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Comment Re:Lack of understanding rather than nefarious (Score 1) 89

It is rather obvious that charging more than most people can/will pay will encompass people who are cheap/ don't care/ or would like to, but they cannot afford it. First two are fine - the third, not as much.

The wealthy are perfectly willing to pay into the road fund to use those lanes, and the poor are only too happy to let them. "Support [for toll lanes] is high across all income groups, with the lowest income group expressing stronger support than the highest income group (80% vs. 70%)." So what's wrong with giving everyone what they want?

Comment Re:Lack of understanding rather than nefarious (Score 1) 89

The issue is that roads are a shared public good...

No, they are not a public good. Public goods by definition are non-rivalrous, which means one person's use of it does not prevent another person from using it. Traffic prevents people from using the roads; therefore, roads are rivalrous and therefore are not public goods.

...not something that should be priced to allow the wealthy an advantage.

Even if the revenue is spent on services for the poor?

In other words, if anybody is going to be stuck in traffic, everybody should be stuck in traffic.

Good plan. Let's price all the roads at market equilibrium so nobody is stuck in traffic!

Or, do you actually like traffic?

Comment Dont worry I've got a backup (Score 3, Funny) 119

As it turns out I have a backup sample, because you have to keep it at incredibly high pressure I keep it in the much more reliably pressurized environment of a dorm room with two Chemical Engineering majors.

Indeed because of the pressures involved I had to add some padding around the sample to prevent the rare metal from being crushed.

You can come collect it whenever, except of course when there's a sock on the door handle (P.S. there is never a sock on the door handle).

Comment Re:Lack of understanding rather than nefarious (Score 1) 89

[ Paying a fee to use the passing lanes on highways is] actually a really good idea, if the fee is set just high enough to eliminate congestion in that lane...

If the tolls are not kept high, the toll lane will become just as congested as the regular lanes.

Correct, if the fee isn't set high enough to eliminate congestion, there will be congestion. So what's the issue?

Comment Re:Lack of understanding rather than nefarious (Score 1) 89

Is bypassing traffic if your son is sick a luxury?

I think it's cheaper to drive him and pay a toll than to call an ambulance and pay the copay. Not to mention paying less in taxes because the managed lane never gets congested (because it's always priced right at market equilibrium) and so the freeway never again needs to be widened at taxpayer expense just to relieve congestion.

Comment Re:Conversations before Appointment (Score 1) 895

I don't see that happening in the Senate long-term.

IMO, Democrats will be running the House sooner rather than latter, for the simple reason that it's where seats are allocated proportionally to the populace - so large Democratic majorities in dense areas like the coasts do translate directly into seats there. But for Dems to take the Senate, in the age where party affiliation is the single most important question deciding whether the politician gets a vote or not, would require there to be more blue states than red states. Which, right now, means more urbanized states than rural states. And I don't think that's happening anytime soon.

Comment Re:Lack of understanding rather than nefarious (Score 1) 89

maybe we'll end up with people paying a fee to use the passing lanes on highways.

That's actually a really good idea, if the fee is set just high enough to eliminate congestion in that lane, but no higher, so that nobody is ever gouged and so that the managed lane isn't responsible for causing congestion in the anarchy lanes. Then if my son is sick and I have to get him to the doctor, I can pay the fee and bypass traffic. This would give me an option that I didn't have before. Options and competition are good things, right?

Comment Re:What field are these abused H1B visa workers in (Score 1) 271

You have described everything precisely. The only thing that I would add is that for the two different "castes" within the H1B system that you have identified, there's one other difference.

People who are working for Apple, Microsoft, Intel etc are using H1B as a gateway to a green card, and ultimately to citizenship - which they can do, because H1B is explicitly "dual intent", so you can apply for a green card without getting kicked out of the country; and because there's a specific process whereby employer sponsors the employee for a green card. This isn't to say that every single H1B working for these companies will do that - but the majority will. The companies in question are generally interested in retaining employees long-term, so they do sponsor any employee who asks for green card (in fact, they will proactively push you to apply if you don't do so yourself), and will provide lawyers to handle the application for you, pay various fees etc.

People who are working for Tata, Infosys etc are not there for citizenship. It's not that they wouldn't want to - it's that those companies will generally not sponsor them. So it's really just a gig to come work in US and earn a lot of money (comparatively to what they could earn at home), and then come back rich, and with a US job on your resume.

Comment Re:Fix the abuse, keep the program (Score 1) 271

Kill H-1B, and replace it with a proper skilled immigration track. Look at Canada for inspiration:

http://www.canadavisa.com/cana...

https://www.canadavisa.com/com...

I am a former H-1B (now with a green card), who previously acquired Canadian permanent residency via skilled immigration program, so I had a chance to compare both. Canadian system wins hands down, and not just because it was easier for me personally. It just makes more sense in general, especially the overall points system, where the immigrants know what kinds of skills and traits maximize their chances, and citizens know that those getting visas and citizenship are actually screened to maximize benefits for their country.

Submission + - Study Reveals Bot-On-Bot Editing Wars Raging On Wikipedia's Pages (theguardian.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A new study from computer scientists has found that the online encyclopedia is a battleground where silent wars have raged for years. Since Wikipedia launched in 2001, its millions of articles have been ranged over by software robots, or simply “bots," that are built to mend errors, add links to other pages, and perform other basic housekeeping tasks. In the early days, the bots were so rare they worked in isolation. But over time, the number deployed on the encyclopedia exploded with unexpected consequences. The more the bots came into contact with one another, the more they became locked in combat, undoing each other’s edits and changing the links they had added to other pages. Some conflicts only ended when one or other bot was taken out of action. The findings emerged from a study that looked at bot-on-bot conflict in the first ten years of Wikipedia’s existence. The researchers at Oxford and the Alan Turing Institute in London examined the editing histories of pages in 13 different language editions and recorded when bots undid other bots’ changes. While some conflicts mirrored those found in society, such as the best names to use for contested territories, others were more intriguing. Describing their research in a paper entitled Even Good Bots Fight in the journal Plos One, the scientists reveal that among the most contested articles were pages on former president of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf, the Arabic language, Niels Bohr and Arnold Schwarzenegger. One of the most intense battles played out between Xqbot and Darknessbot which fought over 3,629 different articles between 2009 and 2010. Over the period, Xqbot undid more than 2,000 edits made by Darknessbot, with Darknessbot retaliating by undoing more than 1,700 of Xqbot’s changes. The two clashed over pages on all sorts of topics, from Alexander of Greece and Banqiao district in Taiwan to Aston Villa football club.

Comment Re:"equalize the marketplace" (Score 1) 271

H1Bs create both supply and demand. They create supply in the industry in which they work, but they create demand in numerous other industries - services, housing etc. For that matter, they also create demand in their own industry - they're still using those products (and higher wages mean that they can use more of them, being able to afford better devices, faster Internet connectivity etc).

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