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Comment Re:Not Notable (Score 1) 325

This is what put me off to Wikipedia. There are four areas where I ran into the "notability" wall:

1. Open Source Software projects (ironically). I was researching replacements to a proprietary system we use at work, but half of the linked product articles were removed on the basis of "not notable" or "reads like an advertisement". We gave up and bought something.

2. Small town details.

3. TV Show details. They seem to have gotten better about it, but at one point the level of detail allowed for a TV show was proportional to how popular it was, which is pretty stupid considering the obscure ones benefit more from the extra detail as they don't have enough following to have their own sites.

4. Information of primary interest in other languages. It seems at some point someone took a shotgun to the sections regarding Japanese trains (many links which point to deleted pages). I can fill in the gaps by reading the Japanese language wikipedia, but I thought the whole point of an Encyclopedia was that you didn't need to learn whole other languages to get information out of them. It's on the level of Britannica putting the section on the USSR in Russian.

Comment Re:Taxes (Score 1) 174

Thus the "more" qualifier... at the current tax rates, everything is running reasonably well. Unless there's some sort of good faith effort by the government to cut unnecessary spending (especially unnecessary federal spending), why should we keep cutting them blank checks? A good example of this tactic actually working is Amtrak - by giving them less subsidy than they asked for, they were able to find better funding sources and cut some fat. Eliminating the subsidy would have killed it outright.

All things in moderation... and a (state+federal+federal programs total) combined tax rate of 40% is pretty damn high. If anything let me choose to give the lion's share to my state.

Comment Never heard of the waived-fee repair? (Score 1) 375

I'm really wary on the PlayStation because of the 5 PS2s with broken optical drives sitting in my garage; none lasted more than two years.

There was actually a defect found, and due to a class action suit you could have gotten some or all of those 5 PS2s repaired free of charge (regardless of warranty status or even if you bought it third hand).

I bought for $20 a used PS2 in exactly this condition, knowing about the waived fee repair. There even were answers to the scripted questions the Sony rep would ask online so that you could streamline getting the repair approved (boiled down to saying "it says disc read error" "still says disc read error" and "nope, still the same error"). IIRC I didn't even have to pay for shipping...

Comment Re:You must choose.... (Score 1) 345

The ultimate solution would be to remove money from the necessities of life... a pie-in-the-sky idea would be if everyone (whether they are completely broke or a multi-billionaire) is granted public housing, food, schooling, medical care, and basic clothing. If the public services are open to everyone, you mitigate the "only poor people are there" effect of soup kitchens, homeless shelters, projects. This could be paid for by eliminating unemployment insurance and all current forms of welfare, and taxing all income from the first $1. A side effect could also be eliminating minimum wage. The end result is if anyone wants to exit the government system, they are free to get a job until acquiring the money they need for the things they want, and then they can go back to not working. No pressure to put in 40-60 hour weeks. Employers will have to actually *compete* for employees because "better than nothing" is suddenly a much higher bar.

In any case that is usually the solution I offer once 90% of jobs are automated away... no one is ready for that now.

Comment Re: Japanese Phones (Score 1) 360

HDTV tuners would be great over here... the TV signal is more reliable than the cellular data one, and wouldn't use data while providing a crisp picture. Probably require less processing power too.

I was disappointed to find out that Japan's and the US's HD formats ware different enough that those tuners wouldn't work here...

Comment Re:The land of ATMs on holiday (Score 2) 360

Actually, yes.
I've visited twice. Stumbling on places that took a credit card was rare. Finding a place that took an American (non-chipped) card was almost impossible. Yes, large overpriced places of course take cards, but the places where the common man actually shops and eats, cash only. Compare to NYC where even the independent $1 pizza joints and $5 t-shirt shops take cards.

Now, the best reason I can think of for this is the credit card transaction fees - there *are* electronic payment forms but they are all in the form of preloaded debit cards [where the balance is stored on the card], including at least some forms of the cell phone method. I loaded cash onto my SUICA and EDY cards and between the two of them, I was able to be reasonably cashless there, but that's really a major-city-only thing.

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