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Comment Re:Misleading headline (Score 3, Insightful) 48

"let's not pretend that AI had 5 hours of sleep in the last 48, had a shower, drove to work, checked on the kids and yet..." -- and that is exactly why I am eagerly looking forward to getting all my medical treatment from an AI just as soon as technologically possible. I don't want to be seen (or cut on) by a human who has had 5 hours of sleep in the last 48, even if somehow the profession has gotten itself in the position where that is bragged about. No other profession with potentially deadly consequences (aircraft pilots, truck drivers, military) treats sleep deprivation so casually. No thanks, I'll take my chances with the ever wakeful AI.

Comment Re:Why are employment and health care even conflat (Score 1) 397

The widespread occurrence of employer provided health insurance in the USA is a historical artifact of WWII when the government restricted the freedom of companies to raise salaries to attract workers. Instead, many companies began to offer health insurance as a perq of employment and the system stuck, and even worse, became tax deductible for the company (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=114045132). The one useful thing which (the few remaining) rational Republicans (and many economists) have proposed for health insurance lately is to break the link between health insurance and employment.

Comment Re:Good for them (Score 4, Insightful) 149

Replying to my own post because I should have added this -- with all that said about the USA space program, I fully applaud these Chinese efforts and those of all other nations (and private organizations). There is plenty of space out there for everyone. On the plaque which the Apollo 11 mission left on the moon in 1969, it says, "We came in peace for all mankind." Totally true or not, it's the right sentiment.

Comment Re:Good for them (Score 4, Insightful) 149

Well, right now in 2017, the USA's space program has two (2) functioning rovers on Mars, a spacecraft operating in orbit around Jupiter, a spacecraft operating in orbit around Saturn, a spacecraft operating in orbit around Ceres, a spacecraft on the way to its second encounter with a Kuiper belt object (after its flyby of Pluto), etc. If you want to review what the USA has done since the 1960's -- Since the 60's the USA has had successful missions to every planet in the Solar System, and orbiters around all of them from Mercury out to Saturn, plus five USA spacecraft are currently on their way out of the solar system. No other spacefaring nation will be able to say that anytime soon.

Comment Re:What Einstein figured out... (Score 2) 126

"What Einstein already figured out is that as you approach the speed of light, in your reference, time slows down" -- this is not quite correct. Time is as measured by an observer and the clocks in his co-moving reference frame ( let's stay with Special Relativity to avoid the complications of curved space-time). When the observer looks at any processes in a reference frame moving in relation to his, he sees those other clocks as running slow, BUT another observer in the other reference frame sees the original observer's clocks as running slow, too. Nobody sees their own clocks as running slow. The apparent paradox is resolved by remembering that the two observers don't measure the same distances either. The good example is the muons generated by cosmic rays in the upper atmosphere which are seen at the earth's surface, even though their rest frame half lives are too short for them to survive all the way to the surface. As observed by us at the surface the muon half-lives have been lengthened, their time has "slowed down", but as seen by the muon, it's half life is always the same, but because of the relative speed between it and the earth, it observes that the distance from creation to the surface is relativistically shortened so it has plenty of time before decay to travel that short distance. I don't want to speculate much about the photon traveling at the speed of light -- but to abuse the math -- they don't age as observed by anyone else, but any distance they go is relativistically shortened to zero from their reference -- I'm uneasy about that explanation.

Comment Re:As usual (Score 1) 188

I'll defer to anyone who knows better, but my understanding is that non-zero neutrino rest masses do not contradict the Quantum Electrodynamics or Quantum Chromodynamics upon which the Standard Model is based. The elementary particle masses (electron, muon, neutrinos, quarks, etc) are not predicted by any of those or the Standard Model, but are free parameters determined by experiment for now. Thus the Model is incomplete, but accurate up to it's level of completeness. But my point is that at the level it is now it provides a very good model/quantitative predictions of "how radioactive decay really works or even seemingly random subatomic particle type changes" which the grandparent cavalierly dismisses. Of course when someone uses the phrase "really works" then we get into philosophical discussions which science doesn't address.

Comment Re:As usual (Score 1) 188

Who modded this up? Come on mods! Really? --> "This time around it's even funnier considering we have next to no idea how radioactive decay really works or even seemingly random subatomic particle type changes." Anyone ever heard of Quantum Field Theory, Quantum Electrodynamics, and Quantum Chromodynamics? The theories of particle decays and reactions with none ever observed violations and which the LHC has spent billions of Euros to find flaws or way to improve without success so far.

Comment Re:Justice. (Score 3, Insightful) 188

Stellar fusion is a whole different subject than artificial fusion. You're right that fusion output per volume or weight is quite low in stars, but that is because the fusion being done is essentially four bare protons to helium4 which must evidently (I'm too lazy to look it up) include at least one reaction in the chain with an extremely low cross section. Actually it states in the article you linked that the slow reaction in the sun's Proton-proton reaction is the first one (proton + proton -> deuteron [H1 + H1 -> H2]). No artificial fusion schemes (low or high energy, serious or crackpot) ever consider using H1 as a fuel. They all start with isotopes much, much easier to fuse (usually deuterium, tritium, or helium3). And we do have an example of a high yield artificial fusion technique -- the thermonuclear weapons, which obviously are many orders of magnitude more powerful per kilogram than stars (I know most of their yield is usually fission, but they do produce a significant positive yield from fusion).

Comment Re:The Desperation of the Left (Score 1) 715

Every time there is a presidential election, the losing party is declared dead and the winning party is declared forever ascendant. Remember the "permanent Republican majority" after Bush won twice? Or the "demography is destiny" after Obama won twice? Neither one lasted. And the strange situation about the Democrats in this election -- their presidential candidate won more votes than the Republican, by a lot, and their Senate candidates in aggregate won more votes than the Republicans. It doesn't seem that indicates they will be permanent losers, sooner or later the popular vote numbers will have to have an effect.

Comment Re:I'm keeping my truck (Score 1) 292

"I've just wanted one since high school when my friend had one. Maybe now, I can get it and have a fun car to bounce around town in." -- well, in that case go for it. I go to Ebay Motors from time to time and check out the 2nd gen Trans-Ams. The '73 (the first year of the screaming chicken) would be my personal favorite. On thing to consider, and it violates your wanting the round headlights, is that on the stock suspension, Pontiac really improved them with the WS6 package and 8 inch wheels starting in '78, then the four wheel disks came around in '79. You could drive one of those stock and it would feel fine, and with the T/A 400 engine wouldn't feel that down on power, but they are rare now. The last one I had was the '81 Turbo (in the mid-90s), which had no power but was a fun car with T-Tops. If it were me I'd get an '81 and put an LS-1 in it. But that is all a matter of taste. Good luck in your project and hurry up because I've noticed the number of nice ones on Ebay is noticeably less now than a few years ago.

Comment Re:I'm keeping my truck (Score 1) 292

"A little work on the suspension, and you've got modern handling." -- not with a '76 Trans Am. Those second gen Firebirds and Camaros had very twisty (opposite of stiff) bodies -- the front and rear suspensions were tied together through the not stiff body via rubber biscuit connectors. Especially if you get a T-Top car the body is weak. I had a hot rodder friend complain about that when he did drop a torquey big block Chevy into a t-top Trans-Am. You could do stuff like weld in subframe connectors, etc, but those rubber biscuits were put in there by the factory for a reason -- NVH (noise, vibration, and harshness). And that mid-20th century recirculating ball steering gear is not going to ever feel like a 21st century rack and pinon. There have been 40 years of very expensive engineering in automotive bodies and suspensions since 1976 -- it shows. I'm a big fan of 2nd gen Firebirds and owned three of them -- a '70 Formula 400, a '78 WS-6 T/A 400 Trans Am, and a '81 Turbo Trans-Am, but they are outclassed in every way now (except their awesome styling, but the '73 was the best for that).
And no carbureted engine will provide the throttle response and street flexibility that a 21st century fuel injected, computer engine does, but that's a different story.
I saw a story in one of the enthusiast magazines a couple of years back where they spent some real money and took a '70 Challenger T/A (the best one) and tried to get it up to the performance spec of a new Challenger R/T -- they couldn't.

Comment Re:Hillary lost because people don't like her (Score 1) 335

What you said is true, but at the risk of igniting derision in many subsequent comments, Hillary also lost because the American system of presidential elections (for better or worse) weights some votes more than others so that the winner of the popular vote loses the election. This has been endlessly 'litigated' on /. but the fact remains that some people's votes don't count as much as others in the presidential elections and Hillary got the majority of the lower weighted voters. In total more people 'liked her' than they did the 'winner'. And no one rational says those were 'millions of illegal votes'.

Comment Re:Electoral college does reflect the popular vote (Score 1) 1430

California has a booming (up 4.2% in 2015, twice the national rate), diverse economy which is larger than all but five of the nations in the world (bigger than France, Brazil or India). It's economy is one and half times bigger than that of the next state (Texas). Seems to be doing fine, and, unlike some other one trick ponies, it won't go under if crude oil prices stay low.

Comment Re:Yes, but it doesn't matter (Score 3, Insightful) 1430

We've got eight counties in Texas with less than 1000 residents, I'm sure they all went for Trump. On the other hand, Texas has five counties with over a million residents (Harris, Dallas, Tarrant, Bexar and Travis). Of those, four of the five went for Clinton. That's in TEXAS. Measuring wins by county is crap unless you are giving the vote to cows and sagebrush. If you do want to rank votes by counties, then measured by economic output, Clinton won the counties nationwide which account for 64% of the USA's economic output (http://www.denverpost.com/2016/11/25/presidential-election-economic-split/). So the counties which are actually producing in this country went for Clinton.

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