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Japan To Offer $20,000 Subsidy For Fuel-Cell Cars

PrimaryConsult Re:Why isn't the U.S. doing things like this? (156 comments)

But they're not doing it for all cars, just *specific* cars. When there's a $1 off coupon on Coke products available, does Pepsi suddenly cost $1 more? No, but Pepsi now has to try harder to match.

Similarly, all this does is knock $20k off the price of the fuel efficient car, making the $20k Gas Guzzlers and $45k alternate fuel cars closer in price.

about two weeks ago
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World Health Organization Calls For Decriminalization of Drug Use

PrimaryConsult Re:Finally! (474 comments)

I had a silly idea regarding this while visiting California last year. If you've ever walked the streets of either SF or LA at night, you will undoubtedly have found an experience with the homeless similar to that of a zombie movie, except instead of chanting "brains" they're chanting "change". So, once the war on drugs has been ended, some prisons could be converted to compulsory overnight housing: if you do not have a permanent address, and are found unconscious in a public location (either due to sleep or whatever), you get a free bus ride to a former prison for a good night's sleep. The same buses could take you back to the city you were picked up in the morning if you so desire, or you can stick around for 3 hots and a cot (maybe some job counseling and medical care), grab a later bus, whatever. The only prison industry jobs lost would be guard-related. All the administrative, catering, medical, and transport jobs would be retained. Some homeless people have a slightly better life (many of them are too proud/stupid/mentally ill to ask for help but if forced, they'd accept it), and American cities would have an overall better quality of life for all involved.

about two weeks ago
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The Improbable Story of the 184 MPH Jet Train

PrimaryConsult Re:The death of trains (195 comments)

They didn't call JR East, but they did call JR Central, and that is why as unlikely as it seems I have a good feeling about Texas. Professionals are in charge, not politicians.

about two weeks ago
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The Improbable Story of the 184 MPH Jet Train

PrimaryConsult Re:Railroads killed by the government... (195 comments)

By your logic, a fast food restaurant "loses money" by providing beverage cups. Yet for some reason, restaurants that make customers bring their own cups are practically unheard of.

For that second sentence,
s/restaurant/long distance railroad
s/cups/food
.

about two weeks ago
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The Improbable Story of the 184 MPH Jet Train

PrimaryConsult Re:A Century Ago (195 comments)

They are also harder to figure out. It's pretty easy to figure out a streetcar / light rail line: the station is the big thing with the platform, it travels along the tracks.

With a bus you need to know where the stops are; with a train line, you can just walk until you find the tracks, then walk on the road nearby until you find the station.

If you see a station near your point of origin and a station at your destination, you already know a lot of useful information about the transit system without needing to look anything up.

You see trains every so often so you subconsciously absorb whether they run weekends, how late, etc.

With buses there are more variables to consider (is that bus I saw out of service, does it normally run on this route, etc).

In addition to usage based service changes, a bus route can be diverted to random alternate streets for events. The train route can't, so they divert the special events away from the tracks.

about two weeks ago
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The First Person Ever To Die In a Tesla Is a Guy Who Stole One

PrimaryConsult Re:Why is this news? (443 comments)

Adding to this: some towns will have laws that allow bicycle riding on sidewalks provided they travel no faster than jogging speed. So you can "become a pedestrian" without even getting off the bike. At some of the more problematic "smart" lights, cyclists simply slow down and use the crosswalk, then back into the road.

That said, ones that run red lights while in the road annoy me. It usually means I have to pass the same cyclist *twice*, since they will have passed me at the red light.

about three weeks ago
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Mayors of Atlanta & New Orleans: Uber Will Knock-Out Taxi Industry

PrimaryConsult Re:Good? (273 comments)

If Uber drivers are private cars, then only a small proportion of them will be able to carry wheelchairs. If they follow the free market, they will charge more. So instead of getting a $20 cab ride to the doctor or a theater, a wheelchair rider may have to pay $50 or $100.

The solution to this is for a company to start up that only caters to disabled passengers, charges the same rates as the other companies, and gets a subsidy from the city. The point is largely moot anyway: many cities already have something like this (though you usually have to call a day in advance), in the form of paratransit services which offer door to door for slightly more than a standard bus fare.

about a month ago
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Google, Detroit Split On Autonomous Cars

PrimaryConsult Re:Ego (236 comments)

The same goal can be accomplished with better public transportation. If every city > 500k population had a well designed rail system, many more people would be able to use their phones while commuting. I wonder if Google went into that field, would they have less opposition? A "google subway" would also make a great network of tunnels for running fiber...

about a month ago
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Workaholism In America Is Hurting the Economy

PrimaryConsult Re:Corporate Brianwashed Fools (710 comments)

Sometimes unpaid overtime is an unspoken job requirement for a promotion (which could be done in a manner that benefits everyone). For example, if there's a busy season and a group of employees regularly get overtime of varying lengths, it can be hell on the books. Rather than deal with the fact that these employees could make anywhere from 2-4k extra during that busy time, giving them a promotion to "management" and an annual raise of 5k both gets them more money and distributes that extra payment evenly over the course of the year.

about a month ago
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Linux Mint 17 KDE Released

PrimaryConsult Re:What? (61 comments)

I haven't RTFA, but the 'greeter' is basically the login screen. I am guessing that certain non-default greeters caused issues with setting background pictures. As someone who usually logs in to tty1 and simply runs startx to get a GUI, I haven't much experience with or use for greeters...

about a month ago
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Why China Is Worried About Japan's Plutonium Stocks

PrimaryConsult Re:Serously? (398 comments)

While I was in Japan last year, there was a railway service disruption to remove a recently discovered undetonated American bomb in a Tokyo suburb. I am assuming it is not an uncommon occurrence as the only news I'd heard of it was on the railway departure board.

about a month and a half ago
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Kingston and PNY Caught Bait-and-Switching Cheaper Components After Good Reviews

PrimaryConsult Re:And another on the ban pile (289 comments)

If you had limited the boycott to Sony CDs it may have been more effective. What it comes down to is the average person will evaluate each product on its own merits, rather than someone else's idealism. And this is a good thing, because pretty much every company everywhere has done *something* to piss off some group of people.

about a month and a half ago
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Google: Indie Musicians Must Join Streaming Service Or Be Removed

PrimaryConsult Re:Risking irrelevance (364 comments)

What does IBM do? AIX, Mainframes, PowerPC architecture, and z. They are shedding all the divisions where they actually have to compete, and are focusing only on things that people are either already locked in to, or that they are the only vendor of. The stock is going up because when the dust has settled, they still have a huge number of high profile customers who are paying through the nose for their products, but are not wasting resources on things with thin margins.

about a month and a half ago
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Google Fiber Is Officially Making Its Way To Portland

PrimaryConsult Re:WHICH PORTLAND (153 comments)

( The founders of our fair city had a coin toss to determine who named the town, and the winner was from Maine. If he had lost, I'd be typing this from Boston, Oregon.)

Not only that, but as the city would have been the lesser known of the two, the editors would have specified Oregon in the title, and this entire line of conversation would have never happened (nor would I have learned about the coin toss... thanks!).

about a month and a half ago
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Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Released

PrimaryConsult Re:Some nice looking features/updates (231 comments)

In that case it should be even easier with separate files: copy the ifcfg-eth0:1 for whatever service you want (if necessary restoring from a backup if the original server is dead) and just ifup it... I fail to see any situation (other than initial learning curve) where one file would be significantly easier than multiple, but can see many where multiple files are significantly easier than one.

about 2 months ago
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Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Released

PrimaryConsult Re:Have they fixed AD auth (LDAP) yet? (231 comments)

Just use straight Winbind with an RID backend to consistently generate UID/GID from SIDs. You can even automate the join to the domain in the kickstart. SSSD just caused more problems than it solved....

about 2 months ago
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Microsoft Fixing Windows 8 Flaws, But Leaving Them In Windows 7

PrimaryConsult Re:Dear Microsoft.... (218 comments)

Precisely. The Oracle splash screen was the most important "feature" when trying to pitch an MS Office replacement to the type of people who only buy brand name groceries.

about 2 months ago
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Microsoft Fixing Windows 8 Flaws, But Leaving Them In Windows 7

PrimaryConsult Re:Dear Microsoft.... (218 comments)

I've successfully gotten die-hard MS Office users to use OpenOffice precisely because it had menus rather than the stupid ribbon. The Oracle branding helped, and I think the Apache one probably would be just as effective.

about 2 months ago
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AT&T To Use Phone Geolocation To Prevent Credit Card Fraud

PrimaryConsult Re:Or call your credit card company ... (228 comments)

I'm surprised no one is mentioning the elephant in the room on this: Retailers in foreign countries can't (or won't) handle our low-tech credit cards anyway, so it doesn't really matter - when travelling abroad I'm using cash anyway, and not really by choice.

about 2 months ago

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