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Comment: NotAs Simple as it Sounds (Score 1) 217

The Federalist Society recently posted a podcast on this subject.

The issues, and unintended side effects of The Telephone Consumer Protection Act are more extensive than you probably imagine.I recommend that podcast as TFA for this thread.

Comment: No radios needed. (Score 2) 172

by anorlunda (#48833887) Attached to: The 'Radio Network of Things' Can Cut Electric Bills (Video)

The Summary says "Now kick that up to the electric company level, and give them a radio network that tells them which electric provider to get electricity from at what time to get the best (wholesale) price"

That's crazy. There are already organizations called Independent Systemm Operators (ISO) that run real time auctions to do thst function. They have been operating since the 1990s. No radios are needed. They have had high reliability communications methods for many decades.

Comment: Mechanical Clapper Pedestrian Crossing Signals (Score 1) 790

by anorlunda (#48786355) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Sounds We Don't Hear Any More?

Instead of white icon lights and a chime, some pedestrian crossings used to have mechanical clappers. Clap slow to wait, clap fast to cross.

On a hot summer night when all windows were open (because we had no AC) you could hear those damn clappers clapping from all over the city.

Comment: A New Kind Of Monopoly (Score 1) 221

by anorlunda (#48716483) Attached to: Google Fiber's Latest FCC Filing: Comcast's Nightmare Come To Life

There is another approach. To my knowledge, it has never been used anywhere in the world.

One monopoly could own, operate, and maintain the poles, wires and fibers. They would be a public utility and be answerable to the public service commission for tarrifs and meeting reliability and availabilty requirements. But they would not provide any consumer service at all. Their customers would be the electric power and communications companies that rent use of the facilities. Perhaps even natural gas and water distribution pipes could be included in the bundle.

It is already true that power and communications utilities outsource a lot of the line construction, operation, and maintenance of distribution to outside contractors, so the change might not be a dramatic as it sounds. It would be primarily a legal change to make these contractors public utilities, with the rights and obligations that go along with their role.

Please correct me if you know of some place where this approach has been applied.

Comment: The Great Nestle Hedge Bet (Score 1) 323

by anorlunda (#48398745) Attached to: MARS, Inc: We Are Running Out of Chocolate

In the early 60s I worked as an exterminator. Our company was hired to fumigate warehouses full of cocoa beans owned by Nestle. They hired every vacant warehouse in New York State to hold those beans. I got to see a lot of warehouses and an unimaginable quantity of beans. The fumigations were strictly precautionary.

  I was told that Nestle was taking advantage of low world prices and had bought the the entire world' scrap,of cocoa beans for thst year. In following years, they could either sell them at a profit, or use them up in Nestle chocolate factories.

The confusion of a staff member is measured by the length of his memos. -- New York Times, Jan. 20, 1981