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Comment Re: Go! Government! Go! (Score 1) 267

If you support the right if people to do as they please with their homes, then support zoning reform to eliminate restrictions on what people can build.

The restrictions on what can be built are what make being an AirBNB host profitable.

On most (typically 80%) land in North American cities, the only thing that can be built is a single family detached, no matter how much demand there is. Cheaper options like townhouses, row houses, and apartments are either forbidden or squeezed into a few slivers of land designated for them.

Allowing people to do as they please means allowing one's neighbor to build an apartment building if they want to, and not giving anyone a defacto veto through consultation.

Without zoning laws there would be no need for AirBnB laws.

Comment Just Another Industry Begging for Subsidy (Score 1) 168

If robot cars need sensor roads, wouldn't a fair, free market approach say that the people using/buying/selling/building those robot cars should be the ones paying for it?

If history is any guide, this is just step one in a large scheme to transfer public money (in the form of specialized infrastructure spending) from the public at large, to robot car builders (in the form of increased sales from more useful products made possible by those specialized infrastructure spending)

We already saw this play out once in recent history, as the federal government took trillions of dollars and millions of people's homes & businesses to make daily long distance car travel first possible, then required, to line the pockets of contractors, the car companies and the oil companies.

Welcome to motordom 2.0

Comment Re:What about pedestrians? (Score 1) 264

When you say heavier, I'm going to go ahead and assume you mean, "with higher kinetic energy". A heav car at 1mph can still kill but only if it's victim is unusually slow. A light car far at 100 mph will kill anything in its path.

Do you also support applying this of logic to other objects possessing fatal amounts of kinetic energy? How about bullets? We could just dispense with the whole notion of law and justice and police and just say, "if you don't want to get shot, don't walk in front of bullets"

People choosing to drive are choosing to escalate the energy available for property damage and harm to life. They should bear the responsibility of this, even if that means, *gasp* sowing down.

Comment Subsidy Trough (Score 2, Insightful) 156

Parking tickets are not a "trough"

Driving is one of the most heavily subsidized personal actions in the world.

Parking fees and fines are a very very small tip of the balance back toward something remotely resembling a level playing field. Just pay for your parking and if you screw up, pay the fine and move on. You're still tens of thousands of dollars ahead of whe you would be if you actually have to pay for all that infrastructure, hit to mention the war and the pollution.

Comment Re:End of life? (Score 3, Informative) 388

I think you've got it backwards.

It's not that Google "deals with tags" in some new and novel way, it's that the underlying protocol, IMAP, has no support for any such concept at all. IMAP just has folders and the unstated assumption is that a given piece of mail is only ever in one folder. However, Google made tags look like folders to IMAP clients, but of course, they are not actually folders.

Comment Needs and Wants (Score 0) 269

I don't know that I would call any of those things, "needs"

You may say, "semantics", but it's precisely this sort of cultural blindness to the idea that life could be any different than it is today, that prevents us from discussing solutions. Toilet paper and ranchland aren't needs, Hygiene is a need, and food is a need, but if we believe that the only way to fill those needs is to carry on what we've been doing for the last few decades, then we are dumb and deaf to any alternatives.

Comment Re:It all depends.... (Score 1) 285

If this hypothetical road is so important to the people living on it, they can always simply choose the free enterprise approach and maintain it themselves.

The point the Iowa DOT is making isn't that there must be less roads but that government built roads have gotten way out of whack and there is far more asphalt per person than we could ever hope to afford. Nothing stops a few industrious folks from stepping up and maintaining their own roads.

If the people living on a road can't afford to keep it upgraded, then it's a sign from the universe that they can't really afford the lifestyle they are trying to live and they have been subsidized for years. There are lots of options
- gravel roads cost a tiny fraction of hardtop roads
- hiking trails cost even less

Comment Re: What about a bus? (Score 1) 280

This is ludicrous. If your local bus company or transit agency has the authority to run like a business and run stick to profitable routes (higher density, straight lines) they will be plenty full and far more fuel - and most importantly - space efficient, than a car.

If your local agency has a mandate from voters to run like a social service, providing transportation to all, regardless of location or profitability, then they won't be full or efficient, but then that's not what you asked the agency to do in this scenario.

Studies like these are just sops to politicians and people living in areas where doing anything but driving is challenging, they convince them that 50 km grocery runs really aren't that ludicrous and hey, one day you'll fly 500 km to get your groceries and that will be more efficient thanks to "future tech"

Comment Privacy and Safety (Score 0) 73

I'm sure /. is all familiar with, âoeThey that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.â âThose Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither.â and it's tempting to apply it here.

However I would disagree. The act of operating a 2 ton vehicle at fatal velocities is not unlike the act of pointing a loaded gun at people in public, but promising not to shoot anyone. Now imagine that hundreds of millions of people do this, and hundreds of thousands screw up every year and injure or kill someone, generating billions upon billions in insurance claims.

If we treated cars like guns, keeping them securely locked in the garage at all times except a life or death emergency, and on every usage got law enforcement involved to investigate, then you could argue that you have a right to privacy as a car owner, just as a gun owner might. But once you endanger the public, whether by waving your gun around, or waving your car around, I would argue you give up that right.

If you don't want anyone to care what you do with your vehicle, just choose a less dangerous vehicle. Like your feet, or a bike. Then no one will much care what you do, where you go, or how you operate it.

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