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Tech Company To Build Science Ghost Town In New Mexico

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the who-you-gonna-call dept.

United States 198

Charliemopps sends this excerpt from an AP report: "New Mexico, home to several of the nation’s premier scientific, nuclear and military institutions, is planning to take part in an unprecedented science project — a 20-square-mile model of a small U.S. city. A Washington, D.C.-based technology company announced plans Tuesday to build the state’s newest ghost town to test everything from renewable energy innovations to intelligent traffic systems, next-generation wireless networks and smart-grid cyber security systems. Although no one will live there, the replica city will be modeled after a typical American town of 35,000 people, complete with highways, houses and commercial buildings, old and new."

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198 comments

The hills have eyes. (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 2 years ago | (#37324574)

Just don't take any shortcuts on your road trip in that area.

Re:The hills have eyes. (3, Funny)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 2 years ago | (#37324622)

If they're going to do nuclear testing there, you could always hide in a fridge and be safe.

Re:The hills have eyes. (1)

Stormtrooper42 (1850242) | more than 2 years ago | (#37324718)

Just make sure it's a lead-lined one. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0upNuDNRSk [youtube.com]

It will be a magnet... (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#37324914)

...for hobos and other mobile homeless. How will they be kept out of all those uninhabited buildings? They may look uninhabitable to people with a place to live, but to the homeless, they might look not too bad.

Re:It will be a magnet... (1, Insightful)

GauteL (29207) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325058)

"How will they be kept out of all those uninhabited buildings? They may look uninhabitable to people with a place to live, but to the homeless, they might look not too bad."

Hippie communes, perhaps. But regular hobos or homeless need food and alcohol, and they need other inhabitants to get those things. So they tend to gather where there are people.

Re:It will be a magnet... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37325100)

I'm homeless, I've been homeless for 9 years, and I don't "need alcohol".

You sedentary, uppity rich douchebags and your stereotypical stereotyping behaviour are half the problem.

Re:It will be a magnet... (1)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325516)

How do you support yourself and manage to have enough money over for stuff like medical bills (I'm assuming you live in the USA)? And why would someone knowingly choose to live like that? There's a vocal homeless community here in Sweden, and from what little I know it seriously doesn't seem like a fun life at all in most cases.

Re:It will be a magnet... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325550)

Amen brother.

I know several nomads that most rich idiots call "homeless". they live in a van (nice van!) or small RV and travel the country from job to job and living a life of freedom.

Honestly, if the economy gets any worse, I'm going that route. Liquidate everything, buying a mid sized RV and handing the keys for the house to the bank telling them to "suck it leeches"... In fact looking online a lot of people are doing this kind of lifestyle change.

Re:It will be a magnet... (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325098)

...for hobos and other mobile homeless. How will they be kept out of all those uninhabited buildings? They may look uninhabitable to people with a place to live, but to the homeless, they might look not too bad.

Don't need a floor for testing? Don't waste time and money building one.

The place could be infested just like a city park. But it should be less of a problem than an abandoned tract of mcmansions, and they seem to be doing fine.

Re:It will be a magnet... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325532)

Roving bands of heavily armed children. IF you don't feed them then you eliminate the need for body disposal as the children will eat the hobos and trespassers.

Problem is what do you do with the children that get older and are chased out of town?

Re:The hills have eyes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37324950)

persons unknown

Re:The hills have eyes. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37325472)

They could have just taken over a large part of Detroit and saved a lot of work... but those areas probably are not that safe either. :-)

Name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37324586)

They should call it "Eureka".

They should call it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37324590)

...Eureka.

Re:They should call it... (1)

SomePgmr (2021234) | more than 2 years ago | (#37324698)

That was my first thought. I'm still waiting for someone to build a city like Eureka with... well... slightly lower requirements for residence. ;)

I think they did... (1)

tlambert (566799) | more than 2 years ago | (#37324930)

That was my first thought. I'm still waiting for someone to build a city like Eureka with... well... slightly lower requirements for residence. ;)

I think they did, only it's called Mountain View... ;p

-- Terry

Re:They should call it... (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325062)

That was my first thought. I'm still waiting for someone to build a city like Eureka with... well... slightly lower requirements for residence. ;)

Huntsville Alabama? Last time I visited, in the early 90s, around 80% of the population was pure binary, either military uniform or doctorate degree. What do you get if you take a sleepy farm town in 1945 and drop 50 times its population of german V-2 rocket scientists, and friends, on top of it? Nobody could talk at the bar about what they did at work, but you knew whatever it was, it was cool.

Re:They should call it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37325228)

Alabama?

Can you even get to this place if you're black? Without being beat up by law enforcement, that is?

Re:They should call it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37325848)

I hear there are great opportunities in cotton picking..

Here's one I prepared earlier (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37324592)

Sounds like the Isle of Wight in winter :)

Re:Here's one I prepared earlier (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 2 years ago | (#37324634)

All I can think of is Ghost Town by The Specials.


too much fighting on the dance floor...

I see two things happening (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37324620)

1) Lots of movies will be shot there.

2) Lots of squatters will move in and create a real life issue of the morality of building a vacant city that can house 35,000 people and not letting homeless people stay there.

~Kactus

Re:I see two things happening (2)

Co0Ps (1539395) | more than 2 years ago | (#37324832)

I doubt you would want to move out in the middle of the desert with no open stores and no institutions if you are homeless. Since the city only consists of buildings you would have a lot of logistics problems. Do they even have running water? Even if they did the piping there would be no point in having it on except if they did some kind of related water tests.

Re:I see two things happening (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37325646)

Live in the middle of the desert? They would be better off doing that, honestly.. we should send them to Africa so they can actually get help from americans. Cause us americans love sending money to people who live in deserts, where there is no food.

Re:I see two things happening (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325692)

I doubt you would want to move out in the middle of the desert with no open stores and no institutions if you are homeless.

You wouldn't want to move under a bridge either, but that's what some homeless people do.

I agree with the original poster though. You want to build a test town? Well at least have it help some people besides your R&D department.

Anyway, I bet they'll have water because there will be a bunch of R&D wonks working there.

Unfortunately, I think we're wasting time here. Something tells me this story is bogus. Nobody's going to build a "test town" in the middle of the desert. They may lay out some make-believe infrastructure but they're not going to build little bungalows and streets and white picket fences like we're all imagining from some post-cold war hollywood film.

Re:I see two things happening (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37325964)

You still need to be able to get food and water even if you're homeless. That's why there is a homeless problem in the cities and not in the forests. Actually I always found that a bit odd, if I was homeless I'd live in the wilderness - less chance of being hassled by the cops, abundant food so long as you know where to look, but nevertheless, in reality the homeless congregate where there are people. It's not just shelter they're looking for or they'd go live in caves.

Re:I see two things happening (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37324974)

1) Lots of movies will be shot there.

2) Lots of squatters will move in and create a real life issue of the morality of building a vacant city that can house 35,000 people and not letting homeless people stay there.

~Kactus

3) It gets scrapped as worthless and nuked to replace those crappy old black and white and technicolor nuclear weapons test videos - it's about time they do a new one for HD.

Re:I see two things happening (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37325892)

3) Lots of military excercises will be conducted here.

Hmm (2)

rasmusneckelmann (840111) | more than 2 years ago | (#37324624)

Sounds very inefficient and expensive to me.

Re:Hmm (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 2 years ago | (#37324640)

expect government backing.
I see no reason why they could not outfit 35,000 peoples homes with kit. Real world data has to be worth more.

Re:Hmm (3, Insightful)

SomePgmr (2021234) | more than 2 years ago | (#37324704)

Because burning down 35,000 real homes when your molten salt solar energy storage system fails, or having your water recycling system backflow bad water through the tap is a bigger problem when you fill them with families of 4?

Just a guess. :)

Re:Hmm (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 2 years ago | (#37324840)

I'd mod you as +1 funny for a good answer. In reply to that down the /. pub. You'd have to start with all the system fails of every current energy production method and list just how many coal / gas/ hydro electric deaths disasters happen and give a body count. Molten salt is a plus as it doesn't give you Nth conditions.
I'm not sure how to fit a water recycling system backflow into a car analogy just yet; but I'm sure we can give it a go.

Re:Hmm (1)

SeeSp0tRun (1270464) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325658)

I'm not sure how to fit a water recycling system backflow into a car analogy just yet; but I'm sure we can give it a go.

Perhaps:
It would be akin to running your exhaust through your air vents?
Just a shot in the dark to help you out =D

Re:Hmm (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325084)

Because burning down 35,000 real homes when your molten salt solar energy storage system fails, or having your water recycling system backflow bad water through the tap is a bigger problem when you fill them with families of 4?

Even "normal failure" needs to be covered up. If it takes 50 revisions to get your SDHW panels not to leak, the last thing you want is 50 families whining on facebook and twitter about how revisions 1 thru 49 of your new panel design leaked water all over their priceless scrapbooks.

Also payment negotiations with a zillion individuals would be a huge PITA.

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37324864)

What if they're trying to test what happens if 35,000 homes are all fitted with item x in a specific configuration? Or perhaps new designs for housing? Etc, etc.

Sometimes it's better to build things from the ground up instead of adapting something already there.

Re:Hmm (2)

Inconexo (1401585) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325234)

Well, it's a salvation for construction companies. Now, they can keep building houses without the need of selling them.

Its about time (4, Funny)

arcite (661011) | more than 2 years ago | (#37324628)

Those Crashtest dummies have been demanding a homeland for compensation for decades of abuse and maltreatment in the workplace.

Re:Its about time (1)

SeeSp0tRun (1270464) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325806)

That sounds all too familiar...
1. Let's abuse group A very badly
2. We make it up to them by giving them land
3. We give them terrible land in the desert
4. They open casinos and make some money
5. We tax said casinos...
6. Profit

I WANT TO LIVE THERE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37324636)

I'm sure that after a certain point they're going to have to actually put in real people to test out those factors they can't fully model.

I would love to live in this experimental town of the future.

Just the IDEA that I live in some town that's built to be x years into the future has me slobbering in pure unrelenting avarice. Yeah, there may be a lot of shitty stuff, but by the time they hit the human testing phase, this will be the advanced 20 square mile concentration of technologies that aren't purely based on industry in the USA.

LET ME IN.

Residents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37324646)

Also, why not let people live there? Just make them sign an NDA+contract saying that the traffic lights might not be 100% reliable or that the power grid could get intermittent cuts or whatever. The companies involved would get more realistic use-case scenarios, and I'm sure plently of people whould sign up just to get to use the awesome technology involved.

training grounds for zombie outbreaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37324648)

Finally the US are getting serious about planning and preparing for zombie outbreaks. Having ghost town ready for this purpose is clearly needed for training police, army and other first-responders for the event of a large zombie attack.

Field of Dreams worst nightmare (1)

ElitistWhiner (79961) | more than 2 years ago | (#37324658)

Only a scientist could understand the need to test outside a sterile laboratory environment full scale with the hubris to mock Reality by charging for it and then certifying the inanity soliciting a self-serving kind of captive tourism to pay rent while caught in its nightmare

Re:Field of Dreams worst nightmare (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37324720)

; : , .

these are friends. they will help.

Detroit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37324688)

They can just use Detroit.

Anyhoo, maybe it will provide a good place for homeless, squatters and drug dealers to hang out.

Why build a brand new ghost town (4, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 2 years ago | (#37324694)

They should just use Detroit [time.com]: it's already built, it's realistic and it's a lot larger than a 35,000 inhabitant city.

Re:Why build a brand new ghost town (1)

Required Snark (1702878) | more than 2 years ago | (#37324772)

There are a lot of existing city locations that could be used for this purpose. Two candidates are Las Vegas and Riverside county in Southern California. There are large tracts of existing houses that are empty that the banks would love to unload. The people who own houses here have all seen their value drop by large amounts. A government buyout would be great for them as well.

This article lists Riverside/San Bernadino a having the worst outlook for recovery of the housing market. http://www.businessinsider.com/thirteen-housing-markets-that-will-never-recover-2010-5#1-riverside-ca-housing-prices-are-down-52-and-unemployment-is-at-18-13 [businessinsider.com]

Housing prices are down 52% and unemployment is at 18%. Why build a bunch of new empty houses when some many new houses are sitting idle right now?

Re:Why build a brand new ghost town (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37325254)

Housing prices are down 52% and unemployment is at 18%. Why build a bunch of new empty houses

...to give a bunch of unemployed construction workers a job? They obviously aren't going to get one building "real" houses anytime soon.

Re:Why build a brand new ghost town (1)

Joey Vegetables (686525) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325018)

Cleveland also has vast tracts of uninhabited land where the steel mills and factories used to be. I don't know if it would be possible for anyone to live or work there now, due to all the hazardous waste dumping that occurred since they closed. I imagine that (to a lesser extent than Cleveland or Detroit) the same is true of many other Rust Belt cities. Cleanup would be possible, but difficult and expensive, and, for most purposes, it's more practical just to build in exurban areas half an hour away, some of which are also abandoned due to the collapse of the market for new homes, but don't have the pollution or crime issues of the central city.

Re:Why build a brand new ghost town (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325326)

They should just use Detroit: it's already built, it's realistic and it's a lot larger than a 35,000 inhabitant city.

I'm thinking things are going to be turning around for Detroit real soon. Sarif Industries [wikia.com] just started there a few years back, they're going to be huge.

Re:Why build a brand new ghost town (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325382)

Sarif Industries? Do they have a leg to stand on? [Warning: mods modding this off topic should look up and see the oooosh flying past]

Re:Why build a brand new ghost town (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37325854)

They should just use Detroit [time.com]:

It's creepy that the map in the time's article displays the cemetarys as being 100% occupied.

No people? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37324714)

Such a sad waste. Why not put up offers for say a few thousand homeless people to be bussed in there with the simple instruction that they should just live like decent human beings and not kill each other? They get free food and energy within reasonable limits for the duration of the project. Hopefully they can start a community.

Re:No people? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37324936)

War is also a sad waste. And it costs way more!

They suppress actual sustainable housing (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37324734)

Ironically, sustainable housing developer Michael Reynolds has been fighting the state for decades to legalize experimental housing (where people actually lived). Nobody wanted it, because it turned out to be so good that people did not have to work anymore. They didn't slave 40+ hours a week just to give everything away to government and corporate parasites. His houses are all self-sufficient (even in terms of food and sewage), made from garbage/dirt and in areas that are considered uninhabitable and therefore extremely cheap.

Re:They suppress actual sustainable housing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37324994)

You can build any house anywhere you want (in residential zones, or outside of city limits to avoid zoning issues), but you have to meet certain standards that we as a society/government have set for safety-related issues. The scope of these standards was more-or-less set before anyone thought of renewable housing, and simply updated over the years, so it's quite unlikely the provisions were written simply to exclude these houses.

So without knowing more (thanks for providing a link...) I expect the reason his housing projects are blocked is because they do not conform to building codes, not because they threaten the establishment. I am a libertarian and oppose government building codes, but it's simply dishonest to portray a building-code issue as a man-keeping-us-down-for-profit issue. If that's not what's going on, maybe you should have posted a few links to solid information so I wouldn't jump to the obvious conclusions.

Re:They suppress actual sustainable housing (1)

Cheerio Boy (82178) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325210)

You can build any house anywhere you want (in residential zones, or outside of city limits to avoid zoning issues), but you have to meet certain standards that we as a society/government have set for safety-related issues. The scope of these standards was more-or-less set before anyone thought of renewable housing, and simply updated over the years, so it's quite unlikely the provisions were written simply to exclude these houses.

So without knowing more (thanks for providing a link...) I expect the reason his housing projects are blocked is because they do not conform to building codes, not because they threaten the establishment. I am a libertarian and oppose government building codes, but it's simply dishonest to portray a building-code issue as a man-keeping-us-down-for-profit issue. If that's not what's going on, maybe you should have posted a few links to solid information so I wouldn't jump to the obvious conclusions.

He's talking about Earthships. [earthship.org]

And yes it's building codes and permits that are often the problems.

However the houses built in this manner are stronger and safer than conventional housing AND they use up waste resources as well as being sustainable.

Furthermore you can really build them anywhere you can put in a well or rain catchment.

Re:They suppress actual sustainable housing (1)

bzipitidoo (647217) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325274)

Links? Wikipedia and search engines are your friends. Reynolds has a Wikipedia entry.

Housing is one of the easiest things to criticize. It's full of incredibly wasteful methods and customs. Much of the work is done on site, rather than at a plant. They all just have to have fireplaces. I don't know about you, but if the fireplace was a $10000 optional item, I'd nix it in a heartbeat. What I find craziest are these people who will pony up $300000 or $500000, or more, and all they get is a larger version of the same old stuff. If you can afford that much, why wouldn't you put some of that money into practical things, like better insulation, double pane windows, a bit of solar water heating, etc.

Reynolds is the Earthship stuff. There's an Earthship housing development west of Taos, NM on hwy 64. They make houses out of old tires and bottles. It's interesting, and a little strange. I got a sense that the residents do not appreciate it. They view themselves as poor and hard done by, and act like they're stuck in these houses rather than proud of them. Didn't get much in the way of hard numbers about the building costs, maintenance, energy and water usage, so it's hard to judge.

In contrast, the Rocky Mountain Institute is one of the more scientific of the sustainable housing efforts.

Re:They suppress actual sustainable housing (1)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325280)

You can build any house anywhere you want (in residential zones, or outside of city limits to avoid zoning issues), but you have to meet certain standards that we as a society/government have set for safety-related issues...

What? No--aren't building codes *rules*, not standards? There's a huge difference. If they were standards, then they would adopt with times and any method capable of supporting necessary loads would be fine. Rules are more like "You must use Douglas fir for a thirty-two foot span" or "the door must be framed in such and such a manner" or "joists must be placed every X feet" or "The walls must be made of fire-resistant sheetrock at least 3/8" thick." Standards would be more "The floor material must be capable of supporting a load of weight X at its midpoint" or "the building must be capable of withstanding any category 3 hurricane"

Re:They suppress actual sustainable housing (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325620)

What? No--aren't building codes *rules*, not standards? There's a huge difference. If they were standards, then they would adopt with times and any method capable of supporting necessary loads would be fine.

Some building codes are legal standards while others are just rules. You can tell the difference because the rules say "you must use this" while the standards say "you must use at least this". An example of a standard is the size of a footing for a house set on piers; IIRC in this county it must be a minimum of 16" square (I've dug 'em before, but it's been a time) and use a certain minimum amount of concrete, and you have to use so many of them per so many feet of wall and so on. An example of a rule is that wiring must be jacketed in PVC insulation. And then another example of a regulation is that you must have at least X number of outlets if you have Y feet of wall.

Re:They suppress actual sustainable housing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37325560)

Nobody wanted it, because it didn't conform to building regulations. No conspiracy. If Reynolds had been able to build those things within building regs it would have been another story.

Re:They suppress actual sustainable housing (1)

joebagodonuts (561066) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325894)

I recall in the not too distant past an asking price of 1 million dollars for a new earthship outside of Taos. If you do it yourself, it IS considerably cheaper. But still: A tire house for a million bucks? Not quite "extremely cheap".

Ever filled a tire with dirt, and then packed it down? Many times? Then built walls out of them? Me neither, looks too damn hard :)

Prior examples (1)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 2 years ago | (#37324740)

Ghost down [dailymail.co.uk]

I've read about plenty of them in a "chick or the egg" situation: commercants don't want to settle because there are no clients. Residents aren't drawn because there is no commerce running and there is nobody else.

Perfect setting for an apocalyptic scenario..

http://slheart.com (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37324796)

to have some fun go to this site http://slheart.com

Isn't this what supercomputers are for? (1)

RoverDaddy (869116) | more than 2 years ago | (#37324804)

You know, for things like Simulations? Seems you could hopefully get many answers from the computer without the need for 20 sq. mi of "hardware", and then confirm the results with more limited real-world tests.

Observation 2: This sounds like a money-grab more than anything else.

Observation 3: China has ghost cities already. Perhaps we could use one of theirs.

Re:Isn't this what supercomputers are for? (1)

backslashdot (95548) | more than 2 years ago | (#37324842)

Boeing has supercomputers but even they wouldn't produce a kite without wind tunnel tests.

Re:Isn't this what supercomputers are for? (1)

jovius (974690) | more than 2 years ago | (#37324960)

Indeed. A new universe shall be build to simulate life that simulates life that simulates life that...

IT'S A CONSPIRACY! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37324868)

Plan to kill us all.

Reverse scope creep (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#37324874)

The article I saw last night said 350,000 people... now its down to 35,000. I bet tomorrow they'll change it to 3,500. And then 350. Eventually, it will just be a polebarn in the desert.

Ghost Lawsuits (1)

retroworks (652802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37324892)

To be a truly faux American city, it needs virtual law offices, courts, and lawsuits over easements and blocked views, and ghosts invested in keeping it from ever ever being built.

Test value? (4, Insightful)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325020)

How will they actually test the viability of 'intelligent traffic systems' with no traffic?

In fact, most of those mentioned systems are about the interaction of that technology WITH PEOPLE in an urban environment. Just an empty urban environment doesn't get you much?

Re:Test value? (1)

Gideon Wells (1412675) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325174)

I am sure you could wrangle up a sufficient number of college students looking for credit, interns and retro-post modernist-faux-psuedo-quasi hippie hipsters to move in for a few months for relatively lost cost for those experiments.

Re:Test value? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37325366)

I am sure you could wrangle up a sufficient number of college students looking for credit, interns and retro-post modernist-faux-psuedo-quasi hippie hipsters to move in for a few months for relatively lost cost for those experiments.

But all those degenerates numbering 35,000 COMBINED are only worth 10 points - they will have to make the autopilots on the cars really bad an run multiple rounds to even place for the tech to survive the death race.

Re:Test value? (1)

SeeSp0tRun (1270464) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325860)

Which reminds me of my drive to work this morning...
The human element is a huge factor in something like traffic, when you have people running red lights, right on red when it's a no-no, and lane changes with no blinker (signal for those of you not in the Boston area).

Given the circumstances of driving, and introducing the human element, I'd nominate Boston, LA, or something of the sorts.
Furthermore, I will gladly accept a government stipend to live in this town, and drive like I do to work.
As long as GLaDOS isn't running these experiments.

Re:Test value? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37325870)

Oh snap! We hadn't thought of that. Never mind.....Hey guys, the project is over. Some dude on slashdot showed us the error of our ways.

Having a wonderful time, go away... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37325074)

Sounds like a nice place to vacation actually...

Military training sites (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325112)

is planning to take part in an unprecedented science project — a 20-square-mile model of a small U.S. city.

Note the military has quite a few of these, although smaller scale. Also full of bullet holes. Which might actually be a bonus if you're planning on a technology deployment in "urban" areas.

Re:Military training sites (3, Funny)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325170)

>> Also full of bullet holes.

Why do you have to bring Baltimore into the discussion?

Not with my money (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325212)

This better not get federal funding.

Re:Not with my money (1)

raddan (519638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325294)

If you read TFA, it's being developed by a private company in conjunction with the state of New Mexico, and it's expected to be a money-maker.

Re:Not with my money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37325400)

What's the proximity to Roswell? Alien abduction theme park?

Re:Not with my money (1)

fremsley471 (792813) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325336)

There was a blog early last decade that purported to be by someone in the White House; lots of gossip about Condo Rice checking her bank account. Only thing that really stands out as credible data is that the DHS had so much cash in the budget, they couldn't spend it all on things within their remit. So they bought and stored in underground bunkers masses of expensive supplies, "Just in case".

This feels like the sort of thing a govt. dept. WOULD spend money on, as no sane private corporation would do this.

Re:Not with my money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37325716)

I said the same thing about the Iraq War. Expect similar results.

But hey, maybe when they're done we can fill it with brown people and bomb the fuck out of it. Then we'll both be happy.

And as to your sig, when I look out at the world, I see one more stupid person than you do.

Eureka! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37325278)

So does this mean Eureka wasn't canceled after all?

Nuketown? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37325474)

Is this a Black Ops thing?

Buy out 35,000 mortgages instead? (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325490)

$200 million will buy housing for 35 thousand? There's a town just north of Dallas called Frisco, also known as "Frisclosure" for the number of foreclosures in the area. Why not just do the testing there? Or in Las Vegas where there are thousands of homes in neighborhoods sitting empty?
 
  Considering the state of the housing/mortgage crisis, this seems like a prime pork barrel project. I'd rather see $200 million (let's rephrase that, $0.2 billion) spent buying out mortgages or at least the principal on many, many homes so people can afford to continue living in them and paying down the mortgages instead. Building even more homes, even in a "test city" seems like a poor decision given the rabid abundance in homes for sale on the already poor housing market.

a typical American town of 35,000 people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37325512)

so that's what? a Walmart with some trailer parks nearby, maybe a couple boarded up shops to call main street, that one weird house with all the arts and crafts in the yard, and maybe a couple fast food joints and a gas station by the road out of town...

I can guess what they'll discover... (3, Insightful)

grumling (94709) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325524)

1) solar will be recommended. NM gets a ton of sunlight and it's a friggin' desert.
2) Insulation and sealing up the shell will have the biggest impact on energy efficiency.
3) Setting the thermostat to just above/below "uncomfortable" will be the second.
4) LED lighting will be the third.
5) The capital outlay will exceed the amount of money saved for the first 4-6 years... but only because energy production is subsidized in this country.

How much experimentation do we need? This ain't rocket science. Dad was right, turn down the heat and turn off the AC. Shut off the lights when you leave the room. You think I'm made of money or something?

20 square miles for 35k people is "Typical"? (2)

ThosLives (686517) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325534)

I find it curious that the article says 35k people for 20 square miles is "typical". I'm familiar with several small cities with about 40k people in 9 square miles, and it's not that dense. 20 square miles for 35k people seems like a very inefficient city. 0.36 acres per person is not "city-like" at all.

Consider Detroit, which has lost a staggering amount of population, has a density of about 0.13 acres per person (using 700k and 139 square miles), and this idea of "typical" seems to be really poor.

I don't see why this is necessary. (1)

xyourfacekillerx (939258) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325540)

Even if it is, I sure hope no public funds go towards this colossal waste of time and money. Federal funds go to this, and I sure damn well better get some use out of it myself. /Taxpayer

They should save their money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37325612)

and just buy Flint Michigan. LOL

Waste waste waste. (1)

gx5000 (863863) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325826)

Ok sorry but what a sad pathetic waste of money.... They might as well ask China for one of theirs, lord knows they have quite a few of them, never been used and some are completed.

Nicer then my current house (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37325902)

Make me the Mayor! and science me up!

Illegal immigrants, homeless, foreclosed (1)

tekrat (242117) | more than 2 years ago | (#37325924)

If they think a brand new, fully working "city" is going to stay uninhabited for long, they are too stupid to be performing "science".

Once construction starts, and word gets out, all the contractors will know, which will pass word down to the friends and families of people who know the construction workers, and pretty soon, you've got illegal immigrants moving in, homeless people moving in, people who've been foreclosed on and locked out of their own houses, i.e., basically a squatter situation, and, unless you've got a lot of guys with guns, it's going to be very hard to get them out of their free houses.

This will end badly. Anybody remember Lethal Weapon 3, where Richard Donner basically got permission to burn down an entire town that was never finished because the contractor ran out of money?

And why don't they use the abandoned town the Mythbusters already use for their driving tests?

It seems to me there's *already* quite a few abandoned towns west of the Rockies. Do we really need another?

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