top Book Review: Money: The Unauthorized Biography
Good points, but you are using faulty numbers to dispute #2. Unemployment is down only if you exclude those that dropped out of the labor force. But that may (probably) can't be blamed solely on the administration. I'm looking at the Fed for pumping money into banks, and banks not lending the money out to small businesses (which has pushed the market up somewhat).
Being a puppet for Wall Street? Sure, that seems like a valid criticism. Of this and every other administration in recent times, I suppose.
top Obamacare Could Help Fuel a Tech Start-Up Boom
The answer to this is a MSA + a high deductible insurance plan. You use the MSA to cover smaller expenses and the insurance plan for situations like yours (which sounds like it was bad).
The added benefit of an MSA is that it causes people to shop around a little.
Insurance is not a bad thing by any stretch. Even that dream of single payer is really just an national insurance plan. It starts to get problematic when large numbers of people want insurance to cover smaller issues ("insurance covers birth control? I want my Viagra free!"). This leads to the costs going up on everyone.
top Obamacare Could Help Fuel a Tech Start-Up Boom
But... The affordable healthcare act is NOT universal healthcare. It mandates that everyone has coverage (with a penalty for those who do not), but it doesn't do anything in terms of guaranteeing it.
This article sounds like someone trying to find some positive tech angle for a piece of legislation.
It may help lower costs (or increase them), but that is something we will see soon enough.
top Supreme Court Overturns Defense of Marriage Act
What would be the point? Gay people would still want both in order to have full equality. Some churches are happy to marry gay couples.
Goes along the lines of group membership...
All citizens of a country should operate under the same rules. Hence, having a 'domestic partnership' for all citizens can work if the majority want that.
However, not all citizens are members of the same faith. If a person wants to have their religious union honored, they can either a) change religions, or b) change the religion they follow. But it is preferred that you still remain a member of that religion if you go for b).
about a year and a half ago
top SXSW: Nate Silver Discusses Data Bias, the Strangeness of Fame
I think Silver stands out because unlike too many modern American politicians, he is interested in the facts, and not what bullshit he can use the data to support.
So it's not so much that he's done a fantastic job figuring all this out, it's just that he's fucking honest about the results unlike a certain perpetually-deluded political party I'm sick of naming.
You are only thinking of one perpetually deluded political party? I have the opposite experience. I can't name a political party/organization that wasn't perpetually deluded.
top How the U.S. Sequester Will Hurt Science and Tech
I'm sorry, but if a 2% cut to expenditure is crippling, then the system deserves to fail.
Know what a government with 2% less money looks like? Take a look at the budget from 2010. That's what it looks like.
I know, using the 2010 budget for 2013. Complete madness! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_federal_budget#Total_outlays_in_recent_budget_submissions
If you are really brave, take a look at the budget from 2001 (Clinton). 1.9 trillion.
top Using Graph Theory To Predict NCAA Tournament Outcomes
That may work for pro sports, but not for college sports. In fact, because teams usually lose their nucleus after winning it all (players declare for the draft), it is rare for a team to make it to the final game two or more years in a row.
top US Report Sees Perils To America's Tech Future
Except that it was signed under the Clinton Administration. True, Bush (the elder) did start the whole thing, but Clinton came into office, made some changes, and endorsed it.
top Feds Call Full-Tilt Poker a 'Global Ponzi Scheme'
Invested in the US government? Really? I guess you are making a semantic argument, but then people in the press wouldn't refer to SS going into "red"... meaning that it is paying out more than it is taking in.
In the commonly used definition of an investment, the institution does not/can not go into the red and remain viable. If it does, then that means it has failed, and everybody loses their money.
Your definition of investment seems more in line with Bernie Madoff's.
top American Grant Writing: Race Matters
I agree with the parent. There is no reason for a reviewer to know the authors names/university affiliations. Only the editors should be allowed this information. Are there any journals that follow this practice?
top Technology Blamed For Helping UK Rioters
With a weakened social safety net, rampant unemployment, eastern-european migrants taking over the few remaining jobs and the super-rich from abroad (mostly the middle east) causing housing prices to skyrocket...
It also has nothing to do with the looting of the public done by the banksters and their enablers, the politicians.
Finally, the Met police are trusted and can't be blamed for the vandals and looter's complete despise for the actions of the law enforcement... it's not the fault of the police that they are unaccountable.
That's no justification to smash the shops and cars of people mostly unrelated to the issues you cited.
Don't try to say that there is a reason for this. Marches/sit-ins/hunger-strikes are peaceful, noble forms of expression. Rioting is juvenile and only hurts your fellow citizens.
top X-Men: First Class
Halle Berry would have been too young to show up in this film. Had Storm been one of the first class members, she would be in her late forties/early fifties when they shift to present day stories. Wolverine and Mystique both age slowly, so they can make cameos without breaking continuity.
top War Over Arsenic Based Life
"Independent Judgment. When requested to provide advice on a particular issue, the IAC assembles an
international panel of experts. Serving on a voluntary basis, panel members meet and review current, cutting-edge knowledge on the topic; and prepare a draft report on its findings, conclusions, and recommendations. All IAC draft reports undergo an intensive process of peer-review by other international experts. Only when the IAC Board is satisfied that feedback from the peer review has been thoughtfully considered and incorporated is a final report released to the requesting organization and the public. Every effort is made to ensure that IAC reports are free from any national or regional bias",
But then again, THAT report was only signed by 2500 scientists...
Right, nothing ever gets past the IPCC...
top Large Scale 24/7 Solar Power Plant To Be Built in Nevada
So the plant is suppose to produce 480,000 MWh per year which works out to an average capacity of 55 MW. So we get 0.8 permanent employees per MW.
At slashdot's favorite nuclear power plant Vermont Yankee, there are more that 650 employees for a plant that does not manage to run at 620 MW all that well. Let's give them 80% up time. That is 1.3 employees per MW.
Nuclear power seems less efficient than solar power by this measure. Maybe nuclear power is just a "make work" type jobs program which actually hurts the economy overall.
Couple of issues:
1) The solar plant is still a PROJECT. So the claim of MW generated and number of employees needed are estimates. They may be accurate, but it is not fair to compare estimates against an existing installation.
2) Generational differences. Comparing an existing nuclear plant to a to-be-built solar plant is unfair. You should compare the solar plant to a to-be built or recently built nuclear plant so that the nuke can also benefit from the same technological advancements.
I'm a big fan of solar, but this type of comparison is not proper.
Similar to how chip manufacturers will compare an existing competitors chip to the theoretical performance of one of their future processors.
top Is The U.S. Becoming Anti-Science?
It goes a little deeper than just yes and no.
The current climate of the US is shifting away from valuing science and logic. And it is not solely because of the religious right. Look at the dwindling numbers of US-born science majors in universities. Science is just not that popular. (But was it ever really cool?) Look at the reaction to Dr. Summers of Harvard when he put forth a HYPOTHESIS about the small percentage of women in science. He got butchered. When you look at our society, you can see that people have very bad reactions to ideas that don't fit into their own framework of how the world works. This shouldn't be surprising; humans have been this way for long time. What has changed, however, is that now, people start responding to these challenging ideas, not with logic or reason, but emotional arguments. This happens on both sides. The only difference is that the religous are easy targets.
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