Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:City within a Building (Score 3, Interesting) 39

by tlambert (#46765347) Attached to: Google Looked Into Space Elevator, Hoverboards, and Teleportation

Once thing they should look at is a city within a single mega-structure.

Why should they build an Arcology, when there are already two in progress:

Masdar City in Abu Dhabi:

Arcosanti North of Phoenix Arizona:

Comment: Re:When will they gentrify the Tenderloin? (Score 2) 228

by Animats (#46764379) Attached to: San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

It's happening. First, take a look at a map of the Tenderloin, from "Areas to Avoid, San Francisco." Twitter HQ is in that area, between 9th and 10th on Market, and the long-standing "mid-Market area" around there is rapidly being rebuilt. In fact, just about everything south of McAlliister has been gentrified, except for parts of 6th St and a small section around 7th and the north side of Market. Rebuilding is underway along the Van Ness corridor too, and has more or less chopped a block off the Tenderloin on the west side. That's the old "Polk Gulch" area, once a gay rent-boy hangout.

So the SF Tenderloin is about half the size it was a few years ago. Progress continues.

Comment: Re:The real deal (Score 1) 228

by tlambert (#46764179) Attached to: San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

If those San Francisco residents who are "entrenched" had to pay for their taxes like new residents do, they would be paying 1.25% per year property taxes on the current value rather than the basis of when they bought the property.

That's a great reason to do what rental property owners do, and own a company that owns the property, instead of owning it themselves. Then if they ever want to sell it, they can sell if for a heck of a lot more money by selling the company, rather than selling the property, so the taxes don't go up any more than if you'd bought under prop 13 and never sold.

That's the McDonald's model (McDonald's happily admits to being a real estate company that happens to sell burgers and rents out properties their franchisees). It's also the same model that the Kaiser Family Trust uses.

Comment: Re:Simple problem, simple solution (Score 1) 228

by tlambert (#46764157) Attached to: San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

The only way to fix the Bay Area housing crisis is to build more fucking housing.

One of the things that isn't talked about is the amount of empty office and residential apartments in the Bay Area. It's actually worth more money to price them out of the range that people are willing to pay, and then take the "market rent you are not getting", and use it as a tax write-off. It's a common practice in China (Google "ghost cities"), and it's becoming more common in the Bay Area.

If you want to take a little trip on 101 between SF and SJ, it's easy to see a lot of empty buildings, and it's easy to see some of the mega-complexes that are going in in Redwood City and elsewhere, which are probably going to remain mostly empty as a tax write-off to balance out other income.

Comment: Re:BS (Score 1) 228

by tlambert (#46764067) Attached to: San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

They Bay Area is one of the few economically active places in the USA, that's why housing is expensive there.

If you want cheap housing, go to an economically dying area, like Detroit; or a place with no regulations such that chemicals leak into your house or explode in your face, like Texas.

Surely San Bruno would be more to one's liking...

Stated like someone who has never lived under an airport noise footprint. There's a reason that you see all the boarded up houses right under the flight path in all the movies... no one actually wants to live there.

Comment: Re:San Francisco is just an extreme example... (Score 1) 228

by evilviper (#46763399) Attached to: San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

There is a huge amount of land in California the middle class can afford: the Central Valley. The air is so bad you are almost guaranteed to experience asthma or allergies, but you can swing it on as low as 30k per year

That's not the only affordable area, by far. Half the state is desert, starting from just outside the L.A. Basin, and rent is extremely cheap there. The freeways make it possible to commute from bedroom communities there to large cities every day. And the air quality out there is great.

Those kids living in LA, SF, SD who make 30k per year? They basically live in squalor(for America). They value the coolness of those cities so much they are willing to live 4 to a 2-bedroom, or get their own place and live paycheck to paycheck,

People predominantly choose where to live based on family roots, or jobs.

Go out where land is cheap, and there's probably no jobs there. It may suck to spend half your paycheck on rent, but it's infinitely better than getting no paycheck... And there's always the American Dream aspect of it. Everybody thinks if they move to a rich area, they're going to strike it rich, too... Sort of an investment in your future that way. Never mind how few make it, and how many people move away after a few years.

"Roots" are pretty simple... if you've got lots of family in an expensive area, you're not likely to move too far away, even if you're struggling. It's a big scary break to leave all your friends and family, and the only area and culture you've known, behind, all for cheap rent you might not be able to afford on your lower wages, anyhow.

Comment: Re:Why spend another $700 for a car stereo (Score 1) 140

by evilviper (#46763263) Attached to: How Apple's CarPlay Could Shore Up the Car Stereo Industry

All I really need mounted in the dash is an AMP and speakers.

That's pretty much what ALL cheap car stereos have been doing for the past decade. Except they throw in a clock, USB & SD card slots for MP3s, and usually a radio.

How does $25 grab you:

Comment: It's a training program, not production (Score 1) 79

by Animats (#46758769) Attached to: Humans Are Taking Jobs From Robots In Japan

This is a training program, not a production process. They have a few people doing forging by hand, but not to make production parts. See the original article in the Japan Times. Toyota's process of continuous improvement of production requires that people working on assembly lines understand the process well enough to suggest improvements. They recognize that they've dumbed down the workforce too much.

Ford Motor funded the building of the Detroit TechShop for similar reasons. They need more people who have a good sense of how stuff is made. Who in the US gets a degree in production engineering any more?

Comment: Re:Changing IMEI is NOT illegal (Score 2) 105

by tlambert (#46754705) Attached to: Inside the Stolen Smartphone Black Market In London

Under a 2002 law it was made illegal to change the IMEI unless you're the manufacturer.

It's a Chuck Schumer bill that he introduces every couple of years, it gets thrown to the Judiciary committee, and then it dies in committee. Like clockwork. Here's the text of the current bill, which is presently dying in the Judiciary committee right now:

The people who care about this are the people who traffic in stolen phones, and the people who want to buy a handset and use the same SIM in a different GSM phone, or who want to change the MEID on a new phone so that they don't have to re-up their Verizon contract once they are paying month-to-month for their CDMA phone. And the phone companies, that want you to have to re-up your contract to get a new phone. It's the same reason there's about zero incentive to update the OS in Android phones, since if they never update the OS, in order to get the new +0.0.1 version number bump, you have to get a new phone, and the manufacturer gets to sell another phone, and the phone company gets to lock you into a new 2 year contract every 18 months when the new shiny object becomes available.

Since it's a PITA to get a phone unlocked for international roaming, since it has to be listed by ID with the cell network in the country you are traveling to, and it can take many weeks to get them to actually unlock the thing, and do the registration, most times it's just easier to clone the IMEI to your old phone, and then either destroy the old phone, or do an IMEI swap. This is a common "repair/refurbish" technique, and you'll notice that it's allowed under the Schumer bill.

You might also see both NASDAQ OMX Group and TeleCommunication Systems Inc. campaign contributions, and you'll notice contributions from Facebook in 2012, the year the bill was introduced, when Facebook was going big into the mobile market.

Little bit of vested interest there.

Comment: Re:Not getting funded. (Score 1) 154

by tlambert (#46754531) Attached to: Will This Flying Car Get Crowdfunded?

Flying cars are technically possible.

Flying cars however are not desirable for everyday drivers: they have a hard enough time managing 2 dimensions, we don't need them to occupy a third. So unless they're fully automatic in flight mode (with manual control disabled), flying cars can only be flown by trained pilot.

Rename them "manned drones" and outsource the piloting to third world countries. Problem solved, since the FAA is OK with drones in U.S. airspace.

"If John Madden steps outside on February 2, looks down, and doesn't see his feet, we'll have 6 more weeks of Pro football." -- Chuck Newcombe