×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Why We Have To Kiss Off Big Carbon Now

nealric Re:Ironically, bottled mineral water is exploding. (441 comments)

That a large shareholder would advocate a policy that benefits the company he holds shares in should surprise nobody. But that does not prove your point that this has anything to do with environmental sensitivities.

5 days ago
top

Regular Exercise Not Enough To Make Up For Sitting All Day

nealric Needs More Study (348 comments)

I'm not convinced the sitting variable has been properly isolated. The people who get regular exercise but sit for long periods are mostly office workers. Perhaps it's the stress of an office job that is getting to these people rather than sitting. I also note that this "study" aggregated other studies. One of those studies defined excessive sitting as someone who watches more than five hours of television a day. I submit that anybody who watches more than five hours of television a day is suffering from depression or some other condition that would lead to doing such a thing.

5 days ago
top

Why We Have To Kiss Off Big Carbon Now

nealric Re:The pendulum swings too far... (441 comments)

Only if it happened all at once. The power grid will adapt to the needs. Also, most electric car charging is overnight, when the grid is generally not very taxed.

about two weeks ago
top

Why We Have To Kiss Off Big Carbon Now

nealric Re:Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes (441 comments)

Re: "Huge subsidies"

I am a tax attorney for a large independent oil producer. The amount to which the oil industry is subsidized (at least in the tax code) is often greatly exaggerated. The biggest tax provision that gets scored as a subsidy is expensing for intangible drilling costs. However, this provision really attempts to capture the economics of what is happening when an oil company drills a well. When you make a large capital investment, such as buying a machine, you get deductions spread out over a period of years. When you make small purchases, such as office supplies, or pay employees you get an immediate business expense deduction. The intangible drilling cost deduction essentially says that certain costs related to well drilling, such as geological surveys are more like buying office supplies than long-lived machinery. There are lots of other oil specific provisions that could be looked at either as a subsidy or simply as a provision intended to properly tax the unique aspects of an industry. Oil is not alone in this. Life insurance companies, for example, have their own special tax regime to themselves due to the unique aspects of the life insurance industry.

about two weeks ago
top

Why We Have To Kiss Off Big Carbon Now

nealric Re:Ironically, bottled mineral water is exploding. (441 comments)

I'm not sure what you mean by "immunity from disclosing". The backing ingredients in frack fluid are well known. However, the exact mixture may be protected for intellectual property reasons, as getting it right for a given formation can have a big impact in how successful the well is. Nothing to do with environmental concerns.

As for breaking the rock. It's true that is what fracking does, but it does so well below the water table, with several layers of rock between it at the water table. The potential for water contamination comes from a leaky wellhead casing as it passes through the water table. But that can happen regardless of whether the well is fracked.

about two weeks ago
top

Intuit Charges More For Previously Offered TurboTax Features, Users Livid

nealric Re:Just hire a CPA (450 comments)

RALs are technically illegal, but there are plenty of ways to produce a similar result. Nothing to stop them from giving you a payday loan at the same time. I'm not getting into the payday loan industry, just saying that many poor people pay for their tax prep out of their refund, and way overpay.

about two weeks ago
top

Intuit Charges More For Previously Offered TurboTax Features, Users Livid

nealric Re:Not just self-employed.. (450 comments)

Most people's retirement savings are all in 401ks. Those don't complicate returns.

about two weeks ago
top

Intuit Charges More For Previously Offered TurboTax Features, Users Livid

nealric Re:Just hire a CPA (450 comments)

Most people making $20k get refunds. They often go to shady outfits that provide refund anticipation loans and nosebleed interest rates that suck away a big portion of the refund. They don't even realize how much they are paying for the service.

about two weeks ago
top

Analysis of Spacecraft Data Reveals Most Earth-like Planet To Date

nealric Re:Common sense space exploration (83 comments)

It might get out to Alpha Centauri (provided a whole host of technologies required for a spacecraft to travel 50 years are invented and perfected).... which is not where these "goldilocks" planets are. Nuclear pulse won't get us the 100+ light years needed to get to the planets under discussion.

about two weeks ago
top

Analysis of Spacecraft Data Reveals Most Earth-like Planet To Date

nealric Re:Common sense space exploration (83 comments)

It's practically impossible to stop by physical material if all of the energy of that 10 tons is concentrated into a impact zone the size of a golf ball. Just like your skin won't be pierced when it is hit by a 10lb hammer, but a 10lb katana swung at the same speed will cut you in half. The micrometeorite research done to date is examining impacts occurring at a tiny fraction of the speed envisioned here. At the very least, protecting from such impacts would require an exponential increase in the mass of the space ship- further exacerbating the tyranny of the rocket equation.

about two weeks ago
top

Analysis of Spacecraft Data Reveals Most Earth-like Planet To Date

nealric Re:Common sense space exploration (83 comments)

Adding to my comment above: a generation ship consisting of six individuals supervising embryos in perpetuity ignores the entropy associated with human psychology. A certain percentage of the population are psychopaths. What happens when one of the six decides a few generations down the line decides to murder the other 5? Perhaps that can be avoided with careful genetic engineering, but even that ignores the foibles of human psychology. Is it really realistic to expect someone to live with 5 other humans for an entire lifetime cooped up in a tin can with no hope for an escape from the monotony of maintaining the ship? All it takes is for one generation to fail to fulfill their duties and the ship is toast. You could have the ship all robotized and only embryos, but it's unclear whether it's possible to rear a healthy adult from a child who has never had adult human contact.

about three weeks ago
top

Analysis of Spacecraft Data Reveals Most Earth-like Planet To Date

nealric Re:Common sense space exploration (83 comments)

Even a generation ship like you describe poses technical problems that may very well be insurmountable.

One issue is small particles in space (micrometeorites). While the space station may have managed to avoid catastrophic impacts over a decade, the probability of a major impact on a ship traveling for centuries at even a very small fraction of the speed of light hitting *something* in space becomes extremely high. At those speeds, a golf ball size object would slice through any known material like a hot knife through butter and could easily breach every single pressurized chamber on the ship. You would need some sort of powered force field- a technology that does not exist and has no known theoretical basis for its existence.

Another issue is food and biology. Previous attempts and creating a small closed ecosystem (biosphere) were miserable failures. It may very well be that there is a minimum size for such an ecosystem to be sustainable- a size that may not be feasible for a spacecraft.

A third issue is propulsion and power. The generation ship proposes relatively slow travel as a solution to the tyranny of the rocket equation. But even the generation ship must provide power for centuries. Even using nuclear fuel, the amount of fuel required to power the spacecraft essentially indefinitely would become extreme. Plus, getting the spacecraft up to even a very low cruising speed (by interstellar standards) of .01c would require a huge amount of any known type of fuel, and an equal amount of fuel to slow to a speed that it could orbit the new planet. What happens if it turns out the destination planet is not actually habitable? There would be no fuel left to choose an alternate destination. At that point, the generation ship offers no advantage over a colony on the moon.

A final concern is one of need. Interstellar travel proponents often use the argument that the Earth may one day become too small to support the human population and/or uninhabitable, requiring a new planet. But until the sun starts to begin its decay in billions of years, it's difficult to imagine a scenario where interstellar travel is more feasible than simply fixing earth. Human population size will likely decline as birth control becomes ubiquitous (the developed world already has a birthrate below replacement). Any civilization with the technology to create a closed ecosystem with an indefinite lifespan for a generation ship could just as easily create such an ecosystem on earth or bio engineer a solution to what ever disaster has befallen earth.

about three weeks ago
top

Analysis of Spacecraft Data Reveals Most Earth-like Planet To Date

nealric Re:Common sense space exploration (83 comments)

Before we can "invest in technology" we need to have some theoretical basis for said technology to work. Our current understanding of physics provides no plausible mechanism for a living human to travel to these planets. Unless there is a fatal flaw in relativity, it is possible (if not probable) that practical interstellar travel is essentially impossible.

about three weeks ago
top

Montana Lawmakers Propose 85 Mph Speed Limit On Interstates

nealric Re:American drivers are oblivious (525 comments)

I find very few drivers in the U.S. have any idea what the traction limits of their cars are, or have any idea what they should do if they are exceeded. Skid pad training for slide recovery should be mandatory.

about 2 months ago
top

Montana Lawmakers Propose 85 Mph Speed Limit On Interstates

nealric Re:It won't stop at 85 (525 comments)

It's been my observation that there is a limit to speeds people are comfortable at. The speed limit on Highway 287 in Texas (Dallas to Amarillo) used to be 65mph. People would usually drive around 75mph and there were speed traps everywhere. Recently, the limit was raised to 75mph. People still mostly drive 75, but the speed traps have thinned out considerably. Road noise and wind buffeting mean that most (non sports) cars start to feel a little squirrely above 80mph. Above 90, most economy cars will be struggling just to sustain speed with the pedal floored.

about 2 months ago
top

How the Rollout of 5G Will Change Everything

nealric Re: Seems like more marketing nonsense (216 comments)

Maybe everyone has to share, but Verizon determines the network capacity. It IS their problem to make sure their network can handle the data usage from the plans they have sold.

about 2 months ago
top

Study: Body Weight Heavily Influenced By Heritable Gut Microbes

nealric Re:Energy in and energy out (297 comments)

I find a lot of people who claim to have "tried" diet an exercise haven't effectively done either. "Exercise" does not mean sitting on a recumbant bike for 30 minutes while reading a magazine a few times a week. Sure, it's better than nothing, but it's not going to burn significant calories or increase your basal metabolic rate much. Likewise, "diet" does not mean switching to the "low fat" or "diet" versions of the foods you usually eat.

Effective exercise involves BOTH cardio and strength training. Cardio 5x a week, strength 3x. Unless you have a diagnosed health condition other than weight, it should not be moderate- It should be vigorous. Cardio can be pretty much anything, but it should involve periods above 80% max heart rate. Endurance exercise (1hr+ exertion) at a lower heart rate should be mixed in as well. Proper strength training involves doing sets of major exercises (deadlifts, squats, bench press, rows) until or near failure. Things like dumbell curls and kettlebell swings are fine supplements, but you won't see much in the way of gains from doing endless reps of curls on a 5lb dumbell.

Effective diet involves eating whole unprocessed foods with a lot of micronutrients. Don't drink your calories (most caloric drinks get that way through sugar). While the exact components of an ideal diet are a matter of debate, it's pretty clear than anything that comes in a box or can or sealed bag is a lot less likely to be healthy.

If you do the above, you will burn significant calories from the cardio and significantly increase your basal metabolic rate by adding muscle. Your total calories will likely decrease without any conscious reduction efforts because fresh fruits and veggies will fill you up a lot faster than a bag of Doritos. None of this is rocket science, but sadly is ignored by most people looking to loose weight. Mostly because it involves a lot of hard work (it will take a year of consistent training for your strength efforts to be visible), and because there is no gimmicky product to sell. All you need is the produce aisle, a good barbell set/bench/power rack, and a pair of running shoes.

about 2 months ago
top

The Great IT Hiring He-Said / She-Said

nealric Re:Some of the most successful companies (574 comments)

Re Lawyer compensation:

It's true that a partner at a large firm can make $500k (indeed, some make millions per year), but that's a tiny fraction of lawyers and they do work close to every waking hour. This is at most 1-2% of practicing lawyers. Very successful plaintiff's lawyers can make millions on one case, but have no steady income. Of highly paid lawyers, much more common are large firm associates (start at $160k and go to $280k or so), or in-house lawyers at large companies ($110-$300k depending on seniority). The in-house lawyers often get pretty close to 9-5 hours. That said, at least 50% of lawyers are fighting for table scraps and make much less. It's true that nobody does lawyer work as a hobby (you need a client, so you can't just do it for no reason), but plenty of lawyers do free legal work for the poor.

The bottom line is all highly paid jobs require significant expertise and the very top of most professions make very outsized salaries compared to the average practitioner.

about 3 months ago
top

Apple Pay Competitor CurrentC Breached

nealric Re:Competition (265 comments)

You are quite simply wrong. An attempt at a monopoly is illegal too. You don't have to have one. See section 2 of the Sherman antitrust act. No, shutting down the CurrentC app wouldn't be a slam dunk antitrust case, but it would absolutely carry antitrust risk- especially if Apple colluded with Google. IAAL.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

nealric hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

nealric has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?