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Comment Re: Because they could't sue the Government (Score 1) 212

A few software thoughts

who understood deeply drop dead dates?
Sane people will sign on to a sure to fail project . At least a year before you get together and write each other glowing references and leave. What went wrong?
this project was part of automating the entire DSHS? Client interface and i can point to worse disasters in trying to do that but i do not know of a success.
of course no one was in charge in the sense of knowing and being able to force decisons for the DSHS project and the cover Oregon project.
I can expect the requirements would have involved a lot of unobtainium hard AI anyway. These things always do.

on the positive side

they did not deploy the crap under the original guy. I was rather proud of him for that

Comment Re: Growing pains. (Score 1) 233

First of all it turns out the gerrymanding does not make much difference anymore according to one Study i read. It is part of the problem in Ferguson and around my state but i really think it is mostly just tradition and something to fight over if you are a politician.

In my state we sometime have the legislature perfectly split by party. That is when we actually get useful stuff done. Further one of those times we need to redistrict. So the backroom kids said let's just go with the computer output. Every one was happy with the output. But what was really a relief was that they did not have to waste time fighting over this.

I expect SCOTUS has limited the amount of benefit you can get from the game. Also we are sort of Lilly white anyway. It was illegal to be black back in the day.

Comment Re: yeah (Score 1) 338

Dark fibre is about $400 a meter due to trenching etc. On a spool it is say $2 a meter. There is a lot more dark than lite but try buying dark!

I think the conduit is often a natural monolopy. Who should own it?

Muni and coops CAN put their own conduit in along with fibre and so on. The trick us that they cannot reasonably do a big big bang CAPEX investment. But they really do not need to do so if they are willing to DYI over say 20 years.

now ask yourself not only why you do not have single mode fibre to your apartment but when you look out the window you see power poles.

Comment Re: Soda can... (Score 1) 163

Hmm. I used to leve big gaps in stalled traffic. I can avoid stop and go and then the pole behind get to also. In principle the jam is eliminated. Also consider the case where you need to merge right couple miles out. The guy to my left can see what i am doing and hang on my back bumper screwing the assholes who try to get to the front of the line and so block smooth merges. Now tell me about why assholery is optimal behavior at a group level.

Comment Re: 400 Millimeter Dollars (Score 1) 180

The SI pros do not approve of this Roman numeral chaining. Really. Of course they are not really happy to have km but at least that is official.

But if i am to be pedantic i should also troll: The largest official SI prefix is Y for 10**24. A YB appears in a couple important public policy issues I follow. Now this is obviously meaning we need a way to talk about kY whatever and so we need to extend the official prefixes.

Alternatively a distance of a Ym is about the size of the visible universe and kYm
Is bigger. Even the idea of distance at a cosmological scale is uncertain. It is difficult to believe Congress has a feel for that sort of magnitude.

So guys, what shall we fix?

Comment Re: I like it. (Score 1) 306

Historically book publishers sold paper. The content was sort of a loss leader. You can *feel* the disruption in the Force from ebooks.

You might want to identify publishers who are other than paper pushers historically. Baen and Beacon come to my mind.

Comment Re: ...The hell? (Score 1) 291

People get their asses kissed for writing books filled with this sort of trollish use of logical thought experiments. This fellow actually picks practical public policy issues that are in the news and invites close reasoning. Worse sometimes he does real stuff. He needs a regular column.

It seems odd to me that someone would think a fiction writer is necessarily doing an autobiography and even if the writer says he is that this is true.

Comment drought and water price (Score 2) 242

My state of Oregon is fully in drought. California is in extreme drought. Pretty much all the west has been in drought in a more general way for over a century.

Now in California if you have 100 year water rights then you might own water you can sell privately. Since the public sources are no longer there for many uses then buying on the spot market might make sense. The spot hit $2200 acre foot recently. You can play with this and see that this might be 250 1000 gallon units untreated. So i guess this Texas town is maybe paying $200 for an acre foot and this treated. These numbers are pretty much just in my head approximations and you can recalculate as needed.

California if this this goes on will be in a humanitarian crisis in 18 months. If so, you may be affected. You might want to support what this Texas city did after making the scat jokes. Or maybe shut down high water use export industries. When we ship a pound of beef out of country, how much water is effectively being shipped with it?

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