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Comment: Re:City within a Building (Score 4, Interesting) 75

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:The real deal (Score 1) 283

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) 283

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) 283

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: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) 155

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.

Comment: Re:Over 18 (Score 1) 595

by tlambert (#46754397) Attached to: IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

The only way for U.S. citizens to avoid this would be to go through a process to renounce their U.S. citizenship, which is not practical or desirable for most people.

Except for Eduardo Luiz Saverin, the Facebook co-founder who was basically paid by California and the federal government about $1.1B to move to Singapore. For him, it's was a pretty desirable and practical decision, given that the bite for short term capitol gains is treated as ordinary income by California for taxation purposes.

Who would have thought someone with a degree in economics from Harvard knew how to do money math? Uh... everybody? Hello?

Comment: Re:Back when the Internet Mail Consortium was a th (Score 2) 83

by tlambert (#46711533) Attached to: Yahoo DMARC Implementation Breaks Most Mailing Lists

I think you will find that most MLM software uses correct additional headers. At least listserv and mailman (for the lists that I manage) do. We've been playing nicely with ISPs for years on our lists, we create no spam (once we fixed the bounceback spam problem 3 years ago) and generally are among the more well-behaved email users around. The problem is that Yahoo's implementation of DMARC is not using the additional headers. All it looks at is From.

Not a problem, if you leave the "From:" line the hell alone, and only add new headers, per RFC 5322, and RFC 2919, etc.. It can look at the From line all it wants, and as far as it's concerned, as long as the rest of the headers are unadulterated, your list server is an intermediate relay server in the SMTP routing path.

Comment: So the ether theory is back on the table? (Score 1) 639

So the ether theory is back on the table?

Clearly, if the Earth is in fact the center of the universe, any repeat of the Michelson–Morley experiment would fail to detect a drift through the ether, since the Ether is in the same inertial reference frame as the Earth.

So, it's possible that there's ether, and the assumptions about Earth *not* being the center of the universe are what's responsible for the negative result, we just interpreted it incorrectly.

"Regardless of the legal speed limit, your Buick must be operated at speeds faster than 85 MPH (140kph)." -- 1987 Buick Grand National owners manual.