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Comment: Re:No GPS thanks (Score 1) 792

by HashDefine (#29431027) Attached to: Congress Mulls Research Into a Vehicle Mileage Tax

Besides, the gasoline tax is already a mileage tax. It has the added bonus of being a bigger burden on those who drive low efficiency vehicles.

The problems with a blind gasoline taxes are that it might hurt the poor people a lot more since they potentially spend a much larger portion of the income on gasoline, with mileage based approach you can dole out a basic allowance to everyone and then tax the people who choose to drive more than n miles. Factoring in the efficiency is difficult but would make for a better approach

Actually, a personal cap and trade system where everyone gets a quota is probably optimal - so no more Prius driving celebs with 6000 sq feet mansions (or at least they would have to pay for it). This system would let people decide what they value most - I rather live far from work but am willing to spend the money on an efficient home/car so be it: I rather drive my Hummer 2 miles to work, that's OK too: I rather live in a mansion and drive a hummer, I can as long as I buy the Tax credits from someone else at the market rate.

Comment: Re:RFID? KISS! (Score 1) 792

by HashDefine (#29430901) Attached to: Congress Mulls Research Into a Vehicle Mileage Tax

My family owns a couple miles of private dirt roads. You're going to tax me for driving on my own road?

No, Taxing you would not be appropriate as long as you can ensure that your C02 emissions do not damage anyone else, but in the real world they do. The environment is a public good in question not the land you own.

The problems with a blind gasoline taxes are that it might hurt the poor people a lot more since they potentially spend a much larger portion of the income on gasoline, with mileage based approach you can dole out a basic allowance to everyone and then tax the people who choose to drive more than n miles.

Comment: Re:Human reaction bottleneck (Score 1) 624

by HashDefine (#28807433) Attached to: Stock Market Manipulation By Millisecond Trading

It seems to me like any potential for exploiting millisecond delays in transaction transmission will be consumed and defeated by the time it takes a human operator to interpret the information and hit the "confirm purchase/sale" button.

Quite a few (more than most people imagine anyway) Algo trading systems run without any humans needing to confirm trades.

Humans do monitor what the systems are doing but they do not confirm every order, given the volume that would be impossible, too slow and/or too expensive.

The latency matters enough that people have been known to put the trading systems physically as close to the order processing back end as they can often collocating at an investment bank as opposed to their own data centers.

Comment: Blur Detection? (Score 2, Informative) 291

by HashDefine (#28723921) Attached to: Choosing Better-Quality JPEG Images With Software?

I wonder if out of focus or blue detection methods will give you a metric which varies with the level of jpeg artifcats, after all the jpeg artifacts should make it more difficult to do things like edge detections etc which are the same the things that made more difficult by blurry and out of focus images

A google search for blur detection should bring up things that you can try, Here is series of posts that to do a good job of explaining some of the work involved

Comment: Re:Return on investment (Score 3, Informative) 201

by HashDefine (#27899381) Attached to: Open Source Textbooks For California

I've been saying for years that it would be a great idea for public schools to invest in the production of open-source-style licensed textbooks.

This is very similar to how it is done in India. The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) is charged with the task of creating texts for grades 1 to 12. I remember the books as being fairly high quality in terms of content but a bit dry as compared to the "imported" text books. You can download pdf's of the most of the books from NCERT's web site.

Comment: Re:Huh? (Score 1) 470

by HashDefine (#27633387) Attached to: A Secure OS For the Dalai Lama?

Forget the kernel -- it's the compiler that is the key. Didn't someone show years ago how code could be inserted into a compiler and once it was there, there was no way to remove it -- apart from going back through the archives and finding a sufficiently old and uninfected compiler?

Yes Ken Thompson did - The Thompson hack

. More programmers need to know about and understand basic backdoor issues.

If I'd known computer science was going to be like this, I'd never have given up being a rock 'n' roll star. -- G. Hirst

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