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Comment specious and wrong (Score 1) 259

" There's a reason that Tour de France competitors burn 7000 calories a day."

Yes, there is. They're the world's most competitive cyclists, racing at speeds about 3 times higher than your average transportation cyclist, and remember that air resistance is a function of velocity squared. The power they're capable of generating, for hours on end, is nearly an order of magnitude greater than a person who does not cycle regularly.

"Bikes take very little energy to be propelled forward, but they get that energy in a horribly inefficient manner using an energy source with massive environmental impacts."

Aside from the fact that many people over-eat and thus need not consume any extra calories - food distribution is incredibly efficient, the cost of fuel for distribution is built-in to the cost of food, and the number of additional calories needed by someone riding a few miles a day amounts to a very small percentage of their daily food budget. Simply adding a slightly larger portion of carbs - one of the cheapest food sources there is - is sufficient.

There's something like 1600 calories in a box of spaghetti that costs ~$1-2. So an extra 200 calories a day costs about twenty five cents.

How much do you spend on gas per day?

Comment Boston is a clusterfuck of separate services/DBs (Score 1) 159

Boston's system does not show a flow through the system, because there is no system. Every department in the city has its own computer system, and it appears they've refused to unify them or link them together.

Essentially, your ticket with CC is closed when it gets entered into a department's worklog. Whether it actually gets done or not, you have no idea.

Comment Boston has an app like this. It's useless. (Score 5, Interesting) 159

Boston has had an app like this; it's called "Citizens Connect."

Essentially, it's a very half-assed ticketing system. You open a ticket, and that's it - you can't provide any further information, or challenge a request, or re-open it. There is only one action city worker can do - "close" the ticket. About the only thing they got right was not forcing people to select a category; a team of staffers handle that.

What people quickly discovered was that city workers would just close tickets, regardless of whether the work actually got done or not. So, what you saw increasingly were tickets that said "STOP CLOSING MY REQUESTS WITHOUT FIXING IT."

That beats Cambridge, MA's system, which has horrendously poor geotagging and only accepts requests in a few limited, narrow issue categories.

I have three or four of these apps for the various cities I spend time in now. It's stupid. There is a national service set up, but cities don't like it because it provides a lot of reporting to the public. City workers don't like Joe Q Public seeing how long requests take to clear and stuff like that. Makes 'em look bad....

Comment ad hominem (Score 1) 688

This seems like a dig at Sarah Sharp, implying that she hasn't contributed anything, and further implying that one's argument is wrong or unworthy if you haven't contributed work. This is basically ad hominem. Whether someone has contributed work is irrelevant to whether their argument is sound or not.

Comment Re:How it should be (Score 1) 688

Sadly I predict that many comments here won't get that. They will instead call him a pussy because he couldn't stand the heat, and acted like a girl by leaving. Let's see if I'm right.

If people sling misogynistic, sexist comments like that at him, then I'd say he was absolutely right.

Referring to women's genitals or their gender to insult a man is doubly sexist and inappropriate.

Comment Re:Easy (Score 1) 381

I've never seen a serious, credible libertarian advocate pure absolute 100% anarchy, just like I've never seen a serious, credible businessperson advocate 100% unrestrained laissez-faire capitalism. What I have seen is such people making arguments for a step closer to those things, an alteration or rethinking of the current balance or list of priorities.

What I've seen time and time again is that "libertarians" vocally object to regulation that hurts their profits and government programs that don't benefit them, and are very quiet about regulation and programs that do benefit or protect them.

See: industrialists who want to dump shit in the local river, but also want the police to bust down the doors of someone who is making copies of their widgets.

See: rich people who don't want social welfare programs, but want the city to plow their private drive.

See: the handicapped guy at my local makerspace whose rear window is covered in libertarian/Ayn-Randian stickers, but parks in the handicapped parking spot, and filed a complaint with the state when his space wasn't cleared fast enough last year, costing the makerspace $6,000 in fines.

See: rural residents who hate "tax and spend liberals" and demand their representatives vote against any sort of social programs or things that benefit cities.....but live in revenue-negative states and are more than happy to take from the public till for the thousands of miles of roads one or two people a day drive down, huge fancy new medical and community centers, etc...not to mention the massive farm subsidies. Rural politicians survive mostly by pointing a grubby finger at other politicians for supporting programs that don't benefit Joe Midwesterner, while quietly making sure Joe has smooth roads everywhere he drives his assault-vehicle-sized pickup and a nice football stadium for Joe's kids to play in, and the shiniest fire trucks with NBC gear in case the "towelheads" decide to dirty-bomb his town.

(Seriously: DHS pays for fire trucks in the middle of nowhere to get positive-pressure, nuke/bio/chem filtration systems. It's insane.)

These "baby with the bathwater" excuses for argumentation really get tiresome. They don't remotely represent what any thinking person actually believes. Thus, they are strawmen.

And you've created your own strawman: libertarians who don't act out of pure selfishness.

Comment Minecraft? Secret? Huh? (Score 1) 842

The dude was head of a company that made one of the top-selling software packages of all time. He sold the company to Microsoft.

When someone googles your name and they get "minecraft creator sells to MS for $2BN", there is no way to not tell people.

Furthermore, when you're worth that kind of money, you *have* to change your lifestyle for personal safety.

Comment Not in Gmail; images are cached (Score 3, Interesting) 294

Gmail caches any images in an email, and serves them through their own servers, in order to prevent tracking bugs from having any effect.

The greater concern for me is what happens when you hover over a link that causes action by virtue of the URL being hit? I assume they must have done some filtering-out GET URLs, but...what about URLs that are prettified? Jesus, this is such a bad idea all around.

Artificial intelligence has the same relation to intelligence as artificial flowers have to flowers. -- David Parnas