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Comment Re:No, train (Score 1) 87

You can remove the timbers from a boat and replace them, that doesn't mean you can't name the boat! But for what it's worth, trains aren't broken up as often as you might think - typically once a train is on a route it stays the same consist for years. If the train is a DMU or EMU, then it usually stays as that consist for its entire life.

The other problem with your assumption is that the word "train" can differ depending on context. If I say "I'm taking the train to New York tonight", and you say "Oh, which one?", am I providing the most obvious answer if I say "Well, the one lead by locomotive 40126", or "The 6.23, I guess I better be at the station by quarter past six!"

Trains are named according to multiple criteria: a train can be a physical item, such as a trainset or just "Any train with this locomotive"; but a train can refer to the marketing of a specific timetabled route: for example, the US has lots of "named trains" like the Silver Star and the Texas Eagle.

I hope this makes sense,

Comment Re: Never going to happen (Score 1) 304

Maintenance should be significantly lower than the NEC/Acela Express, given the primary issue with the latter is that it's 150 years old and showing it. Ridership should be similar to the combination of the Acela Express and Northeast Regional with similar fares.

The NEC is profitable BTW. Just saying. It's the reason why Texas Central and All Aboard Florida are doing their things.

Comment Re: This sounds like nothing (Score 1) 304

A high flying passenger jet isn't really a good comparison for a number of reasons: it's a container of higher pressure air (it's relatively easy and easy on materials to contain 1 atmosphere of pressure - think about how you'd get a latex balloon and some wire to contain one atmosphere at 50,000 feet. Now think about how you'd use the same materials to keep the same amount of air at one atmosphere 30 feet below the surface of the ocean...);

Another problem is that passenger jets don't try to keep a perfect one bar of pressure when they're flying at high altitudes, which is why divers are told not to fly within 24 hours of a dive.

And a final problem is that, really, the pressure at 50,000 feet is about 0.1 atmospheres, whereas the pressure in a hyperloop tube will be a significant fraction of that. That said, building a container to protect 10% of an atmosphere from 100% outside probably isn't substantially different from building one to protect 1% of an atmosphere, it requires compressive strength only around 10% higher.

It's a fairly massive engineering challenge to keep 400 miles of tubing big enough to contain a Tesla Model 3 at a pressure of 1% (or even 10%) of an atmosphere. I'm not saying it's impossible, but... it's certainly going to be expensive and/or will leak rather a lot requiring substantial energy expenditures just to maintain the vacuum.

I'm personally more bothered about the fact it'll be a horrible traveling experience, but the engineering does seem a little off the wall from where I'm standing.

Comment Re:Never going to happen (Score 2, Interesting) 304

He's trying to fuck up public transportation by proposing "cheap" alternatives that, even if they work, will not be as cheap as he claims, and will on most metrics be horrible.

Maybe he believes in it, I don't know: I do know the CAHSR-killing original Hyperloop proposal was so bad it was impossible to assume it had been written in good faith. Just the fact this "replacement" only served two of the four cities CAHSR is aimed at, wasn't designed to cope with anything like as many passengers, and had end-points 50-100 miles away from the cities they served, was enough to draw that conclusion. That was before getting civil engineers in to dispute the costs.

So no, I don't give someone credit for merely "trying to do something". They have to be trying to do something worthwhile, not negative for me to support them.

Comment Re:Never going to happen (Score 5, Funny) 304

Hundreds of billions? You're forgetting that Musk has found ways to reduce the cost of tunneling from $1B/mile to 25c (and 10c at weekends.) His Hyperloop technology is revolutionary and won't be a barf ride, cramped, and ear splittingly loud so stop saying that - they've proven it works in NV or New Mexico by building a small test track where they totally proved that you can put things in pipes and make them move, which is the same thing yes it is.

This is an amazing technology, one of the variants Musk has been proposing is going to totally end the problems associated with roads and congestion by moving your car right to the centers of major metropolises like Chicago and New York City, which are both famous for having ample space to drive around and park.

Truly a visionary, and he's not just trying to cripple real public transportation projects politically by proposing "cheap", "private" alternatives in order to prop up his car company, so stop saying that.

Comment Re: Good (Score 1) 696

Those bus networks are heavily subsidized and lose money in every case, because (again) physics

I'm not sure which country you live in, but FWIW when I lived in Britain they privatized the buses in the late 1980s, eliminating subsidies for all but some country routes. The buses survived, and actually to a certain extent improved somewhat, largely because the municipal bus companies weren't terribly well managed, and the threat of competition (and sometimes the actual onset of competition - Oxford Bus Company vs Thames Transit was a great example) forced long needed changes.

In the US I can see profitable bus services being a possibility in many places as long as the local governments takes transit seriously. The problem is, for the most part, they have a car-first mentality even in places where cars are poison (Miami springs to mind...) which leads to a lack of dedicated bus lanes, a refusal to encourage higher density corridors and endpoints, and so on, crippling buses and other forms of transit.

Comment Re:Who gave them the money? (Score 1) 190

I'm not sure that "put something on the market, safety be damned" is going to get us there any faster although I do support the sentiment of less regulation.

It does make sense to me if the assumption is that the manufacturers will be on the hook 100% for safety (which, legally, I can't see how they couldn't be, and which is a model manufacturers have actively embraced.)

The issues I can see this solving are:

- Safety is currently oriented around driver driven cars. Driverless cars will need a different framework. That needs time to implement and it also needs experience, or trial and error, which isn't possible if you ban driverless cars (directly or indirectly)
- States working independently are likely to create incompatible safety frameworks which would make it difficult, if not impossible, to create vehicles that be sold everywhere and can drive everywhere.

I think it's a good idea, and I'm not a knee-jerk opponent of regulation.

Comment Re:So much for states' rights (Score 1) 190

Then you just create barriers to people moving from state to state. Unless two states have a reciprocity agreement, someone can't move from one state to another without losing health coverage, even if they have the exact same system.

And, TBH, from a purely practical perspective, there's no reason to treat healthcare as a state issue to begin with. Everyone needs it. The fact you're in Texas doesn't mean your requirement to have healthcare cover is different to that of someone in NY. Even the right recognizes this: they've been talking about trying to eliminate barriers to insurers that require they actually have an office in a state in order to sell insurance.

State control is increasingly an anachronism as the country becomes more cohesive. For the most part, with one exception (legalizing pot), state control is almost exclusively used to enforce injustices and the OP is right that it's mostly a cover for treating black people like shit. We almost certainly need to review the constitutional relationships between citizens and the various layers of governments that want control over us, but alas, in the current political climate, I suspect a constitutional convention would result in an even worse governmental system than we have already.

Comment Re:Imagine (Score 1) 193

So it's not about a compromise between truth and lies; it's about getting viewpoints from different perspectives

Well, it is a compromise between truth and lies if you choose to include news outlets that clearly and obviously have no regard for the truth and that's one of the problems here. (It's not as if the right doesn't have honest media either, why is it everyone says "Well, I read Brietbart and watch CNN to get a rounded picture"? Brietbart are liars. What about NewsMax? They're not perfect but I've yet to come across them actually lie about anything. I can understand not entirely trusting the Washington Times because of the Moonie connection but they're not Brietbart either.)

The other problem is the "both sides" narrative doesn't work with the current media. Right wingers keep claiming NBC, CNN, The Washington Post, et al, are "left wing". Those of us on the left just don't see it. When did any of those outlets support and campaign for, say, Single Payer healthcare? Weren't they all cheering for war after 9/11 or was that my imagination? Haven't all three spent most of the last few months doing thinkpieces on "What Trump supporters think about Trump", rather than trying to gauge the viewpoints of those most directly affected by his policies or rhetoric? For eight years, Meet the Press always made a point to include a major Republican on every show, and relatively rarely included a Democratic (let alone Liberal!) voice.

Sure, Trump is pissed at them, and they report a lot of news that's bad for Trump, but is that because they're "left wing", or is it because there's a lot of negative things about Trump right now?

I know, I know, people on the right think that the media is left wing, therefore ergo it must be and it must be that to get both sides you need to watch both. But, honestly, I don't recognize the morality and social awareness of the mainstream media. When the Washington Post starts arguing against wars, when it comes out as supporting single payer or government health care instead of half-witted hacks designed to not upset free market ideologues, when it comes out in favor of drugs legalization, when it admits that the forced suburbanization program of the 1950s onwards has been a financial and economic, moral, and ecological disaster and campaigns for urban renewal and improved transit, when it supports an expansion of welfare, when it supports the right to unionize across all industries, when it doesn't treat racial and sexual disparities as "He said, she said", THEN I and others on the left-of-center might reasonably think of it as a paper that's in touch with my views and my agenda.

Simply thinking the current President is terrible does not make you the counter to the right wing media. Hell, the intelligent side of the right thinks he's a moron too, they just don't say it in public.

Comment Re:It's the same as the stock market (Score 1) 64

A stock certificate has a tangible value, even if it's usually inflated several times that of the physical assets minus liabilities of the company divided by shares outstanding.

And while we're at it: a dollar? At minimum it's the recognized currency for paying your taxes in the US, which gives it value in that it's necessary.

A crypto-currency simply doesn't have anything backing it. Contrary to the assertions of advocates, it doesn't have energy, because I can't turn a Bitcoin back into the power that created it - indeed, Zimbabwe's currency has more legitimacy because the paper and ink that was used to create each bill can be converted back into paper, a useful commodity.

BTCs are like fiat currency, minus the actual fiat from a respected government. They're at best a social currency, and in the end, I suspect they'll fail for that reason.

If you need to escape fiat currency for some reason, ironically shares are a pretty good alternative, be they numbers in a computer or not.

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