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Comment Re:And then there's gold pressed latinum (Score 1) 479

If I could matter transport to San Francisco instantly, whenever I wanted, you'd bet I'd live in a lovely rural setting rather than some built-up metropolis.

Good point. I'd probably pick a private tropical island...

*** Or not SF, it might be Marin County, the home of Starfleet Headquarters.

According to Memory Alpha, Starfleet Academy is in Marin County (in the vicinity of Horseshoe Bay), but Starfleet Headquarters is across the Golden Gate, on the Presidio.

I was a little amused that Uhura and Chekov in 1986 had no idea where "Alameda" was, despite it being a major feature of San Francisco Bay (just a few dozen miles from Starfleet Headquarters). I suppose you could make the argument that all the names had changed by then, but it seems rather unlikely.

It could be that taking transporters everywhere (instead of actually experiencing the journey from A to B) gives you a terrible sense of direction.

Or in reality, the writers were just trying too hard to make the movie a comedy.

Comment Only utility companies (PUC's) can meter (Score 2) 484

Recently I was talking to an electrician that was upgrading the charging ports at a parking structure. He was telling me that only government recognized utilities can meter the electricity (PUC's). Parking garages are getting around the issue by charging a higher flat rate for parking in a spot with a charging station. They also have NFC cards to turn on the charging stations for people that are paying extra for the spot. The thing is, in a commercial building, the employer is usually paying for the spot. This creates a bit of an issue because it incentives people to charge their cars only at work when the grid is in high demand instead of at home when the demand is lower at night. The told me there is a company called Freedom (you'll have to look it up). That is making grid aware charging stations that will turn off the stations during high demand grid. That is when the fun really begins! The charging stations will turn off the power automatically and people can't override it by grabbing the wire in the next space over.

Comment $1 million dollars (Score 2) 210

You sound like Dr Evil, thinking $1 million is real money.

Overall spending, 2012 Presidential Election:
Dems: $964 million
Repubs $1.12 billion

Yes, when the amount you've raised is 1/1000 what EITHER candidate in 2012 spent, that is precisely a "sneezing at" amount. It's nothing.

Comment Re:The TL;DR (Score 1) 59

Except this was the opposite? The colors weren't designed by committee, they were organically grown over the decades(!!) by a handful of programmers who modified the X11 rgb.txt file. Then the CSS committee basically said "fuck it, we're not in the color business, nor do we want to pay big bucks to Pantone, so the free X11 rgb.txt file it is!"

The only people expected to actually use those color names are students working on demo pages. In the real world everyone just expects to see the hexadecimal triplets instead.

Comment Re:Well.... (Score 1) 553

Except that one could persuasively argue that non-lethal force then VALIDATES and encourages easy escalation of force to those levels which is (likely) often unwarranted.

"I'm just going to taze him, it's not like it's going to kill him"

I truly wonder what would happen on the large scale if we took non-lethal force away from cops.
My guess is a large swath of shootings as criminals 'tested' to see what they could get away with, or didn't believe that things were now lethally dangerous again, but eventually I suspect cops would get fewer challenges.

And lest we forget, as "broken" as people perceive the US system to be, violent crimes have been steadily decreasing to their lowest levels in 30-40 years.
Exclude urban minorities, and the crime/violence rate in the rest of the US compares very reasonably with the rest of the developed world.

Comment Re:a classic economics problem (Score 1) 484

This is a classic economics problem, overuse of a good that is given away for free; and has a classic economic solution: put a price on it.

Would that also prevent shortages of parking spots without charging stations? Why don't we do that instead of forcing developers and business owners to provide parking?

It's strange how we have minimum parking requirements at restaurants but no minimum tables and chairs requirements, as if parking is more important than eating.

Comment Re:No (Score 3, Interesting) 479

And yet those characters that personally required a FTL craft could acquire one for their needs, and in a reasonable amount of time.

Which characters were those? The ones I remember were military/science/government-approved people who requisitioned one, criminals (or rogue military officers) who stole one, or merchants flying around in a beat up piece of shit. Even for Quark, it was the fulfillment of a life-long dream or something when his rich cousin gave him a [sabotaged] shuttlecraft.

Comment Re:And then there's gold pressed latinum (Score 4, Interesting) 479

People in outlying colonies used money, too. In fact, it was really only the Federation's core worlds that didn't, and I'm not even sure how it worked there, either. (How did they decide who was allowed to eat at Sisko's dad's restaurant? How did they decide who got to live in a sweet penthouse overlooking the Golden Gate bridge, and who had to commute to Starfleet Headquarters via transporter from Iowa? How did they allocate holodeck use? You know a significant fraction of the population would want to spend 24/7/365 in there...)

It almost seems like less of a utopian "no money" thing, and more like a European socialist "basic income" kind of deal.

Life in the state of nature is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. - Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan