WALKING isn’t just good for you. It has become an indicator of your socioeconomic status.
Until the 1990s, exclusive suburban homes that were accessible only by car cost more, per square foot, than other kinds of American housing. Now, however, these suburbs have become overbuilt, and housing values have fallen. Today, the most valuable real estate lies in walkable urban locations. Many of these now pricey places were slums just 30 years ago.
Mariela Alfonzo and I just released a Brookings Institution study that measures values of commercial and residential real estate in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, which includes the surrounding suburbs in Virginia and Maryland. Our research shows that real estate values increase as neighborhoods became more walkable, where everyday needs, including working, can be met by walking, transit or biking. There is a five-step “ladder” of walkability, from least to most walkable. On average, each step up the walkability ladder adds $9 per square foot to annual office rents, $7 per square foot to retail rents, more than $300 per month to apartment rents and nearly $82 per square foot to home values.
As a neighborhood moves up each step of the five-step walkability ladder, the average household income of those who live there increases some $10,000. People who live in more walkable places tend to earn more, but they also tend to pay a higher percentage of their income for housing.
A higher percentage, definitely. But that’s more than made up for by not having to own/maintain an expensive automobile, which itself has sort of a tax in these areas, with parking garages and paid street parking - or very inconvenient free street parking.
Mr. Genachowski said tiered pricing, will “increase consumer choice and competition” and yield in “lower prices for people who consume less broadband.” Although, as Electronista notes, “he did not clarify what mechanism would drive prices down.”
Public interest groups have decried the potential impact broadband data caps will have on the market and innovation, not to mention the biases baked in the plans. Comcast, for example, counts Netflix video into its data plan, but lets its own XFinity service stream away.
…“increase consumer choice and competition”… yeah, that’s exactly what will happen. I mean, except for how that’s not what’s going to happen, at all.
“But today you don’t need to read SF to get a sense of wonder high: you can just browse “New Scientist”. We’re living in the frickin’ 21st century. Killer robot drones are assassinating people in the hills of Afghanistan. Our civilisation has been invaded and conquered by the hive intelligences of multinational corporations, directed by the new aristocracy of the 0.1%. There are space probes in orbit around Saturn and en route to Pluto. Surgeons are carrying out face transplants. I have more computing power and data storage in my office than probably the entire world had in 1980. (Definitely than in 1970.) We’re carrying out this Mind Meld via the internet, and if that isn’t a 1980s cyberpunk vision that’s imploded into the present, warts and all, I don’t know what is. Seriously: to the extent that mainstream literary fiction is about the perfect microscopic anatomization of everyday mundane life, a true and accurate mainstream literary novel today ought to read like a masterpiece of cyberpunk dystopian SF.”—Charlie Stross, “SF, big ideas, ideology: what is to be done?”
“The importance of learning to code isn’t so that everyone will write code, and bury the world under billions of lines of badly conceived Python, Java, and Ruby. The importance of code is that it’s a part of the world we live in. I’ve had enough of legislators who think the Internet is about tubes, who haven’t the slightest idea about legitimate uses for file transfer utilities, and no concept at all about what privacy (and the invasion of privacy) might mean in an online space. I’ve had enough of patent inspectors who approve patents for which prior art has existed for decades. And I’ve had enough of judges making rulings after listening to lawyers arguing about technologies they don’t understand. Learning to code won’t solve these problems, but coding does force engagement with technology on a level other than pure ignorance. Coding is a part of cultural competence, even if you never do it professionally. Alsup is a modern hero.”—A federal judge learned to code - O’Reilly Radar (via everythingisdisrupted)
The American impulse is to target the culture—teach abstinence, discipline kids, lecture parents, preach punctuality, provide moral training—so that the chronically poor will be ready when opportunity knocks. The alternative, more European, is to target the opportunity structure—provide jobs and practical training, guarantee health benefits and housing—so that tomorrow is more predictable and middle-class scripts are more practical.
Most social scientists, especially those who know “white trash” the best, would say that our chances of long-term success are much greater with the second approach. Habits are hard to change; absent an environment that rewards new habits, why take the risk? Since the mid-nineteenth century, most Americans adopted historically new industrial and bourgeois habits, not just because ministers, teachers, and settlement workers pushed those habits—although they did—but mainly because those habits worked in a new economy.
“We heard the testimony of Mr. Bloch. I couldn’t have told you the first thing about Java before this problem. I have done, and still do, a significant amount of programming in other languages. I’ve written blocks of code like rangeCheck a hundred times before. I could do it, you could do it. The idea that someone would copy that when they could do it themselves just as fast, it was an accident. There’s no way you could say that was speeding them along to the marketplace. You’re one of the best lawyers in America, how could you even make that kind of argument?”—
Judge Aslup, on the alleged copyright infringement by Google of the rangeCheck function in Java.
This is a 9 line function that checks to see if two indices are indeed within the length of a given array. It’s first semester comp sci 101 stuff (except, of course, it’s implemented with exception-oriented program, so it looks a little weird).
Celebrity chef Mario Batali • Discussing the diet he’s currently on — he’s eating like he’s on food stamps (an average of $1.48 per meal, or $31 per week) in protest of potential cuts to the federal food stamps program. His family was nice enough to join him in what he calls a conversation starter about being hungry in the U.S. Unlike most people on food stamps, he knows ways to make the best of a bad situation, smartly sticking to foods like lentils, apples, rice, beans, peanut butter and jelly. But the problem is, eating good on a diet like this is tough, so many do not. Think his family’s experiment will be effective? (via shortformblog)
He’s not the first chef to do this — I wrote about Karl Wilder doing the same experiment last year. But yeah. Food stamps are not a luxury item that our nation’s poor people are using to buy steaks and bottles of champagne. Though food stamps are designed to be supplemental, for many, they’re the only source of food.
“I’m not sure I know what AirPlay is. Today we want to be on every screen. Today it’s a little bit clunky to get programming from the Internet onto the TV — not so hard to get it on your iPad. What’s hard is the plumbing, what wires do you connect, what device do you use. So the current Apple TV, the little thing, the hockey puck, really doesn’t do anything to help enable you to get Internet material on your TV.”—
“Game of Thrones” is the perfect show for the Internet. It’s based on a mega-popular book beloved by fantasy and non-fantasy nerds alike. It’s bloody (decapitations!), thrilling (sword fights!), sexy (boobs!), and endlessly GIF-able (Joffrey slaps! Dragons!). And millions of people are…
It’s not the money.. sorta.
It’s about not wanting to subsidize 300 shitty channels just to be able to watch one or two HBO shows.
“I understand if people want to let the teachings of Jesus guide their life, especially since most of the Jesusy parts of the bible are just good advice. It’s impossible to misconstrue the actual tenets of Christianity (doing unto others as you would have them do unto you, turning the other cheek, etc.) as a license to persecute homosexuals; The only way you can religiously-motivate your prejudice is by reading the tea leaves in the bible’s flavor text. And if you’re justifying your actions with the mythological parts of the bible, you are a crazy person.”—
“U.S. Senate Republicans blocked Democrats’ proposal to cover the cost of a one-year freeze in government student loan interest rates by requiring some professional services firms to pay withholding taxes on their income.
The Senate, in a 52-45 vote with 60 required, didn’t advance the plan to avert a July 1 increase in college-loan interest rates to 6.8 percent from 3.4 percent. No Republicans joined Democrats in voting for the measure.”—