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Comment I'm kind of surprised they don't do more tie-ins. (Score 1) 273

I'm not talking advertising tie-ins, but why not do additional story lines available for streaming purchase? Especially in those big ensemble superhero movies that are always so narratively cluttered because they have to give you a thin slice of so many characters.

Comment Re:Banish cars from the city center (Score 1) 214

"Please tell us the names of the cities you complain about."

I'll do: Madrid. I live just in the border of "inner city", 32Km away from my job place. Going by car takes me slightly above an hour in rush hour, about 25 min without traffic. Using public transportation takes one hour and a half with two switches and it is almost inhuman in rush hour. But then, go to the supermarket. I did for a while, less than ten minutes by car, less than half an hour in public transportation -except for the little fact that they won't allow your bags in the public bus and just going with your shopping car through the subway entry is an odissey. Now, try to go to a suburban mall -i.e. when I was furnishing my new apartment, and cry.

I used to live in a different -much shorter, town and I didn't even have a driving license (very uncommon, but still doable). Then I came to Madrid and while I don't use my car when I go to downtown, mainly for leisure, it became obvious to me that you just can't live in these kinds of big cities without a car (and, remember, I'm a rarity on this regard, wanting to live without a car if at all possible) since they are developed on the assumption that you have one, and I ended up taking my driving license at the age of 44, less than three years ago and buying a car. Not only I don't regret, but my overall transportation costs have cut in half (even while I'm still paying a loan for the car) not to mention the increase in my quality of life.

Comment Re:IL had free rides to all senior citizens 2008-2 (Score 1) 214

"if you can afford to drive you can afford the far cheaper option of public transportation and taxi's."

Have you done the numbers? Really? Because I've done and no: taxis are not cheaper than cars, not by a far margin like somewhere from 300% to 1000% more expensive. Other means, yes, can be cheaper... usually if you don't value your time. And while car pollution can shorten your life, so also do sleep deprivation from having to wake up one to one hour and a half earlier to go to workplace on public transport.

Comment Re:Point taken. But a levy on AI can be justified (Score 1) 530

" An AI levy taxes taxes these profits disproportionately to do two things: A) Slow the pace of adoption and B) Reclaim value lost to society and the economy caused by moving jobs away from human hands."

I see your point, specially the one about "time to transition" (I hate liberals when come with the argument that the industrial revolution ended up being better for everybody -which is true, but forget that it took three hideous generations to show those profits). But then, you still have to define what exactly is AI (heck, we still have problems just with the I part), or find the extent a given technology takes jobs away so you can tax accordingly. Good luck with that.

And still, the root of the problem, wealth moving away from labour and going into capital will remain untouched. I'm not a big fan of "disproportionately" anything, but if anything, what should probably be disproportionately taxed should be money retention itself (on top of capital gains) so some entity that just amasses money tends to lose it (that was a side effect of inflation, but inflation is worldwide very low) and, at the same time, progressively move away taxes from indirect/income to capital/profits, which also would achieve your stated goal as it effectively makes cheaper human labour than machinery (at least for a while)

Comment Re:Sad (Score 3, Insightful) 180

Well, I dunno. It seems like blaming Fitbit for Pebble's financial failure.

Let's take a consequentialist view of matters. If the rule is you have to buy the whole business and continue to operate it, even though it's losing money, Pebble goes out of business and it's customers and debt holders suffer. If you can sell of just the good bits without the obligation to continue running the failing as before, the customers suffer but the debt holders get some relief. Which approach is better?

Comment Re:127 Mill Maintenance robot vs 4 Billion AF1 (Score 2) 37

Well, it's actually $3.75 billion. And it's not one, but two aircraft, so that's 1.875 billion apiece. That's to ensure the executive branch can function in a military crisis while one of the planes is being service.

Deduct 375 million apiece for the airframe, and we're talking 1.5 billion dollars in customization for each aircraft, including aerial refueling capabilities, which on a two-off job is a craft job; no economies of scale. Add defense and countermeasure capabilities that Air Force is extremely close-lipped about. Is there a actual escape pod on Air Force One like in the movie? Well probably not, but I'm sure the idea was at least contemplated. However it's pretty certain that if someone locks onto AF1 with a targeting radar the aircraft will have options that a stock 747-8 doesn't.

Next outfit each one so it can function as a replacement for the West Wing and the Situation Room for up to two months -- that's a deducible requirement based on the known fact that the aircraft stores 2000 meals for 100 people. That means three-of-a-kind electronics and communications systems (one for each airframe and one for the actual White House).

Is 3.75 billion too much for that? Probably. But it's hard to think of any weapon development program since WW2 that is less extravagant.

By that standard 127 million for an orbital repair robot is an almost inconceivable bargain, even if you factor in a 5x cost overrun.

Comment Winter is Coming (Score 3, Informative) 555

So, if we've been witnessing a drop in observed temperatures, perhaps TPTB are actually doing something about it.

The quote was that we have been observing a global drop in land temperatures since the middle of the year. There is far more land in the northern hemisphere than the southern which means seasonal effects will not balance out. So rather than evidence of geoengineering I'd just take this as a sign that winter is coming.

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