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Math Models Predicted Global Uprisings

xmundt Re: Foundation and Empire (265 comments)

That is the problem with random mutations. They are unpredictable, both in when they will appear and in how they will affect society.

about 8 months ago
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Parents' Campaign Leads To Wi-Fi Ban In New Zealand School

xmundt Re:Wouldn't someone think of the children? (294 comments)

I remember those Radium dial watches. My brother had one, and I used to enjoy looking at the dial under a magnifier. It was great to see the little, random sparkles as the decay particles impacted the luminous paint.

about 10 months ago
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Neglect Causes Massive Loss of 'Irreplaceable' Research Data

xmundt Re:This was understood in Engineering projects too (108 comments)

Or as a slight step up....there is NO chance that America could build a Saturn V rocket these days. It was a great workhorse, but so complicated that the loss of a few percent of the drawings, and the number of engineers that worked on it that have retired or died means that reproducing it is impossible now.
          In any case, as for the loss of data...that IS a problem. Back in the Olden Days, before someone decided that the computer, with its amazingly fluid and ever-changing methods of storage were the answer to saving data, much of it was printed on paper and tucked away in libraries. Is that still a workable solution? I do not know, but, I do know that when one is trying to store information for a long time, it HAS to be in the simplest and most durable medium and format available.

about 10 months ago
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Multivitamin Researchers Say 'Case Is Closed' As Studies Find No Health Benefits

xmundt Another reason we get multi-vitamin tablets. (554 comments)

Greetings and Salutations;;;
          Some years ago, I was diagnosed with Hep C. My G.I. Dr. put me on a fairly minimal number of medications, but, specifically included a daily multivitamin tablet in the list. Since I have always tried to eat as healthily as I could, I suspected then, and, still think, that PART of the reason for this was to make me feel that he was really doing ALL he could to mitigate the effects of the disease. By adding a multivitamin to the mix, it was one more pill, that did not cost much of anything at all (A bottle of 450 tablets at Sam's Club is less than $25), would not do any harm, and, might help ensure that the necessary vitamin levels were maintained even if I was lying to him about my diet. So...a win/win for everyone.
          I am sure that we both knew that if the tablets were pumping too much of a given vitamin into my system, that the excess would likely get excreted fairly rapidly.
        Pleasant Dreams
        Bee Man Dave.

about 10 months ago
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CMU AI Learning Common Sense By Watching the Internet

xmundt Re:All jokes aside (152 comments)

Yea...that was my immediate reaction too.

It might end up being slightly psychotic, but, I do not think that it is going to lead to a positive place.

pleasant dream

about a year ago
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Healthcare.gov Official Resigns, Website Still a Disaster

xmundt Re:As an outsider. (559 comments)

This is a good point. Also, to say it was "hurried" is an understatement. This is definitive proof that one cannot take a project that usually would take a couple of years to create and test, and crank it out in eight months, then, expect it to work. As far as I can tell, the front page is the only thing that works reliably in the entire site. That will get fixed, but, it will take more than a couple of months. I expect it will not stabilize for a couple of years - and that assumes that Congress does not start stirring things up and requiring changes.
          pleasant dreams
          dave

about a year ago
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Healthcare.gov Official Resigns, Website Still a Disaster

xmundt Re:As an outsider. (559 comments)

I believe this post IS "ethanol fueled", as it is certainly not the work of a sober person. There is at most, ONE correct statement in it. For example - The ACA limits the amount that insurance companies can crank up rates, and so will likely cut the huge profits they have been collecting. It also makes it impossible for the insurance companies to "cherry-pick" customers, and, only provide policies for the healthy folks who do not need them and will not put in a claim. It also stops the insurance companies from dumping sick folks that are going to require payouts.
          It is true that as a part of it, the act provides for subsidies to make an insurance policy that actually is helpful be affordable to the poverty-stricken. However, your somewhat racist remark about the trips to the emergency room are not relevant. First...a huge percentage of the people being helped by this are the working poor - like the "sales associates" at Walmart, who make so little they qualify for food stamps. These subsidies will make it possible for good, hardworking Americans to get adequate health care and NOT end up bankrupt in the process. Now, about Jamal.. Apparently you do not realize that (assuming you have insurance) you are already subsidizing the trips to the ER by gang-bangers. Hospitals in America are required, by law, to treat everyone that shows up at the ER, regardless of their ability to pay. So..the hospital simply cranks up the cost for the folks that DO pay to cover these folks. With the ACA, there is a much better chance that everyone that shows up will have insurance, and be able to cover some or all of the cost of their treatment.
          Your comment about the rich is probably the only accurate and correct statement in this post. Your comment about the government being exempt is far from true. As a matter of fact, they are REQUIRED to go into the exchanges to get insurance, unlike the rest of us that have a choice. Here is a decent analysis of the whole situation: http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/fixgov/posts/2013/10/04-aca-vitter-amendment-federal-workforce-hudak
          Finally, the government has NO control over the insurance companies canceling policies. The fact is that the policies that are getting dumped are the junk policies that cover nothing, and are nothing but profit centers for the insurance company. The ACA's requirements for amounts to be spent and such make these unprofitable, so, the insurance companies are dropping them. However this has little or nothing to do with the ACA. The companies were doing this on a yearly basis for decades, in an attempt to force customers into higher profit policies. So...do not blame the greed of the insurance companies on the Government. Also, your opinion about premium amounts is meaningless, since these folks are likely to qualify for subsidies. So far, the reports that have come in that have been verified as true show that the monthly cost of insurance has either stayed the same (but, with much better coverage), or dropped quite a bit.
            Just because you do not like Barak (the CORRECT spelling of his name), for whatever reason, is no call to lie and spread mis-information.
          pleasant dreams
          dave

about a year ago
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Microsoft To Can Skype API; Third-Party Products Will Not Work

xmundt Re:What will we do ? (330 comments)

Ah yes! Palace....that was a great chat environment. It was quick, and, offered the opportunity for some really creative constructs for chat Palaces. It was a shame that it actually required people to interact, as that is a real weakness with most of the geeks that hung out in it. Get away from the one or two, tech-related things they were happy with, and, there was just nothing to say. In any case, The last time I checked, there were still a few Palace servers still online, although, I hung there for quite a while with NO other folks showing up.

about a year ago
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Tech Companies Looking Into Sarcasm Detection

xmundt Re:Great! (167 comments)

" people who are right wing _and_ suffering from cognitive deficits"

That seems redundant to me.
beemandave

about a year ago
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Patching Software on Another Planet

xmundt Re:Why are our tax dollars going for this crap? (96 comments)

Our tax dollars are going to these projects because private enterprise is unwilling to take up projects that will produce a guaranteed return for their investors. It is notably unwilling to take on risky projects, or, projects that do not have that clear return. Only an organization that has no profit motive (I.E. The federal government) is willing to invest the large sums in a project that might blow up during the boost phase of a launch. The fact is that the space program is quite profitable - The early years returned upwards of $14 for every $1 invested...yet, in spite of that, SpaceX is the ONLY private company that is interested in taking up the task. Even they are focusing on being truckers - providing transportation for other things into space..they have no interest in putting an exploration robot onto another planet, or sending a probe out into deep space to see what we can see.
          As for the current debt...this article does a good analysis of it: http://useconomy.about.com/od/monetarypolicy/f/Who-Owns-US-National-Debt.htm and, it shows that in terms of the overall debt, China holds about 10% of the total. less than half the debt is held by foreign countries and investors. Not that it means it is good that the country owes that much cash, by any means...but, it is not like China could come in and put a lien on the country....

about a year ago
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Teenage League of Legends Player Jailed For Months For Facebook Joke

xmundt Re:So much for... (743 comments)

A good point. The fact of the matter is that school shootings only SEEM to be happening all the time because of the attention that the news media turns on them. If the news were to focus that much attention on traffic accidents, and the injuries and fatalities that come from them, I suspect we would have people calling for a minimum age of 30 for getting a license, and, some really draconian sentences for those caught driving without a license. Also, there would be a huge, ongoing debate about bringing back driver's Ed in schools.
            Pleasant Dreams
            dave

about a year ago
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Teenage League of Legends Player Jailed For Months For Facebook Joke

xmundt Re:So much for... (743 comments)

Greetings and Salutations;
          Hum...."he's got to learn that you can't say stuff like that and not have any consequences".
Well, that is a point. However, I would argue that this is an infringement of our first amendment rights of free speech simply because it occurred in a forum where there was a certain expectation of privacy. Now, do not jump all over me about FB...I know how it works. However, it is far different than walking into a movie theatre and yelling "FIRE". That has already been ruled by the SCOTUS as non-protected speech. Totally different case, though.
          No, in my opinion, this was a massive over-reaction by the authorities, and, unless there is more data about the young man, or the situation that adds to the picture, I am going to stick with that opinion. I want to remind you that this is America, where, at one time, a Citizen's Freedom was considered one of the most important rights he or she had. To have it casually taken away because of a thoughtless and meaningless remark craps on the efforts of our Founding Fathers, and, all the brave citizens who have laid down there lives to save this right. The fact of the matter is that it IS punishment for a crime that did not happen. I am not comfortable with the whole kneejerk creation of laws about "terroristic Threats". IN general, it seems as if too many of them are so broadly written that they are little more than excuses for locking up people who express unpopular opinions, or, speak foolishly in the heat of the moment. This kid appears to have spouted off in the heat of the moment, after playing a hack and slash game. According to an interview with his father, he also pays little or no attention to the news, and really does not have the maturity level to understand the impact of his remarks.
          He has been incarcerated for several months now, and, if the judge decides he wants to "make an example" of someone, he could end up in prison for eight years! Eight years in a society rift with felons, being exposed to a lawless but barely controlled environment, where one cannot trust anyone, and, there are many opportunities to learn job skills that do nothing but ensure he will be successful as a parasite on society. Is that what we really want to do? Turn out another predator who, if he was joking about killing kids when he was tossed into prison, will likely NOT be doing so when he gets out? I, personally would rather find another option. For example, I would call for a series of therapy sessions, and, community service, to help build empathy for others.
          YOu may think that his current incarceration is the proper way to handle him. Just remember that the sort of erosion of rights that has happened in the past decade has a tendency to continue and grow. Today it is Justin. Next month it could be you, or one of your family who is caught up in the net.
          Pleasant dreams.
          dave mundt

about a year ago
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Mayan Pyramid In Belize Leveled By Construction Crew

xmundt Re:Private land owner wanted to clear his land (276 comments)

Hey...you do not know that...it is quite possible that those wild and crazy Canadians had open air breweries.
        pleasant dreams
        dave mundt

about a year and a half ago
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Mayan Pyramid In Belize Leveled By Construction Crew

xmundt Re:Well its not a good time for pyramids (276 comments)

Greetings and Salutations;
          I feel as if I am feeding the trolls here, although this is such a fantasy trip that it almost is insulting to trolls to compare it to them. Your re-writing of history is neither accurate nor anywhere near the facts. The fact of the matter is that the previous administration (a REPUBLICAN one) truly scared the world because it was so random and irrational. After all, Dubya, in response to a terrorist attack used bad data to justify an 11 year war on a country that did not have a bloody thing to do with 9/11. However, there was one telling conference where he spoke the truth about his motivations for going into Iraq. In the conference, when pressed on why Iraq and Saddam were a target he said "...he tried to kill my daddy...".
          America's image in the world has taken many hits in the past few decades, thanks to the two-faced dealings we have had with many countries, and, the brutal dictatorships we have supported. When Pres. Obama was elected, there was dancing in the streets in other countries because they thought, finally, a very intelligent, rational person was at the controls, and, the actions that caused America to lose face would change. They, did not realize that America is a huge ship, and, it takes a lot of time an ocean to turn it around. They also did not realize how much the Republicans hated Pres. Obama, and, how they would do anything they could to force him to fail. These, and other factors, have caused his presidency to be far less effective than it could have been.
          So...do not fool yourself. America has not been the "most loved" country in the world for a long time. We might still have a chance to get there, but, it will take time, and a change in attitudes of the representatives in the Federal government away from competition and towards actually doing things that are good for the country as a whole.

about a year and a half ago
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Researchers Fake Mini Volcanic Eruptions

xmundt Re:cheap thrills ? (41 comments)

Greetings and Salutations;
          Big thumbs up to this! WHile scale explosions CAN provide useful data, I am not sure that (other than the coolness factor) there is any reason for this to show up on Slashdot.
            Pleasant dreams
            Dave Mundt

about a year and a half ago
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California Lawmaker Wants 3-D Printers To Be Regulated

xmundt Registering PRINTERS? (856 comments)

Greetings and Salutations;
          Well, if this fellow is going to register a printer, perhaps he should also insist that lathes, drill presses, files, and other hand tools be registered too. He apparently does not realize that I could go into the shop, and in fairly short order turn out weapons that would be far more accurate than the plastic ones from the printers, and, will last for thousands of rounds.
        Beyond that, it is also not that hard to make ceramic weapons that are equally hard to find and have the same abilities.
        I would suggest that the better course of action would be to work on making America a place where people do not think of guns as the first course of action to resolve a situation.

about a year and a half ago
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US Senate Passes National Internet Sales Tax Mandate

xmundt Re:Little guys are gonna get screwed (297 comments)

Eric, I get the feeling that you have no practical experience with the tax revenue boys in the states. Not only would the merchant have to deal with an amazing chaos of taxes to collect, but, there is a good chance that at least once a year, the tax boys will screw up your information, and either (at best) send you a testy note billing you for some fictitious number that is half again as much as you have ever billed and sent them, or, (at worst) will, without warning yank every penny you have out of every bank you have it in, even if the total amount is WELL beyond the fictitious amount they claim you owe. That sort of trouble can take months to clear up and much correspondence.
          Do not fool yourself that states will not "bother" with small payments. If they can collect at least $5.00 they will expect the paperwork and check on time. They are not going to exempt anyone, unless forced to.
          My general rule about politicians, which I formulated several decades ago, is that money to a politician is like crack to an addict. It does not matter how much they have, they want more, and, they want it badly enough that they would sell their grandmother and baby daughter into S&M prostitution to get more of it.
          Pleasant dreams
          dave mundt

about a year and a half ago
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US Senate Passes National Internet Sales Tax Mandate

xmundt Re:Little guys are gonna get screwed (297 comments)

Greetings and Salutations;
            There is a simple way to deal with this problem. Instead of buying the software and doing it yourself, print all the information off and take it to a Block office. Pay them to do the work. There are several reasons for doing this:
          1) Block has a strong training program, and, a large percentage of their people do nothing else besides study the tax code. There are a significant number of Enrolled Agents that work for them. These are folks that, basically know more about the tax code than the IRS does. So..the bottom line is that they are far more likely to ensure that you pay the minimum tax necessary. Programs are great tools, but, people are better at this, because it is a pretty fuzzy and constantly changing area.
          2) The cost of having Block prepare your return is likely going to be LESS than the amount you quoted above for preparing your tax info.
          3) The cost of having Block prepare your form is directly deductible from the tax amount you owe. If you do the work, you can deduct the cost of the software, but, you will have a hard time justifying the remaining chunk of that $300 you quoted, if the IRS decides to look at you.
          4) If you ARE audited, Block will go with you to the audit, and will work to clear up any problems. However, as long as your data is good, that should not be a problem.

            And, no, I do not work for Block (I do not have the kind of mind that can deal with sorting through the plate of spaghetti that is the tax code), but I do have a relative that is an enrolled agent and has worked with them for many years.
          Pleasant dreams
          Dave Mundt

about a year and a half ago
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Homeland Security Stole Michael Arrington's Boat

xmundt Re:"Stole" or "confiscated"? (812 comments)

Greetings and Salutations;
          Yea...it is hard to tell the difference sometimes. I had a trailer that was "confiscated" by the county sheriffs dept because it was "stolen". However, when I got the police report from the cop in Knoxville, it concluded that there had been no theft. The guys that took the trailer did not want any of the stuff that had been on it either. So...after several Emails to the Sheriff, with no results, I had little to do but come to the conclusion that someone wanted a new trailer and mine was at hand. I hope they are enjoying it, because not having it has screwed up my life a number of times!
            pleasant dreams
          dave mundt

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Would You Feel About Recording Your Entire Life?

xmundt Recording your life (379 comments)

Greetings and Salutations
          I would suggest one of two options.
          1) Carry a small, digital recorder with you, and, every so often record a few comments about what has been going on.
          2) As a meditation and contemplation technique, take some time at the end of the day to type some notes into a document about the day and its events. Keeping a day book like that can allow a person to filter out the useless stuff and only keep the good stuff. after all, who really wants to see hours of walking down the sidewalk, or, sitting at a desk, shuffling papers.

about a year ago

Submissions

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The REAL rainman, Kim Peek, Dies at age 58

xmundt xmundt writes  |  more than 4 years ago

xmundt (415364) writes "Kim Peek, the savant whose amazing memory feats were balanced by the fact that he was unable to button his own shirt, has shuffled off this mortal coil. He was quite the unique individual, and, in his lifetime added much to the understanding of how the mind works. He seemed to be quite a pleasant fellow, and, always enjoyed interacting with people in his world travels. In the films of him exhibiting his memory skills, he always seems to be having a lot of fun, and, deriving quite some amusement from the whole thing. I suspect that the people who were in his intimate circle of friends will miss him, and, the world, in general, is a less interesting place now that he is gone."
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