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In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

BasilBrush Re:wow (453 comments)

Robot vacs don't have overheads like insurance, tax and parking fees.

2 days ago
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Japanese Maglev Train Hits 500kph

BasilBrush Re:But is high speed rail a *good* public investme (418 comments)

Yes, it is. The current plans place a lot of emphasis on upgrading trunk roads managed by the Highways Agency to dual carriageway and grade separated junctions. If you're interested, there's a list of these projects on the Highways Agency web site.

There are hundreds of thousands of junctions in the UK. 10s of projects does not make any significant difference.

It's really the main trunk roads that we need to consider if we're comparing the efficiency of road transport with the rail network and potential high speed rail infrastructure.

I figured that's what you were doing. Yet local roads are significant. Few journeys start and end by a motorway or dual-carriageway. And people experience most of their hours sitting in congested traffic whilst commuting, most of which is on local roads.

We see this every time a motorway is congested, when the most efficient way to use the space is to have the traffic slowing down and moving uniformly, but there is always Lane Changing Guy who has to jump around cutting everyone up so he can get there five seconds sooner.

And what of the M4 bus lane scheme, where it was deemed that using fewer lanes for cars actually speeded up the cars journeys? Having a short 3 lane motorway section between a two lane motorway section and one end and and a major off-ramp at the other was inefficient, and slowed traffic. - The bus lane effectively just became a way of using the tarmac that had been set aside for car efficiency sake.

Jeremy Clarkson does one of his ill-educated rants on Top Gear, and the politicians become fearful of white-van man, and overturn the traffic experts scheme. Resulting in worse traffic congestion for all.

about a week ago
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Japanese Maglev Train Hits 500kph

BasilBrush Re:But is high speed rail a *good* public investme (418 comments)

yet the reality at least here in the UK is that many of the major road-building projects in recent years have been carried out precisely to simplify junctions or eliminate the need for some of them altogether

The ONLY way they can be avoided altogether is with flyovers/unders. And other than motorways, they are as rare as hens teeth. A miniscule fraction of a percent of junctions. And that's not changing.

Widening motorways doesn't create junctions, but it does pour ever more traffic onto the existing roundabouts that most motorway sliproads feed onto. With ever lengthening queues to get on and get off the motorways as a result.

You talk of projects to simplify junctions. And that's true. But equally more and more junctions with traffic lights or roundabouts are created. Every time theres a new housing estate, business park or supermarket built for starters. Plus wider busier roads mean more pelican crossings are created.

It is self-evident that if you build enough road then there will be enough space for a finite population of drivers and vehicles.

Common sense is commonly wrong. There is no finite population. The number of cars increases every year.

http://racfoundation.wordpress...

Nor is there an eventual limitation of the population figure, as the population rises every year too.

And you are thinking about it in the wrong way completely when you talk of "road space". The only thing space gives predictably you is car parks. The road system is a mostly 2D network. And as such it's limited by it's nodes. The bottlenecks are the junctions.

about a week ago
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Longtime Debian Developer Tollef Fog Heen Resigns From Systemd Maintainer Team

BasilBrush Re:damn (550 comments)

I'm not the victim. But you are one of the abusers.

about a week ago
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Japanese Maglev Train Hits 500kph

BasilBrush Re:But is high speed rail a *good* public investme (418 comments)

Of course it can.

I said why you can't, and you've done nothing to address those reasons why not. You just have an empty and unjustified belief that you can. A belief contradicted not only by logic, but by history.

about a week ago
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Longtime Debian Developer Tollef Fog Heen Resigns From Systemd Maintainer Team

BasilBrush Re:damn (550 comments)

Stop apologising for abusers. You're part of the problem.

about two weeks ago
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Japanese Maglev Train Hits 500kph

BasilBrush Re:$62,000 per person, $156,000 per family (418 comments)

The reason it helps your mortgage is because you're actually paying the thing off.

Not true. If you get an interest only mortgage for 200,000, then in 25 years, you'll still owe 200,000. But because of inflation, that 200,000 will be worth much less, and it would be far easier to pay it off, as your income will be much higher.

Of course in practice interest only mortages are paid off with investments, but the far that interest has shrunk it remains.

Public debt over 100 years would have the same inflationary reduction effect * 8.

For sure, inflation has the other effects you mention. And that's the reason public debt has to be managed. I was just correcting the common misunderstanding that it needs to be paid off.

about two weeks ago
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Japanese Maglev Train Hits 500kph

BasilBrush Re:how much does that cost to build? (418 comments)

So there's different answers for different locales. London for example could not work without trains. It was the trains that were the catalyst for it to grow so big and for the housing to be made in the suburbs.

Likewise with Japan - it has a relatively small and long/thin main island, which is heavily populated. Universal car ownership won't work. But having trains running up and down the country and in and out of the cities works perfectly.

about two weeks ago
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Japanese Maglev Train Hits 500kph

BasilBrush Re:But is high speed rail a *good* public investme (418 comments)

The UK roads are becoming increasingly congested, and that can't be cured by building more roads. The CPO and quality of life issues you've raised for rail also apply to roads. But there's also the issue that building more roads means more junctions. And junctions cause yet more congestion. It's not feasible to avoid more than a tiny number of junctions by making flyovers.

That's why it makes sense to invest in rail. Because every 1.x passenger means one fewer car on the road. It's very debatable whether HS2 is the best investment to make in rail. But the principle of investing in rail is not wrong.

about two weeks ago
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Japanese Maglev Train Hits 500kph

BasilBrush Re:$62,000 per person, $156,000 per family (418 comments)

If there are 3 people in your family, that's $30,000 per year your family will have to pay back sooner or later.

Classic mistake of thinking public debt is the same as private debt. You have to pay off private debt, because one day you will die. Public debt doesn't have to be paid off in a AAA economy, because they can outlive all the people.

Public debt only needs to service interest. It does not "need to be paid off sooner or later".

Meanwhile inflation shrinks the debt just as it does with a mortgage.

about two weeks ago
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Japanese Maglev Train Hits 500kph

BasilBrush Re:Please wait here. (418 comments)

What's the cost of driving a car BEFORE all those subsidies?

about two weeks ago
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Android 5.0 'Lollipop' vs. iOS 8: More Similar Than Ever

BasilBrush Re: It's all about the haters (177 comments)

Or maybe they don't want to pay a 50% markup for the Apple logo.

You know what a logo is? Same as a brand - it's a promise of quality. For good or bad. If a product can demand a 50% mark up because of a given logo, it's because the logo has built up a significant level of trust in the high quality of the product, either directly or by word of mouth.

Most logos can't demand any markup whatsoever, because they have not built up a good reputation.

about two weeks ago
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Android 5.0 'Lollipop' vs. iOS 8: More Similar Than Ever

BasilBrush Re:Hi-res Displays Look Better with Flatter Design (177 comments)

A button should "look" like a button. I don't mean skeuomorphics, but a button UI element should not look like a label or a plain embedded image - it should look like something I can interact with, and that's what shading did.

Those quote marks would be better in another place... A "button" should look like a button. ... because that thing on the screen isn's a button. It's an area you can interact with by touching. But then most things on the screen are. A graphic, a line in a list box, a scroller, a hyperlink, a field, a title, a telephone number... If you draw a box/gradient/shadow around everything you can interact with, then almost everything ends up in a box/gradient/shadow.

On the web, we no longer need explicit "buttons". Even on the classic Slashdot page, which is about as old a design as you see, most clickable/touchable do not have boxes around them; they are not dressed up as buttons.

Buttons have mostly gone the way of purple underlined hyperlinks. We're used to the web now, we don't need the training wheels.

Native app design has simply lagged. It's playing catch up to the web. (At least in terms of UI appearance. Native apps of course are ahead in capability and performance, and always will be.)

about two weeks ago
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Android 5.0 'Lollipop' vs. iOS 8: More Similar Than Ever

BasilBrush Re:Oh yeah? (177 comments)

I can understand that you have opinions about UIs, we all do. But what make you think you know better than people who's job it is? Someone who's probably studied the field, and spends every day weighing up the pros and cons of different design decisions. And who, at least at the level of commercial OS UI design, has actually tested different design elements out with users and done metrics to test their effectiveness?

It's reminiscent of people who think they know better how to teach kids than teachers do. Or how scientists are wrong about the dangers of mobile phone transmitters or climate change.

That's not to say individual practitioners in any of those fields can't be wrong. But for a non practitioner to believe that the entire thrust of the profession has it wrong, and their conservatism is right is misguided.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Losing the School Markets To iPads and Chromebooks

BasilBrush Re:Microsoft losing to the school what? (219 comments)

40 years ago the question was whether pocket calculators made learning any easier or better. 40 years before that they were debating whether pen and paper was any improvement on slates and chalk.

Middle aged people who aren't teachers think that the proper way of schooling is the way it happened when they themselves were at school. Which means 20-40 years out of date on whatever the new technology is.

Let's leave it to teachers to say what they think is best.

about two weeks ago
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Apple Releases iMessage Deregistration Utility

BasilBrush Re:iMessage isn't bad... (136 comments)

No, that's not the definition of proprietary. Being a "closed network" and indeed a closed protocol does indeed make it proprietary.

And it's interesting that you are giving bonus points for Google leveraging SMS when Apple does too.

Basically, you are starting from the position - Google right, Apple wrong - then making up your own definitions and rules to support that conclusion. That's intellectually corrupt.

about two weeks ago
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Apple Releases iMessage Deregistration Utility

BasilBrush Re:iMessage isn't bad... (136 comments)

Google Voice is US only, and Google Hangouts is every bit as proprietary as iMessage.

about two weeks ago

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