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NASA's Manned Rocket Contract: $4.2 Billion To Boeing, $2.6 Billion To SpaceX

clovis Re:I hate to be this guy... (186 comments)

Here's how the war on poverty is doing: http://dailycaller.com/2014/09...

Thanks for the link, it has some numbers that show how relatively little NASA costs.

From the article:
  The government has spent some $22 trillion on means-tested welfare programs since the War on Poverty began (in constant 2012 dollars).
This does not include Social Security, Medicare, nor unemployment insurance.

All of NASA's spending since 1958 totals 790 billion (inflation adjusted).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B...

This provides some data on the direct benefits of the space program:
http://er.jsc.nasa.gov/seh/eco...

Keep in mind that without the space program, there would be no DirectTV and we would be dependent upon Comcast.

4 days ago
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New Global Plan Would Crack Down On Corporate Tax Avoidance

clovis Re:Most taxes are legalized theft (323 comments)

The link is to the word "steal", but because theft is the act or result of stealing, we should go with "steal"
steal:

to take (the property of another or others) without permission or right, especially secretly or by force

See the part about "without permission or right". It's "without permission" and "the right" part (among other things) that makes taxation and theft two different things.

4 days ago
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NASA's Manned Rocket Contract: $4.2 Billion To Boeing, $2.6 Billion To SpaceX

clovis Re:I hate to be this guy... (186 comments)

...but people are still dying of starvation and lack of water on THIS planet. =\

I know space exploration is very important, but shit, let's get real here. I feel guilty driving a newer model Honda Civic knowing that if I bought something cheaper I could maybe feed someone less fortunate.

That's a good point, and that's why we spent several trillions of dollars on welfare and foreign aid since the space program began.

The question you didn't ask, but should, is "What are our priorities in spending?"
You say welfare is more important than space exploration. It appears this is correct because we spend vastly more money on welfare.
Nasa takes about a half percent of the federal budget. What percent would you have it be?

Here's where all the money is really going. This kind of shows how relatively trivial is the amount we're spending on NASA.
http://mentalfloss.com/article...

4 days ago
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New Global Plan Would Crack Down On Corporate Tax Avoidance

clovis Re:Most taxes are legalized theft (323 comments)

General forms of taxes are legalized theft anyway. When the government just takes money away for their "general bucket", it is nothing more than stealing.

Once in a while it is time to go pedantic.
Words have meanings. We can string words together without regard to their meanings, and create an aphorism that sounds good, but it leads to logical incorrectness and a misunderstanding of how things work. It would be better if you were just gibbering.

Taxation is not theft. The two words describe different circumstances and processes. The outcome may be the same (your stuff is gone), but they are two different words with different meanings.

5 days ago
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How Governments Are Getting Around the UN's Ban On Blinding Laser Weapons

clovis Re:Not much different than the fire starting laser (180 comments)

Does anyone give two shits what the UN says, I mean really?

The soldiers care.
The US is a signatory, and the US military has given long prison sentences to its own soldiers who have violated the Army's Rules of Engagement which are an extension of the Geneva Conventions.
BTW, 1995 Protocol on Blinding Laser Weapons is part of the Geneva Convention on the conduct of warfare. It's not simply a UN resolution.

5 days ago
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How Governments Are Getting Around the UN's Ban On Blinding Laser Weapons

clovis Re:One of those strange rules of war. (180 comments)

Yes. That is exactly the rule. Weapons that are intended to injure but not kill are illegal, weapons intended to kill are ok. Injuring someone because you tried to kill them and missed is considered acceptable, because not everyone has perfect aim.

No, that is not correct.
The Hague and Geneva conventions forbid "To employ arms, projectiles, or material calculated to cause unnecessary suffering"
There are endless misconceptions regarding the Hague and Geneva conventions. Please read the actual text of the Conventions and updates. There are many surprises such as the circumstances that allow the execution of random civilians as punishment for the behavior of others.

Here is a link to the Hague Convention.
"Annex to the Convention: Regulations respecting the laws and customs of war on land - Section II : Hostilities - Chapter I : Means of injuring the enemy, sieges, and bombardments - Regulations: Art. 23."
https://www.icrc.org/applic/ih...

The same web site includes the Geneva 1949 convention and subsequent updates (including the blinding laser weapons article)

Regarding other posts, nowhere are any type of bayonets mentioned. Almost no type of specific weapon is mentioned.
Many people confuse the US Army's rules of Engagement with the Geneva convention.
The ROE is much more specific and is the source of many of the things that people mistakenly believe are forbidden by the Geneva Convention.
FYI, the use of .50 cal machine gun against individuals is not forbidden in either place. No one knows where that story began.

If I am incorrect, please show exactly where it can be found in the Conventions.

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do After Digitizing VHS Tapes?

clovis safety deposit box in the bank (267 comments)

The things I care about a lot I copy to a hard drive once a year or so and place them in my safety deposit box at the bank. Some things I also re-copy to DVD's.
It's affordable and easy to access long-term storage. It's also about as fire-proof as you can get, and I suspect that it would be about as EMP proof as you can reasonably expect outside of a mountain. There is near zero chance of flooding where my bank is, but that may be a concern in other locations.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do After Digitizing VHS Tapes?

clovis reliable storage for the long term (267 comments)

You are interested in long-term reliable storage of this data, no?
After digitizing your videos, use uuencode and print the resulting files on acid-free paper.

about a week ago
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UK's National Health Service Moves To NoSQL Running On an Open-Source Stack

clovis Surprise! Summary has wrong information (198 comments)

Summary says: "It logs the non-clinical information on 80 million people in Britain"

Well, yes it does hold clinical information. That is a big deal.

From the UK's HSCIC web site there's more (and authoritative) information on SPINE
http://systems.hscic.gov.uk/sp...
"The Summary Care Record:
SCRs provide emergency and out-of-hours healthcare professionals with faster access to key clinical information, including details of allergies, current prescriptions and bad reactions to medicines. The Summary Care Record helps to ensure continuity of care across a variety of care settings, and is provided by the Spine."

Having or losing corrupt information in a clinical record is a good way to kill some random person. However, it is a summary, so if a physician suspects a problem in the summary, they can go to the patient's main record. Getting prescriptions crossed can also be problematic for the patient.

Ignoring the NOSQL issue, I wish we had something like SPINE here in the USA.

about two weeks ago
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How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

clovis Be grateful for the consensus (770 comments)

If it weren't for scientists coming to a consensus, that frozen shitball, Pluto, would still be a planet.

about two weeks ago
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Newly Discovered 60-foot Asteroid About To Buzz By Earth

clovis Re:Pitbull (68 comments)

A Pitbull will tear your ass up beyond repair.

Umm, I don't let my dog do that to me.

about two weeks ago
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Silicon Valley Fights Order To Pay Bigger Settlement In Tech Talent Hiring Case

clovis Re:why no RICO act charges? (200 comments)

It's only supposed to shield you from financial liability, not criminal liability.

True, you're right about that and it's supposed to work that way.

Sarbanes/Oxley and RICO cases against corporations are a good example (all two or three cases). But in practice incorporating works out to protect the owners/officers from almost anything they do that would have quickly resulted in an indictment had they done it as an individual.
The need for passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley shows how corporate officers had historically dodged responsibility for their malfeasance.
That is, with the exception of one unforgivable crime in the USA: making insufficient campaign donations.

about two weeks ago
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New DNA Analysis On Old Blood Pegs Aaron Kosminski As Jack the Ripper

clovis Re:I now know what age Russell Edwards is (135 comments)

This is slightly off-topic, but why this?

...businessman Russell Edwards, 48, bought the shawl...

Why do they throw his age in there? Why does it matter? Is that in any possible way related to the story? I'm not calling out this story in particular, I see this all the time. I'd like to know the motivation behind the trend.

My first thought when I heard he had the bloody shawl was that he was the Jack the Ripper. Who else would have such a gruesome souvenir? But, then I saw that he was only 48 and not 148, so I now know it wasn't Edwards after all.
That little fact saved me a lot of time from writing a "I know who Jack is" book. Unless the 48 not 148 was a typo.

about two weeks ago
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Silicon Valley Fights Order To Pay Bigger Settlement In Tech Talent Hiring Case

clovis Re:why no RICO act charges? (200 comments)

The much bigger question here is why aren't the executives of the relevant firms being criminally prosecuted under the RICO act? If we really want to see an end to these kinds of practises, a few of the people at the top need to be seen doing the perp walk. Fining a few of the world's richest corporations even a few billion dollars will be totally ineffective, they'll just put it down as a cost of doing business and I can guarantee you they won't then start to hire each other's staff aftewards.

Almost the entire point of forming corporations is to remove the owners from having personal liability for the actions of the corporation.
It doesn't always work, but usually it does.

about two weeks ago
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Did you use technology to get into mischief as a child?

clovis missing outhouse. (231 comments)

My neighbor down the road had, or rather used to have, an outhouse.
This outhouse was last seen perhaps 50 feet in the air. It appeared to have been rapidly disassembled by whatever caused the ascent..
Unfortunately, whoever did it had approached the outhouse through the woods, and had not taken the trouble to notice that aforesaid neighbor appeared to be having a family reunion in the back yard that day. I truly hope that none of the outhouse parts landed on the tables they had setup with food.
I still cannot believe how fast and how far those old geezers could run.
Sadly, they weren't fast enough to catch certain 16-year olds who remain unidentified. And alive.

about two weeks ago
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Out of the Warehouse: Climate Researchers Rescue Long-Lost Satellite Images

clovis Re:It could be illegal. (136 comments)

Total bullshit on the part of the media... The first version of the bill was the one that the news picked up and, well, just plain made up bald-faced lies about.
Here it is:


"Historic rates of sea-level rise may be extrapolated to estimate future rates of rise but shall not include scenarios
of accelerated rates of sea-level rise unless such rates are from statistically significant,
peer-reviewed data and are consistent with historic trends."

Clovis, how do you reconcile the "first version" text you quoted with this one? http://www.nccoast.org/uploads...

These rates shall only be determined using historical data, and these data shall be limited to the time
period following the year 1900. Rates of sea-level rise may be extrapolated linearly to estimate
future rates of rise but shall not include scenarios of accelerated rates of sea-level rise.

This version of the text totally reverses your conclusions. Was this "linear-only" text earlier than the one you quoted? Or did it come afterwards, indicating that the legislative draft actually got worse over time?

As far as I can tell, HB819 was ok, then got worse, and then got better. That's how it works in committee.
The difference is that I got mine from the North Carolina legislature's web site.
nccoast is a cool web site, but their postings are not law. What you are looknig at is "PROPOSED SENATE COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE H819-CSLH-38"
Observe the word "Proposed". I haven't been able to figure out how far the -38 proposal got. I know for certain it ain't law.

about two weeks ago
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Out of the Warehouse: Climate Researchers Rescue Long-Lost Satellite Images

clovis Re:It could be illegal. (136 comments)

This was the original bill
they were circulating. See the section 2e that mandates the use of linear interpolation? Limits the data set to
post 1900? They were dropped only after getting nationwide attention.

These legislators have been slipping such clauses into the law all the time, and this time they got caught.
Otherwise they would have happily forced the value of pi to be 3.0 exact.

Do you have problems with the legislators decreeing what interpolation technique the scientists must use?
Limiting the data sets they might use? Or do you modify the bill after getting caught with hands in the cookie
jar and then whip up prodigal quantities of false outrage?

Thanks for the link to the committee bill. The outrage makes more sense now. Did that version actually get out of committee and onto the floor?
I ask because the stuff that happens in committee versions of bills is indeed often ludicrous.
I still can't find the "linear interpolation" language in any bill that was placed on the floor when I go to the state of North Carolina's legislature's web site for HR 819.

However, what you linked to was NOT passed into law.
I posted links to what was ACTUALLY passed into law.

This is the statement I'm responding to:

"These film were stored in North Carolina. It is actually illegal there [go.com] to predict sea level rise. There is some question about whether the law makers there banned the prediction of sea level rise or the banned sea level rise itself. But anyway these NASA scientists need to tread carefully in North Carolina.

"illegal there to predict sea level rises" is wrong, and the various news articles implying that N.C. passed a law saying that are wrong.

In answer to your questions, I still say as I said before:
I don't have a problem with the legislature requiring both historical and peer-reviewed data for predictions of sea-level rise, and I cannot imagine any scientist having a problem with that.

Think about it. If you don't require peer-reviewed data, then what are you allowing? Would you allow coastal N.C. communities to base funding requests on Huffington Post? That's what they are trying to prevent.

about two weeks ago
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Out of the Warehouse: Climate Researchers Rescue Long-Lost Satellite Images

clovis Re:It could be illegal. (136 comments)

These film were stored in North Carolina. It is actually illegal there to predict sea level rise. There is some question about whether the law makers there banned the prediction of sea level rise or the banned sea level rise itself. But anyway these NASA scientists need to tread carefully in North Carolina.

Total bullshit on the part of the media.
You've got to learn to not believe what reporters say. Read the actual bill.
http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/...

"The Commission shall direct the Science Panel to include in its five-year updated assessment a
comprehensive review and summary of peer-reviewed scientific literature that address the full
range of global, regional, and North Carolina-specific sea-level change data and hypotheses,
including sea-level fall, no movement in sea level, deceleration of sea-level rise, and
acceleration of sea-level rise. When summarizing research dealing with sea level, the
Commission and the Science Panel shall define the assumptions and limitations of predictive
modeling used to predict future sea-level scenarios. "

The first version of the bill was the one that the news picked up and, well, just plain made up bald-faced lies about.
Here it is:
"Historic rates of sea-level rise may be extrapolated to estimate future rates of rise but shall not include scenarios
of accelerated rates of sea-level rise unless such rates are from statistically significant,
peer-reviewed data and are consistent with historic trends. Rates of sea-level rise shall not be
one rate for the entire coast, but rather the Commission shall consider separately oceanfront and
estuarine shorelines."

See the part about not including 'acccelerated rates of sea-level rise"? That's the controversial part of the bill. By taking the most extreme sea-level rise predictions, some sea-side community was announcing a need for huge sums of money to prepare for the "predicted rise". The bill was simply saying that you had to use peer-reviewed data and historical trends.

I don't have a problem with the legislature requiring both historical and peer-reviewed data for predictions of sea-level rise, and I cannot imagine any scientist having a problem with that.

about three weeks ago
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Power Grids: The Huge Battery Market You Never Knew Existed

clovis Re:Flywheel spin and political spin (245 comments)

bugnuts said:

Some unscrupulous legislators are trying to saddle solar generators with the cost of those who choose not to use solar.

and then AC said:

You're so wrong, you couldn't even write for Fox News.

So, AC, are you saying that you think there are no unscrupulous legislators? Or are you saying that there are no legislators involved in saddling solar generators with other costs? Or is it that you have no understandin of what you're responding to so you just throw up a cute phrase?

about three weeks ago
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Radioactive Wild Boars Still Roaming the Forests of Germany

clovis Re:For a country so good at engineering... (212 comments)

Why do I get this funny feeling that the "178 TWh/year" figure is from the rated capacity factors and not the actual production?
Because you are an idiot? But for all idiots the old saying is true: google.com is your friend.

I must be one of the idiots because I cannot find your 178 TWh/yr production either.
However, I can get close to that. Looking here:
http://www.ise.fraunhofer.de/e...
I see this:
"The first half of 2014 was marked by mild temperatures and high electricity production from wind and
solar energy. Solar power plants have increased their production compared to the first half of 2013 by
28%, while wind power grew about 19%. In June solar systems have produced twice as much electricity
as wind turbines. In the first half of the year solar and wind power plants together produced more than
45 TWh or approximately 17% of the net electricity generation. The renewable energy sources solar,
wind, hydro and biomass produced a total of about 81 TWh and accounted for approximately 31% of
the net electricity production. The renewable share of the gross electricity production including the
industrial power plants is approx. 28%."

That's the first half of 2014, so twice that is 162 TWh.

However, tis statement of yours is wrong "Germany can now meet demand without any nuclear and without additional gas imports."
They can't do that this year or the next.

By way of comparision, in the USA during 2013, we produced 522 TWh with renewables
http://www.eia.gov/electricity...

ooo, look, I included links for my assertions instead of just pulling numbers out of my hat.

So again, we ask: where did you get your number of 178 TWh?

about three weeks ago

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