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How Gaseous, Neptune-Like Planets Can Become Habitable

WhiplashII Re:'Death' Star was just a terraforming laser (59 comments)

Another Star Wars reader: it actually explains this in one of the books by Stackpole - The Emperor created the so-called "death stars" for rapid mineral extraction from planet sized objects. It was only meant for peaceful uses, until Rebel Terrorists took the first one and blew up Alderaan; the Emperor then had that one destroyed. The second one was almost taken over by the Rebel Terrorists and the Emperor ordered it destroyed, at the cost of his own life.

It must be true, it was in a museum on Coruscant.


IRS Warns of Downtime Risk As Congress Makes Cuts

WhiplashII Re:The IRS could shut down??? (253 comments)

I don't think anyone can make a serious argument that problems with their ability to function are desirable.

OK, here is the argument:

1) The IRS audits certain classes of people a LOT. (I've been audited almost every year for the last 5 years)
2) Normally, they don't find anything worth mentioning. But the taxpayer still had to pay for the audit.
3) So the taxpayer is out several thousand dollars, the "people" gained nothing
4) Repeated across 10 million audits, on average the "people" are gaining FAR less than is being spent by taxpayers on audits

This is a dead-weight loss to our society caused by the IRS auditing too many people. If this was a corporation, they would only audit enough to find most of the cheats - IE, to the cost effective point. But since this is government, instead they hire auditors until they run out of budget money, and audit as many people as possible regardless of actual culpability.

If the IRS lost the ability to do 90% of it's current efforts, it would be better for society.

about two weeks ago

IRS Warns of Downtime Risk As Congress Makes Cuts

WhiplashII Re:One has to wonder (253 comments)

I'm sorry - if you (as the head of the IRS) allow the IRS to be politicized on your watch, then you will not be funded by the next Congress. It doesn't matter if you think it hasn't been politicized if enough people disagree with you. If the IRS wanted to continue as an organization, they needed to avoid even a hint of partisanship.

It doesn't take a genius here...

about two weeks ago

Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

WhiplashII Re:Impacts (708 comments)

Even worse, every prediction they have made about actual temperature has been falsified. Every single one! Five year predictions, wrong, ten year predictions, even further off, 15 year predictions way out of line, 20 year predictions so far off that statistics has falsified the models to 99% confidence levels.

Note that as time goes further out, the predictive power decreases dramatically. That is the opposite of the claim "we can predict climate on 100 year scales but not weather on yearly scales."

If your predictions get further and further from the truth as time goes on, you do not get to continue to use those predictions to force others to go without.

about 5 months ago

Court Releases DOJ Memo Justifying Drone Strike On US Citizen

WhiplashII Re:How does this not violate the 5th and/or 14th.. (371 comments)

Um, this is the first term where he had super-majorities in both house and Senate? Where they could have passed absolutely any partisan crap they wanted? How we got Obamacare?

What exactly would it take for the Dems to "own it"?

about 7 months ago

Fixing the Humanities Ph.D.

WhiplashII Re:Good scholarship - tenure (325 comments)

If you want to get into someone else's corner office, sure.

The get is to create your own corner office. Then it is about competence.

about 8 months ago

Google To Spend $1 Billion On Fleet of Satellites

WhiplashII Re:180 satellites... (170 comments)

Yes, it is relatively easy. You use a phased array for beam steering / directional sensitivity. If you put something the size of Aricebo in orbit, you could presumably directly read the electrical signals of a human brain. And the electrical activity at the rear of the brain can be directly translated to what is being heard. So no phone required at all, at least for the uplink!

The same thing is possible for the downlink too, but there may be slight side effects. (Think "This is your brain in a microwave oven...")

about 8 months ago

Blizzard Sues Starcraft II Cheat Creators

WhiplashII Re:Blizzard Shizzard (252 comments)

In that scenario, what is to prevent the "evil" client from teleporting non-visible units around the map at will?

Even bigger issue - how do you determine if a unit is visible, if you do not know all the opposition's unit positions?

I don't think that is a workable solution. Either such calculations are done on the server, or it is hackable, unfortunately.

about 8 months ago

Mozilla Offers FCC a Net Neutrality Plan With a Twist

WhiplashII Re:There's no financial incentive to play fair (123 comments)

I don't see why this hasn't resulted in a class action law suit by the people buying internet fro Comcast. Unless they are buying "the internet except for Netflix", this should be actionable...

about 9 months ago

SpaceX Wins Injunction Against Russian Rocket Purchases

WhiplashII Re:Russian Rocket Motors? (166 comments)

I believe the operation being attempted right now is:


This is one of those few times that someone used == where = is the correct option!

about 8 months ago

Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

WhiplashII Re:Grudgingly reluctantly... (386 comments)

I would believe what you said if two facts were not true:

1) The majority of taxes are used to take money from one class of people, and give it to another.

2) We live in a democracy where more than half the people are "takers" rather than "givers"

I wouldn't be upset if "givers" voted to make transfer payments. That wouldn't be theft.

I wouldn't be upset if "takers" voted to not have transfer payments. That wouldn't be theft either.

But when takers gang up and vote to steal money from a smaller group under threat of violence, that is simply government condoned theft.

The government doesn't invest in the future. They merely pay their friends rents.


about 10 months ago

Tesla: A Carmaker Or Grid-Storage Company?

WhiplashII Re:So if they (GM/whomever) wanted to buy the comp (151 comments)

Your inability to buy Microsoft has nothing to do with Microsoft's stock price being "too high." And if you could convince a) Microsoft, and b) a bank (or the markets) that you could run Microsoft better than the current management the money would not be a significant hurdle.

about 10 months ago

Tesla: A Carmaker Or Grid-Storage Company?

WhiplashII Re:So if they (GM/whomever) wanted to buy the comp (151 comments)

What's hilarious is that no one has seen the obvious: no company's "stock price is too high ... to just buy it"

Company A: valued at $X
Company B: valued at $Y

Company A+B: valued at $X+$Y

No one has to have the cash on hand to do a merger (the traditional form of "purchase"). If you wanted to actually make a "purchase", all you would have to do is involve a bank.

Of course, Elon Musk has absolutely no reason to sell his company to a bunch of people that wouldn't know how to run it!

about 10 months ago

Adaptation From Flash Boys Offers Inside Look at High-Frequency Trading

WhiplashII Re:Bailouts for them, crumbs for us (246 comments)

Inflation transfers wealth from lenders to borrowers.

No, that's kind of my point - wealth is destroyed by contracts and savings destruction, but borrowers are not actually helped that much. In the contracts case, the supplier company goes out of business and both parties lose value. In the savers case, the saver loses all savings but the borrowers can't capitalize on the gains because the prices of everything that they care about goes up.

The people that do the best are those that are borrowers on a large asset. Their loan is devalued, so they don't have to pay as much back, true. But even then, the asset (typically a house) loses value because interest rates soar, making it difficult for future buyers to pay you for the asset.

Inflation is just generally bad for everyone. It is a global economy destroyer. Try to think of a single case where there was hyperinflation, but not economic destruction... hyperinflation is always bad, even for the guys that are supposed to be helped by it.

about 10 months ago

Adaptation From Flash Boys Offers Inside Look at High-Frequency Trading

WhiplashII Re:Bailouts for them, crumbs for us (246 comments)

Except that even this best case scenario isn't true...

Think about this: What sets prices? The fact that there is (for example) only 1 hamburger per person created in the US per day. Currently, everyone has $1, and needs 1 hamburger. So the price is $1/hamburger. There is this rich guy, who has $1T, but he still only east 2 hamburgers.

OK, so now every has $1M. The rich guy is still fine, and he still buys his 2 hamburgers. But how many hamburgers can everyone else buy? Hm... there's still only one hamburger per person. So each normal person can still only buy one hamburger! So what is the price of a hamburger? $1M per hamburger!

OK, so you then say "well, there must be a huge incentive now to create more hamburgers, since people will pay $1M/hamburger." But here's the thing, at the end of the day, no one wants $1M, they want an extra hamburger. So since the number of "hamburger equivalents" you will pay per hamburger has not changed, there is not extra incentive. So nothing has changed, except that we just had massive inflation.

Poor people do not compete with rich people for goods, in general. Poor people compete with poor people for goods. Giving all the poor people $1M does not make them any better off, and it doesn't make the rich any worse off, it only destroys those that were on the cusp of breaking out of poverty.

about 10 months ago

How Good Are Charter Schools For the Public School System?

WhiplashII Re:Test scores (715 comments)

This message brought to you by the teacher's union - torturing kids to achieve better member pay since 1960!

1 year,18 days

Newly Discovered Greenhouse Gas Is 7,000 Times More Powerful Than CO2

WhiplashII Re:Concentrations (216 comments)

Um, just a minute - let's insert some math here:

0.18 trillion = 180 billion equivalent units
400 million *7000 = 2800 billion equivalent units

So, if the article summary is correct over 90% of any anthro warming is not due to CO2, proving the skeptics correct.

I strongly doubt that the article is correct.

about a year ago

Kepler-78b: The Earth-Like Planet That Shouldn't Exist

WhiplashII Re:Well it is far, far away (110 comments)

Or, possibly this is an alien factory planet...

To make more energy available, they take all of a solar system's rocky mass and put it into an orbit skimming close to the central star. That way the metals can be easily separated out, and worked. Since heat engines become more efficient at higher temperatures (especially when you have to radiate waste heat to space), much more energy is available for engineering processes.

This planet isn't "a complete mystery" - it is final, clinching proof of extraterrestrial intelligent life!

Or not...

about a year ago



Global warming

WhiplashII WhiplashII writes  |  more than 7 years ago

WhiplashII (542766) writes "According to a leading environmentalist, walking to the shops 'damages planet more than going by car'. Walking 3 miles (and the food burned to do it) releases 3.6 kg of CO2, driving only releases 0.9 kg. Other surprises: Diesel trains outpollute cars, someone who installs a "green" lightbulb undoes a year's worth of energy-saving by buying two bags of imported vegatables, and killing all our cows would do more to prevent global warming than ending all air travel."
Link to Original Source


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