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Month: July 2016

Unity at the DNC ?>

Unity at the DNC

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”   The Founders hoped the press would keep the political system honest.  What they did not anticipate was TV on a 24-hour news cycle and social media.  The result has been a dramatic shift in…

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Hyperloop Cost of Safety ?>

Hyperloop Cost of Safety

Executive Summary: Hyperloop won’t be as cheap as they say Safety costs money. Cars used to be cheaper to build when they didn’t have as much metal, airbags, and antilock brakes. Hyperloop will be no different. Your ride won’t be as cheap as the press announcements you read in 2016. The example of air transport The airliner has gotten progressively safer in absolute terms since 1972. Indeed, we haven’t seen a fatal airline crash in the US since 2009. To…

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Tech equivalent of the OJ trial ?>

Tech equivalent of the OJ trial

Tech equivalent of the OJ trial Hyperloop One is embroiled in a bitter fight between management and engineering.  Allegations in a lawsuit by the company’s chief engineer, if they turn out to be true, will likely derail the whole company. Elon Musk’s idea to build a 700 mph transport system in a tube spawned two competitors to make the dream a reality.  The two companies, Hyperloop One and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, could not be more different in their approaches. Hyperloop…

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HTT sitrep July 2016 – chugging along ?>

HTT sitrep July 2016 – chugging along

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, the crowdsourced entrant to the commercial hyperloop development market, is the leader in generating buzz.  Its chief rival changed its name from Hyperloop Technologies to Hyperloop One, Inc. to minimize the maddening similarity in their names. HTT, the crowd-funded, crowdsourced “movement”, continues its prodigious production of announcements and press releases.  We are tracking the company’s announcements and doing a little fact-checking.  Last month’s situation report. The company story is compelling.  This month, HTT got a fifty-minute interview…

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H1 sitrep July 2016 ?>

H1 sitrep July 2016

Hyperloop One, the venture capital funded competitor in the Hyperloop race is experiencing growing pains.  That’s good.  It requires first off, growth.  By May it had attracted $80 million and was hiring an impressive roster of 176.  It demonstrated its linear propulsion system. In June the company announced it had inked a deal to install a Hyperloop in Russia.  In July Vladimir Putin announced state support for the system. With an all-star cast, some conflict was inevitable, though.  First, the…

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Buses for NJTransit ?>

Buses for NJTransit

They cost how much? New Jersey Transit plans to replace its bus fleet, which for the most part was put into service between 2000 and 2008.  The board of NJTransit approved the purchase of 772 new buses at its meeting of 15 July 2015.  In July 2016, Governor Chris Christie halted acquisitions of these buses while financing problems with the state’s Transportation Trust Fund are resolved.  What are these buses and how much do they cost? NJTransit selected the MCI…

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Christie stops transportation projects ?>

Christie stops transportation projects

New Jersey funds transportation projects using an accounting device called the Transportation Trust Fund.  Despite this warm and fuzzy name, it’s not like the trust fund rich kids and widows have.  In fact, it is a liability on the books of the state of New Jersey.  It doesn’t have assets, but rather owns $16 billion in the form of bonds.  It is broke.  The gasoline tax, at 10.5 cents per gallon generates to $416 million per year.  Debt service on…

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NJ Sales Tax: What I wrote to my Senator ?>

NJ Sales Tax: What I wrote to my Senator

To Senator Tony Bucco (R-Morris) I write in support of a sales tax reduction. This is a rare opportunity to work with Democrats to reduce the tax burden on New Jerseyans. ### Over the last twenty years, increasing taxes and an oppressive regulatory climate have driven individuals and businesses from the state.  This is your chance as a Republican to put a finger in the dike. Sure, we need to repair roads and a new tunnel to NYC.  We shouldn’t…

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