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fluffy666

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Everything posted by fluffy666

  1. To which the correct reply is 'none, I get my meat from the corpses of people who ask me silly questions or tell me 'No''.
  2. Also means that your pension pays out more. Trebles all around!
  3. I suspect you are correct. £50k could have built a house with cash to spare.
  4. How on earth can she meet the payments? That's about £850 a month, assuming interest free.
  5. As a child of 1973, I can see this.. bought literally months before houses took off in my area.
  6. Technology should have helped. What seems to have happened is that the 'leisure time revolution' that was predicted did arrive. BUT instead of manifesting as shorter working weeks and earlier retirement for all, it has manifested as mass unemployment and vast numbers of service sector low-value jobs - which only exist because this unemployment has driven down the cost of employing people. And at the same time we've celebrated mad house price bubbles even when mass production and automation combined with low land prices should have dropped the price of a good house under £50k.
  7. Relentless business lobbying, relentless right wing press propaganda, a pro-capital, anti-worker bias in practically every bit of legislation.
  8. Indeed, it's one of these 'Westminster village' things that the Basic Rate of income tax is sacrosanct and can never rise. Scary thing is that in the 1970s, an unemployment rate around 4-6%, or over a million people was seen as a national crisis. But nowadays, even with a downgraded measure there would be celebrations at the number getting that low.. and people wonder why pay rises don't exist, retail sales keep 'disappointing' and the deficit remains so high.
  9. Yes.. Got something similar in 2000. By 2006 when we moved house it was more 'Can you fog a mirror? You get 3 attempts..'
  10. I hate to use the whole boiling-frog thing, (because it's wrong). But it seems that.. Once upon a time you left school on Friday and started work on Monday. It may have been hard, it may not have been brilliantly paid, but the jobs were there. Then it got a bit harder - you had to apply for more jobs, there were temping agencies, you actually had unemployment. Of course, if you were a graduate it was still pretty easy. Then it got even harder, you started to need to do unpaid or badly paid apprenticeships, more jobs needed graduates, pay increases were rarer. Then they added half of Polan
  11. The US introduced the kind of time limited benefits you suggest. It has worse social mobility, poverty and small business formation rates than we do. The real problem with trying to allocate stuff on the basis of need is that you train people to have needs. Now, you can try to allocate stuff on an even-needier basis - in which case people will have to be even needier, or you can use something like a CI where you don't have to demonstrate a need at all. Regardiing a right to food and housing, the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights says (Article 25.) : (1) Everyone has the right
  12. Well, since it would presumably only apply to British Citizens (and I'd extend that to 'Resident in the UK for at least 9 months a year'), it shouldn't be a problem..
  13. Key question: Was society before the existence of the welfare state more or less meritocratic?
  14. I measure a 5-fold difference between average January and average June.. they will be doing a fair bit of export by now, I expect.
  15. The problem is that they haven't been tested in a full-on conflict. The current generation of US carriers do seem vulnerable to anti-ship missiles of various forms. On the other hand, those missiles still have to be launched and get through. The new generation of US carriers are designed to have much better directed-energy weapons capabilities (Lasers, Railguns, that sort of stuff). It may prove impossible to design a missile that can get through and also deliver enough damage. Unless you build a 100-megaton nuclear warhead, in which case you don't need to get very close.
  16. When they extend the technology to an entire Carrier Battle Group, that'll be interesting.. 'Do you wish to devastate {middleeastcountry#3} ? Press OK or Cancel.'
  17. From what I've heard of military/avionics software development, this is a valid point.. for some reason they seem to think that a plane that stays in the air 97% of the time isn't good enough.. Interestingly, this is the sort of thing that might suddenly speed up in wartime, simply because the extreme reliability requirements would be dropped.
  18. Is Chess simple? Actually, I was going off of xkcd's list, which included Counterstrike.. My instincts as a programmer say that a Racing Driver AI might actually be harder to do well than a Fighter Pilot AI.
  19. Apart from automated takeoff/landing/autopilot - already exists. Combat software - Game AIs already exist and routinely beat the best humans. Automated IFF, targeting - already exist. And this isn't a game, so the Computer AI can ignore limits on acceleration and turning that would be imposed in a game. Because no one will buy a game where the computer wins every time. (This isn't to denigrate fighter pilots.. but Usain Bolt wouldn't win a 100m race with an F1 car) http://singularityhub.com/2011/02/08/robot-jet-fighter-takes-first-flight-aiming-for-aircraft-carriers-in-2013-video/
  20. .. because human pilots can easily communicate with a few dozen other pilots whilst performing 10g turns and prioritizing/engaging a large number of targets? And, of course, the drone systems would already have been trained on several million operations and learnt from every real world combat by every other drone..
  21. Thought experiment: Replace the pilot with a computer. This means that you can also get rid of the cockpit, life support, windows, ejector seat, etc. And you can now maneuver to the limits of the air frame without worrying about the lump of wetware inside, and stay in the air indefinitely, subject to refuel. And your war effort does not hinge on a tiny cadre of very well trained pilots (cf. Battle of Britain, Japanese Navy in WWII, Israelis in 1973). There's a huge incentive, it's technically possible - indeed, Google have managed the harder problem of a self-drive car - and the US has a s
  22. Well.. The interesting thing is, it's much easier to use autonomous drones in a full-on conflict. You launch your drone cloud - possibly hundreds of autonomous drones, it's told to deny a given airspace to anything with the wrong IFF, or destroy anything that moves on the ground or fires at them (or tries to jam their communications). You can't do that in Iraq or Afghanistan because of the tendency to take out innocent bystanders... and there is no enemy air force to worry about. Even before that, semi-disposable drones could suppress most air-defence systems - they only have so many miss
  23. FWIW, this Armchair General is thinking that within as little as a decade or so, Drone technology will have made human-crewed weapons platforms as obsolete as the Battleship in WWII.
  24. Silly questions.. If the entire world is in debt, who is this debt owed to? Is it even possible for the world to 'borrow consumption from the future'?
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