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Comment Contracts (Score 1) 374

I work as a consultant. Generally, I contract for a specific project or a specific period of time. Until that project or period of time is over, I'll be staying on the job (with or without a contractual penalty). When I'm switching to a new contract, and (if I'm lucky) I have to choose between two prospective customers, then that shiny penny will do it.

Comment Re:That's how the market is supposed to work. (Score 1) 762

Actually I bought mine (one for each employee) with this reasoning: Every gallon I save is one less gallon the US buys from one of our with-friends-like-these-you-don't-need-enemies.

But, let's check the numbers on mine (the one I drive):

120,000 Mi ÷ 52 MPG $3.17/Gal = $7,315
120,000 Mi ÷ 5,000 Mi/oil change $30/oil change = $720
120,000 Mi ÷ 120,000 Mi/brake job $300 = $300 (estimated -- no brake job yet)
car: $26,000
Total: $34,335

120,000 Mi ÷ 26 MPG $3.17/Gal = $14,630
120,000 Mi ÷ 3,000 Mi/oil change $30/oil change = $1,200
120,000 Mi ÷ 60,000 Mi/brake job $300 = $600
similar car: $17,500 (estimated)
Total: $33,930

Hey! You're right! I'm still $405 behind.

Comment Re:Federal Law (Score 1) 485

Good point. NY could slap a use tax on downloads. It would then be the responsibility of the self-policing citizens of NY to report that they had paid for the downloads and to then pay taxes on them.

I guarantee you, though, if NY asks, pleads, or demands that we collect software download information for them (assuming they decide to tax that next), their letter will go in the same trash-can that the other out-of-state taxation letters do.

Comment Re:Federal Law (Score 1) 485

Article I, 9: No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.

If you make these items in the state, and sell it there, then the state can tax it.
If you buy it wholesale, from in-state or out-of-state, and then resell it, then the state can tax it.
If you buy it at retail, from out-of-state, then the state can't tax it.

Comment Federal Law (Score 2, Insightful) 485

NY and you are ignoring three very basic points:

1) The US Constitution prohibits states from taxing anything crossing state lines.
2) A server can be located anywhere.
3) People will minimize their tax paid.

If NY puts this law into effect, then the affected servers will be moved out of state, and no tax will be due or collected.

As a side-note, we produce and sell packaged software. We're in California. We get sales-tax returns mailed to us from Louisiana. We throw them out, unopened.

United States

Submission + - Global Warming Solution Overlooked 3

SheldonLinker writes: "In the global warming debate, the politicians have been ignoring an immediate remedy to global warming. (Note that I'm not claiming that global warming is good or bad.)

Global heat retention is a matter of energy in versus energy out. There's not much we can do about energy in, and most of the Energy Out part of the question relies on atmospheric greenhouse gasses and ground albedo. Atmospheric greenhouse gasses consist of more than carbon dioxide. Two other big constituents are methane and water vapor. Methane is something we can deal with by switching to be vegans. (This would mess up my dinner plans, so let's skip that one.) Water vapor is not something we can easily deal with, on a planet mostly covered in water. And as the debate rages, we see that carbon dioxide emissions are expensive to deal with. So what's left? Ground albedo.

If you work through the numbers, you'll find that something like 10 square meters of aluminum foil per household, planet-wide, would counteract all the global warming we're currently seeing. Do that (albedo offset), and you can barbecue to your heart's content.

When global cooling is the big problem, as it is from time to time, we can take down our foil and replace it with flat-black construction paper."

"The most important thing in a man is not what he knows, but what he is." -- Narciso Yepes