Saturday, April 22

The rumours of my death...

It has been about a year since my last entry. What have I been doing? What have I to report? Well, not much really, just enjoying my slack graduate student lifestyle. But, after 7 years in Waterloo I am ready for a bit of a change its beginning to look like I may not be a Waterloo lifer.

On a whim I decide to do an on campus interview with National Instruments so I could dust off the ole interview skills. Given that I wasn't terribly interested in the job it was easy enough to relax and answer their fun behavioral interview questions. Questions such as "please give a past instance in which you showed .... . During the course of interviews they asked me for "initiative", "leadership" and "perservence". Right, so apparently they were impressed enough with the on campus interview because they invited me to Austin Texas for an onsite interview. Again, not terribly interested in the company, but this was in March and it was 22 degrees (celsius) in Austin, so I decided to head southward for a little interview/vacation.

Around the same time I heard back about a scholarship I had applied for and NSERC decided to give me a rediculous amount of money to do a doctorate. Well given that the federal government of Canada seems to think I have real potential as a researcher, I figured I may as well give the Phd a try. Next year I am headed to UofT to work with Craig Boutilier to take some courses, do research on some topics related AI and maybe, just maybe, write a Phd thesis.

At the moment I am scrambling to complete my Masters thesis, so that I can head down to Seattle for the summer and live the "mid-twenties-and-single-with-way-too-much-income" life in Capitol Hill with my undergrad crew.

Thursday, April 21

National Post Photo

Just another day at the office: link.

Tuesday, April 12

Great quote from interview with Adam Shore, General Manager of Vice Records by way of svn:

I feel like there has been created, in the past two to three years, an indie-yuppie establishment. Bands like Death Cab for Cutie, Iron and Wine, the Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, they are great bands, really great bands, with great albums, great songs, high quality. And to me, it’s just so fucking boring,” he says. “It’s like fancy-coffee-drinking, Volvo-riding music for kids. And kids should be listening to music that shakes them up more, makes them uncomfortable.

Monday, February 14

West

I have just returned from a short adventure out west with Lauren. In honour of google's new mapping feature I thought I would map the route we took.

We flew in to Vancouver and jumped on a bus down to Seattle where we spent a weekend with Ben, John, Matt, Ming and Nat. Highlights include Jello shooters at Patrick's, afterhours loitering at Chapel, couch shopping with Nat and a laazy sunday spent drinking cheap american beer and watching the Super Bowl, complete with american ads.

Then, it was off to Vancouver to catch up with Ian and Miryke. We did Stanley Park by bike, walked around Granville Island and had a great meal at Naam.

We were then ferried to Victoria, where we walked around, had dinner at Rebar, and met up with Robin for drinks. The bill arrived after our first 3 pitcher's and the conversation went something like this: 8 buck's each! This must be a mistake. Quick order more pitchers. Which led to 4 more pitchers, and were it not for the arrival of a couple of Robin's friends, things could have gotten out of hand.

From Victoria we were picked up by Laurens brother and travelled first to where he was staying on the tiny Island of Thetus and then on to Tofino, a small resort town on the west coast of Vancouver Island where we went surfing. Yes, we went surfing, in February, in Canada, and it was awesome (and wicked cold). It was about 4 degrees, but it felt colder on the beach with the wind and the beginnings of a little rain storm as we took in the first part of our surf lesson, and learned about rip tides and the drop-in rule and springing up on our boards. Once we were in the water, I was pleasantly suprised by how warm our full body wet suits kept us. Hey, I even got up on my board a couple times. After our day surfing, we drove, then ferried, then bused, then flew back home. All in all a pretty awesome trip.

Monday, January 24

Tonnes






Apparently I would make an ideal One-Tonne Challenge ambassador. Not hard when you don't own a car.

Tuesday, November 30

Everyone is back

A round of applause for Donny who has fixed the PHP errors that were occuring with the everyone page.


Saturday, November 27

The Battle

I went to my first battle of the bands since highschool and unlike highschool the bands didn't completely suck. In fact there were alot of talented acts running the gamut from solo acoustic guitar to a Sum-41-esque faux-punk band who brought their own 20 thousand dollar amps (Owen wanted to stand on the table and yell I want to have sex with your gear!).

I was out to support the first ever show of my friends band Knock Knock Ginger. The imprint described them as "often funky and experimental", but last night they flat out rocked and these guys have only been playing together for about 3 months.

Sunday, November 21

Queens of Salsa

Lauren and I met up with Jenn for her birthday at El Convento Rico, a salsa bar with a twist. I find the whole salsa a little intimidating because people can actually dance. But, while I couldn't work up the courage to get out on the dance floor, it was a good time watching everyone else from the VIP section Jenn had reserved.

Later in the night, we were treated to a drag queen floor show. Man, could these guys dance, I mean it ain't easy breakin out the go-go dancer moves when your a 6 foot 4 dude in 5 inch stilleto heels. The birthday girl even went out and danced one of the queens during the last number. Too much fun.

Monday, November 15

Everyone

It would appear that my page that aggregates everyones blogs is broken. Its probably Matt, Cormie, or Donny's fault, but I am looking into it.

Tuesday, November 9

Keynote Rant

I just lost a Keynote presentation that I had been working on for the 10 hours and I blame Microsoft.

I was a beautiful, wonderful, fantastic presentation. It had tables and charts and sexy 3D transitions between the slides. I had drawn diagrams, imported images, and created a variety of complicated math equations using latex. I was proud and satisfied and just about to head off to bed, when I accidentally closed the keynote window where I was doing my work. Now, Keynote wouldn't just erase my work, it, of course, asked me if I wanted to save my changes and without any thought I simply clicked no. Poof, no more presentation.

Sure, I know what your thinking. Why the heck didn't you save your presentation at some point during the 10+ hours you were working on it? Well, I think it all started sometime during highschool, when I first started using Microsoft Word. Turns out it has this great feature that auto-saves your work periodically. So who needs to save? Worst case scenario, you lose the last 10 minutes of work. Well as it turns out Keynote does not have any such auto-save feature.

So, I blame Microsoft. I blame Microsoft for coddling me in my formative years, for allowing me to grow into a naive user ignorant of the harsh realities of the non-auto-saving world. Is this reasonable? No, this is a rant.


Tuesday, October 19

You go Tim!

I came across an post to uwstudent which states that the new Timmy Ho's in the SLC is currently serving 11 500 customers a week, I reckon that's more than 1500 customers a day, or a customer every minute, all day, every day!

SLC DVDs

So as well as having a 24 hour Tim Hortons in the SLC, we will soon have a 24 hour DVD rental store, albeit in Jukebox form. There is simply a big yellow and blue vending machine displaying DVD titles. Some writing states that you can buy and rent, but there is no mention of pricing or how long you can rent for.

I am sitting beside the machine blogging this with the wireless in the SLC and people keep stoping to get a closer look, they just freak out when they find out its for DVDs.

Sunday, October 17

Stop Hurting America

This is for Nat and all the other Daily Show fans out there. If you haven't come across it yet, Jon Stewart went on CNN's Cross Fire and politely asked them to stop hurting America.

bit torrent

Friday, October 8

Pitch

I have been working on a project proposal for my tetherless computing course and I thought I would share my idea. The pitch goes something like this:

Imagine your digital camera had a wireless card. You're documenting your travels in some foreign city and eventually your camera card fills up. But wait, you see that store/cafe has a PhotoNet* sign in the window, so you head in. Now, this establishment has a wireless access point that communicates with your camera and grabs all the photos from your camera and posts them on the web where your friends can see them and you can download them when you get home. Of course all of this is seemless so the camera never has to leave your pocket.

I figure there is a reasonable business model here because even though these establishments are giving away bandwidth, they are attracting customers, and these customers arn't just sitting there browsing the web; they are free to walk around and buy stuff while their pictures transfer.

Now, you might say
  • But, Wireless cards are expensive and will drive up prices of cameras!
  • Sure, but they are getting cheaper and I could imagine consumers paying an extra ten bucks for this kind of functionality, especially when its everywhere

  • But, wireless cards use up so much power, it will half my camera's battery life!
  • Wireless cards only use alot of power when they are on and broadcasting, and they only have to be on while transferring photos, the trick is allowing a wireless access point to turn on a cameras card so it can stay off the rest of the time

  • But, how do me and my friends find my photos on the internet when I'm done?
  • Well you would need some notion of identity that is coupled with the camera, perhaps the first time you're in a PhotoNet enabled store you head to the counter and they setup your identity. This identity would then be used to find the photos and specify who can look at them.

  • But, I don't want some business being able to look at my photos!
  • Okay, how about encrypting the photos between the camera and the website on which they are displayed, now only you and PhotoNet* would have access to the actual pictures.

*Made up

mmm Caffeine

I have been cultivating something of a caffeine addiction recently, and its wonderful. Sure, I get those lows when I have been without a coffee for a while, but then I realize that I can just head over to Timmy Ho's and ahhh, that nice caffeine buzz that makes you feel like yeah, everything is going to go just fine today. I don't mind the valleys when I get such nice peaks.

Imagine having a Cocaine habit except: Coke was cheap and you could get it everywhere; so sure, you might not get as high but you wouldn't get all strung out either.

Tuesday, September 21

Who needs books?

Upon entering the new and improved DC Library I counted 23 laptops on my way to find a seat.

On a side note, of those 23 laptops only 1 is running iTunes with sharing on. From where I am sitting now it looks like apple is losing the battle over the desktop mp3 player, and I feel like making a big sign that says, Listen, if you all figure out how to use iTunes then you will all be able to listen to 23 different music libraries as your studying.

Monday, September 20

Courses

My first week of lecture proved to be pretty busy. No assignments yet, but I attended about 5 courses worth of lecture because I couldn't decide on which to take. To begin this week I have managed to narrow it down to three:

CS 856 - Tetherless Computing
CS 886 - Electronic Market Design
CS 746 - Software Architecture


Friday, September 10

Guthrie Show #5

Am I a groupie yet?

The Sea Snakes and Jim Guthrie put on a show last night at the Starlight. Guthrie and crew were in fine form. The new saxaphonist added to the already rich sound that includes violin and chello. So, I am all about the between set banter and Guthrie didn't let me down. One of the highlights was when he gave a shout out to all the Beyonce fans in the house before launching into a great cover of Survivor. They even did a quick 2 song encore.

I was also impressed by the opening set by the The Sea Snakes. They have kind of a mellow emo rock sound and reminded Owen of Death Cab for Cutie.

Wednesday, September 8

Imprint

For those of you not on campus I thought I would continue in Goyer's fine tradition of Imprint reviews. I can only hope that it will live up to Goyer's high level of snarkiness.

First Impressions

The layout of the front page has changed for the better, reminicent of The Toronto Star, more professional. Did this affect the Imprints tradition of hard hitting investigative journalism? Nope it still sucks. Headline on the front page is "Student Parking Services Overhauled". Did you know students who buy a parking pass can now park in lots C N W and X? Do you care? Apparently some people care because the only two letters to the editor were about parking. Its parking, people! Just sad.

For more read the full Imprint Review.

Wednesday, September 1

Jackpot

I just found my new laptop case.

Tuesday, August 31

Moving

I decided to move most of my stuff yesterday and got Ben to help me. So, I talked to the owner earlier that day and arranged to have the key left in the mailbox. However, when me and Ben showed up the door was wide open.

I gave a quick knock and hello, and who should appear? Not the owner, but two rough looking gentleman with a bunch of tattoos. We quickly figured out that they were not the owner, nor did they even know the owner. They had simply happened by and saw the door unlocked so they thought they would venture in and explore. They were quick to say that they had not stolen anything, which I believed since the house was practically empty.

My two new friends were sorry to learn that I had already rented the place. One of them started talking about how great the place was and lead Ben and I out back to show us the shed, which I hadn't even noticed was a part of the property (since it's obscured by an overgrown garden in the back of the house). He tells us about how he was thinking of storing his Harley's there over the winter. Then makes us an offer. See me and my housemate are not going to use the shed anyway, so why not let him bring his motorcycles in and store them there for the winter. He would pay us rent and install this great security system so the bikes would be totally safe.

Well as I am thinking this over he sees our garage (which by the way is huge) . When we tell him that yes it is apart of our property he gets even more excited because he could fit his two motorcycles and his vintage ford truck in there and have room to work on them. Again he says he would install a kickass security system and he and that his friends would only be in there like 3 times a week and we wouldn't even notice them come and go.

Perhaps he began to sense my growing unease because he added that he was a part of an "organization" and that he had good friends that would make sure nothing bad would happen. You've got nothin to worry about, he said.

So to recap:
  • These randoms wanted to use our shed and garage
  • Which they loved because they were so hidden, what with the overgrown garden
  • They kept mentioning all the security they were going install so things were "safe"
  • They wanted to pay us the equivalent of half the rent of the house each month
  • But, they wanted us not tell the owner and just keep it between me and them
  • Oh right, and these tattooed bike owners were a part of an organization that took care of its friends
  • And as he left, one of them also hinted at being able to score me "anything I needed"
So I am currently undecided on what action to take. On the one hand there could be a grow-op/meth-lab operating out of our garage. On the other hand 500 dollars a month would pretty much cut our rent in half, and we get in with the local biker gang as a fringe benefit (which I suppose could be kinda cool).

They gave me their number to let them know what I decided and I mean hey, they know where I live, so something tells me I haven't seen the last of my biker gang-buddies.

Monday, August 30

New Address

As of Tommorow I will be at my new place. Here are the details:
104 Marshall St.
Waterloo ON
N2J 2T4

747-4685

That number should become active as of Sept 5th and the area code is 519. Now for you visual learners:

Address



Phone

Tuesday, August 24

Outsourcing

Oh, how I love globalization. The Forrester Research Group estimates that 500,000 jobs moved offshore from the US in 2004. But why do multi-national corporation have to be the only ones who gain. Yes, you too can outsource! I came across an article in the India Times with the following quote gleaned from a posting on slashdot.
About a year ago I hired a developer in India to do my job. I pay him $12,000 out of the $67,000 I get. He's happy to have the work. I'm happy that I have to work only 90 minutes a day just supervising the code. My employer thinks I'm telecommuting. Now I'm considering getting a second job and doing the same thing.

I wonder if I can outsource my masters thesis.

Wednesday, August 18

Beer Caps

Number of beer caps found behind the Hotel Goyer entertainment unit:

755


Monday, August 16

Fedex Rant

So while purchasing the new laptop I opted to pay the extra 22 dollars for guaranteed 2 day shipping from Fedex. It began shipping on Saterday, after two business days I should have recieved the package on Tuesday.

Well it turns out Fedex shipping was too efficient. One of the nice things about Fedex is they provided online tracking, so I watched my laptop travel from California, to Memphis (the fedex hub) and today (Monday) it arrived in Toronto. The online tracking was then updated to say that the package was taken off the truck in Cambridge because the package was "not due for delivery".

I was all excited when I saw it land in Toronto. I mean how long could it take to get to Waterloo? Apparently, not long enough. Now I really wanted to have the laptop tonight and I was playing with the idea simply jumping on the bus to Cambridge and picking it up in person, so I called up Fedex.

A nice Fedex representitive explained to me that their two day guarentee did not guarentee a package to be delivered in at most two days, but EXACTLY two days. My package had arrived too quickly and so had to wait an extra day. When I asked about going directly to the Fedex depot in Cambridge to pick the package up myself, the representitive explained that this was not possible, but if I wanted to upgrade to one day service for x dollars, I could have it delivered tonight. Now this sucks, but it doesn't suck as much this other person whose package was delayed for 5 days at a depot not 15 minutes from his house.

Okay, now as a customer I don't mind getting a package in two days when you say it will be there in at most 2 days. But when you make your tracking transparent enough that I can see a package being intentionally delayed that is not cool.

Why not surprise and delight your customers by occasionally delivering your packages a little early?? It's not like you will lose customers paying for the premium services because there is no guarantee that it will arrive early!

and then there were two...

With Jon's departure, the Hotel Goyer is starting to feel a little empty. It has been great spending the summer in Waterloo and being able to say goodbye to my friends as one by one they strike out to start their "real" lives.

First Matt and John, then Ben, Ming and Nat, then Drew, now Jon and soon Robin. It is beginning to dawn on me how much I will miss them. But this sense of loss is filled with an optimism as I wait to hear of their achievements as they each follow their own path.

Switch



My computer turned 5 years old this August. It has served me well through my university career, but I decided its finally time for an upgrade. After shopping around for a good part of the summer I finally decided on an Apple Powerbook just like Jen's.

I bought the Powerbook from the Apple website on Friday. When I got home I was welcomed by a call from Visa who had blocked payment for this expensive item that Kevin could not possibly have bought. After reassuring Visa that I had indeed purchased the item I had to call Apple customer support and tell them to charge my card again. As I sat on hold listening to the latest single from the Black Eyed Pea's I began to appreciate how much work Apple puts into projecting their brand as a young and hip.

Tuesday, August 10

Mr. XML

I just found out Tim Bray used to work for Open Text. For those of you who may not know this guy pretty much invented XML and is now Technology Director at Sun Microsystems.

I have been working at Open Text over the summer and have been tasked with the tightening up the next version of Livelink before its release. This takes the form of many tiny bug fixes with an occasional in-depth code optimization. I have found it easy for me to loose sight of all the cool things we do here. Recommender Systems, Dynamic Text Summarization, Natural Language Processing, Automatic Text Classification: These are all pretty hot research areas and there are a bunch of Phd's here applying some of the most cutting edge stuff and occasionally making it work.


Monday, August 9

Aggregator

I like to keep up with what everyone is doing through their blogs, but I hate clicking through to each site twice a day to check for new posts. Since I don't wanna pay for Newsgator like money-bags Matt, I thought I would whip up something simple that lets me view everyone's posts from one place.

Here is my first try. (The link is now in the sidebar as Everyone)

Most of the code was provided by FeedOnFeeds which uses an old version of MagPie that unfortunately does not support Atom feeds. Luckily there is an Atom to RSS converter out there to massage the feed before FeedOnFeeds gets it. Still, some of the formatting appears to be lost.

Update

For whatever reason the dates are not being retrieved from Matt and Ming's feeds so their posts show up at the bottom.

New Digs

All summer I have been experiencing this nagging anxiety about the fact that I had nowhere to live for the Fall. Well, Jeff and I found a place to live this past weekend and its pretty sweet.

It's a small house, but we have it all to ourselves. The exterior gives it this ramshackle look, with weathered unpainted wood and holes in the porch floorboards, but the inside has been totally redone. We have a spacious living room and kitchen (with its own island!), and a patio in the back with a garden. It's at Weber and Marshall so its a little farther away, but its still close enough for groceries (and the beerstore).

Guthrie at the Jane Bond

I will never forget the first time I saw Jim Guthrie, performing at the Jane Bond in front of about hundred people in a space the size of my living room and bantering with the audience as his music "loaded" on the Play Station that served as the rest of his band.

Saturday, August 7

The Ford Plant

Saw a great show on Friday at The Ford Plant. I still can't believe the value, 7 bucks for 5 bands including Jim Guthrie and the Fembots.

The venue was a converted retail space in the middle of Brantford's deserted downtown. The stage was setup in front of the storefront and from behind the performers you could see this street scene straight out of the 50's with Kerby's Barbershop, the Maytag Refridgerator Emporiom and a run down T.V. repair shop all plastered with For Sale/Lease signs.

The delicate harmony and slowly building melodies of the Wooley Leaves was the perfect way to start the evening. As day turn to night out in the abandoned street, things started to pick up inside with spirited sets from Nathan Lawr and the Fembots.

I have seen Jim Guthrie in Toronto at a packed club with more than a thousand people looking on, but Friday was different. All the little punk rock kids that had packed the Constantines show the previous night were nowhere to be seen. It was probably the most chill perfomance I have seen and definitely one of the best. There was enough room that half the audience was able to sit cross legged on the floor and just enjoy the spectacular show Jim and his band put on.

Friday, August 6

Show

Off to the Ford Plant in Brantford tonight for the second show of the festival Ben mentioned. Brantford you say? You know it, and from what I hear its a pretty cool venue. Its too bad I missed the Constantines last night, but I am sure Jim Guthrie and The Fembots will put on a good show, so come one come all.

Thursday, August 5

Weight Snob

Okay, so when it comes to mountain biking I am what you would call a weight snob. If we are heading out to the trail I will be the last person to volunteer for carrying the spare inner tube, lightweight pump, or anything of the other small things you need to have with you on the trail. In fact I will try just about anything to be the guy not carrying anything simply because it adds weight.

So you can imagine my excitment when I found I came across wrenchscience, a site that allows you to choose from a bunch of custom frames and then completely outfit all the components, but best part is that as you go it tells you how much weight each component will add.

I spent at least an hour fooling around on the site and managed to create the following masterpiece:

  • Frame:DEAN Colonel X-Lite
  • Fork: ROCK SHOX SID Race 2004
  • Group: X.0 2004
  • Weight: 19.66lbs
  • Price: only $4,960.95 USD
Or perhaps a road bike:


  • Frame: GIANT TCR Composite
  • Frame size: 51cm C-to-T
  • Fork: GIANT SL
  • Group: Record 10spd 2004
  • Wheelset: Factory Wheel
  • Weight: 14.3lbs
  • Price: a mere $5,784.62
I am pretty happy with the weight of my Klein right now, but man that giant would be litterally half the weight.

Tuesday, August 3

Peasant Quest

Man my Peasant Quest skillz are weak. I was able to:
  • Take the pebbles from the shore and put them into the well to drop the bucket and retrieve the mask
  • Use the mask to scare the horse to break down the fence to reach the archery guy and say Haldo!
  • Win the bow from the archery brothers and use it to slay the Kerrek
... I just can't seem to get into the hut with no knob. Oh well, back to work.

Weekend

I was impressed with the Skydome's tranformation into a soccer venue. The specatators were split down the middle of the stands with all the Liverpool fans on one side and all the FC Porto supporters on the other. I was seated smack in the middle with a sea of red to my right and the green and red of Porto to my left. The over forty thousands fans were good and noisy on occasion, but for the most part there was a more subdued vibe due to the lacklustre play. Both teams were quite tenative during the first half of the game, with no scoring and only a handful of chances. Things got worse at the beginning of the second half when all the starters subbed-off so their backups could see some playing time. The best part of the game came after Porto finally scored with only five minutes left in the game. Liverpool woke up and showed some spirited play for remaining time getting a couple of great chanes, but alas, no goal.

Saterday afternoon I shopped around Toronto for a new laptop. Now that I am going to be on campus at Waterloo for another couple years, I figure it might make sense to take advantage of the wireless coverage. Here is my shopping list:
  • Under 5 pounds
  • 12" display
  • Integrated wireless
  • CDRW/DVD drive
I found a Sony Vaio V505 at a great price, but I am leaning toward a Powerbook cause its just so dead sexy.

Saterday night I met up with my sister and her friends for Sushi and chilling on the beach. Sunday it was off to the beach again, this time on Lake Erie with Lauren and her family. Monday it was back to Waterloo for some volleyball and a BBQ. Good friends and good food is the pefect way to end a weekend.

Thursday, July 29

Alter Ego

Hey who knew I played hockey for the Waterloo Black Hawks? Or that I was MVP??

You know your bored when....

FC Porto vs. Liverpool

Lauren and I are going to see FC Porto take on Liverpool at SkyDome on Friday. Rumor has it they are installing natural grass for the first time in SkyDome's history for the match. Should be a good time. I just need to practice my chants.

Down with Urinary Freedom!

I agree with Seinfeld. There is far too much urinary freedom in our society.

On three separate occasions I have been walking along Scary Path only to see the back of someone standing just off the path and hear a sound that one does not expect to hear while walking to campus. The first two times I just averted my eyes and hustled on by, but the last time some fellow had completely straddled the path.

So who are these people who are these people who just can't wait? Well, in each case it was a thirty-something guy wearing a baseball uniform. Understandable since the park is used for slo-pitch each afternoon. But the games had not started yet! I can only assume these people are coming straight from work, yet have not the presence of mind to use actual washroom facilities before leaving. I should also note that the park does provide washrooms nearby. What are these people afraid if they hold it in for 5 minutes they will get Uromysistisis poisoning and die??

Ridiculous.

Wednesday, July 28

Traffic

Came across some research on multi-agent systems solving traffic problems on Slashdot the other day.
They designed an automated system where cars reserve a time to pass through an intersection as they approach it and are then sped up or slowed down to ensure their arrival at exactly the right time. This allows traffic to enter the intersection from all directions simultaneously, eliminating the need for traffic lights and considerably reducing delays caused by stopping traffic.
Check out the simulation of an intersection of two six-lane roads. Pretty cool stuff, but how useful is this? The paper concludes by stating that once autonomous vehicles are common, this mechanism may be useful for managing real traffic. Hmm, well it doesn't take into account pedestrians or errant soccer balls, nor does it allow for turning, but I think the real problem is a simple one. People just love their cars.

There is a sense of personal empowerment when in control of a car, and I just can't see people giving that up. I am reminded of the movie Singles (which I might add features a young Pearl Jam circa 1992) . Anyhoo, one of the main characters is working for the city developing a Super Train to solve Seattles traffic woes. This train is luxurious, fast, safe, convient and cheap compared to a car. But, it will never succeed because people just love their cars.