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Comment Re:And the purpose of this exercise is? (Score 1) 413 413

Ha ha ha ha ha ha, did you just compare damage to a 'bridge inside borders' to a bridge over the ocean?

I compared a bridge across a large body of water to a bridge across an only slightly larger body of water. Whether the bridge goes from one country to another is largely irrelevant unless the leaders of one country or the other are idiots. After all, they would both have to pay part of the cost of any future repairs to that bridge, which is a powerful disincentive to bombing it in a fit of stupidity. If anything, the nature of such a bridge might even serve to stabilize relations between the two countries.

The only bottleneck there is a port and ports are much easier and faster to build than additional bridges to increase throughput.

Ports can only increase bandwidth. What shippers care about is latency. The only way you can improve latency with boats is to build faster boats, and the faster the boat, the less it can carry (and the more fuel it takes), so there are very real practical limitations involved.

A burning bridge stops all cargo from being moved, while a burning ship only stops that ship. Shipping docks are a scalable solution, while a bridge is a fixed throughput solution that cannot be scaled without building a second bridge.

A burning dock stops all cargo from being moved. Your point? You think that after Russia and the U.S. build a multi-billion-dollar bridge, one of them is going to suddenly decide to blow it up on a whim? Periods of international tension might very well close the bridge, but I can't imagine them being shortsighted enough to blow it up.

Also, bridges can be repaired pretty quickly these days, for the most part. When a tanker fire destroyed an elevated road segment in San Francisco back in 2007 and caused it to fall on top of another elevated road segment (requiring significant repairs), they had the lower segment repaired in eight days, and the upper one rebuilt in just 25 days. And with the floating bridge I described, assuming you build some extra segments, damage could be repaired in hours simply by towing another identical segment into place and fastening it to the adjacent segments. You just have to provide enough of a financial incentive to grease the wheels of the bridge building company. :-)

Comment Re:Why is that illegal? (Score 1) 225 225

Nice try but the NSA has to verify the communications (which they were of course monitoring) were with a real terrorist.

So either (A) you get no money, or they believe you an (B) whisk your friend off to an"unsafe house" for questioning.

You try to find out later what happened to him and you get to visit him in person!

Submission + - Behind the Microsoft write-off of Nokia->

UnknowingFool writes: Previously Microsoft had announced that they write-off the Nokia purchase for $7.6B in the last quarter. In doing so Microsoft would create only the third unprofitable quarter in the company's history. Released on July 31, new financial documents detail some of the reasoning and financials behind this decision. At the core of the problem was that the Phone Hardware business was only worth $116M after adjusting for costs and market factors. One of those factors was poor sales of Nokia handhelds in 2015. Financially it made more sense to write it all off.

the carrying value of Phone Hardware goodwill exceeded its estimated fair value. Accordingly, we recorded a goodwill impairment charge of $5.1 billion, reducing Phone Hardware’s goodwill from $5.4 billion to $116 million

Link to Original Source

Comment My last 3 android phones have had this feature (Score 0) 66 66

Taking and transcribing voicemail? My last 3 phones, all Android and going back at least four years, have had this feature. Is Apple really that far behind, that this feature comes out as News, and what's more, implies that they invented it?

Christ, does anyone editing this site actually keep up with technology?

Comment Re:Why is that illegal? (Score 4, Insightful) 225 225

You severely under-estimate the combined ability of the worlds scammers targeting a specific group... especially so with a group who have already shown they are prone to being manipulated.

No amount of stolen museum works or oil wells or side income from slave brothels/human trafficking would save them from total plunder.

Big pockets are all the better as lure the lure for more attacks.

Comment Re:And the purpose of this exercise is? (Score 1) 413 413

And how long does it take two trucks to ship the same amount of goods as a fully loaded freighter?

I'm not sure how that's relevant unless your company needs to ship a full freighter-load of goods. I'm not talking about the biggest companies here. I'm talking about the myriad companies that routinely use international shipping in much lower volume. For those companies, what matters is latency—how long they must wait for something to arrive stateside—not bandwidth.

If you're one of those rare companies that can fill a freighter, then your company is clearly in the category that can afford to bring in its first two weeks' supply by air while the boats are carrying the next month's supply, and the boat latency doesn't matter (unless you're a shipping company). But even for those big companies, it could still cut out the second week of air shipments, which could be a significant financial win. And for shipping companies that provide services to smaller companies, being able to offer a level of service between "very expensive" and "glacial" would be a significant win, too.

Comment Re:And the purpose of this exercise is? (Score 1) 413 413

Nobody can predict what will happen between the U.S. and Russia, but I'd be really surprised if things got so bad that U.S. companies didn't feel comfortable shipping goods through Russia. It's not like we're talking about a third-world country or anything.

And what you say about damage is downright silly, because the same concern applies equally for a bridge inside our borders. In fact, by your standards, the docks where those boats load their cargo should never have been built, because if one of the minimum-wage immigrants carrying cargo on his shoulders out to a small boat in waist-deep water dies of a heart attack, it doesn't prevent other workers from loading cargo, whereas if a dock collapses, it does, and those workers can be used for other things if we suddenly no longer need boat shipping. I mean, the only way that logic even starts to make sense is if a serious failure is highly probable, and if that's the case, then it means they got the design wrong.

Besides, the cost of a Bering Strait bridge could be a lot lower than you might think. They would need one segment of it to be tall enough to let shipping traffic through—possibly between the two Diomede Islands—but the rest of it could ostensibly be a simple pontoon bridge, which is relatively cheap.

Most of the cost of the project would likely be for that one span between the two islands that's tall enough to let ships pass under it. That would cost several billion dollars, in all likelihood. The remaining 55 miles, assuming other pontoon bridges are any indication of cost, should be the neighborhood of $5 million to $10 million per lane-mile. At 55 miles long, a four-lane pontoon bridge should cost a couple of billion dollars, give or take, which is about as much money as we waste on a single B-2 bomber.

Of course, a pontoon bridge in that area would have to be specifically designed to withstand the rather severe storms that the Bering sea experiences, which could drive the cost way up. On the other hand, the project is so huge that economies of scale would kick in and bring the component cost way, way down (because you'd be building over 18,000 identical 16-foot segments), which would probably balance that out to a large extent.

Of course, I am not a bridge engineer, so my estimates could be way off, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if someone were able to come up with a design that fell under the $10 billion mark, or about twice the cost of the Bay Bridge. Heck, the tunnel that Russia proposed was only sixty or seventy billion, so that estimate probably isn't too far off the mark.

Comment Re:shooter should have talked to owner first (Score 1) 492 492

If the shooter had gone and talked to the drone owner,

And how do you think the shooter could have found the drone owner? The only way to start that conversation is to shoot down the drone, so the drown owner would come out of hiding and make himself known.

Imagination is more important than knowledge. -- Albert Einstein