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Comment Old - not bad design. (Score 2) 474

"The BART system was state of the art when it was built, and now it's technologically obsolete and coming to the end of its useful life.

That's about the only useful sentence in the entire article. They complain about the non-standard width, the parts, the custom controllers, the space-age light weight design, all mixed together. Most of it is however just old, obsolete technology and lack of funding. And it is not true that the light weight design was a wrong move. Europe is trying to go towards lighter subway cars. The track width? Paris had at some point three different subway systems coexisting. Other cities have wide and narrow gauge with a dual-track system for the parts of the city where the lines intersect. The voltage isn't a problem, several European manufacturers build engines that can run on different voltage systems.

If there was appropriate funding, BART could update their control system and order new light weight cars with modern electronics either by (a) getting new cars from (probably) a European company offering to make their existing design a foot wider, or (b) switch some lines to standard gauge, with some lines being dual gauge.

Comment Redox is a grerat project (Score 1) 354

By keeping its developers busy and away from other projects.

For years people have been complaining about some opensource developers and their attitude. Often a fork wasn't motivated by technical issues but by the lack of social skills of some of the key developers. (I can think of at least four major projects.)

Finally we have the answer:
Start a honeypot project that attracts all the uber- egos and under-socials.
- Thanks.

Comment Private Matters (Score 2) 191

True. That's one aspect. Privacy is always a balance between self and community. But what do you reveal, to whom, and who has the power to decide...
Your point is made by Janna Malamud Smith, Private Matters: In Defense of the Personal Life

That's the book PJ recommended when she stopped Groklaw, I picked it up because of that, and wasn't disappointed. Very readable, well argued, and a couple good thoughts on private vs. public

Comment Neil DegrasseTyson wants to kill us all (Score 1) 114

In the last few years this asteroid-doomsday-talk really took off.

Sure there is a risk, but maybe not higher than a worldwide pandemic, a nuclear war, or Odin sending a flood.
- Or do THEY know something? Like, that the risk suddenly got higher by something WE did...??!!

That's when it dawned on me:
It is the outer planets that protect us from space debris. And Neil DegrasseTyson removed Pluto!

Comment Coolness is a factor. (Score 1) 226

In the past it was access to waterways, trade routes, location relative to other important places, etc. While these fixed factors are still a part of what makes and brakes a city, the tech factor is variable and can be artificially increased.

How "cool" a city is, livability, determines whether it can keep recent grads even if some other place offers a slightly higher salary.

Comment Re:But.... (Score 1) 321


  1. They took pictures of Pluto, but decided to show us fakes, because there is something on the surface, we are not supposed to know....
  2. The probe never made it past Jupiter, because one of its moons' defense systems got activated...
  3. NASA hasn't had a space program for 40 years. The money is used to build a secret settlement under Antarctica.
  4. If none of these reasons are true, it can only mean the Truth is even more frightening...

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