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Comment Re:Get out of your city more often (Score 1) 274

I do sometimes find it cute how parochial the crowd on slashdot gets. I understand your point but do you realise how small a component of the market (defined in 10 - 50 years) of transportation you are? So, you stay outside a major population center in the US, population under a million?, now let's go and look at :

and see the areas where people would prefer good public transport infrastructure rather than private ownership of cars. These would be densely populated metropolitan areas, which represent high economic activity and demand. At a rough glance, that's 500 million to a billion people who depend upon public transport in their daily economic activity (even if they own a personal vehicle). That's the market that exists *today* which is only going to increase in the future.

Outside the US, Canada, Europe and Australia, personal vehicles are not common in non metropolitan areas. I have no figures but I think that'd be another 4 - 5 billion people. I'm pretty sure they'd welcome such services if the price drops enough and the technological problems are solved (this will take much longer but will be solved eventually).

This is the market at stake being addressed, it's by any accounts sizeable enough. The problems exist.

Comment Re:One question that is never addressed (Score 1) 1116

Look. The basic income essentially implies some amount of basic purchasing power. So if you say, there's not enough money. What you are saying is that there is not enough goods to go around for everyone. Now this hold true for Lamborghinis. But would you say it holds true for nutritious food? Would you say it holds true for education? Would you say it holds true for transportation (I don't mean only cars here.) What about medicine? Are there insufficient doctors, nurses or Medicines to go around? I'd say all these are more problems of distribution rather than production.

Given that, wouldn't you say the current economics are not solving this problem very well. The argument being made here is that a Basic Income would solve these problems well.

Submission + - Grooveshark resurrected out of US jurisdiction (

khoonirobo writes: Less than a week after music streaming service Grooveshark was shutdown, it seems to have been brought back to life by an unknown person "connected to the original grooveshark" according to this BGR report.

Seemingly the plan is to get away with it by registering and hosting it outside US Jurisdiction.

Comment Re:Gay? (Score 1) 764

Hmm, so how proud are you of any of your achievements? and how high was the barrier to achieve them for all 7 billion people on this earth?

Just a thought, but as has been pointed out, I do believe he is very well know, widely recognised as successful and picking an arbitrary criteria the first CEO of such a big firm to come out as gay. For some (large enough section) people who still think that homosexuality is unacceptable, he provides a good counter-example. That it is nothing to be ashamed of. That he has to buttress this with: that being in the face of any expectation to be ashamed of it, he feels proud of it (perhaps to counter the expectation) is surely a fault of the times and such expectations. Hopefully, his publicly declaring will help other people with facing these issues.

In this context, why should he not say he is proud?

Submission + - Sun's 11-Year Cycle Caused by Dark Matter, Say Physicists ( 1

KentuckyFC writes: The origin of the solar cycle is one of the biggest mysteries in science. Astronomers have watched the ebb and flow of sunspots over an 11-year cycle for centuries. More recently they've discovered that the Sun's visible and x-rays luminosities also change over the same period. Nobody knows what causes this cycle but various astronomers have noted the extraordinary correlation between this period and the orbit of Jupiter (11.8 years) as well as various tidals resonances associated with Saturn, Earth, Venus and Mercury. These tidal forces are too small to influence the Sun so astronomers have discounted this idea. Now a group of physicists say an even more exotic process may be at work. Their idea is that the Sun is bathed in a constant stream of dark matter particles and that the gravitational fields of the planets focus this stream on the Sun as they pass through it during each orbit. It is this pulsing flow of dark matter that causes the 11-year solar cycle. This kind of gravitational lensing is well known for light so why not also for the slower moving, heavier particles that physicists believe make up dark matter, they ask.

Submission + - The Story of Nokia MeeGo

An anonymous reader writes: TaskuMuro, a Finnish tech news site, has anonymously interviewed various Nokia employees and pieced together an interesting timeline of the events which led to the abandonment of the Nokia MeeGo platform and Nokia's current affiliation with Microsoft and Windows Phone. It appears the MeeGo project was rather disorganized from the get go and fell victim to the company-internal tug-of-war, aimless management causing several UI redesigns and a none-too-wise reliance on Intel components which lacked some key features – namely, LTE support.

Comment Re:People there are used to this (Score 1) 413

The problem is because it's a grid failure, high priority endpoints like railways and metro which would normally not lose power in regular load shedding are down. Homes and offices are less affected ofcourse due to backup generators.

But hundreds of trains have been cancelled, power was out in big government hospitals like AIIMS and Safdarjung (which would not normally be targeted during load-shedding).

Delhi Metro was not working causing traffic chaos as commuters took to private vehicles, taxis, autos and buses.

So all in all was a big deal

Comment Re:Some facts (just to avoid all the BS flying abo (Score 2) 413

Difference between first world and third world country. But I'll explain somewhat.

Imagine the following scenario:

1 Fridge, 1 TV and 2 Fluorescent lights in a family of 7-8. Not that unusual for somebody doing manual labour. This is infact better than family of somebody doing manual labour in unorganised sector. Such a family would be living in a temporary shelter like a tarpaulin tent or a hutment even in the middle of a city or a slum. Possibly using no electricity and cooking with foraged firewood.

Ofcourse the middle class would be much more comfortable though still using less energy per-capita than the developed world. For eg. washing machines have a spin dry not a heat dry because that uses much more energy.

Comment Some facts (just to avoid all the BS flying about) (Score 5, Interesting) 413


I'm an Indian, presently in Gurgaon (within National Capital Region) and yes, there has been a blackout since past few hours.

As to homes and office, situation is not so bad because blackouts are such an everyday occurrence that diesel generators in apartment complexes and offices are *very* common. The immediate real effects are to infrastructure i.e. Railways and Delhi Metro (mass transport).

Now to address the system, a good reading :

relevant parts from first paragraph:

The per capita average annual domestic electricity consumption in India in 2009 was 96 kWh in rural areas and 288 kWh in urban areas for those with access to electricity, in contrast to the worldwide per capita annual average of 2600 kWh and 6200 kWh in the European Union. India's total domestic, agricultural and industrial per capita energy consumption estimate vary depending on the source. Two sources place it between 400 to 700 kWh in 2008–2009. As of January 2012, one report found the per capita total consumption in India to be 778 kWh.

India currently suffers from a major shortage of electricity generation capacity, even though it is the world's fourth largest energy consumer after United States, China and Russia. The International Energy Agency estimates India needs an investment of at least $135 billion to provide universal access of electricity to its population.

India's electricity sector is amongst the world's most active players in renewable energy utilization, especially wind energy. As of December 2011, India had an installed capacity of about 22.4 GW of renewal technologies-based electricity, exceeding the total installed electricity capacity in Austria by all technologies.

We do have a major problem on our hands.
1. Demand *far* outstrips supply.
2. Distribution losses are high. Illegal tapping, faulty meters, old equipment and corruption being leading causes.
3. Free/cheap electricity provided to agriculture sector and collection of dues waived due to vote-bank politics.

But we are working on it:
1. Looking into renewable energy like wind and hydro in a major way. (see quote above and wiki)
2. Major investment into Nuclear energy.

Environmental groups are slowing down development of the above though.

Comment Wikipedia ugly? (Score 5, Informative) 370

From the full article :

Here is an empirical truth about Wikipedia: Aesthetically, it is remarkably unattractive.

How is that an empirical truth?

Personally I find the site's design really suited to it's purpose. It's clean, no bright colours or extraneous graphics. The content even though dense is easy to read. It is as far as I'm concerned, perfect for the job it is intended to do.

Now the article after making this broad unsubstantiated statement makes one and only one specific complaint. That editing wikipedia pages is too complex. I agree, it could possibly be easier but wiki markup is the best we have come up with so far. If you have suggestions on how to improve that. That is concrete steps that can make writing wiki pages easier, please share them, most of us are all agog.

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