Monday, April 6, 2015

Speed bump without a hump

Many neighborhoods have speed bumps or humps to slow down traffic. While it works as expected, vehicles going through these bumps will suffer more wear and tear on the suspension system, not to mention the reduced comfort to the people in the vehicles. More seriously, the up-and-down movement may cause additional injury to the patient in an ambulance going across.

I think we should build these speed reducing facility so that the vehicle must slow down but does not need to go up and down. One way to solve the problem is to create narrow slots along the street so the driver must slow down and align the wheels with the slots, to avoid bumping onto the raised slots. (Bumping onto them won't cause damage, just reduced comfort.) The slots can also be made slightly slanting toward one side of the street, forcing the vehicle to turn a little to avoid the raised humps of the slots. In either case, the wheels of the vehicle are always on the same level as before. In the long run, the suspension system will have a longer lifetime and passenger comfort is always preserved.

Best pricing strategy for ISP's and utility companies


Nowadays, the Internet service providers, AT&T or Comcase or any other, and utility companies entice new customers by offering a significantly lower price for the first few months or the first year. After that, it goes up to the regular price. Obviously this pricing model makes newcomers happy and old customers disgruntle. Because every company in the same competitive field does the same, no company wants to drop the new customer incentive plan and maintain a constant price plan. But this strategy goes against the common business sense that loyal customers should be treasured more than the new ones.

I think a better pricing model is a combinatory one that both attracts new customers and accomodates old loyal customers. The way to implement this ideal is to keep the initial price low, for 6 months or a little longer, bring up the price to the regular one, and very importantly, from this point on, continue to lower the price incrementally, at a rate of, say, 5% lower than in the previous month, until it eventually comes down to a level comfortable with both the company and the customer. Wickedly cunning customers can still choose to switch away to another company at the end of the 6-month initial discount period. But many customers probably don't bother to make any change, and will enjoy the loyalty appreciation offered by the company.

Single-person response speed training for martial arts

Martial arts require quick action, both in attack and defense. While one can train his speed of attack alone, it is almost impossible to tra...