Is India’s economic decline one of the most under-reported stories of the year? When people talk about India taking all of our jobs, I get the sense they don’t understand how far behind India really is. And they’re apparently not making progress. There are alarm bells in China, too.

Unix turns 40.

Who could fail to appreciate a boneless robot that walks on soft legs?

The health risks of being left handed.

A symbiotic relationship between crocodiles and a nuclear power plant.

Some college students are saying that they will accept lower pay for higher social media freedom. Some college students apparently labor under the impression that they will get to be choosy. If they do, though, I actually understand where they are coming from on this.

This article borders are parody. When the male economy is decimated, we’re supposed to be upset that their jobs come back first? That’s exactly what we need to happen. Here is more level commentary on the same thing.

A libertarian case for government-owned networks. Given that our choices seem to be government-sponsored monopoly and government-run systems, there really is no market solution here.

There are 1.25 billion Windows PCs worldwide. Five-hundred million Windows 7 licenses last year. Can we stop talking about the “death of the PC” now?

A good rundown on electromagnetic interference and aircraft systems.

Regardless of the merits, going after single-family homes is a tough sell. As skeptical as I am of new urbanism, getting rid of urban interstates can often be a good idea. The triumphalism (“let’s get rid of more than just urban freeways!”) may cause more problems than it solves, though.


Category: Newsroom

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14 Responses to Linkluster: Spieces of Nightjars

  1. A4 says:

    I didn’t know we had crocodiles in the U.S.

    A few years back, I was sat at a wedding table with a woman who worked at a nuclear power facility in France. I asked about the cooling water because of other plants where I knew thermal pollution was an issue. She told me the warm cooling water was not returned directly to natural waterways, but diverted to put the residual heat to use. They use it to grow alligators in southern France.

    For handbags.

    A4

  2. Samson J. says:

    If they do, though, I actually understand where they are coming from on this.

    Really? I suppose I understand, too, in the sense that I remember what it was like to be a know-it-all college student. I also understand the employer’s perspective: that wasting time on “social media” is virtually 100% certainly a great drain on company productivity.

    From the article: “I couldn’t imagine not being able to check Twitter when I’m at work on my work computer.” I think this speaks for itself.

    going after single-family homes is a tough sell.

    No kidding. Always gratified to see comments like this that express exactly what I’m thinking.

    getting rid of urban interstates can often be a good idea.

    Really? I grew up near a weird city that is kind of hard to navigate partly because it doesn’t have a user-friendly freeway system. When I first experienced other cities that did have good freeways, I thought it was great.

    A good rundown on electromagnetic interference and aircraft systems.

    Interesting that the worry is real. The teenager in front of me on the plane back after Christmas wouldn’t turn off his iPad until the flight attendant straight-up told him to.

  3. Samson J. says:

    They use it to grow alligators in southern France.

    For handbags.

    Awesome.

  4. trumwill says:

    I didn’t know we had crocodiles in the U.S.

    When I was young, I thought almost all of what we called alligators were actually crocodiles. I didn’t know that we actually had both.

  5. trumwill says:

    Really? I suppose I understand, too, in the sense that I remember what it was like to be a know-it-all college student. I also understand the employer’s perspective: that wasting time on “social media” is virtually 100% certainly a great drain on company productivity.

    Yes and know. Being able to get and be caught up on email, for instance, would allow me to work longer hours and without the distraction of wondering if I had any email waiting for me when I got home. When an employer would crack down on such things, I’d become a 9-to-5er. So in that sense it really helped me.

    And in the IT world, you actually do have to worry about people with options choosing not to work for you. In this way, and in others, I want to be treated like an adult by my employer. That is not conducive with heavy internet filters or even a lack of computer admin rights.

    All of that being said, I would actually ask them to block Twitter, to remove the temptation. That’s a huge timesuck. I can check email and Facebook and even blogs without getting similarly distracted.

  6. trumwill says:

    Really? I grew up near a weird city that is kind of hard to navigate partly because it doesn’t have a user-friendly freeway system. When I first experienced other cities that did have good freeways, I thought it was great.

    If you get rid of interstates, you need to do a good job with interior roads. The problem is that the people who want to do away with interstates are wanting to get people out of their cars altogether. They’re likely to oppose SLC’s interior road system, for example.

    (Incidentally, that was a great comment you linked to.)

    Interesting that the worry is real. The teenager in front of me on the plane back after Christmas wouldn’t turn off his iPad until the flight attendant straight-up told him to.

    That’s not exactly the conclusion it comes to, to the extent that it comes to a conclusion. The electromagnetic thing could be a problem for navigation, but is extremely unlikely to because of the electromagnetic boundary.

  7. A4 says:

    I’ve always wondered if it was a problem that people who end up doing planning in general, and urban planning in particular, love cities. We moved to DC, and figured we would try living in the city, which was new to us. So unhappy!

    Started using public transportation to work, along with bicycle. The biking was often fantastic (45 minutes), but we are talking 1 hour and 15 minutes each way for a seven mile commute on public transit. Reverse commute, so when I started driving, it was 12 – 20 minutes in the morning, or 1 hour on random days.

    Some of my neighbors were great, but some horrible. If you figure you dislike, say 2 out of 100 people you meet, well, 2 of them live on your block. Sometimes right next door. Which shares a wall. Imagine having no control over your aural environment, unless you were in your car. Retail – hardly any although I understand it is getting better. I’ll ignore the crime, which people seemed to think of as just a normal part of the urban fabric. Didn’t affect me so much, but I care for my neighbors.

    Is this what planners want for all of us? My view may be skewed by the particularly acute destruction that urban planners were responsible for in DC.

    I think I now live in an planner’s dream: a walkable area, with a grocery store maybe a little over a half mile away. Library 50 yards away. Three bars and four restaurants within a five minute walk. Great hardware store. Work from home in a multi-family dwelling (but I own it). What makes it liveable is that I am in a rural area, not urban. It is also two degrees outside right now.

    A4, who is bothered by the rejection of creativity by the spam protection field.

  8. trumwill says:

    Lots to unpack there, A4. I was in downtown Colosse the other day and was taken aback by how… awesome… it was. Conceptually. In between two skyscrapers, sitting on the outside patio of a coffee shop. The train rolling by every few minutes. I can absolutely understand why it would so completely appeal to a planner. Even I thought it was just awesome.

    But I wouldn’t ever want to live there. And after the fifth panhandler hit me up for money, I was ready to leave.

  9. David Alexander says:

    And after the fifth panhandler hit me up for money, I was ready to leave.

    In contrast, in New York, we’re used to the panhandlers on the subway, and most tend to just lay about with a cup for their change*. Mind you, it’s nothing weird to me, so I’m a bit shocked as to why it would bother you so much. If they didn’t have downtown areas with high pedestrian traffic for panhandling, they’d have to go somewhere. It’s not like having suburbs will make them disappear. Hell, they beg for money on freeway/expressway ramps in some places too.

    Of course, you can have urban areas without panhandling. Go ask the Europeans. 🙂

    *Unless you guys have the aggressive type that I’ve seen in the Bay Area. Or the scary type that lives in DC. For the other places that I’ve visited, the homeless tend to be quiet and non-threatening and want to be left alone.

  10. Brandon Berg says:

    With smart phones, Internet filtering seems kind of futile.

  11. trumwill says:

    David, I’m more patient about panhandlers when they’re sitting there with a jar. It’s just that I don’t like being approached. They’re not threatening. Quite the opposite. They try to strike up a conversation with you and rather than it taking ten seconds to say “No” it comes at the tail end of a 3-10 minute conversation.

  12. trumwill says:

    Brandon, that is true, though I suppose one could argue that it obviates the need to get online on your work computer since you can check facebook or your email on your phone.

  13. A4 says:

    Yes, that was a little unfocused.

    Don’t get me wrong – I love architecture, especially in cities that have a range of historical styles. More chances to encounter music – also great. But there was so much I wouldn’t do, just because of the crush of people – everywhere. I will note that I like many other cities more than DC, but I didn’t live in those.

    The problem I had with panhandlers in DC was different. I didn’t find them particularly aggressive, unlike David. What I didn’t like is how almost any casual street conversation would end up with a request for money. DC may be worse than other cities this way, but people either do not acknowledge strangers, or they ask for money at some point. Vicious circle, that.

    A4

  14. trumwill says:

    What I didn’t like is how almost any casual street conversation would end up with a request for money.

    Yes! This! And it has a pernicious effect. It makes me less social. Less inclined to talk to people. Stick me in Callie or the suburbs and I feel like I can easily have a conversation with a stranger without coming out of it feeling like I was a customer.

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