×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Kepler-186f: Most 'Earth-Like' Alien World Discovered

KingOfBLASH Re:Great, now all we need to do... (233 comments)

(Not trolling here but curious)

Why?

So I get that when you get closer to c you need exponentially more energy to accelerate.

But what if we just got to 0.25c. That's only 2,000 years to destination, and totally doable I would guess

3 days ago
top

I expect to retire ...

KingOfBLASH Re:Nope (266 comments)

If it's true life expectancy hasn't changed but you're just healthier in your golden years, why did they extend the mortality tables out to 120 instead of 100?

I see an argument with no facts to back it up, trying to counter an argument with facts backing it up.

3 days ago
top

I expect to retire ...

KingOfBLASH Re:I expected to retire at 57 and I did (266 comments)

Yes, but is it maintainable?

Unions work only when they control the supply of labor. As the auto unions have shown, if that labor starts going to China, unionized shops are no longer profitable, and it's entirely possibly your benefits could be cut. That's even worse then a crappy retirement benefit: being 80 and having your benefit cut.

Although, admittedly it's much better than the no benefit most of us get

3 days ago
top

I expect to retire ...

KingOfBLASH Re:As soon as possible (266 comments)

If your life is so miserable that you can't wait till the few years you have left on earth (where health problems may prevent you from spending whatever nest egg you've saved on fun, or perhaps take it) perhaps you should consider a different career.

3 days ago
top

I expect to retire ...

KingOfBLASH Re:Age is a problem (266 comments)

You didn't read my post, or didn't understand it. The actuarial tables are forward looking.

While you may have had grandparents die at or before 72, the MEAN of the POPULATION GOING FORWARD has increased, and the TAILS OF THE DISTRIBUTION are now farther out.

The actuarial tables also take into account how healthy your grandparents are. Were they obese chain smokers? Might be a reason they didn't live past 72.

So, YMMV.

You can of course stop being so lazy and google the mortality tables yourself. Here.

http://www.soa.org/research/ex...

3 days ago
top

Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

KingOfBLASH Re:But what is a militia? (1583 comments)

Yeah but why?

Seems to me they might as well start passing other laws like declaring the blue of the sky is the blue between 450 and 495nm, and no other blue will be considered blue.

4 days ago
top

I expect to retire ...

KingOfBLASH Age is a problem (266 comments)

So actually one of the biggest problems facing the retirement industry is the increasing age of death.

50 years ago, the actuarial tables of mortality went to 100. All annuity and life insurance payouts were based on them, and it assume all the population would be dead at 100. If you were lucky enough to live to 100, your life insurance policy would "mature" and you would collect the value of it, tax free.

These days, thanks to increases in medical care, too many people have been living past 100. So they've revise the tables, and extended them out till 120. That was a decade ago (maybe more).

As medical technology gets better (and it's constantly getting better) you're going to have people living longer and longer, with better quality of life. This is going to push mortality (statistically speaking) out further and further.

That is, unfortunately unsustainable with our current standards of retirements. It used to be if you actually drew on social security and your pension, you were so worn out from working that you could expect maybe 5 years of "golden years." Now people are drawing down their pensions for 20, 30, 40 years!

We simply haven't budgeted enough for that sort of retirement. Expect that in 10-20 years "retirement" becomes a privilege for the rich (as in when Mark Zuckerburg became a billionaire he could retire). The rest of us will keep working until our bodies are worn out (maybe we'll stop thinking in terms of a retirement benefit and more in terms of a disability benefit).

4 days ago
top

Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

KingOfBLASH Re:But what is a militia? (1583 comments)

Why would they even need to pass such a law?

4 days ago
top

Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

KingOfBLASH Re:Militia, then vs now (1583 comments)

Good luck with that

4 days ago
top

San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

KingOfBLASH Re:Simple problem, simple solution (359 comments)

Well that's an interesting issue (and quite controversial here as well).

One friend of mine works as a dental assistant, and lives in social housing. She takes home maybe 2000 a month after taxes, maybe less, so if she didn't have social housing she couldn't afford to live in Amsterdam, anywhere.

Another friend of mine works at a bank. He now makes quite a bit of money, but keeps his social housing and basically gets to bank an extra few hundred a month due to his social housing status.

4 days ago
top

Google Looked Into Space Elevator, Hoverboards, and Teleportation

KingOfBLASH Re:Effectiveness of a space elevator. (98 comments)

You might read my whole post before commenting, I quote (myself):

Plus "climbers" are envisioned to come in multiple forms and be able to pass each other. You might have a "human transport climber" that ascends at 20km / h but is unable to hold more than a few people and crew and a cargo climber that is bigger but slower.

Maybe I am a bit off on my numbers of height / speed but IANASEE (I am not a space elevator engineer) but it would appear the SEEs have done the number crunching already :)

4 days ago
top

Google Looked Into Space Elevator, Hoverboards, and Teleportation

KingOfBLASH Re:Effectiveness of a space elevator. (98 comments)

Low earth orbit is only about 200 km in space. Even if you're talking about a speed of 1 km per day you'll still be able to deliver payloads to LEO within the year. Rockets still exist with their $25k per kg fee for stuff you need in space NOW but the space elevator has the ability to bring things into space at a much cheaper rate (maybe $300 / kg)

Plus "climbers" are envisioned to come in multiple forms and be able to pass each other. You might have a "human transport climber" that ascends at 20km / h but is unable to hold more than a few people and crew and a cargo climber that is bigger but slower.

Wikipedia, as always, is a good starting point:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S...

4 days ago
top

Google Looked Into Space Elevator, Hoverboards, and Teleportation

KingOfBLASH Re:City within a Building (98 comments)

Lifetime is not an issue.

Just look at the Empire State Building. 80 years old and nobody's going to demolish it. Or the flatiron building. 115 years old, no problems there.

Construction can be done in such a way that an arcology can last. That's not an issue.

I'm more likely to ask WHY? Given if things with climate change do go downhill it could be our last resort but why do it if it's not necessary?

4 days ago
top

San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

KingOfBLASH Re:Simple problem, simple solution (359 comments)

I see the benefits and the drawbacks of both. The dutch idea is that they want to keep neighborhoods intact. So, gentrification doesn't happen really. I look at the north end in Boston as a great example: none of the ethnic italians (who are mostly all very old at this point) can afford to keep their places so it's becoming a sort of italian themed area (and not an Italian area).

On the other hand, the policies of the government make it VERY hard to find a place to live. Once you have one, you're golden, but getting one can take months. And it's not uncommon to have emergency situations where people are unable to find a place to live.

4 days ago
top

San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

KingOfBLASH Re:Simple problem, simple solution (359 comments)

This is a similar reason why I would never live in NYC (and think twice about Boston). Housing just costs too damned much. And worse, if housing costs a lot all the other living expenses cost more. Groceries charge more because they pay higher rent, ditto for any other basic needs..

5 days ago
top

How Apple's CarPlay Could Shore Up the Car Stereo Industry

KingOfBLASH Re:Burned once (193 comments)

I'm sad to say I have to agree with Curunir... Apple has this nasty habit of breaking adapters for reasons I can't understand and then failing to provide a way to intermingle the old and new ones without buying a new computer. The new magsafe adaptors come to mind.

5 days ago
top

How Apple's CarPlay Could Shore Up the Car Stereo Industry

KingOfBLASH Re:People need to grow the fuck up (193 comments)

Ahhh but it's not just because it's shiny. Apple is so easy my mom actually bought an iPhone on her own and managed to get all kinds of apps. She wouldn't have been able to do that with Android and don't get me started on what happened when she brought home a PC laptop. (She's been a mac user for probably 7 years but the salesman somehow convinced her to go with a PC, based on price, he sold her a shitty little netbook with the new windows. After 7 years of no computer questions I had to resume my role as her tech support).

They're that easy because they spend a lot of time researching how to be easy to use.

It doesn't matter if a system is technically superior if it is inaccessible to users or hard to understand.

Don't believe me? Well ten years ago on slashdot I heard similar statements about how people should start using Sparcstations or whatever technology was better than the status quo. Despite the better design of the Sparc processors, Intel won. Despite the benefits of Linux / FOSS, most people still use Windows.

Sad people are so misguided, I know, but it's an unfortunate truth about humanity.

5 days ago
top

How Apple's CarPlay Could Shore Up the Car Stereo Industry

KingOfBLASH Re:If Apple infotainment is great why dont we see (193 comments)

If Apple infotainment is great why don't we see it in the airplanes.

How exactly would this work? You'd be able to airplay GPS to the screen in front of you for a turn by turn play?

While it would be great if all cars used some sort of standard system, for now I'm happy they're using any kind of standard.

In a few years time, either Android phones will start having an iPhone compatibility mode, or a standard will emerge.

(Frankly I don't know which will happen since both have happened in the past)

5 days ago
top

San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

KingOfBLASH Re:Simple problem, simple solution (359 comments)

This doesn't even need to mean high-rises; European cities manage population densities far higher than U.S. cities with buildings that are mostly 5 stories or less.

I live in Europe and you might find our way of managing population density a bit, well, shall we say unamerican?

In Amsterdam, the local municipality decides how much rent you're allowed to charge in flats. It goes by a points system. Say a shower will be one point, while a bathtub will be 5. Add up all the points and you determine whether you are in a luxury (free market) apartment or social housing.

If you're luxury housing, you can charge whatever the market will bear, up to a point based on the luxury apartment formula.

If you're social housing, only social housing tenants may live in the apartment. Social housing rents are subsidized and they are VERY low. Like say $400 for an apartment in city center. The social housing buildings are owned by non-profits whose sole purpose is to provide social housing.

Now you might think this is similar to the US, but here's where it gets a little different than the US (and a bit unamerican).

Social housing income thresholds are very high, something like the equivalent of $100k a year in the US. Yup, that's right, social housing is designed not just for the poor but the middle class. You might miss having a bathtub, but you won't mind when you live in the city center and don't have to pay ridiculous rent. Of course, to get in social housing you'll need to apply and wait a few years for a vacancy to open up. You can apply once you're 18, I suggest doing as the dutch do, applying once you go off to University. Then, by the time you look for a job, you'll already have a slot. Or you might find an emergency. For instance, if you were just divorced and living in your ex's house maybe you have a reason for priority.

Of course maybe you don't want to pick the city you live in when you're in college, or you made a bad choice. You still have options. "Luxury" apartment rents are capped based on a certain formula. You can get a much higher rent from a luxury apartment, but you'll never be able to charge above a certain rate. So even though you might pay a lot of rent, you won't pay as much as in America. (My 2 bedroom "luxury apartment" rent in Amsterdam, walking distance to city center, is less than the rent on my 1 bedroom apartment was when I lived in Boston -- and I could only afford to live in a suburb, Malden, almost at the end of the orange line).

And, if you were smart and applied when you were 18, you may be able to rent out your "social housing" apartment, and rent a new apartment in your new city with the money. It's technically illegal, but as any economist will tell you, when you apply artificial constraints to supply or price a booming black market is sure to follow.

And "Living Fraud" is a big crime here and there's actually police who check to see if you're following the laws.

Additionally, because of the artificial constraints on rent you can forget about property values reflecting what you could get without these controls. After all, who will pay $1 million for an apartment when you can rent an apartment for $400 a month?

Still want to import European housing policies to the good old USA? The good news is you won't need to hire new police officers you can just maybe reassign DEA agents when you get a more sensible drug policy.

5 days ago
top

IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

KingOfBLASH Re:This happened to my wife (630 comments)

Then why is there an article about this happening 2 weeks ago?

5 days ago

Submissions

Journals

top

Free GMail Invites

KingOfBLASH KingOfBLASH writes  |  more than 9 years ago

When I read slashdot, I will often see signatures with a line that reads "For a free GMail invite, do $silly_or_annoying_task." Since I have 5 available GMail invites, and no one I know seems to want them, I have decided to pose my own challenge to people looking for a gmail invite:

My username for GMail is the nick name for a charachter, Vautrin, from one of Honore de Balzac's books. If you know the nickname, and email it@gmail.com, and you're right, I'll send you a free gmail invite to your email address. This is a first come first serve basis, good luck!

Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...