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Man Builds His Own Subway 174

jerryjamesstone writes "Everybody is into rail these days; it is the greenest way to get around next to a bike. Leonid Mulyanchik has been into it for years since before the Berlin Wall fell, since before the first Macintosh, building his own private underground Metro railway system. English-Russia says that he has been doing it with his pension, that it is all legal and approved and that he is still at it. Gizmodo calls it 'Partly the traditional, inspiring, one man against all odds type of persistence, but more the obsessive, borderline insane persistence.'" Update: 06/02 07:33 GMT by T : And if you're the type to visit Burning Man, you can actually ride a home-made monorail this summer, too.

Comment iPod storage ads (Score 2, Informative) 99

iPod storage is advertised in terms of "song" and "movie" because normals don't know (or care) about bytes!

Apple sold their "inferior" device to zillions of people who don't care about how it's technically "less good" than other options, because they value things other than specifications - ease of use, style, etc. Those are valid selection criteria, even if *you* don't value them, obviously the market *does.*

Consumers on the whole will never understand nor care about "data". They will care about music and movies and other entertainment.

Remember "amuse" means
"a" - not
"muse" - think

We love our amusement.

Comment Re:Oh boo hoo (Score 1) 281

Your post indicates that heavy object movement over roads is a solved issue. I respectfully disagree. It may be legal to carry heavy things on roads, but it's STUPID to do so.

Heavy trucks are the things that destroy the roads!

The weight and stresses aplied by cars are substantively less than those freight trucks. Of course, freight trucks pay more than you and I do in road use taxes, but not commensurate with the damage they do.

We need to fix the freight rail system to allow heavy things to transit via rail. This is what the rail beds were designed for (and our roads were not!) Unfortunately the rail system is mismanaged and @#$@#$#@ expensive!

Comment As a devoted follower of Christ, this is scary (Score 1) 1376

Free speech rights are important. I think that definition of hate crimes and speech limits are slippery slopes which can turn out to have consequences far different than the original intent. I found Penn Jillette's incessant blasphemy during his Las Vegas show offensive, but should not be criminalized.

I have a friend who recently visited Kazakhstan.He tells me that the growing influence of Islam there means that there will be a significant restriction of religious freedom there, and that Christians are very likely to soon be oppressed by those in power who oppose their religious beliefs.

As much as I value my religious beliefs and desire not to have them attacked, it is critical that freedom of expression be defended, even when it offends me. (Within certain limits - not yelling fire in a crowded theater, kiddie porn, etc.)

Comment Re:AA/EO in the military (Score 1) 414

I'm ignorant about the impact from a military perspective, but I can speak from a personal one. There were several large employers around my hometown. I applied for positions with them and was not offered a position with any of them. I spoke with a man who was employed with one of them, and he let me know that it was an "open secret" that only 30% of hires could be of a particular race (mine) due to affirmative action.

What did I do? Sue? Cry? Curse the darkness? No. I moved to where the number of employers was large enough that my skills were easily sold to the highest bidder. Thus launched my migration away from my family and into a pretty successful career.

Can I prove it was racial discrimination? Nope.

Do I believe that it was a factor in HR's decision? Yes.

Was it wrong to discriminate against me on the basis of skin color? Yes.

At the end of the day, unless you want to lose your mind, you need to accept that things are what they are and be like the internet "route around problems." There are consequences, but to live as a victim was not on the list of choices I found acceptable.

Just my 0.02


Comment Trucks cause the damage (Score 1) 891

From an engineering perspective, we could significantly reduce the amount of taxes needed for road maintenance if we had the guts to do three things:
1. Fix the #$@#$ rail system - so bureaucratic and mismanaged that rail freight is not economical
2. Compel heavy items and large volumes to transit via rail. Heavy trucks are the things that destroy the roads! The weight and stresses aplied by cars are substantively less than those freight trucks. Of course, freight trucks pay more than you and I do, but not commensurate with the damage they do.
3. Be prepared to WAIT for products. This is the death knell. We're so impatient as a culture that the additional time it would take to manage freight efficiently over rail would mean that "air" shipments and "next day by 10:30" would likely be infeasible - unless we taxed their delivery a multiple of 10 or more to make up for the road damage.

Comment Management is not evil (generally) (Score 1) 640

As a geek who transitioned to management - and who has worked in Fortune 500 and small companies, I think that it's fair to say that you don't understand the motivations.

1) Some management people are evil - a small minority may be - a la Madoff, but generally they are not evil

2) Some management people are incompetent. The Peter Principle applies, and some management folk are nincompoops.

3) Some management people are led by nincompoops and can't do the sensible thing

Now that I've got that out of the way, I want to challenge some of the /. groupthink about management.

I know of a company making the choice between $free DB and $notfreeDB. At a point in the dev cycle when it was reasonable to select a new platform, the company opted to pay thousands of dollars for $notfreeDB.

A HA! Management must be corrupt/stupid/evil! Right?

No! The technology evangelist for $freeDB could not make a sensible argument about why the company should invest the time in retraining and purchase of tools to support $freeDB.

For what it's worth, the geeks most comfortable with $notfreeDB pushed HARD against a switch, and argued that a change was a risk to success due to it being an unknown, and it would cost time and slip the schedule.

All in all, IMNSHO, selection of $notfreeDB is sub optimal, but the geek could not make a case in business terms. That geek's thinking that $feee is inherently better than $notfree should be enough of an argument.


Management values finding a way to monetize technology. This is NOT evil. It is what EVERY geek does. If geeks focus on technology, they miss the point. Failure to understand that there are levers other than "technically better" is the fauls and failure of the geeks, not the fault of management.

If you (the general you, not parent specifically) are unable to understand that - that would be YOUR fault, not the fault of management.

Think outside the technology box - find ways to monetize your brilliant ideas, and you will go much farther than the geek who blow out the candle then curse the darkness.

Comment Re:Mystery Pits (Score 1) 552

The US may provide less "official" foreign aid than the EU, but there is a significant cultural difference to be addressed. The state in the EU provides the lion's share of aid. In the US, it's the INDIVIDUAL who provides the lion's share of aid. When you combine the individual aid and the "official" aid private contributions, it dwarfs giving by others.

The US is a generous nation, prosecuting soldiers who break the UCMJ, and rebuilding the infrastructure that we blew up as a part of war efforts. We don't steal, rape and destroy. Those individuals who commit acts like that are prosecuted.

Compare this with the acts of Germans, Japanese, and Russian armies during WWII.

We're not perfect, but we're FAR from evil, and we do a great deal to help those less fortunate than us. We make mistakes, and there are civilians who die when we are at war. That makes me sad, but I know of no other nation that does as much to help people as the US.

Comment Re:feh (Score 1) 226

I don't know if we share the same legislators, but I have had the same experience over and over and over again. Each time I contact my representatives, I am sent a FORM LETTER telling me that they are going to do whatever they darn well please and I can stuff my opinion, but hearing from their constituents is *very* important to them and thanking me *so* much for sharing my views.

Representatives, indeed.

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