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2 US Senators Propose 12-Cent Gas Tax Increase

Alex Zepeda Re:Good! (619 comments)

And you'd be wrong.

The revenue from the collected Federal fuel taxes are deposited into the Highway Trust Fund, which has several accounts. Though the percentages vary depending on the fuel type, the majority (approximately 83 to 87%) is deposited into the Highway Account, to be used on road construction and maintenance. An additional amount (approximately 11 to 15%) goes to the Mass Transit Account, and for many fuels, 0.1 cents per gallon goes to the Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund.

about 3 months ago

California Regulators Tell Ride-Shares No Airport Runs

Alex Zepeda Re:A remember in the early 90 when I lived in the (314 comments)

Ridership on BART's SFO extension (actually all of the San Mateo County extension) is well below their projections (leaving San Mateo County / SamTrans on the hook for operational costs). There's no direct service (well, not usually) from Millbrae to SFO due to work rules and the cost of running such a bloated rail system. You typically have to go from Millbrae -> San Bruno -> SFO. Don't forget that BART doesn't time their schedule to coincide with Caltrain arrivals at Millbrae.

BART already runs to OAK. The shuttle bus drops you at the terminals. The fancy cable car connector you're thinking of is going to cost riders double ($6 each way, they just announced this), and will drop you at the far end of the parking lot, away from the terminals. This is progress?

And Caltrain? Well, there's a shuttle bus between the Santa Clara Caltrain station and the San Jose airport. Because funding public transit is a political football, Caltrain only runs hourly service much of the day. Oh, and despite the recently relocated Caltrain San Bruno station being on the same stretch of road as BART's San Bruno station, they're still about a mile apart (closer than before, but not by much).

It's not the taxis that are to blame for the abysmal public transit to airport scene, it's the folks that design these transit systems (folks like friggin Quentin Kopp).

about 3 months ago

Did the Ignition Key Just Die?

Alex Zepeda Re:If not... (865 comments)


Complaining about the beta, and how you can't easily opt-out (nobeta=1 is not propagated from the front page, so all links point to the horrific beta).


about 4 months ago

The $100,000 Device That Could Have Solved Missing Plane Mystery

Alex Zepeda Re:Does it really cost $100k? (461 comments)

The latest I've seen was this:

http://www.themalaysianinsider... ... which claims that Rolls did indeed get some engine data, and that MH does pay for ACARS. If MH 370 did turn around, that seems a bit unlike the ZU 522 because the intended flight path was nowhere near the Malacca Straits.

about 6 months ago

The $100,000 Device That Could Have Solved Missing Plane Mystery

Alex Zepeda Re:Does it really cost $100k? (461 comments)

The slashvertisement did mention the technology used in AF 447: ACARS. MH 370 may have been equipped with ACARS as well, but if it was, it would not be transmitting via satellite as there is no sat antenna on the vanished plane (9M-MRO). In fact, Malaysia Air has been pretty cagey about whether or not 9M-MRO had ACARS. If 9M-MRO *did* have ACARS installed, and the information *could have been* received/recorded there's still the question of whether or not Malaysia Air was paying for upkeep. If Malaysia Air (who's been in financial trouble for a while now) was too cheap to pay for ACARS, why would they pay for the slashvertised product?

Hell, 9M-MRO has Rolls Royce engines. Rolls Royce (and likely other engine manufacturers) offers remote health monitoring of their engines. You don't need an additional $100,000 device for basic tracking.

Let's not forget this salient point from the slashvertisement:

Of course, that wouldn’t yield much information if a plane is blown out of the sky by a bomb, or suffers a sudden catastrophic structural failure at cruising altitude. But in those rare cases, conventional black boxes are really the only viable technology.

about 6 months ago

'Google Buses' Are Bad For Cities, Says New York MTA Official

Alex Zepeda Re:Why (606 comments)

It's not. The idea is living and working in a town center (or generally just living near where you work). Google, for instance, busses its employes from dense neighborhoods in San Francisco to the middle of nowhere. Were it not for the shuttle busses, a large chunk of these commuters would chose instead to live close to where they work, in the middle of nowhere.

about 7 months ago

Apple Releases Basic iPod Touch, Possibly Foreshadowing iPhone Strategy

Alex Zepeda Re:Start giving back some of that money, Apple. (228 comments)

Except that Apple has historically never been one to sacrifice profit/(perceptions of) quality for marketshare.

You mean except for the Classic, LC (Low Cost), and Centris model lines, right?

about a year ago

Will Donglegate Affect Your Decision To Attend PyCon?

Alex Zepeda Re:Proposal: Sensitivity Hats (759 comments)

How about a third group: enjoys crass humor, knows the time and the place for it is not a talk at a tech conference.

about a year and a half ago

Will Donglegate Affect Your Decision To Attend PyCon?

Alex Zepeda Re:What the hell (759 comments)

She wasn't eavesdropping.

Avdi Grimm said it best:

One other comment to address a bizarre accusation of hypocrisy that's come up a few times. If you cannot tell the difference between:

- someone tweeting a dick joke on their personal Twitter account, and;

- someone making a dick joke...
- ...while attending a tech industry conference
- ...that has a Code of Conduct
- a representative of a sponsor
- ...while sitting in the middle of a crowded auditorium
- ...during a talk that others are trying to listen to
- ...but still loudly enough to be overheard ...if you seriously cannot identify any difference between those two scenarios, I really don't know if I have enough clue to help you. I can check the back room but in those quantities we'll probably have to back-order it.

I can understand the "overreaction" argument. But the "she's a hypocrite because she tweets dick jokes" argument just doesn't even get off the ground. Nor does "she was eavesdropping on a private conversation".

If that doesn't help, how about Richards' own blog post:

What I will share with you here is the backstory that led to this –

The guy behind me to the far left was saying he didn’t find much value from the logging session that day. I agreed with him so I turned around and said so. He then went onto say that an earlier session he’d been to where the speaker was talking about images and visualization with Python was really good, even if it seemed to him the speaker wasn’t really an expert on images. He said he would be interested in forking the repo and continuing development.

That would have been fine until the guy next to him

began making sexual forking jokes

I'll make this real simple: the PlayHaven guys weren't making private jokes, they were responding inappropriately to public comments.

about a year and a half ago

SendGrid Fires Employee After Firestorm Over Inappropriate Jokes

Alex Zepeda Re:More facetime (1145 comments)

Um, yes. Reread my comments. The only reason it was seen by "thousands and thousands of people" was because someone went looking through her tweets and shared the direct link to it. Unless you were to go explicitly looking for it, it's not readily visible. It's less like leaving a note on a bulletin board and more like leaving a note on the ceiling in front of someone's door. It's there if you look at it, but even if you walk by (follow a twitter user) you wouldn't see it without explicit effort.

Contrast that to the inappropriate jokes being made in response to a public conversation she was having with a third party.

about a year and a half ago

SendGrid Fires Employee After Firestorm Over Inappropriate Jokes

Alex Zepeda Re:More facetime (1145 comments)

People have no right to not be offended. They need to get over it and learn some tolerance.

I'm not quite sure where you get this right to be not offended thing. It's a private event, so we're not dealing with restriction from the government. In fact, PyCon has a code of conduct (that's since been revised/clarified). That's the entire reason that PyCon staff escorted the two men out of the conference.

From the updated PyCon code of conduct:

All communication should be appropriate for a professional audience including people of many different backgrounds. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any conference venue, including talks.

Be kind to others. Do not insult or put down other attendees. Behave professionally. Remember that harassment and sexist, racist, or exclusionary jokes are not appropriate for PyCon.

Attendees violating these rules may be asked to leave the conference without a refund at the sole discretion of the conference organizers.

She thinks she has the right to post their pictures and quote a private conversation in public, but they're wrong for making a dirty joke (which wasn't directed or told to her) in private conversation?

I'm not sure where you're getting the impression that this was a private conversation. It was a setting where they were expected to be quiet, and they weren't. They shouldn't have been talking in the first place, and instead they were talking loud enough for others to hear and exchanging inappropriate jokes. Per Richards' blog post, the speaker was talking about inspiring the next generation of coders. If the two guys were so disinterested that they needed to have an off-topic conversation, or in need of so much privacy... they should have gone elsewhere. Yeah Richards was talking as well (responding to someone else's remarks). Were I there that would have done two things: 1.) annoyed the hell out of me 2.) served as an indication that whatever I say will be heard by other people. In fact, from the blog post, the jokes were a response to a public conversation between Richards and someone else. These two guys (should have) had zero expectation of privacy.

about a year and a half ago

SendGrid Fires Employee After Firestorm Over Inappropriate Jokes

Alex Zepeda Re:More facetime (1145 comments)

Um, yes. You're not going to see her tweet containing the dick joke automatically unless you go looking for it. OTOH, the two guys were being loud enough that someone (and likely more than just one person) heard their back and forth.

about a year and a half ago

SendGrid Fires Employee After Firestorm Over Inappropriate Jokes

Alex Zepeda Re:More facetime (1145 comments)

AFAIK this is the penis joke she made:

Whether or not you're into penis jokes it's, IMO, worth making a distinction between a talking loudly at a conference and a twitter mention. IIRC, her twitter post was semi-private, being automatically visible to the intended recipient (and potentially mutual followers) but nobody else. Someone could see that she posted that, but they'd have to go looking. Not only that, but twitter is a medium for both professional and casual postings. OTOH, if you're talking loud enough to be overheard in a crowded conference hall that's far less private, but is typically intended to be a more formal setting than twitter. From what I can tell, she wasn't eavesdropping, but the two guys were being loud enough to be disruptive (regardless of whether the topic of their conversation was appropriate or offensive).

Look, I enjoy a good penis joke... but I you know what? I'm a guy and I get tired of the frat house / Bevis & Butthead mentality that seemingly pervades so many tech things. I went to the last MongoSF with my then-boss. At one of the talks I sat next to a woman who was an employee for a government contractor looking to glean some insight into fixing the problems they were having with their Oracle to Mongo migration. I spent some time before the talk picking her brain. At every opportunity my boss interrupted with jokes and comments that were off-topic at best. After the talk, my boss came up to me and asked if I got her number and if was going to fuck her. Is it really that hard to act in a semi-professional manner in public? Dunno, I've made a point of not going to tech conferences with my boss any longer, so. There's a time and a place for dick jokes, and a conference is neither that time nor that place.

What amuses about this situation is how much all of the free speech champions are nailing Adria to the wall for someone else's actions. Free speech is good and well unless you don't agree with it or the reactions to it, right? Right-o.

about a year and a half ago

Elon Musk Lays Out His Evidence That NYT Tesla Test Drive Was Staged

Alex Zepeda Re:I'm a skeptic. (841 comments)

So? The problems with the Vega were not immediately apparent. OTOH the promise of the Vega was immediately apparent. Same with the Alliance (which also garnered awards from the French press and French auto buying public). The Merkur range, OTOH, suffered mostly from poor marketing. These car of the year awards aren't about who's built the longest lasting, most reliable car. They're about who's built the flashiest, most innovative car.

about a year and a half ago


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