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Comment: Re:Bank admits error? (Score 1) 96 96

For the life of me I don't understand why Chase, Capital One, or Bank of America have any retail customers at all.

They seem to be buying the small banks. At least that keeps happening to every bank I've been a customer of.

So I joined a credit union. but it is just a vassal of one of the mega banks. Found that out while reviewing a transaction summary from the web hosting company I used to use. My payments were listed as coming from one of the mega banks. When I asked at the credit union, they told me that the CU had a master account with the mega bank and all the members' CU accounts were actually accounts at the mega bank, managed as subaccounts of the CU's master account. I do get the benefit of lower fees as negotiated by the CU, but the mega bank still processes my payments and deposits the same as if I were a retail customer of the mega bank.

Comment: Re:Makes sense (Score 1) 395 395

Oh really? My grandparents would say "sorry to drop by uninvited". Seriously. And they sure as hell wouldn't call at meal times - even on the phone (there was no internets when they were alive). I have no idea what my great-grandparents would have thought. No pre-teen pregnancies in my family that I know of.

Well, I know a co-op student, where I work, who has 2, still living, great grand parents. They are over 100. Her parents, grand parents and great grand parents were in their early to mid 20s when they had children.

They grew up in a time when there were 2 "snail mail" deliveries per day, so they could send/receive invitations for same evening - or the next day, if a reply was needed (they didn't have phones as those were a luxury back then). While unanounce/univited visits's to friend's homes was infrequent, meeting friends and other people in parks was routine. Visting people's offices unannounced/univited was also routine. The vast majority of their interaction with other people was "real time" and not pre-arranged. Even now, they talk alot on the telephone with friends and family. Also, they use email (with fullsized, high contrast keyboards) and voicemail. With the voice control feature, they can make calls from their smart phones, but that's their only cellphone use. They only send/receive text messages via an email/sms gateway.

Even though they use text/email messages, they still prefer non-pre-arranged, "real time" intereaction with other people. They neither like nor dislike this new etiquit. And they are not baffled by it.

+ - New flights from SpaceShipTwo will likely not happen for years

schwit1 writes: A variety of unnamed sources are saying that Virgin Galactic's new SpaceShipTwo will will likely not fly for years.

This quote is especially telling:

As to when that commercial service might actually be ready, one former Virgin Galactic employee told Newsnight: "I can't say whether it will be two years or whether it will be five... They have a huge, huge, way to go."

So is this quote from Doug Messier, quoted in the article:

"This program's claimed four lives already and it's had four powered flights and they haven't gotten anywhere near space in 10 years."

When summed up, as Messier does, Virgin Galactic's effort sure sounds disappointing.

Comment: Re:And? (Score 1) 295 295

Gender studies majors do. See, they make their career out of pushing to get more women into careers that nobody is keeping women out of ....

Maybe not keeping them out of, but many women and girls are discouraged from entering STEM fields. Both my girlfriend and our daughter were strongly discouraged from STEM fields by teachers, advisors and others. Those people claimed that such careers were "not appropriate for girls." They both said "BS, I'm going to be an engineer." My girlfriend is an engineer and our daughter will soon get an engineering degree. Very few of their classmates who were also interested in STEM (and got A's in highschool science classes) actually went on to pursue STEM degrees.

Comment: Re:Solution in Search of Problem (Score 1) 837 837

This is pretty short sighted, and my hope is that you are not on any committees or groups planning for anything in the future, as you seem to not be able to think ahead. EV's are a small segment now, but it is growing fast, and there will be a point in the future where it will become an issue having EV's essentially free from any sort of tax that allows for maintenance on the roads they use. Oregon is simply experimenting with ways to work through that scenario, and working on a plan for the future.

EV's do have to be charged. A suitable metering system could be built in to the battery packs. Make tampering with the battery pack a tax evasion crime.

Comment: Re:Tolls? (Score 1) 837 837

The rich live close while the poor have to commute

It's funny that those living way out in the suburbs are "the poor".

Where I live, the moderately wealthy neighborhoods are built around the up-scale office parks in the suburbs. The poor neighborhoods are the ones around the factories (mostly defunct, but a few still operating). While the middle class neighborhoods are in between. Also, the middle class often can't afford to move when they change jobs, so many live in one suburb and have to commute 2 or more suburbs to get to work.

(The very wealthy, however, do tend to live further away in semi-isolated suburbs.)

Comment: Re:Government Intrusion (Score 1) 837 837

Every US state with a sales tax taxes stuff you buy out of state (in theory anyway). They just call it a Use Tax, but it really amounts to nothing more than imposing a tax on commerce that took place in another state.

The legal theory that allows this "use tax" is that the items were purchased for use in the purchaser's state of residence.

Comment: Re:Government Intrusion (Score 1) 837 837

That doesn't work. Oregon can't tax the miles you drive outside Oregon--the US Constitution explicitly forbids state taxation of anything outside the state. They *have* to know not only how far you've driven but where you drove it to impose this tax.

As pointed out in another post, the device could calculate the miles drive in Oregon (or whatever state) and only report that.

Of course, I'd want proof that was all it was reporting.

Comment: Re:Government Intrusion (Score 1) 837 837

How about leaving the gas tax, but also wager a electricity fee against registered electric car users? Just an a matter of figuring out how. Require a second odometer that tracks mileage that uses the electric drive train? This is getting hard.

For pure electric vehicles, build a kilo-Watt-Hour meter into the battery pack that monitors the power used to charge the battery. This would be similar to a gas tax.

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