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Comment Re:Are bus drivers so expensive? (Score 1) 192

In the UK you would need ~5-6 drivers to run a vehicle 24/7 accounting for breaks, holidays, illness etc. If you pay them £10.50 (about the London bus driver rate) then after pensions, national insurance etc you're talking around £3,000 a week, which is £160,000 a year (around $230,000). The driver and the equipment needed for a driver take up space and add weight that adds more additional cost.

London buses are expected to have a £350,000 cost over their 14 year lifetime, while based on the above a drivers costs £2.24 million over 14 years (I'm assuming higher utilisation though). In short, if self-driving tech doubled the bus purchase and running cost it would still cost £1.9 million less over its 14 years in service.

Comment Re:No mention of self driving buses (Score 1) 192

Perhaps think of a bus on the scale of 6-12 passengers rather than 30+ and it makes more sense. If 5 other people who commuted something similar to my route and were willing to pay the same for a bus service as they pay in fuel and other costs then that'd be ~£180 a day for that commute; and the vehicle would be available to do other work during the day, on weekends and in the evening.

Is that revolutionary? Maybe not, but if it could be made 20% cheaper than driving that's £1,500 I save a year, and I'm getting to sit in a comfortable environment and do something other than drive with 3 hours a day (and yes I appreciate that 1.5 hr commutes are an edge case, and no I don't intend to do it forever), and there'd be 1 vehicle on the road instead of 6.

Comment Re:Fucking stop it. (Score 2) 192

The issue with trains is that you've got fixed routes and stops with very little scope to modify these. I've just started a new job that's virtually on top of a train station in greater london. Even though I live within 15 minutes of two stations on different lines and 30 minutes on another line, all of which go into London, it is considerably faster for me to drive for 90 minutes each way than get the train because none of those lines are the one that goes where my work it.

My wife was looking at a role in Tooting (another area in London) near a station and you'd think by the number of train and underground lines, combined with the amount of London traffic it'd be a no brainer to use public transport... wrong, the need for three changes means it's much quicker to drive or even bike. Start looking at somewhere that doesn't have hundreds of stations and it becomes even less likely that rail transport is the way forward.

Now if someone offered a automated bus that took ~15 mins longer to get from near my house to the office and cost ~£30 a day (my effective car cost) I'd be all over that.

Comment Re:This right here... (Score 1) 120

So the EU want to force companies to serve customers regardless? Fuck that. Fuck that big time. If a customer doesn't want to meet the criteria for using the website, then the website should be perfectly within its rights to refuse service.

Governments already require a number of things of companies that wish to operate in their jurisdiction. I'm inclined to think this is a bad idea, but it really isn't any more restrictive than any number of other restrictions; to make such a comparatively minor point a deciding factor in a referendum about broad ranging economic and political union seems like a complete inability to keep a sense of perspective when making decisions.

Comment Re:This is either blackmail or a confession. (Score 1) 354

We should have allowed that to be the lesson for everyone else in the region about what happens to you when we don't get the status of forces agreement we want.

We should have let ISIS have Iraq, its not our fight anymore. Perhaps you shouldn't have invaded the fucking country if you didn't want the hassle of fixing it afterwards.

Comment Re:This is either blackmail or a confession. (Score 1) 354

People really don't understand how T-Bills work.

You for example. The point of dumping bonds isn't that the bond you dump hurts the country but that by putting it on the market at a price that is more competitive than the value of new issues the US won't be able to sell new ones at an acceptable price. Sure the government could offer a higher interest rate, but then you're paying more interest on $750 billion in loans than you otherwise would have had to. In my opinion we're hardly talking the end of the world but it could easily cost the US tens or even low hundreds of billions over a couple of decades. You also seem to misunderstand the Saudi financial position; given their 'budget crunch' selling off something like bonds to get cash would be a perfectly normal behaviour and something they might wish to do anyway.

Comment Re:while not the first time, (Score 1) 321

All true, but I think you're assuming more about what he means than you should. If you handle financial transactions then there are burdens placed on you by the government; even if you think that such a message is an obvious joke you could be putting your company in existential peril by processing the payment or giving the money back. Thus even though you might think this is all bollocks, you "can not afford to take chances."

Comment Re:So... (Score 1) 269

We're not allowed to talk about race or skin colour because that's racism.

The problem with this kind of reactionary response is that it completely misses context. We already know that their is an unconscious bias towards white males in western society, it's been demonstrated time and again, and it even applies to the views of people who aren't white males themselves (black Americans do worse in tests when they've been asked to state their ethnicity in advance for example). We don't know exactly why this is, but it is widely believed amongst people who study this that it comes down to people expecting what they've experienced in the past. So in this case we've heard comparatively little about important black and important female mathematicians but plenty about important white male mathematicians so we unconsciously expect that to be true in future. A story like this, taken positively rather than defensively as a threat, can help adjust those unconscious biases.

So in short we should have these kinds of things shoved in our face. We already have white male success shoved in our face constantly: 96/100 Senators are white, 95% of S&P company CEOs are men, and so on and so forth. Highlighting the odd capable black woman doesn't concern me as a white male, the worst thing it might do is remove some unfair advantage I'm getting due conscious/unconscious bias and I don't want or need that to compete thanks.

Comment Re:But Americas youth has no money (Score 1) 69

It depends on the kind of product your selling. "Kids" might make the odd expensive vanity purchase, but even if I hadn't been quite so tight in my younger days there's no way I could match the amount I spend now overall; our current sofas probably cost more than we spent on household furniture in the first 8 years of living in our own place. As a kid I'd jump through considerable hoops to get stuff free, now I'd happily pay to avoid that hassle.

Comment Re:Standard C library... (Score 1) 334

It's not optimal, but calling it wrong is a perfect example of the old stereotypical out of touch with reality coder mentality. The purpose of the app is to make it effectively impossible to avoid random screening; even though seeding each event is poor practice it isn't "very very wrong" if the app fulfils its purpose.

Comment Re:Standard C library... (Score 1) 334

Even if it was viable to stand there watching the line for long enough to detect a pattern, which I'm not remotely persuaded it is this still wouldn't be an issue. The odds of an organisation actually trying this as an attack vector is nominal, there ability to pull it off and then get in line carrying something that they need to get through screening in a way that ensures they get to the decision point in the right place is even lower.

Comment Re:Err - no. (Score 1) 162

Tesla. If they have in fact promised to produce a product which they can't provide at a price and time period that matches their customers expectations. To give an extreme example to demonstrate: If I offered to sell people a car that could match a BMW 330i for performance while running on water for just $20k the fact that 10 million people want to buy it doesn't stop it being an issue if I have no viable way of providing it and wreck my brand by massively failing to deliver.

Obviously I'm not saying that Tesla is in that position, but it shows a lack of critical thinking skills to think that just having huge demand for something you've claimed you can deliver doesn't mean everything must work out great for you.

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