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  • jimmy 11:38 pm on February 21, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: snow, ,   

    Well, pre-spring was fun while it lasted.

  • jimmy 12:55 am on February 18, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , qe2, the fed,   

    Everybody concerned about huge infrastructure costs (like tens of billions for high-speed rail) need to remember that we’re talking about a span of one or two decades for these projects. That comes out to “only” a few billion dollars a year (using Amtrak’s Northeast HSR ideas as an example: $117 billion over 30 years = $3.9 billion/year). Remember, the government dropped $300 billion basically overnight to bail out the banks, spent $50 billion on General Motors and are still in the process of propping up the stock market via $600 billion from the Federal Reserve. (Thanks in large part to the latter the two former bailouts have recouped much of their original costs. But still.)

    I’m not a huge fan of many of these bailouts, but I think it’s worth pointing out that while Amtrak is requesting $117 billion over a 30 year period, the Federal Reserve is spending almost that amount EVERY SIX WEEKS right now to try and create jobs. Meanwhile, the folks doing HSR in California say they’ll create almost as many jobs (half a million vs Ben’s 600,000) for less than a tenth the cost. You do the math.

    Actually, I’ll do the math. Bernanke’s “QE2″ (quantitative easing, round two) is costing the federal government $600 billion and has created 600,000 jobs over the course of ~6 months. The California High-Speed Rail project (the only project in America that’s actually happening…Amtrak’s Northeast idea is just that…an idea so far) is estimated to cost from $42 billion to $60 billion (depending on who you talk to and their opinions of the project), with the funding coming from the state budget, federal budget and private sources. A flyer on the project’s website (PDF link) states that it will create 600,000 construction jobs and 450,000 permanent jobs over 25 years. To even out the comparisons a bit I’ll simply look at those construction jobs and assume that they all happen without 5 years (I know it’s kinda random, but construction is supposed to start next year and end in 9 years, so it’s a fair assumption I think). QE2 is spending roughly $2 million/per year/per job created. CA HSR is projected to spend $20,000 per year/per job created. The time frame is slightly longer, but who knows how quickly HSR (or any infrastructure, for that matter) projects could start digging if we diverted even a tenth of the Fed’s money to some of these “shovel ready” infrastructure projects.

    Believe it or not, I’m open to debate about how HSR projects could be better fiscally managed, but I just thought I’d throw those comparisons out there for some context.

  • jimmy 8:21 pm on January 31, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: blizzard, hpc, ,   

    Select quotes from this morning’s HPC Short Range Forecast Discussion: “rapidly deepening upper-level trough,” “incredibly strong surface front,” “ice and snow will be a major concern,” “dangerous amounts of sleet and freezing rain,” “thunderstorms will plague … Gulf Coast.”

    I haven’t heard anyone saying the word “historic” the last couple of days, but I think that’s because they’re all too busy trying to pin down the exact sleet/snow/freezing rain boundaries and pouring over wind forecasts trying to decide if Blizzard Warnings are warranted.

    Fun times.

  • jimmy 10:56 pm on January 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: egypt   

    I know I have a bit of anarchist in me (very small bit, nothing to concern the citizenry), but I have to disagree with [Egyptian president] Mubarak: there’s no “fine line” between freedom and chaos. There’s a wide avenue, and it’s filled with tear gas and flames.

  • jimmy 11:31 pm on January 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ces, , , tablets,   

    We of course have yet to see Android 3.0/Honeycomb (the version of Android supposedly built with tablet computers in mind) live in action, but it’s interesting to me that it took Android 3 years after the iPhone launch to produce a phone that matched or exceeded the iPhone in most people’s minds (there are so many Android devices, but the first time I remember hearing a lot of people talk about an Android phone matching the iPhone was with the Droid Incredible in summer 2010); but it looks likely that it will be only a year if not less since the iPad’s April 2010 release before the Android community and Google respond to the iPad with a matching or better device(s).

    Food for thought on the eve of this tablet-focused CES.

  • jimmy 3:16 am on January 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    There’s just one thing missing:
    Storming The Citadel

    The Plagueworks

    The Frostwing Halls

    The Crimson Hall

    Even with a full raid of mostly level 85 players, ICC is not exactly a walk in the park. A lot of fun, though.

    /end geeking

  • jimmy 6:47 pm on November 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , zuckerberg   

    One reason I intensely dislike Zuckerberg? He’s a freaking liar. “This is not an e-mail killer.” Hello. They’re giving 500+ million users [the option of] E-MAIL addresses. There’s NO WAY they don’t think they’re going to pull several million teens off of Gmail or Yahoo or MSN. Sure, they’re not trying to kill enterprise Outlook users, but that doesn’t make it any less of a killer of some uses of e-mail. The entire presentation reeks of this. The multiple denials of this being a “Gmail killer” seem suspect at best.

    And this is from someone who doesn’t see myself using the new product. Though I can see how the “social graph filter” feature would be very compelling to many, many people. That’s why I think it’s disingenuous to say it never crossed their minds that this could “kill” (and/or take major share from) traditional e-mail. Especially since many features of it are a ripoff of Gmail’s priority inbox and Google Wave.

    /ten cents worth

  • jimmy 4:52 am on November 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , whiny,   

    I seem to have caught a cold, which is making me cranky as all hell. Also? (NOTE: the following is so full of World of Warcraft geeking it’s not even funny.) Thrall seems to have wandered off from Orgrimmar, thus making [For The Alliance!] impossible to achieve for the next few weeks. Normally I don’t care what happens within the Horde, but I joined a PUG doing For The Alliance! today and it was disappointing to have missed him. Especially since I’ve never done a raid before.

    On the other hand, we easily downed the other three and had a lot of fun. Thanks random Cenarius folks!

  • jimmy 8:28 pm on October 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: fall, , , , tornadoes,   

    The giant storm currently wrecking havoc across the Midwest has a low pressure (957mb per 18z Surface Analysis from NOAA’s Hydrometeorological Prediction Center) equivalent to a category 3 hurricane. To be clear, that is historically low for the Midwest.

    CIMSS notes that the storm is still deepening. At least the winds of this storm aren’t on par with those of a major hurricane, unless you count the nearly 200 reports of severe winds/damage so far today (blue dots on map to right). But even the strongest severe thunderstorm winds rarely make it much into category 1 hurricane territory. (Winds over 58mph are severe, winds over 74mph are hurricane, winds over 114mph are category 3 hurricane.)

  • jimmy 8:34 pm on October 12, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Is there some kind of secret pact among tech bloggers that anyone who thinks The Social Network is anything but a purely fictitious pack of lies must be destroyed and/or had hundreds of words devoted to mocking them? I haven’t seen the movie, nor have I ever met Zuckerberg, but the pure and unwavering support of FB coming from the tech blogosphere is kind of weird to me. Is it simply that they don’t want to lose access to not just sources at Facebook, but also any other “satellite” company that would be scared of “crossing” FB by talking to someone critical of them?

    Am I being too conspiratorial? Is it simply the fact that The Social Network is a pack of fictitious lies and the bloggers have nothing better to talk about? (Actually don’t answer that, because at this point I’ve put on my tinfoil hat and quite honestly trust nobody on this issue.)

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