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Comment Re:It's true (Score 2) 286

Pixar was unique in Silicon Valley companies in that we had deadlines that could not move. The film had to be in theaters before Christmas, etc. I'd see employees families come to Pixar to have dinner with them. I took the technical director training but decided to stay in studio tools, first because Pixar needed better software more than they needed another TD, and second because of the crazy hours.

Comment Re: TracPhone: $7/month. (Score 1) 208

Oh rly? Which plan is that? The Pinocchio plan?

It's not really a plan. It's the $19.99 60-minute, 90 day refill card. With a smartphone, the minutes "triple" to 180, and you also get 180 texts and 180mb data. If you sign up for auto-refill, you get a small discount off that (and it becomes kind of a plan).

If your wireless needs fit that profile, it works out to around $7/month. I've saved a boatload of money going down that route, although I have needed to supplement it with a few data-only refills, which has only tacked on a couple of bucks per month for me on average. It does kind of rule out using any audio or video while not in WiFi range, and you can't yammer on the phone endlessly, but for me that's an acceptable trade-off.

Government

Ontario Launches Universal Basic Income Pilot (www.cbc.ca) 521

Reader epiphani writes: The Ontario Government will pilot universal basic income in a $50M program supporting 4,000 households over a 3 year period. While Slashdot has vigorously debated universal basic income in the past, and even Elon Musk has predicted it's necessity, experts continue to debate and gather data on the approach in the face of increasing automation. Ontario's plan will study three communities over three years, with participants receiving up to $17,000 annually if single, and $24,000 for families.

Comment Competition and survivor bias (Score 1) 97

Would have been interesting to look at whether improved customer satisfaction was correlated with increased local competition. I strongly suspect it is, not just because Comcast works harder to try to retain customers, but largely because the unhappiest customers leave as soon as they have an alternative. Even if actual customer service doesn't get any better, the people who remain are more satisfied on average.

Kind of like the famous demotivator says- "sometimes the best solution to workplace morale problems is just to fire all of the unhappy people."

When Google Fiber came to my area, Comcast sent door-to-door salespeople to try to get signups before people were committed to Google; Comcast was offering something like half its usual price. I knew it wasn't the salesperson's fault, but I couldn't help laughing in his face.

Comment Re:More science (Score 2) 280

Over the time scale of the next century, only one input signal will dominate: the amount of added greenhouse gases. All of that other stuff either oscillates too fast or has an insignificant effect. Other signals that would have a big impact, such as changes in the earth's orbit that drive ice ages, or movement of mountain ranges due to continental drift, are too slow to have an impact over the next couple of centuries.

Relative to the greenhouse gas signal, the climate *was* very close to an equilibrium on a human timescale. It certainly isn't any longer; it's being strongly driven into ranges hotter than it's been for millions of years.

Comment Re:More science (Score 1) 280

The final color of mixing two buckets of paint is the integrated effect of chaotic stirring (and all of the world's supercomputers probably couldn't predict the exact pattern of those swirls). However, the final color can easily be calculated with high precision using a hand calculator. Integration has smaller error bars than you think it does.

Comment Re: The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 307

If you look in the FEMA site, they say that they provide gramts to perform repairs not covered by insurance. And no, they don't do a needs test. Now, the typical rich person does not let their insurance lapse just so that they can get a FEMA grant. Because such a grant is no sure thing. They also point out that SBA loans are the main source of assistance following a disaster. You get a break on interest, but you have to pay them back.

Comment Re: The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 307

I understand your point about view land being desirable even though it's a flood risk. I live a mile or so from the Hayward fault. But I have California's risk pool earthquake insurance. The government wouldn't be paying me except from a fund that I've already paid into. I imagine that the government does pay some rich people in similar situations, but as far as I'm aware disaster funds go to the States from the federal government and should not in general become a form of rich people's welfare. Maybe you can find some direct evidence to show me that would make the situation more clear.

Comment Re:The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 307

What you are observing is economics. As a city or town population grows, the best land becomes unavailable and those who arrive later or have less funds available must settle for less desirable land. Thus many cities have been extended using landfill which liquifies as the San Francisco Marina District did in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, or floods. Risks may not be disclosed by developers, or may be discounted by authorities as the risks of global warming are today.

Efforts to protect people who might otherwise buy such land or to mitigate the risks are often labeled as government over-reach or nanny state.

Comment Re:Its pretty important... (Score 3, Informative) 307

So ironically, transporting the oil and gas out of the region is putting oil and gas production in jeopardy.

That would seem to be yet another reason to transition this country away from fossil fuels altogether. That would address both the erosion issue and the fossil fuel dependence at the same time.

As far as seafood goes, there's going to be a coastline somewhere, no matter how far it moves into the current state of Louisiana. The seafood will still come from wherever that is.

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