Jerry Brown Confiscates 48,000 Cell Phones
"There are times when discussing a situation on the radio to a supervisor is not acceptable because of the questions relating to which charges should be filled or what city ordinances may relate to a certain situation."
And those are NOT appropriate for the radio why? That is what a unit-to-unit call is for: rather than the whole talk group hearing it, only the supervisor and the cop here it. AND you get it on the nice multi-track recorder, admissible in court, in case any issues arise.
"I know for fact that every department going doesn't use APCO-25..."
And those departments are upgrading as DHS money becomes available. Moreover, I'm pretty sure California is on APCO-25, since they are buying the equipment to test it, and are testing their radios on that equipment.
"You loose[sic] credibility with me when you make remarks that the police abuse people."
And you "loose" credibility when you assert they don't. I'm not saying ALL cops abuse people, but SOME do - this is a demonstrated and adjudicated fact - and many times they use the cell rather than the radio precisely due to that nice multi-track recorder on the comm center.
The cop has to carry his radio - that's a given. There is no reason for him to have a state paid-for cell phone. Even if he needs to make a phone call pursuant to his duty - again, he can make a PSTN interconnect call on the radio (and again, have the advantage that it is recorded in a nice court admissible format).
Sorry if I touched a nerve, but: it is exactly that mentality - "We are the Thin Blue Line, we must protect our own, no matter what" that is causing people to NOT trust the cops. Rather than saying "Use the radio. Be recorded. If you are doing nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear. If you ARE doing something wrong, IA will find you and destroy you, and we will all help, because enforcing the LAW is our JOB." you have folks like you saying "It's OK if we hide things, because, well, BECAUSE, citizen."
Jerry Brown Confiscates 48,000 Cell Phones
Considering that I DESIGN the equipment the law enforcement types use to check out the system, I suspect I know quite a bit more about APCO-25, the uses of it within various law enforcement contexts, and the infrastructure than you do, sir. I doubt you could tell an LDU1/LDU2 from a TERMLC or a PDU, or even know what those acronyms are. I seriously doubt you have ever worked with any LEO comms officers, where I was working with the Phoenix/Mesa project on the first deployment of APCO-25 there a decade ago. I've worked with the FBI, the Secret Service, and several state level LEOs.
Again: there is NOTHING a LEO needs to discuss officially that cannot go over the radio, and be more secure than going over the PSTN, let alone any cellular networks.
Jerry Brown Confiscates 48,000 Cell Phones
"Come to think of it there are a lot of state LEOs that carry cellphones so they can discuss matters not suitable for regular 2-way radio...."
And that is bullshit. Most states are now on APCO-25, which supports encryption up to AES-256 (it also supports encryption beyond that, if you get the appropriate crypto modules from No Such Agency). The only reason anybody would use a non-secure cellphone vs a secure radio is that the secure radio is recorded at the dispatch center, making it somewhat difficult to discuss how best to "accidentally" allow the suspect to fall on his face, repeatedly.
Major Sites To Join ‘World IPv6 Day’
A site seems to be missing from the participants, but I just can't put my finger on it /.
Microsoft Server and Tools Head Muglia To Step Down
"Is Carly Fiorina still available?"
I thing Darl McBride should be freeing up soon....
First PlayStation 3 Custom Firmware Created
And YOU need to continue reading down on my post. Had you done so, you might have been able to deduce that I was criticizing the "/.ian" loose/lose confusion in the post, since the the bold font and the [sic] weren't enough of a clue for you.
And so, the English Language gets joined by Reading Comprehension in weeping....
First PlayStation 3 Custom Firmware Created
My SaveData is gone, same with trophies and data Utilities
idk it might be because i formated my drive let me test games out
seem to load just fine however!!!!!!!!!
YOU LOOSE [sic] TROPHIES(STILL TESTING, playgame but they don't appear again)
YOU LOOSE [sic] SAVE DATA MENU
YOU LOOSE [sic] DATA UTILIT Very crucial to have if you want to clear space on HDD
PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING UNDER GAME CATAGORY
And the English Language weeps....
Smart Grid Brings Powerline Broadband Back?
All this summary needs is "Posted from my iPhone"...
NJ Server Farms Remake the US Financial Markets
This kind of thing always makes me wonder why you see so many homeless people. They could just smash someone's head in with a rock and have a nice, clean, warm home with three squares a day and plenty of time to read or watch TV.
Methinks you play The Sims too much - or is the homeless person who's clunked me on the head not going to have to explain himself to my friends who find him in my home and me nowhere to be found?
Or are you implying that prison is better than homelessness? That the threat of larger, nastier people, who might seek to stick a shank (or worse) into you for fun, that the loss of freedom, is better than homelessness? Perhaps it is not a lack of being a sociopath but rather the simple calculation that even a sociopath can make - that freedom is better than imprisonment.
PS3 Root Key Found
"Laywers raining down from the sky"
<voice actor="Lloyd Bridges">Looks like I picked the wrong week to give up skeet shooting....</voice>
Kodachrome Takes Its Final Bow Today
The issue is developing the negatives. In chemical photography, you don't just expose a piece of film to light and poof! it's a negative. You have to expose the film to light briefly, then keep it in the dark. Then you have to run it through a series of chemical baths that take the molecules of the film that were altered by the light, and "fix" them so they won't be altered by light anymore, while removing the molecules that were NOT altered because no light hit them, to grossly simplify the process. (even Polaroid film does this, it is just that the chemicals are embedded in a capsule on the film, and that capsule is broken when the film is removed from the camera, causing it to bathe the film).
Certain films require different chemicals, in different sequences. The chemicals and sequences for Kodachrome film are different than for Velvia, or other films, and for Kodachrome, are much more complicated (more chemicals, more steps, with very tight control over the time the film is in the chemicals, the strength of the chemicals, the temperature, etc.) That is why, as color films with simpler processes became available, fewer and fewer shops wanted to keep all the gear to process Kodachrome around, until there was only the shop in Parson left.
So you might be able to scan a developed Kodachrome negative on a good film scanner, pull it into your computer, and do "stuff" with it, but you still have to get the film developed first.
Wikileaks and Democracy In Zimbabwe
"Why exactly [hasn't] some decent Western power has had [sic] that vile repugnant monster Mugabe filled so full of holes you could use him as a soup strainer is beyond me.
Because you cannot bring about Democracy by force. Either the people are ready for it or they are not, and the single best test of "are they ready" is that they overthrow the tyrant (bonus points for NOT filling him full of holes, but trying him in a civilized manner).
If "some decent Western power" fills the sovereign leader of a foreign country full of holes, they immediately invalidate the adjective "decent".
Moreover, since the people aren't ready for Democracy, the result will just be the rise of a new tyrant.
Apple's $1 Billion Data Center Mystery
"What in the world do the mormons have to do with it?"
Turn in your geek card, and report for remedial education.
Apple's $1 Billion Data Center Mystery
"Better sequencing every living being's ADN"
Do too much LDS in the sixties?
4chan Has Been DDOSed
Just like what happened when segfault.org went down - all the "Nude And Petrified" and "hot grits" crap started there, and when the parasites killed their host on segfault, they came to slashdot.
Pickens Wind-Power Plan Comes To a Whimpering End
Pickens's idea was as follows:
1) while 1% of our electricity is from oil, about 25% is from gas.
2) Replace that 25% with wind.
3) Take the gas freed up and use it to power vehicles.
Result: Reduction of foreign oil.
Now, the problems with that plan were:
1) Wind is variable, and therefor cannot be used to replace base load generation, which is where much of the gas is used.
2) Wind power needs land. The land that has good wind is NOT where people need power, so you need to build transmission lines to move the power where it is needed.
3) BANANAs (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything) will oppose both your wind farms and your transmission lines.
The only real way this sort of idea would have worked would have been if every wind turbine also had enough local storage (e.g. vanadium redox batteries) to store power so that you could make the turbine act like base load power. Normal power company policy is to take the baseplate power (e.g. 2 MW peak) and divide by 10 for wind. So, if each wind generator had roughly 5MW-Hour of storage, you could then average over 2 days, and make each turbine "act like" a 200kW base load generator. Of course, redox batteries aren't cheap, and the total cost of land+turbine+battery+transmission lines+shutting the BANANAs up is >> the current costs to make electricity with coal or gas.
Openwall Linux 3.0 — No SUIDs, Anti-Log-Spoofing
The exploit was years ago, but you never know when somebody generated a key under the broken system, and hasn't regenerated their key due to (missing the memo|laziness|stupidity) and is still using a weak key.
So, many distros block the bad keys to force people to clean up.
McDonald's Hacked and Customer Data Stolen
"Why would any sane person possibly give McDonald's any of their personal information in the first place?"
Fixed that for you.
It's a damn burger, not a car - it's not like I have to finance the damn thing! I hand you money, you hand me something that, under bad light, might pass for food.
The closest they might get is if I charge the burger, and even then, all they get is a confirmation code from my credit card.
Inside the Labs At HP, Microsoft and IBM
If the goal is to create a marketable product, it is DEVELOPMENT, not research.
Research is trying to find basic things that you can use to identify areas to roll into development.
Research SHOULD fail regularly ("fail" in this sense being "did not lead to areas to develop."). If it isn't failing regularly you aren't trying hard enough.
This is the key that too many businesses now-a-days miss.
Homeland Security Drops Color-Coded Terror Alerts
Level 0: "Friendly pat" - no terror threat. Only theoretical, as we will never see this level.
Level 1: "First Knuckle" - be afraid citizen, but only a little, as the DHS will protect you. Now, cough, please.
Level 2: "Middle Finger" - citizen, we are going to have to "set aside" your rights for a bit. I hope you aren't allergic to latex.
Level 3: "Two in the stink" - prole, you will comply, for the good of the country.
Level 4: "Fist" - your papers are not in order. You vill follow us to the back room.
Level 5: "total(itarian) domination" - What searches? There are no searches! You have committed thoughcrime and wordcrime. Big Brother Loves You, and wants you to be better, and will re-educate you.
Your feedback wanted on the Slashdot Discussion System
Well, perhaps there is hope for Slashdot. Or perhaps it is just my blood sugar being low, as dinner is still cooking.
I received the following email:
Subject: Your feedback wanted on the Slashdot Discussion System
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 2010 17:13:46 -0400 (11/01/2010 04:13:46 PM)
Greetings Slashdot Discussion User,
We'd like your feedback on the Slashdot Discussion system.
Recently we performed a test moving many users who had chosen the
Classic Discussion System over to our newer Discussion2 system.
During the process we took note of which users switched their pref
back to the Classic Discussion System, and noticed you were among
You've shown your preference for the Classic Discussion System, but we
want to know *why* you prefer it, and *what* you prefer about it.
We'd like you to let us know:
* What you don't like, doesn't work, is confusing, or missing from
* What can we improve on Discussion2 to make it more usable for you?
* What are your main reasons for preferring the Classic Discussion System?
* What features of Classic Discussion make it easier for you to
read, moderate, and participate in discussions?
You can give us your feedback by replying to this email, or sending a
message to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for all your contributions on Slashdot. We look forward to
your feedback, and using it to make Slashdot better for you, and all
your fellow commenters, readers, and moderators.
-- The Slashdot Team
To which I replied:
On Mon, 2010-11-01 at 17:13 -0400, email@example.com wrote:
* What you don't like
, doesn't work
, is confusing, or missing from
* What are your main reasons for preferring the Classic Discussion System?
* What features of Classic Discussion make it easier for you to
> Ha! As if I CAN ever moderate! I had not seen mod points in two years when I finally decided to not waste my time on metamoderation or moderation.
> and participate in discussions
Answering questions the smart way
Either airlines are stupid, or they are crafty...
It's about an airline seat called the "SkyRider", which is designed to cram a passenger into only 23 inches, being demonstrated at an airline industry conference.
There's this wonderful quote in the article:
The airline industry had nearly recovered from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks when the recession hit in 2007, dramatically cutting demand, particularly among business travelers who began flying less, booking economy-class seats and staying in cheaper hotels.
Hmm. The recession could be the cause, or perhaps the cause is that most people don't find flying enjoyable, and that in many cases flying isn't any faster than driving? I was talking with a co-worker from another facility, who was in Wichita for a meeting. He had to fly back to Columbus, OH, and it would take him 10 hours to do so. Look at this map.
Google is pretty conservative about its time estimates, and THEY have it being 14 hours to drive. Now, you might argue that, given 14 hours driving vs. 4 hours flying and a 6 hour layover, flying would be preferable. But consider how much bull you have to put up with flying. Consider that driving, you can stop in KC for BBQ, stop in St. Louis at the Arch, and that you WON'T have your trip canceled mid-way because of weather.
Now the suppliers for the airlines are suggesting I make the whole trip damn near standing, crammed in like a sardine. And they wonder why people don't want to fly.
1) the suppliers are stupid, the airlines are not stupid, and this will go nowhere.
2) The suppliers are stupid, the airlines are stupid, they will adopt this, and then wonder why their brand-new "densified" planes are empty.
3) The airlines are smart, and are getting this sort of thing shown so they can say "See, we *care* about you, and we didn't adopt this, because we know you have a choice, and we want you to want to fly with us."
I just don't know which is true.
Oh, BURN: "Slashdot Struggles to Remain Relevant in The Social Web"
From the New York Times: Slashdot Struggles to Remain Relevant in The Social Web
Oh, feel the BURN!
One wonders when this will hit the front page, if at all.
Of course, I don't give a rat's pink rectal tissue about "social media" (see previous JE) - but the rising irrelevance of Slashdot (again, previous JE and discussion) *is* a fact. /. could fix this, were they to fix moderation, start actually editing the stories, and get back to the older story mix the original /crew had.
And if I had wings and a rocket up my ass I could fly.
What is it with everybody offering insurance?
What is it with every entity with which I have any form of business relationship with wanting to offer me <voice type="Annoying TV announcer"> A really great deal on [home|car|life] insurance - save HUNDREDS OF $$$$!!!!! </voice>
NRA, AAA, IEEE, ARRL, all 3 of my credit cards, my credit union - heck, I think even my cell provider has offered me insurance at one point!
I do wish these businesses would realize I want ONE THING from them - whatever line of business they are in - and THAT'S IT. I don't want them "sharing" my data with a "business partner"! If I want to evaluate other insurance options I will do so - until then SHADDUP!
And of course, there is the tangentially related "Oh, you need OUR credit card!" - NO I DON'T. I have three cards already, thank you - and each of them has a limit higher than many people earn in a year (not that I carry a balance or approach those limits, of course).
Then there is the wonderfulness the cards I do have, and every month sending me an envelope labeled "IMPORTANT ACCOUNT DOCUMENTS" (read: STEAL THIS!) that are nothing but a bunch of "checks" - "Go ahead, CONSUME! BUY STUFF! USE THESE! ignore the cash advance fee". Guys, I have a perfectly good checkbook with checks in it - in fact, since I pay almost everything electronically, I have PLENTY of checks with which to buy things; checks that DON'T cost me interest the instant I sign them.
I am getting so tired of every damn business trying to screw that last extra dollar out of me, that one additional "revenue stream". I am doing business with you, how about you focus on that, hmm?
(and the final rant: it's getting to the point where about the only time I feel like posting on /. is here, due to the mod-bombing, bullshit, and stupidity on the main pages.)
Gidions, LDS - so what science books are in hotels?
Over the years, I've done a lot of traveling, and stayed in many hotels, from hole-in-the-wall to posh^2. Most hotel rooms will have a copy of the Bible, put there by the Gideons. Many will also have a book of Mormon, put there by the Church of Latter Day Saints. But I have *never* seen any sort of book of science and reason.
Now, I would fight to the death to support the right of the Gideons and the Mormons to put these books in the rooms - they are spending their own time and money, they are not obligating the hotel to do anything, it's free speech and it's a good thing.
But I wonder about a couple of things:
1) Why is there no organization putting a book of science out there? With all the modern-day aggressive-in-your-face atheists out there, you'd think they'd be organizing something like this.
2) Assuming such an organization occurred, what book would they put out there?
DailyKos defending the 2nd Amendment!!?! When did I enter BizzaroWorld?
In this posting on DailyKos they make the very blunt point that Liberals SHOULD be supportive of the Second Amendment. Of course, back home in my world, that is about as likely as tom cats volunteering for neutering.
I will say this: while I usually disagree with much of what DailyKos publishes, I have respected, and do respect the fact that they are quite open about their biases and beliefs - I'd far rather deal with somebody I *know* has a bias than somebody who tries to bullshit me about being "fair". And their recent handling of the polling scandal was refreshing - too many entities (on BOTH the radical right and the radical left!) would have whipped out the old Dustbuster and started sweeping that under the rug at the first opportunity.
So, on this day off, in celebration and remembrance of our hard-won freedoms in this country, I salute you, DailyKos - while I may disagree with much of what you say, I shall fight to the death if needed to protect your right to say it - and I am glad you (or at least some of you) feel the same!.
2nd Amendement: it means what it says, and it applies to the states too
In all the typical /. foo-foo-rah over Bilski, they have completely ignored the fact that the Supreme Court also ruled in the McDonald vs. Chicago issue, and have ruled that, curiously enough, the Second Amendment also applies to the states and the local governments, and that amazingly enough, "The Rights Of the People to Keep and Bear Arms Shall Not Be Infringed" - not by the Feds, not by the States, not by the local governments.
Expect many liberals to explode.
Expect many Fourth Of July celebrations!
Givafuconium - a rare material, which is used by the human brain to scavenge and remove bullshit from external sources. As givafuconium is depleted, the subject becomes increasingly agitated and irritable. There are only a few methods to restore normal levels, such as vacation time, however, with proper management (removal of sources of depletion) a normal human can survive for months without external replenishment.
Givafuconium also decays naturally, and over time an individual's ability to store it is reduced - explaining the YKGOML ("You Kids! Get Off My Lawn!") syndrome.
Unfortunately, of late I have a few cow-orkers who have been seriously depleting my stores of givafuconium, and with the upcoming elections here in the US, I fear my supply may be too low.
The idiocy begins.
I really wish somebody would drive into Rob's head the idea that "An April Fool's Joke SHALL be FUNNY."
The way /. keeps screwing themselves up every 1 April, you would think that Rob's idea of a good real-world prank would be to slash you tires and fill your car with expanding urethane foam. The fact that it makes your car unusable is irrelevant - it's funny innit?
Oh well, time to start my yearly "Ignore /. for a day"....
UML and Enterprise Architect job in Wichita
If anybody cares and has the skills, my employer is looking for people with Unified Modeling Language (UML) experience (experience with Enterprise Architect a plus) for our Wichita, KS division. This is a long-term job - FYI, I've been here for coming up on 20 years this April.
On the off chance that anybody reading my JEs is interested or knows anybody interested, let me know.
Submission: Exporting a display to an MPEG stream? on 0
Per my usual, since I have had a temporary lapse of judgement and attempted to submit a story to /., I will post it here, as I doubt it would otherwise see the light of day:
wowbagger writes "Has anybody ever heard of a VNC-like tool that, instead of exporting to Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol or VNC, exports the display to a UPnP hosted MPEG stream?
With the rising number of set top boxes/TV sets/media players that can play MPEG content from a UPnP server, a program that could scrape a display, convert it to an MPEG stream, and send it via UPnP to those devices could allow many existing devices to act as a remote display. Yes, exporting via MPEG wouldn't be as "good" as via a protocol designed for such a purpose, but unless and until you see all these devices coming with a VNC or RDP client, that option is not open.
Even better would be a program that acted like vncserver in that it would create a virtual display that persisted even when no client was connected, so that an otherwise headless server could be viewed via a set top box."
Spys have forgotten what business they are in....
I have a saying, paraphrasing The Man With No Name: "when a business forgets what business it is in, that business is a dead business."
For example, Polaroid made their money on instant photography - that was their business. They forgot that, and got the idea they were in the self-developing film business, and so chose to ignore the digital photography business, because it wasn't self-developing film. Kodak moved in, and look where Polariod is now.
Likewise, the various intelligence gathering agencies - the NSA, the CIA, the FBI - were in the business of "Protecting America". However, they have lost sight of that, and now believe they are in the "intelligence gathering" business. And just like a miser who just amasses wealth for wealth's sake, and lives in a hovel and eats beanie-weenies, they have lost sight of the idea that the reason we gather information is so we can use it!
Instead, the spooks are so busy "gathering information" that they never share it, nor act on it - "My God man, if we act on this information, we might compromise our assets! We might not be able to gather any more information! No, we will just protect our assets, kept this information secret, and see what happens."
Yes, if the spooks have some double-aught sooper sekret spy stuff that lets them read the bad guys' brains, and they read that a guy is planning on flinging some poo at an embassy, and revealing the intel will compromise the secrecy of their brain scanner, they SHOULD site on the information - flinging poo is not worth losing that intel asset. But there is a world of difference between flinging poo and flinging PETN guys! - screw the secrecy of your "asset" and DO YOUR DAMN JOB!
In short, intelligence agencies: YOUR BUSINESS IS NOT GATHERING INFORMATION - YOUR BUSINESS IS PROTECTING THE US! IF YOU FORGET THAT YOU WILL GO THE WAY OF ANYBODY WHO FORGETS WHAT BUSINESS THEY ARE IN!
And I, for one, DON'T want to see what happens if you should go out of business!
What is the deal with Grapefruit juice?
It's a good thing I'm not on any of the several medications that react badly with Grapefruit juice, as it is one of my favorite drinks. However, something I cannot explain has happened: I can't get the stuff here in Wichita!
None of the stores at which I shop are carrying it anymore. I have some left over from my trip to California over the 4th, but that obviously won't last.
Since a statistical sampling of 1 isn't very valid, I'll throw this question out: what about anybody else, can you get it where you are?
Zogger, since you are a bit more plugged in to things agricultural than I, do you have any insights?
Also, the local stores no longer carry the "lots of pulp" versions of the Florida's Natural Orange Juice either.
Maybe the stuff isn't selling (while I buy a lot, obviously I don't buy enough to justify a store carrying it all by my little lonesome).
Wolfram alpha - What is the big deal?
OK, I think I've been fair in trying out Alpha, but I just don't see it being useful - let me give you my use cases and see what you think:
Use case 1: I wanted to know the change in elevation from Moriarty, NM to Albuquerque, NM. OK, this should be easy for WA, right? "(elevation Moriarty, NM) - (elevation Albuquerque, NM)". Result? "I don't understand your question".
Use case 2: I wanted to know the energy of a red light photon in electron volts. "energy red light photon in eV". FAIL. OK, let's help it a bit: "energy 638nm photon in eV". FAIL.
The sad thing is that Use case 2 was answered by Google on the first question.
So, what was WA supposed to do for us again?
NOTE: "for us", not for "it's hype feeding creator."
Good source for gears?
I'm looking for a good source for some gears.
Background: I have several antennas on my tower, for various purposes (wideband receive, VHF omnidirectional, VHF directional, HF, etc.). I'd like to be able to switch those onto my radio as desired. Now, there are remote controlled antenna switching boxes out there, but:
1) Most of them are for HF only - not VHF. This is because
2) Most of them use relays to do the switching, and co-axial relays to switch VHF and UHF get VERY pricy.
3) Notwithstanding the use of cheaper HF only relays, most of those switch boxes are DAMN pricey.
Now, compare that with the cost of a simple antenna switch like an MFJ-1702. Simple, relatively inexpensive, good through UHF, good isolation, and not very expensive. However, it is a manual unit, so I'd either a) have to run down to the basement where all the feedlines enter the house and switch it there or b) run all the feedlines into my operating station.
What I want to do is set up a simple gear drive on an MFJ to select the antenna - I'm thinking something like a 3 inch diameter gear on the box, a 120 RPM or so gearbox and motor combination driving the gear, a couple of optical interruptors looking through holes in the gears to provide position sensing, and I should be able to make a switchbox that would do the job. Heck, done right I don't even think it would need much more than a couple of relays and transistors to control it - no microprocessor needed.
But I am having a time finding gears that would do - again, what I'd like would be a gear, preferably metal, about 3 inches in diameter. Anybody got any good sources?
OK, Mr. Fox, you are applying for "Hen House Guard"?
"OK, Mr. Fox, you are applying for the 'Hen House Guard' position, is that correct?"
AP Sources: Obama wants Fed to be finance supercop
No $H!7, Sherlock!
I am sure this would enrage the various neo-liberals on this board, save it is unlikely any of them are my fans.
The most "liberal" states are the least free.
Well, it looks like I will be able to get to Dayton Hamvention this year - at least for Friday and Saturday.
So, anybody who follows my Journal want to try to arrange a meet-up there?
I agree with Joe Biden
VP Biden has stated he wants to see Amtrak get money as a part of the stimulus bill.
I agree with him on this - of the various things that are part of this "stimulus" bill, improving our passenger rail system seems to have a better than average probability of improving our nation's ability to be able to pay off the debt the stimulus bill represents - which I assert should be THE sole metric of whether something gets "stimulus" money or not: "Will spending this NOW help us pay it back LATER?"
However, I am cynical enough to wonder how much of the Amtrak stimulus will go for improvements in the areas nearer Washington, DC and Los Angeles, how much will go for improving the long distance rail service through "fly-over" country, and how much will go to helping create passenger rail service here in the unfashionably "red" states - such as helping re-instate the "Heartland Flyer".
I would love to see the AutoTrain service expanded to a cross-country run like the Southwest Chief, rather than just servicing the East Coast as it does now.
However, I am too addicted to oxygen to hold my breath until it happens.