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Comment: Re:You think? (Score 1) 375

So, to be clear, if Obama got on TV and announced that no taxes would need to be paid on corporate or personal income from renewable energy sales, you would NOT consider that a form of subsidy? And he would get no resistance from the right, because it would just be "taking less of someone's money"?

No, that would be a subsidy, if it wasn't applied to all businesses equally. My point was that some people claim a tax cut, usually in the form of a rate cut, is "the same thing as spending." E.g., if a tax cut is expected to reduce revenues by $100 million, they will say it's the same as the government spending $100 million. It's not, for various reasons too off-topic to go into.

Comment: Re:You think? (Score 1) 375

Today on /. we find out who doesn't know the difference between subsidies, tax deductions, tax breaks, and taxes.

You'd have a mod point if I had one right now. You could have added "spending," because I've seen people argue that tax cuts (i.e. taking less of someone's money) is the same thing as more government spending.


Comcast Executives Appear To Share Cozy Relationships With Regulators 63

Posted by timothy
from the how-totally-amazing dept.
v3rgEz (125380) writes A month before Comcast's announcement of a $45B takeover of rival Time-Warner, Comcast's top lobbyist invited the US government's top antitrust regulators to share the company's VIP box at the Sochi Olympics. A Freedom of Information Act request from Muckrock reveals that the regulators reluctantly declined, saying "it sounds like so much fun" but the pesky "rules folks" would frown on it, instead suggesting a more private dinner later.

Comment: Re:Great... Instead of CO2 we get CO (Score 1) 133

Only by increasing the forest footprint of the world, or causing massive algae blooms in the oceans can you really sequester CO2 in vegetation.

I imagine some sort of GMO supertree that grows as fast as bamboo, for carbon sequestration and a cheap building material.

Comment: Re: Good? (Score 1) 273

Yeah, because the private companies that benefit from this had nothing to do with it, right? It's all the government's fault and only the government's fault.

You are missing the point. When legislators decide to regulate buying and selling, the first things bought are legislators. Taxi cartels are prime examples of this.

Comment: Re:Good? (Score 3, Informative) 273

I live in San Francisco and you won't be getting a ride from the cabbies who are hypothetically required to take you. Dispatch will accept the call, but no one will ever show up.

Very true. I once tried to get a cab from one part of downtown to another, in the middle of a workday. No cab ever showed up. I've heard they don't want to miss out on a more lucrative run to the airport.

Comment: Re:Anyone else remember... (Score 5, Informative) 126

by PapayaSF (#47329891) Attached to: Google Demos Modular Phone That (Almost) Actually Works

Exactly. That's why a modular PCs were never created. There's no way you can get high performance when the user can pick their own RAM, CPU, motherboard, video card, hard drives, etc.

Oh, wait.

Size matters. Desktop PCs are easy to make modular (unless you want an iMac). Laptops are harder, and besides removable batteries, only a few had any modular components (like a DVD drive swappable for an extra battery). Phones are much more space-constrained. Every millimeter counts, and modularity takes up quite a bit of space at that scale, because each part needs to be enclosed, securely attach to the others, etc.

In short, a modular phone is possible, but the trade-offs will be severe, and you'll be able to pick one or two things (e.g. speed, battery life, extra features, small size, etc.) but not all at the same time. And the prices won't be good, because manufacturer(s) will lose economies of scale: it'll be hard to compete with Apple and Samsung making millions and tens of millions of identical units.


NYC Loses Appeal To Ban Large Sugary Drinks 532

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-want-the-jumbo dept.
mpicpp writes with good news for every New Yorker who needs 44oz of soft drink to be refreshed. New York's Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that New York City's ban on large sugary drinks, which was previously blocked by lower courts, is illegal. "We hold that the New York City Board of Health, in adopting the 'Sugary Drinks Portion Cap Rule,' exceeded the scope of its regulatory authority," the ruling said. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg had pushed for the ban on sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces as a way to fight obesity and other health problems.

Comment: Re:They hate our freedom (Score 2) 404

by PapayaSF (#47308853) Attached to: San Francisco Bans Parking Spot Auctioning App

It occurs to me that knowing where a parking space is available would reduce time spent driving around, itself reducing pollution, excess expenditure on additional fuel, the clogging of streets, and other issues associated with tons of traffic driving in circles throughout the city.

Ah, but you are being logical and not ecological. It has been official policy in SF for years to "get people out of their cars" by any means. This includes intentionally removing parking places (more, more), and even preventing new construction from having more than one parking space per unit.

Comment: Re:Good! (Score 1) 619

by PapayaSF (#47276499) Attached to: 2 US Senators Propose 12-Cent Gas Tax Increase

If you make travel by road artificially cheap (which it is - at least 1/3 of road budgets come from general taxation) then people will drive more rather than looking for public transit alternatives.

Your point is pretty much self-refuting, because public transit is heavily subsidized, perhaps even more than automobiles are.

Comment: Re:Good! (Score 1) 619

by PapayaSF (#47276463) Attached to: 2 US Senators Propose 12-Cent Gas Tax Increase

Of course, I'm sure we could afford to pave all of our roads with gold, have diamond-studded bike lanes, and solid titanium sidewalks if we didn't spend half our budget on wars, but hey, I'm not holding my breath.

We don't come anywhere close to spending "half our budget on wars." The military (plus veterans' benefits) only accounts for about 22% of total federal spending.


IRS Recycled Lerner Hard Drive 682

Posted by timothy
from the but-please-keep-your-tax-records-forever dept.
phrackthat (2602661) writes The Senate Finance Committee has been informed that the IRS recycled the hard drive of Lois Lerner, which will deprive investigators of the ability to forensically retrieve emails which were supposedly deleted or lost in a "crash." This news comes after the IRS revealed that it had lost the emails of Lois Lerner and six other employees who were being investigated regarding the targeting of conservative groups and donors.

Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn't the work he is supposed to be doing at the moment. -- Robert Benchley