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N Judah

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Everything posted by N Judah

  1. I am looking forward to a new ipod touch with similar capability. However the rumor is that the camera will be 3 megapixels (instead of 5).
  2. Yes, I agree. This is true to the extent that Q cards are obtainable for free from such a vending machine as you describe, which does not seem to be the case in Houston. "Card or cash" sounds pretty good -- a little different from "card only", but I see your point. Anyway the issue that started all of this was the notion that payment on local trains / future trolleys should be done the same way it is now, but on the train instead of at the station, and with only Q cards, to avoid the issue of "having to have a person driving and a person collecting fees." Irrespective of whether or not this is a good idea overall, the fact is I have never seen such a setup involving a person driving and a person collecting fees on any of the buses or LRTs around town, nor on the subways or LRTs/trolleys I have ridden in other cities.
  3. The threat of a price war can keep competitors out. The goal is to make money, not to lose money. I was referring to the claim that Wal-Mart just wants to screw with Target, whereupon everybody began saying with conviction "No, they just want to serve the Inner Loop!" I'm saying that you can't say for sure either way. It's tempting to think that they are willing to cannibalize existing stores just so you don't have to drive another 5 minutes to get to their store, but it's also possible they just want to use their economies of scale such that they can eventually set the price without competition. They certainly have enough money to support any losing proposition to this end indefinitely as long as eventually they can achieve this goal. I agree.
  4. It would not be ever-lasting. It would only need to drive competitors out of business. This is most certainly in Wal-Mart's long term interests. Anyway, there is no doubt in my mind that people can come up with business models that can make money selling things. It was not my point to say that there weren't. What I was trying to show by posting that link is that s3mh's ideas about Wal-Mart's motives and reasons for building are as valid as anyone else's. And in addition, I find it funny and a little bit sad that people think H-E-B could ever outbid Wal-Mart on a site, that not shopping at a Wal-Mart could *ever* make it close, and that things like "governance" and "laws" could ever prevent multi-billion dollar corporate entities from doing whatever they wanted wherever they wanted for whatever reason they were capable of coming up with.
  5. I meant that Wal-Mart *could* do such a thing if they wanted to -- they have a lot of money. If I were a new retailer thinking of entering a Wal-Mart dominated area I could not possibly be excited about the prospect of being undercut on price no matter what I did or how long I did it -- and I think this would be a losing proposition I would be stupid to enter. This would be in addition to advantages Wal-Mart would already have with respect to economies of scale regarding suppliers, which I'm not going to pretend to understand the subtleties of, but which I know in fact do exist.
  6. So you don't understand "why" Wal-Mart would want to do that, or you don't understand "why" the eventuality of Wal-Mart being the only game in town might be perceived as a bad thing?
  7. Are you truly that shortsighted, or are you just being obnoxious?
  8. Well I don't see the article I linked to as contradicting anything s3mh says. Wal-Mart is probably capitalized enough to operate all of its Houston stores at a loss sufficient enough to undermine every other retailer in town on every item, indefinitely. I almost feel sorry for H-E-B for thinking they could outbid Wal-Mart.
  9. It probably does, but that hasn't stopped Wal-Mart from doing exactly that. http://www.minneapolisfed.org/publications_papers/pub_display.cfm?id=1382 I'm guessing the ideal for Wal-Mart would be the "Dallas District" where the median person is only 3 miles from a Wal-Mart store.
  10. So everybody who wants to ride has to have a Q Card?
  11. In what sense? I don't doubt they're ranked higher for undergrad in the sense that USC is ranked "better" in USNEWS than, say, UCSD... Lately?
  12. Yes, but I don't think you have to have a specific social attitude to be on board with Houston's particular economic model.
  13. Not really. I think you can have similar value systems result in different economies.
  14. Well had I known you would take it so personally I would have included a disclaimer. All generalizations (and, in fact, all posts of mine in the future) are hereby NOT directed at you, and should never be taken to reference you specifically in any way, shape or form. I may be guilty of generalization (which was my intent, which seemed like it would be obvious but clearly was not), but certainly not "heightened exaggeration." To parlay this into an accusation of "love of hyperbole" goes beyond some kind of cognitive bias and into hyperbole itself. sigh. Implicit in your paragraph are the notions that: -- it's just a handful of people who don't want the Wal-Mart -- these handful of people are driven by hate -- these people are a minority -- these people are vocal -- these people seek to "dictate the lifestyle for everyone" -- these people seek to dictate a lifestyle for anyone -- these people seek to dictate a lifestyle -- these people don't "have the right" to do such things even assuming these are their intentions -- "having the right" to do something has anything to do with an end result -- ecological/cultural concerns with the construction site must usually be considerations to block out a Wal-Mart -- Wal-Mart only builds stores where they think they can turn a profit If you had prefaced it with "I think that" instead of presenting your opinions as fact, it would not have been quite so hilarious. I guess the humor factor dissipated a little when it became clear to me that you weren't just saying these things to be obnoxious.
  15. Well, I think that for a relatively recent transplant the best thing is to just understand the Houston (and Texas's) economic model from the ground up. Then it might make more sense regarding why people here instinctively take the side of big corporations over all else (including their own well being), and other things will start to make sense, too, such as the lack of emphasis on education and quality of life, etc.
  16. Well, I was speaking from my perspective (ie "it seems"). But I suppose if you're going to present your opinions as fact, there's nothing I (or anybody) can say that contradicts you. Wow. Project much? Now THIS is a good example of framing and mischaracterization, right on cue. Thanks for a good laugh!
  17. Hrmm, one side wants to "turn it into Western MA" the other side wants to turn it into FM 1960. One side motivated by quality of life considerations, the other side seemingly motivated entirely by spite. I think I've seen this conversation before... But anyway. For me, the more important larger issue is: even if the neighborhood wanted to stop Wal-Mart, could they? And another one bites, and another one bites, and another (neighborhood) bites the dust...
  18. Saw this today, thought it was relevant: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/7079360.html
  19. From this latest article I deduced that there would be an addition, to be opened in 2012, and a brand new building, to be opened 3 years later. This was news to me, as I did not know how they would go about it. My guess is they will build the addition next to the existing UC and then demolish the existing UC and build a new one in its place. So if that is the case then it is just construction in two parts, set up so that at least part of a UC space is usable at all times. Anyway from the UC 2010 initiative web site it looks like it will cost ~$100 million and will be ~250,000 square feet. Compare this to the Tate Student Center Renovation at U. Georgia, which added 100,000 square feet of new additional space, which "effectively doubles" total available student space (for 200,000 square feet of space overall). The total cost for this project is ~$60 million. http://schooldesigns.com/Project-Details.aspx?Project_ID=3695 In addition the U. Georgia built a new Student Learning Center with another 204,000 square feet of space for an additional ~$33 million. http://schooldesigns.com/Project-Details.aspx?Project_ID=2026 So the end result is ~400,000 total square feet at UGA v. ~250,000 square feet at UH...for the same price. I'm hoping this isn't part of a larger trend of things at UH costing more than they should. (For example, a stadium holding 40,000 people costing $120 million v. the Univ. Akron stadium holding 30,000 people which cost $61.6 million.) But you never know what's included in the price until they tell you, and I'm just hoping that this new student center will, for that amount of money, be the be-all-end-all of student facilities, setting the standard for years to come for all such endeavors for universities and colleges around the country/world.
  20. Punitive? We're building a Wal-Mart, not tearing one down. To put it another way: we certainly shouldn't bring traffic 24/7 into somebody else's neighborhood just to indulge your sense of entitlement, should we? LoL. When I saw you say something similar above, I thought "project much?" but didn't say anything because I didn't want to incur a tantrum
  21. Plans for the new "UC" (University Center) are on track: (from: http://thedailycougar.com/2010/06/23/plans-for-new-uc-on-track/ ) The total cost of the project should be ~$100 million (in 2011 dollars). This is according to the cost model, found at: http://www.uh.edu/uc2010/pages/costmodel.php
  22. Ah well, if someone can't manage their time effectively, then maybe they should have to drive the extra few miles to find a Wal-Mart.
  23. Hah, is Target just not good enough all of a sudden?
  24. I would be very surprised if Chicago and MIT's athletic departments operated in the black. If money is the only consideration I think most schools are better off getting rid of their football team than putting money into improving it in the hopes of chasing tv dollars.
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