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Comment: Re:EA (Score 2) 83

by afidel (#49756563) Attached to: How Cities: Skylines Beat SimCity At Its Own Game

Public companies can also have a mechanism to halt a hostile takeover, it's called a poison pill. Generally it involves some kind of massive payoff to the current staff, but it can also be the automatic issuance of new stock which dilutes the holdings of the company attempting to do the acquisition. The first known use of the latter technique that I'm aware of was the Westinghouse corporation which issued massive amounts of stock when JP Morgan tried to take them over, ultimately providing them with enough money to complete the Niagara power station project.

Comment: Re:When will their price be on par with ICE cars? (Score 1) 107

I drive a lot of small, economy cars through travel, probably in the range of a dozen or so per year. Not one of them had anything near the fun of driving the Volt, except for the one time I landed in a Mini Cooper.

Keep in mind that most of those small, economy cars don't cost anywhere near $35,000. With some upgrades that move them closer to that price point, they become more fun to drive, but I don't think even those launch like the Volt did.

Comment: Re:When will their price be on par with ICE cars? (Score 1) 107

Land prices are lower, delivery costs are lower, and taxes are lower. The first is the reason prices are lower in Barstow than LA and the second why prices are lower in LA than in Baker. It's always been a bad idea to fuel up along I-15 at anyplace other than major endpoints, and maybe Barstow/Victorville.

Comment: Re:When will their price be on par with ICE cars? (Score 1) 107

The Volt and that small, economy, ICE vehicle aren't quite the same markets. Having test-driven a Volt, it was a hell of a lot more fun than those smaller cars, with significantly better acceleration and handling. We would have bought it, had my wife (who would have been the primary driver) not had a problem with driver-side visibility, as a cross-bar in the rear driver-side window was right at her eye level when looking over her shoulder.

Comment: Re:Tolls? (Score 1) 825

by Martin Blank (#49739307) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

I'd like to see flat fuel taxes indexed to inflation. A ten-cent per gallon tax that might have been sufficient in 1990 is falling woefully short of that mark in 2015 (it should be about 18 cents per gallon now) and while it wouldn't necessarily obviate the need for per-mile taxes, they might not be seen as so important to consider, at least not yet.

Coincidentally, I read an article this morning about a lab at a Texas university where they can simulate years of road wear in a few weeks. They have an axle capable of replicating the weight of a tractor-trailer (and up to double it) that can do 100,000 passes a week, including variance of up to 18 inches each way to simulate vehicles traveling in different parts of the lane. They use it to test different road structures, and experiments are due to wrap up this summer with papers to follow. Clever contraption, but what caught my eye was the claim that a mere 5% increase in average duration for a road material translates to about $50 million in annual savings for the roadways maintained by the state of Texas. Given the massive shortfall in roadway funding in the state, it would be nice to see something that gets a 25% or greater increase. There are plenty of highways (let alone streets) that are nightmares to drive on in the winter after the ice.

Comment: Re:Tolls? (Score 1) 825

by Martin Blank (#49739159) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

Depends on the location. Measure M is a half-cent sales tax which raises hundreds of millions of dollars per year in Orange County, CA. It has been extremely popular and has paid for roads and freeways (the 22 freeway widening a few years ago was either largely or completely paid for from Measure M revenues).

Comment: Re:Threatens security (Score 3, Interesting) 99

by afidel (#49738561) Attached to: Do Russian Uranium Deals Threaten World Supply Security?

Exactly, just last week I was reading about a proposed Canadian mine that was vetoed by the native council, not due to environmental concerns, but because of uncertainty over environmental impact in the future because current and projected prices didn't actually support opening the mine in the near term but the company looking for approval was looking for a 50 year lease on the land. If Russia ties up a lot of the world supply and shuts down mines they own then the price will rise and mines like that one will come online, it's not like they're going to take over so much of the world supply that we'll be shutting down reactors due to lack of fuel. The real fear I'm sure is that Westinghouse and GE and their suppliers will have to pay more for yellowcake in order to produce their overpriced fuel rods.

Comment: Re:Government Intrusion (Score 4, Interesting) 825

by afidel (#49735965) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

Since it's primarily weight per axle that determines the wear caused on the roads, and the point of the tax is to maintain roads, it seems logical that heavier vehicles, whether they be SUV's or big sedans like the Tesla, should be charged more. It's not like a Leaf is particularly heavy (it's basically the same weight as the similarly sized Chevy Cruze).

Comment: Re:And OP is retarded. (Score 1) 335

by afidel (#49721345) Attached to: Stock Market Valuation Exceeds Its Components' Actual Value

That something should be relatively rare, easily verified, have low carrying costs (i.e. doesn't rust or rot), and be somewhat portable. Gold and silver fit the bill,

So does the greenback, and in the modern world it's used a hell of a lot more extensively than gold or silver. Unless the fed goes full retard and starts printing physical bills at a rate significantly greater than inflation (would be basically impossible to do with the current infrastructure) that's not going to change.

Comment: Re:cover everything with mirrors (Score 1) 185

by afidel (#49719607) Attached to: Navy's New Laser Weapon: Hype Or Reality?

to shoot down hundreds of incoming warheads, plus ten thousand dummy balloons.

I don't think anyone is realistically planning to use an ABM system against China or Russia, it's much more likely to be used against the one or two missile boats that North Korea or Iran manage to outfit with a handful of missiles.

Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward.

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