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Comment Re:the real admission is peak driving. (Score 1) 285 285

There are other reasons why driving sucks. And my friends share my sentiments.

Truck traffic Waaaay too many tractor trailers on the highways. Their size and payloads keep increasing and the trailers are so big that they badly obscure the view. More than once I missed an exit because the tall trailer in front of me was blocking the sign, and I wasn't that close to the trailer. There is nothing worse than getting stuck behind a cluster of slow trailers struggling to get up a hill.

Construction zones Waaaay too many work zones. We don't have four lane highways, we have single lane bottlenecks. They take much of the joy out of travel. Our highway infrastructure is not designed for longetivity, it is designed to perpetuate the public unions in charge of maintaining the highways. That means compromised construction. Visit other developed countries like Germany to see a stark contrast of how much better their highways are built. The last twenty years I have not planned any travel during construction season because the travel experience is too awful.

Traffic Density Trucks notwithstanding, there is too much traffic on the highways. There are enough idiot drivers that it is not safe. Drivers using their palm devices or phones, cars cutting in front of me too close, people cruising in the passing lanes, cars cruising side by side at nearly the same speed with no way to pass them. I'm not a fan of fender benders and the probability is too great on the highways.

The View What do you see from a highway? Oh look more concrete roads. More trees (or desert or flatlands). More billboards. Yawn.

If I HAVE to travel, frankly I prefer the back roads or Amtrak (I refuse to use air travel for personal vacation). The view is much nicer, the traffic is much less dense, and you see many things you will never see from a highway. It is just as slow as the highway.

Comment Re:Rails Roads (Score 1) 285 285

The problem is they've torn up so many existing lines because they weren't needed at one point, now they're needed and they don't want to lay the track for it.

The problem isn't that they don't want to lay the tracks, the problem is the economics. Today it costs $US1-2 million dollars to lay one mile of track. It takes one hell of a return of investment to get that money back after fixed expenses like employees, maintenance of rolling stock and right of way, financial obligations, etc. When the majority of railroads were built shortly after the Civil War, they relied on plentiful cheap immigrant labor for track laying work. Back then unions didn't exist, there was no such thing as minimum wage or income tax, and cost of living was very low. After WWI, few new railroad grades were built.

The merger fever starting in the 1960s saw much redundant trackage eliminated in the last sixty years. But they were intentionally picked clean to eliminate competition, knowing full well that cost to restore trackage would be a detriment. The abandoned right-of-ways and structures were also a property tax obligation that they wanted to unload quickly. Former good grades that were excellent routes were decimated wherever possible - many became farmlands, targets of urban development, and highway grades.

Comment If it ain't broke, don't fix it. (Score 2) 456 456

Why would it need to be replaced? It doesn't need USB, Bluetooth, Firewire, et al. No compelling reason to replace it.

My music project studio is running on Windows for Workgroups. All I need is MIDI. I don't need software plugins (I use hardware for that), I don't want it connected to the internet, I don't use it for any sampling or sample playback. And that's a circa 1993 machine that still works.

Comment $cientology never patented their courses (Score 1) 97 97

The $cientologists vigorously enforce the copyrights on their course material and they know^Wabuse the legal system. If they had been able to patent their courses, they would have. Khan Academy may not be awarded the patent based on precedent.

Comment Re:ESPN delenda est (Score 1) 329 329

I would gladly pay more for a bundle that did not include ESPN, or any of the other "sports" networks, or Empty-V or any of its myriad clones. Or the shopping channels.

I cut the cord since 2000 waiting for ala carte. Until it is offered bundle-free, the cable companies are not getting another dime from me.

Comment Re:Is that really a lot? (Score 1) 280 280

It's not just cost of money, it is also cost of the public good.

What's the cost of illegal drug trafficking if the drones were not there?

What's the cost of Mexican gang violence if the drones were not there?

The Obama administration is strong-arming public schools to provide education to all the illegals who crossed the border last year. What's the cost to the teacher's workload with larger classes? To school administration handling foreigners?

What's the cost to the public health to keep out infectious diseases if the drones were not there?

I think the $28K is well justified.

Comment Other hoaxes (Score 1) 100 100

There were other component hoaxes.

BD-1 Battery Discharger, also had a product spec printed. Marketing actually heard from a customer who wanted samples.

To compliment the Light Emitting Diode (LED), a company offered the Dark Emitting Diode (DED).

Hard to top the WOM though. I actually used that term in a meeting involving computers. Reaction was deer in the headlights from the IT folks. Had to quickly clue them in.

Comment I remember records too well (Score 1) 433 433

When I became old enough to afford my own music it was just before CDs became available. By then, plastic had replaced vinyl as the medium for records. I owned very few records because the plastic ones were bad out of the package. I once had to return a defective record multiple times, by the fourth time it still was defective and I refused to buy any more.

I have a National Semiconductor application manual on audio circuits that describe the operation of the needle on a record. I can't believe how primitive and vulnerable to damage that technology is.

Never have and never will be a customer of records again. When CDs came along, I embraced them. All my original CDs back to 1985 still work. The few records I owned got lost in my divorce and I do not miss them.

Frankly, all playback media has their thorns. I see no compelling reason to go back to vinyl records. CDs sound good enough to me, and I am into pro audio (not audiophile, there is a difference).

Comment This just in (Score 1) 786 786

80s ads are responsible for the lack of male shoppers at shopping malls because the merchandise in stores appeal predominantly to women.

Really, it all comes down to marketing. The mens' clothing I see in stores have zero appeal to me because women are usually in charge of purchasing at clothing stores and they stock colors and patterns that are too effeminate. Not to hard to see a parallel with computers as they simply LOOK like mens' tools. Next time you see a woman using a palmtop or cellphone, note the accessory(s) that are matched to her wardrobe.

A programming language is low level when its programs require attention to the irrelevant.

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