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Comment: Re:Price Controls? (Score 1) 279

by AcidPenguin9873 (#49217875) Attached to: California's Hot, Dry Winters Tied To Climate Change

why do you have a "yard"?

I'm not the OP, but I'll tell you why I have a yard: I like the privacy and convenience it enables for me and my family for doing stuff outside. Public parks are great but cover different use cases. It's the same question and answer as why anyone lives in a single-family residence instead of a multi-family apartment/condo.

Comment: Re:Move to a gated community (Score 2) 611

by AcidPenguin9873 (#48603513) Attached to: Waze Causing Anger Among LA Residents

Your part is only half of the free market equation, and if you do just that half, it will lead to lower GDP. The people commuting on those roads at that time aren't doing it for fun, they are doing it to get to or from jobs. If you reduce the trips, you reduce work accomplished. If you make the trips more expensive, you just took money that would be used to buy something else and gave it to the road authority.

If you still want to price freeway demand like that (which will restrict demand), you either have to be willing to give up the GDP, or you have to do something about the supply side. I don't see many people willing to give up GDP, so let's talk about supply. The usual free-market solution is for companies to see profit in the freeway-capacity market (due to the excessive demand and limited supply) and provide additional supply, thereby taking that profit. Roads are a natural monopoly mostly controlled by the government, but you can approximate what would happen on the supply side by requiring the toll authority to spend its profit on adding road capacity in particularly supply-constrained sections of road.

+ - AT&T Pauses Fiber Rollout, Citing Obama's Net Neutrality Regulations

Submitted by AcidPenguin9873
AcidPenguin9873 (911493) writes "Following Monday's request by President Obama to the FCC to impose tough net-neutrality regulations on ISPs, AT&T has announced that they are pausing the fiber-optic network upgrades that they had previously announced for 100 U.S. cities. AT&T cited regulatory uncertainty as the primary cause for the pause: " 'We can't go out and invest that kind of money deploying fiber to 100 cities not knowing under what rules those investments will be governed,' [the company's chief executive Randall Stephenson] said.""

+ - AT&T Pauses Fiber Rollout, Citing Obama's Net Neutrality Regulations->

Submitted by AcidPenguin9873

Comment: Re:Don't Understand the Complaint (Score 1) 138

by AcidPenguin9873 (#48373495) Attached to: Google's Lease of NASA Airfield Criticized By Consumer Group

all the companies that would have sold the jet fuel to Google at a profit did. The government acted in competition with private enterprise to fuel private enterprise aircraft.

You're ignoring the fact that extra jet fuel was simply available at a discount, because NASA had already bought it. What should NASA have done with that extra jet fuel? Sold it to a private jet-fuel company? Let's say that they did that. They would have had to sell it at a discount (maybe the same discount) because the jet fuel was located at an otherwise-unused airfield and would have to be transported elsewhere, which is not free.

Oh, you say, they could have sold it to the same private jet-fuel company that Google has contracted to fuel its planes! That way no one has to transport it - it's already in the perfect location! Knowing this, NASA should definitely ask for more money for the same jet fuel, because NASA has basically already paid the cost to transport and store the jet fuel exactly where the jet-fuel company needs it. Jet fuel company buys that fuel and sells it to Google at market rate (since Google would otherwise just buy different jet fuel from one of jet-fuel company's competitors.) I don't see how the private jet-fuel company would make any more money than normal. They saved on transport/storage cost but had to pay that savings for the fuel (because NASA knew they were saving). That is, unless you expect NASA to give the jet-fuel company the same sweetheart deal on the jet fuel that it gave Google. And if NASA did that, then it would be giving a private company a taxpayer-subsidized advantage, the very thing you were just complaining about.

NASA was not continuing to buy jet fuel at its government-discounted rate for the sole purpose of fueling Google's planes - the fuel already existed, and the question was what to do with it. NASA either gives someone a deal on it and someone gets a taxpayer subsidy, or doesn't give anyone a deal and all private-company costs and profits are identical to what they would be if NASA's fuel wasn't there at all. NASA comes out ahead in the latter scenario, but that's not what you complained about.

Comment: Re:what? (Score 4, Insightful) 138

by AcidPenguin9873 (#48372537) Attached to: Google's Lease of NASA Airfield Criticized By Consumer Group
Discounting the jet fuel so it could remain on-site and not have to be moved seems reasonable to me. If NASA sold it to someone else, they surely would have had to sell it at a discount anyway because it was located at an otherwise-unused airfield and would have to be transported somewhere else. Transporting jet fuel isn't free.

Comment: Re:Another terrible article courtesy of samzenpus (Score 1) 385

by AcidPenguin9873 (#47986835) Attached to: Seattle Passes Laws To Keep Residents From Wasting Food
For everyone other than people trying to argue semantics on Slashdot, "wasting food" means discarding it uneaten. The fact that uneaten food that is discarded into a compost bin will be turned into fertilizer does not mean it was not wasted.

Comment: Re:Another terrible article courtesy of samzenpus (Score 4, Interesting) 385

by AcidPenguin9873 (#47986545) Attached to: Seattle Passes Laws To Keep Residents From Wasting Food

Seattle has not made it a fine-worthy offense to discard uneaten eat food, which is what the headline implies. Seattle residents are instead supposed to throw both uneaten food and the remnants of mostly-eaten food - as much of it as they want - into their composting bin, not the "regular" trash. The goal was to get people to compost compostable items (like food) instead of throw them into the trash. Not to prevent discarding uneaten food.

I suppose since compost is later turned into fertilizer, composting is a bit less truly wasteful than throwing uneaten food into the "regular" trash, but I doubt that distinction is meaningful since in either case the food is no longer edible.

Comment: Re:which turns transport into a monopoly... (Score 5, Insightful) 276

by AcidPenguin9873 (#47714437) Attached to: Helsinki Aims To Obviate Private Cars
Many times, the economics of "fun" things that people enjoy only work out if there are enough people in a small geographic area. You can't have a football team without enough people to fill a stadium every week, and you don't get that many people without them living in a large-ish city where that football team plays. Any one person going to a football game certainly knows almost none of the other people going, but they're necessary to make the game happen at all. Same for music. Bands aren't going to play a show out in the sticks where they can't fill a medium-size venue. These cultural things are what draw people to live in a city instead of in the sticks, even if their job could be done from anywhere. Ditto for art galleries, parks, recreational sports leagues. Even though one of those faces could die tomorrow and you wouldn't notice, if most of them died, you certainly would because you wouldn't have enough people to do those things.

Comment: Re:cretinous because (Score 1) 316

by AcidPenguin9873 (#47611967) Attached to: Verizon Throttles Data To "Provide Incentive To Limit Usage"

Three things:

  1. These unlimited contracts came into being at a time when 3G radios had just come out, so the amount of traffic any one device could produce on their network was an order of magnitude less than what they can today with LTE. It would be reasonable for Verizon to say that the plan is unlimited at 2008 bandwidths.
  2. I don't recall these unlimited plans as even having a bandwidth number attached to them. Do you?
  3. Speaking strictly about wireline ISPs, no wireline ISP sells a consumer grade plan as 20Mbps for 24/7 usage. They sell it as 20Mbps peak bandwidth, with "peak" being purposefully vaguely defined. Besides this artificial throttling, there really are network congestion issues that come into play on consumer links at peak hours. They will sell you a business grade plan where it's guaranteed bandwidth for 24/7 usage, for about double the price of the consumer grade plan. Yet most people haven't opted for that type of a plan.

+ - SpaceX Chooses Texas Site For Private Spaceport

Submitted by AcidPenguin9873
AcidPenguin9873 (911493) writes "Today, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced that SpaceX has chosen a site at Boca Chica Beach, Texas, as the location where SpaceX will build its rocket launch facility. The Boca Chica site, at the southern tip of Texas near Brownsville and South Padre Island, had been competing with sites in Florida, Georgia, and Puerto Rico, but had been named the frontrunner to land the site by Musk when he testified to the Texas state legislature in 2013. The spaceport will be the first privately-owned vertical rocket launch facility in the world, and will target commercial customers. State and local governments have pledged to provide a total of about $20 million in incentives to attract SpaceX to the site."

"Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company." -- Mark Twain