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Comment TVA. (Score 2) 56

This from Winged Cat struck me as more than a little strange:

"Government funding" not being a realistic path, given their demonstrated history with regard to projects that might actually give cheap power to the masses.

The are vast regions in the US that have benefited enormously from governmental investment in electric power.

Even by Depression standards, the Tennessee Valley was economically dismal in 1933. Thirty percent of the population was affected by malaria, and the average income was only $639 per year, with some families surviving on as little as $100 per year. Much of the land had been farmed too hard for too long, eroding and depleting the soil. Crop yields had fallen along with farm incomes. The best timber had been cut, with another 10% of forests being burnt each year.

TVA was designed to modernize the region, using experts and electricity to combat human and economic problems. TVA developed fertilizers, taught farmers ways to improve crop yields and helped replant forests, control forest fires, and improve habitat for fish and wildlife. The most dramatic change in Valley life came from TVA-generated electricity. Electric lights and modern home appliances made life easier and farms more productive. Electricity also drew industries into the region, providing desperately needed jobs.

Tennessee Valley Authority

Comment Your business plan will fail because... (Score 1) 185

I'm sure I'm not the first person in the world to have come up with the idea of putting a Dollar Store in an airport

The airport doesn't want you and the rent will break you.

Instead of setting rental prices by square foot, the entities that control airport retail --- which include the Port Authority, the airlines and management firms like Hudson that act on behalf of owners --- set a base rent monthly and then increase it once retailers hit specified sales figures. Sources declined to give those base rents.

One analyst told The Real Deal that a general rule of thumb for airport-retail pricing is to add $10 to the average per-square-foot asking rent of ground-floor retail in a particular city.

High-end airport retailers bring in big bucks for owners

Price controls.

There are a few exceptions, but the majority of airports across the country have instituted pricing regulations. Operators are required to adhere to a fair-pricing policy to ensure that the traveling public, airport and airline employees, as well as visitors to the airport will not encounter prices that are higher than those for similar products and services outside the airport.

Background checks, employee compensation, and related issues.

Hiring employees for an airport RMU or kiosk will take longer than it would for a mall location.

Considerations include: Security badging and TSA background checks. Processing times vary by airport, but it typically takes about two weeks for each employee to be processed.

Compensation rates for airport retail employees are traditionally higher than those of mall employees.

Retailers' operating hours are based on flight activity to best service the traveling public (may be open longer than traditional malls; scheduling flexibility is key for employers and employees)

Airport retailers operate 365 days a year.

Many airports have limited on-site parking facilities for employees, so additional commuting time may be required by employees.


Shopping is at best a secondary consideration for airport visitors.

Airport shoppers may have higher stress levels due to travel anxieties and an unfamiliarity with the airport.

The customer demographic in the airport is more affluent than at malls due to the influx of business and international travelers.

Due to the fast-paced environment of the airport, many shoppers are not in the proper mindset to browse

Product sizes and quantities are major concerns for airport shoppers

Airport shoppers frequently buy gifts for those at home, so the gift market is the primary product category they seek.

Airport Retail 101: Your Top 15 FAQs Answered

I could go on and on like this, but you get the general idea.

Comment Re:Vital diagnostics (Score 1) 317

Exactly how vital can they be if the fucking computer still works with no Internet connection?

How many computers outside a secured corporate or governmental network are currently operating without at least part-time access to the Internet?

How many computers on the corporate intranet aren't collecting similar data for internal use --- and sharing some of that data with Microsoft to improve the performance of both clients and servers?

Comment Re:Now we need a NoHTML5Media plugin (Score 1) 200

You realize its only a matter of time until companies splice ads into the content itself so filtering will be impossible.

Integrated adds and protect placement are older than the silent films of 1915. The single most important thing that differentiates modern American radio and television from that of the 1940s and 1950s is the separation of sponsorship and production --- which Is why I am no great fan of add blocking.

Comment Re: Vietnam (Score 1) 282

The Tet offensive in 1968, which garnered a lot of negative media attention in the US, effectively broke the back of the NVA.

The Tet offensive wasn't supposed to happen.

It struck like a thunderbolt, destroying whatever credibility the American military and government had back home.

Comment Don't pet the puppy. (Score 2) 282

SF is the art of the technical class. The central message is "You can fix it or create wonders by applying intelligence and dilligence to the problem."

Mainstream fiction is the propaganda of control of the general population: The central message is futility: "Do what the authorities tell you to do."

Ray Bradbury and Robert Heinlein entered the mainstream because they wrote entertaining, well-written. stories for adults with engaging themes, three-dimensional characters and a minimum of techno-babble.

Heinlein, of course, could be remarkably observant and cynical about "the technical class" and its own desire for control --- not to mention its complicity in providing the means to control others.

I have often thought it a pity that he didn't live long enough to see the geek in full flight. The privileged adolescent who suddenly discovers that he can't have everything his own way.

Comment Re:Installed Win95 in 1994 (Score 1) 277

I didn't really start to dislike Microsoft until they started forcing Internet Explorer.

You don't need much force when the browser is free, feature-rich, and looks and feels like a native Windows app.

I first came across IE 4 while still on dial-up and IE was bundled as part of an Internet suite on CD complete with a handsome paperback manual. $12 + shipping, as I recall, when Netscape Navigator would set you back $50,

Comment Re:God or bad? (Score 1) 187

Whether the browser allows developers to implement the most aggressive ad blockers possible. I want everything blocked, images removed, content rerendered, flash rewritten, etc. -- whatever it takes to remove ad, remove ad blocker warnings, skip screens, and so on. Everywhere.

So who pays for content and distribution?

Slashdot content is plain text and user-generated. You cannot get much cheaper than that. But it is on the auction block again because it is showing piss-poor returns given the traffic it generates.

40% of visitors here are based in India, where Slashdot is a top 300 site.

Amazon. Netflix, and others are growing in presence and power because they have a secure revenue stream. They also have multiple digital distribution channels outside the web browser and the add blocker.

Comment Re:6 part series?... for newbies???? (Score 1) 81

The fact that this is so long means that by default it's too much for newbies.

This post about privacy for newbies has drawn a bare 60 responses as I write. Six have been modded +3 or higher, including your own.

This is the best the pro-encryption side can offer:

"I'll be the first to agree that GnuPG is a usability nightmare. " "Anything is better than nothing."

In my humble opinion, if you don't have anything usable, you don't have anything at all.

Comment Re:Vacuum? (Score 1) 107

It's like a super-high-altitude aircraft, at ground level

In other words, moving in air so super-thin and close to a vacuum as makes no difference.

2. The difficulties of providing oxygen through masks are no greater in a hyperloop capsule than in an airplane.

The oxygen mask aboard an airplane is good for ten minutes. The airplane flies in open air not inside a sealed pipeline mounted on pylons and elevated rather high above the ground.

This isn't anything like the Channel Tunnel which has a parallel and built-in escape route.

3. A hyperloop capsule is a giant air ram which has to work to move its air to behind the vehicle

No movement, no compression.

Repressurization can surely be done far faster than an airplane can descend in altitude.

As the bird flies, the distance between San Diego and San Francisco is 450 miles.

No one is certain, but it's thought that a China Airlines 747 might have gone supersonic during an emergency descent in 1985. According to the Wikipedia article, "Altitude decreased 10,000 ft (3,000 m) within only twenty seconds." and "They had descended 30,000 ft (9,100 m) in under two and a half minutes".

How rapidly can a commercial aircraft descend?

Comment How about answering the question? (Score 0) 107

So what happens when the capsule springs a leak and you cannot bre . .a..

I think it is long past time someone addressed the problem of evacuation seriously.

The passenger mask aboard an aircraft has a ten minute supply of oxygen. The Time of Useful Consciousness (TUC) in a near-vacuum is measured in seconds. Oxygen Use in Aviation

Death comes quickly.

As originally conceived, a Hyperloop capsule would pack in 28 people in a space about four feet wide and four feet tall. Beyond the hype of Hyperloop: An analysis of Elon Musk's proposed transit system

It would be difficult to imagine a space more claustrophobic and an invitation to panic and offering less room for maneuver this side of the Hunley .

Comment Corrosive. (Score 1) 96

Nothing says rust like a steel barge that floats in salt water and breathes salt air.

It is perhaps worth adding that here in the Northeast there is a powerful movement towards reclaiming the industrial waterfront for parks and green space.

For the curious, 95 examples of used barges for sale:

The add copy should be read like you were shopping for a second-hand boat in a "Monkey Island" game. Used Deck Barges

Computers are useless. They can only give you answers. -- Pablo Picasso