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Comments

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Drought Inspires a Boom In Pseudoscience, From Rain Machines To 'Water Witches'

Quirkz Re: A fool and their money (259 comments)

Sure, that's why no individual bothers to do it, but if the world at large wanted to demonstrate if there was any merit at all to dowsing, that's the kind of thing they ought to test.

You'd think somewhere there'd be one wealthy investor willing to spend a few tens of thousands to scientifically analyze this.

2 days ago
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Drought Inspires a Boom In Pseudoscience, From Rain Machines To 'Water Witches'

Quirkz Re: A fool and their money (259 comments)

As a start, I'd say: pick 3 spots that feel right, pick 3 spots that feel wrong, and pick 3 spots via some randomization method. Then drill all 9. Repeat over a few thousand plots of land. Compare results.

2 days ago
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DoT Proposes Mandating Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications

Quirkz Re:Motorcyclists rejoice! (256 comments)

Bah, the pithier version of this is, "Two wrongs won't make a right, but three lefts do."

4 days ago
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DoT Proposes Mandating Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications

Quirkz Re:Oh, really? (256 comments)

His real crime was ending his sentence with a preposition.

Hey, look, you just ended a sentence with "a preposition."

4 days ago
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Uber Has a Playbook For Sabotaging Lyft, Says Report

Quirkz Re:Rinse, Repeat (181 comments)

Those who cannot remember the aphorism are doomed to, er, how does that go again?

5 days ago
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The Grumpy Programmer has Advice for Young Computer Workers (Video)

Quirkz Poetry? (119 comments)

I guess I get why there may be some ties between programming and poetry, but it's not my thing. I wonder what the ex-English-professor would have said about a novelist?

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Do You Wish You'd Known Starting Out As a Programmer?

Quirkz Re:Simple (548 comments)

Based on your Sunday post I think you may have gotten it, but the issue with your comparison here is your contributions are mismatched, because you're contributing twice as much to your Roth as your Traditional. If you put the same $200k into the Traditional as you were throwing at the Roth, it would grow to $1,000,000, not just $500k. You then pay 25% in taxes, which leaves you $750k free to personally spend. This is much better than the $500k from the Roth.

Yes, you have paid more in taxes overall ($250k for the Traditional versus $100k for the Roth) but that's kind of irrelevant. What is relevant to you is that you have $750k rather than $500k.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Do You Wish You'd Known Starting Out As a Programmer?

Quirkz Re:Simple (548 comments)

I encourage you to reread the AC's post above this, because I don't think you're quite seeing his point. If the government's taking their cut, it may not really matter if they do it up front or later, it's likely to work out close to the same either way. Paying 20% at the beginning and then letting your money grow, or letting a bigger pile of money grow and then paying 20% at the end, you personally have the same amount. Yeah, you're correct that the 20% at the end is bigger (i.e., more total tax paid to the government), but the amount YOU get to spend is still the same.

If you don't believe me, run some numbers to test it. A quick spreadsheet will demonstrate that it works out even.

As the AC said, the reason to game the system is if you have reason to believe your future tax rate will be higher or lower than your current rate, then obviously pick whichever investment is favored. There's also issues like if you go all ROTH and then have no income at all upon retirement, you may be throwing away your annual personal tax deduction, whereas if you've got some small amount of theoretically taxable income, you may actually get it all tax free, or at a pretty low rate after deductions. Other reasons to choose traditional: a small tax deduction when you're young and struggling to get established may be more important than tax-free income later in life, when you're well established and (if you invested well) money isn't tight.

I think for most people either option is likely to work out pretty close to the same. When in doubt hedge your bets and do half of each, if possible.

Stray note: it's not capital gains inside a retirement account, you're taxed on your withdrawals as if they're income.

about a week ago
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"MythBusters" Drops Kari Byron, Grant Imahara, Tory Belleci

Quirkz Re:My wife will miss Grant. (362 comments)

Thanks for this. I really like the show, but tired of them assuming I had the attention span of a rhesus monkey on crack. I've always wanted a more focused translation.

about a week ago
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MIT Considers Whether Courses Are Outdated

Quirkz Re:cost is to high and 4 years is to long for that (205 comments)

I know it's an exception, but I intentionally picked a school that didn't have a PE requirement, because I knew going in how dumb that was.

As for art history? I took two of those classes, and they were the most interesting, educational, and mind-expanding classes I took. Also, when I ended up doing web development out of college, that little bit of art knowledge may have served to improve my designs, and probably contributed to my ability to get a job with a design firm in the first place. Now, again, I picked a flexible school, so these were options that I embraced rather than requirements, but I found them worthwhile in surprising ways that I wouldn't have anticipated going in.

about three weeks ago
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The Man Who Invented the 26th Dimension

Quirkz Re:Crazy Parakeet Man (259 comments)

It did not accept the apology, and actually, I'd even go so far as to say it got a little bent out of shape over the incidents. Eventually it turned into a certified basket case, and we had to replace it with another unit that had stronger mettle.

about three weeks ago
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Big Bang Actors To Earn $1M Per Episode

Quirkz Re:Nerd Blackface (442 comments)

Honestly, that never even occurred to me. I haven't done much piracy since the Napster days. I don't mind paying for books and movies, so I don't usually go that route for other media. And basically all the other TV shows I've wanted to watch have been available.

about a month ago
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Big Bang Actors To Earn $1M Per Episode

Quirkz Re:Nerd Blackface (442 comments)

Yeah, I know how it goes. I'll admit to times, particularly in my younger days, when I jumped to the conclusion to the other party was ignorant/wrong/missing some obvious technical solution, rather than giving them the benefit of the doubt. And if I'd been asking a question like "How can I get this show?" I definitely would have in the wrong for omitting those details. In this case I know the answer already, and was just griping that CBS can't come to a deal with Netflix. You know, in case they're just waiting for enough explicit public demand before bothering to ink the deal. I thought maybe I'd seed the search engines a little.

about a month ago
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Big Bang Actors To Earn $1M Per Episode

Quirkz Re:Nerd Blackface (442 comments)

Antenna, syndication? I'm sorry you city-centrists don't realize a mountain might get in the way of watching over-air broadcasts. It's almost as if I actually knew why the show isn't available to me, and wasn't just making it up.

about a month ago
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Big Bang Actors To Earn $1M Per Episode

Quirkz Re:Nerd Blackface (442 comments)

No. I live on the back side of a mountain from the nearest broadcasting station.

about a month ago
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Big Bang Actors To Earn $1M Per Episode

Quirkz Re:that's some expensive laughtrack (442 comments)

I think everything's more fun in person, too. Otherwise known as the baseball phenomenon.

about a month ago
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Big Bang Actors To Earn $1M Per Episode

Quirkz Re:Nerd Blackface (442 comments)

Now if they could just put it on Netflix or Amazon Prime, I might actually try to watch an episode. People keep telling me I'd like it but I can't currently get it.

about a month ago
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The Man Who Invented the 26th Dimension

Quirkz Re:Crazy Parakeet Man (259 comments)

I'm reminded of one of my old physics profs who tripped over a trash can frequently, and apologized to it every time.

about a month ago
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Robotic Suit Gives Shipyard Workers Super Strength

Quirkz Re:Only geeks... (125 comments)

Ironically, the batteries weigh 40kg, and cannot be lifted by robots or humans.

(I know, 40kg isn't actually unliftable by humans.)

about a month ago

Submissions

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Running your own ghost investigation?

Quirkz Quirkz writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Quirkz (1206400) writes "I am a skeptic, but have friends and family who swear by their ghost stories. I have access to a supposedly haunted house and been tempted to run a proper scientific investigation. My first question is what sorts of tools or measurements would make for sensible metrics to test during a hunt? Temperature change seems to be a common one, but the other devices you'll see ghost hunters use seem pretty random. The second question is what kinds of results would it take to be "interesting"? Baseline readings at several presumably non-haunted locations seem to be obvious requirements for comparison. Once you have those, what kinds of results would it take to convince a skeptic there's something unusual going on, or demonstrate that there's not? I don't have much hope of changing the minds of those who believe, but it would be satisfying to at least be scientific about it."

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