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Comment Re:If only... (Score 1) 250

You want to regulate pricing, so that you have a corrupt cartel which keeps competition limited and prices high?

Because that's what we had before Uber came around.

We don't need regulated pricing, we need competition. And that's what we have with Uber and Lyft (who compete against each other). What we need is a few more services like those, and then several apps which do for them what PadMapper does for the rental market, and aggregates them and lets you quickly find out which service will give you the best combination of fare price and convenience (e.g., a cheaper fare probably isn't worth it if you have to wait an hour to get picked up).

All this whining about surge pricing is silly. The pricing is not a surprise: Uber's app tells you before you ride how much it's going to cost. If the price is too high, don't buy it. Most of the time, Uber rides are far cheaper than regular cabs, and you get to ride in a much nicer vehicle. Without surge pricing, drivers wouldn't bother driving during certain times.

It is equally about keeping demand in check as it is encouraging more supply. Without surge pricing there simply wouldn't be uber rides to be had for 90% of the interested buyers. What would a rider rather have, a low price for a ride they almost certainly won't get because there is a 4 hour wait, or a high price for a ride they can get immediately.

Comment Re:Headline vs. Article... FIGHT! (Score 2) 253

Disrupt is an overloaded word. In this case it's in the "disruptive technology" sense: the USD > bitcoin > ARS automation allows for a 30% increase in revenue for any business that accepts foreign bank cards. Thats enough for people to stampede to it, the only thing holding it back will be how fast the payment terminals can be set up.

Comment Re:Here's to hoping they don't find oil (Score 2) 152

Here's to hoping they don't find any oil there, given the earthquakes it's caused in OK.

The magma is so close to the surface that there won't be the usual layer after deeper layer of hydrocarbons to go after.

Better yet: Here's hoping they find oil near the surface, extract it, and then turn the oil deposit wells into geothermal loops.

What an opportunity! We can extract high quality geothermal energy from the site AND cool the rock near the surface to prevent an eruption.

Disclaimer: I am not a geologist so this probably makes no sense at all

Comment Oh great (Score 4, Informative) 96

IRDA is back. Hey I have an idea, why not just have an access point that, for each user, drops a little cord out of the ceiling (where all access points are, right) and you plug it in for GIGABIT SPEEEDZZZS!!!1.

No but seriously why are we doing this when channels in the 5 Ghz spectrum are easy to come by.

Comment Re:Well done! (Score 1) 540

224 units is not enough to build even an elementary school around

Why not? If the housing is meant for families, let's assume a modest 60 percent of the houses have families, and that they each have 2.3 children. That's a total of 309 children. My kids go to a school of about 350 kids. I understand that in some places they have huge schools with thousands of kids, but I really don't see the advantage of that. Smaller schools where everybody knows everybody have a lot of appeal.

Simple, an elementary school will have, at best, half of the school-aged children (ages 5 through 11). So based on your guess, of the 309 kids aged 0-18, only 100 or so will be at the elementary school. You might be able to make a small school out of that (it puts less than 20 in each grade) but more than likely, there is already a few elems in the area that can absorb the kids. And if not? Less than 20 kids/grade means a lot of attention.

To get at your guesstimate on how many kids are there to begin with, let's look at Marin county specifically: average household of 2.39 people (parents+kids) and 15% of those are between 5 and 18. So if you assume the units will be filled "on average" (which is prone to error but we are just guesstimating) you end up with 80 school aged kids. That's about 40 elementary aged kids.

TL;DR: Your guess is way high.

Comment Re:Desalination plants cost a lot to operate (Score 1) 678

SoCal could solve the "water crisis" today if they stopped watering all their fucking lawns.

I'm surprised that after all this time people still have this misconception. Lawn watering is just part of that little 4% sliver at the bottom. Farming uses the vast majority of water.

And farmers indeed are the ones cutting usage by the most. The point isn't that they use more of it, it's that the difference between water at the tap in LA or SD costing the same during the drought is everyone just not wasting it on green grass. No one is dying of thirst but prices are going to get pretty ridiculous here soon, as some munis run out of water entirely (having not managed to get price hikes through) and all the residents rely on bottled water which is far more expensive.

Comment Re:Well done! (Score 1) 540

It's not really just about annoying the neighbours. If you stick all the poor people in the same neighbourhood, then all the poor kids will go to schools with poor kids, and all the rich kids will go to school with rich kids. Since schools are funded by property taxes, the poor kid schools always end up having less money. If you mix poor and rich kids in the same areas, and they attend the same schools, and benefit from the same property taxes, then things end up much more even. Instead of one school having everything, and another having nothing, you'd have all the schools with similar amounts of resources.

224 units is not enough to build even an elementary school around, so don't worry. This is definitely "mixed in" with the other residents compared to most income-gap boundaries. However, at this level the indigenous population will almost certainly be sending their kids to high pricetag private school even from kindergarten. However, I have a feeling that all the property taxes in the coffers from the dozens of multi-million dollar homes will be enough to afford the "poor" residents of Lucas' Groundwalker Ranch (still workshopping the name) who are still almost all in the upper 50% of income nationwide, a decent place to send their kids.

Comment Re:Well done! (Score 1) 540

On one hand I'm glad he built this low-income housing...on the other hand I don't like that the mere existence of poor people in the vicinity is being used as revenge. I mean it's hilarious and not his fault that rich people think like this, but participating in it seems wrong in itself.

"Won't let me build my studio huh!? Well then eat poor people, motherfuckers! Muahahaha!"

I can only hope that the "poor people" (no doubt average people to you and me) are such good residents that they make the property value jump for Lucas and drop for all his nose-up neighbors (because you don't have to spend several million just to live in Nicasio any more).

Comment Re:Well done! (Score 2) 540

Yes, that's the problem. Once it starts it tends to build on itself. That is why it is better to spread it out more. Not 200+ units in one development.

200 units on 54 acres is a breeze, really. 1/4 acre per unit is a TON of room, you won't have any problem telling who the good neighbors are and who the shitheads are. 800 units on 54 acres? Then you are into some downward spiral trouble unless you pour a lot of money into managing it.

Comment Re:Sounds like upper middle class housing developm (Score 1) 540

At $200M for 224 homes it sounds like he is building an upper middle class housing development. This does not sound like habitat for humanity-like helping the poor.

Yeah $900,000 per unit is pretty steep nationally, but it's average for the area.

Comment Re:first (Score 2) 30

This sounds like a honeypot to me..

Especially when selling 0-days isn't actually illegal in most circumstances, only rather shady. Researchers do deals all the time. Total anonymity on one or both sides doesn't really help anyone. Hell, it's so commonplace they have discussed it on NPR: http://www.npr.org/blogs/money...

If anything this is just a new way to scam people out of money or to ferret out security researchers for further recruitment/waterboarding by the CIA.

Comment Re:after I destroy Washington D.C... I will destro (Score 2) 167

After all, if you destroy DC, you destroy the people that are authorized to pay you in the first place.

That, and you completely destabilize/devalue the very thing you are demanding. Your $100B USD won't go far if the US government collapses. Better ask for Gold or Bitcoins.

Comment Re:Desalination plants cost a lot to operate (Score 0) 678

And $30B will get you 30 desal plants like Carlsbad's, which cost $1B, and which will provide 7% of what San Diego area residents need.

But the $30B won't get you the power it takes to run them (new power plants?) Or the energy required to power the power plants.

Also, CA's agriculture depends upon cheap water, not expensive desalinated water.

That said, would a $30B pipeline bring in the same amount of water as desal plants? Or more? Operating expenses are sure to be lower, but there'd need to be a detailed economic and engineering case made for one solution over the other.

--PM

Desalinated water is ready to drink, so you would effectively be taking all the normal purification plants offline and freeing up all the water that went through them for agri use. That being said, SoCal could solve the "water crisis" today if they stopped watering all their fucking lawns.

Comment Re: Why not? (Score 2) 678

...so the poorer people will move out. Nice plan. How about putting water meters on farm consumption, most have no meters at all. Most ag water users pay zero, or close to that. How about letting the market decide where almonds and lettuce should be grown, instead of giving CA farmers a massive subsidy while cities go dry?

The market decides by way of water rights on certain parcels (that drives up/down land value). The landowners then get to decide which crops (i.e. ones that are the most valuable per gallon) to grow with their water. If water were truly scarce the farmers would be just bottling the water and selling it (some already are, but most are just growing almonds like always). The market is working nicely, thanks. And if poor people can't afford to live in SoCal? (its already really really hard unless you are OK being a homeless bum) Let them move to a cheaper place to live and maybe they will enjoy their minimum wage a little. Then, prices on everything in SoCal will go up (even more) and the market will kick in and force some of the rich people to move out too. This is Adam Smith's plan at work, why disrupt it?

"The Avis WIZARD decides if you get to drive a car. Your head won't touch the pillow of a Sheraton unless their computer says it's okay." -- Arthur Miller

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