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Comment Re:There will be no train (Score 1) 396

As to your post, it was a similarly remarkable waste of my time.

But going to nowhere? Not having a purpose? Nope, not the Gravina Island Bridge. It always had a purpose, and did have planning. You could argue it wasn't a prudent decision. Arguing it went nowhere just makes you sound like a bombastic blowhard. Which does describe many a person, but it isn't a good thing.

This is why you are an idiot. This is a variation of the Nirvana fallacy. My argument isn't wrong because the label doesn't perfectly describe the situation. That's not even relevant.

Given that this is the second time you've made a deeply flawed argument based on your interpretation of colloquial English (the first being your interpretation of "Happens all the time" as being equivalent to "Happens every time"), maybe you should stop doing that?

A "bridge to nowhere" serves such a small population (sometimes even none at all, if the bridge genuinely never connects to anything), that even before planning begins, it's quite clear that it's lifetime benefits will never come close to its costs. The Gravina Island Bridge is a classic example of that.

The key here is that there isn't a qualitative or quantitative difference between a costly bridge which is perfectly useless and a costly bridge which has a very small usefulness compared to its cost. Given that our societies make large-scale, poor decisions like that, it then is reasonable to consider whether they're doing it for the high speed rail proposal of the story.

Here, the story tells us that the US government currently thinks California will spend up to ten billion dollars on early stage construction for a segment that connects no major population centers. That is a demonstration of a remarkable lack of planning and relevance here consistent with what I noted earlier.

I'll note also that the project has fantasy ridership numbers in addition to its fantasy cost numbers. Elsewhere someone has noted that someone claims that one would need $160 billion in roads and airports to match the capacity of the rail system. $160 billion > $68 billion right? Even if we took the cost figure as accurate (hopefully, you understand my opinion on that), we still have the problem that ridership isn't capacity.

And it certainly will be the case that the ridership for the first phase of construction, which doesn't cover any significant population centers, isn't going to fill $10 billion of roads and airports. Past that, we'll just have to see. But it's likely IMHO that the actual ridership of the high speed rail would be comfortably covered by $68 billion in roads and airports.

Comment re: FiOS (Score 1) 199

Actually, FiOS might be a good example of what I was referring to in my original post.

In the city I live in, FiOS started to be very cautiously deployed in a very limited manner -- but was essentially killed off before it got any momentum, because local city government declared it couldn't sell television services here. (They already signed an exclusive deal for Comcast to get all the TV distribution rights for our city for 10 years when they first came in.)

Verizon sold a few (like literally 3 or 4) FiOS installations in town that only had VoIP telephone and Internet, but no TV portion enabled. But to get it, you had to pay the same price as you'd pay for the "triple play" bundle they normally sold. So not that competitive against Comcast.

I can't say if the same has actually happened in a city where they have municipal Internet broadband, but it shows how local government can and does do things to block progress for competing services.

Comment I don't think this will be a huge hit either..... (Score 1) 92

One of our kids is a BIG Nintendo fan, and just from the lack of excitement about the "Switch" coming from him, I can tell this isn't a product likely to set the world on fire.

I've always been more of a computer than a console gamer, but I've owned the PS2, 3 and 4, as well as a few misc. older 8-bit consoles, back in the day.

One of the big downsides of the Switch is that multiplayer gaming will start requiring a fee, just like the XBox and Playstation do. Especially for kids with limited incomes, this really marks the end of one of the reasons to advocate for Nintendo vs. the competition. I don't know what Nintendo plans to charge, but I'm assuming it's going to be in line with today's "industry standard" of an annual price equivalent to a new release game title.

It also appears to be a situation where you'll essentially get forced to buy one, if you want to play the latest in Nintendo's most popular game sagas like Mario Brothers and Zelda. (Yes, I understand they're promising games like the new Zelda will also be available for Wii -- but good chance that's the end of the line there.) IMO, that would be completely forgivable if the Switch had great new graphics capabilities and a faster CPU, so the new titles could utilize the superior hardware resources. But that's not the direction Nintendo has gone here either.

Comment Re:It's about landmass (Score 1) 330

A car costs $300-$400 per month until you pay it off (especially if you include maintenance), that tends to be more than my typical business travel car rental.

My household has a single (gasoline) vehicle, the few times we really need a second car for around the town we use Uber, still cheaper than owning a second car.

Comment Better link (Score 1) 124

Most of what's in the (originally) Reuters blurb is in the airbus link, except the 2017 date to get a prototype in the air, and doesn't contain that silly Shutterstock photo that has nothing to do with the Airbus group at all.

If I could afford one of these, I'd definitely get on, even if it had limited takeoff/landing allowables. Now, that's partly because the nearest gen aviation airport is ~1 mile from my house, and partly because I live in the mountains where the air miles to a mid-range destination (30-100 miles) can be less than half the road distance. But, alas, not being in the 0.1% means it's likely I will not be able to afford one.

Comment Re:There will be no train (Score 1) 396

In their eyes, if Elon Musk or Google were doing it, it'd be the best thing ever.

Depends. But such a mass transit scheme that's has a decent chance of being profitable without requiring tens of billions of dollars of California taxpayer money as input is probably worthy of your respect as well.

Comment Re:Shorter summary (Score 1) 138

we don't know that, for all we know they were one of those mongodb databases that got cryptolocker-ed.

Except that you're describing it wrong. Cryptolocker has nothing to do with the over 20,000 MongoDB databases that have been subjected to ransom.

Here's what's happened...and may well be the case in this particular instance as well. MongoDB, by default, has no controls on being able to write, read, or even delete information. If you make the database accessible via the Internet, odds are you haven't fixed that default state..and that's exactly what's happened to tens of thousands of public-accessible MongoDB installations.

Krebs on Security has an excellent writeup here:

Comment Re:There will be no train (Score 1) 396

Happens all the time.

Nope. If it happened all the time, then no trains, highways, or airplanes would be used at all.

My sentence doesn't mean what you think it means.

Reality, of course, is that while people can be wrong, they are fallible human beings after all, they aren't always, and they do think about what they're doing.

Except, of course, when they're not thinking about what they're doing.

On the other hand, which were constructed with thought and consideration. I'd add more, but my sentence was getting awkward.

Consider the fallacy you're committing here. Just because some transportation infrastructure isn't total shit doesn't mean that California's high speed rail will achieve that threshold.

You seem to not realize that you are arguing against a priority in transportation based on nothing more than offering a handy catchphrase, when in reality, the bridge which you so blithely dismiss, did go somewhere, and did have a purpose. Except, of course, when it didn't.

At least give them the courtesy of some effort towards thoughtful consideration, rather than whatever popular slogan grabs your attention. Reserve that for after school television programs. Let's get the next ten words. Ante up, poindexter.

Or you could stop being an idiot. The damning thing about this project is that it started with a high cost which will only get higher, a poor use scenario, and fantasy numbers for ridership. I also note that no advocate is prepared to deal with the inevitable TSA interference which currently is the only reason it compares well to air passenger service.

Comment Re: Well, duh. Mass transportation is a slush fund (Score 1) 396

But it is being built by contractors not the government.

Who let us note are much better than government agencies at scoring contracts. You have to realize here that businesses will take the fast route to profit. If I give a business a million cars, I don't expect them to become good at driving and making their profit that way. I expect them to become good at selling cars because that's the more profitable way.

And what's this bit about a "free market"? Where's the other competing high speed rails?

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