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Comment Re:Almost seems destiny (Score 1) 406

They could just do what they did with quantitative easing...have the Fed buy the debt. US bonds are essentially junk anyway, that's why the Fed alone owns 13% of them; what's another 10%? China has already been divesting itself of US treasuries anyway.

A huge swath of US treasuries are owned by medicare/medicaid and social security, so rising rates would increase their yield.

US debt is a bit of a shell game, as only 27% of it is owned by entities not under control of government.

Not saying any of this is a good thing...

Comment Re:Wrong even if correct (Score 1) 255

If it means anything to economists, the longest period of sustained US deflation (1873 - 1879) was a period of high economic growth (>7%). This in spite of some economists of the time predicting inflation would occur because of the increase in gold supply. There's evidence that the period from 1800 to 1900 experienced an overall deflation of around 50%, while the country's economy expanded immensely. Whether deflation is bad or good depends more on the context and reaction than any mathematical model. That's why I am a contrarian. If most experts say it will be a certain way, it probably won't be.

Comment Re:Wrong even if correct (Score 2) 255

I believe the idea that people stop spending money because of deflation is a logical fallacy. People need food, housing & utilities, healthcare, vehicles & fuel, entertainment etc. These are ongoing needs that need to be serviced in the present. All consumers look at is the price NOW. As we can see from consumer debt levels, people don't consider the future regardless of inflation or deflation.

Technology is an inherently deflationary market (today's money would buy something better tomorrow), and it drives economic growth more than anything.

Comment I have had first-hand experience (Score 1) 138

I am an HVAC controls Technologist and the product we use used to have an unintentional DOS issue. If there was too much traffic on the controller's network port (including traffic not intended for it), the processor would spend all of its time responding to network interrupts and actual operation would grind to a halt. The fix was simple...the manufacturer made new firmware that would simply ignore network interrupts if the program scan rate got too low. Sure, the controller would quit communicating on the LAN but it was still accessible via rs-232/485.

These controllers have 32MHz processors, 2MB ram, and 10Mb half-duplex ethernet, and cost multiple thousands of dollars.

Comment Re:Seatbelts? (Score 1) 74

Why do you keep talking about the seatbelt locking? It's an irrelevant argument. They still always lock mechanically, no software involved. Your seatbelt isn't going to just unwind and let you smash into the dashboard unimpeded if the software fails to fire the airbag/pretensioner.

What is controlled by software is the pre-tensioner that explosively shortens the seatbelt to pin you into your seat so you are better positioned for airbag impact. This absolutely must be integrated into the airbag system, and only electronic control allows accurate enough timing to make it effective.

Comment Re:Seatbelts? (Score 2) 74

I don't know the stats on pretensioned seatbelt injury. The seatbelt pre-tensioner is part of a system; it doesn't necessarily kill people on its own, but it has the potential cause unwarranted injury and distraction. The SRS system as a whole definitely can cause severe injury and death. That's why they are always being improved. No one wants their explosive seatbelt tensioner to fire in non-collision conditions. It also needs to fire in coordination with the airbag to be effective; if it fires too late or doesn't fire at all it doesn't help. The SRS system needs to completely deploy in the correct order for the conditions within around 70ms of the first impact. Electronics are the fastest, most accurate, and repeatable timing system available.

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