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Comment Learn from other countries (Score 1) 400

The main issue here is that this is specifically talking about problems with the US bus systems, and is suggesting extreme fixes that won't address the underlying problems. Many cities worldwide have extremely good and popular bus systems that in many cases work better than driving in those cities. The US needs to learn some lessons from these cities first, which would go a long way towards addressing these issues.

Off the top of my head:

  - analyse people's journeys to ensure buses cover the routes people want, and efficiently.
  - enable priority or dedicated bus lanes to ensure the buses maintain journey times at all times (including peak) so they can be reliable
  - introduce a more efficient payment system (such as contactless / something like Oyster in London) where large volumes of people can board and leave the bus quickly
  - ensure bus routes intersect with other transport terminuses to benefit them both.
  - subsidise to provide price incentives

Comment Not the actual problem (Score 1) 729

Surely the problem here is not the tech bubble, or any other specific industry, but the unregulated housing market exploiting a finite resource?

People in less lucrative professions are being priced out of the market, because landlords are squeezing the market as much as they can. They are entitled to do this because there are no restrictions on them. Isn't the answer to put some restrictions in (e.g. rent controls on a proportion of housing) that keep this finite resource accessible for everyone?

Some may view this as too restrictive on a "free market" but it is extremely obvious that this market is causing real harm to some of the most vulnerable and poorest in society, and benefitting nobody other than those who own property. Those who are in a position to own enough property to rent it out are an extremely small elite, at this time.

Comment This isn't the whole story - AMD dropped the ball (Score 1) 225

The article does not cover the whole story, missing the important parts of the last 10 years. AMD dropped the ball completely with the Athlon 64 - anyone else remember the Sempron and Opteron? Phenom was meant to redeem them, but Intel's Core2 architecture completely obliterated AMD, taking the entire high end of the market and beating them on bang per buck in the middle range as well. AMD were relegated to competing (relatively successfully) for the low end. Bulldozer only compounded this, again unable to compete at the top end.

As someone who had a Cyrix 6x86 and an Athlon, Core2 pushed me into Intel territory and I'm yet to return.

Comment Re:Next up: Stone candy. (Score 4, Informative) 159

I'm afraid this isn't quite correct and you've got a lot of common fallacies in this.

Satiety is not a function of calorie intake. While not 100% understood the two strongest indicators we know of are a hormone released on consumption of protein, and the amount of material in the stomach. E.g. "In one study of 38 common foods, both men and women subjects consumed foods with equal calorie contents and their feelings of fullness were recorded every 15 minutes for 2 hours. Highest satiating power was found with high levels of protein, dietary fibre and water and low satiating power was related to higher fat foods."

"Overshooting" with energy dense foods is not regulated well by the human body - the obesity epidemic is extremely obvious evidence of this. You try to attribute this to "artificial food" but that is a very weak strawman - it's the (relatively) recent availability of extremely energy dense foods such as refined sugar, flour, HFCS with high taste appeal and low satiety that cause the issues.

The groups of people on "energy dense food" you mention are actually predominantly on high protein foods, which control satiety well as above. While it is possible to become obese on it it is unlikely in the real world as they are predominantly poor ethnic groups, or people with a vested interest in their diet. The obese are people on true energy dense foods (high carbohydrate and high fat) - it is a lot easier to eat 4000 calories a day of cakes than on a carb free diet.

It's obvious that food to humans in the first world is not just a matter of "supplying energy to the body" as you state, people eat for pleasure, and energy-dense foods contribute to obesity by being exceptionally rewarding to the palate to most people. Exercise is a contributing factor but secondary - you can't outrun a bad diet.

These noodles will help people to cut out energy dense material within their diet, and will therefore help obesity all other things being equal. Of course it's not as good as portion control, sensible diet choices and moderate exercise, but the obese aren't doing these anyway.

Comment Re:EA is valuable if done well, but easy to do bad (Score 1) 131

Thanks lazarus, always good to have some confirmation! I think it's a fascinating area to work in, though I do encounter a lot of people doing it poorly, and even more people who misunderstand it, possibly as a result of the former.

And damn thought my 5 digit id was going to be a blast from the past until you literally rose from the dead ;)

Comment EA is valuable if done well, but easy to do badly. (Score 3, Insightful) 131

Disclaimer: I've worked as an EA for about 10 years, on top of another 10 years of solutions architecture and applications development. I've worked for a bunch of private and public organisations.

It's so easy to do EA badly. If you treat it like a lead or senior architect setting the technology strategy, then you're missing most of the benefits (and this should be more the CTO's domain anyway). If you do ivory tower strategy that nobody ever reads, because it's full of stuff nobody can relate to, then that's pointless and you're unable to communicate, which is the primary purpose of an architect. If you have a small outfit where those setting direction communicate well with those designing the business and technology, then you don't really need an EA.

An EA is an architect for the _business_, not (only) for the technology. The reason a lot of people get into it from technology is it shares a lot of the rigour and approach of architecture, however it is important to note it is NOT primarily a technical role, nor should it be.

A successful EA will understand the business strategy, i.e. where the company needs to be in X years, and understand the existing landscape of roles, skills, processes, technology and so forth. Their primary purpose is to define the change the business needs to go through, in each of those areas, in order to fulfil the business strategy.

A C-level execs set the strategy. The EA transforms that strategy into changes that need to occur within each level of the business, to make their vision possible. The individual specialist areas (from HR to tech to whatever) work with the EAs to determine how to make those changes happen in that timeframe.

Done well it's an incredibly powerful tool and is the mechanism that connects the "controls" to the "engine". Done poorly it can fail for any of the reasons above, from people who see it as having a purely technical remit to those who sit around in Archimate all day making models nobody will ever use.

Comment Re:Tunnels of Doom on the TI-99/4A (Score 1) 350

Definitely worth firing up an emulator to give it a try - it generated stuff randomly at the start of the game, which could take a while on a 1Mhz processor with a large dungeon, but persevere :) Some of the UI is poor (eg you have to type character's names in each time to, for instance, give them items), but this was groundbreaking stuff, there had never been a game like it.

Comment Re:Tunnels of Doom on the TI-99/4A (Score 1) 350

There are emulators for the TI available, and someone has been working on a reboot of it, that I must say I have not played myself yet, but if you're interested. I'd play the original through an emu if you can find it :) has a lot of gameplay shots and general TI history if you're interested.

Comment Tunnels of Doom on the TI-99/4A (Score 4, Interesting) 350

One game that isn't given enough credit but was miles ahead of everything for the time was Tunnels of Doom for the TI-99/4A. It was a framework with two games bundled (the simplistic "Pennies and Prizes" and "Quest for the King") that was meant to host further games, though no more were ever released, to my knowledge. it featured:

  - 16 colour graphics
  - Randomly generated dungeons
  - 3D filled vector graphics for exploring, switching to overhead icon-based for combat
  - 4 character classes, level progression
  - Item upgrades, random effect treasure.
  - In-game maps

And this was in *1982*!

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