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Comment Re:Nothing says... (Score 1) 273

Gotta find a way to hot swap batteries on the regular with low space requirements. Local/terminal trucks often get worked 24/7/365 and are only taken out of service for their maintenance plan. Also, space at some terminals is exorbitantly expensive, so stocking 2x the trucks and having half charge all the time is not a reasonable alternative.

Comment Re: Lesson 1 (Score 1) 366

What should be done is slide the FICA contribution window from $0 to $127k (for 2017) to, say, $40k to $250k.

Working in payroll tax, That's actually a really good idea, in need of a few tweaks. That window is only for the SS benefit, Medicare has an unlimited window at 1.45% and doesn't cap, so you're talking 6.2% instead of 7.65%. The actual SS cap would have to be factored into current contributions, I don't think a tripling on the top would cover the funds lost, it may have to to increase to like $400k. Since the SS benefit gets directly tied to your SS later in life, that' have to be re-worked to not shaft lower earner's retirements.

One way is full-on redistribution, which would likely never pass, the other is require the companies to double match the first $40k instead and allow them a tax credit on the figure. This option has two major downsides in that it disproportionately taxes employers who employ more lower-skilled laborers, and removes the potential for SS solvency via cap increases during boomer retirement. The benefit (or downside, depending on how you see it) is it adds incentive to long-term full time employment rather than larger labor pools with higher turnover.

Comment Re:Of course it'll work (Score 1) 340

Also, as many know, the paving in an airport is not the same as the paving on a standard road. I work in shipping, and the international shipping terminals cost astronomical amounts of money to prepare because you have to have a very high durability footprint with great longevity. Most of these ports usually don't have near the snow issues either due to ocean warming - Imagine trying to push snow off to the side of a 1 square mile pad... you have to take it all the way to the edge.
A tic-tac-toe or hashtag design offers more without the downsides, and lo and behold, that's what we've got in airports now.

Comment Re:Skepticism and denial (Score 1) 373

I agree, you can usually tell with where the focus is. Skepticism at this point has nothing to do with CO2 or AGW, those are simply facts. My skepticism currently has two points of focus: the geopolitical will to change and my optimism in human adaptability. I don't think that humans will be able to stop emitting greenhouse gases and/or reverse the effects of AGW without drastic scientific breakthroughs which, unfortunately, require the vast abundance offered to our species right now - a chicken and egg, or more appropriately baby and bathwater situation.

I also think human adaptability will mitigate most of the damage caused by AGW to our species. A lot of people like to rattle off the big list of famine, mass migration, city flooding, etc. as if they were going to happen instantaneously all at the same time. Eighty years ago we adapted to the dust bowl situation in less than a decade, I'm optimistic about our ability to adjust to these potential scenarios as they unfold slowly over decades and centuries.

For these reasons, I think there will be no overarching change in human behavior and consumption until there has to be, and even when there has to be, I think we'll adapt better than most anticipate.

Comment My best guess? Trust (Score 1) 158

We know our fellow humans are very error prone, so when another human is giving you directions, you're creating a map in your head to make sure it all makes sense. We trust our nav systems implicitly and can see the map on the screen ourselves, thus we have no need to create a map to organize our thoughts.

Comment How do they factor in state lines? (Score 1) 127

I live in Charlotte, and a large chunk of people live in South Carolina (Fort Mill, Rock Hill, etc) and drive to Charlotte to work. Do these get factored in to the "market" or is it specifically focused on the Mecklenburg county metropolitan area?

The SC locations would certainly depress the average cost of living if they're factored in. You can get a lot of house for very little money, ~$100/sqft for average acommodations and $150-200 for luxury accomodation. However, there's definitely appears to be a housing bubble starting in Charlotte. Too high a percentage of luxury apartments when compared to other cities, and housing in certain areas is so competitive that the average days on market in my zip code is less than a week, and often houses sell in less than a day with a pre-emptive open-house starting a bidding war. Some of my coworkers took 6-8 months to find a house where they wanted it for school reasons.

Personally, I own a condo in a booming area but will probably move to a house in SC in the near future, within driving distance to Charlotte. HB2 has done quite a bit of damage to commerce in NC, no matter how loud the idiots in Raleigh want to scream that it hasn't. The guys in Asheville have been hit the worst but I see it here as well.

Comment Re:So what? (Score 1) 374

I agree with you entirely, but nursing is really the last example we should be bringing into workforce/pay discussions.

Male nurses actually make more than female nurses by almost 20% and are in higher demand. Your reaction is probably the same as mine: That sounds wierd...why? Well, there's actually a lot of lifting and restraining necessary in many nursing positions, so strength is heavily valued. My girlfriend is a psych nurse and they find male nurses extremely useful.

Comment Re:Good on him (Score 2) 226

Honestly, it doesn't matter if the tunnel ideas themselves are profitable. Phase 1 (make a better Bore) will make enough money on its own even if phase 2 never pans out, and Phase 1 is a very low cost risk by comparison. The key phrase in the interview is "Tunnel technology is older than rockets, and boring speeds are pretty much what they were 50 years ago."

Musk appears to be an efficiency hound above all else. Find something that sucks but has room for efficiency gains, make it better, and make money on it. He's done it with electric cars, batteries, and rockets so far. Making a better bore isn't that far-fetched. Making things more efficient in the right manner almost always leads to being cost competitive.

Comment Re:no shit really? (Score 3, Informative) 262

I remember playing BF3 with my older brother on his XBox when I visited him, while I had BF3 on the PC. The game played completely different: In the metro station map, on PC, players could barely ever capture the first flag without precise coordination and vision occlusion like smokes because if they popped their head up they'd get wrecked. On XBox, everyone just sprinted for the flag and it was a close range melee fest with flag captures usually being quite easy regardless of how well the defensive positions were set up.

In short, on the PC the defenders had a heavy advantage where on XBox the attackers had a heavy advantage, and it showed in the win rate from those sides. This was entirely due to control scheme.

Comment Re:MS Nutty aquisitions (Score 3, Insightful) 90

They're making their money back in other ways. Minecraft has become one of the go-to games for kids. It turned the XBox into a more kid-friendly console, a market Nintendo historically had in their back pocket. Parents aren't as intimidated buying their children XBoxes when its bundled with Minecraft as the console draw rather than Halo. They also haven't had to release significant iterations of the game to maintain freshness on new releases like Mario. Little work with a trickle reward that'll pay off more the longer its present. I suspect children today look at Minecraft the same way we looked at Mario in the 90's.

Comment Re:Theaters Find New Ways to Make money (Score 1) 142

Damn, that sucks. The trend around here has been a positive one in a different direction. They've been converting theaters to assigned seating and 100% recliners with sectional row divides, so no matter where you sit you have a nice comfy seat without having to worry when getting your ticket, with the same ticket price. It's made movie-going about 100% more bearable for me and my girlfriend and I've noticed the theater capacity utilization seems much higher than it used to be.

Comment Re: we saw that the science was falsified by the C (Score 1) 371

Tribalism rarely rears its ugly head in academia to the extent you see it in other disciplines and industries. The colleague and confidant of the academic is knowledge, other humans are a tool to converse with knowledge. Knowledge is their "tribe" more than the people they work with.

Not saying tribalism doesn't show up from time to time, but it's not like finance buddies protecting finance buddies.

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