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Comment Re: Subject (Score 1) 212 212

As far as I can discern, capital equipment budgeting is based entirely on historic patterns as calculated by accountants. The executives would prefer if it wasn't an expense. The long-term projects that exceed a quarter tend to be personal pet projects that make easy scapegoats or provide easy targets for their successor to pad their quarterly results.

It's a vicious cycle as they shuffle around the landscape leaving a path of destruction and paper profits everywhere they go.

Comment AI is based on the fallacy that I exists (Score 2) 236 236

Humans are merely a collection of cells with the capability to alter our operation based on our environment and chemical/electrical signalling. Replicating this functionality in well-defined domains is relatively trivial. I don't see how this is intelligence.

Comment Re:I can tell you what will happen ... (Score 1) 265 265

The problem would be the handful of weeks it takes for them to die, the resources they would consume in that time, and the risk of violence as they begin to starve.

My community, provided we were limited to round-the-clock local/rural residents, could almost certainly become self-sufficient within a few weeks and survive indefinitely without outside assistance. We have plenty of farmland, farm animals, edible plants, wild animals, and fishing available.

Comment Re:I can tell you what will happen ... (Score 1) 265 265

We have a lot of risk up here north of the border, too, but water doesn't worry me at all. I live in a rural region with wells on most properties, plus I could just walk over to the sound to get sea water that could be easily distilled.

Food, on the other hand, would be very challenging unless it happened when the commuters were away at their jobs.

Comment I might use it (Score 1) 654 654

It would keep me from using my car in some cases...

Presently, at $4 r/t, it isn't worth going 1-2 miles, but might be worth going 40-50. It's more expensive than driving costs for my work commute by over 4:1 in spite of my gas guzzler. If I didn't own a car at all (and therefore eliminate all of the associated expenses), it would be cheaper, but the amount of time I'd lose to it would be worth more to me than the cost of operating my private car.

In spite of this, I do use the existing system for certain tasks, like going into downtown (sometimes) and getting to/from ferries (when I don't need to spend the extra to bring my car). The main thing I use it for is getting to/from the airport to reduce ferry and avoid airport parking costs. When I lived next to a trolley stop, I regularly used it to get to/from the airport and train station as it actually saved me time and money to take it over parking (and the requisite waiting for shuttles).

If you want to increase ridership, you need to make a compelling case for using it. I happily ride the tube and trains in the UK because they go places I want to go, they're convenient, run frequently, and they tend to be very centrally located. In the US, transit is an afterthought with poor planning, siting, and scheduling. This almost seems by design to make it unappealing to all-but those with no other choice.

Comment Re:Security and IPv6 (Score 1) 307 307

Couldn't we also just use private addresses within our private networks and a NAT gateway to the internet? You know, like basically every household in the world with more than one computer does today? Hell, the internal addresses could be IPv4 or IPv6 and nobody would know or care.

Comment Re:Cell phone uses IPv6 (Score 1) 307 307

Comcast in general is more like it. They're the 9,000,000,000 pound gorilla in the corner of the room that has a stranglehold on most internet service anywhere outside a big city in the country, exceptional internal incompetence, and positively unfathomable institutional inertia. I don't think even an act of congress would be able to fix it, short of deregulation and breaking them up like they did with AT&T.

Comment Re:Not me, not in California (Score 1) 940 940

With below-market rent (massive bonus if it just stays what I agreed to at first), I never bother the landlord at all. I have handled maintaining houses for most of my life and doing repairs/upkeep are no problem. I've paid to have doors replaced, locks replaced (keyed to the original key(s)), replaced plumbing fixtures, replaced light fixtures, replaced a CO detector that broke, installed a CO detector when it became a government requirement for rentals (My landlady thought she'd need to hire someone to do it, but I told her it would only take me 5 minutes and I'm happy to do it. She did insist on buying it and bringing it over.), etc. I once went 4 years without talking to my landlord.

The only place I left with no reluctance was a house that I really didn't want to live in where the landlady was a busybody that bothered me regularly. She sent me a notice of a rent increase (because she obsessively followed the rental market asking prices) and I sent her back a notice that I was moving out. It was a terrible house, at that, but I guess I never had to do any upkeep because they were constantly there bothering me...

Comment Re:I'm spending 60% of my monthly income on rent (Score 1) 940 940

This doesn't always work out, though. Back during the last boom there were a number of very nice condo towers built in downtown San Diego that after the bust could not be sold for anything near what they were expecting. Some of these buildings sat almost completely vacant for years. I should know, I checked them out when I moved to a new place (because I was one of few there with a decent-paying job at the time) and couldn't believe what was available. I decided to go a little cheaper in a neighborhood where my neighbors lived in houses, not cardboard boxes.

Comment Re:They still sell those? (Score 1) 105 105

My parents have one with DIP switches from when the house was built, which was around the time I was born. No pressure plates.

My girlfriend's grandfather has three of them, one for each of his three garage doors. I don't think any are newer than the mid-1980s, if that. One doesn't even have an optical sensor, none have the pressure plates.

Most really don't do much work (that big spring up there is what is doing the work) and they're pretty simple, so I don't see any reason they shouldn't make it many decades. The problem is that the technology is laughably archaic and there has never been any incentive to make them better.

Comment Re:Simplistic (Score 1) 385 385

Trust me, I understand their plight, but children don't answer, "telemarketer" when someone asks them what they want to be when they grow up. If these jobs were gone, some other low-paying exploitative industry looking for unskilled labor would fill the gap.

I'm not proud to admit it, but about two decades ago I worked for a couple companies involved in telemarketing, so I met many telemarketers and worked with them fairly closely. They don't love their jobs, most barely endure them. They did it because it didn't involve a hot fryer and paid a dollar or two more. Some were just working their way through school. Nobody planned to keep doing it long-term. The big one that did a lot of outsourced telemarketing was shifting toward being a more general-purpose call center, followed by a tech support center after they moved the lower-paying and less-skilled jobs to poorer locales (MO and GA, were major targets at the time.) where desperate people were easier to find and had fewer options.

Not to take away from the argument that people depend on this income, which I fully understand, I'm surprised that you (or anyone) would defend the industry at all. It is exceptional in the way it races for the bottom, exploits vulnerable people (both employees and "customers"), exploits infrastructure (government- and ILEC-subsidized, often using tricks to get huge kickbacks), and aims to exploit various state laws (ex: right-to-work, low minimum wages, "training" loopholes, etc). Short of MLM, high-interest unsecured loans, and tobacco, I can't think of another industry that is more harmful to poor people.

Comment Re:Simplistic (Score 1) 385 385

They're also faster and more accurate at counting things. Most of the stuff we depended on pharmacists for, such as checking drug interactions and advising, have been completely automated. Doctor offices should be able to send a "dispense X of Y to Z, with the following use indications (if different from default for age/gender/height/weight)" to an automated pharmacy that provides exactly that to the patient.

If graphics hackers are so smart, why can't they get the bugs out of fresh paint?