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Comment The true minimum wage (Score 1) 921

"âoeUnfortunately, the real minimum wage is always zero, regardless of the laws, and that is the wage that many workers receive in the wake of the creation or escalation of a government-mandated minimum wage, because they lose their jobs or fail to find jobs when they enter the labor force."

â Thomas Sowell, Basic Economics: A Citizen's Guide to the Economy

Comment Re:I don't understand technology anymore (Score 1) 75

Unless (like my den) someone decided to save a few bucks (basically the price of the transformer and a relay) and installed a high voltage thermostat, and then you have 110 volts right on the stat. You'd think...
Has caused me enough issues that I think come this spring, I'll do it (Dad would be laughing - he was an HVAC mechanic, and would do it 'whenever' - and of course, I don't have a spare relay...)

Comment Re:Take back Slashdot (Score 1) 1310

Ah, but it won't be the "Old" /. until we have CmdrTaco. Cowboy Neil, Hot Grits, First Posts, the Caveman, and "imagining a Beowulf cluster of these" BTW, that User ID is my second - Lost the ID and password to the first in a ISP change LONG ago

Sigh, back in the era when /. was THE site, and I used to show up first thing every day

Comment Re:No surprise... (Score 1) 406

I too had an original IBM PC (Model 5051) running in 1992. I wrote the code on it in the 1985 or so timeframe. It didn't do anything fancy, but did talk to a special board (a particular IEEE-488 card from CEC). It worked. It worked EVERY day. It did what it was supposed to do. We had a 386 doing the same exact thing one desk over, but why change it? The literally 10+ lbs of paperwork to make the change (did I mention it was doing stuff for the .MIL) wasn't worth it. If/when it died, we'd replace it with current hardware, and start the paperwork. I left in 1992, and from what I heard, when the company closed in 1993 or 1994 (owners retired) it was still working at the new company. Sometimes good enough is good enough

Comment Re:There's still the pollution thing (Score 1) 216

Yes, totally. That's why the box changed the world. Break bulk, even on pallets was a bear to unload, and a ship would be in port a LONG time, and the ships were relatively small. Today, the 10000 TEU sip I quoted at 100 tons fuel/day is actually small. You are seeing ships up at 18000 TEU and 125 tons/day. These ship are the reason the Panama canal is being rebuilt, NY Harbor has been dredged deeper, the Bayone bridge in NJ is being raised (to get to the slips in NJ)
One of the real ISSUES they don't bring up, with the trade imbalance, many more containers come INTO the US than go out. What do you do with the empties? In general, what happens is the best are reused to ship stuff out, Some are sold (there are a reason you see the ads for buying containers) and the rest? Cut up for scrap, and shipped back to China as scrap steel!
BTW - this is the place I had applied and didn't get the gig back, oh 3-4 years ago - read about the automation

Comment Re:biking from China to USA (Score 1) 216

Go on the shipping lines web sites and get the quotes on times and cost (automated tools) about $1200 to move one container from China to the US, with $950 of it is the Ocean rate, and a time estimate of 15 days.
18 Knots = 20MPH
look at
I looked at
I believe it was
Changzhou, China to
Seatle Wa

which is a distance of 5900 miles - or 12.3 days at 18 knots
BTW - did you do the math on shipping the shirts? less than 4 cents each (about 3.6 cents)

Comment Re:There's still the pollution thing (Score 1) 216

Actually, an amazing number of containers go from the west coast to east coast by rail, the issue is there STILL isn't enough rail. UPS and JB Hunt gather stuff up and ship it to NJ on unit stacks

In fact, there are a surprising number of contains (due to changes in Customs) that go from China to Europe vis the following:
China to US west coast by ship (be it Oakland, SeaTac etc) and put right on waiting trains, which then run non stop to the US east coast, where they are offloaded from the train, right back onto a ship, and off to Europe.
I interviewed at a place that was deeply involved in this. As I follow the shipping industry (both a railfan and ship fan) it was a gig I wish I had gotten - sigh. Anyway, they are to the point they are totally automating the cranes, and the Rail Mounted Gantries (RMG) and Rubber Tired Gantries (RTGs) in the port, with humans JUST acting as safety overrides. They want to cut the turn around on the ships from like 72 to 36 hours if I remember the numbers right. Incredibly efficient operations, and as big a deal as the invention of the cargo pallet was during WWII (Yep - think about moving stuff around without a pallet )

Comment Re:There's still the pollution thing (Score 1) 216

Oh yeah, flown goods, totally different, but as the article is on shipping containers..
You missed - that 3.75 gallons was to move all 34000 tee shirts, so the fuel useage was 3.75/34000 - or spread it with a shovel, slice it with an axe, 1/1000th of a gallon of gas...

Of course the local traffic issue happens no matter if the shirt is made in the USA, or anywhere else. Want to drive from the NJ Terminals to Say Long Island (shudder - NJ Turnpike, GWB and the Cross Bronx..)
(NYC effectively has no rail service - you CAN get to Queens by shipping up north to Albany, and then down - doesn't happen) or to Staten Island...

Comment Re:There's still the pollution thing (Score 4, Interesting) 216

BTW, when you work it out to 34000 teeshirts/container, that total use of fuel is .00011 gallons of fuel to move that shirt from China to the US - so say I'm off on my numbers by a factor of 10, so it took 1/1000 of a gallon of fuel to move that shirt trans pacific. Now if we figure 10 Kilos of CO2/Gallon (Per the US EIA), we are talking .01 Kilos of CO2. Assume you live a 20 minute round trip to the store, and weigh 160 lbs (adult male) - aka 10 minutes walk to the store, 10 mins back - the formula I saw said .00002lbs of CO2 emitted per minute walking per lb of person, so you emit .029 kilos of CO2 walking to and from the store, YES, nearly THREE times the CO2 as transporting the shirt from China. Interesting to put in in perspective, isn't it? And THAT is saying my numbers are off by 10x - my actual number shows you are emitting 30x the CO2 walking to the store and back

Comment Re:There's still the pollution thing (Score 5, Insightful) 216

Correct. People don't realize how fuel EFFICIENT shipping really is. At "Slow" speeds (18 knots) where more than 1/2 the worlds cargo ships run, and figuring a 9000-10000 TEU ship (aka holds 9000-10000 20 ft containers, 1/2 that if all 40Ft boxes) - the ship will typically burn 100 Tons of fuel/day - or 1/100th of a ton of fuel per container/day, and roughly (because bunker C - the 'crap they burn' - Now there are roughly depending on exact fuel 250-280 gallons/ton of fuel - so it takes about 1/4 gallon of fuel per DAY to move each one of those containers. But the joke? Go to the online shipping calculators - China to west coast USA (where it will get put on a train) - 15 days, NOT 15. So you are talking roughly 3.75 gallons of fuel to move that container of tee-shirts from China to the US - that's the container, all the goods etc.
Work the math. You probably burn more fuel per shirt driving to the store, picking up the shirt, and driving home than shipping it from China takes. Remember - ships float, and take surprisingly little fuel per ton to move freight. It is why canals were such a big deal back when - a full barge of coal or gravel or whatever could be moved by ONE horse.

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