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Comment Re:Taikonauts (Score 1) 265

It totally is a throwback to the cold war, but here we are living the real world where some nations get their own separate English term for the job of working in space.

The etymology of astronaut is from Greek astron (star) and nautes (sailor), and the assonance with argonaut - a sailor aboard Jason's ship called Argo. It was coined by a Belgian, mirroring the French aeronautique. Cosmonaut is from Greek kosmos (universe, in Pythogorean usage) and nautes. Each of these words would seem out of place if used in translation - one would almost certainly find it as "Chinese astronaut" or "Chinese cosmonaut" in every actual usage.

I find taikonaut to be a very cool word that blends eastern and western language history in a modern, globalized reality. I like it, even though the Chinese don't use the term.

None of these words are conspicuously English, though. Spacefarer and spaceman probably have the most grounding in English, with etymologies going back to at least Middle English. All of the root words are still quite recognizable in their meaning (unlike astron and nautes). I think it's interesting that the actual Chinese term in use is closest to spaceman, which would probably never be used in translation because of the dismissive, even comical, connotation the word has in English. It's also unlikely that the term would ever be left as taikong ren, because it has no meaning for English speakers. Taikonaut it is.

Comment Re: CC Number would be better. (Score 1) 76

EMV chip cards will eliminate card present counterfeit fraud. This change will lead criminals online, where EMV will have no impact. Assuming this enhancement works as advertised, it will pinch off card not present counterfeit fraud as well.

Then, the last remaining broad security hole will be lost and stolen credit card fraud. Solving this will require two-factor identification for each purchase. At that point, the US will have to switch to chip and PIN alike the rest of the world, and the credit card may have to be replaced with a phone for online transactions.

Comment Re: AV only helps if you are bad (Score 1) 217

I haven't run Windows for over a decade. For all that time, and much more, folks have been writing exactly what you just wrote. I think you imagine that this is an iron-clad point: that the additional security I get from Linux and OS/X is somehow illusory because both are just about as vulnerable as Windows.

The truth is that Linux and OS/X are about as buggy or security-deficient as Windows. And they are also safer.

Comment Re:median vs average (Score 5, Informative) 622

84% of statistics are made up; however, GP is not 100% wrong, just wrong about what cost should not exceed 20% of your income.

According to AAA, an organization more reputable than, the cost to own and drive a vehicle in the USA today is $8,558 per year. That's a number with a lot of precision but without a lot of accuracy. They have an article up on the web that talks through their assumptions and calculations, though. Fun fact: they note that the cost of owning and driving a car has fallen to a six-year low, so TFA's author can go peddle their papers someplace else.

Back to GP! 5 x $8,558 is $42,790, which is not so far off what actual people actually working actually make. If you're making less you should consider a small sedan, which AAA estimates costs only $6,579 annually. You can do a little better if you buy a good used car. You can't do much better, though, and there is an element of luck around whether you buy a car from a careful owner or a doofus.

Comment The economics strongly favour pay per view. (Score 1) 316

Television advertisements sell for about 2.5 cents per impression, and there are about 40 impression slots available in a one-hour show. Each airing of a show makes about a dollar per viewer in advertising revenue.

An episode on iTunes (admittedly not the cheapest way to watch tv on demand) is about two to four bucks, of which Apple keeps some - maybe around 30%. That means the content producer walks away with somewhere between $1.40 and $2.80 per viewer. More than for ad-supported shows!

As a viewer, I have to figure out what twenty minutes is worth to me. It's not easy, but for most people an hour is worth at least $15, which makes 20 minutes worth five bucks. Even at the prices iTunes charges, it's more attractive than watching ads.

At ten bucks a month, Netflix is a steal. Part of their catalogue is reruns, but part of what I watched on cable/broadcast was reruns as well. I do not think I save 160-odd hours a year. Maybe some people do though. Paying a dollar or two per hour saved is a tremendous bargain.

Comment Re:Logic? (Score 4, Interesting) 751

Saying "gone are the days when you can operate as a singular nation" needs to be explained. First, you'd have to say that anyone is actually suggesting such a thing. Second, whether people are doing that or not doesn't mean that is or is not a good or reasonable idea.

I think that you have misunderstood what Mr. Hawking was referring to with that comment. It seems that the interview was wide-ranging, and covered both Mr. Trump's candidacy and the (concurrent) referendum in the United Kingdom on whether to remain in the European Union. The statement that you quoted referred to Mr. Hawking's belief that the United Kingdom is better off within the European Union than it is without it.

His dismissal of Mr. Trump as a demagogue is given without any support, though demagogue has about the same meaning as populist if not the same connotation. His position that the UK is not an island entire of itself is supported by his experience, as a scientist, that it's very difficult to do research without cooperation between nations. He also points out that British security and economic performance is enhanced by cooperation with Europe. I think that it's well understood that modern human endeavours work best when we work with each other, even though he is only able to speak with authority about scientific research.

Comment Re:The enemy of my enemy is my friend (Score 2) 307

The New York Times has reported that

Questions about the independence of Mr. Bollea [aka Hulk Hogan], who never mentioned a third-party backer, first emerged when his lawyer removed a claim from his complaint that had the effect of eliminating Gawker’s insurance company from the case. That struck many legal observers as odd, given that most lawyers seeking large payouts want to include claims that are insured against because doing so increases the chances of a settlement.

The thinking goes that if the insurance company is not named in the suit then Gawker would have had to pay more, but the plaintiff would have won a lower settlement or would have risked losing the possibility of an out-of-court settlement. It is possible, though, that both Hulk Hogan and Paul Thiel agreed that the best outcome was the one that made Gawker pay the most, or that they were embarrassed as much as possible by a public airing. In that case, the lawyer acted in the interest of their client.

Comment Re:Economics of corporate cash hoarding? (Score 1) 166

My understanding is that corporate balance sheets include anything that isn't a business-related asset in "cash".

That is not quite correct. Here is a quick way to get at Google's balance sheet. As of April 31, Google has about $75 million in cash, cash equivalents, and short term investments (US GAAP - will expire, mature, or be sold within one year). Bean counters commonly refer to those three together as "cash". This article has used that shorthand, but reported the cash from December 31 of last year.

One counter-example to a non-business asset outside the "cash" umbrella is long term investments.

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