Sunday, August 28, 2016

Ooops! Happy Hour

Better a little late than never.

Sunday, Sunday

Lazy blogging day. Day of rest and all that.

Hopers

Preppers aren't worried about the coming apocalypse, they're hoping it comes. Future feudal lords, and all that.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Saturday Night

It's alright.

Totally Tubular

Overnight tube service is very welcome, though the Night bus lines are much better than they used to be and a lot more routes just run with decent service levels for 24 hours. Still a quicker ride home for many, especially late night workers (and a quicker ride to work for the early shift), will be welcome.

Be Excellent to Each Other

Occasional reminder.

Saturday Crass Commercialism

Because people always need and buy more external drives.

Lunch Thread

Grilled cheese and gazpacho here.

Don't Bad Things Happen to Everybody?

Not that I'm wishing it, but thinking about the lack of empathy (and certainly lack of sympathy) of many of our great and glorious political leaders... hasn't bad shit happened to them too? Yeah, sure, for years I've been seeing conservatives (#notjustconservatives) take up a pet cause which makes them seem human only to discover the cause is something which affects them personally somehow, but are so many lives so wrinkle free that only one bad thing gets through? Sure having money helps a lot, but money doesn't solve all problems.

Saturday Morning Thread

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Messicans Are Everywhere

I admit I find xenophobia to be really weird. Obviously it's generally racist - we love the Irish! at least we do now anyway - but just what is it about furriners that make so many people lose their shit. I do my best not to argue politics IRL because what's the point but I have had a couple of immigration discussions with people. Being against people who are here illegally is a nice safe position, because they're bad just because they did something illegal. Of course that isn't the real issue, and scratch the surface and you really do tend to get a strong distaste for "the other." Why? OK, I'll accept that maybe if you wake up one day and find yourself in a community of furriners instead of a community of people that you imagine are a part of more of a shared culture then people have an understandable negative reaction. Home and community are about what you know to a great degree. But the truth is the Messicans aren't everywhere. Most people aren't seeing their communities overrun by foreign hordes. So why care?

Afternoon Thread

Good thing primary season starts again soon.

Deadly

My nephew just got his license. I don't know everything about how he specifically was raised, but the general "don't leave my sight until you're 16 at which point here's your 2 ton death machine" phenomenon is very weird to me. A lot of people die because of cars. Unlike guns, cars have useful purposes other than killing people (yes, some people hunt, some people shoot targets, most gun owners don't), but there's still a weird acceptance of the amount of carnage.

Spot The Key Phrase

Since I'm already on my favorite subject on FRIDAY FRIDAY.

Ford sided with the pioneering engineers at Google last week in announcing plans to introduce limited-use vehicles without traditional controls within five years. Some other major automakers — and virtually all of them are well along in their work on self-driving vehicles — say they will introduce automated elements one step at a time, until drivers accept that they no longer need to control their cars.

Miss it? I'll put it in yellow for you.

Ford sided with the pioneering engineers at Google last week in announcing plans to introduce limited-use vehicles without traditional controls within five years. Some other major automakers — and virtually all of them are well along in their work on self-driving vehicles — say they will introduce automated elements one step at a time, until drivers accept that they no longer need to control their cars.

They are correct about this:
“There was a brief period when people would be a little nervous and monitor the car very carefully,” said Google engineer Nathaniel Fairfield, “and then they would start to relax and they would sort of trust the system, and really over-trust the system, and start to get distracted.”

It isn't "self-driving" if you have to monitor it all the time, and at 65 MPH there really isn't any time to switch activities if something goes wrong. At best they can be assured to be "self-driving" in specific geographic areas or types of driving (I'm even skeptical of this, but ok it's more possible). Sure you don't have to push the pedals and turn the steering wheel as much, but really the utility of this is barely worth the bother if you can't crawl in the back seat and take a nap. Either you have to pay attention or you don't. There really isn't a middle ground on that one.



New Jersey Dreaming

I suppose one day everyone might happily be traveling in their self-driving cars to get a dose of the American Dream, and then everyone can mock stupid Atrios for being so stupid, but this ongoing disaster is providing me with much entertainment. Not "ha ha" entertainment, but, well...

Triple Five will repay the bondholders in revenue from the completed mall. The state is allowing American Dream to forgo up to $350 million in money that would otherwise go toward paying sales tax to instead repay the bonds.

The mall will repay the other $800 million to bondholders through a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement with East Rutherford.

The same agreement will see American Dream pay East Rutherford more than $150 million over the first 20 years of the project, including $23 million up front.

Of course, there's that pesky infrastructure that someone needs to pay for...

The bonds are non-recourse, meaning New Jersey taxpayers won't be on the hook if American Dream fails, Robert Tudor, bond counsel for the sports authority, said. However, critics of the deal said the state would be responsible for additional traffic, emergency and infrastructure costs and no extra revenue to cover those costs.

Public infrastructure and services that need to be paid for? That's pre-Uber thinking, my friends.

Happy Fun Puppy Blog Time

Because it's Friday!!!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Late Night

Rock on.

Happy Hour Thread

enjoy

Roadkill

We all do stupid things sometimes - sometimes really stupid - but I've seen long justifications for why it was a God given right to text and otherwise mess with their phones while driving. Sure I read these things by anonymous internet dwellers who might just be trolling, but it's a bit scary nonetheless. So, you know, don't text and drive. The first time I drove with a smartphone I had to put the phone in a bag on the floor because I realized the temptation was there. I don't know what to do about GPS navigation. Sure one can use a phone for that safely, but it's pretty easy for that evolve into using it in an unsafe fashion pretty quickly. Put your damn phones down when you drive.

Afternoon Thread

enjoy

On The Left, We Have Bill Kristol

And on the Right, we have actual explicit white supremacists.

I used to joke that the range of acceptable opinion went from The New Republic to The Free Republic in our media. Might have to update that joke.

Uber'd

I'm not surprised that Uber is losing a lot of money. It costs an immense amount to expand as fast as they have.

What I don't know is how they expect to maintain market share. It isn't clear how they obtain/maintain a near monopoly, which is what they need to make money with what they're doing. Otherwise...

Uber is one of those things that piss me off from a liberal perspective. Yes some local taxi monopolies suck, and especially if you're a person of color they aren't always exactly a functional service. But unlike with some businesses, there's a pretty direct correspondence with how much you paid and how much the person you paid gets to pocket. People who "fight for $15" one day, then brag about their cheap Uber experience the next really confuse me. A cheap ride means you just paid your driver shit.