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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

tie_guy_matt The economy is supposed to make our lives better (778 comments)

The purpose of an economy is to support humans; the purpose of humans is not to support the economy. If your business is not successful enough that you cannot remain profitable while paying your employees a living wage then maybe we don't really need your business. Maybe you should go out of business and if your company really was filling a need then someone smarter than you can figure out how to fill that need while making enough profit to pay their people enough to live on. In the end only the really competent business will survive and workers will have enough money to actually live (and they will just end up plowing their income back into the economy thus spurring even more growth.) Or I guess we could have it the other way. We could have just a few rich people who can't figure out how to sell anything anymore because a large part of the population is too poor to even buy a pot to piss in.

about 2 months ago
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New Digital Currency Bases Value On Reputation

tie_guy_matt I have an idea (100 comments)

Why don't we have a digital currency that is backed by the full faith and credit of a national government. We could set up an independent bank that could create this digital currency out of thin air and then loan it to banks while charging a base interest rate (let's call that interest rate the "prime interest rate" may I also suggest we call the bank something other than "federal reserve bank" since that might confuse people into thinking it is part of the federal government even though it is not -- ok you are not going to listen to me! fine!) Then this bank could raise or lower the interest rate to spur growth or to stop inflation. This bank should be regulated so that the chairman of this bank will not be allowed to do stuff like buy much stock (since stock prices will depend on how he sets the rate.) This bank could even print paper versions of the currency that could be used as legal tender. The paper versions of the currency will have no real value what so ever and thus this will be basically a digital currency.

No on second thought this type of made up digital currency will never work! We clearly need to think of something else!

about 2 months ago
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US Senator Blasts Microsoft's H-1B Push As It Lays 18,000 Off Workers

tie_guy_matt Re:Free market economy (529 comments)

What did regulation get us? You mean after the new deal was put in place but before Ragean and company went about getting rid of it? Hmm let's see? End of the great depression? But wait Rush Limbah says that WW2 ended the great depression? Well the great depression was starting to end before WW2 but if you are saying that the massive government spending and massive government growth during WW2 ended the great depression then I have to thank you for proving my point exactly,

What else did it get us? ~50 years of strong growth without any real recessions? Strongest middle class in the history of mankind? Turning the US economy into the biggest in the world with the largest manufactoring base? Remember back in the day all the best consumer electronics were all made in the USA. Our manufactoring base was protected because from the founding of the country until about the 1980's we actually charged tariffs to people importing goods we could make here. In fact until WW1 tarrifs completely funded the federal government.

Execpt for all of that then I guess I would have to say yeah, regulations gave us nothing. Guess we need a fundamental change? And by fundemental change I guess you mean do the same thing we have been doing for the last ~30 years? I.E continue to deregulate and destroy whatever is left of the new deal? Yes we should not got back to the way things were back in the 50's and 60's. Back then the government actually regulated business. Back then a CEO could not be paid in stock (so he -- and yes back then it was always he, couldn't pump and dump like everyone loves to do today.) If a company became a monopoly then the government would split it up. The government wouldn't allow banks to lend money to people that couldn't afford to pay it back. And since the ultra rich had a +50% top tax bracket (with a lot fewer shelters so they actually mostly paid it) more rich people invested more money in their companies (to avoid paying taxes) and so there was less money around to have tons of bubbles in the stock market, energy market, housing market, etc. Back then companies actually had R&D departments because the CEOs all weren't slaves to the stock price -- they actually cared about the long term future of the company (imagine that!)

No you are right we should certainly not go back to the way things were back then. We need a fundemental change and that means doing the same thing we have been doing since Ragean.

about 2 months ago
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Train Derailment Dumps Two 737 Fuselages Into Clark Fork River

tie_guy_matt Re:Only in America (187 comments)

The government doesn't insist that they add anything to alcohol. I can go to the store and buy as much alcohol as I want. It is even legal for me to get a massive buzz from drinking it. Problem is that a lot of people do a lot of stupid things that are costly to society while drinking alcohol. So the government does insist that if you drink something that may end up costing society some money that you help to pay for the damage through increased taxes. The only problem there is that alcohol does have a lot of industrial uses. So if you are going to use your alcohol for something other than drinking then you shouldn't have to pay taxes to cover the cost of stupid things people tend to do while drunk. No problem. If you make your alcohol impossible to drink (but still usefull for industrial activities) then you don't have to pay taxes on it. The government only insists that if you do something that costs us all more money then you should have to pay some of it back via increased alcohol tax. Seems pretty reasonable to me.

about 3 months ago
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Ohio Prison Shows Pirated Movies To Inmates

tie_guy_matt Re:Perfect! (186 comments)

Just don't show them the pirate movie "cutthroat island" ( http://business.time.com/2012/... .) After all, cruel and unusual punishment is unconstitutional!

about 4 months ago
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Did the Ignition Key Just Die?

tie_guy_matt Re:And increased profits for GM (865 comments)

Look, I am about as liberal as they come. I think that the government should go in and force the company to do an expensive recall if it means saving lives. If one company were to basically become a monopoly then the government should step in a split the company up. If a company is lying to the public and generally acting like jerks then the government should give them a nice fine. However even I don't think that the government should set a max price for something like a key transponder. Next time you buy a car, check for the price of the key transponder. If the key transponder (along with any other misc crap that you can't get from a third party and that the dealer wants to nickel and dime you on) is too expensive then don't buy they car. If the car companies start loosing money then they will lower the price for stuff you can only get at a dealer. If too few people complain about this then -- well, all I can say is that the problem with a democracy is that people sometimes vote the wrong way. Oh, one more thing I bet the transponder on a Chevy Spark is going to be cheaper than on a Cadillac CTS. If you want cheap parts looking into getting a cheap car.

about 4 months ago
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Death Hovers Politely For Americans' Swipe-and-Sign Credit Cards

tie_guy_matt Skim software (731 comments)

Well the target problem happened because someone managed to install skimming software on all of the computers. If the security of your checkout system is compromised then can't you just skim the pin number instead of trying to forge the signature? Actually it is pretty hard to really forge a signature. But then again they can't have a signature expert look at every signature so if it kindof looks like your name then it probably passes the system. Just like I imagine it will be easy to steal your pin card (for most people it will probably be their birthday.) I guess in the end we just all end up spending more on interest or anual fees (unless you get a card with no interest and pay off your bill every month -- in the industry people like that are called "deadbeats") to pay for all of the credit card fraud. It is not like the credit card companies are going to tap into their profits to pay for this.

about 7 months ago
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Dyson Invests £5 Million To Create 'Intelligent Domestic Robots'

tie_guy_matt Re:I'm not covinced by Dyson (125 comments)

I am looking at last month's consumer reports right now. They rated vacuum cleaners. The best bagless vacuum only scores as well as maybe a middle of the road (and cheaper) bagged vacuum. So no, I would say he did not really improve the vacuum cleaner much. All he did was invent a gimick for people who don't know that you are not supposed to reuse the vacuum cleaner bag!

I can't find the commercial on youtube. However I recall his claim was that Tesla's design was around for ~100 years until he came around and improved it. He ignored everyone else who made little improvements to the motor and seemed to say that he is as good as Tesla. He is not!

about 7 months ago
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Dyson Invests £5 Million To Create 'Intelligent Domestic Robots'

tie_guy_matt Re:I'm not covinced by Dyson (125 comments)

Oh, I see. I am not using the bagless vacuum correctly. The correct way to empty the bagless vacuum is to empty it outside. Right now outside is a land full of snow and sub zero (fahrenheit) temperatures! But yes going outside in the extreme cold (or in summer heat and possibly rain) does seem like a lot easier than just replacing a @#$@#$ vacuum cleaner bag inside where it is nice and warm.

And if you think your filter will never clog then you obviously have no idea at all how filters work. I guess I am not surprised that the filter often lasts longer than the vacuum; however I am sure that this has a lot more to do with the general crappiness of the vacuum than the longevity of the filter.

about 7 months ago
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Dyson Invests £5 Million To Create 'Intelligent Domestic Robots'

tie_guy_matt Re:I'm not covinced by Dyson (125 comments)

Even though the bagless vacuum cleaner is a big seller, I still think that it is a stupid concept. Yes your bagged vacuum cleaner does start to loose suction if the bag gets full (or even if the bag is not entirely full of dirt and larger particles.) That is because the bag is also the hepa filter. If your vacuum is loosing suction it is because the bag's built in hepa filter is getting clogged. In that case, just change the #$%@#$ filter! They aren't that expensive. Oh and by the way the bag doubles as a trash bag so you can throw the entire contents of the bag out and replace the filter all at once without worrying about the dusting going back into the air like what happens when you empty a bagless vacuum cleaner. One of the problems with bagless vacuum cleaners is that they sometimes will allow smaller dust particles to go through and make it out the vacuum cleaner. So to fix that they add an extra hepa filter. Guess what happens when the filter starts getting clogged? Your vacuum cleaner looses suction! So now you have the dust going back into the room when you change the bin AND you still have to change the filter. I am sorry but the entire concept just seems stupid to me.

Maybe part of the reason I don't like Dyson is that he once made a commercial saying how he improved Tesla's electric motor design. Maybe he didn't mean it like this, but to me it sounded like he was trying to say he is better than Tesla. I am sorry Dyson but you are not fit to hold Nikola Tesla's jock strap! And I personally think a lot of your big vacuum cleaner improvements are useless and stupid!

about 7 months ago
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Where Old Hard Disks (with Digital Secrets) Go To Die

tie_guy_matt Working for the DOD (128 comments)

One nice thing about working for the DOD is that Dell doesn't expect you to be able to return your old hard drive. Just say that your hard drive is defective and they will send you a new one no questions asked. Of course most of the people I know (myself included) were to honest and would only ask for a new HD if their old one was in fact defective. But I suppose if you were into using your power for evil and not good you could have gotten an entire collection of new HD's that way. You also could have been guilty of stealing government property if you used them for anything but work (which wouldn't be likely since they aren't barcoded but you never know) so I guess that is also why nobody bothered with that. HD are cheap enough that it isn't worth it.

about 8 months ago
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20% of Neanderthal Genome Survives In Humans

tie_guy_matt Re:As someone who works in tech support... (202 comments)

Despite the fact that the I in IQ stands for intelligence, the standard IQ test is, by design, a measure of how well a person is likely to do in a tradition western school setting. It isn't, and was never meant to be, a measure of a person's worth as a human being or even ones true intelligence. Changes in environment and upbringing can change a person's chances of doing well in school and thus will also change their measurable IQ. So it is likely that certain ethnic groups score differently on their IQ tests, not because of genes or whatever, but because of their environment. Your genes might say that you should be the smartest person in the world; however if you do not get proper nutrition growing up, have parents that are too busy getting what little food is around on the table to read to you, and your early eduction system sucks, then your IQ is going to suffer and you are not going to seem as smart as you could be. Of course this won't stop racists from pointing to tests scores they don't understand in order to peddle their BS.

about 8 months ago
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20% of Neanderthal Genome Survives In Humans

tie_guy_matt Re:Black and white (202 comments)

Evidence shows that homo erectus left Africa and then evolved into homo neanderthal. Later early modern humans followed the path of their ancestors and once again migrated out of Africa. It seems that when they met what had evolved from homo erectus -- well let's just say that when the cave is a rockin you shouldn't go a knockin. So it isn't surprising that modern Africans do not have many Neanderthal genes because it doesn't look like they ever migrated back into Africa.

Of course one definition of two groups being in the same species is if they can mate and have fertile offspring. Since we know early modern humans and neanderthals mated and had fertile offspring you could make a good argument that us, early modern humans, homo neanderthal, and homo erectus were/are all the same species.

about 8 months ago
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20% of Neanderthal Genome Survives In Humans

tie_guy_matt Re:As someone who works in tech support... (202 comments)

Remember their brains were the same size, if not a little bigger, than ours. And we know they also had the genes that give us the ability to communicate complex information verbally. So no, I do not think we can say for sure that they were dumber -- not unless we were able to say clone a pure neanderthal and then talk to them to see how smart or dumb they really were.

about 8 months ago
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Water Plume Detected At Dwarf Planet Ceres

tie_guy_matt water in sci-fi plots (66 comments)

There are a lot of sci-fi shows/movies where the aliens are searching for water which is why they came to the earth. While I find a lot of these shows entertaining, I don't think they are that realistic. There does appear to be a fair amount of water in the universe. It would seem to me that you might be able to find other sources of water that don't involve pissing of a group of (reasonably) intelligent animals who, primitive as they may seem to the alien, do have nuclear weapons. Although if life on earth is anything like most alien life, then without liquid water we are all SOL. Most of us live with a faucet with an endless source so we do not know what it is like to live w/o a reliable source of water. However I can imagine that it is not fun at all.

about 8 months ago
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OpenBSD Looking At Funding Shortfall In 2014

tie_guy_matt BSD is dying? (277 comments)

Wait, BSD IS dying? Or at least one of them is? Who knew?

about 8 months ago
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How would you use science to innovate upon sports?

tie_guy_matt less concussions (253 comments)

I would be happy if we didn't keep hearing about former NFL players that suffered so many concussions that they went crazy (well crazier in some cases) or senile later in life (like in their 40's.) And I would like to be able to do it without wussifying the rules. I mean really, hit on a defensless receiver? He is wearing a helmet isn't he? Ok he is wearing a helmet that doesn't really protect him from concussions like it should -- and they are just trying to avoid serious injuries that may only manifest later in life. Well, we should make those better helmets and protection so that when someone does get hit they don't get seriously hurt.

Then we should go back to the rules they had in the 1960's. I mean really, pass interference? What is up with that? It is football they are supposed to hit ALL OF THE TIME. If they called pass interference back in the day the players would have tackled the refs! That is why the players have helmets and padding in the first place -- this isn't rugby!

about 8 months ago
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The True Color of Ancient Sea Creatures

tie_guy_matt Next on Fox News (44 comments)

Fox news now reports that because the ancient fish have such dark pigmentation, the fish are clearly from Kenya and are therefore not fit to be President of the US.

about 8 months ago
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GNU Octave Gets a GUI

tie_guy_matt Re:scilab is better but french. (166 comments)

As others have pointed out, octave runs (mostly) unmodified matlab code. Scilab doesn't. However scilab is just close enough to matlab to be really annoying if you are used to matlab. I think that is really why octave is more popular than scilab (probably doesn't have anything to do with scilab being more French but who knows.) Don't want to pay $$$$ for matlab? Install otave for free and do almost everything you would normally do with matlab w/o relearning much of anything. One thing about octave though is that the graphics aren't as nice as scilab and aren't nearly as nice as matlab. I am not to excited about the gui (even use the cli on the latest version of matlab) but hopefully this new version will make the graphics in octave more in line with the other packages.

about 9 months ago
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Scientific Data Disappears At Alarming Rate, 80% Lost In Two Decades

tie_guy_matt Data is probably useless (189 comments)

Scientific data by themselves are probably useless. So we have a bunch of numbers. What was the setup of the experiment that generated those numbers? What exactly was the instrument, what are the units of measurement? Did you make any major modifications to the instrument? How was it calibrated? Where is your control? Are those numbers from a good test or a test where someone spilled coffe on the sample? Was that data taken during one of the trials where you left the lens cap on? Reminds me of a bad sci fi movie. That disk has random "scientific data" on it. Any "scientist" should be able to read it and instantly see what is going on here.

Your notes and documentation are probably more important than just the numbers you collect and those are often still stored on lab notebooks. You know what is really important? The journal articles and papers that you write that show all your methods and have pretty pictures showing your good data. A lot of those are still on paper so they aren't going away. So we are loosing a lot of random numbers from obsolete equipment from setups that no one remembers anymore. I am not going to loose sleep over it assuming we still have backups of the papers people published that talked about their setups and outlined their final results.

about 9 months ago

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