Those are fair points. I just wanted to mention some other car expenses to think about.
Sorry, but it's common. Way more common than it should be. There's a news story about someone in the US going crazy and killing a handful of people with guns just almost every week now. Certainly at least every month. One of these happened very near a place that I frequented (same strip mall) just a few years ago, around the time that I frequented it.
Did you include the depreciation on the car, and the insurance you pay on it? Based on the numbers you provided and adding a conservative $10,000 depreciation and an average $50/month for insurance, I got closer to 34 cents / mile. I didn't include things like driver's license fees, car registration fees, traffic and parking fines, parking fees, purchase/rental of garage space, and who knows what else I can't think of right now.
The approximately 60 cents / mile figure likely comes from the IRS business mileage reimbursement rate (56 cents / mile), and the AAA's most recent estimate of costs to own and operate a sedan in the US (59.2 cents / mile).
Does your calculation include depreciation in the value of the car due to added mileage? How about major maintenance (such as timing belt, etc) that will be moved sooner with the added mileage?
The IRS itself calculates mileage reimbursement at 50-some cents per mile. I believe that AAA has a similar figure for average car costs. I had a personal finance teacher (a real, hard-core money geek) tell us that the real figure is closer to one dollar per mile, but he didn't give details of how he arrived at that, and he could have been way off.
The most likely explanation to what the grandparent poster posited, and, in fact, to TFA as well.
Thank you for challenging a main point of the OP's post that I wanted to challenge and forgot to in my own reply: that "a large percentage of the human race's information is in English."
I feel that that's a major mistake in the OP's analysis, and think that it's really the opposite: a small percentage of the human race's information is in English.
If only it were possible for humans to speak more than one language, then they could keep their original language and also communicate in one or more global languages! Alas, it is, sadly, impossible.
Like it or not, language helps maintain a lot more than just "lousy, empty, vapid" culture. It also helps maintain useful culture, history, unique philosophical concepts, unique observations about the world around us, and I am sure countless other important characteristics, discoveries, and contributions of a particular set of people. With something as complex and impactful as language, having only one choice is never good, just like it's not good in software, programming languages, food, or anything for that matter.
Reading your follow-up reply, I would also add that having a variety of languages is infinitely more important than resolving something that could much more easily be resolved with better engineering solutions, like the localization examples you mention.
With interactive graphs, rankings, etc.
It seems like Joann Killeen fails at Public Relations, the subject that she teaches, if she agreed to admit on the record to the AP that she actually drives 2 hours to go 4 miles.
Just a quick correction: Southern California, including Los Angeles, actually had "the largest electric railway system in the world in the 1920s." which disappeared due to bad decision-making by the government and self-serving actions by companies like General Motors. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P... - read it and weep.
So how did companies handle such networks 20+ years ago, where employees in "other offices" (cities, other locations in the same city, etc.) could access files, databases, etc., without any vector out to the Internet?
Thank you, that's a good question. Companies used to pay for their own, dedicated network connections between various offices - think T1s, T3s, ISDN, etc. Yes, they were much more expensive, which is why they mostly went away. The bean-counters probably saw dollar signs flash in front of their eyes when internet connections became cheap and VPN and other tunneling solutions were worked out that made it possible to replace the old dedicated connections, and that was that.
Another possibility, however, is that the internet made the business need to be interconnected so great (i.e. email, web, saas, etc) that it just became too difficult to justify having duplicate machines on everyone's desks. Remember that IT is a cost center for businesses, so eternally being squeezed to be more efficient and cost-effective.
Let's hope that Harvard teaches their engineers more restraint, balance, common-sense, concern for the common good, and other things that are positive for society and the world than they teach their MBAs.
I'm not positive about the technical aspects of the chip, but just thinking about it, I don't believe that chip cards protect you from certain fraudulent transactions, like online purchases. I'm giving the website my card number, expiration date, card verification number, name, and billing address.
Someone who gains access to all that information stored by the retailer would certainly have all they need to initiate another online transaction elsewhere. The only way the bank has of preventing that would be to issue a new card number.
If they want to keep making money and not get trounced by the competition, they will eventually stop their bluff/tantrum and come back to play ball. Remember that their only current, likely avenues for growth are broadband and mobile, and mobile is probably very slow, if not at a stand-still. They can only pull this off if they no longer want to grow at a significant rate.
You can say that their competitors could do the same thing if they become Title II, but someone will choose to take the growth even under the regulation while the competition stands still.
Your guess for the cost to produce a regular credit/debit card is exactly right, but chip cards apparently cost a lot more. Bank of America sent me a new "chip-and-signature" card (yuck, why not chip-and-pin, so frustrating) after the Home Depot breach. According to this article:
"The cost to produce and distribute a card to a customer is under $2. The cost to make and distribute a chip card to a customer is between $15 and $20," says Coleman.
The last link on TFS says that just community banks and credit unions are already on the hook for $160 million. That's not even counting the banking giants. We're talking LOTS of money lost and wasted by a lot of people because of Target, Home Depot, et al being lax with their security.