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Comment Re:Impressive (Score 1) 74

You don't even need a protective suit, just a gas mask.

The catch is that to live like this on Venus, you have to live in a giant dirigible or "floating city". The conditions on the surface are hellish, but several kilometers high in the atmosphere, it's actually quite nice.

Actually, you will need more protective gear than just a gas mask. The temperature and pressure may be tolerable, but the atmosphere is full of sulfuric acid, and there are constant hurricane-force winds. I guess you could live there in a floating city if you could build one that would survive the environment- better be very confident in your design if you plan on living there- and you never wanted to go outside. But why bother?

Comment Re:paying dividends is dumb (Score 3, Insightful) 103

US corporations also pay some of the highest taxes in the world, which is why many of them are moving overseas.

More accurately, the US has one of the highest nominal corporate tax rates in the world, which is why US corporations work so hard to exploit (and lobby to create) the many loopholes in the system. The US corporate tax system is an excellent example of a case where it would be far better to lower the tax rate and broaden the tax base by eliminating loopholes.

Comment Re:Before the inevitable comments (Score 1) 74

The treatment was done 13 years ago, I didn't think they were gene editing back then so I assume they come from donors? Does that mean they require immunosuppressant drugs?

They do come from donors, and immunosuppressive drugs are not required. Transplants of tissue from living donors like bone marrow is very different from tissue from deceased donors like hearts and lungs. With transplants from deceased donors, the pool of donors is small and there's very little time to choose a recipient before the organ goes bad. In practice, that means it isn't always a very good tissue match, and it's usually necessary to give the recipient immunosuppressive drugs to avoid rejection.

With a transplant from a live donor, the pool of donors is larger- much larger in the case of hematopoetic stem cells or bone marrow, which grow back completely- and the tissue will keep indefinitely. That gives doctors plenty of time to search for the closest possible tissue type match, so the recipient and donor are generally perfect or nearly perfect matches. They won't even try to do the transplant unless there's a very close match.

Comment They're all BS (Score 1) 100

All of the studies purporting to show cancer risk from cellphones are BS. How do we know? Because cellphone use has skyrocketed worldwide in the past 20-30 years with no corresponding increase in brain cancer in humans. It's not a perfectly designed study, but I'm going to trust the natural experiment that's been performed on billions of humans over decades of time rather than the lab experiment that's been carried out on a handful of rats for a much shorter time.

Comment Re:How many digits to use (Score 3, Informative) 174

I don't think so. The normal standard for a mirror is 1/4 the wavelength of the light it's supposed to be reflecting, or around 100 nm. Even ultra-high precision mirrors like the ones on the Hubble Space Telescope are only ground to within about 10 nm. A 10 nm error on a mirror 100m in diameter- far larger than any mirror currently under construction- is still only 1 part in 10^10, far lower precision than what you're talking about. Unless you're building a mirror the size of a planet, you aren't going to need more than 15 digits of precision.

Comment Re:Good for consumers? (Score 1) 77

Battery usage depends on the chipset, with newer chipsets using less power. For example, I've had a misbehaving app leave on the GPS on my Nexus 5X, and I still got battery life of about 8 hours. That's not good battery life, but the power consumption was low enough that I didn't notice the phone heating up in my pocket, and I was able to get through a day at work before it went into power saving mode.

My impression is that the real killer with the map app is screen usage. If you leave the map in the foreground, it will leave the screen on, and that drains power like crazy. Even if you hit the power button to turn the screen off, it will keep updating what it's showing on the screen, and that will continue to eat a lot of power. You can save a lot of power by going back to the home screen or another app, which lets you get voice prompts but avoids the power drain from the screen rendering.

Comment Re:Consumables (Score 2) 49

It shouldn't be that surprising to see water and methane everywhere. After all, hydrogen is by far the most common element in the universe, and oxygen and carbon are also relatively common. Simple compounds of heavier elements with hydrogen should be among the most common things to see on planets (and dwarf planets and moons) that don't have strong enough gravity to keep hydrogen in their atmosphere.

Comment Re:Great! (Score 1) 338

If you want an incandescent that lasts really long, you need one sealed with a noble or inert gas (pure nitrogen might work on the cheap)

Not necessarily! Halogen lamps work by enclosing the filament with a reactive gas rather than an inert one. The halogen in the lamp reacts to form tungsten compounds that are stable at the lower temperatures near the glass of the bulb but decompose to tungsten and halogen at the higher temperatures near the filament. That design scavenges tungsten that sublimes from the filament and deposits on the bulb, minimizing filament erosion.

Comment Re:Great! (Score 1) 338

The argument was making them last longer wasted electricity since they would produce more heat and less light, but the real purpose was basically to create planned obsolescence and sell more lightbulbs at an inflated price.

Which is technically correct for the easiest ways of making the lamps last longer, i.e. running them cooler. The main reason incandescent lights are so inefficient is because they put out most of their energy as IR rather than visible light. If you run them hotter, they become much more energy efficient because more of the light is at visible wavelengths, and at wavelengths our eyes are more sensitive to, but that makes the filament material sublime faster, reducing lifespan. The reason halogen lamps are more efficient than conventional incandescent lamps is because the halogen improves filament lifespan enough that it's practical to run them at hotter, more efficient temperatures.

Comment Re: Sounds like an MBA plan! (Score 4, Insightful) 216

It was up to me to make sure my own code was quality enough before releasing it, and that aspect terrified me enough that I did learn to write quality code (which basically means you are testing your own code thoroughly, doing your own QA).

The problem with testing your own code is that you're likely to miss entire classes of bugs. You can be very effective at catching the kinds of bugs you can think of, but those are always the easiest bugs to catch in the first place. The tests you write for yourself will never do a good job of catching errors in your assumptions about what the code should do, what kinds of inputs it needs to handle, etc. Catching those kinds of conceptual bugs really requires adversarial testing from somebody who isn't starting from the same set of assumptions.

Comment Re:Tax cheats should be drawn and quartered!! (Score 1) 63

Seriously, there need to be strict rules against spying

More realistically, there need to be strict rules restricting spying. The government does have a real, if limited, need to spy on people as part of enforcing the law. That's what the 4th Amendment is supposed to be about: keeping the spying within strict limits necessary to enforce the law. I assume what I assume the IRS means when they talk about "carrying out criminal investigations in accordance with all appropriate federal and state judicial procedures"- that they have been scrupulous in following those rules. I don't have a big problem with the IRS's actions, per se, so long as they are following the law. The real discussion, though, is what the law ought to be- what things should require warrants, how much evidence should be required to get one, and what to do to police who lie when asking for them.

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