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Comment Re:So I have to walk out and not have it at the do (Score 1) 208

This. When I ask for delivery I mean for someone else to bring it to my door. I don't want to leave the house. In other words, I don't want to get dressed, put on shoes and walk out to the curb.

I'm sure they'll find a market without you. Like back when I didn't own a car or when I've had a few beers. For me it's more the "fit for socializing" aspect, like if I haven't showered, haven't shaved, hung over, dirty/sweaty clothes and just want to chow down a pizza in front of the TV or PC. Personally I'd rather get my slob ass down to the curb with zero social interaction than greet the pizza delivery guy like that, in fact I might just opt for a frozen pizza instead. A small physical discomfort because it's freezing/raining is not a big deal to me, particularly not if I know there's a warm tasty pizza at the end of it.

Comment Re:Recycle the recyclers (Score 5, Insightful) 325

So wouldn't making the recyclers more efficient reduce their costs as well?

And how do you propose to do that? Recycling means you get a mixed bag of everything people gave you and you never know what they were thinking. As an analogy, around here at Christmas time there's a donation box for gifts for the poor and because of the personal touch it encourages more and bigger contributions than paying donations. They wrap it up nice and pretty like it's ready to go from secret Santa to straight under the Christmas tree, on the card you're supposed to write the target age/sex.

Do you know what happens to all those presents? They're unwrapped, unpacked, inspected, reviewed for age/sex appropriateness, repacked and re-wrapped. And not just because some people have a bit strange ideas about what's really fit for a Christmas present or useful for a kid. But because there's always some ass hat with mental problems who'll wrap up a broken PlayStation or sex toy or dog poop and a note that says here's a little shit for a little shit. The system only works because they got volunteers willing to perpetuate a fantasy while shielding the recipients from what would actually happen.

You just can't get away from that individual checking of everything. It's the same thing that's killed much of the repair business, if your toaster is broken go buy a new one. Even if it's just a tiny fix the repair guy has exhausted the budget almost before he can get the lid off while a thousand rolled off the assembly line in China. And if the market doesn't care the manufacturer doesn't care about making manuals, parts and equipment etc. available either. Huge, controlled environments with identical items have economics of scale. Small, uncontrolled environments with mixed items don't.

Comment Re: Victorian (Score 1) 173

... the third world would spiral further into poverty and desolation thanks to rich western doogooders taking away their only competitive advantage: cheap labour.

I think you're confusing cause and effect. American wages were steadily increasing until the liberalization of international trade, it's American wages being depressed to stay in competitive range of cheap labor from China, India and so on. If they demanded better pay and treatment US workers would increase their rates too while the 1% would make less profit. I mean seriously look at that red bar, "Real median weekly earnings of full time workers". The median is more representative of the typical American than the mean (called average in graph). Full time workers exclude changes in demographics, the fact that more women work, most of the boom-bust cycles etc. and basically looks at what does an ordinary job pay. And it's been stagnant for close to 50 years. If you want to find Trump's pissed core voters, there they are.

Comment Re:The Industy of Decimation (Score 1) 79

Let's see how the economy defines "progress" when employing a human is the target of obsolescence.

There is a lot of work where we didn't make the employees more efficient, we replaced them entirely. And replacing all work... I do automate things at work. And every time there's a new demand/wish for us to deliver more in like ten different directions. Once upon a time we got the data on floppy discs and people were happy to get a tally. Then they wanted reports. Then they wanted cubes they could slice and dice. Then they wanted correlations and projections and metrics. Then they wanted big data and data mining. And I'm not sure what they'll want next but I'm sure they'll want something.

And robots beats sweatshops. I mean as long as you got people employing people you need some of them to be poor to have cheap labor. I don't want a bunch of kids with sewing machines making my clothes - at least I'm lucky enough to not be those kids - I want them to do something more productive. But who's left holding the bag if we don't have robots? Without tractors we need people to get back in the fields with shovels. If we're short on work, just admit that what they'd be doing is busywork. But so far I have pretty long list of real work they could pick up...

Comment Re:Too late (Score 1) 79

The BFR (assuming it works as planned) is going to be the first fully reusable rocket they build. And, if we believe the cost projections* (...) And that's the plan for the 2020's-2030's.

It's not, that's Musk's fantasy about what Mars travel might cost eventually with mass production, 1000 times reusability and whatnot. That's like 50 years at last year's launch cadence of 20 using a single rocket. So far even Falcon 9's ten time reusability which he's been talking about since the first rocket landed is pure projection, no rocket has flown more than twice. They've said they'll maybe do a third time this year. And he's already backtracked once on his ITS/BFR concept from 2016 to 2017, it's not something you'd do if it was far into development. It's pretty much concept art at this stage...

Comment Re:50 years ago (Score 1) 79

50 years ago they told us in the 3rd millennium we would have robot servants, not that we would become a robot's servant.

You think occasionally helping the stuck robot lawn mower is to be a servant compared to mowing the lawn yourself? I don't build robots but I do build software and occasionally it fails and needs help. But you never count all the time your electronics work. All the times I didn't have to take the stairs because the elevator worked. All the meals my microwave cooked without breaking down. We're pampered by electronics all the time and barely notice except when they're not working. Okay so maybe it's not the Star Trek future but we're a few centuries short of that anyway. Go back 50 years, show the Apollo program a Falcon 9 landing on your iPhone and see if they're impressed or not - by the phone and the rocket.

Comment Re: 'Let's make a hit song!' (Score 0) 477

King Crimson is pretty much one of my favorite bands. I saw them a couple of years ago, and wow, I mean it was just one of the most amazing two hours of my life. My wife came along, and basically about all she knew about King Crimson was the the album cover to In The Court Of The Crimson King (and she'd heard 21st Century Schizoid Man once long ago), and she walked out of that concert with her jaw on the floor. They've taken just about every influence from chamber music to rock to folk to music concrete, and forged a body of work that's really second to none.

The only other artist I really put on their level, though his sensibility was different in every possible way, was Frank Zappa. The man was a one-of-kind talent, brilliant composer, social commentator, could be as crude as you could imagine, and as a guitarist, was one of the best. He'd touch the mainstream here and there over his career, but he found a way to forge his own path and was insanely uncompromising.

Comment Re:12 bar blues (Score 1, Interesting) 477

I'd say there's a period between about 1965 and 1975 where popular mainstream music basically exploded in the genres it absorbed. You had The Beatles and The Beach Boys in the mid-60s, along with acts like the Kinks and the Yardbirds and a whole slew of other bands, just putting incredible records out. That was the dawning of the age of the studio. The Stones basically reinvented themselves in 1968 after some pretty unremarkable records and began probably the greatest four record streak in recording history beginning with Beggars Banquet.

You get to the early and mid 70s, you get the high point of Pink Floyd, Yes, Genesis, and if pure rock and roll is your thing, you've got AC/DC basically taking the original rock model and making it a lot louder, but still bands like AC/DC and Led Zeppelin knew how to make a song swing, even if they were belting it out at 10,000 watts.

I even like some punk, or at least proto-punk like the Ramones. Again, basically pure rock and roll just sped up, but still, there was a good beat that you could tap your foot to.

But after that, with some exceptions (I do like Blondie and the Police) it begans a downhill slide. I think the money men finally replaced all the good old fashioned A&R guys. There wasn't going to be any more Elvises or Ray Charles or Beatles or anything like that. Mainly I attribute it to MTV and the promotional video, which had been around in one form or another since the mid-60s, replaced the single. Video really did kill the radio star.

Comment Re:EDM? Maybe 15 years ago (Score 1) 477

Between autotune and the loudness wars, most Top 40 music literally sounds like cloned garbage. There really is no soul in much modern music. I pretty much look at the indie and underground scenes. I like progressive rock and progressive metal, and there are a lot of bands in the trenches doing damned good work, and because the cost of making music has actually come done, they're far more able to record and distribute their music. I don't think any of them are making any great fortunes, that's reserved for the Top 40 clone department, but still, get out of the Billboard Bubble, and there's some pretty incredible stuff.

Comment Re:Too late (Score 3, Insightful) 79

2) The price is dropping fast. My household income is only a few hundred thousand a year and I think I'll be able to take a family trip to space at some point before I die.

My guess is that this is extremely optimistic at least for an orbital flight. The Dragon is supposed to have a crew of 7 when it's operational. Musk has said the fuel cost alone is $200k, so just gas money is almost $30k/seat. The second stage which still has no technical or economically proven recovery is about 30% of the cost which would be $60M*0.3 = $18M = $2M+/seat. And that assumes the first stage and capsule are free with infinite reuse. Note that NASA is expected to pay around $150M for an ISS flight or $20M+/seat, so I've already assumed a 90% drop from the current rate. Maybe it gets cheaper carrying passengers by the busload and construction costs will drop with further scale, but I still think you're well into fantasy land doing it on a salary of a few hundred grand.

Maybe a suborbital joyride with Blue Horizon just peeking across the 100km limit, but that's going to be a much shorter ride straight up, peek out the windows hey there's space then back down again. The Lynx will give you 4-5 minutes of weightlessness on an hour's flight. Is that worth >$100k? It's a fancier vomit comet where you get your astronaut wings, but my guess is that once you have joyriders doing that in bulk we'll move the goal post to "proper" space flights. Same reason Yuri Gagarin is way, way more known than Alan Shepard. Reaching orbit is a completely different beast with a completely different price tag, SpaceX is great but physics dictates there's some miracles I think even they can't pull off. It's never going to become a mass market thing.

Comment Re:The A380 is to big for many airports. (Score 1) 296

The hub-and-spoke model still has plenty advantages but I think you also need to factor in that going through the biggest hubs with multiple terminals and many hundreds of gates is something of a pain in itself. Transfers at moderately sized hubs (<100 gates) where you never leave the security zone and your luggage is checked through to your final destination are quite nice. Basically if you've got so many flights and runways that airspace is a problem maybe it's time to create sub-hubs. I've traveled quite a few times to meet some people I know and there's no direct flight but there's three different hubs I can go through. Price and timing of flights is of course an issue but those things being roughly equal I pick the smaller hub every time.

And I don't do that just because of the airport itself, it seems like all the margins are slimmer like if your flight lost their time slot, well it's fucked. If there's weather problems, some kind of service disruption or gate problem or delay everything goes to shit for the whole day while smaller airports have gaps and slack that let them catch up better. Heck, if you're travelling with the same company and have a late incoming flight connecting to an outbound spoke they might hold the gate for you a few minutes. On approach I've been told the connecting gate, walked straight to it and boarded as the last passenger, grabbed a seat and a few minutes later we're in the air. That doesn't happen at a major hub, if you're late you missed it.

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