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Comment: Making this happen... (Score 1) 311

by ALeader71 (#47142759) Attached to: Solar Roadways Project Beats $1M Goal, Should Enter Production

For this to happen, it cannot occur in the public sphere. There are too many rice bowls involved. Not to mention the decade long fight over which party gets credit or moves their agenda along by NOT allowing the other party to take credit.

No, this would have to occur using a local coalition of the willing:
A place where those with cash can see and drive over it.
Some place you can destroy the existing infrastructure without a bunch of NIMBYs blocking construction. Maybe a new development or a re-development.
Detroit has massive infrastructure problems, but do they get enough sunlight?
Can San Francisco quite fighting long enough to allow construction?
Maybe Texas who couldn't give a darn about their environment but has a lot of tech industry types with business ties to the area?

Long term: This could be the "smart grid" we heard so little about in 2010. For this to work, you have to generate enough electricity to keep the roads clear during a harsh winter. Think big snowstorm from a slow moving low pressure system.
We will need electricity generation in far flung sunny states and countries in the same way LA needs most of the Western US' water supply. Electricity must be able to travel transcontinental distances the same way cargo and people do now.
We will need large amounts of electricity storage. I don't know what that would look like. It could be batteries. It could be fuel cells using hydrogen and oxygen from desalination plants or captured rain water from spring floods -- oh that's an idea! Build massive conduits to divert excess rainwater into the West's emptying aquifers. Is it practical? I have no idea.

A project like this will require a skilled workforce and decades to complete. Sorry Southern US. Your hatred of "schoolin" and your love of cheapness and a romanticized agrarian fantasy still won't bring or keep jobs to your towns. Maybe once you see the rest of the country has moved a century past you, we'll see a Great Vote Out occur and you can join the 21st century. As a Southerner I hope but don't believe it's possible outside of our few successful cities. There's a reason why poverty is still such a major part of the South, and it's entirely our fault.

So while I think solar roadways are a great idea. We can't rely on our leaders to facilitate this conversion. This will have to occur bottom up while those at the top have to leap out of the way. Good luck to this endeavor!

Comment: So if ISPs are like the Post Office.... (Score 1) 343

by ALeader71 (#47142357) Attached to: Comcast CEO Brian Roberts Opens Mouth, Inserts Foot

Wouldn't that make ISPs a "necessary public service" like MaBell once was? Let me pontificate:

If that's true, then ISPs should be heavily regulated to ensure reliable service is provided to the entire country.
Since Washington love to re-use past legislation (stimulus packages, gun control, etc) why not require so-called "nationwide" ISPs to provide broadband service down to the smallest farm in the United States? I believe we're already paying a federal tax which once offset this cost.

Other ways to make this happen:
Congress passes legislation that Obama/future President would actually sign. -- Unlikely unless 2016 is the Year of the Great Vote Out.
Obama (unlikely) / Future President (80% unlikely) could order the FCC's lobbyist chairperson to start requiring Broadband availability in the same way we once required AT&T to run copper phone lines to every house, farm, factory, and barn in the United States.
A massive anti-trust lawsuit turns over all existing right-of-way monopolies. This is the most likely scenario, but I don't know if our money-is-speech Supreme Court would take the case.


Comment: Hard to verify (Score 2) 548

by ALeader71 (#46905163) Attached to: Reason Suggests DoJ Closing Porn Stars' Bank Accounts

I found two non-fringe or slightly suspect news links: The article completes the circle back to sites like and The Guardian. The other is It links to entertainment sites like Perez Hilton. Not the sort of thing you expect to find when a secret government operation like this is uncovered.

What I don't see, is anything linking directly to information about the DOJ's Operation Chokepoint. The list of targets is a bit broad and the tactics are a little suspect. You wouldn't think of a far left liberal like Obama as someone who is anti-porn. We'll have to watch this and see how things develop. Maybe someone will find a few hard government generated facts and write up a 2600 article?

Comment: Re:He's right! (Score 1) 581

by ALeader71 (#46731557) Attached to: Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code
True, coding is not for everyone. Just as welding, writing, and accounting aren't for everyone. However, people don't understand the tech they use on a daily basis: i.e. Snopes Microwave Article. People don't need to know how to write software anymore than they need to know how to assemble an engine, or build a stove. They do need to understand that it isn't a magic box. They do need to know how to spot bad science and emotion targeted arguments. The coal miners Bloomberg would put out of work would be screwed. Not only would they have to move to a new state, they would have to start over with an entirely new set of skills while having expensive responsibilities most of us didn't have when we were starting out.

I should point out: Coal itself is playing out in several parts of the US. Coal, like pop music, is eating itself.

Comment: This used to be us (Score 1) 156

by ALeader71 (#46381131) Attached to: Face Masks Provide Chinese With False Hope Against Pollution
This is what US and most European cities looked like in the 19th century. It's the face of unfettered capitalism.
Any activity that enables our baser nature is destructive. It's what I believed in back in the 90s but after Bush and Obama, don't believe in now. Bush started it when it became clear that while we were willing to accept another quick mid-east war our leaders largely didn't care how long we stayed, Obama showed me how hollow and phony our two party political system is by continuing most of the same Bush policies knowing people would stop complaining once he moved into the White House.

Comment: My favorite apps (Score 1) 531

by ALeader71 (#46381069) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Software Can You Not Live Without?
Firefox, Chrome

Terminal, Outlook, Word and Excel, Dropbox, Evernote, Geektool, todo.txt, Rido

Feedly, Maps, Beat the Traffic, Evernote, bar code scanner, my grocery store's app, Rido, Sonos

Windows 7:
Putty, WinSCP, Notepad++, Rdio, Sonos Linux: vim, terminal, ssh, keystore, apt-get, yum, the list goes on.

Comment: Re:First blacks, (Score 1) 917

by ALeader71 (#46342077) Attached to: Apple Urges Arizona Governor To Veto Anti-Gay Legislation

Personally, I think allowing businesses to post anti-gay signs will make them easier to boycott and drive out of business. Let their imagined victory be the yoke that drags these businesses into the grave.

As for Americans and racism. At least ours is out in the open. France bans Arabic head scarves in schools. Former Warsaw Pact countries are full of centuries old hatreds and revenge fantasies. Yugoslavia. Hungary. Europe buries it's hatred and covers it up with not so polite humor.

The US has somehow manages to isolate it's most vocal racists in tiny enclaves. Even the Tea Party, for all of it's bluster and nearly Christ free Christianity, found its power limited by the very Constitution they claim to uphold. The Defense of Marriage Act is the latest example. A Supreme Court with several GOP appointed justices struck this law down. We've allowed women on Navy ships and combat aircraft since the 90s and women (officially) in front line combat roles today. We aren't perfect but we are progressing. Our system is designed to prevent one person or group from obtaining too much power but it also means change happens slowly, and that's a good thing. A nation the size of the United Sates shouldn't be turned on a dime. It happened in the Weimar Republic in a destitute Germany and look how that turned out. Imagine a newly elected radical President with the same authority granted to him or her that was given to Hitler.

Comment: Buggy whips anyone? (Score 1) 674

by ALeader71 (#45894743) Attached to: The Internet's Network Efficiencies Are Destroying the Middle Class

Seriously, when will this thread end? Look I grew up in the 70s and 80s with a series of doomsday scenarios including nuclear war. Believe me, the middle class isn't threatened by technology. First off, the middle class isn't anyone with a job. The middle class is classically composed of non-labor intensive skilled employment. Yes technology has replaced some of those jobs. When was the last time you raced to the bank because you needed cash for the weekend and the teller windows were closing? Does anyone want to go back? Apparently this Joe Nocera does. Look the sad truth is, most people stumble through life. Even those who see the curve in the road ahead lack the ambition to turn the wheel. It's easier to stick to what you know and tell yourself "oh they can't do away with my job." Well they can, and they will. So what do you do? Watch, listen, and most importantly learn. It's why Pittsburgh will never again be Steel Town USA, and "what's good for GM" will not be good for America.

Oh the article makes for a good heart-felt rant. It plays on our tender hearts, implores us to feels awful for the plight of our nation and the dark, hopeless future that awaits. How could our bleak future compare to the challenges of any other age!? Get over it. I'm 42 and I've changed careers three times. I grew up with regular newscasts on shows like 20/20 which told me how I might survive a nuclear attack. At one point, we thought Japan would purchase the entire United States and turn us into slaves. Guess what? I've not only survived, I've thrived. Most of us will adapt and live on, no matter what this so-called journalist says

So quit letting this NTY prophet of doom get you down and get back to building your future.

Comment: Re:In the SIMULATOR? (Score 4, Insightful) 270

by ALeader71 (#45480413) Attached to: Airline Pilots Rely Too Much On Automation, Says Safety Panel

It depends on the simulation. If you are training for a cross oceanic flight, you would simulate switching out flight crews and long periods where you would normally use auto pilot. The simulation would toss various problems at you to break up what is normally a dry, boring routine so you know how to handle different problems.

Personally, I think we're just a few years away from a fully automatic flying experience.

The first Rotarian was the first man to call John the Baptist "Jack." -- H.L. Mencken