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Comment: public infrastructure innovation is not in the US (Score 4, Interesting) 109

by supernova87a (#46833845) Attached to: "Going Up" At 45 Mph: Hitachi To Deliver World's Fastest Elevator
This may be a anecdotal comment, so take it for what you will, but I have noticed that Asian buildings and infrastructure technology are so far ahead of us in the USA that it is really embarrassing if you go there and come back and compare.

If you've ever gone to Taipei 101 for example, the elevators move so quickly, and without any vibration as they go up/down that you almost cannot tell if they're moving. Go to Singapore or Hong Kong, and watch how smoothly, quietly, and punctually their subway systems run.

Or go to China and be surprised that in even small-sized cities, you didn't realize that *all* their motorcycles are now electric and they leap-frogged the smelly gasoline phase of motorbike technology.

You come back to the US, and wonder how we're still (maybe) #1, with our rickety buildings and public transport systems. It's embarrassing. And people will say, well, "Who needs quieter, smoother subways? What we have is fine." Said while yelling because you have to cover your ears to not go deaf on the F train in New York City. And as you have to hold your nose as you walk through the piss-soaked, dark and dingy subway/bus station concourses.

Sometimes I feel like we're witnessing the slow decline of American technology / investment when it comes to public infrastructure.

Comment: Is it really much more than goes on already? (Score 2) 190

by supernova87a (#46811101) Attached to: Eyes Over Compton: How Police Spied On a Whole City
I'm sorry, but I guess I don't understand why this is any bigger deal than cameras on a street corner. Maybe it's having grown up in Baltimore with a police helicopter constantly overhead that's desensitized me.

Doesn't everyone just assume that when in public, everything you do could be observed by someone else? Now, if they were looking in people's windows, that would be a bit creepier.

Comment: Re:Helping the poor (Score 0) 320

You must be kidding me. San Francisco has more resources for homeless people than any other US city. Food, shelter (Tenderloin), treatment, charity. That's why they flock here. It's like we're asking for it. And indeed, people voluntarily come, or get sent by other cities to come here. Haven't you had enough of it?

Comment: Reality has an unfavorable bias? (Score 2, Insightful) 320

Maybe, just maybe, showing how many resources and $ are being spent to give homeless people options, especially in San Francisco, only to have that money pissed away and people still soiling our streets and public transport systems, tends to decrease how sympathetic you feel towards the chronically homeless?

Comment: analogy (Score 2) 465

by supernova87a (#45553115) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Are Tech Job Requirements So Specific?
Take this analogy:

What if, as a condition of financially supporting your decision to get married / begin a family (with a boatload of money you couldn't pass up), your parents required that you post an ad to Craigslist and evaluate all reasonable potential spouses who replied? Despite you already having met the person you already want to marry?

I imagine you'd be pretty specific about what you were looking for too.

Not trying to trivialize the situation, just trying to illustrate that it's almost as complicated as dating. There's a lot of things about a candidate that can't be captured in simple qualifications or experience. And staying with a known quantity is way easier than searching for something that may even be better, but highly uncertain.

Comment: Doors between cars aren't the problem to be solved (Score 1) 237

by supernova87a (#45187869) Attached to: New York City Considers Articulated Subway Cars
More than doors between cars, what NYC needs to bring itself into the modern age is automatic train control and platform doors. It would allow a whole host of benefits, such as less reliance on human drivers (controversial, I know), air conditioned platforms, increased reliability, increased frequency, etc.

When you come back from Asia or Europe and see the subway systems they have, and see what we have in New York, you actually get embarrassed, and wonder how we're still #1...

ps. oh, please do all that, plus grind the rails properly so that I don't have to go deaf when the cars go around any type of curve...

Comment: economics generally don't work out (Score 1) 228

by supernova87a (#45180877) Attached to: Carbon-Negative Energy Machines Catching On
There have been lots of these gasification setups in the past. Two problems are always:

1) Aside from a colocation with an agriculture / waste facility, you will have to scour a large radius to get the amount of biomass to burn reliably. There is significant transport cost to that.

2) For low grade biomass that you're talking about, you're incurring additional fuel and $ to gasify the biomass, to then burn it. This doesn't really make sense. If you're just generating power, you would probably just burn the biomass material itself. Maybe a stirling engine.

Very few applications using gasification have gone anywhere.

Imitation is the sincerest form of plagarism.