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Comment: Re:which turns transport into a monopoly... (Score 1) 207

by ultranova (#47716063) Attached to: Helsinki Aims To Obviate Private Cars

Complexity. the "vertical" transport system only goes to given floors in a given building. The roads go everywhere. I can drive from NYC to Los Angeles... and anywhere in between.

But I only need to go between points A and B, and don't much care about hypothetical point C (since I can always rent transport there, if needs be).

Comment: Re:Power Grab (Score 1) 207

by ultranova (#47715725) Attached to: Helsinki Aims To Obviate Private Cars

In order to transition an economy or government to true socialism,

Finland has been social democrat since the World War II. It's only in the recent years American-style capitalism has become fashionable. I'm sure it's a pure coincidence that our economy switched to an apparently permanent tailspin at the same time.

Gaze upon our debt-free university-level education and despair. Or grow balls and demand it from your own government. Either way, I'm gainfully employed and paying taxes because and only because my government gave me an education offer I could had refused, but didn't see any rational reason to.

Comment: Re:Another blow to Uber (Score 1) 207

by ultranova (#47715645) Attached to: Helsinki Aims To Obviate Private Cars

How is this blow against Uber?
Uber is illegal in Finland as taxis here need a license to operate and they have service obligation.

Why would anyone use a taxi to get around Helsinki? It's the one city even I just leave my car parked at the outskirt (Mellunmäki metro station 24h free parking with enough space to make sure some is always available - take note everyone, that's what it takes to get people to abandon cars) and switch to mass transit.

Comment: Re:god dammit. (Score 1) 430

by quantaman (#47714485) Attached to: Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead

~3 birds each day seems like a lot of KFC for a power plant....

anyway, seems like the environmental impact is quite less than mining of coal etc etc, and more easily chirps, clicks, etc to scare the birds away? Or maybe a little metal eagle or hawk statue on the roof..

Just wait a while and we'll evolve flame resistant birds.

Comment: Re:god dammit. (Score 1) 430

by ultranova (#47714465) Attached to: Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead

Lots of things kill birds, and actually wind turbines are pretty low on the scale. Even nuclear plants kill more by some estimates:

Yes, obviously it takes a retarded bird to be hit by an easily visible object moving at a perfectly regular path. That doesn't stop people from protesting wind power on behalf of birds, though. And the thing is, they aren't necessarily wrong: while it takes spectacular bad luck for a bird to die from an encounter with a windmill, it also takes a ridiculous amounts of windmills to replace a single nuclear plant.

Of course, there's always the possibility of not having a single large turbine, but a tower full of small turbines. That would not only make them bird-safe, but also allow them to run right up to and including hurricane winds, unlike a single large one (due to stress to bearings because windspeed varies across the area).

Comment: Re:god dammit. (Score 1) 430

by ultranova (#47714125) Attached to: Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead

Thanks California. Human impact of using coal fired plants? Nope, think of the children has been replaced by "think of the birds".

It's not California. It's everywhere. Anything whatsoever has some impact, thus enviromental groups oppose it. Even damn wind turbines have been opposed on the grounds that they might chop up birds.

None of which means we shouldn't think about how this effect could be mitigated or prevented (maybe use optic fibers rather than open space to transport and concentrate light? Put a glass roof on the whole thing?) but no matter what, there's going to be some negative ones.

Comment: Re:It isn't only Windows 8 (Score 1) 300

It is easy to get complacent about that since even testing is usually quite stable, it's just not promised to be.

It is worth considering though that it is nice that installing stable and backporting is even an option. For an individual perhaps it's not worth it, but in a corporate environment it might work out to be reasonable.

Comment: Re:There is no "FarmBot" (Score 1) 131

by Animats (#47714057) Attached to: FarmBot: an Open Source Automated Farming Machine

If you watch the video at the bottom of the article, you'll see photos of several prototype FarmBots that do, in fact, exist.

Those are just tabletop gardening robots. That was done 20 years ago.

There's lots of real robotic agricultural machinery, much of it mobile. Building a gantry over a tabletop doesn't scale.

Comment: Re:Big Data (Score 1) 158

by ultranova (#47714039) Attached to: Netflix CEO On Net Neutrality: Large ISPs Are the Problem

The soviet government was unable to keep the lie going. The USA government does not have that problem: They are funded by biased taxation and trade agreements, a monopoly on many forms of intellectual property, a monopoly on 'world police' duties, and sale of most of the international currency. When all that fails, they simply invent 1/3rd of their federal revenue from thin air.

The US government is hardly synonymous with capitalism. Whether that's a good or bad thing I won't get into, but it's entirely possible that US might survive the fall of capitalism and recover. However, should this not be the case, it doesn't matter how much money it can print for itself. Money only has value within a functioning economic system; all the money in the world can't buy anything is no one is selling.

All the people provide is disposable labour and babies for future labour markets.

And they're starting to admit that, too. Once you consciously admit that the promises offered by some Power that Be are lies, it no longer has any power to compel your loyalty. It might try coercion, but as the Soviet coup demonstrated, that's a desperate gambit that has low chances of working, even if the people who make up the army still stay under its spell.

In short, capitalism is going to fall for failing the same test it judges people by: can you deliver? And it could had avoided its fate by showing mercy for those who can't. There is irony in that. But the stupid thing is that it already got a stay of execution back when communism first arose by becoming lighter and softer with unemployment benefits and keynesian stimulus economics, and is really only dying due to abandoning those - and could still repent a second time, it's just bloody unlikely to.

16.5 feet in the Twilight Zone = 1 Rod Serling