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HOA Orders TARDIS Removed From In Front of Parrish Home

CycleMan Re:Conform or be expelled (320 comments)

HOA boards are proof that "for evil men to accomplish their purpose it is only necessary that good men should do nothing." The problem is that most good people would prefer to skimp on their community political engagement and let others deal with the bother of it all... they don't realize the danger of the vacuum that they leave.

about two weeks ago
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HOA Orders TARDIS Removed From In Front of Parrish Home

CycleMan Re:Conform or be expelled (320 comments)

Where I live, townhouses mean you don't have anybody living below or above you, and you have some ownership rights to a patio-sized patch of fenced-in dirt.* Condos mean that dwellings are stacked on top of each other, and the association owns all the dirt.
* You still have to follow HOA rules about what you do with the dirt.

about two weeks ago
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Unbundling Cable TV: Be Careful What You Wish For

CycleMan Re:And? (448 comments)

There is actually quite a lot of competition in the air travel space. About a dozen major national air carriers and over 100 regional and specialty air carriers that do passenger service. I assure you, the cost of airfares are set at what the market will allow. Chances are good that your local cable company or phone company has a monopoly on internet or video services where you are...There is almost certainly not a monopoly on air travel.

Somewhat true. There are limited gates at each airport, so any airline wanting to expand its business at a busy location will have to buy a gate from an airline that holds it today, and if the other one won't sell, too bad. Mergers as well reduce competition: American, Southwest, Delta, and United now serve >85% of the US market. Milwaukee claims to be served by 8 airlines, but it's really 3 plus a few miscellaneous flights.

about two weeks ago
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Unbundling Cable TV: Be Careful What You Wish For

CycleMan Re:And? (448 comments)

However, what's wrong with bringing fewer bags, if you want to, or else paying the going price for the bags you really need?

What I'd like to see is a fee to use the overhead compartment. First checked bag is free; first bag overhead costs you $25. The problem with the process today is that it noticeably slows passenger loading and unloading, because everyone tries to cram all their stuff into overstuffed roller bags, making us feel like a cattle car and enduring multiple announcements of "place your small items at your feet, folks; we offer free gate check; ..." It's why I love that Southwest still includes bags checked for free.

about two weeks ago
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Unbundling Cable TV: Be Careful What You Wish For

CycleMan Re:And? (448 comments)

You make some excellent points about why phones unbundled better than airlines, and the latest cellphone rate wars are a great example of the competition that remains in that arena. Based on this, though, I think cable is more like airlines than cell phones, as cable has a physical presence. I pretty much have two cable providers locally, and it won't make sense price-wise to get some from one and some from the other. Dish/DirectTV offer some hope, and Amazon/Netflix/Hulu offer even more hope, since they can stream nationwide as long as I buy Internet access from someone who won't throttle them. But I wouldn't bet on the pricey channels like ESPN or HBO switching to those folks since they have a good deal with the cable providers today.

about two weeks ago
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Box Office 2014: Moviegoing Hits Two-Decade Low

CycleMan Re:blu rays are cheaper than the movie (400 comments)

...that's nice and all but those old Vaudville houses don't exist anymore. You can be nostalgiac all you want but today you have to deal with the houses that exist. Most of them are crap. Even the bigger ones aren't that impressive compared to a good home theater setup.

I would like to see the home theater setup that can compete with the mighty Wurlitzer organ at the Stanford Theatre. (http://www.stanfordtheatre.org/)

about three weeks ago
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Box Office 2014: Moviegoing Hits Two-Decade Low

CycleMan Re:blu rays are cheaper than the movie (400 comments)

Exactly. And the reason for that is that they want to capture the largest possible audience. Some folks are cheap -- no snacks, thanks -- but the theatres still get their 10% from those folks filling seats. And others want "the experience" whatever it costs, or are taking someone on a date and know that acting cheap will cut off chances of future dates, so they suck it up and pay for whatever. A final group of folks are either aspirational or foolhardy or unable to refuse their children's demands, walking in meaning to be decently frugal but are then lured into buying "just a little something" at the concessions stand.

If they cut concession prices without adjusting ticket prices, they just lose money. Mr. "Experience" is spending less, Mr. Just-a-Little might buy a tad more, and Mr. Cheap probably isn't moved. And if they raise ticket prices to counteract the drop in concession prices, Mr. Just-a-Little might not show and Mr. Cheap definitely skips it, which leaves Mr. "Experience" wondering why he's spending all this to be in an empty or tiny theatre.

Tip for Silicon Valley Mr. Cheaps: the Stanford Theatre shows old-time movies, and you can take a date there, get concessions, and still have change from a $20 bill.

about three weeks ago
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Box Office 2014: Moviegoing Hits Two-Decade Low

CycleMan Re:Are people sick of the MPAA? (400 comments)

The actually experience is different. Amazon reports that as they have grown bigger with more diverse offerings, the top drivers of revenue are shrinking. This is true if one is looking at a category (i.e. books) or as a whole. It looks like everybody has to buy the Harry Potter books, everybody will be buying a ticket to the next Star Wars film, etc.

From my observation, part of the reason for fewer items driving a greater percentage of the revenue is this: given three options for shampoo, I can try each of them and then reliably purchase my favorite. In a large population, we probably differ on what our favorite is. Given a hundred shampoos, once I find one that works decently, I'll stick with it; it's not worth it to me to try 90+ other shampoos. Replace shampoo with movie genre or book author, add in reviewer ratings so that we buy products that are reviewed more than untested and unreviewed products, and that's your Amazon experience.

about three weeks ago
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The Slow Death of Voice Mail

CycleMan Re:Pay-per-minute line (237 comments)

Land line providers charge extra for long distance.

This is one of the biggest differences between the US and most other places in the world. I'm 36, from the UK, and remember long distance charges on landlines, but only just. Now just about all national calls from a landline are essentially free.

That's partly because the UK is less than the size of one US state, Oregon, whose population is under 4 million persons. You pack more than twice that many persons in London alone. When we say long distance, we mean long distance.

To your credit, when you say "a long time ago," you mean a long time ago.

about a month ago
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Graphene: Fast, Strong, Cheap, and Impossible To Use

CycleMan Re:wimpy talk (187 comments)

Just for clarification, this is a flying car: http://imgur.com/oMwa9Yp

Notice the car on the right. That's from a 1940 magazine writting about what 2011 would look like.

From a fashion perspective, they were wrong about the tutus but right about the yoga pants.

about a month ago
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A Toolbox That Helps Keep You From Losing Tools (Video)

CycleMan Re:More of a proof of concept. (82 comments)

And it's cool for Intel if it gets others thinking, "What could I do with a Galileo or Edison?" Maybe someone puts sensors under his bottles of liquor, to know if anyone has taken them off the shelf temporarily... or a new home security system, helping you confirm that all windows are shut at night... possibilities are endless if you start to think about it.

about 2 months ago
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A Toolbox That Helps Keep You From Losing Tools (Video)

CycleMan Re:Doesn't do enough, IMO (82 comments)

And this box lets you know who it was that didn't put it back, without spending a bunch of time to visually inventory every time it's taken out. (And don't assume visual inventories are perfect either...) My bet is that a production toolbox has more than 6 tools, and I sure as heck don't count all the sockets in my socket set when I pull it out. It's reliable because I'm the only one who uses it. But if I shared it with three other folks working other shifts, how do I expect them to remember, "Which of you used the 10mm socket?"

about 2 months ago
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A Toolbox That Helps Keep You From Losing Tools (Video)

CycleMan Re:And this concept is standard in Aviation (82 comments)

There's probably some lost time too, besides the cost of the tools. If they have to walk across their football-sized factory to get another whosit, it's a productivity cost, and that can add up. If they eliminate time spent at the start and end of day checking tool boxes for accurate contents, more time savings = more money savings.

about 2 months ago
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New Research Casts Doubt On the "10,000 Hour Rule" of Expertise

CycleMan Re:More eugenics propaganda? (192 comments)

I didn't know that the study had specifically taken kids from broken homes and compared them against kids from intact homes. If you can point me to that info, I'll happily concede that the study has too few controls to be clearly identifying results about identical versus fraternal twins. I would expect that well-cared-for kids from wealthy families would be more likely to have the opportunity to develop great drawing skills than those from poor homes where art supplies are a scarce luxury. But absent some clear methodological gap and failure to control for some variation between siblings (Rich Girl A got art lessons while her identical sister B got soccer lessons, or Poor Boy C received a scholarship to an inner-city after-school art program while his twin sister D had to wash dishes at a restaurant), I don't understand what besides genetics would drive a difference in demonstrated artistic ability between siblings.

about 4 months ago
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New Research Casts Doubt On the "10,000 Hour Rule" of Expertise

CycleMan Re:More eugenics propaganda? (192 comments)

The end of the article however jumps over to the recent flawed study that goes back to eugenics (one of many out of the UK in the last 2 years). That study claims that identical twins can draw pictures more similarly than fraternal twins, therefor genes are the key factor in a persons natural ability to draw. This study is flawed as they obviously ignore every other possible impact on a person's ability to draw a picture, and simply claim "genetics".

Please explain what are the other impacts on a person's ability to draw a picture. The primary difference between identical twins and fraternal twins is genetics. Each family may choose how much to treat its children identically versus differently, but that is a very complex item likely orthogonal to genetics.

about 4 months ago
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Airbnb To Start Collecting Hotel Tax On Rentals In San Francisco

CycleMan Re:14%? What a f***ing ripoff (71 comments)

Transient Occupancy Taxes are generally higher, for exactly that reason. And note that TOTs are not normally set at the state level but instead at the city level.

about 4 months ago
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Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

CycleMan Re:Trust us with your payments (730 comments)

So if someone steals your phone and buys something with it, they can receive and delete the text confirming their purchase?

about 4 months ago
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Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

CycleMan Re:Fear (550 comments)

Fear and cost held me back for a long while too. Then I had kids and found myself crouching low, turning upside down, glasses moving as I looked under things to find lost pacifiers, being unable to see the one-year-old crawling on my tummy while I lay on my back, or was caught off guard by little fingers approaching me from the side of my glasses -- it became a safety hazard and I signed up quickly. Rarely regretted it. Maybe once a month, I wake with the physical feeling that there's something in my eye. It tears up for 10-15 minutes. But I can see better, without fingerprint smudges and eyebrow grease and dust on my glasses; the nosepads are never out of alignment nor do the earpieces cause aches. I look and feel different. It is weird in a sense to see so many years of photos of me with glasses, but I like being glasses-free.

about 6 months ago
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Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

CycleMan Re:Cost (550 comments)

I got LASIK. Now I can buy a $10 pair of sunglasses rather than get prescription sunglasses, wear eye protection in the woodshop, and walk indoors on a cold day without losing my vision temporarily to fogging lenses.

about 6 months ago
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Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

CycleMan Re:NASA (550 comments)

Current LASIK is NASA-approved. And they make it sound like a selling point, as if by having laser eye surgery, I qualified to be an astronaut.

about 6 months ago

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