If Moscow was at the same lat/long as Minneapolis, it would be the same city. Moscow's latitude is almost 56 degrees, whereas Minneapolis is at 45 degrees. But your main point is correct in that Moscow and Minneapolis have similar average January low temperatures, around 14 degrees Farenheit.
Looks like 200 Wh/kg is industry leading for widely used technology.
To see free markets in action, go to a country where there is one, such as Kenya. Watch people bleed to death in the ER as they wait for their relatives to get there with money. Then tell me about free markets.
In the USA, with anything less than single-payer, you could die just from losing your insurance card. Such cases have been documented. Promises ain't cash, buddy.
I really enjoyed Cryptography Decrypted which takes a similar history-based approach. It's shorter and written in an entertaining way.
Now, just like medical diagnosis, most law and software development can be automated too. Other things, like teaching, can be massively leveraged. Still other things, like minor video production, can be handled by the consumer herself.
In the end we'll consume more services and less goods not because the services are so valuable, but because they're so cheap. People won't be able to get jobs making/distributing/selling goods, so they'll enter the service economy by default. For examples of this look at poor countries, where people making $10K/year can have a housekeeper/cook and a gardener.
Severing the employment/health insurance link once and for all is the only way the USA will get the business fluidity needed to compete in the modern world. Why should the executive of a startup, or any other company, have to waste bandwidth thinking about employee health care, or child care, or transportation, or retirement plans? Those are issues for society at large and should be resolved by society at large, not the business exec (who BTW is imminently under-qualified to make such decisions). He/She has a business to run, right? with enough product/marketing/financing decisions to fill the day.
Damn those mass delusions!
"Engineers are now starting to get paid for their true value, which arguably has not been case for a long time, but it is now, and Google is at heart of this. Google discovered an algorithm change can generate another $100 million in revenue. So now companies are more willing to have superstars, and there are engineers at Goggle making tens of millions of dollars."
Maybe the genes didn't mutate but were somehow forced into commonality by similar ancestral proto-ecolocation behavior.
Car dealers already take in skimpy profits on new-car sales, as consumers are able to use the internet to find out what dealers pay for a car, plus the sales-based quarterly/yearly bonus money that the manufacturer gives them. So increasingly the negotiations are up-from-cost rather than down-from-sticker.
So the parts and service departments are where most of the money is made. But guess what? New cars don't need much service, used ones last a long time too, and parts are also available over the internet. A future with many electric cars also suggests that parts & service will see declining revenues.
Younger generations aren't into cars the way older ones were, so the "superconsumers" are going away. Add all this up and I just don't see how the industry will support anywhere near the number of car dealers that it did in decades past. Getting rid of Pontiac, Hummer, etc. removed some capacity but there's still a long way to shrink.
It's the CEO's job to forsee and avoid strategic dead-ends. Many aren't so good at it.
As a Linux fanboy since 1994, UNIX and OS/2 guy before that, I was aghast when corpoations picked Win 3.1 on what, DOS 5.0? as a standard. "But X Windows is so much more modular, flexible, and portable! You can even run it on DOS machines!" I was right of course, and Win 3.1 standardizers spent much more hidden money on virus problems than it ever would have cost to get things going with Linux in the 1990's.
The best start companies can make to solve their jam-up is to modularize their old systems using the old tech. Then they can slowly replace bits and pieces with more modern, open, standards-based solutions -- Python? it has a small footprint -- at their leisure. When everything possible has been moved to portable tech, find a way -- virtual machines, emulation -- to move the last pieces. Now at last you can run on a modern OS -- any modern OS, you're not stuck any more.
I see companies making the same mistakes today by standardizing on
The reason companies get jammed up this way is their corporate culture. Short-term thinking has been identified in many posts here. Another factor is, simply, inflexible fear-based, cog-in-the-machine, just-tell-me-what-to-do employees. The bigger and more stable the institution, the more attractive it is to such people. Great, as long as the world doesn't change, which it seems to be doing faster and faster these days.
If the corporation itself was more modular and standards-based, it too would be more flexible, able to outsource, delegate, disentangle various business processes. Do we really need all the departments that our inflexible old software supports? Order fulfillment, customer service, marketing, manufacturing, design, bookkeeping -- all can be outsourced. We may choose to keep these functions in house, but let's define the interfaces between departments and their supporting IT, so that it's modular and we have flexibility in the future.
Have the realism and courage to state that the economy, being based on finite natural resources, can't grow forever, or even much longer. We were 20 years behind the curve in responding to global warming, which is just one more clue that we're f*cking up a nice place to live. Let's not stay in denial about the fallacy of perpetual growth and the immorality of waste, and develop policies that acknowledge it -- consumption taxes being a great starting point.
As tribal family groups we're capable of living in a tremendous range of environments, even when riddled by disease and beset by violence. All that's required is for people to live a few years past the start of their ability to breed. Before industry, technology, and development are able to ruin every ecosystem for human habitation, industry, technology, and development themselves will collapse. People from near the north pole to the south seas will then carry on as hunter/gatherers and simple agriculturalists, just as they did for hundreds of thousands of years before civilization. And, of course, living in social isolation, the groups will evolve their own languages and beliefs, and therefor tend toward war when they interact.
The problem isn't the mass, it's the surface area. Fewer thicker bags affect the environment less than more thinner bags. And half-decent people *are* walking into the stores with reused bags.