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Preventative Treatment For Heartbleed On Healthcare.gov

Rich0 Re:It's a tax. Not a fine (74 comments)

The vast majority of medical spending is on chronic illness for the elderly. You should have your argument focus on this type of common outcome rather than "suddenly gets sick/hurt".

Sure, but it doesn't really change anything. In fact, most people become elderly so it only stands to reason that most people are going to need insurnace, and the money they pay in when they're young makes up for the money they take out when they're old.

2 hours ago
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Preventative Treatment For Heartbleed On Healthcare.gov

Rich0 Re:It's a tax. Not a fine (74 comments)

Required purchase of health insurance is NOT Socialism!
Many will still not be able to afford it or obtain sufficient assistance to do so.

True, on its own it isn't. ACA does include subsidies for the poor which is a form of socialism, though limited in scope.

Prices will continue to go up.

Well, they don't have to under a system like this if it is done right (aside from inflation, or rising levels of service). I don't think the ACA was really done right - it was a compromise all-around. The US health system is a nest of problems, and ACA really only hits a few of them. There is no one thing that you can do to fix it.

2 hours ago
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Preventative Treatment For Heartbleed On Healthcare.gov

Rich0 Re:oh, sorry (74 comments)

What happens if you have no insurance for 20 years, and never get sick. Then you sign up for insurance and pay your bills for 5 years. Then you get sick. What is the fine, and what happens if the person doesn't have the money to pay it at this point?

Do you even understand this question? What happens if I purchase insurance for 2 months and get sick. It doesn't matter, I purchased the insurance just the same as if I purchased it 20 years ago.

The whole point of insurance is that in order for it to work, people need to pay MORE than they consume on average. If people wait until they're sick to sign up, it can't work.

This is INSURANCE. The whole point of insurance is that you don't know when you'll need it, so you pay money now so that in the event you need it you know you'll have it. I "waste" money on fire insurance every month. My house will probably never burn down, and thus I'll probably never get anything back. However, if my house does burn down, then I get a new house for very little money.

And some people do not and will not need it. Why are they forced to pay for it when they do not want to? Why are normal law abiding citizens being told they are no longer free and must do as the government says and purchase something from a third party when they do nothing wrong?

So, your choices are force everybody to buy insurance even if they don't "need" it, or let people die when it turns out that they needed it after all.

In most cases insurance is voluntary, but then you suffer the loss if you don't have it. That's how health care was supposed to work before the ACA. The problem with that is that insurance companies were scumbags and if there was any lapse in coverage they assumed that your sickness started during the lapse and denied coverage. On the other hand, if you get rid of that loophole then everybody else behaves like scumbags and avoids paying for insurance until they start to feel sick.

What happens when some gun nut tea party gets elected and declares that anyone who doesn't own a gun has to pay a $2000 a year penalty?

If people who didn't own guns cost the average citizen money, then I'd be fine with such a law. People without health insurance DO cost others money, unless we as a society choose to let them die.

The only way to allow people to not buy health insurance is if we as a society refuse to provide care for them when they get sick unless they can pay the full bill themselves. If we were all sociopaths that system would work just fine, and people WOULD buy insurance because they would understand the consequences if they didn't.

lol.. so the last 200+ years of this country didn't happen and everything starts right now because you though of something you pretend is the only possible logic?

Yeah, I guess everything being peachy is the reason Obama won the election... The previous system worked reasonably well for anybody with a job with a large employer. The problem is that costs are spiraling out of control and the model just wasn't sustainable, and MANY people had no healthcare at all.

They would call 911 with chest pains, the call center would be set up to do an automatic insurance/credit check, and the guy on the phone would tell them that if they'd like an ambulance they need to get somebody else to provide a credit card number if the credit check isn't good. That isn't the society most voters want to live in.

And that happens every day in the previous 200+ years of our country's existence? Am I right or are you making things up in order to justify your worldview?

200 years ago if you dialed 911 you wouldn't get an answer, because you didn't have a phone. We hardly have 200 years of experience with modern medicine. Go take a look at the average inner city hospital and tell me that the previous status quo made any kind of financial sense.

And such issues don't cost that much money to treat or are incredibly rare, which is why regular insurance plans don't cost that little. What was your plan if you got diabetes or kidney failure? Is that when you sign up for the $110/month plan and stick everybody else with the bills since you didn't pay the $80/month they paid for the previous 20 years when you weren't sick?

How is signing up for a more expensive plan sticking everyone else with the bill? There is your logic flaw, if I purchase insurance, they do actuary studies and quote my prices based on my factors. It has nothing to do with you paying my expenses. Insurance is not some bank you put money into in order to get billions out later when you need medical care and that billions will disappear if someone else gets sick. I think someone has fooled you or something.

The problem is that normally you can't change insurance plans AFTER a problem happens and have them pay at the higher level of service. Most insurance applies to point-in-time events like fires, accidents, etc. You can say that on one day you had a house, and on the next you had a pile of ashes.

With something like diabetes you just get gradually sicker. In the first year your costs are barely higher at all. So, you can get a cheap plan today, and switch after you get sick. If you did that with fire insurance they wouldn't pay a dime towards your pile of ashes. With health insurance the company is forced to pay for pre-existing conditions under the ACA. Previously they wouldn't have, and as I already said that model is perfectly valid but subject to abuse.

You have a very nice local hospital. Most would have given you a steep discount and charged you only $50. However, no insurance company would pay the $95 - there is a good chance they might not even pay the $22 (though as I said you got a decent deal). Usually the hospital cash discounts are actually more expensive than what the insurance company pays, because the insurance company can basically shut the hospital down if they don't like the rate. I don't have a bill that just covers A1C, but a bill I recently paid included a $71 (list price) A1C test in a set of tests that cost $286 total, and the cost to me and the insurance was $47. That is pretty typical - insurance companies only pay 20% of the list price for most things. When the hospital cuts 60% off the bill for a cash customer they love to go on about the deal they got, even though they paid twice what most people pay.

...when you offer to pay cash, you get their corporate discount, a cash discount and an early payment discount which I am told is standard to all customers who pay before 30 days.

Most hospitals will not offer this much of a discount to cash customers. Also, looking at our bills it looks like I paid a lower percentage of my cost with insurance than you did with your cash discount. The figures are close enough that it is hard to compare, but most people pay substantially more when paying cash. True, they don't pay list, but most people can't negotiate the deals insurance companies get.

I pay more than your health insurance bills every year for fire insurance on my house (a rather modest one at that). I spend $0 on repairs caused by fire. Sounds like I'm getting ripped off! Except, if my house burns down when I'm age 55 I won't be homeless for the rest of my life, or dependent on my fellow taxpayers for welfare or charity.

Most likely you are paying that because you had to barrow money to purchase the house. Either way it doesn't matter because for what ever reason it is what you chose to do with your money. I didn't demand you purchase fire insurance, I didn't demand you buy the house. What makes you think you can demand I spend my money a certain way when I cost you nothing, have no loans with or without conditions from you nor do I really care about you in any way? Why are you so greedy that you think if I don't have insurance there might be a chance I might not be able to cover my own treatment and you might have to pay slightly more for coverage so I must without ever indicating I couldn't provide for myself, spend my money the way you want me to? That's pretty selfish of you isn't it?

I'll be the first to agree that normally insurance is voluntary, and that is really where it makes the most sense. I can choose to get fire insurance or not. Of course, if I don't get it nobody will buy me a new house when it burns down.

Society for whatever reason has decided that you have a right to medical treatment if you get sick. Heck, it is illegal to kill yourself.

So, if society is not willing to let people die, then it has to have a way to pay for people not to die. That means somebody has to pay the bills. An insurance mandate is just a way to force those with the means to help pay. Other countries don't require anybody to "purchase" insurance as it is all tax-funded, but you still don't get a choice to participate.

It is basically socialism. You can love it or hate it, but either way it only works if you're forced to participate. Welcome aboard, comrade!

Snip a bunch of debate about a point you claim you didn't make

Who said anything about charging only people who collect from insurance?

You did. You said that people shouldn't be penalized if they didn't get insurance. Instead they should only be penalized when they sign up after they're sick. If you aren't claiming that, then fine, but that was about half of your previous post...

85% of the population had coverage before the ACA became law, we were only talking about needing to get around 45 million people covered or 15% of the population who either couldn't afford health insurance or didn't want it. What in this world makes you think that those 85% or 270 some million people would all the sudden cancel their insurance when they didn't cancel it before the law mandated it?

I never claimed they would. People who stay insured pay no penalties. Those who do not pay a penalty immediately, but one that is way too small. Thus, the ACA is fairly likely to fail unless it is adjusted.

My original statement was a simple one. Either you have to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions (which is how things worked before the ACA), or you have to force people to buy insurance. That's just a matter of how insurance works. You're making it into some kind of overall debate about the ACA.

Show me any insurance program anywhere which allows people to submit claims for pre-existing conditions without a mandate to buy insurance. You certainly won't find one anywhere in the last 200 years of history of the US that you keep going on about.

10 hours ago
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Preventative Treatment For Heartbleed On Healthcare.gov

Rich0 Re:It's a tax. Not a fine (74 comments)

A tax on living.

Guess that makes large numbers of the homeless etc into tax evaders too now.

What do you think socialized healthcare is? Socialism only works if you don't let people opt-out.

Granted, the homeless folks aren't really the problem, since for the most part they're the recipients in any socialized benefit. The issue is the person who makes plenty of money and doesn't feel they need to pay taxes (which mostly benefit others).

11 hours ago
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Preventative Treatment For Heartbleed On Healthcare.gov

Rich0 Re:It's a tax. Not a fine (74 comments)

If it was a fine the Supreme Court would have struck down the law. But they recognized Congress' authority to impose taxes, so the law stands.

Semantics. But, whatever. s/fine/tax and my argument stands. You can't force insurance companies to treat pre-existing conditions unless you make people pay for insurance when they're healthy (or have somebody else pay for it for them).

If you want to understand how insurance works, first look at what the insurance pays for. Then figure out the total annual US cost of paying for that thing. Then divide that by the total population of the country, and add a few percent. That is the cost per-person of insurance if everybody buys it (whether they think they need it or not).

On the other hand, if you only want people who need it to pay for it, then instead of dividing it by the total population, divide it by the number of people who think they need insurance, and since you're dividing by a smaller number you get a bigger insurance premium.

In the case of health insurance, if only people who get sick want to pay for insurance then the cost will be something like 20x higher, and then the sick people won't want insurance since it costs more than their care.

Insurance is normally just voluntary socialism. The problem with healthcare is that we don't like making people die without treatment when they get really sick, so we don't want to make it voluntary. Insurance only works as a voluntary program if you actually let people who don't buy in suffer the full consequences of their decision. As soon as you create a "safety net" you've basically created an insurance program where all the taxpayers are paying for insurance for everybody, and that only works if you tax them enough to pay for it. However, Obamacare expects private insurance companies to actually pay the bills (aside from subsidies applied to premiums). So, you can't have a "safety net" in that case.

11 hours ago
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Preventative Treatment For Heartbleed On Healthcare.gov

Rich0 Re:oh, sorry (74 comments)

And before you go all authoritarianism on me, you can't have it both ways. Either you have to allow insurance companies to deny pre-existing conditions, or you have to force people to buy insurance. If you don't do either then people wait until they're sick to buy insurance, and then insurance companies go out of business. Socialist healthcare systems like in Europe do the second one by basically buying insurance for everybody through tax receipts (I didn't say that the insured had to directly pay the premium).

Such shallow thinking. How about forcing a penalty after needing treatment without insurance or the ability to pay it?

What happens if you have no insurance for 20 years, and never get sick. Then you sign up for insurance and pay your bills for 5 years. Then you get sick. What is the fine, and what happens if the person doesn't have the money to pay it at this point?

Why wait 20 years to charge them for 20 years of premiums?

The most sensible solution would be to just have the government buy insurance for anybody who does not do so, and then tax them for it. That is what happens if you don't mow your lawn - the local government will just mow it for you and send you a bill, and put a lein on your house if you don't pay it.

However, for whatever reason the government choosing your insurance policy turned people off, so instead we have a tax that people without insurance have to pay. The problem is that the tax is way too low, so for those who are young and healthy it just makes sense to pay the tax.

You do not need to force insurance purchased or allow preexisting condition exclusions. You can simply penalize the people who do not have coverage when they need it and also do not have the ability to pay for their treatment. You can also mandate as part of that penalty that they maintain coverage for a certain period of time.

If the penalty is less than the total of all the unpaid premiums, then there is no incentive to buy insurance, and the insurer loses money on the patient (since the premiums are calculated as the amount of money needed to cover losses on average, plus a profit).

What you propose is like a retirement plan where you tell people to save up for retirement, and then if they fail to do so and have no money you fine them, except they have no money so you can't fine them, and you still have to pay for their retirement. If you want people to invest in the future you have to give them incentive to do it when they can actually do it (whether investment is for retirement, or future health problems, or whatever).

The thing is, the people who say they don't want/need insurance are more than happy to sign up for it once they get an expensive medical condition, so what they usually really want is to have the benefits of insurance without actually paying for it.

What people want is to not pay for something until they need it. They don't want to buy new tires for their car until their old ones need replaced, They do not want to buy another gallon of milk until the other is almost empty. Can you blame them for not wanting to be forced into buying something they do not need at the moment?

This is INSURANCE. The whole point of insurance is that you don't know when you'll need it, so you pay money now so that in the event you need it you know you'll have it. I "waste" money on fire insurance every month. My house will probably never burn down, and thus I'll probably never get anything back. However, if my house does burn down, then I get a new house for very little money.

The only way to allow people to not buy health insurance is if we as a society refuse to provide care for them when they get sick unless they can pay the full bill themselves. If we were all sociopaths that system would work just fine, and people WOULD buy insurance because they would understand the consequences if they didn't. They would call 911 with chest pains, the call center would be set up to do an automatic insurance/credit check, and the guy on the phone would tell them that if they'd like an ambulance they need to get somebody else to provide a credit card number if the credit check isn't good. That isn't the society most voters want to live in.

The thing is, the insurance available to those people who do not want it, is more or less the same as not having insurance for all practical purposes. I had a Health Savings Account and a catastrophic plan. The catastrophic insurance cost me $5 a week or $20 a month and covered any major medical like a broken bone, cancer, heart attach and so on.

And such issues don't cost that much money to treat or are incredibly rare, which is why regular insurance plans don't cost that little. What was your plan if you got diabetes or kidney failure? Is that when you sign up for the $110/month plan and stick everybody else with the bills since you didn't pay the $80/month they paid for the previous 20 years when you weren't sick?

Everything else was out of pocket which you will find that medical bills are dramatically cheaper when you are paying cash or cash equivalent at the time of service. That's where the HSA came in handy, the $95 Hemoglobin A1c with fasting glucose levels out the door cost me $22 total when paying cash at the local hospital.

You have a very nice local hospital. Most would have given you a steep discount and charged you only $50. However, no insurance company would pay the $95 - there is a good chance they might not even pay the $22 (though as I said you got a decent deal). Usually the hospital cash discounts are actually more expensive than what the insurance company pays, because the insurance company can basically shut the hospital down if they don't like the rate. I don't have a bill that just covers A1C, but a bill I recently paid included a $71 (list price) A1C test in a set of tests that cost $286 total, and the cost to me and the insurance was $47. That is pretty typical - insurance companies only pay 20% of the list price for most things. When the hospital cuts 60% off the bill for a cash customer they love to go on about the deal they got, even though they paid twice what most people pay.

Outside of getting that checked for a physical, I don't spend much more than $1.5-2k a year in medical with many years being less that $1000. Now I have to purchase insurance that costs $110 a month and carries a $3000 deductible.

You're missing the point of insurance. You're not paying for your current medical condition. You're paying for when you do (or don't) get diabetes, or kidney disease, or cancer.

I pay more than your health insurance bills every year for fire insurance on my house (a rather modest one at that). I spend $0 on repairs caused by fire. Sounds like I'm getting ripped off! Except, if my house burns down when I'm age 55 I won't be homeless for the rest of my life, or dependent on my fellow taxpayers for welfare or charity.

But yes, we can have preexisting condition coverage and not mandatory insurance if we treated it just like we treat every other crime and not penalize someone until they actually do something wrong.

Not buying insurance IS the thing they actually did wrong. An involuntary action can't be right or wrong - it just "is." So, getting sick can't be the thing that somebody does wrong. The time to pay for illness is BEFORE you're sick, not after.

Plus, lots of people may go through live for 70 years and never get sick, and then get hit by a truck and die on the scene. The way insurance works is that they pay for it all their life and never get a dime. Then some other poor kid gets leukemia at the age of 6 and the insurance company pays $20k/yr on medical bills for the next 40 years. It all works out, since the insurance costs are based on statistics. However, it doesn't work out when people only want insurance when they "need" it.

Would it make sense for me to not pay for fire insurance for 20 years, then have a fire, and have society come along and spend $150k building me a new home, and then try to fine me for it? What happens if I don't have $150k, or even the total of 20 years worth of premiums? Plus, the insurance company is out more than 20 years worth of premiums - they're out the premiums from all the other people who didn't pay and whose houses didn't burn down (but which they apparently have to repair anyway).

Insurance premiums are based on most people paying and never collecting for most types of insurance. If you only charge people who do collect, then you'll have to charge them a LOT more.

12 hours ago
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Preventative Treatment For Heartbleed On Healthcare.gov

Rich0 Re:oh, sorry (74 comments)

I suspect that a big part of the problem is that the fine for not having insurance is too low. That discourages healthy young people from signing up, since they can always sign up later with little penalty (pre-existing conditions must be covered).

And before you go all authoritarianism on me, you can't have it both ways. Either you have to allow insurance companies to deny pre-existing conditions, or you have to force people to buy insurance. If you don't do either then people wait until they're sick to buy insurance, and then insurance companies go out of business. Socialist healthcare systems like in Europe do the second one by basically buying insurance for everybody through tax receipts (I didn't say that the insured had to directly pay the premium).

So, either you get people complaining about having to pay for insurance they don't want/need, or you get people being ripped off by insurance companies who claim that they must have first contracted their diabetes 6 years ago when they were unemployed and uninsured for two months and it just went undetected all the remaining time so they refuse to pay for it. The thing is, the people who say they don't want/need insurance are more than happy to sign up for it once they get an expensive medical condition, so what they usually really want is to have the benefits of insurance without actually paying for it.

yesterday
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DARPA Developing the Ultimate Auto-Pilot Software

Rich0 Re:Pilots crash planes (71 comments)

If you want to have an idea of how reliable automation is, just look at the number of military drones that have crashed so far. Their mission couldn't be simpler: take off, fly over some area, come back and land. They only fly in relatively nice weather, there are vaslty less drones than passenger aircraft, yet there are many more drone crashes than passenger aircraft crashes.

I hate to reply twice, but I was giving this some thought. How many of these crashes are the result of faulty automation?

Virtually all airliners have redundant everything, especially for critical components like engines. Drones usually don't have these things - if the predator's single engine fails, then it crashes. Sure, they could put two engines on them, but the cost of doing that is higher than the cost of buying a new one from time to time. They're designed to be expendable.

A computer-piloted passenger aircraft would obviously be designed with all the same reliability standards as any other passenger aircraft.

All my other comments still apply - I do agree that the automation would still need some improvement beyond what we have today. However, I just wanted to point out that you can't project from military drone failure rates to the failure rate of a 777 controlled by automation.

yesterday
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DARPA Developing the Ultimate Auto-Pilot Software

Rich0 Re:Pilots crash planes (71 comments)

The whole concept is to get the pilot out of the cockpit entirely - they wouldn't be managing the autopilot - it would be managing itself.

Plus, if updates to the plane's mission were made while in-flight, it would be done by a team working from desks. They would have time to properly follow procedures, and wouldn't have long stretches of idle time (it would be like a call center - they just move from one plane to the next).

This would require changes to how we manage planes, ATC, etc in general. However, I think they're changes that are going to be inevitable at some point.

yesterday
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DARPA Developing the Ultimate Auto-Pilot Software

Rich0 Re:Cargo ships (71 comments)

Docking and leaving might require the presence of crews on ships, but crews could be shuttled between their ships and the docks.

Or just use remote telemetry to do these operations. Ships already use harbor pilots who relieve the regular crew when in highly congested areas.

yesterday
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DARPA Developing the Ultimate Auto-Pilot Software

Rich0 Re:Pilots crash planes (71 comments)

Good points. If humans were to be taken out of the loop obviously it will be necessary to change how the automation works, sometimes substantially. Anything that causes an autopilot disconnect, for example, obviously has to be redesigned (well, aside from pilot-triggered disconnects). There may also need to be an increase in redundancies as well so that the plane can remain fully automation even with failures. The algorithms also have to be designed to better handle a lack of sensor input, since all the pitot tubes icing up is always a possibility and so on.

yesterday
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DARPA Developing the Ultimate Auto-Pilot Software

Rich0 Re:Pilots crash planes (71 comments)

No reason you couldn't have satellite telemetry on aircraft and a room full of test pilots somewhere standing by to assist if there is an emergency. Granted, you can't always guarantee communications, but if there is a failure it would be better to have the seasoned disaster recovery guy at the controls instead of whoever the seniority rules put on the route. Plus, the emergency team isn't limited to two crew members - they can have one guy who does nothing but fly the plane, another guy who does nothing but navigate, three engineers who do nothing but try to fix the broken systems, an overall command guy who does nothing but coordinate, one guy who handles communications, one guy who talks to the cabin crew, and so on - and they're all fresh having not spent 30 hours this week stuck on a plane.

But, I suspect that in many emergencies such a crew would often just manage the automation and provide supervision.

Even in a case where pitot tubes fail and such the automation CAN be improved, eliminating a potential source of accidents in the future. When a human learns, only that pilot improves unless you spend a LOT of time retraining the fleet (and the Air France pilots should have been trained in that maneuver anyway). When a computer program is adjusted, every plane in service improves, 100% of the time.

yesterday
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FAA Shuts Down Search-and-Rescue Drones

Rich0 Re:It's been a lot longer than 2007 (217 comments)

In addition, STUFF BREAKS. Your UAS that depends on ADS-B for sense-and-avoid isn't going to see that Bonanza with a transponder failure.

So, require every plane to have 2 of them then, with independent everything. Require them to have fallback to a non-GPS satellite positioning system as well.

And that's all irrelevant anyway, as there is never going to be a requirement (at least probably not in my lifetime) for manned aircraft to have an ADS-B transponder anywhere they don't already need a Mode C transponder. That will never fly, pun intended. The vast majority of private pilots will never need ADS-B out, as they don't fly where it matters. There are huge swaths of airspace you can fly in WITHOUT A RADIO, much less a transponder. This is a matter of philosophy: the airspace of the United States belongs to the people, and they should have free use of it. The FAA is only supposed to provide the minimum amount of regulation and oversight to keep everyone safe.

The problem is that this kind of mindset keeps general aviation (and aviation in general) stuck in the 20s. Why do aircraft spin on turn to final? Well, for starters, because there IS a turn to final - something completely unnecessary if you have the ability to do a precision approach to any runway with an RNAV with traffic awareness.

Of course, it is a sword that cuts both ways, because legally right now you can fly an unmanned drone anywhere in the US, commercial or not, monitored or not. Cite a law or regulation that says otherwise (hint, you can't, which is why a Federal court ruled against the FAA recently in the only case to go to a ruling that I'm aware of) - no, advisory circulars are not laws or regulations.

Sure, we could make it cheaper by cutting out certification requirements, but that goes back to my original statement: We'd have to accept lower safety levels.

Or we could just have the government bless a reference design and sell it for cost, with the manufacturer having no liability for failure (responsibility for quality would rest with the FAA), and other manufacturers would be able to freely manufacture the same design at any price they wish, with no liability as long as they conform to the reference.

The problem with aviation is that the regulations GREATLY lag technology, and the certification requirements drive everybody to openly avoid modernization. Then everything gets grandfathered in, so procedures have to assume that there is a piper cub with no electrical system nearby all the time.

I don't mean to pick on collision avoidance and ADS-B in particular. Problems like this exist all over the aviation industry, especially in general aviation. Cars have had FADEC and automatic transmissions for decades now, the typical training aircraft that costs $100/hr to operate lacks both (indeed even fairly expensive new piston aircraft still tend to lack them).

Sometimes I think the solution to the aviation problem isn't to think about how to allow drones to safely operate in a world of piloted aircraft, but rather to to think about how to allow passenger-carrying aircraft to safely operate in a world of drones.

2 days ago
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Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

Rich0 Re:do they have a progressive view? (328 comments)

crime and corruption IS there. well, the ceo's will like it, at least; but the rest of us, not so much..

CEOs are drawn to the kind of crime you find on Wall Street, not the kind of crime you find in most of Detroit.

2 days ago
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Bug Bounties Don't Help If Bugs Never Run Out

Rich0 Re:tldr (234 comments)

Yup. If you're just going to throw up your hands and say that bug-free software is impossible, why not just intentionally write software that doesn't work at all?

My Linux kernel HAS to be broken. So, why not just edit the source and put an infinite loop at the entry point? The resulting black screen when I boot up must be just as useless as the OS I'm typing on right now, right?

2 days ago
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Criminals Using Drones To Find Cannabis Farms and Steal Crops

Rich0 Re:Which is why the smart grow underground (256 comments)

Hmm, the electric company will still spot and report your usage, unless you supply your own power.

2 days ago
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Lavabit Loses Contempt Appeal

Rich0 Re:Way to lose an easy case... (128 comments)

If somebody who didn't do anything bad is suspected of breaking the law, that somebody will have to be investigated, and is well advised to defend himself or herself.

By all means let them provide the investigators with information, but that shouldn't require being physically present in a courtroom at a specified time.

Since you're trying to establish good or bad here rather than legal or illegal, you need to do a lot of investigation and consideration, and get the facts nailed down to make a good decision. That's going to occupy the defendant for some time.

I don't see why it has to. A defendant should only be tried if it is clear they did something wrong.

I'm not suggesting that defendants won't end up spending ANY time resolving issues that come up. However, the system needs to be optimized for their convenience, not the convenience of the court. Also, investigators should be personally liable if they contribute to an investigation that comes to an incorrect conclusion.

I'm fairly confident that this will GREATLY increase the costs of running the courts, but I don't think that jailing the most accused per dollar spent should really be a metric we use to evaluate the performance of the "justice" system.

2 days ago
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Snowden Queries Putin On Live TV Regarding Russian Internet Surveillance

Rich0 Re:In Mother Russa... (391 comments)

Well, Snowden is clearly a pawn, but in some sense so is Putin. Why shouldn't Snowden play this game? His goal is to get some accountability for the US surveillance state and rein it in a bit. So he stirs the pot.

Right now the US and EU are struggling to find an approach they can agree on for dealing with Russia. Snowden brings up the NSA which is a sore subject with the EU, making it harder for the US to get them on-board. If the US ends up agreeing to more transparency or less surveillance in order to get the EU to back more sanctions against Russia, how is that a bad deal for anybody but Putin?

2 days ago
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Snowden Queries Putin On Live TV Regarding Russian Internet Surveillance

Rich0 Re:Useful Idiot (391 comments)

So you would rather that he should have stayed to be broken like Manning?

A safer, and more intellectually sound, option would be to become an anonymous whistleblower, like Deep Throat / Mark Felt. You don't get the notoriety, but then you also don't become Vladimir Putin's sock puppet when it becomes convenient.

That is REALLY hard to pull off these days. There are only so many people with access to that kind of data, and the NSA/CIA/etc could do quite a bit to try to figure out who he was. If he remained in a country friendly to the US he could have been extradited.

I don't think he went to Russia because he's sympathetic to the Russians. He just knows they would do anything to embarrass the US so they'd be likely to harbor him. This just seems like mutual interest.

2 days ago
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Snowden Queries Putin On Live TV Regarding Russian Internet Surveillance

Rich0 Re:Useful Idiot (391 comments)

Well, it might be hypocrisy, but pretty much every nation both engages in espionage and outlaws it at the same time. That's how it has worked since as long as anybody can tell. Some nations admit that they do it, some don't, but they basically all do it anyway. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if the Vatican engaged in espionage.

2 days ago

Submissions

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Cheap second calculators for tests

Rich0 Rich0 writes  |  about 5 months ago

Rich0 (548339) writes "I own an HP 48 calculator that I'm quite content with, but soon I'll need to take a certification exam where this calculator will not be welcome. I'm sure this is a common problem for those who own higher-end calculators. Sure, I could just buy a random $15 calculator with a few trig functions, but I was wondering who makes the best moderately-priced calculators for somebody who already has and appreciates a programmable calculator and just needs something simple. Bonus points if the calculator can handle polar vector arithmetic and unit conversions, but it has to be simple enough that virtually any exam would accept its use."
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Students Punished for Facebook Group Affiliation

Rich0 Rich0 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Rich0 (548339) writes "More than 100 students from Souderton Area High School (just a few miles from Lower Merion School District) signed up as fans of a Facebook group celebrating National Kick a Freshman day. The school reacted by taking minor disciplinary action against anybody who signed up, and sent out a mailing to all parents in the school. Online news is sparse and no information is available yet on the school's website."
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Eminent Domain Ends in Irony

Rich0 Rich0 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Rich0 (548339) writes "Not long ago it was reported that the Supreme Court sided with a local town in their battle to evict residents to make room for a new corporate resident. In a twist of irony, Pfizer has decided to shutter the facility, leaving a to-be-abandoned facility in the place of the evicted homeowners."
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Rich0 Rich0 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Rich0 (548339) writes "I have a growing pile of CDs/DVDs holding hundreds of GB of files. I would like a linux-compatible software solution to cataloging and searching these disks. Lots of solutions exist for music/video, but not so many for files.

Some features I'd like would be the ability to easily scan the disks (pop in disc, software reads disc, software prompts for a name (with something sensible defaulted), software ejects disc, softare tells me what if any label to write/apply to the disc, and software is ready for the next disc).

I've seen one or two packages out there but they usually require lots of manual disk labelling, or their search capabilities are limited. Windows-only software won't be of much use to me.

What are others using to manage their media collections?"

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