I'd safely assume that the editors were just using the term "GPS" in the way that it is now commonly used by nontechnical people: as a general short for "technomagical gadget that tells cars'n'stuff where to go". They would probably call it a "GPS" even if it wasn't using satellite navigation at all (which it sure does, as the technoligy is just too useful to ignore)
There is no cultural difference that makes people only want physical printed books, unless you have some religious grounds to not use technology.
You fail to recognize a massive case of "not invented here"
I do agree with your other points though. People don't need ebooks, therefore they won't develop a desire to get them.
Like a typical Locke creation, the idea immediately looks very convincing, without being wrapped in a huge bubble of buzzwords.
First of all, in the US, anything that has enough money attached automatically becomes a "pork-barrel" project.
Do you really think there is something magic about being european that makes things tick any different here?
I agree with your fourth point though: stuff like that needs decades to learn, and people willing to think about how to improve things even if nobody will be able to recognize their work (any good engineer has to do exactly that, so it's not entirely unrealistic. in a way you need "good engineers of the social aspects")
subsidies create false economies where inefficiencies are so buried in the noise that they are allowed to grow into depression-quality bubbles
couldn't have explained it better why we are all locked into an inefficient car-centric system.
Except that it already works in Europe.
It works nowhere in Europe. But it fails many orders of magnitude less hard than in the states! (and France is much better than all the others)
You are prefectly right with all the other points though.
Do not be so naive to think that the Theatrical Security Administration will not do to passenger rail service what they have done to passenger air service.
Making an airplane crash without getting aboard is several orders of magnitude more difficult than making a train crash without being there. Also, highjacking a train in an attempt to drive it somewhere it's not supposed to go isn't exactly an idea that would make many apprentice terrorists download a warez copy of MS Train Simulator.
Btw: airport security in Europe isn't much different than in the States, but even after the Madrid bombings nobody has ever seriously considered more security measures for high speed trains than you would see at a random subway station.
I do that wherever i go but sadly, the difference between using public transportation in a place you don't know and using it at home where you know all the lines is much bigger than the difference between driving at a place you don't know and driving at home.
It's not that hard, just put a prefab house on the rails.
(this was supposed to be merely a joke, but there is a certain truth in it: railway systems are so open for terrorist attacks from the outside that harrassing passengers could not make much of a difference)
It cerainly depends on the budget you are wanting to spend. Real beds (well, an approximation of a bed that you would still sue a hotel over, but still a million times better than reclining seats) are expensive in Europe as well.
But if you compare it with the price of a flight with a level of comfort well above the cheapest class, which is fair even if you wouldn't spend so many hours in the "cattle-flight", the difference is no worse than in any other plane/train comparison (yes, rail travel is expensive, but it will become more competetive with every increase in energy price, which, in the long term, is inevitable due to scarcity of resources).
Maybe the biggest difference between Europe and the USA is that the regional rail systems offer pretty good service, certainly better than airline service to the various mildly backwater places. If you travel by plane you will often switch to a regional train for the last 100 or so kilometers and many airports are very poorly connected to the railway system. The place where you get off the night train, by definition, is connected perfectly.
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