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Bidding At FCC TV Spectrum Auction May Be Restricted For Large Carriers

lgw Re:Government picking favorites (59 comments)

Broadcast TV is a howling wasteland and its arguments that it offers some sort of valuable public service aren't exactly getting more convincing as time goes on.

Sadly true, and truly sad. But it would be a shame if we auctioned off all the cool frequencies this year, then invented some amazing new wireless tech 5-10 years from now, and had no place to put it.

6 hours ago
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Bidding At FCC TV Spectrum Auction May Be Restricted For Large Carriers

lgw Re:Government picking favorites (59 comments)

Well, I use T-Mobile. I love T-Mobile. It would be awesome if they could get some actual high-speed wireless coverage that was worth a damn. Thus I conclude they won't end up with any new bandwidth - fate is just taunting me.

6 hours ago
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Bidding At FCC TV Spectrum Auction May Be Restricted For Large Carriers

lgw Re:Government picking favorites (59 comments)

Well, to begin with, if the big players want that bandwidth they'll just buy whoever buys it. Problem solved. If some of the bidders are shell companies created for just such a contingency, so much the better.

8 hours ago
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GoPro Project Claims Technology Is Making People Lose Empathy For Homeless

lgw Re:perception (219 comments)

ill. Ron reagon shut them down to give tax breaks to wall street assholes, and tossed them onto the streets.

Ronald Reagan's tax breaks resulted in increased government revenue, is the thing. Voodoo economics actually worked. Was can argue about where we are now on the Laffer curve, but we know the Carter-era tax brackets were past the point of negative returns.

Why the asylums were closed is anyone's guess. It seems a huge mistake to me, and it cost very little in the scope of government social programs. I could never make sense of that - not even a tinfoil hat theory.

9 hours ago
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GoPro Project Claims Technology Is Making People Lose Empathy For Homeless

lgw Re:perception (219 comments)

Shantytowns are also a disaster waiting to happen. While there are certainly cynical reasons for outlawing them, a fire that sweeps a shantytown and kills several people, or a flood where a shantytown was built on a floodplain, is a non-cynical reason (and these things have happened). So now we have trailer parks instead, which are harder to afford to be sure, but not by much. You can be pretty far down on your luck and still manage a trailer - I should know.

9 hours ago
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GoPro Project Claims Technology Is Making People Lose Empathy For Homeless

lgw Re:perception (219 comments)

Interesting assertion. I think the government (or parts of it) benefits greatly by creating a permanent underclass dependent on government assistance (giving a man a fish while trying to prevent him from learning to fish). We've seen plenty of clear historical and current evidence of people in power using aid to the poor to create a supply of loyal followers. There's little that's more creepy than a "free" school with the patron's picture everywhere and lessons everyday on what a good person the patron is and so on - this is still common today in parts of the world, as is becoming a powerful government/religious leader because of it. And to me, a poorly structured government charity (one that actually penalizes moving to a minimum wage job) has the same creepy vibe, if to a lesser degree.

I give to charities that focus on improving communities become self-sufficient and breaking these kinds of traps (though I do have one religious charity I'm slightly skeptical of, they have a solid reputation). Precisely providing that kind of aid without the "and you only have to me my loyal follower" strings attached.

Do we have much evidence of government assistance that actually fixes underlying problems, rather than help keep people satisfies with things as they are? I like to see some rays of hope in that area, somewhere!

9 hours ago
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GoPro Project Claims Technology Is Making People Lose Empathy For Homeless

lgw Re:perception (219 comments)

The biggest problem as I see it is that so many people think it's the government's job now. After all, we pay a lot of taxes and the government has a lot of social programs. Why do more? I used to think that way myself.

But these days, I just accept my taxes as a total loss, and only count as charity what I give to good charities that I trust. I also prefer charities focused on fixing the underlying issues, over the merely palliative.

13 hours ago
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GoPro Project Claims Technology Is Making People Lose Empathy For Homeless

lgw Re:perception (219 comments)

In the 18th Century, cities were so small and mixed that the rich **had to see the poor** daily. They had to see how they lived, open on the streets.

And so a common solution at the time was to occasionally have the cops beat all the beggars out of town with cudgels. No more problem with seeing the homeless.

The issue isn't seeing, the issue is caring. (And personally, my charity goes to people around the world with much worse problems than America's "poor", people whom I will never see, but that's just me.)

13 hours ago
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Industry-Wide Smartphone "Kill Switch" Closer To Reality

lgw Re:Yay for government!!! (113 comments)

People sent texts from protest marches in Iran and some of the Arab spring stuff, and the governments weren't successful in stopping that. Also, you need a bigger hammer to keep people from using their phones to record police shooting at the crowd or other abuses. Remotely wiping the phones is a great win for dictators everywhere.

13 hours ago
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Steam's Most Popular Games

lgw Re:Partial statistics (100 comments)

Wow, I quite the HL franchise halfway through Ep 2 it stank so badly. All subjective I guess.

I still go back and play HL1 every couple of years, followed by OpFor and BlueShift. I think that was the peak of single player FPS gaming, and it's been gradually downhill ever since as focus shifted to multiplayer, or incorporated RPG elements. (Quake 4 was also pretty good, but it was a deliberate throwback to those days).

Not that I hate FPS RPGs, but it's a different genre.

13 hours ago
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Industry-Wide Smartphone "Kill Switch" Closer To Reality

lgw Re:Yay for government!!! (113 comments)

Just watch for the first riot in 2016 under some authoritarian government. They'll "kill" all the cellphones of all the rioters to prevent organization and photography of police, not even a question about it.

yesterday
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Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

lgw Re:Holy shit (390 comments)

Most employers match that at least a little. Long term tax-free growth of "double every 10 years" is reasonable to expect from stocks. After 30 years, having 70 years of savings is a reasonable goal. Of course, your pay's going up and inflation is too and so on, but still, becoming a millionaire from 30 years of 401K savings is quite practical. Doing the same for "millionaire in today's dollars", a far more interesting goal, is quite practical given 40 years of 401K savings.

Of course, best to save more elsewhere, and try to retire earlier than 40 years.

yesterday
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Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

lgw Re:Holy shit (390 comments)

Gold is a good measure of inflation if you take the 10-year-average, or maybe the 20-year, of gold prices. While gold is hopelessly volatile in the short term, it seems to keep reasonably equivalent purchasing power century-by-century.

Home prices work out about the same, BTW. While real estate markets can be just as volatile, long term house prices are flat with inflation, which makes a lot of sense (the % of income people are willing/able to spend on housing won't change unless human nature changes, so you expect the average house to represent a given amount of purchasing power).

yesterday
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Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

lgw Re:I must be in the minority. (390 comments)

Unless the meaning of millionaire is changing to mean "a seven figure income", then why would anyone with a six figure income not expect to become a millionaire? Are people just really bad at saving? That's too low to even be a good retirement goal, unless you're sure of Social Security to compliment it (in which case it's about right - but who doesn't expect SS to be "means tested" and taken away from those who save?)

yesterday
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Ubisoft Hands Out Nexus 7 Tablets At a Game's Press Event

lgw Re:More Shocking... (43 comments)

That's just one of many angles. The biggest may be early access to games for reviewers. A game review is of course more valuable if it's out before the game is, but that requires playing nice with the publishers.

yesterday
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Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

lgw Re:Becoming Canadian (408 comments)

You've never worked for a start up? It's all about the IPO. Technological advancement for the past 15 years or so anyway has been driven by the hopes of IPO, or as "plan B", acquisition by a big company at a price established by what an IPO might bring.

The secondary market sets the benchmark for what a successful small company is worth, which in turn drives the availability of investment in start-ups and other small businesses.

yesterday
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IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

lgw Re:you are **still** a Republican (618 comments)

You know, I've argued in the past that modern politics has become about "tribal identification" and not about what's best for the nation. But wow; just wow.

yesterday
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IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

lgw Re:you are a Republican (618 comments)

Huh, what? You're talking about the first bill Obama signed into law? The GOP is reliably management-vs-labor, to be sure (after all, organized labor is a key element of the Dem constituency, so at least the parties are representing their constituents by their sides there), but how did they kill it?

I did think you were trying to construe the "people can pay for their own birth control" as a women's rights issue, since that's recently in the news - OK, I guessed wrong. So what are you on about?

(BTW, I do wish there was a party I was aligned with, but I just want a small government party, and there's no such animal any more).

yesterday
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How Apple's CarPlay Could Shore Up the Car Stereo Industry

lgw Re:The Real Breakthrough - non auto-maker Maps (182 comments)

Car makers have been constantly pushing very over-priced terrible in-car GPS systems for a while,

I'll have you know my car has a very over-priced mediocre in-car GPS system! Actually, its flaw is no good interface to set a destination address (voice recognition and arbitrary proper nouns is just a bad combination in general). I really want a way to attach a keyboard, or to pull an address from my phone contacts list in some sane and reliable way.

One thing I really wish would happen would be to have the car industry be also mandated to provide third-party access to all of the screens that will be mandated in cars soon because of the back-up cameras... that could lead to a real renaissance in what smart-phones can do for you in-car.

There's real potential there, but I want it to work both ways: the car should accept any screen though some standard interface (2-way HDMI maybe?). The built-in screens will have terrible resolution, no doubt, but it seems like a good part for an aftermarket upgrade.

yesterday

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lgw hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

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Geothermal vs Solar Power

lgw lgw writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Here are the basic numbers on aailable geothermal vs solar power (since this has come up in discussion more than once).

The surface area of the Earth is about 5.1 x 10^14 m^2. The cross sectional area is about 1.3 x 10^14 m^2 (one quarter of the surface area, of course).

Per this paper found as a cite on wikipedia, the total heat flow out from the Earth's interior is 4.42 x 10^13 W, or 0.0867 W/m^2. Of course, the available power is much less because it's only the subsurface-surface temperature difference that's available.

Total solar irradience is 1361 W/m^2 by NASA's latest estimate (so about 1.7 x 10^17 W across the entire cross section), or about 1000 W/m^2 on the surface at noon on a cloudless day. Averaged over the day-night cycle (surface area vs cross-section, so 250 W/m^2), and taking clouds into account that's about 180 W/m^2 (I can't find a solid source on that yet, but it looks close).

So, total solar power flow is about 4000 times as large as total geothermal flow. I'm not quite sure how to estimate the (ideal) available power as a percentage of the total geothermal power flow, but if we use a WAG of 50%, then the available power from solar is also about 4000 times per square meter more than geothermal - significantly more if we average solar power only across populated latitudes.

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Global Warming Link

lgw lgw writes  |  more than 5 years ago

This is the best summary of the great global warming fraud I've yet seen, and published in the most unlikely of places.

To be told, as I have been, by Mr. Gore, again and again, that carbon dioxide is a grave threat to humankind is not just annoying, by the way, although it is that! To re-tool our economies in an effort to suppress carbon dioxide and its imaginary effect on climate, when other, graver problems exist is, simply put, wrong. Particulate pollution, such as that causing the Asian brown cloud, is a real problem. Two billion people on Earth living without electricity, in darkened huts and hovels polluted by charcoal smoke, is a real problem.

Although I feel Harold Ambler makes some good points, he misses what I've always felt was the most important. Given that the climate will change (as it always has), do we want it to be warmer, or colder? As glaciers covering Europe (the norm for the ice age we've been in for the past 100M years) seems to me far worse than rising sea levels, I've never understood why we'd want to fight warming in the first place.

I think the whole global warming fraud started by ignoring all of the available evidence and blindly asserting that the climate is naturally stable, so therefore if man did something to break that stability we'd be creating an otherwise-avoidable catastrophe. What BS. The only thing historically unprecedented is the inexplicable stability of the climate for the past 10K years. Change is unavoidable, with or without the actions of man.

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Some quotes I like

lgw lgw writes  |  more than 8 years ago

"Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled, or hanged." - Abraham Lincoln

"Pacifism is objectively pro-Fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side you automatically help out that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, 'he that is not with me is against me.'" - George Orwell

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