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Comments

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New Global Plan Would Crack Down On Corporate Tax Avoidance

LynnwoodRooster Re:Rather than address the underlying problem (315 comments)

I see - average over a 20 year period compared to the average over a 5 year period. Perhaps try equalizing the timelines?

yesterday
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New Global Plan Would Crack Down On Corporate Tax Avoidance

LynnwoodRooster Re:Rather than address the underlying problem (315 comments)

And may I repeat: Historically low total tax as a percentage of GDP. Far lower than during the 50's and 60's, when we experienced the fastest sustained GDP growth rate of any first world country *ever*. So any Laffer Curve argument you want to make would just make you sound ignorant.

Really? Doesn't seem that that far out of line. Now taxation per capita, adjusted for inflation, is way up. And spending is even growing faster...

2 days ago
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High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

LynnwoodRooster Re:Great one more fail (583 comments)

Nevertheless - equal or MORE uses for defense than for offense. And as far as "2A absolutists", what other rights are you willing to sacrifice as not absolute?

3 days ago
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High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

LynnwoodRooster Re:Great one more fail (583 comments)

See page 8 of the PDF: 235,000 violent crimes, 103,000 property crimes. Total of 338,000 uses over 5 years, about 67,000 per year.

3 days ago
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High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

LynnwoodRooster Re: Great one more fail (583 comments)

But it if takes 15 seconds to recognize your fingerprints and unlock...

3 days ago
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High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

LynnwoodRooster Re:Great one more fail (583 comments)

How long does it take to recognize and unlock? I know the GlobalEntry kiosk at US Customs takes a solid 5-10 seconds...

4 days ago
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High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

LynnwoodRooster Re:Great one more fail (583 comments)

Would you accept a report by the anti-gun Violence Policy Center that concludes there are 67,000 valid defensive uses of a firearm each year, making it slightly more likely that a firearm will be used for defense rather than for committing a crime? Reality probably lives somewhere between the points (VPC and NRA), but in either case - it's more than the criminal use of firearms.

4 days ago
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iPhone 6 Sales Crush Means Late-Night Waits For Some Early Adopters

LynnwoodRooster Re:Conspiracy theory (222 comments)

You do know the iPhone 6 will be the #1 selling phone this quarter, the 5s will be #2 (due to timing) and 6s will be #3 because of the limited delay.

Yep! And for every iPhone that Apple sells, Samsung will sell 2 to 3 smartphones...

5 days ago
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X-Class Solar Flare Coming Friday

LynnwoodRooster Re:Made in America (145 comments)

Based on your UID, you were around when it was steam and gaslight, right?

about a week ago
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To Really Cut Emissions, We Need Electric Buses, Not Just Electric Cars

LynnwoodRooster Re:Super-capacitors? (486 comments)

Instead of firms like Solyndra, how about firms that don't go bankrupt?

about a week ago
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To Really Cut Emissions, We Need Electric Buses, Not Just Electric Cars

LynnwoodRooster Re:Batteries? Seriously? (486 comments)

As one of the ACs mentioned, the wires are 'ugly'.

So don't do wires - just put a high-voltage rail in the ground instead of a wire. Sure, we lose a few people not smart enough to NOT touch the third rail - but that would also serve to eliminate overcrowding on buses as well. Win-win!

about a week ago
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3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

LynnwoodRooster Re:Anthropometrics (813 comments)

And most first-class seats are "zero clearance" style, like modern recliners. You can tilt back, but the seat also moves forward when you do, so the net effect is no change to the space behind the seat.

about two weeks ago
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Protesters Blockade Microsoft's Seattle Headquarters Over Tax Breaks

LynnwoodRooster Cuts, you say? (246 comments)

Microsoft shareholders have pocketed more than $5.34 billion in tax savings as Washington State social services and schools have taken huge cuts.

Curious, when has the Washington State budget dropped at a rate less than inflation? When have receipts caused a deficit? If social services and schools are cut, it's not from a lack of revenue - it's the slime in Olympia deciding to change priorities and then use "we don't have enough money left for schools!" to try to extort even more dollars out of the taxpayers. There is plenty of funds for social services and schools - the problem is that Olympia (the Legislature AND the Governor) don't have the intestinal fortitude to actually prioritize as the State Constitution requires.

about two weeks ago
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3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

LynnwoodRooster Re:Anthropometrics (813 comments)

I take it you will choose not to recline your own seat as well?

about two weeks ago
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3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

LynnwoodRooster Re:Anthropometrics (813 comments)

Hi there. You don't know me, but Alaska Airlines and Cathay Pacific certainly do. I've maintained MVP Gold (and, since 2011 when the new tier started, MVP Gold 75K - 75,000+ miles per year) on Alaska, and Diamond (120,000+ miles per year) on Cathay Pacific for the last 9 years. About 2 million miles in less than a decade. I fly a bit... In fact, I just got back from Hong Kong, on CX882 that arrived this afternoon in Los Angeles.

I am curious about your claim of only 1 airline offering your flight. What city do you arrive in, Internationally? Short of North Korea, Turkmenistan (Tashkent Air really isn't that bad), or a handful of other fascist dictatorships, I can't think of an International city that would be served by just 1 airline.

As far as US travel goes, I can't remember the last time I bought a business/first class seat - exclusive buyer of economy here. And I cannot remember the last time I was NOT bumped up to business class (that's what comes with massive standing with the airlines). That means that, up to 2 days prior to my domestic departure, there were still business-class seats unsold - and they give them to high-mileage travelers like me, for free. If you want extra legroom, I suggest you consider buying extra legroom - it seems to be plentiful, at least on Alaska Air and Delta (Delta recognizes my status with Alaska) - my two choices for domestic flights.

As far as Asian flights, you must not mean any going into, out from, or within China. For example, China Southern flies A380s for some of its domestic flights, it has so many fliers. China Eastern, Xiamen Air, Shanghai Air, all pack out all the time. It does pay to buy business class in China - but it's relatively affordable.

about two weeks ago
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Alibaba's US IPO Could Top $20 Billion

LynnwoodRooster Re:Alibaba Is Useless (97 comments)

Except NO one uses "guizi", they use "laowai". SOURCE: living and working in Shanghai and neighboring provinces for most of the last decade. Not to mention what my Shanghainese wife and family say is customary...

about two weeks ago
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Alibaba's US IPO Could Top $20 Billion

LynnwoodRooster Re: Why? (97 comments)

Then that was actually illegal. The ONLY stock that can be given to Chinese nationals, working in China, is that of a company publicly traded on a Chinese stock exchange. No other stock transaction is actually legal. Now, many do it anyway (hey, TIC - This Is China), but it is illegal.

about two weeks ago
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Two Explorers Descend Into An Active Volcano, and Live to Tell About It

LynnwoodRooster We're worried about CO2 and global warming? (66 comments)

FTA: "In the belly of the beast, gases like carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and hydrochloric acid" HYDROCHLORIC ACID GAS? Screw the CO2, the last thing I want anywhere is air that literally eats you alive from the inside out!

about two weeks ago
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Alibaba's US IPO Could Top $20 Billion

LynnwoodRooster Re:Why? (97 comments)

Quick correction - foreigners CAN own Chinese companies. In fact, I own one - a Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise (called a "woofy"). You can own a company in China; what you cannot do is sell OR EVEN OFFER stock or options of a foreign company to any Chinese national. Meaning that foreign companies who provide stock options to their employees in the US or other countries cannot do that for their Chinese employees. That's about the only difference, however.

about two weeks ago
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Alibaba's US IPO Could Top $20 Billion

LynnwoodRooster Re:Alibaba Is Useless (97 comments)

Hangzhou is close to Shanghai, it's out of the Cantons. It's not "gwai lo", it's "lao wai". You're using Cantonese, not Mandarin (as you exhort the OP to learn). Perhaps you should learn a little yourself...

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Your flat panel is causing global warming

LynnwoodRooster LynnwoodRooster writes  |  more than 6 years ago

LynnwoodRooster (966895) writes "ABC News reports on a new study by Professor Michael Prather of UC which addresses the gas nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), a key component in the manufacture of flat panel displays. Also turns out this gas is 17,000 times worse that CO2 from a global warming perspective, is the next gas to be considered for Kyoto treatment.

The professor states "We don't know what's emitted, but what they're producing (of NF3) every year dwarfs these giant coal-fired power plants that are like the biggest in the world... It dwarfs two of the Kyoto gases. So the real question we don't know is how much is escaping and getting out."

Does this mean we have to go back to CRTs (oops, can't do that — lead and power consumption), or all the way back to punch cards (oops, trees needed)? What's an environmentally sensitive geek to do?"
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Google not evil? Not when it comes to money...

LynnwoodRooster LynnwoodRooster writes  |  more than 6 years ago

LynnwoodRooster (966895) writes "A local blogger writes: "So I was minding my own business Tuesday morning when I got an email from Google Adsense telling me they were disabling the ads on my site and my account with the company."



Seems something at Google thought he was "posing a risk" to their advertisers, and not only is he suspended but they're keeping the $600 he's earned in the last 4 months."
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Counterfeit Visa rate half that of XP

LynnwoodRooster LynnwoodRooster writes  |  more than 6 years ago

LynnwoodRooster (966895) writes "Channel Register in the UK reports that counterfeit Vista deployments are half that of XP. Maybe the "phone home" feature of Vista actually works to reduce software piracy. If this is the case, we can expect to see a hard, second look at including this feature in many more applications from most software companies."
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New carbon-based paper stronger than nanotubes

LynnwoodRooster LynnwoodRooster writes  |  more than 7 years ago

LynnwoodRooster writes "Science Magazine reports that a group from Northwestern University in Illinois has a new process for creating carbon-based paper that's stronger than nanotubes, and incredibly easy to use to make sheets of any desired sizes. Huge implications for aircraft, automobiles, and the ever-sought-after space elevator? Forget that, I want to make some new speaker cones with this technology..."
Link to Original Source

Journals

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There is no "consensus" on Anthropogenic Global Warming...

LynnwoodRooster LynnwoodRooster writes  |  about 7 years ago A review of the last few years of published climate change papers show that just 7% - seven percent! - of the 528 published papers explicitly support AGW. A nearly equal 6% explicitly DENOUCE AGW. And in fact, the vast majority of actual climate scientists are neutral - not sure if global warming is caused by man or not!

We need to take a LONG HARD LOOK at the whole pro-AGW cartel. And I use that word cartel appropriately - they are pushing to use laws, under the guise of "helping the environment", to mandate a massive transfer of wealth via carbon offsets, mandatory funding of new technologies and the like. Billions of dollars are being dedicated to AGW-mania with apparently little confidence by the scientists.

Apparently, Al Gore's "The Science is Settled!" is far from reality...

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Fun with GDP Figures...

LynnwoodRooster LynnwoodRooster writes  |  more than 7 years ago Much has been made of the Wikipedia entries showing relative GDP per capita; many point to the high GDP of Ireland and Norway as indicative that the the US economic engine really isn't that good and that a socialist approach is inherently superior.  However, I believe that rating really isn't worth much.  Making a lot is one thing; GETTING a lot is another!

Rather than just look at the GDP, or GDP per capita, I think a better index is what I call the Prosperity Index - factoring in purchasing power with that GDP.  It's one thing to make a ton of cash; it's another to pay very little.  I've seen this effect first-hand, when a friend left his $80K/year engineering job here in Seattle for a $145K/year job in San Jose.  His actual cost of living more than doubled, and after two years he moved back.  Why?  He actually keeps more by living here, paying less!

There's a VERY convenient measure of purchasing power: the Economist magazine's Big Mac Index - the BMI (see http://www.economist.com/markets/indicators/displaystory.cfm?story_id=8649005).  This index uses the price of a Big Mac to equalize the purchasing power of a dollar throughout the world.  It's been used for many years, and is actually a pretty good indicator of the cost of living throughout the world.

Taking that into account, we can divide the GDP per capita by the BMI and end up with the Prosperity Index - a measure of the buying power (essentially relative effective income) per person.

Without further ado, here's the table for selected countries (significant political/development countries where I could find individual ratings for both GDP and the BMI):

Country        GDP        BMI   Prosperity
-------     ----------   -----  -----------
Japan       $34,188.00   $2.31  14800.00000
USA         $44,190.00   $3.22  13723.60248
Australia   $36,553.00   $2.67  13690.26217
Canada      $38,951.00   $3.08  12646.42857
Norway      $72,306.00   $6.63  10905.88235
Denmark     $50,965.00   $4.84  10529.95868
Switzerland $51,771.00   $5.05  10251.68317
Britain     $39,213.00   $3.90  10054.61538
Sweden      $42,383.00   $4.59   9233.76906
EU          $29,476.00   $3.82   7716.23036
Iceland     $54,858.00   $7.44   7373.38709
South Korea $18,392.00   $3.08   5971.42857
Russia       $6,856.00   $1.85   3705.94594
Malaysia     $5,718.00   $1.57   3642.03821
Chile        $8,864.00   $3.07   2887.29641
China        $2,001.00   $1.41   1419.14893

Of interest is that Japan leads the way; the Yen is really quite strong, and the GDP is quite healthy.

The US comes in at number 2, probably not a shock to many.

What will be shocking is that the EU and European countries in general fall so far.  Well down the list, well past Canada and Australia.  For example, Norway - mighty in the GDP ratings - tumbles to nearly 21% below the US, and 14% below Canada.  So that high GDP really doesn't bring a lot of economic purchasing power; it simply takes more money to live in Norway.

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The myth of Anthropogenic Global Warming

LynnwoodRooster LynnwoodRooster writes  |  more than 7 years ago or How I learned to stop worrying and understand it's the big Mr. Fusion in the sky.

The current "consensus" is that climate change - what used to be known as Global Warming, until it was found that the globe, in fact, was not warming - is a result of man. Our use of fossil fuels is the problem. Our use of electricity via hydro/wind/solar is the problem. Our mere existence is the problem. As Dave Forman, founder of Earth First! states: Phasing out the human race will solve every problem on earth, social and environmental. Or, a Pogo put it, we have met the enemy and he is us .

So I got to thinking. I took a stroll outside one day, and as I leaned back in the grass, a bright idea popped into my head. Maybe the Sun, that Mr. Fusion in the sky, is really the source of the problem?

So I went looking, and lo and behold found out this little nugget: the Sun's output has increased by 0.05% per decade since the late 1970s.

Now, that may not sound like a lot; in fact, a 0.05% change is downright tiny! But being the engineer that I am, and having some free time with my ancient-but-functional HP28S calculator, I started to figure out some numbers (follow along with the RPN calculations).

For starters, how much output does the Sun really give to the Earth? Well, apparently the Sun puts out about 1400W per square meter here on this ball we call home. Meaning an increase of 0.05% per decade amounts to (1400 0.05 100 / *) 0.7W per square meter additional over that decade. Not much, eh?

Well, let's see what that is when spread over the entire Earth. How big is that? Well, the surface are of the Earth is about 510 million square kilometers. But of course we DO have night, so that at any time half of that is radiated by the sun. Meaning we have (510 2 /) 255 million square kilometers of surface that's irradiated by the Sun. Oh, and there are 1 million square meters per square kilometer (a kilometer being 1000 meters, a square kilometer is 1000 meters long by 1000 meters wide - (1000 1000 *).

So, we have 1 million square meters per square kilometer. And we have 0.7W more output per decade per square meter. Meaning we have (0.7 1000 1000 * *) 700 kW more output per square kilometer per decade. Note that this is about the same as 700 US households. Or to use a more interesting reference, about 35 Goreholds.

Now, take that 0.7 MW of power increase per square kilometer, and multiply it by the 255 million square kilometers illuminated by the sun. We end up with (0.7 1000000 255 1000000 * * *) about 1.8 million Mega Watts of additional power; this is actually 1.8 Tera Watts of power, a rather rarely used prefix for a REALLY BIG NUMBER. For those in the Pacific Northwest, this is about 285 Grand Coulee Dams (with the dam doing 6300 MW peak output). That's a LOT of extra power.

And of course, that increase has happened for the last three decades, meaning that what we're receiving now is about 5.4 Tera Watts more power than we received in the late 1970s. Suddenly that little 0.05% change doesn't seem so innocuous, does it?

But how does that shape up compared to what the Evil Homo sapiens do? Surely we're a LOT worse! I mean, 5.4 TW is a lot of power, so how do we rate? Well, apparently not as good... Even with 6 billion of us doing our thing, we only consumed an average of 1.7 TW of power in 2001, meaning we're about 30% of what the Sun puts out. Oh, and that's TOTAL ELECTRICAL USAGE of the WORLD.

So apparently the Sun's small increase just over the last three decades has more than TRIPLED the total power delivered to the Earth than the evil Mankind uses. And note that there was considerable electrical usage prior to 1975 as well, so our actual increase since 1975 is a LOT less than what the Sun's done.

So leaning back on the grass as the warm rays of the Mr. Fusion in the sky fell on my pasty white skin (I am an engineer, after all), it became pretty clear to me. I guess we can argue about the CO2 belching cars or volcanoes or the number of termite farts, be my guest, but me? I think I'll just sit here and enjoy the extra output from the Sun right now and feel a little bit more at ease knowing that, barring some evil billionaire's attempts to block out the sun, it's that Mr. Fusion up there, and there's not much we can do about it.

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Thoughts on the Middle East conflict

LynnwoodRooster LynnwoodRooster writes  |  more than 7 years ago The current "conventional wisdom" is that the whole Middle East issue is the fault of the US. We created it, we're the source of the Arab/Israeli conflict, we're the creator of Al Qaeda, we're the fountainhead of all ills in that troubled region. Any action on our part can do nothing but further foment hatred toward the US.

In essence, we're damned if we do, we're damned if we don't.

We're hated for not continuing support of the Afghanistan government after the threat of the USSR went away, letting a civil war erupt.

We're hated because we're still in Iraq at the behest of their government to try to avoid a civil war.

We're hated for letting Saddam invade Kuwait and threaten Saudi Arabia.

We're hated for staying in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait after the first Gulf War to protect from Saddam repeating his invasion of Kuwait.

We're hated for having an official policy of regime change in Iraq.

We're hated for not helping the locals change the regime in Iraq.

We're hated for finally executing regime change in Iraq.

Damned if we do, damned if we don't.

Seems to me that no matter what we do we're hated. That's the central thread we're dealing with - irrational hatred of anything "Western" or "non-Arabic Muslim". And when we abide by the customs of their country - women covered up, no alcohol, stop work 5 times a day, no images of people, even leaving Bibles at home - we're still hated as infidels and invaders.

As far as the whole Israel/Palestine conflict goes, why isn't the hatred directed at the UN? They set up Israel, and didn't follow through on setting up an Arab state of Palestine. Israel would NOT EVEN EXIST if it wasn't for the UN's resolutions. So why not direct their hatred at the UN, rather than Israel, or the US?

For example, when Ehud Barak offered as a STARTING POINT a full 95% of what the Palestinian appologists demanded, the PLO, Hamas, and most Arab states STILL REFUSED to even ACKNOWLEDGE the existence of Israel. One side is talking about leaving most of the disputed territories immediately, and complete withdrawals over a short time, going back to the pre-1967 borders, and the other side doesn't even acknowledge the existence of the first.

I think the wishful thinking that "if the US would just leave the Middle East all would be good!" is seriously flawed. We're hated for interfering by protecting mulsims in Bosnia and Somalia, and hated for not protecting muslims in Iraq or Kuwait.

Damned if we do, damned if we don't.

Essentially, we're hated for not what we've done, but for what we are - we're not muslim. We have different values and a different culture. We have tolerance. We allow individual freedoms. We believe ALL men AND women - of every race and creed - are created equal. We represent what they despise. It's not our actions, it's our very NATURE that is the source of their hatred. The very freedoms that we take for granted - and are used every day by those protesting the US' current involvement in the Middle East - are the source of the hatred against the US.

Here we have parades celebrating the gay lifestyle. They stone not just gays, but if you're even raped by a gay man you're sentenced to that grisly death.

We allow people to live together ourside of marriage. They will stone a woman for simply talking to a man.

We have women heading up some of our largest corporations, leading countries. They forbid women from even opening a book.

We encourage families to share their values and go to church together - they force families apart, even in worship.

We allow you to choose your own path to spiritual enlightenment, even if that means no path. They will behead you if you do not submit to every written word of Mohammed.

We will let you make a movie criticizing religions, governments, companies, cultural values, even the legal system. They will kill you for simply drawing an image of Mohammed.

We protect and honor religious and cultural shrines, artwork, and buildings because of the history and knowledge they provide. They blow up anything from a different culture or religion.

We allow political dissent, free speech, and provide the right to a trial by a jury of your peers. They summarily execute any who speak against the leadership, and your right to trial is a right to have a cleric decide whether you're shot, hung, or stoned.

In light of this we might as well just do what the heck we want strictly for our own interests, because whatever we do it's obviously not going to change the radical Arab-muslim's view of the US.

Because we're damned if we do, and we're damned if we don't.

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