the $357,700 ($388,350 in my link) cutoff. The income up to that amount would be taxed at the normal rates.

For individuals:
        10% on taxable income from $0 to $8,700
        15% on taxable income over $8,700 to $35,350
        25% on taxable income over $35,350 to $85,650
        28% on taxable income over $85,650 to $178,650
        33% on taxable income over $178,650 to $388,350
        35% on taxable income over $388,350.

So, a person who makes $388,349 pays taxes equal to 0.1 * 8,700 + 0.15 * (35,350 - 8,700) + 0.25 * (85,650 - 35,350) + 0.28 * (178,650 - 85,650) + 0.33 * (388,350 - 178,650) = $112,683.50. That leaves a net income of $275,665.50, having paid an effective rate of about 29% overall. Thus, $275k would effectively be the maximum income (for an individual).

I could live pretty comfortably on that.

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