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Comment Metro to the Mall (Score 1) 650

The actual instructions for Tea Partiers says to avoid the Blue and Orange lines past Eastern Market. They can get to Smithsonian Station just fine. But if they're on the Red Line to begin with, then Farragut North is the better station to exit from anyway - no time wasted transferring and it avoids the cramped conditions (and innumerable clueless tourists) at Smithsonian. The only downside is they'll have to walk past a small park with a few scary, possibly ethnic homeless people. On the plus side, and quite ironically, a block later they'll pass near the White House.

P.S. The closest Metro station to the Lincoln Memorial is actually Foggy Bottom on the Blue/Orange Lines. But that means walking through seven city blocks (full of unpatriotic city folk) rather than a scenic walk down the Mall.

Comment And so the world turns (Score 1) 222

If so, Slashdot is not the only organization that does it. Fox broadcasts American Idol, and a thousand Slashdotters complain about how it demonstrates the emptiness of American culture. Fox News broadcasts easily parodied "news" and a million Daily Show viewers laugh at how dumb and desperate American conservatives are. In the meantime, the owners of News Corp are carrying out their real mission with little notice.

Comment High school graduation rates (Score 1) 828

What is wrong with the university system is because we've screwed up our high school system to pretty much let -everyone- graduate, a diploma now means nothing.

Not true. The average U.S. high school graduation rate is only 69% (Source: HigherEdInfo.org). It's as low as 50% in some states. Maybe you're distinguishing between those kids that schools "let" graduate and those students that choose not to graduate. But either way, not everybody has a high school diploma.

Comment Lake Wobegon (Score 1) 617

I love this line from the article:

The "drop the D" philosophy worked so well for a school in Kentucky, they ended up dropping the C grade too. Now students in 5th grade and higher get an A, B or F.

Apparently, anyone average or below fails in their schools. Kentucky - where all the 6th graders are above average.

Comment Post-docs (Score 1) 144

We got the same advice at an awful career fair for scientific post-docs that I attended. Sitting in a room with 300 other young scientists who recently earned their Ph.D.'s, being told not to give a wimpy handshake when meeting an interviewer - what a tremendously embarrassing waste of time.

Comment Too fast (Score 4, Interesting) 414

I was in the beta program too and didn't enjoy it much either. I'd play a game or two and then quit for the evening, whereas with the original Starcraft I'd get sucked in and play for hours (often into the wee hours of the morning and miss out on sleep).

One problem I noticed is that the game moves too fast. The units do so much damage that they kill each other or buildings in mere seconds. There's no time to send reinforcements, cast spells, or even retreat. Well, maybe pro players with 600 APM can do that stuff, but for an average player the battles are over before you even get the alert that they've started.

Comment Ticket prices (Score 4, Insightful) 432

The problem is that the competition takes place on web sites like Orbitz or Travelocity where the only criteria for comparing airlines is route and ticket price. There's no indication of whether a particular airline charges extra for checked bags, carry-on bags, or refreshments. Nor is there any indication of how much leg room to expect, how often the airline departs on time, or how often the airline leaves passengers on the tarmac for six hours.

When the only information passengers have is route and ticket price, the airline that can scheme to have the lowest upfront price will win.

Comment How much is each visitor worth? (Score 2, Insightful) 92

Is £11.78 inherently too much to spend for a web site visitor? When I need to renew my vehicle registration, a web site visit that let's me do it online is certainly worth more than that to me rather than spending half a day at the DMV. For some business-oriented sites that deal with licenses, £11.78 per visitor could certainly be worth bringing in a few more £1,000,000 per year businesses to town.

Comment GM (Score 1) 381

Car companies refusing to evolve [...] Those businesses deserve some intervention to help them get through the rough time that is no fault of their own.

I think it's unfair to claim that the car companies deserved to die during this recession. GM needed the bailout because car companies depend heavily on the availability of credit to consumers and dealers. When that dried up, they faced a rough time due to fault of the banks, not themselves. They have already turned around and become profitable ($900 M in the 1Q2010). If they were truly obsolete then they wouldn't be making so much money already. But if they had been left to die, there would be a massive disruption to the economy as a vast system of suppliers crumbled.

Chrysler probably does deserve to die, but it wouldn't really be fair to offer a lifeline to one car company without offering it to all. Ford chose to pass on government help and live off their own reserves. Now that the credit crisis has passed, those companies should be left to live and die on their own.

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