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Comment: Re:Truck ? (Score 1) 803

by RKThoadan (#49736795) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

> You and I do NOT benefit from private passenger vehicles other than our own.

That's not entirely true. If I drive to McDonalds but there's nobody working there then it's pretty useless. I suppose in theory they could take public transit, but that's spotty at best in many areas of the country. If I'm disabled to the point of being effectively unable to drive then I do not directly use roads at all, but am far more dependent on them. And lets not forget the joys of pizza delivery!

In general, there are lot of benefits to having a good infrastructure regardless of whether I use it directly. I'm not sure it's worth even trying to determine who uses it the most.

Comment: Re:Mixed reaction (Score 1) 316

by RKThoadan (#49727597) Attached to: Battle To Regulate Ridesharing Moves Through States

You can make a case that when and where also matters, perhaps the speed I'm driving, any drugs I've taken lately, and even whether my girlfriend recently broke up with me, but I'd rather not share all that with my insurance company. I think the commercial / non-commercial split was just a simple way to split people between those who drive a lot and those who don't without giving lots of personal information to insurance companies.

Comment: Re:Mixed reaction (Score 1) 316

by RKThoadan (#49726839) Attached to: Battle To Regulate Ridesharing Moves Through States

Uber and Lyft both provide full insurance coverage while someone is driving a fare for them. There is apparently a strange insurance gap if the driver is logged into their app looking to get a fare but not actually driving someone and is in an accident. If I'm understanding things right that's considered a commercial activity and not covered under personal insurance, but since they don't have an active fare it's not covered by Uber/Lyft either. Insurance companies are now offering policies that cover that gap. It's only a concern for the drivers though, as a passenger you're always covered by Uber/Lyft.

Comment: Re:Dumbest question I'll see all day. (Score 1) 435

by RKThoadan (#49675043) Attached to: Will Robot Cars Need Windows?

I think we have reached the point where a display + camera may be just as good for seeing out and more structurally sound then windows. Take a look at the windowless plane interior shot from upthread:

There are lots of other reasons why we might still want windows, but I think we have superior options for just needing to see out.

Comment: I think it's more about having a 3D digital scan (Score 1) 63

by RKThoadan (#49558901) Attached to: The World of 3D Portraiture

There's a kickstarter right now doing full 3D scans of people and they seem to think that the primary market will be people who want a fully digital version of themselves for video games and other virtual environments. They do have various "3D portraits" available, but I get the impression they think their biggest business will be just providing the data files from the scans.

Comment: Re:Maybe in a different country (Score 1) 498

by RKThoadan (#49224209) Attached to: Mental Health Experts Seek To Block the Paths To Suicide

> There's a big difference between promoting gun safety at home, and putting it into law.

Tell that to Florida, who wrote a law forbidding doctors from even asking if people have guns at home, much less recommending that they keep them secure.

Comment: Re:Literally? (Score 1) 645

by RKThoadan (#48999399) Attached to: Does Showing a Horrific Video Serve a Legitimate Journalistic Purpose?

This is a tough one. You are using a somewhat narrow definition of "working for" to mean a defined financial arrangement between an employer and employee. That's not the only way to read that phrase. I can accurately say that I am working for my family, in the sense that my goal is to provide for them. You can certainly be "working for" a cause as well. If we accept that part of ISIS goal is driving a wedge between Muslims and the rest of us then Fox is definitely working for them. If someone is unintentionally furthering my nefarious plans to take over the world I might say something like "They are working for me. They just don't know it!" and then engage in some maniacal laughter.

Comment: Re:Close, but be careful (Score 1) 839

by RKThoadan (#48160141) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

Why do you think consumption taxes are inherently progressive? It may be possible to make them that way, but I don't see how that is an inherent aspect.

The poor and middle classes generally have to spend the vast majority of their income and invest very little. All that is generally "consumption" the rich may seem to consume more, but as a percentage of their income it's far less than others. You can attempt to fix this by making food and other staples not subject to taxation and with luxury taxes, but that adds complications and you've pointed out the other dangers. I suspect any attempt to create progressive consumption taxes will be easily gamed. I'm open to the idea if it can be made to work, but taxing wealth has a big advantage of being relatively simple and much harder to game.

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