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Comment: Re:I have an even better idea (Score 1) 304

by Ichijo (#48893195) Attached to: Government Recommends Cars With Smarter Brakes

the cost of improving brakes is likely to be far, far less than the economic cost of excluding millions of people from driving, in a society where driving is nearly essential for daily life.

Or taking bad drivers off the road would create better drivers and help free ourselves from an overdependence on a single mode of travel (a single point of failure), one that consumes massive amounts of land for roads and parking, drains similarly massive amounts of money to overseas oil and car companies, and creates respiratory problems, up to $1,600 per person per year.

Comment: Re:You can do that if you're willing to lose it (Score 1) 238

by Ichijo (#48859117) Attached to: Google Thinks the Insurance Industry May Be Ripe For Disruption

In California, the minimum liability requirement is:

  • $15,000 for injury/death to one person.
  • $30,000 for injury/death to more than one person.
  • $5,000 for damage to property.

So all you need is $35,000 in a separate account to fulfill the worst case.

I could take out a $35,000 surety bond, but that money would do more work for me if it were invested in a nice index fund.

Comment: Re:Be careful what you wish for (Score 2) 160

by Ichijo (#48853145) Attached to: A State-By-State Guide To Restrictive Community Broadband Laws

Do ghettos exist outside of cities, or do they exist because cities take wealth from financially productive run-down areas and use it to attract newer but relatively unproductive big-box stores in middle-class neighborhoods?

If the latter, it would appear that breaking up cities as if they were monopolies would prevent the flow of wealth from the poor to the rich and thereby prevent ghettos from forming.

Comment: Re:Silly assumptions. (Score 1) 172

by Ichijo (#48833969) Attached to: The 'Radio Network of Things' Can Cut Electric Bills (Video)

My refrigerator needs to maintain a consistent temperature to prevent spoilage.

It needs to be between 32F and 40F (0C and 4.4C). The ideal temperature is 35F (1.7C). So the idea is that you would set it for 35 and if there's an electricity price spike, the setpoint would temporarily change to 40 to save you money.

Comment: Re:Parents (Score 5, Insightful) 783

by Ichijo (#48829779) Attached to: Parents Investigated For Neglect For Letting Kids Walk Home Alone

There's a neighborhood "liveability" metric called the Popsicle Test: can a kid get to a store on her own, buy a popsicle, and get home again before it melts?

Today, unlike before WWII, most residential neighborhoods in the USA probably won't pass this liveability test. What's worse is we simply aren't allowed to build neighborhoods like that anymore because small neighborhood corner stores violate single-use zoning laws, and because we've decided that moving auto traffic quickly is more important than pedestrian safety. (In fact, they removed roadside trees because motorists kept hitting them. Now motorists hit pedestrians instead. How's that for progress?) So we've legislated our own independence away.

"So this is how liberty dies...with thunderous applause."

Comment: Re:He didn't say that (Score 1) 165

by Ichijo (#48825587) Attached to: Elon Musk Plans To Build Hyperloop Test Track

multiple studies have shown it will neither be economically viable

Those studies were funded by people who hope it won't be economically viable, so their findings aren't surprising.

nor a practical solution for its intended purpose of getting people off the highways

That's true. Creating an alternative to driving won't necessarily reduce driving. The real purpose of HSR is to be a vastly cheaper way of moving people around than highways and airports. For example, spending $68.4 billion on HSR will fulfill the same transportation demand as spending $119.0 billion for 4,295 new lane-miles of highway plus $38.6 billion for 115 new airport gates and 4 new runways.

To restore a sense of reality, I think Walt Disney should have a Hardluckland. -- Jack Paar