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Comment What is the point (Score 3, Interesting) 91

Biosphere. God, what a metaphor! In other words, a self-contained inhabitable zone shielded from the harsh environment of--gasp--Seattle.

The whole point of locating in a city is to be part of the city. Let your employees meet for lunch at a local restaurant that hasn't been hand-picked by Amazon's Director of Restaurant Planning. Use the transportation system that the locals use, improving it for everyone in the process. Go to a public park to chill out, rather than a private park reserved for Amazon employees.

This kind of office park is all over Silicon Valley. To someone who's never worked in this environment, it sounds like a huge perk. But having worked in an environment like this, I'd rather just work in Seattle, not in a biosphere surrounded by Seattle.

Comment Re:Hold Ma Beer and Watch This! (Score 1) 1023

A factory operating 24/7 on a massive scale with the goal of producing as quickly as possible is a lot different from a single McDonald's franchise.

Let me give an example. I've had the most brain-dead job imaginable: Palletizing (stacking boxes on pallets) in a factory. We had robots to do that for the high-volume jobs. But for the smaller runs it was more cost effective to bring in a couple temps at $12 an hour than it would have been to build another robot.

McDonald's is already very efficient. Most of the prep work is done, in advance, in a factory using robots. Preparing it for the customers requires relatively few employees operating well beneath capacity in order to serve the food as fresh from the grill as possible.

Comment Sex & the City was overexposed, provoked backl (Score 1) 858

When it was on, every woman and gay man with a blog seemingly had to share their opinion of the latest episode of Sex and the City. As a straight man, I was inclined to let them have their fun. I'm a modern guy. The world does not revolve around my interests.

Then I went to Chevy's on a weeknight, and there were like 20 squealing, tipsy-on-one-margarita ladies having a "Sex and the City" party, and I was like, ENOUGH! This show sucks! Years of overexposure had finally made me revert to the sexist troglodyte I had been repressing for all this time.

Compare to Blue Mountain State. It gets, maybe 1/1000th the media coverage as Sex and the City. I'm it's target audience apparently, yet I'm barely aware it exists.

Comment Re:Population/Area has to be a factor (Score 1) 278

I mean, 30 years ago, whenst last I drove through the downtown of actual SF, there was a 5-lane honking freeway slicing thru the heart of it.

If you mean the Embarcadero Freeway, they tore that down after the Loma Prieta earthquake in '89. (And there was much rejoicing. Visit the rejuvenated Ferry Building and there are markers where the supports for the freeway once stood, and plaques gloating over its demise. The Embarcadero Freeway was widely despised.)

Park Presidio Drive is technically part of US Highway 1, but is more like an urban boulevard for the part that is within city limits. There is no longer any freeway through San Francisco.

Comment Re:California investigating THEY BETTER BE (Score 2) 471

The car's clean enough not to make the person driving it sick. If everyone drove cars that cheated on emission standards, then sure, pollution would be a lot worse. But as a percentage of cars on the road, this model is a drop in the ocean. The more serious issue if you own this car is that it could cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars to make it street legal in California. If it can be made street legal at all.

Comment Re:Google fiber fears? (Score 3, Interesting) 253

PS, It has long been my opinion that Google wants its customers to have gigabit fiber, but they would rather some other company provide it. The purpose of Google Fiber is to goad Comcast and TWC into doing it. Like any for-profit enterprise, Google doesn't want to be in the business of providing universal access to high quality Internet. That's providing a commodity, and Google wants high profit margins.

On the bright-side, they're well aware of TWC's and Comcast's vaporware ploys and are unlikely to be deterred by that.

Comment Re:Google fiber fears? (Score 1) 253

Which brings me to my point: If this rollout by Comcast is true, is someone finally getting out IN FRONT of Google Fiber, not just being a reactionary twit?

VAPORWARE (n) - A product that does not yet exist, but is sure to blow any competing products out of the water. Promoted by market-dominating companies to forestall potential competitors.

Comment Talk about reinventing the wheel... (Score 1) 280

Do you know what else doesn't need to park? A normal taxi. A bus or a subway car. The extent that suburban Americans will go to avoid taking public transit is nothing short of amazing. Yes, let's spend trillions to develop a network of driverless cars so suburbanites can enjoy city life without coming into contact with any of the city's grubby inhabitants.

Comment Re:The goal of 1st world countries (Score 3, Insightful) 401

And about, oh, at least half of the global population isn't well suited for creative jobs since they are (by definition) below average intelligence.

I wouldn't equate falling below the 50th percentile in IQ with inability to do anything but the most menial work. First, because I don't think intelligence should be defined that narrowly, and second, because it's fucking insulting. The vast majority of workers displaced by technology are not incapable of doing other work. They just lost a game of musical chairs, and there are huge obstacles for anyone trying to get back in the game.

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