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Comment: Repo Men (Score 1) 72 72

Currently there are vehicle repo men who us video license plate readers. They work for private lenders and/or dealerships, so you can avoid the police / insurance company thing. I'm not sure if they have capability beyond license plate readers, like if you want to identify a make and model. Normally they mount the video camera onto a small car, and then troll neighborhoods and commercial parking lots until they identify a plate for a car they want to grab, and then they call in the tow truck. Potentially they could let you know if they get a hit, rather than you sorting thru video to get your hit, and then geo locate it to try and track it back.

Comment: Re:Brazil has long had a very protectionist (Score 1, Interesting) 111 111

I was thinking of a similar experiment -- if a company refuses to sell a product in your country, then it loses all copyright / trademark / patent protection. Locals would then be free to open up shop and start making the hardware or copying the software. I'm not sure if this would work, but I'd be interested in seeing the result nonetheless.

Comment: Re:But the ID shouldn't have to be secret (Score 1) 59 59

A similar thing happens in the USA. It's not especially difficult to ID someone based on their Social Security Number and home address. The problem occurs when a lender foolishly extends credit to anyone based on that criteria alone. Rarely do they recover the money (although it does create quite a headache for the actual person). Most USA lending institutions do a much more thorough ID check nowadays. I would imagine that a bank or other business in South Korea would be smart not to exclusively use a Korean ID Number as establishment of identity.

Comment: Fight for consumers (Score 2, Insightful) 211 211

It's good to see a big company actually fight for better prices for customers. I wish my cable company was like that. And before anyone gets me started, remember that monopolies are only abusive if they use their power to screw over the consumers; there is no antitrust protection for businesses to profit.

Comment: Re:Is there an end to this? (Score 1) 352 352

Your RFID comment got me thinking, since there are people who suggest using a RFID-blocking wallet. Why not cover your plate when you leave your car as a counter against the plate scanners? Is it legal to cover your license plate with a towel or something after you park it?

Comment: Is drilling the cause? (Score 2) 102 102

From the article:

The study concludes that there is already about 50 percent more methane in the atmosphere than previously estimated by the Environmental Protection Agency, a signal that more methane is leaking from the natural gas production chain than previously thought.

So the EPA just came up with a guess, and now that they're wrong they blame it on leaky pipes? Methane is produced by many other sources besides drilling, including natural plant growth. Considering how poorly the CO2 alarmist models have matched actual global temperatures, the EPA definitely needs to study and understand the cause prior to enacting more regulations that will jack up my heating bill even further.

Comment: Re:Read as... (Score 2) 165 165

Many inner city schools in the United States receive extra funding from the state and federal levels. They spend huge amounts of money per student compared to the national average and private schools. If your theory is correct, then Washington DC, New York City, and Los Angeles should have the best educated kids in the world. In actuality, the United States gets mediocre results despite spending the most of almost any nation on education, with low income areas receiving even more per student on average. Neither more money nor income equality are the solutions.

Comment: Localized Global Warming? (Score 1) 279 279

The report recommends cutting emissions to control the weather. As if their lower carbon air will somehow hover only over Australia to keep temperatures down, while China and the other high polluters in Southeast Asia will hold in the heat. If only Australia can experience man-made global warming despite no global temperature increase in the past 10 years, surely they can cool off via the same mechanism as well!

Comment: Re:This is already being done (Score 3, Insightful) 271 271

As a side note, the United States is already one of the biggest spenders on education, and yet gets very mediocre results.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/06/25/where-u-s-stands-in-education-internationally-new-report/
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/us-education-spending-tops-global-list-study-shows/

So even if they decide to throw a lot more funding for this STEM education it is unlikely to have any real impact.

Comment: Re:Uh, that's a huge spread (Score 3, Insightful) 226 226

I suppose I'm considering a longer term buying and usage scale. The article mentions the high prices were December 11th, and the low prices were December 24th. It is concerning to me that my appliances might not operate for 13 days at a time until the price drops again. Certainly price aware appliances are a good idea, and could be combined with a battery or storage mechanism. But ideally I want to buy electricity at 0.50 euros/MWh, store it and ignore high prices while I continue to use my appliances at arbitrary times, buy additional electricity when the price falls again, and then laugh at anyone who paid 35 euros/MWh because they got their electricity from conventional generation while mine was generated and stored from renewable.

VMS must die!

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